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     # 
  • 20 Bear Asses: One of the early quests involves hunting rams for their meat to cook to feed hungry refugees. You need at least ten whole carcasses. Thankfully, unlike many MMO examples of this trope, every ram drops a quest item.
  • 24-Hour Armor:
    • Josephine takes issue with Cullen wearing armor all the time, and discusses with a nameless Inquisition scout the possibility of calling in a tailor to have something made for him. Upon seeing him lose his uniform in a Wicked Grace bet, Cole notes, "It comes off! I didn't know it came off!"
    • The Herald also falls into this in Haven, as they are shown wearing their armor any time they are not in the war room. At Skyhold, if you have the wardrobe which grants the option to change the character's garments, they can fall into this again - depending on what they wear and how you define "armor."
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     A 
  • After-Combat Recovery: Averted. For the first time in the series, your health doesn't automatically refill as soon as the fighting stops. Downed characters are still instantly revived after combat, however; not only that, but (also for the first time in the series) they can even be revived during combat by the active character, without needing a specific potion to do it.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • The new combat system for dragons allows you to attack their limbs, much like Dragon's Dogma. The demo at E3 shows how taking out a leg causes the dragon to roar pitifully and start limping. The developers wanted to convey that while dragons are a vicious menace to society, they are still living creatures.
    • This also applies to the new giant enemy. The way they hold their knees after several hits or indeed fall down on them as their legs are taken out is almost pitiful.
    • The trope overall most definitely applies to Alexius. It's heavily implied that the only reason he joined the Venatori in the first place is because Corypheus promised to help save his son from a Blight infection. Dorian comments that he used to look up to Alexius as a role model, someone who wanted to improve the Imperium and make it a better place, but all of that changed when his wife was murdered and his son infected in a darkspawn attack. If he is executed following judgment at Skyhold, Dorian laments that the man he used to idolize had fallen so far from what he used to be.
  • Alien Kudzu: The Red Lyrium sprouting up in places where regular Blue Lyrium normally doesn't would qualify, if it were alive and not a mineral... except that it is "alive," and it's blighted.
  • All Myths Are True: A surprising amount of the ancient lore in Thedas comes into play during the game, though not necessarily as one might expect:
    • The elven Creators appear to have been real, although whether they were gods or powerful rulers is unknown. Trespasser unequivocally reveals that they were mortal. Ludicrously powerful and capable of bending the Fade like paper, but mortal nonetheless.
    • Trespasser reveals that the elves were indeed immortal, and that the Fade and the waking world were one and the same. Fen'Harel did actually imprison the Elven Gods in the Fade by erecting the Veil, though rather than him doing so for the sake of mischief, he did it to punish them for being tyrannical oppressors who used their godlike status to subjugate the other elves, and for murdering Mythal, the only one of them who wasn't a despot.
    • The Dalish are also proven correct in their claim that all elves were mages during their golden age. The elves are intrinsically connected to the Fade in a way that the other races are not, and the creation of the Veil was devastating to them. Fen'Harel himself compares what he did to the elves to the Rite of Tranquility.
    • Flemeth is indeed the Witch of the Wilds of legend, although the "demon" that possesses her is actually the essence of the elven goddess Mythal.
    • The elven apostate Solas is Fen'harel, the Dread Wolf, who accidentally destroyed the world in an effort to stop the oppressive Elvhen 'gods'. He has awakened after several millennia of hibernation, and is now seeking to restore his old world, which most certainly will destroy the current one.
    • The Jaws of Hakkon DLC reveals that the Avvar gods are all real. The Avvar are actually spirit worshipers, and gods like the Lady of the Skies and Hakkon Wintersbreath are "merely" powerful spirits.
    • We also learn a lot about Andraste in this game that was not previously shown, perhaps in part because of the player character being considered her Herald, and particularly about her mortal life. Among other things, codex entries reveal that her three sons were actually the children of her husband Maferath's concubine (though she raised them after their birth mother died and they loved her devotedly), and she also had two daughters by Maferath. Her younger daughter Vivial had daughters of her own, leading at least one Chantry scholar to speculate that a female-only line of descent from Andraste still exists.
  • All There in the Manual: The events of Asunder and The Masked Empire are the major causes of much of the plot, but never really explained in-game. The Orlesian civil war especially is only ever explained in the broadest of strokes, and the resolutions seem to rely on the player already knowing what's going on between the three main players. The game never really explains who Fiona from the prequel novels is (the only Warden to be completely cured of the Taint, which rendered her fully immune to it, and also Alistair's real mom) beyond being the leader of the mage rebellion, but acts like you should know anyway. Similarly, large amounts of lore which had previously only appeared in codex entries are suddenly critical background info with major revelations about them making up much of the main plot (you have a working knowledge of the elven pantheon, right?).
  • Altar Diplomacy: Several war table operations involve forging or breaking political marriages or betrothals to achieve your desired ends.
  • Amazon Chaser: Ferelden's nobility seems to have elements of this. A war table mission lets the PC send a champion to participate in a tourney. Although she doesn't win, she places highly and impresses a number of people. This results in six job offers and nine offers of marriage.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba:
    • Claim you're representing the Inquisition and a soldier outside of Redcliffe Village, who won't let you through, will counter with (paraphrased): "Sure, and I'm the Empress of Orlais." note 
    • She's not the only one; among others, a rebel mage in Redcliffe has a similar reaction if the Inquisitor claims to want to help the mages. You get a scene like this at least once a game.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different:
    • The Winter Palace mission is almost entirely political in nature. Although you'll still be murdering your way through waves of mooks at certain points throughout the evening, the primary focus of the level is accumulating blackmail material and political leverage by eavesdropping on nobles and collecting scandalous documents; meanwhile, the Inquisitor must also attempt to earn and maintain the approval of the Orlesian court, which is affected by their background, the things they say and do during the masquerade, and turning over the aforementioned blackmail material to Leliana.
    • The Hissing Wastes are completely unique compared to any other map area. It has by far the fewest features, as it's designed to be a vast, empty and forlorn desert. The emptiness, however, serves to facilitate the quest. (See those massive hoodoos in the distance? They're important.) Its primary quest is also extremely different from anything else in the game, and can basically be described as Adventure Archaeology, complete with treasure maps. Notably, it's one of the few regions in the game which can be completely skipped without impacting the plot in any real way; there are no recruitable companions to be found here, nor significant Plot Coupons, meaning that one could argue it exists purely for fun.
  • And That's Terrible: During the recruitment conversation for Sera, you can tell her she sounds like a petty criminal who wants to act out violent revenge fantasies. This gets no reaction from her, prompting the Inquisitor to add, "And... that might be bad?"
  • Antepiece: The first ritual in the Temple of Mythal is short, easy, and required to proceed. It serves to introduce the mechanics for the harder rituals ahead, should the player elect to do them.
  • Anticlimax:Depending on your relationship with Solas, the conclusion of the Trespasser DLC, and the entire story by extension, can be one of these. At the end of Trespasser, you meet Solas who will answer all your questions about who he is, everything he's done up to that point, and his future plan (namely, destroying the veil, which he created, which would be catastrophic to all current life in Thedas). It's a pretty climactic moment, and depending on whether you are friendly with him or not, you will either vow to convince him he is wrong about his plans or vow to kill him before he removes the Mark from your hand and leaves. However, if your approval rate with him is particularly low, when he asks you if you have questions, you can ask him if you've ever cared about anything he had to say. He is clearly taken aback, and while glaring at you, he quickly rattles off that he is the Dread Wolf and he plans to destroy the veil before taking the Mark and leaving turning a 5-10 minute scene into a 5-10 seconds scene.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • Any decision that would result in a case of Permanently Missable Content is clearly defined in-game.
    • Similarly, the Search feature is meant to avert Pixel Hunting by clearly telling you if there are interactable objects nearby. Originally this meant a specific sound when the feature was activated and an outline around objects within a certain radius of the character; a patch later added glowing spots that would temporarily appear on the mini map.
    • Even in pitch-black caves and ruins, the Inquisitor and their party are always surrounded by a faint glow that illuminates the area in direct proximity to the player, probably because stumbling around in the dark without a light source (the only ones being infrequent veilfire torches and stationary fire torches) would be really damn frustrating.
    • The Jaws of Hakkon DLC features enemies that very frequently drop items needed to complete your specialization training. In the core game, these items were extremely tough to find.
  • Anti-Grinding: If the player tries to grind in the same area, enemy mobs will thin out for some time, making it take much longer to farm XP. Even if the player does manage to gain a level or two, enemies will now give out less XP than before to the point of being almost worthless. Further, once the player is high enough in level, certain mobs will stop spawning entirely. Quests and side quests are the only efficient source of XP, but even those will vanish completely as the player nears the endgame. Note that most of this can be countered by activating the Even Ground trial, which drags all lower-leveled enemies up to your party's level. Doing so from the beginning allows for hitting the level cap around the late mid-game instead of somewhere near the finale. Since the quality of dropped loot seems to depend on enemy level at least to some capacity, Even Ground has the additional side effect of being quite lucrative in the long run.
  • Anti-Magic: Templars, natch, but a particular case here: Maevaris Tilani attempts to make a political stand in the Magisterium in Tevinter against the Venatori in a short War Table operation chain, but runs afoul of some of the "heavy hitters" that are content to let the Venatori run amok down south. Cullen's solution to aid her is to send a detachment of Inquisition Templars under disguise for aid. Where does this trope come in? Tevinter Templars do not learn or use the anti-magic abilities for which their southern counterparts are known. The attackers on Mae's estate are "flummoxed" (in Cullen's words) by the southern-style Templars countering their magic, and are handily repulsed.
  • Anti-Magical Faction: The purpose of the original Inquisition, before it joined forces with the Chantry and became the Templars and Seekers of Truth. What path the new Inquisition follows depends on your choices (and the first brand-new companion announced is a mage advocate, although one that previously supported the Chantry and the Circle system before the Templar-Mage war broke out).
  • Anti Poop-Socking: The time needed for your agents to complete operations passes even while you aren't playing the game. Since these operations can take several hours to complete, this feature allows players to enjoy the game without having to spend too much time playing to complete the operations. On the other hand, though, some of these must be done within a timely fashion to be worth anything; for example, the Ancestral Sword/Shield of Lydes is a Level Six item, and you could become overleveled as you do other stuff. Further, if you want specific rewards/outcomes for these missions, you need to use specific advisors for it - meaning that if two missions both require 12 hours or so, and you want the same advisor to do both, you won't be done until tomorrow.
  • Appeal to Ignorance/There Are No Coincidences: In keeping with the theme of ambiguity regarding the Maker, the events of the game are said to be His work for different reasons. When everything is in chaos and nobody knows what's going on or can offer any answers, rumors start that the Maker (or Andraste) was directly involved. Later, when the truth starts to be revealed, it's argued that because the coincidences are too timely, the Maker must have planned it behind the curtains. "The less He does, the more He's proven" is actually a core idea of the religion.
  • Applied Phlebotinum:
    • Both exemplified and averted with Red Lyrium when you discover that Lyrium is actually alive, the red stuff has been corrupted by the Blight, and that's why it drives people insane.
