Follow TV Tropes


Dragon Age Origins / Tropes L to Q

Go To

    open/close all folders 

  • Lady of Black Magic: Morrigan fits this trope to a T. She's well-spoken, cunning, evil, and has a look of wild elegance and a penchant for highly destructive spells.
  • Lady of War:
    • Female warrior Wardens fit this trope rather well, especially in the Human Noble and Dwarf Noble origins (where you are formally addressed as 'my lady').
    • Queen Anora gets a bit of this if she's the one running the final campaign against the Archdemon.
    • The trope also applies to many minor NPCs as well, such as Ser Cauthrien and Bann Alfstanna.
    • In the Warden's Keep DLC, former Warden-Commander Sophia Dryden is shown to have been this in life.
  • The Lady's Favour: Played straight and gender-flipped; three of the four romance options have gifts that they will give to the player character once they have been sufficiently romanced. Alistair's is a rose, Zevran's is an earring, and Morrigan's is a ring.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • In the Human Noble origin, your first fight is against a bunch of giant rats that have invaded your castle's pantry. After you're done, your party mate says it looks like "the start of every bad adventure tale [his] grandfather used to tell."
    • Zevran asks Oghren if they should now engage in some stereotypical elf-to-dwarf banter/rivalry. Oghren's response? "Nah."
    • Morrigan's response to stopping the merchant in Lothering from setting high prices. "Must we solve every little problem in this town?" Similarly, if you ask the Ostagar merchant about his AWOL servants, he'll say he's sure someone like you has more important things to do than worry about his inane personal problems.
    • During one random encounter, you sneak up on a few bandits planning a sloppy ambush. One of the actions you can take is "Rush them and spring your own ambush for a change!" It goes farther: You rush the ambush prepared for you, basically rushing headlong into the trap.
    • If you romance Zevran, and either turn down or ask too many questions about the gift he offers you, he will eventually exclaim, "We pick up every other bit of treasure we come across, but not this? You don't want the earring, you don't get the earring. Very simple."
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Early in her romance path, Leliana says such a thing wouldn't work out; when The Warden becomes unsure or is being charming, she offers to fake being charmed. Hence, well, this:
    Warden: I'd hate for you to have to fake anything for me.
    Leliana: Ooohhh, very clever, I see what you did there.
  • Large Ham:
    • Father Kolgrim of the Cult of Andraste shouts all his lines in the most melodramatic way possible.
    • Wade, the Camp Gay blacksmith.
    • Cailan, Uldred, Loghain, Bhelen, and Teagan all get in some of this at times.
    • Oghren, when you give him a gift he really likes (which is almost always booze):
      Oghren: By the ancestors, WHAT A WONDERFUL GIFT!
  • The Last Dance: The Calling ritual.
  • Last Kiss: At the end for a female who romanced Alistair, if you stayed together and you didn't take the third option, since one of you has to die to finish off the Archdemon. What happens next is... well...
    Warden: I can't let you do this, it's insane!
    Alistair: Sanest thing I've ever done.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • After Ostagar, the Warden and Alistair are the only two Grey Wardens left in Ferelden.
    • Several of the origin stories leave the Warden as the last member of their family:
      • The Human Noble is the last of the Couslands after their family is betrayed and murdered by Arl Howe in the Origin. When speaking to Wynne about her joining the party after "Broken Circle," Wynne even calls them exactly that. This turns out to not be true, however. Big brother Fergus is revealed at the end to have survived Ostagar.
      • The Dalish Elf's father was killed by human bandits, which left the Dalish Warden's mother so grief-stricken, she simply disappeared into the moonlight to die of grief, shortly after the Warden's birth. Their mother's friend Ashalle and the rest of the clan therefore raised them.
      • If the Dwarf Noble decides to support Harrowmont over Bhelen for the crown of Orzammar, then Bhelen foolishly attacks and ends up dead, leaving the Dwarf Noble as the last Aeducan (aside from distant cousins). Alternatively, should any Warden put Bhelen on the throne, he begins a campaign of outright slaughter against Harrowmont and his entire extended family - in a DAII game using an imported save, Hawke encounters the sole surviving Harrowmont.