    • That would also hold true for regular Lyrium, which somehow manages to enhance a mage's magic powers and give Templars anti-magic powers at the same time.
  • Apocalypse Cult:
    • In the Hinterlands, there's a cult living in an old fort that worships the Breach as a sign that The Maker is displeased with the Chant of Light. Their doctrine is to "wait in silence" for the day when He reclaims the faithful and wipes the world clean.
    • A piece of background lore talks about a cult that appeared between the time of the first and second Blights, convinced that the Blight taint was an instrument of the Maker's will to destroy the world and start over again. During the second Blight, they placed themselves in front of an advancing darkspawn horde, waiting to be taken. Spoiler alert: that cult isn't around anymore.
    • The Order of Fiery Promise is another cult that formed following the First Blight; its members actively tried to bring about the end of the world, believing that Thedas must be cleansed in fire in order to be reborn as a paradise. The Promisers were put down by the original Inquisition, but reappeared several more times, claiming to have taken up the Inquisition's mantle after the latter organization became the Seekers of Truth. They pop up again during Cassandra's personal quest, and it turns out that Lord Seeker Lucius has joined them. The Inquisitor can even lampshade this: "Of course it's a cult."
  • Apocalyptic Log: More areas than not are littered with letters, notes, and journals describing bad ideas in progress and/or events going terribly wrong, often resulting in a minor exploration sidequest that ends in the discovery of the unfortunate writer's corpse. The Still Ruins in the Western Approach and Chateau d'Onterre in the Emerald Graves provide especially vivid examples.
  • Apocalypse Not: Despite the Fallow Mire and Hinterlands being at the epicenter of the Fifth Blight, there are no signs that any of that land is despoiled, as is said in the Codex. In fact, due to the color and graphics overhaul, Ferelden looks better than ever. Keep in mind that extensively Blighted areas, like the Anderfels, possess regions so lifeless that corpses do not decay. In that context, Ferelden's recovery seems fantastic. On the other hand, the previous Blights also each lasted for years, and the Fifth Blight is the shortest in history.
  • Apology Gift: If the true account of Red Crossingnote  is delivered to the Dalish (revealing that elves and humans both played a part in the incident), they send a Mourning Halla to a human village as a symbolic gesture of apology and goodwill.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You can recruit a total of nine companions, but as in previous entries, you can only have three companions join the active party at any given time. What's odd about this case is that even though you can only have three companions at a time, the others are implied to still be present during major story quests, in a Behind the Black sort of way. Talking to them after major quests has them speaking as if they were there, just not with the Inquisitor for some reason, and sometimes they'll just pop up out of nowhere during the quest itself. For example, if you exile the Grey Wardens and Blackwall isn't in your party, he'll still randomly appear to ask the Inquisitor for permission to stay. Additionally, characters who are not in the active party at the time may still express approval or disapproval for your choices. The primary exception to this is the Fade sequence in Adamant; conversations afterward make it clear that your chosen party members were the only ones with you.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Asunder." Fitting, given that the sky is literally tearing itself apart after the events of Conclave, and Orlais has been plunged into Civil War. It was also the name of an Expanded Universe novel setting up the Civil War.
    • "Well, shit." This is very much the Inquisitor's thing, invoking this at the end of Solas' and Vivienne's personal quests as well as discovering that Nightmare is nearby. Varric's personal quest is titled such, and in the Descent DLC, he echoes such sentiments on finding the Nug King.
  • An Arm and a Leg: At the end of the Trespasser DLC, Solas severs the Inquisitor's left forearm to prevent the Anchor from killing them.
  • Armor Meter/Points: Characters of the warrior class get the "Guard" points, which are obtained by using certain abilities and passives and are layered on top of the regular Life Meter, absorbing the brunt of incoming damage before the warrior starts losing HP. With certain Item Crafting tricks, it is possible for rogues and mages to get Guard points, as well, giving them warrior-level defenses in addition to their own DPS, which is as broken as it sounds.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • Empress Celene's trio of ladies-in-waiting do this, Finishing Each Other's Sentences in which two of them list off serious issues, and then the third chimes in with something much sillier by comparison. Also inverted once, with the third woman being being very soft spoken and deadpan.
    • The herbalist in Crestwood also tells us that, in addition biting a guard's head off, the local dragon has killed three horses, five goats, and two cats.
    • A man studying rifts names four demons surrounding one Primus, Secundus, Tertius, and Dummy, because although the first three move around the rift in a set, almost guard-like pattern, Dummy wanders the area at random, sometimes spinning in place. A later entry turns this into Fluffy the Terrible, upon seeing Dummy attack a deer that crossed its path.
  • Art Evolution:
    • DAI is built on DICE's Frostbite, as opposed to the aging Eclipse Engine, which helps to make the character models and scenery more detailed and realistic than in previous games.
    • Elves were redesigned again, to look less human-with-pointy-ears than in Origins, but also less anime-like than in Dragon Age II, finding more of a middle ground between those two designs.
  • The Artifact: For whatever reason, Kirkwall Heraldry is all over multiple pieces of armor which you can equip, never mind the fact that you step nowhere near Kirkwall in Inquisition. It's also seen on many random crates throughout the game, including many places where you wouldn't expect to find it.
  • Artifact Alias: Warden Blackwall is actually Thom Rainier, an Orlesian army Captain who ordered his men to commit an atrocity and not a Grey Warden at all. The real Blackwall died shortly after recruiting Rainier, giving his life to defend the man. Rainier, a fugitive, grew a beard and assumed the Warden's identity. After all this comes to light, the game interface and characters continue to refer to him as Blackwall. When asked about it, Rainier decides to keep the name as a sort of title, dedicating himself to the heroic ideal Grey Wardens represent. By the time of Trespasser, however, Rainier has started to go by his true name, and all UI elements refer to him as Thom Rainier.
  • As the Good Book Says...: The quests that deal directly with the Elder One are named after phrases from the Chant of Light.
  • As You Know: Many conversations go this way, if you're playing a character with a race/background that should know these things already. Inquisition Perks take this even further, allowing you to be "trained" in knowledge on a variety of topics. It's exaggerated in the prologue when Leliana makes a point of saying the phrase outright while arguing with Chancellor Roderick, turning around to give an Aside Glance to the camera as she does.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • In the first two games, the player character would use the same small, plain-looking knife whenever a cutscene death was called for. Fans decided to lovingly refer to this always-reliable instrument of death as the 'murder knife.' In Inquisition, a rogue Inquisitor has to craft a particular knife in order to learn the Assassin specialization. Guess what this knife is called?
    • The "Ride the Bull" meme, which started several months before the game was released, is acknowledged by the Iron Bull himself if you romance him.note 
      Iron Bull: So, listen, I've caught the hints. I get what you're saying. You want to ride the Bull.
    • Before the reveal of her name, Josephine was known as "Scribbles" by the fans, as she was holding a ledger and writing in her concept art. While Josephine is never called this in-game, Shaper Valta is given the moniker in the Descent DLC if Varric is in the party.
    • Whether this was deliberately done as an Ascended Meme is not made clear, but a large portion of the fanbase fell in love with the notion of a Mabari pup imprinting on Cullen. In the Trespasser DLC, he finds a fully grown Mabari at the Winter Palace and they adopt one another.
    • One of the trials added with the Trespasser DLC is Fair-Weather Friends, which doubles all approval losses from the companions. Its description on the selection screen is super-imposed over Morrigan's tarot card, in reference to the infamous "Morrigan Disapproves."
  • The Atoner: Very easy to miss, but in the Exalted Plains you can find the song describing what had really happened to the elven warrior Lindiranae in her Last Stand against a human knight, Ser Brandis the Silver Helm, during the Second Exalted March. Turns out the knight did not want to fight her and even offered to let her yield, but she (understandably) refused. She was then killed by a random arrow, and Ser Brandis, catching her as she fell, realized what humans had done (they almost wiped out the entire elven race) and was filled with remorse. He took Lindiranae's sword Evanura (and possibly her body) and buried it in the Emerald Graves, after which he was never seen again. It is strongly hinted that he either began Walking the Earth in order to atone or may have killed himself.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: The bard song "Slightest" from the Trespasser DLC urges the audience to treat the elves better, as if the elves were ever motivated to unite against a common foe, they would have one of the largest armies in Thedas. Also counts as Foreshadowing, considering that huge numbers of elves disappear after Solas makes his plans clear...
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Sigils, armor upgrades added with the Trespasser DLC, contain either powerful effects with equivalent debuffs or small benefits with near unworkable downsides. Some of the Sigils are frankly bad no matter what angle you approach them (the ones that only give +10% to an element at the cost of -50% All Other Damage apply here), but some of them can be useful depending on the creativity of the player.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: When the Herald becomes the Inquisitor at the start of the second act.

     B 
  • Bad Future: Whether you do "In Hushed Whispers" or "Champions of the Just," you will be shown one.
    • "In Hushed Whispers": The Tevinter magister Alexius, who has hijacked the leadership of the rebel mages based in Ferelden, hurls you into one of these through a time-distorting Fade rift. It takes place solely within Redcliffe Castle, but it's enough to see what's happened everywhere: the castle is riddled with enormous growths of red lyrium, your two companions (besides Dorian, who time-traveled with you) are slowly dying from the red infection, and Leliana has been so horrifically mistreated by the Tevinters that she now appears to be a withered old woman. The inhabitants of this future make it clear that the Elder One's demon army has all but annihilated the civilizations of Thedas. Leliana at several points refuses to reveal information about the bad future to Dorian, pointing out that to him this world is an intellectual exercise he hopes to avoid, but to her it's been her living nightmare for the past year. She then invokes You Do NOT Want to Know, as if what is seen already isn't bad enough.
    • "Champions of the Just": Recruiting the Templars makes you face off against an Envy demon inside your own mind who creates scenarios to test your reactions and gauge your personality. It keeps asking, "What will you become? What will the Inquisition become?" by showing what it plans to do to all your friends once it replaces you. It succeeds only in giving away what its immediate plans are. If you die during the course of this quest, the Nonstandard Game Over screen shows that it was able to do exactly what it planned.
  • Badass Gay: Par for course with BioWare.
    • Dorian (Tevinter mage) and Sera (elven archer) are both gay and both playable party members. They are joined by Iron Bull, the pansexual Ben-Hassrath. The Inquisitor can also be this, if the player so chooses. Broaden the trope to Badass LGBT and Cremisius Aclassi might fall under it, being a transgender man who wields a really big warhammer in combat.
    • There is also a historical (or legendary) badass in Tyrdda Bright-Axe whose story you can learn from old monuments in the Hinterlands. Considered the mother of the Avvar people, skilled leader, winner of an epic duel and lover of a female elf who may or may not have been a spirit in physical form.
  • Badass Bookworm:
    • An Inquisitor who takes all of the added knowledge perks is privy to a lot of obscure details which offer erudite bonus dialogue options and make for more informed judgments.
    • Dorian as well; he's quite happy to go out and kill people who need to be dead, but he also literally lives in the library, initiates conversations about the deplorable selection of texts, and some of his war table operations are centered around getting resources for him to study.
  • Bad Present:
    • For Corypheus, who wants nothing more than to return to the glory days of a pre-Blight world.
    • Even moreso for Solas, aka Fen'Harel, awakening into the pure nightmare world that is modern Thedas.
  • Barbarian Tribe: There's a sidequest where the Inquisitor has to rescue some soldiers who were captured by Avvar barbarians. One of the Avvar, Sky Watcher, is a religious man who isn't too fond of what the others in his clan have done, and can join the Inquisition if the Inquisitor closes a nearby Fade Rift for him. The Jaws of Hakkon DLC further explores the Avvar culture, introducing both an enemy Barbarian Tribe and a friendly one which allies itself with the Inquisition.
  • Barrier Warrior:
    • Being a Knight-Enchanter is all about this, as it's the only way to overcome being an otherwise Squishy Wizard in order to bring that spirit blade to bear in a melee. All mages have access to some barrier powers, but Knight-Enchanter takes this and runs with it.
    • Every Inquisitor can become this with the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, which adds the new Aegis of the Rift ability as a quest reward.
  • Battle Couple: The Inquisitor and a romanced companion count as this. Can also apply to the Inquisitor who romances Cullen, as he comes along on a few quests but is not a controllable party member.
  • Bears Are Bad News:
    • As noted in several dev comments, bears are extremely dangerous, being responsible for a number of Total Party Kills among game testers. Great bears seem to be the size of Red Templar Behemoths, which themselves tower over normal humans.
    • Invoked in-universe. Orlesian nobles will hunt anything, up to and including dragons. The Codex states that Great Bears are the only thing which scares Orlesian hunters.
    • Turned Up to Eleven with the Grizzly End trial, which promotes the usually lieutenant-ranked bears to boss level and gives them huge buffs to damage output and resilience. Killing ten Great Bears while this trial is active awards a well-earned achievement.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted with Leliana in the alternate future during the "In Hushed Whispers" quest. Also averted with Cassandra, who has picked up a couple of interesting scars since Dragon Age II.
  • Bedmate Reveal: Possible with Leliana, but she puts a twist on it... the bedmate is actually the remains of the Duchess should she be killed, and your Spymaster can do this to scare foes into compliance.
  • Bee Bee Gun:
    • It is possible to craft, upgrade, and utilize a "grenade" variety called "Jar of Bees." The final upgrade is "And Some Wasps."
    • The Trespasser DLC adds a new crafting item, the Fade-Touched Beehive, and a new unique mace, the Cudgel of the Gold-and-Ebon Queen. Both have a chance to inflict the status effect Bees! with each strike!
  • Beef Gate: Though areas are open, some enemies (particularly Fade rift demons and high dragons) won't scale to your level, making it hard to access a sub-region if you can't beat the monsters inhabiting it.
  • Belated Happy Ending: Trespasser DLC gives one to Dragon Age II by making Varric the Viscount of Kirkwall. The beleaguered city-state finally has a proper viscount who truly cares about it. They've gotten the place back on its feet with commerce, advanced the rebuilding effort in the wake of the Grand Cathedral incident, and makes it a port of call for Hawke and all their traveling companions who are still alive.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Seneschal Bran of Kirkwall has been unwillingly promoted to "Provisional Viscount" of Kirkwall on account of being the only official that knows what to do to run the place, and has written an ad lib response to any "offers" of protection in the tumultuous aftermath of the incident that was the ending of Dragon Age II, clearly expressing his exasperation in the ad lib defaults.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Inquisition features destructible environments. This means you can knock out supports of a bridge to make it collapse from under the archers standing on it, topple pillars to create cover from ranged enemy attacks, or destroy cover the enemies themselves are using. Enemies can use this against you too, though.
  • Berserk Button: Abound in your inner circle and top advisors. If the object of their berserk button is an enemy faction, those characters might have a minor bump in approval if you kill some with them in the party. Varric hates Red Templars (and Red Lyrium), Iron Bull and Dorian both loathe Venatori, and Blackwall naturally has it out for darkspawn. Cassandra and Dorian both have quests to destroy groups of specific berserk button targets, with their approval increasing each time you get one of them.
  • BFS: The Knight-Enchanter's Spirit Blade is as long as a typical human is tall, is as wide as a human's head at the base of its blade, and is wielded with one hand (and the off-hand at that). It helps that the blade is a manifestation of the spirit bound into the hilt, and technically doesn't weigh anything.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Visually depicted when your advisors and you first enter the Skyhold throne room after saving the entire Inquisition from destruction at Haven with appropriate musical fanfare. Paraphrased after an appropriate event (defeating Corypheus), with Sera referring to the group as "Big Freakin' Heroes" if you use certain conversation paths.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": When in the Fade, Hawke and the Warden ally eventually get into an argument over how much of their situation is the Wardens' fault. You can pick a side, suggest they wait until you're out of danger, or tell them both to shut up and save it for when you're out of danger.
  • Bile Fascination: Dwarven ale apparently has this effect.
    Blackwall: Dorian, I can't believe you drank that swill at the tavern.
    Dorian: I can't believe they served that swill at the tavern. What is Skyhold coming to?
    Blackwall: Then why did you drink it?
    Dorian: I couldn't stop. With each sip, it was, "it can't be that bad, can it?" Before I knew it, I was analyzing the nuances of its flavor, observing its effect on my nausea. I was in a catatonic trance, fueled by the stench of disgusting dwarven ale.
    Blackwall: Or you're a drunkard with terrible taste.
    Dorian: There is that.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Understanding Elvhen leads to some interesting details about Solas, especially if you bring him into the Fade. You can also catch him outright lying about some translations.
      Nightmare: Tell me, Trickster... are you grateful to feel such loss? Solas (Proud), you appear not.
      Solas: Nothing is inevitable.
    • In the Temple of Mythal, Solas says to Abelas: "Now the blood is finished." This might be a reference to blood writing (vallaslin), the facial tattoos which are revealed in the game to have been slave tattoos in ancient times; in other words, he tells Abelas his slavery to Mythal is over. However, he lies to the Inquisitor, saying that he told Abelas he "hopes he finds a new name," since 'Abelas' means 'sorrow.'
  • Bittersweet Ending: Trespasser ends with a new Qunari threat on the horizon, Solas planning The End of the World as We Know It, the Inquisition either at serious risk of further corruption or disbanding entirely, and the Inquisitor themself losing both the Anchor and their left arm. However, the game can also end on a hopeful note, since the Qunari's southern invasion has been thwarted and they've returned once more to their Forever War with Tevinter; the game implies there's still a chance to stop or redeem Solas; the Inquisitor can downsize or disband the Inquisition on a positive note; and depending on personal quest outcomes, the (non-Solas) companions can all lead fulfilling/heartwarming post-Inquisition lives and it's implied that at least most of them stay in close contact. One epilogue slide can also reveal the Inquisitor gets a nifty crossbow prosthetic! So while it's sad that The Fellowship Has Ended, the adventure continues.
  • Bling of War:
    • Orlesian armor tends to be on the ornamental side of the fashion/function divide, but even by their standards, a unique helm known as Duke's Mane is very ornate.
    • Additionally, armor and weapons crafted with Dragon bones will be gold in hue.
    • Formal Attire, like what the Inquisition wears to the Winter Palace, can be crafted into field armor after that quest gives you the pattern. It's actually some of the best armor in the midgame, and oh so dapper. Pair with the Hat of the Inquisitor for an anachronistic 'cavalry officer' look.
    • And now they've released an update which, among other goodies, provides the means for you to tint your armor in Skyhold's Undercroft. Any armor you craft yourself can have the color of its different components changed based on what materials you have to use - meaning that you can make any of your armor into Bling of War.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three advisors. Leliana still has red hair; Josie's is blue-black; and Cullen is blond.
  • Blood Magic:
    • Mentioned, but seen very rarely (save in "Here Lies the Abyss"), in a departure from the rest of the series. Even Tevinter magisters and rebel mages are not shown using it. As an example, Dorian, the Tevinter in your party, is specifically a Necromancer. He raises the dead in the same fashion as the Nevarran Mortalitasi, without using blood to control minds or summon demons.
    • The closest we get to blood magic gameplay-wise is found in the warrior specialization Reaver. These fighters drink dragon blood and suck the life out of the enemies they chop up during battle. It's considered a very dangerous profession since the users sometimes go mad from literal bloodlust.
  • Blood Knight: Shokrakar, a member of the mercenary group to which a Vashoth player previously belonged, has shades of this. She sends a letter to the Inquisitor asking for work - any work - so she doesn't have to listen to one of the lieutenant's war stories again. If the Inquisitor has Cullen employ them, Shokrakar sends a letter ecstatic that you sent them to fight demons. Some of them were on fire!
  • Body Horror:
    • The Red Templars have been mutated by their use of Red Lyrium. These mutations range from red eyes and distorted voices to having red lyrium protruding from their bodies like spines to becoming a raging behemoth barely recognizable as having once been human. By all reports, they will eventually be consumed by the substance, whereupon their corpses are mined for more red lyrium. Sometimes a leader will force the process to speed up, making their underlings scream in agony and burst apart as the crystal shreds them from the inside out.
    • Some of the new demons were designed to be very viscerally disturbing.
    • The new ghouls are even more horrific, looking more like walking corpses than people. Their bodies are now skeletal husks and jagged fangs now jut from their mouths.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Most dragons are endgame-level encounters and aren't needed to complete the game, but killing them allows the player to get the best crafting materials in the game. There's an achievement for killing one, another for killing all ten, and a third achievement for crafting a weapon or set of armor from tier four materials - and some of the only tier four materials are the ones taken from dead dragons.
    • There is also Imshael, sibling demon (*ahem* choice spirit) to Gaxkang and Xebenkeck. Like his predecessors, he's a very tough, very powerful boss, with multiple forms and backup from Red Templars. On top of that, reaching him requires a very long dungeon run through high-level Mooks, including several red lyrium-tainted giants that could count as bosses in their own right.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • There is a key or controller button that highlights nearby collectibles when pressed. Hammer it until your finger bleeds.
    • The Energy Barrage spell can be unlocked during the prologue and stays very useful throughout the whole game. It lacks other abilities' more flashy features, but its cooldown is short, its element changes with the user's staff element, it can be used as a concentrated single-target attack or as fire-and-forget area bombardment, certain equipment choices can give it two elements simultaneously and double the projectile count, and each of its projectiles can independently trigger critical hits and masterwork perks. Used right, it becomes and stays one of the most damaging and most versatile spells a mage can learn, and it has amazing synergy with most specializations.
    • The various Enchanter/Prowler/Battlemaster armors fall under this category as well. They all look more or less the same and aren't nearly as spiffy as most uniques, but they're the only ones that can accept arm and leg upgrades to add significant attribute bonuses. A properly crafted armor of this type outperforms any craftable unique by quite a margin.
  • Boss Banter:
    • Alexius taunts the Inquisition throughout his fight.