    • Alistair is revealed to be the illegitimate son of King Maric, and is therefore the last living member of the royal house of Theirin.
    • If Loghain is executed at the Landsmeet or dies killing the Archdemon, Anora becomes the only surviving Mac Tir.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The advertising for the Return to Ostagar DLC spoils the outcome of the battle that took place there.
    • For the origins you didn't play, stuff can be spoiled from your previous playthroughs, particularly the Human Noble, Dwarf Noble, and Mage origins. The City Elf, on the other hand, can be a weird case of Harsher in Hindsight when you play it and learn that Bann Vaughn is not merely rude and arrogant.
  • Laugh of Love: Leliana and Morrigan (unusually for the latter) will giggle on occasion if romanced by the Warden, and with a high approval rating.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: The underground realm of the Deep Roads has a lot of lava, to the point that the dwarves have lava fountains and lava waterfalls as decorations in the same way surfacers might use water. Alistair lampshades it, wondering if the dwarves just hope that it never erupts.
  • Law of Conservation of Detail: Exhaustingly averted. The majority of Codex entries are nothing but fluff, which flesh out the world but are ultimately irrelevant from a gameplay standpoint (other than that you're given a small amount of XP for finding them). There are a number of named Non Player Characters who, likewise, serve no purpose other than elaborating the setting.
  • Lazy Backup
  • Leaked Experience: Party members are never more than one level lower than the main character.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • On the shores of Lake Calenhad outside the Spoiled Princess inn, after you have completed the "Broken Circle" quest, there are a pair of NPCs beyond a fence that are discussing how they could be merely "in a play." This prompts one to dismiss the idea that they're being watched by "enlightened cosmic beings" for amusement by pointing out that he has a boil on his big toe that proves the theory wrong — he claims that anyone doing this for their own amusement are simply sick, twisted bastards.
    • You can threaten a group of "adventurers" into giving up their mission to tattle on a suspected Blood Mage. If you successfully intimidate them, the leader will tell you they "were just in it for the experience."
  • Leeroy Jenkins: If you don't use the right tactics, your party members will often act like this in combat, rushing headlong into the fray even when they're poorly suited to close combat. Of course, there's a reason why you have the "Hold" option that keeps the party from blindly charging, and there are several behavioral routines (Ranged, for example) that will have AI-controlled party members keep their distance.
  • Left Hanging/Sequel Hook: The Witch Hunt DLC, the last material released for the game and chronologically set after the rest, ends with Morrigan making some cryptic references to upcoming threats and new plans from Flemeth, then disappearing through a mysterious portal.
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: The Antivan Crows' contact in Denerim talks almost completely in innuendo, in order to disguise what business he is actually discussing; never mind that the only eavesdropper his verbiage could fool would be a deaf one. You, as the player, can lampshade this very fact and he'll simply explain that he has no idea who's listening and just wants an out in case he's questioned. If you keep ignoring his attempts at innuendo, he snaps at you. It's worth it. After you complete the questline, he's willing to speak more openly.
  • Leitmotif: The darkspawn have a main theme, and several remixes of that theme for special encounters. The elves also have their own leitmotif, with various remixes of "In Uthenera."
    • Leliana's song - no, not the DLC - is heard in the menu music, in the romance theme, and during some of the more tender moments. Keep in mind, the song is about mortality and sacrifice.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: The foursome/threesome option. Subverted when Zevran notes that he doesn't mind not speaking of it, as long as they can do it again.
  • Level in Reverse: Two of the DLC packs use the same Cadash Thaig map geometry, except with the start and goal points reversed.
  • Level Scaling:
    • Each area has an upper and lower limit to the level of enemies you'll face, and in the areas that have enemies which are around your level, those enemies will level up with you.
    • In addition to the difficulty of successfully pickpocketing a particular individual scaling, the reward you get for doing so scales in value as well (to make it worth your while to bother with the check). This can sometimes test the suspension of disbelief, as, for example, with a Dwarf Noble Warden who picks the pockets of Orzammar's ruling caste for pennies at the beginning of the game, but finds the supposedly impoverished residents of the Denerim Alienage loaded down with gold sovereigns towards the end.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Your party members get boosts in their primary stat proportional to how much they like you.