    • The Elder One rants about his impending godhood and has taunts tailored to the Inquisitor's race and choice of companions.
    • The Nightmare mocks the Inquisitor and their companions (including Hawke and the Warden) with their worst fears as they journey through the Fade.
  • Boss in Mook's Clothing: Giants. The Rushing Sighs in the Emerald Graves area is particularly dangerous since it is home to several high-level giants. The giants' paths overlap, meaning it's entirely possible to end up fighting three of them at once, along with any Brontos that were caught in the crossfire.
  • Braving the Blizzard: The Herald of Andraste gets sent on a solo journey through a howling blizzard to catch up with the rest of the Inquisition, who have fled in the wake of Corypheus's attack on Haven.
  • Breaching the Wall: The game opens with the Hidden Villain breaching a massive hole in the Veil that separates the Spirit World from the material plane. With demons now pouring from the Breach in droves, finding a way to close it is the first major objective of the game.
  • Brick Joke:
    • If you bring Varric along while beginning The Descent DLC, he tells you the story of the Nug King. Late in the DLC, you can have an optional encounter with this Nug King... cue "Well, shit" from him.
    • In Crestwood, a Rift has opened beneath a lake, prompting some members of the party to wonder if all the water is pouring away through it and where it's going. During the quest "Here Lies the Abyss," the party winds up in the Fade and encounters a large pool of water. And a few boats. Apparently that's where it went.
  • Broken Bridge: Most main quests require a certain amount of Power to activate, which can be obtained from completing sidequests. This is also true of several of the operations accessible from the war council table, some of which involve literal broken bridges.
  • Bullet Time:
    • Haste, a Focus spell for mages, slows down time for your enemies while allowing your squad to move normally.
    • Rogues with the Tempest specialization have access to the ability "Flask of Lightning", which slows down time for everyone but you to 40% normal time for 5 seconds (or as slow as 1% for 8 seconds with its upgrade). This is an interesting sight when an AI controlled character uses Flask of Lightning. From the player's perspective, they are twitching like crazy and zipping around because their movements are far too fast for the animations to be clearly visible.
  • The Bus Came Back: Morrigan, Leliana, and Cullen from previous Dragon Age games return to serve as allies of the Inquisition, along with Varric and Cassandra as companions. Alistair, Anora, Hawke, and several other characters from earlier titles may appear, depending on your world state.

     C 
  • Cain and Abel: The Tomb of Fairel questline in The Hissing Wastes establishes one of these plots. After the death of the Paragon Fairel, his sons shared rulership over the surface thaig he established; however, the brothers had very different ruling styles and eventually began to squabble. One brother killed the other, but later regretted it, and built monuments to his father and brother.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Inquisition introduces livestock called "druffalos" that strongly resemble bison, albeit with large fangs and dragonlike horns.note  Averted with most other real-world animals, such as rams, fennec foxes, etc.
  • Call-Back: Many.
    • The Temple of Sacred Ashes from the first game returns as the site of a major peace summit. You see it annihilated by the exploding Breach in the title menu background once you click "New Game".
    • In Origins, Sten comments that people cannot simply be summarized like "The elves are a lithe, pointy eared people who excel at poverty." This game's character selection process contains this: "Elves are a historically oppressed people, distinguishable by their pointed ears and lithe frames."
    • If you side with the mages, your advisors have a discussion about how to get forces inside Redcliffe Castle. Leliana recommends sending a small group in through a secret tunnel under the old windmill. She knows about this tunnel because it's the same one that the Warden uses in Origins to infiltrate the castle during the Redcliffe arc.
    • There's an entire line of missions on the war map related to Varric using Inquisition resources to track down the author publishing the knockoff Hard in Hightown 2 books that he potentially found in Mark of the Assassin. The culprit turns out to be Worthy, the dwarven rune crafter met at the very beginning of Dragon Age II, who is royally pissed about the business he lost because Varric introduced Hawke to Sandal.
    • Apparently Charade, Gamlen's daughter, is one of the Friends of Red Jenny.
    • If you bring Varric along to the fight with Corypheus in Dragon Age II's Legacy DLC, he eventually remarks, "If he pulls a dragon out of his ass, I'm done." If you use the Guardian of Mythal against Corypheus in this game and bring Varric along for the final boss, after the Guardian goes down, Varric asks the Inquisitor if they have another dragon to pull out of his or her ass. Not to mention the fact that, after having resurrected himself after fighting Hawke in Legacy, Corypheus now actually has a dragon.
    • During the quest "Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts," players of the Mark of the Assassin DLC may recognize the bizarre clown-assassins as Harlequins, members of an elite unit of the Orlesian military. This is one of the hints that the plot against Celene is orchestrated by a noble, as is the fact that a servant encounters one while searching Florianne's rooms.
    • Also during "Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts," you can hear a couple of party guests fervently hoping that the De Launcets (from Dragon Age II and Mark of the Assassin) didn't make it to the party.
    • From the aftermath of "Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts", it's possible to put the Duchess's head on a pike as a warning. Cullen laments this action and says that there's a perfectly good "Don't" sign in Kirkwall he could borrow... to which Varric commands the rights.
    • Amongst the eluvians in the Crossroads is Merrill's broken one from Dragon Age II. Whether that means she fixed it but didn't find the key is still up in the air.
    • Carroll, the obstructive Templar from Origins (the one you could bribe with cookies), apparently wound up promoted in the intervening years. He's now Knight-Captain of the Red Templars. If you complete all of the Red Templar quests in the Emerald Graves, you end up killing the horror he's become. The World of Thedas, vol. 2 reveals just how he reached this point. That, or it raises even more questions.
    • When asked about her time in Denerim, Sera is typically evasive, saying she spent most of her time burying stolen things and 'playing with small painted boxes.' The 'Friends of Red Jenny' quest in Origins involved taking a small painted box from the First Enchanter's office and delivering it to a silent, unseen contact. A child can be heard laughing in the scene, and Sera was a child in Denerim at the time.
    • After Hawke appears, Cassandra asks Varric if Hawke would give her an autograph. Varric reminds Cassandra that her copy of The Tale of the Champion has a big hole in it. One of his party banter dialogues also references this, as Varric warns Blackwall that Cassandra might "stab you in the book".
    • Sera comments on how elves are so bony, listing almost the same exact reasoning Oghren offered when he told Velanna why he liked Dwarven and Human women more.
    • At the start of the Winter Palace Deadly Game Leliana pulls you aside to warn of a apostate mage advising the Empress, someone she knows and clearly hates as the spymaster cannot help but engage in a little shovel talk. Leliana is of course talking about...
    • ...Morrigan. Once again introducing herself with the line "Well, well, what have we here?" just like she did in Origins and her mother did in II. She even says it while walking down the stairs, reminiscent of her first appearance in Origins.
    • Morrigan also wears the exact same outfit Leliana suggested while stirring her up in the first game, and if Morrigan has a son it turns out it was his idea, with Leliana being told to stay away from him as she is apparently a bad influence.
    • Sketch, one of Leliana's companions from the Leliana's Song DLC in Origins, has apparently joined the mage rebellion. You can get a message from him during one of the War Table missions.
    • If Varric and Iron Bull are in the party, the two might talk about the old Arishok and the new one (Sten from Origins). Varric also asks Bull if he knows Tallis since they're both Ben-Hassrath, to which he replies that he doesn't.
    • The Inquisitor can walk in on Mother Giselle and Dorian having an argument, in which she tells him, "Your glib tounge does you no credit." Cassandra will also use the line on Dorian during one of their party banter dialogues. If it sounds like the same line a disgruntled mage directs at Alistair in his Establishing Character Moment, that's because it is. All three characters were written by David Gaider.
    • If the Inquisitor is an Elf and imports a world state in which Morrigan had a son, they can encounter a human child at Skyhold garden. The boy remarks that his mother didn't tell him the Inquisitor was an elf. A humorous Inquisitor can quip, "The ears gave me away, didn't they?" Very reminiscent of an Elven Warden who can run into a little boy in Lothering, who asks a similar question ("Are you really an elf?"), to which a humorous Warden could give a similar answer. ("Did the ears give me away?")
    • Dagna, the dwarf girl who wanted to study magic theory in Origins, returns as the Inquisition's new "Arcanist," a profession she made up because no one quite like her has existed before.
    • The sword Certainty, which is dropped by Samson, according to its description, cannot be Meredith's red lyrium blade reborn. It even has the same model.
    • The perk "Deft Hands, Fine Tools" that upgrades rogues' ability to pick locks is named after two talent tiers in the lockpicking line in the first game.
    • In a darker example, if Hawke and Anders are still in a relationship, the Inquisitor can ask why they're not together. Hawke explains that Anders is being kept away from the action to prevent a repeat of what happened the last time Anders got too close to Corypheus. (This will be the explanation even if Anders was not in the party during Legacy, and even if the player never actually played that DLC.)
    • When Blackwall is recruited, the Inquisitor can ask what one Grey Warden can do. Blackwall points out that they can "save the fucking world if pressed," which is exactly what the player did in Origins.
    • When making your way through various noble households, those who played "The Last Court" on the Dragon Age Keep website may recognize some of the portraits as being those of characters from that game; some of them had previously appeared in II as wall art in the Viscount's Keep. And the Dowager herself appears in person at the Halamshiral ball!
    • Sera uttering "Say what" to the Unknown Rival is not the first time a character induced another to say "What". The player can choose a dialogue option in the first game to jokingly trip up a Chanter in Lothering: "A chanter says 'what?'"
    • One of the Fade memories Solas can share is about a hut in the Korcari Wilds that the Chasind still refuse to go near; even though the old woman who lived there has been gone for years, they still fear she might return.
    • When storming Griffon Wing Keep, the Venatori boss there drops "Kitty's Collar", a unique pendant-slot accessory item. The description of it mentions Honnleath, and a little girl... What "kitty" could it be referring to?
    • Dorian typically starts off non-cinematic conversations with Flemeth's "Questions, questions." Once his approval is raised, he switches to Wynne's "What's on your mind?"
    • Leliana hints at a party she and Josephine attended, telling the Inquisitor that it's not a real party unless someone's undergarments are pinned to a Chantry board (and that's all she's saying about it). Leliana did something similar back in her days as a bard; apparently she decided to recreate the event later. For reasons known only to her, Leliana also investigates the undergarments of members of the Inquisition, a la Kasumi, and an exchange between her, Sera, and a messenger reveals she knows Josie's by sight and actually does intend to recreate the event.
    • If Blackwall is brought to the Hissing Wastes without Varric or Iron Bull, he tells a story about the last time he was on a mission in a desert. If Sera is also in the party when Blackwall gets to the part about ghasts trying to drag him and his men off to some pit, Sera makes the same "ghast-hole" observation that Varric or Isabela did during Mark of the Assassin.
    • Also from MoTA, if you import a Snarky!Hawke into the game, Varric can recount how the Duke... had fallen from grace.
    • When Cullen is fending off suitors during the Halamshiral ball, one of the men amongst them does a grab-ass. When Cullen incredulously reacts, the man responds, "I am a weak man." This is Hardened Alistair's receptive response to the prospect of a threesome between Love Interest Female Warden, himself, and Isabela in the first game.