    • In Zevran's case, sleeping with him and making kinky suggestions directly result in Dexterity bonuses.
    • Female Wardens romancing Alistair can enjoy his massive Constitution.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Leliana is the Light Feminine, while Morrigan is the Dark Feminine. As their character arcs progress, standard BioWare deconstruction occurs, especially on Leliana's side.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Shrieks in the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC. They have only a little bit less health than Ogres, and do a little bit less damage per attack, but they move extremely quickly, and their quick attack rate gives them a high DPS.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: If you take full advantage of specializations and area effect attacks. Warriors and rogues are hardly slouches by comparison even at high levels, but it still doesn't keep people from referring to the game as Dragon Mage: Origins. Take a look at the Dragon Age entry on the trope page.
    • Consider it also a case of Gameplay and Story Integration. Everyone in the setting is scared of magic for a reason.
      • Usually, Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards has mages kind of sucking at low levels; it's worth pointing out that this isn't true for this game. Low level casters in DA are squishy, but still powerful and useful compared to rogues or warriors. They just become very strong at high levels, and completely, ridiculously overpowered if intentionally twinked.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Freeze an enemy solid, or petrify them, then land a critical on them. They break.
    • Or Rocket Punch them with a stone, or cast Crushing Prison on them.
  • Literal Transformative Experience: The Mage origin introduces Mouse, a mage trapped in the Fade during his Harrowing. With his body now dead as a result of failing the test, his spirit is condemned to roam endlessly, often taking on the form of a mouse in order to avoid being preyed upon by demons - appropriately coinciding with his personality having turned despondent and fatalistic by the time you meet him during your Harrowing. However, with a little effort, you can find a way for him to transform into a bear and join you in combat, netting him a massive boost in confidence. And then it turns out the whole thing's a lie: he's actually the pride demon you were sent into the Fade to duel, and he was just trying to trick you into letting him into your mind.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Defeating the Harvester in the Golems of Amgarrak DLC causes Amgarrak's forge area to collapse.
  • Loading Screen: You get one when moving to a new area within the same building, cave, etc.; these tend to contain either tactical advice for playing, a recap of your current situation, or a tidbit of Fereldan history. When moving from one city (or part of a city) to another, the map performs this function, letting you watch as your party leaves a trail of blood along their (usually very circuitous) route.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: And most have individual voice actors, including some well-known ones. See the sub-page.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Especially on the PC version, where thanks to a memory leak these stretch into epic lengths if you play long enough at a time. The console versions are not better: the longer you play, the longer it will take games to save and load. And if you get all the downloadable content, you have to wait almost five minutes for the game to check your save game data, then the downloadable content, at the beginning of the game.
  • Loads and Loads of Sidequests: The game goes so far as to give you an achievement, "Easily Sidetracked," if you complete 75% of the sidequests.
  • Lost Colony: The village of Haven is a form of this trope. It was established centuries ago by followers of the prophet Andraste, who created the village just outside of an elaborate temple they built to house her ashes. The village residents were charged with the perpetual guardianship of the ashes. While the rest of Ferelden sprang up around the village and changed with the passing of time, Haven remained in complete isolation - it doesn't even appear on any maps of the country and most people don't know it exists. Although its inhabitants are essentially of the same religion as the rest of Ferelden, they're unaware of the Chantry (Ferelden's church) or certain laws and regulations. Worse, in the last several generations, they've come to the erroneous conclusion that a dragon is the reincarnation of the prophet, and the village has devolved into a murderous Ax-Crazy cult.
  • Loophole Abuse: How the Dwarf Noble regains their name after being unpersonned during their Origin. Dwarves who become Grey Wardens retain their name and caste despite venturing to the surface. Given how being a Grey Warden supersedes their exile and the Shaper later comments on adding their visit to the memories, it's probable that this allowed the Dwarf Noble's name and caste to be returned to the records once more.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: When you're trapped in the Fade in the Tower of Magi, the demon of sloth tries to do this trick on you and your party. You alone figure out that your experiences aren't real, and you have to save your companions from their traps. In a subversion, some party members are trapped in painful visions/memories (Wynne and Zevran) in comparison to the idyllic illusions of others (Alistair and Leliana). It should be noted that Morrigan and Sten are both immune to the illusions, but are still unable to leave; it's implied that Sten is also unwilling to leave.