    • Leliana's offer to train you as a bard basically amounts to "Don't," based on the idea of eventual betrayal. She'd know all too well about this.
    • Cole mentions Cullen as an example of a Templar who (now) "[remembers] that mages are people."
    • As with the banter in which Alistair asks Zevran about Antivan Crows, when Cassandra starts to ask Dorian about Templars in the Imperium, he promptly and preemptively informs her that all the rumors are true, especially that bit.
    • If Carver or Bethany died in the Deep Roads in Dragon Age II in the world state used, Varric has special dialogue when fighting darkspawn at the Storm Coast. Even though it's been ten years, he's still grieving.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: When you sit in judgment, there is often a more pragmatic approach to conscript the judged into the Inquisition. Usually, the prospective recruits are former Venatori agents/allies who have had their eyes opened.
  • Captain Obvious: "That's what happens when you try to change things. Things change." Eloquence, thy name is Hawke. It would be Narmtastically funny if not for the implication that Hawke blames themself for everything that happened in DAII, including releasing Corypheus, the current Big Bad. Hard to believe all this started because Hawke just wanted to evade the Templars of Kirkwall.
  • Cartwright Curse: The Dowager, an Orlesian noblewoman at the Ball who's been widowed so many times it's absurd. Walk past her repeatedly to hear her describing the different fates her nine husbands have suffered.
  • Catapult Nightmare: It isn't a nightmare, but the Inquisitor still catapults awake suddenly after Solas has a conversation in a Fade dream after arriving at Skyhold. Solas prompts the Inquisitor to wake up via a conversational segue.
    Solas: That's a matter of debate — probably best discussed after you... wake up.
  • Celebrating the Heroes: A huge party is held at Skyhold following the defeat of the Elder One.
  • Central Theme:
    • Faith, and what it means to have faith in something. And its equal opposite: fear, and what fear can drive a person to do.
    • Related to the above is fanaticism = bad. We have the Templars and their belief they are just, the mages tired of being oppressed, the Inquisition and their efforts to set things right, the Dalish and their customs to be respected on pain of death, the Qunari and their views of executing allies and being ex-communicated, and then we get to specific characters: it's a long list.
  • Chain Pain:
    • Warriors now have the option to yank opponents towards them using chains.
    • Rogues can gain the ability to yank themselves towards opponents this way, too.
    • On the enemy side, this is a tactic frequently employed by revenants.
  • Chainmail Bikini:
    • Its alternate trope name "Breast Plate" is discussed, with Iron Bull commending Cassandra for not going for armor with cleavage that is one good warhammer strike away from jamming into her sternum. Additionally, it's deconstructed in the requisition crafting display model for "Ceremonial Armor," with a desiccated female corpse riddled with arrows wearing only a scalemail bikini.
    • The trope is lampshaded in the game by an item. A corpse wearing one of these can be found in the Storm Coast, on the shore of Dragon Island (go left from where the party's boat is docked and use the search function). The corpse can be looted for a "Fragment of Inadequate Chainmail," which can be brought to Dagna back in Skyhold; she transforms it into the "Victim of Fashion." This is an amulet which grants +1 to Cunning... and -100 to Melee, Magic, and Ranged Defenses. The description of the item? "An astoundingly bad idea."
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: During Act 1 in Haven, you have to make do with limited areas to explore and harvest for herbs and materials, crafting options aren't too good, and companions need certain builds in order to survive. The game changes a lot when you get to Skyhold in Act 2. At this point you have access to specializations for each party member, can cast Focus skills, gain access to masterwork crafting with rare Fade-Touched materials and more powerful schematics, and more levels to explore for rare herbs and rare minerals. Herbs can also be grown at Skyhold if you find their seeds.
  • Character Customization: And now you can change even subtle details, like the inner and outer iris colors of your Inquisitor's eyes.
  • Characterization Marches On: When the Friends of Red Jenny were introduced in Origins, they were portrayed as a ruthless group which threatened to kill contacts who would renege on jobs. The Friends in Inquisition are much more benevolent and focus on sticking it to malevolent nobles. Sera explains that the Denerim Friends at that time were strange and were probably using the Jennys for their own ends.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Not against Cullen at Fantasy Chess, they don't. Dorian tried this against him. You can too if you choose, and that's how you find out Dorian did: because Cullen still trounces both of you despite it. If you play fairly, however, you will win. (You can also cheat to let him win, although it's heavily implied that he knows exactly what you're doing and is very amused.)
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The relationship between spirits and demons has been hinted at since Origins. During the Magi Origin, what appears to be a Pride demonnote  congratulates you on your Wisdom not to trust a stranger. Also, in DAII there's Justice/Vengeance. Solas finally explains that their nature depends on the one who summons and/or binds them as well as for what purpose. Thus Cole, who is a spirit of Compassion, is in danger of becoming a demon if he is corrupted.
      Cassandra: How does Compassion become such a deadly killer?
      Cole: Templars.
    • Similarly, early in the game in Haven, Solas mentions having made friends with spirits of Wisdom and Purpose, where others may have seen demons of Pride and Desire. Later, you get to meet the former after she's been turned into a Pride demon.
  • Civil War: The ongoing Mage and Templar War, an upheaval in Orlais foreshadowed in II and Asunder, and the beginnings of an elf rebellion (also in Orlais). The Inquisitor ends up choosing which sides to support.
  • Clever Crows:
    • Technically they're ravens, but Leliana's messenger birds are everywhere and will observe what you do, and you can go right up to some and they won't fly off. They have a uncanny ability to know just where you are and what you're doing, even physically entering the Fade themselves. If Leliana was killed during Dragon Age: Origins and not made Divine in this game, the Leliana we see in Inquisition turns out to be a Fade spirit similar to Cole, and will disappear in a great cloud of ravens once she's no longer needed. This adds a certain amount of Fridge Brilliance to the details about the ravens.
    • Discussed in an old letter found in the Fade. The writer urges their son to stay the hell away from the tainted battlefields of the Second Blight near Starkhaven until he can see crows approaching the area again. Apparently, crows know about the danger of darkspawn-tainted ground, can sense its presence, and are clever enough to keep their distance.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: The nine Specialization trainers (only three of whom will appear in any one playthrough) are all on the batty side, some more than others. Special mention must go to "Your Trainer," who teaches a mage Inquisitor how to gain the Rift Mage specialization; because of what she had to endure to gain the knowledge she imparts, she no longer even remembers her own name.
  • Co-Dragons: Downplayed. The Big Bad technically has two high-ranking subordinates to lead his Red Templar and Venatori forces - but you'll only see one of them in a given playthrough, depending on which side in the Mage-Templar war you recruit. The leader of the other side will be the one you encounter, while the would-be leader of your recruits will fall out of favor and be largely ignored.
  • Cold Flames: Veilfire has a lot of uses, but burning things doesn't seem to be one of them. Justified by the codex entry, which explains that, in simplest terms, veilfire isn't actually fire - it's more like a memory of fire, and mages often use it for a light source because it requires no fuel and never burns out. (It can, however, still be extinguished by water, as the player is almost guaranteed to discover while exploring the Lost Temple of Dirthamen.)
  • Collection Sidequest: Tons of them. The game tracks how many shards, landmarks, liquor bottles, Skyhold furnishings, banners, mosaics, herb seeds, and songs you collect. Completing a collection gets you a small amount of influence and power. With the Game of the Year edition, the Golden Nug feature allows some of these collections to be transferred across multiple playthroughs, granting newer Inquisitors that influence and power much earlier in the game.
  • Combat, Diplomacy, Stealth:
    • While the actual gameplay is slanted heavily towards combat, the title organization has equal access to all three modes of expanding its influence, with an advisor/branch leader attached to each one: Cullen is the General of the Inquisition's Army, Josephine leads the Diplomatic Corps, and Leliana is the Spymaster.
    • There are a number of battles that can be avoided entirely through other means.
    • Each of the three fortresses outside Skyhold that can be claimed for the Inquisition is outfitted for one of these means; Caer Bronach in Crestwood is a major espionage outfit, operated by an elf woman with a spy-op name of "Charter." Griffon Wing Keep has soldiers drilling all over inside and is operated by Cullen's second-in-command, Knight-Captain Rylen. Suledin Keep functions as a gathering spot for many of the resources that are gathered from Emprise du Lion, and is headed by an Orlesian nobleman, Baron Edouard Desjardins.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: The Reaver specialization is all about this. Many powers revolve around boosting damage potential and inciting terror as your character takes more damage. The most powerful (non-Limit Break) talent in the Reaver talent tree actually harms the user.
  • Comfort the Dying: While Cole can often be found doing this throughout Skyhold for the dying Inquisition soldiers, if he is allowed to stay, many of the Inquisition's soldiers and staff can be overheard commenting on strange happenings throughout Skyhold. It's later revealed that Cole was behind all of them as acts of compassion and mercy. In one particular case, he arranged to spill some peaches over a fireplace, so that the smell would remind a nearby dying soldier of their happiest memories of their home, before passing on. Fittingly, this is because Cole was originally a spirit of Compassion.
  • Commander Contrarian: The Orlesian Court will verbally disapprove of and reject the Inquisitor, no matter what background you're playing. The worst example is to play as a Qunari Mage - two things they hate in great measure. The best combination is playing as a Human Warrior/Rogue, because they are a Badass Normal and from the ranks of nobility. Even then, however, they will snub you for being a "Marcher."
  • Compensating for Something: In the Hissing Wastes, Varric implies that this is the case for the dwarves, observing that for a race without mages, dwarven technology contains an awful lot of magic.
    Varric: So perhaps we can't shoot lightning or freeze someone's ass off, but here, take a rune that sets your sword on fire.
  • Concepts Are Cheap:
    • Discussed. The Inquisition's purpose is to "restore order in a world gone mad;" but the problem is, no one knows exactly where this task ends. The Elder One is the most obvious threat, but there are several other issues that require addressing, too, and every single person in the Inquisition has different ideas about what that means.
    • The Inquisitor and Cassandra are the two most frequent characters to discuss this problem, with Cassandra determined to do "the Maker's work" but confessing that she has no idea what that is. The Inquisitor can state that their goal is to "make the world better," and she will sarcastically quip, "Because everyone agrees on what that means."
    • Mother Giselle states that she hopes the new Inquisition, like the old one, will know when to put its swords away after their job is done. You find out, however, that the old Inquisition didn't really do this so much as they became the Seekers of Truth, and were pretty much corrupted by a Dark Secret from the start. Then, as Cassandra states, power became its own master. Likewise, the Inquisitor can state numerous times that they have no plans on dismantling their power once it's acquired, and several Epilogues can comment on how the Inquisition is now a world superpower in itself. The Trespasser DLC is built around this question, and lets the Inquisitor decide the organization's ultimate fate: officially disband to operate on a much smaller yet uncompromised scale, or keep their resources intact at the cost of Chantry oversight with the potential corruption and infiltration by the enemy that will bring?
  • Conspicuous Consumption:
    • As you listen to the sales pitch of the Orlesiannote  who is giving the sales pitch for "his ware" (note, not "his wares") that will eventually lead to the acquisition of nuggalope mounts, the thought going through your head is probably "Only the most foppish and snobbish Orlesian could cook up a scheme like this."
    • It abounds throughout Orlesian aristocracy. One particular note Leliana makes is of a noblewoman's shoes at the Winter Palace ball. They're slippers, not meant to be overly fancy, as they'll get dirty and can easily be lost... but this particular pair is decked to the nines in jewels, as if to demonstrate that she can afford to lose them. Leliana's spy network determines that this noblewoman actually can't, and it's an attempt to put up a facade.
  • The Conspiracy: The Inquisition is resurrected to get to the bottom of the claims that a shadowy conspiracy is behind the political strife preceding Inquisition's demonic invasion.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: During the mission to rescue Inquisition soldiers from the Avvar in the Fallow Mire, you come across a seemingly endless horde of undead. If you spend too long fighting them, your companions will urge you to press forward to the Avvar. (You can, eventually, kill them all, but it's best left for after you've completed the current quest.)
  • Convection Schmonvection: Any fire that hasn't been conjured by a hostile mage during active combat is merely an atmospheric graphics effect that doesn't inflict damage... except when it does. A handful of burning spots in the game world do hurt for no apparent reason, but they're extremely rare and not particularly dangerous, serving more as Paranoia Fuel than an actual hazard. The one exception from that rule are the purple fire barriers in the Trespasser DLC — touch them and your character drops dead almost instantly regardless of their fire resistance, unless some form of invulnerability is active.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Unique equipment crafted from schematics looks spiffy and is usually a bit more powerful than non-uniques, but lacks upgrade slots aside from runes or sigils. This tends to make the rather generic Enchanter/Prowler/Battlemaster armor versions ultimately better once they've been upgraded with decent arm and leg parts, due to the significant attribute bonuses those parts confer. The same is true for unique weapons versus everything without a special name. It's a bit less cut and dried when these same uniques are dropped by enemies — these versions also lack upgrade slots, but their innate masterwork bonuses are often much more powerful than their craftable counterparts. Of how much actual use they are depends solely on play style, however.
  • Cool Chair: One of the perks of Skyhold is a customizable throne from where you judge the fates of defeated enemies; you can acquire new varieties of thrones and upgrades for them by purchasing them or completing certain tasks/missions. One of the bonuses you get for the Deluxe Edition of the game is a throne made out of a dragon's skull.
  • Cool Helmet: A staple of Dragon Age's High Fantasy settings. The Inquisitor's heavy armor helmet is styled to look like a dragon wrapping around their head.
  • Cool Sword:
    • A wide variety of ornate or otherwise nifty looking one- and two-handed swords are available for your party to find, as well as the schematics to design your own.
    • The Red Templars wield glowing red swords that bear a disturbing resemblance to Meredith's red lyrium sword from the previous game. Their leader Samson wields a sword that is all but stated to be Meredith's sword reborn. The Red Templar Archers also get similar looking bows, which bear a slight resemblance to Irvine's demonic one from Berserk.
    • You can coat your swords with oils or magics to give them special effects.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Giant vs the Vinsomer on the Storm Coast. Certain party members even SQUEE!
    The Iron Bull: Okay, that's BADASS!
    Sera: (laugh) Wow! We can watch, yeah?
  • Coop Multiplayer: The multiplayer mode is similar to the one found in Mass Effect 3: rank-and-file agents of the Inquisition are sent in groups of four to Randomly Generated Levels to fight off waves of enemies, gaining levels and equipment. Unlike in ME3, however, the multiplayer has no impact on the single-player experience.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • A very minor example. The Anchor that empowers the Inquisitor is on their left hand, not their right.
    • In addition, the Inquisitor is portrayed as a longsword-wielding warrior, even though the Inquisitor might be a rogue or a mage, and even as a warrior they might use a variety of other weapons. This "archetypal" Inquisitor also appears in various promotional images in addition to the cover. If seen from the front, there will sometimes be both a male and a female Inquisitor, but they will still be warriors.
    • Some of the promotional art seems to depict the Inquisitor wearing a red ring; however, in the game, the main color that seems to resonate with the Inquisitor is green, namely the mark on their hand. In fact, red seems to be the bad color, since much of the game revolves around people being corrupted by Red Lyrium.
  • Crapsack World: A cataclysmic event has plunged the entire continent into turmoil, dragons are darkening the skies, and the Mage-Templar War is now just one of many wars that have claimed countless lives. On the other hand, Thedas is in better shape than it had been for years, with the Blight gone and Kirkwall having averted an Exalted March called upon it and the Inquisition is able to improve places such as the Hinterlands and Crestwood throughout the game. On the other hand, the conclusion of Trespasser has left Theadas worse off than in the conclusion of Dragon Age II...
  • Crash-Into Hello: A weaponized version of this can be intentionally invoked with the Rogue and Warrior Chain Pain moves.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • The miniboss Jepler the Unbound, from one of Cassandra's personal quests, is named after one of the game's cinematic designers, John Epler.
    • The unfortunate Comte Boisvert who ends up locked in his own (valuable) cabinet shares his name with another cinematic designer, Richard Boisvert.
  • Cult:
    • The Venatori are a Tevinter cult that reveres the Elder One, whom they believe will restore the glory of old Tevinter.
    • See Apocalypse Cult above for other examples.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max
    • Cole's spirit powers.
    • After returning from the Fade at Adamant Fortress, the Inquisitor defeats a demon and closes a rift with two simple hand gestures (and a very pissed-off facial expression).
    • Corypheus levitates the entirety of Haven and its ruins (along with the ruins of the Temple of Sacred Ashes) in the cutscene leading to his final battle. He does nothing nearly that powerful or similar during his boss battle.
  • Cutting Off the Branches:
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition has replaced importing old saves, which was available in both Awakening and Dragon Age II, with the Dragon Age Keep. This is a website where players are able to determine (around 300) decisions made in the previous games as they see fit. This adds replay value, as it allows you to start a new playthrough with a completely different world state. There is also a default world state, for players who did not play the previous games or do not wish to bother with the Keep. A side effect of the Keep, however, is that choices not featured there will default to whatever the writers felt was necessary.
    • Leliana is alive even if you killed her in Origins. If you did, she credits her survival to a miracle and is convinced she was resurrected. If a resurrected Leliana is not made Divine, the epilogue of Trespasser shows her vanishing in a cloud of ravens, leaving behind only a note explaining that dying in the Temple of Sacred Ashes allowed the lyrium to take on her form and memories.
    • Leliana may have been given Schmooples by the Warden. This particular choice is not covered by the Keep at all, so the game assumes it always happened; a letter found in the Skyhold rookery reveals that Schmooples has a number of descendants, for whom Leliana has hired a caretaker.
    • Dagna will have joined the Circles and became an Arcanist no matter how you actually dealt with her quest in Origins. She is always the Arcanist you receive, but the backstory she tells you about how she got there changes depending on whether the Warden helped her or not. Her personality also depends on this.
    • Even if you never played the Legacy DLC in DA2, the game will always assume that you did. Unlike other DLC, the Keep does not have the option of not having played it. This is undoubtedly because the events of Legacy ends with Corypheus being released, something only Hawke is capable of doing; but if one is playing Inquisition for the first time and never played Legacy, all the references to the DLC can be a little perplexing.
    • In the Trespasser epilogue, it seems that you'll always end up with a Circle and a College in uneasy coexistence, no matter who ended up being the Divine. Which is dominant may depend on game choices (which side was rescued pre-Havencide, who Divine Victoria is), but both still exist.

     D 
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: PC players familiar with the previous games were hit hard with this, since the keyboard commands - which had been fairly consistent from Origins to II - got largely reworked for Inquisition. This is especially true of the space bar, which acted as the pause button for the first two games but became the jump button this one. (Considering that many players instinctively hit pause when things are going south in combat, a lot of PC fans were not pleased.)
  • Dangerous Deserter:
    • The Freemen of the Dales are a revolutionary group composed largely of deserters from the Orlesian Civil War, who want an independent Dales free of the Orlesian nobility. Unfortunately, they are little more than a large group of bandits who prey on the common folk for whom they claim to be fighting, they supply the Red Templars, and one of their leaders is actually a Venatori mage.
    • The renegade Templars and Mages tearing up the Hinterlands also count as this. While most Templars or mages followed orders to head to Therinfal or to Redcliffe (depending on faction), the rest are so deranged with hatred that they continue the fight, and the Hinterlands suffers for it.
  • Darkest Hour: At the end of the first act, when Haven is destroyed by the Elder One.
  • "Dear John" Letter:
    • In Skyhold, you can find an example, where a woman writes her boyfriend (who is apparently a Skyhold soldier) saying that she has fallen in love with a woman and how awesome she is because she brings her hope, and she's not going to run off and fight in a war.
    • In another quest, there's an instance where a dying woman asks you to deliver a letter into a hollowed rock in the Emprise du Lion. Her dialogue implies that it's this type of letter, written to make her lover believe that she's run off with someone else, so that he can forget her and move on.
  • Death by Sex: During party banter, Iron Bull can ask Solas if he ever uses his time in the Fade to indulge baser pleasures, such "bang[ing] some hot Fade ladies". Solas calmly explains that this sort of behavior tends to attract demons. A dismayed Bull bemoans that demons screw up everything.
  • Death Equals Redemption: During the siege of Haven, a fatally injured Chancellor Roderick tells the Inquisition of a secret pass through the mountains, which he accidentally discovered on a pilgrimage to the Temple of Sacred Ashes a long time ago. Everyone else who knew of the pass died at the Conclave. He takes his knowledge of the existence of the pass as a sign from the Maker that he was meant to aid the Inquisition, and says that he was wrong to doubt them all this time.
  • Death Glare: At the formal start of a romance between the Lady Inquisitor and Cullen, the first kiss is interrupted by a soldier delivering an urgent report... who promptly gets a glare from Cullen that could cow an Archdemon.
  • Decadent Court: One of the main missions involves taking part in this: picture Parliament Question Time only with more bloodshed. The idea is to track down who wants to assassinate the Empress and stop them... or allow it to happen if you side with Murder Is the Best Solution and vie for who you want in charge. To do so you must maintain a high enough standing with the participants, proper speech, posture, know what to agree and disagree with, as well as dig up political dirt that can later be used.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: When judging the fates of defeated enemies, you can turn many of them into agents of the Inquisition. It's less mercy and more pragmatism with the fact that simply killing/imprisoning them is simply wasteful.
  • Defector from Decadence/Cultural Cringe: Dorian leaves the Tevinter Imperium due to disillusionment with his country's moral decay (the Imperium is known and criticized for practicing slavery and valuing greed for power).
  • Degraded Boss:
    • The first boss of the game is a Pride Demon. Late in the game, Pride Demons start spawning from Fade Rifts and are not quite as difficult. Pride Demons are also very degraded from their original appearance in Dragon Age: Origins, where a contracted Pride demon was being used to test your pride in the Mage origin: it pretended to be a weak spirit of a man, saying how awesome you were and begging you to let him tag along into the physical world. Here they're just monsters who attack. Solas offers the explanation that being dragged through Rifts is a very traumatic experience for a spirit, leaving them as bestial shells of the beings they were.