  • Love Hurts:
    • Any attempt at a romance during one of the origin stories ends badly.
    • If the female PC is romancing Alistair, the only way the two of you can survive the ending to be with each other is to make him sleep with Morrigan so he can sire her child. The game makes you watch this to a point (you the player, that is, not your character).
    • If the male PC is romancing Morrigan, there is no way to get a traditionally happy ending in the base game, no matter what you do. If you don't take her up on her offer at the end, she leaves the party immediately. If you do comply with her plan, she vanishes anyway after the final battle. The Witch Hunt DLC does allow the romanced Warden to enter the Eluvian with her, though.
    • At the very least, Wynne will express concern about whatever romance the PC has, as the PC's duties are somewhat in conflict with a long happy life with a loved one. Subverted later, if you follow up; she apologizes and retracts her statement, saying that seeing you with your love interest has helped her realize that even when time is short, love can be passionate and sweet and, by her judgment, still worth the effort and the pain.
  • Low Fantasy: According to BioWare, anyway. This is a little questionable, however, when you consider that it has rampant magic, a classic Good vs. Evil conflict against a great evil, an epic scale, The Quest, and plenty of heroics.
  • Loyalty Mission: There's one available for all of your humanoid companions. Dog doesn't have one because he either does not join you until after you save his life or, if you're the Human Noble, has been your pet for years and is already completely loyal to you.
    • Sten agrees to accompany you after you free him from a cage and save him from darkspawn. His loyalty can be earned little by little over time, but the only occasion you get to see him smile is after a long and annoying quest to retrieve his lost sword, at which point he makes it pretty clear he respects you as a leader.
    • Alistair wants to find his half-sister. This does not work out very well for him, but he really appreciates you helping him with it. You are given the opportunity to make a serious change to his outlook and personality afterward.
    • Morrigan asks you to investigate her mother, Flemeth, and eventually to steal her book of spells and kill her.
    • Leliana has to confront her former mentor/lover, who sends assassins after you. Like with Alistair, how you treat her afterward will heavily impact her outlook and personality.
    • Wynne regrets how she treated a mage student many years ago, and is convinced that he's dead. You can take her to the Dalish, who know where he can be found, and reunite them; he bears her no ill will and she's immensely grateful to you for the closure.
    • Oghren merely asks the Warden to help him track down his old flame Felsi at Lake Calenhad. You can let their fairly confrontational reunion run its course without intervening, but that won't end well unless you give Oghren some whispered on-site coaching on how to sweet-talk a woman.
    • Zevran's loyalty mission is somewhat inverted; near the end of the game, his former partner shows up to finish the job he didn't (namely, killing you). How this plays out depends entirely on your friendship with him, but if you've earned his loyalty, he sides with you against his friend.
    • Shale has lived for so long she can barely remember anything from her own life past the last few decades. If you take her with you into the Deep Roads (bonus points if she meets Caridin during the Orzammar questline), she remembers the location of an old dwarven thaig that may have been her home long ago. Visiting the place brings back part of her memories and also improves her opinion of the Warden enough to become somewhat personable eventually (by her standards at least).
  • Luck-Based Mission: Oddly common considering the focus on strategy and tactics the game is supposed to have.
    • Most prevalent anytime you encounter mages, especially if the fight started immediately after opening a door or after dialogue. Enemy mages generally cast a spell at random. They have so many different damage types that buffing the right elemental resistance is random. If two or more mages happen to cast the right spells at the same time, it will virtually always kill off any character outside those with extreme resistances (most likely Templar or Arcane Warriors, but potentially any Human, Elf, or Dwarf character with the right stats or spells).
    • Needless to say, the game's difficulty is rather inconsistent. Some trash mob encounters may utterly curb-stomp you, while boss battles you can just walk right past, especially later in the game.
    • One of the game's hardest battles is a random pack of wolves met on the road. The difficulty of the battle depends entirely on how often the wolves use their 'Overwhelm' ability.
  • Lured into a Trap: As the Warden and party are traveling, a woman will run up to them and ask for help. Going along with her (which you must) will lead to a trap sprung by Zevran and his fellow assassins.

  • Made of Explodium: Abominations will explode a few seconds after being killed.
  • Madness Mantra: Hespith.
  • Magic Knight:
    • The Arcane Warrior (a mage with special battle powers)
    • The Reaver (a soul-devouring warrior specialization)
    • The Templar (anti-magic focused DPS/tank warrior sub-class)
    • The Spirit Warrior (warrior with magic powers)
    • The Battlemage (a mage that actually benefits from being in the thick of battle)
  • Magic Versus Science: After their conquests, the Qunari were repelled by the Chantry-led forces in good measure thanks to the advantage given to them by the use of magic applied to warfare. In the Qunari culture, magic, albeit known, is regarded nearly as an abomination; their warfare relies heavily on technology (like cannons) which, though superior, proved to be no match for the Chantry-controlled mages. The Qunari have also been unable to conquer the remnant of the Tevinter Imperium.
  • Magic Wand: Mage staffs. According to the Witch Hunt DLC, mages find the idea of using actual wands to be silly.
  • Magikarp Power: Archery. When you start out, it deals mediocre damage (generally lower than you'd get from pulling a sword or a mace and hitting the target). But then you get to the fourth-tier talents and you get Arrow of Slaying (which can dish out damage that rivals or exceeds anything the party mages have to offer) and Scattershot (which can both injure and stun an entire crowd of foes).
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Defending Redcliffe.
  • Make Them Rot: The Fleshrot contact poison makes the victim rot from the inside.
  • Malaproper: Sister Theohild in the Denerim Chantry, much to Mother Perpetua's consternation.
    Sister Theohild: The Veal holds no uncertainty for her, and she will know no fear of death, for the Maker shall be her bacon and her shield, her foundation and her-
    Mother Perpetua: There is no veal in the Chant! You're doing this on purpose, aren't you?
  • Malevolent Architecture: Bioware seems to really like this trope.
  • Mana Potion: During the Fade sections in the Dragon Age series, you often encounter lyrium outcroppings that instantly restore your mana to full. You can also find or make potions in the waking world that do the same.
  • Mana Shield: Spell Shield. Only works against spells, though. Forcefield also works, but renders the enclosed person immobile and unable to do damage to anyone outside it.
  • Manual Leader, A.I. Party: The game allows customization of the party members' equipment and tactics, and allows direct control over all characters. AI scripts direct characters that are not being directly controlled, and can be customized by the player.
  • Matchmaker Quest: "Cammen's Lament" in the Brecilian Forest. Oghren's loyalty quest also falls into this.
  • Mate or Die: The Archdemon can only be slain by a Grey Warden, who then dies. Morrigan has a plan that involves getting a male player character or Alistair (or Loghain) to impregnate her, so that none of you will die when you kill it.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Oghren notes there's a ton of lyrium underneath the Urn of Andraste's Ashes, meaning the spirits players encounter could be living hallucinations conjured by lyrium rather than actual holy spirits.
  • Meaningful Name: It can't have been an accident that a land that came about by uniting barbarians, where it's perfectly acceptable to wear armor to greet royalty, and where even the king doesn't have absolute authority, is named Ferelden.
  • Meat Moss:
    • Shows up in the Circle of Magi tower as a symptom of the abominations' presence. One can hear wet, squelching noises in the background as it continues to grow and expand. Some rooms are just filled with it. In a particularly messy room, Alistair remarks, "Now that's just unnecessary." Leliana moans [[Foreshadowing she'll have nightmares]], while Shale muses that it looks like a flesh creature exploded.
    • The Deep Roads are filled with this, presumably due to the darkspawn taint.
  • Medium Awareness: The Warden responds to player input, but the Violent voice gets personal:
    The Grey Warden': Can I get you a ladder, so you can get off my back?