    • If you side with the mages, the first Red Templar Behemoth you face is presented as a unique, named boss fight. Later on you end up facing dozens as ordinary Elite Mooks.
  • Deployable Cover:
    • New spells can create walls of ice and fire which can conceal your party.
    • The Warrior Champion ability "Line In The Sand" functions as this, preventing enemies from moving past the Warrior, so ranged members can fire from behind safely.
    • Red Templar Behemoths can grow walls of red lyrium to the same effect.
  • Desk Sweep of Passion: As a female Inquisitor if you choose to pursue a romantic relationship with Cullen their first time ends up being on his desk where he sweeps everything off before picking her up and putting her down on it. Apparently, everyone knows this happened as Sara makes a joke about how desks need to beware.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After the loss of Haven, the entire Inquisition teeters perilously close to it until Mother Giselle props the Herald up as a Hope Bringer by singing the Chantry hymn "The Dawn Will Come" in the Herald's presence.
  • Desperate Object Catch: How the Herald got stuck with the Anchor. They interrupted Corypheus's plan to use Divine Justinia as a blood sacrifice for the Orb of Destruction. Justinia seized the moment and knocked the Orb out of Corypheus's hand. As if by reflex, the player character rushed to grab it... and it then branded the Anchor into their left hand.
  • Destination Defenestration: During the Winter Palace mission, the Inquisitor kicks a Harlequin assassin out of the window.
  • Destructo-Nookie: No Belligerent Sexual Tension, but there was some deliberate destruction of desk toppings in a later romance scene between Cullen and Fem-Inquisitor. The desk survives, as may be indicated in a dialogue with Sera during some pranking adventures.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • If you pick Orlesian decor for Skyhold, Vivienne will compliment your fashion sense.
    • In the prologue, your character picks up a weapon to defend themselves and Cassandra wants them to disarm. If you happen to play a mage, you get the option to tell her that you don't really need a weapon to be dangerous anyway. There are lots of little moments like that where your class or race is taken into consideration.
    • In Haven, there are locked cells under the chantry containing some loot and codex entries; but since you don't have your party walking around with you in the village, warriors and mages have no means to unlock them to get the goods. This is neatly circumvented by using a special dialogue option with Sera, who will open them for you.
    • During a cutscene near the end of the game, if you fight and kill Corypheus' Dragon, the kill animation will take into account your specialization if you have one. One example is that you'll stab the Dragon with your spirit blade if a Knight-Enchanter.
    • If you're playing a Qunari and have horns of certain styles, being in areas with low hanging light fixtures will result in you bumping into them with a "bonk" sound effect. This can also happen to two-handed warriors with large weapons on their backs.
    • The game keeps track of the Inquisitor's stated religious beliefs and whether or not they think they were chosen by Andraste. Other characters will respond accordingly.
    • If you run into a wild animal while on a mount, there's a good chance you'll knock it over (complete with a very disgruntled noise on the animal's part).
    • High Dragon wing attacks not only deflect ranged attacks, but also anything that is tossed into the air, so if you try to throw landmines, caltrops, or daggers while the dragon is flapping, expect to see them fly harmlessly away.
    • Stealthy enemies (like Venatori Stalkers) fighting you while on ground that leaves footprints (like the Western Approach sand dunes) will still leave footprints when cloaked. Toss a grenade flask or have a mage launch an area attack where they're walking.
    • If you don't talk to Sera at Haven but then decide to talk to her when you get to Skyhold, she'll slightly disapprove and call you out on it. (If you don't recruit her until after you reach Skyhold, you still have to talk to her at the first possible opportunity after her recruitment or you get the same disapproval.)
    • Each time you establish the forward camp in a new area, you have a conversation with Scout Harding about the terrain and what's happening. Her dialogue sometimes differs depending on what you've already done. For example, if you go to the Fallow Mire after saving Crestwood from its undead problem, her comment on the undead in the Mire is different from what she says if you go there first. Her opening conversation in the Forbidden Oasis also differs based on whether or not you've acquired Skyhold yet.
    • At Adamant, it is possible for Blackwall to stand up to a crowd of Grey Wardens serving the Venatori and, by appealing to the mutual experiences of the order - as an organization which is founded on principles of justice, sacrifice and duty to one's brothers - convince them to join him (and therefore you). If you made him do that, you will get a special question to ask him later on once it's revealed that he was never even a Grey Warden in the first place. He admits that he just made it all up, but concludes that since he truly spoke from his heart about ideals in which he truly believes - even if he himself couldn't match them - it may not matter.
    • If Morrigan has Old God Kieran, but the Inquisitor doesn't speak to her between "Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts" and "What Pride Had Wrought", then one of the dialogue options when Kieran opens the Eluvian is "Morrigan has a son?"
    • Occasionally at the war table, your advisors will chat with each other. They appear upon completing a mission, and if a dialogue begins or is ongoing when they do, they will actually stop what they are doing for the sake of the discussion. They'll also comment on the events of the game, and your actions; kill several dragons and it'll be brought up. There's even unique advisor dialogue should the Inquisitor romance Cullen.
    • All party companions have unique voice lines for riding mounts, despite the fact that one would rarely switch to one of them when mounted.note 
    • At the end of Trespasser, if the player has low Approval with Solas and never bothered to exhaust his investigate dialogue options, they get the option to tell Solas that they don't have the patience to put up with his long-winded lectures, to which he'll simply give you a summarized version of his backstory.
    • In Trespasser, when you enter the Crossroads, Sera will remark that she can see colors, but the rest of the party can see only grey. If the Inquisitor is an elf, they can see more colors and flowers on the trees, but if the Inquisitor is of any other race, the environment is duller and the trees are bare.
    • In the final sequence of Trespasser, for story related reasons, the Inquisitor starts gaining Focus at a rapid rate. While this does allow the Inquisitor's Focus Power to be used much more frequently, it is not possible to spam it. For the only time in the game, Focus Abilities are given a cooldown, one that is unaffected by all passive abilities that can shorten it, though a mage's Flashpoint passive still works.
    • During Trespasser, one of the companions will point out how the Anchor reacts specifically to elven magic. If the Inquisitor is a mage, they will add that the Anchor isn't affected by their normal spells.
  • Devil, but No God: One of the recurring themes of the game is whether or not there's a Maker. The religion itself doesn't help, since its central claim is that the Maker has already abandoned the sinful mortal world. There's no divine magic (at least, Chantry adherents have no unusual powers to speak of, unlike D&D clerics) and there's plenty of non-humans around who aren't Andrastian, yet still we see indications that there's definitely more out there than what we know of. Struggling with what you believe, and what others believe of you now that they've put you on a pedestal, is something that keeps coming up. The main argument put forth in favor of the Maker aiding you is that all of the ludicrously convenient "coincidences" around the Herald may have perfectly natural explanations, but the odds are so ridiculously bad that divine intervention seems downright likely in comparison. The main villain is the closest thing we've ever seen to a Thedas equivalent of Satan, too, but even he used to be a mortal man who claims to have invaded the Golden City only to find it empty.
  • Dialogue During Gameplay: Party banter returns and is occasionally interactive this time around. You can also talk to some NPCs without stopping your movement in a similar fashion.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In the Jaws of Hakkon DLC, the Inquisitor kills Hakkon Wintersbreath, Avvar God of War and Winter.
  • Died Happily Ever After: In the Trespasser DLC there's a mysterious chapter of Hard in Hightown that Varric didn't write where whoever died facing the Fear demon is now peacefully retired and hanging out with Donnen (the hero of the book) as a kind of afterlife; if it's Loghain he's even reunited with his childhood dog. Varric denies ever writing it, and no explanation is ever given.
  • Disc-One Nuke: The Golden Nug statue in the Game of the Year edition/upgrade can cause this. It allows you to synchronize your games so that any schematic, seed, or potion recipe you've unlocked in one game is unlocked in all your others. This allows you to begin with powerful Tier 3 and Tier 4 schematics right after the prologue, making early areas much easier to deal with even if you're only using weak Tier 1 components.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The Breach itself is dealt with at the end of the first act. The rest of the game is spent dealing with the Elder One. But then he creates an even bigger Breach at the end to lure the Inquisitor into a final showdown.
  • Distant Finale: Trespasser, the final story DLC and Inquisition's epilogue, takes place two years after the rest of the game, to show how the Inquisitor's actions changed Thedas and what life has been like for the companions and advisors.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Most elves continue to have an aversion to conventional footwear. With any elven armor equipped, the Inquisitor can join their feud against boots.
  • Doorstopper: Many books in Thedas takes this shape, most prominently the writ that authorizes Leliana and Cassandra to reform the Inquisition at the beginning of the game. It even makes a heavy and quite satisfying "thud" sound every time it's emphatically dropped or smashed onto some surface, be it table or floor. Other noteworthy examples include the huge tomes hostile Spellbinder mages carry around with them, as well as the one the Viddasala has strapped to her pauldron during the Trespasser quest line.
  • Downloadable Content: Several packs have been released post game:
    • Deluxe Edition Upgrade: Allows players who didn't purchase the Deluxe edition to access the items from the pack. Includes armour and weapons tailored to your class that can be upgraded as the game goes on, multiplayer chests, a digital soundtrack, several horses, and a special throne.
    • Destruction Multiplayer Expansion: Adds to the multiplayer with new paths in the maps and the chance for wildlife to roam the battlefield.
    • Dragonslayer Pack: Includes new multiplayer characters and a new map which allows players to fight High Dragons.
    • The Black Emporium: Returns from Dragon Age II with the same purpose of selling crafting materials and high quality gear, and providing the "Mirror of Transfiguration" to allow the player to change the Inquisitor's appearance and voice.
    • Jaws of Hakkon: The first story DLC, which has the Inquisitor try and find out what happened to the First Inquisitor.
    • Spoils of the Avvar: A content pack similar to the Deluxe Edition Upgrade, adding new weapons, armour, mounts and Skyhold decorations all styled on the Avvar tribe met in Hakkon.
    • Spoils of the Qunari: Another content pack, this time styled on the Qunari. Includes schematics, mounts, Skyhold decorations and armour.
    • The Descent: The second story DLC, this time having the Inquisitor visit the Deep Roads to find the source of earthquakes threatening Thedas.
    • Trespasser: The third and final DLC pack, set two years after the game ends.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty:
    • A drill instructor is working over some raw recruits at Griffon Wing Keep once you take over the fortress.
    • Though actually a commander instead of a sergeant, the Knight-Enchanter specialization trainer Helaine fits the bill as well, at least verbally.
  • Driving Question:
    • In the first act, what is the identity of the Hidden Villain and who is responsible for the tears in the Veil?
    • At the end of the act, the Hidden Villain makes his presence known when he leads his army to crush Haven; for the rest of the game, the question focuses more on how the Breach was created. For Varric and Hawke, the question is how is Corypheus still alive when they very definitely killed him?
  • Drone of Dread:
    • The Exalted Plains' background music is comprised of this eerily soft, hollow-sounding, subtly and slowly changing chord.
    • Also coupled with the enormously loud blaring sound when you blow one of the war horns there, usually after recapturing a fortress from the Freemen. If you have sufficiently high volume and aren't expecting it, it can be a Jump Scare.
    • When you are braving the uncontrolled ancient elven superweapon at the Plains' Citadelle du Corbeau, the weapon makes a loud droning noise when it's firing (on top of everything subject to its beam bursting into flame), and even when its aim is just meandering aimlessly it has an ominous growling hum.
    • When first entering Valammar in the Hinterlands, a deep loud rumble echoes upward from the chasm beneath. (Doubles as foreshadowing for the DLC The Descent.)
  • During the War:
    • The game takes place during the Mage-Templar War that began in the final chapters of Dragon Age II.
    • As of Asunder and The Masked Empire, there's also an Orlesian civil war and an elven uprising to boot.
  • Dysfunction Junction: This being a BioWare game, your Player Party naturally has more issues than the DSM-5 note .

     E 
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • For the Orlesian Civil War arc, your choices are to assist the manipulative and self-serving Empress Celene, the war-mongering, militaristic Duke Gaspard, or the underhanded and ambitious Ambassador of the Elven servants. One of them must defeat the other two to create a stable future for Orlais. Obtaining the best possible outcome (and there is heated debate as to which outcome is, in fact, the best) requires you to do a lot of exploring, gain favor with the Imperial Court, pay close attention to the clues laid about during the investigation, pick specific dialogue options, locate a large number of hidden "keys" to search the palace, and then take the correct steps on the war map. Good luck getting the exact outcome you want on your first game.
    • For the Chantry, you need to be very, very careful with what options you pick throughout the game. Only revealed months after the game's release is that certain decisions are being "watched" by the Clerics and are influencing their decisions to elect a new Divine. These include major story choices as well as seemingly innocuous conversations (especially Cassandra, Leliana, or Vivienne's opinions). While the elected Divine Victoria proves mostly competent at her job regardless of who she is, her decisions may still agitate unrest or rebellion. This especially depends on Leliana's personality - her rule as Divine poses the greatest risks, but also potentially brings the greatest reward. Cassandra and Vivienne's Approval levels must also be maintained.
    • For the Mages, Leliana being elected Divine is the only unambiguously happy ending - especially if she is "softened". Every other choice leads to a split between Mages or unrest that needs to be put down.
    • Averted with the Templars. No matter what decisions the Inquisitor has made (including whether to Ally or Disband them) they get a relatively positive outcome.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • The codex entry for the "Helm of the Inquisitor" features the story of the last leader of the Inquisition, Ameridan, and how he vanished during a dragon hunt. Ameridan's story is the impetus behind the first DLC, Jaws of Hakkon.
    • In Haven, one of the characters heard in ambient conversation is a senior elven spy named Charter. After the attack on Haven and the restoration of the stronghold in Crestwood, Charter becomes the commander of the stronghold, giving the Inquisitor a few sidequests and managing Leliana's spy network in that general part of Thedas.
    • A few of the companions were given their own individual trailers prior to the game's release, providing them with this. The Iron Bull's trailer was also one for the Chargers, while Varric's provided one for Flissa the barmaid and also Solas, who appears for two seconds at a table in Haven's tavern.
  • Easter Egg:
    • A man named Lord Trifles Minutiae will appear in random places throughout Skyhold (including inside a gold vault that only appears if you have a certain perk, on the top floor of the tavern, at the top of the reconstructed tower, and even in the Inquisitor's bedroom) and ask a series of Dragon Age trivia questions. Answer three correctly inside a time limit, and he will give you the Boon of the Spoon - a ladle large enough to be used as a two-handed mace - before disappearing.
    • Another Easter Egg weapon can be crafted using Sad Splinters (found by destroying Keep doors) and a recipe found in what looks like a pile of dung.
    • Yet another gag weapon is The Jade Ham, a one-handed mace with a large ham for a head (no, not that kind of Large Ham) that's available through a Jaws of Hakkon war table operation. Its item description is full of Jade Empire Shout Outs - hence the name. It pairs very well with another gag weapon - the Wedge of Destiny, a shield made from a dragon scale and shaped like a cheese wheel. Ham and cheese, anyone?
    • The above-mentioned gold vault contains a top hat which looks remarkably like the one worn by Scrooge McDuck.
    • An Easter Egg "helmet" named the Ardent Blossom (actually a wreath of white flowers threaded with lyrium) can be acquired through the well-hidden sidequest The Tiniest Cave. It's the only headwear of this style in the game and confers a quite useful attribute bonus, though depending on your other equipment it can make your character look a bit silly.
  • Easy Logistics: The War Table runs on this. With Cullen (who sends troops directly to problem areas) and Josephine (who presumably deals with diplomats sent to Skyhold), it's less apparent. In Leliana's case, however, this trope is played completely straight. From a base on the border between Ferelden and Orlais, she is able to coordinate a spy ring across the entire continent, with nothing more than messenger ravens and couriers, with no concern that the information she receives may be weeks, if not months out of date.
  • Elfeminate: Elves by default are pretty androgynous when it comes to body shape; however, thanks to the extreme detail of the character creator and the ability to give a male character makeup, it is entirely possible to make an extremely feminine-looking male elf Inquisitor. Averted for Solas, who is muscular and masculine in appearance. This is also true of Abelas and other ancient elves, suggesting that the elven physique has changed over a thousand years.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Titans from the Descent DLC are incomprehensibly large beings that dwell deep beneath the surface of Thedas, and are actually the source of all lyrium, since it is in fact their blood. They share a unique psychic bond with all dwarves, indicating some form of latent Hive Mind. They're also clearly sentient, and are privy to unknown secrets about what lies beneath Thedas, and have unexplained powers that allow their thralls to seemingly teleport at will throughout the world. In short, everything about them essentially slaps some well-accepted fact in Thedas in the face.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The Inquisition was created by a number of upper class individuals, including a noblewoman from Antiva as well as the Right and Left Hands of the Divine herself. However, Josephine strictly states that this small head start would not last long due to the Chantry's denouncement. Fortunately, the game proper allows the Inquisition to grow in power, influence and prestige until the Inquisitor is considered the equal of monarchs. This trope is also played straight with many of the companions, agents and allies, who are usually people with political pedigree, renowned skills and abilities, or unique assets. Even companions who seem to avert this, like Sera, turn out to have been raised by nobility or have otherwise exceptional facets.
  • Empathic Environment:
    • The village of Crestwood is under attack by legions of demon-possessed corpses rising from the lake, and so it's appropriately dark and raining all the time. But once the rift is closed and the undead stop coming - surprise! - the weather instantly turns almost painfully sunny (though it's still raining in some places, it makes the landscape brilliant rather than dreary). The only downside to draining the lake to reach the rift is that it ticks off the high dragon nesting nearby and causes her to become aggressive, which makes her a bigger threat than the undead.
    • Similarly, at the execution of Mornay in Val Royeaux, the normally sunny weather is replaced by a dreary drizzle, which continues while the Inquisitor goes to the prison to speak with Thom Rainier.
    • The only time it snows really hard in the Frostback Mountains is when you are cut off from the rest of the Inquisition and are trying to find them again.
    • Skyhold itself seems to operate on this. Despite being nestled in the Frostbacks, the grounds within the castle walls are perpetually sunny and autumnal, with green grass and leaves on the trees, and (barring one war room comment from Josephine about a draft) no one ever indicates that they feel cold. Of course, it's stated many times that magic has essentially seeped into the stones, which could very well make it a case of literally empathic environment.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The world must unite to stop a demonic invasion from the Fade, or die. And that's just the main game. With Trespasser installed, another example is already rearing its head barely two years after the first one, and the DLC ends with what's left of the Inquisition preparing their attempt to prevent it, setting the stage for the sequel.
  • Enemy Civil War: The schism between the Seekers, the Templars and the Chantry, following the dissolution of the Nevarran Accord in Asunder. The "enemy" part varies based on your character's position.
  • Even Evil Can Be Loved: The Inquisitor can fall in love with Solas, who is later revealed to be the Greater-Scope Villain responsible for not just the events of the game, but almost every problem plaguing the world of Thedas (albeit unintentionally in both cases). In the DLC story, Trespasser, he reveals that he plans to lead an army of Elven rebels to destroy the Fade which he himself created, even though he knows that this will kill most non-Elves. The Player Character can choose to say that she still loves him and wants to save him from himself, or she can even offer to throw away everything she believes to join him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Dorian's mentor, Alexius, seems like a rather nasty magister, but he loves his son and only turned to the Venatori when Corypheus promised a cure for his son's taint sickness. Before his son's illness made him desperate, he was (in Dorian's own words) an extremely good man.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Phoenixes that show up in certain areas of the Western Approach are Utahraptors, complete with the anatomically correct feathers that dinosaurs had but usually aren't depicted as having. They do breathe fire, though.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Lampshaded beautifully by Varric while admiring the scenery in the Emerald Graves:
    Varric: Ah, the wilds of Thedas. Lush, beautiful, and full of things that want to eat you.
  • Evil Chancellor: The King of Nevarra's most trusted advisor just happens to be a Venatori spy. You can direct one of your advisors to put a stop to his schemes.
  • Evil Laugh: Pride demons sport an impressive one.
  • Evil Weapon: The sword Certainty dropped by Samson is heavily implied to be Meredith's red lyrium sword reborn. The weapon description cautions the Inquisitor to be careful with Certainty.
  • Exact Words:
    • There's a reason equipment is marked "Human/Elf/Whatever Trained Only" rather than just "Human Only." Sera is unable to wear or use any equipment that is "Elf-trained only", since while she is an elf, she was raised by a human woman and counts as Human-trained. Likewise, Cole is a spirit who takes the form and memories of a deceased human mage, so he too is "Human-trained." Then we later find out that Solas is an Elven god masquerading as a mortal, so he's Elf-trained. One can assume that a practitioner of the Qunari religion who isn't a member of the race (like Tallis) would count as Qunari-trained.
    • In "Here Lies the Abyss", Blackwall's speech to the Grey Wardens relies heavily on this. He tells the Wardens that none of them know him, but they have heard of him. He never said that he was actually Warden Blackwall: the Wardens have most likely heard of Thom Rainier's crimes. He tells the Wardens that putting on Warden armor is reassuring, but he never actually says that he is a Warden.
    • Blackwall also says he's not worried about the Calling, and that "Corypheus has no hold on me." Since he doesn't actually have the darkspawn taint in him like all real Wardens do, he'll never have to worry about it, either (unless he joins the Wardens for real between the end of the main game and Trespasser).
  • Expy:
    • The Friends of Red Jenny, as explained by Sera, seem to be Thedas's answer to Anonymous.
    • Somehow, even though beginning at a completely different place, the Trespasser DLC has a 50/50 shot of the Inquisitor ending up in a strikingly similar situation to the beginning of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
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