  • Menacing Stroll: The Spirit transformation, in the Fade portion of the "Broken Circle" quest, engages in this during the "walking" animation. It's a very slow way of moving, but damn if it doesn't look awesome. When "running" or in combat, it floats.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: During the main quest, the player can choose to help the villagers of Redcliffe defend from an undead attack. The women remain in the Chantry along with the elderly and children, while the men (militia) fight (this is stated by Murdock and Mother Hannah). While helping the villagers prepare for the attack, you can persuade (or intimidate) a few more men into joining the militia, but no mention is made of arming the women. Quite the opposite — a dialogue option with a village woman is "Shouldn't you be in the Chantry?", whereas the Warden can demand that her male employer go and fight alongside the militia. Considering that you can play as a female warrior, there are women in the army (including many fighting at Ostagar, who were doubtless slaughtered with the men), there are female party members, there are female enemies, and character creation states that men and women are generally considered to be equal, it is odd that the women were portrayed as defenseless and did not fight to defend their village from certain destruction.
    • Arguably justified in that the town has been under siege for several days at this point and people are being dragged off left and right. If you count, there aren't as many women left as the men, and while most of the villagers aren't optimistic about their chances, there might still be somebody in charge thinking about the future of the village should all or most of the remaining women be killed. Or it could simply be that just because women are generally considered equal across Ferelden doesn't mean that they're considered as equal everywhere. The initial reaction to a female Warden from at least one NPC seems to suggest that Redcliffe may be one of those places where men are given more prestige.
    • Also of note, Sten points out to a female Warden that he does not understand why she fights, because females do not serve in any military capacity among the Qunari.
      • Inquisition retcons this: under the Qun, a person's job is chosen for them depending on their talents and interests, but jobs are restricted by gender. If a woman were to want to be a warrior, and she had a talent for it, then the other Qunari would consider her to be a man, because only men can be warriors - this is the closest the Qun has to any concept of transgender people. This is why Sten is confused that a female Warden is both a woman and a warrior, rather than being considered by society as a man.
    • There is also the fact that having women on the front lines would allow the darkspawn to capture more of them, giving them more vessels with which to breed. This doesn't seem to be a commonly known fact, but for those who do know, it would certainly be a good reason to keep the women out of the fighting.
  • Mercy Kill: Danyla, a Dalish elf who is about to fully succumb to the werewolf curse and is in great pain, begs you to kill her. If you refuse or drag the conversation on for too long, she attacks the party out of desperation, forcing you to kill her.
  • Mind Control: This is why Blood Mages are feared by everyone. It acts as in-universe Paranoia Fuel, especially for Cullen.
  • Mini-Dungeon: The game had The Fade, the realm where spirits, demons, and dreaming human reside. You enter it completely out of nowhere, while exploring a tower where demons have overrun the mages within, and once you're in, you must complete it to continue. The stage itself is a repetitive puzzle maze, your player character is completely alone, there is next to no dialogue or plot progression, and the entire place is intentionally blurry and out of focus. It is so infamous to Dragon Age fans that several mods exist which allow you to bypass the mini-dungeon completely while collecting every reward from it.
  • Missing Main Character: While the game normally has Can't Drop the Hero in effect, there are a few portions of the game in which the Warden is removed from your party. The first involves entering the Fade to kill a demon; since only Mages can enter the Fade voluntarily, if your Warden is a Rogue or Warrior, you have to send someone else. The second is a mission in which your other characters have to break the Warden out of prison (though you can also choose to escape as the Warden). The third is a Duel Boss Combat by Champion against Loghain, which can be fought as any party member other than Dog. And finally, a small segment of the final battle has whatever party members you didn't take with you Hold the Line against the darkspawn to buy your main party time to kill the Archdemon. In all of these instances, you will play as the character in question.
  • Mistaken for Granite: Whenever you see a deactivated but otherwise intact golem, rest assured that it will start attacking as soon as you do something important. The only exception is Shale.
  • Modular Epilogue: The game includes a text-only segmented epilogue in addition to the normal ending cutscenes (and the number of options is truly vast).
  • Money Spider: Played perfectly literally with the spiders themselves, but mostly averted elsewhere.
  • Mook Commander: Hurlock Alphas provide some nasty buffs for their lesser darkspawn subordinates.
  • Mook Maker: Broodmothers.
  • Moral Myopia: The Dragon to the Tevinter slavers in the Denerim Alienage will demand to know your reasons for attacking her soldiers, then piously announce her intention to "halt your slaughter" as she attacks you.
  • More Than Mind Control: Those tempted into deals with demons of Pride, Sloth, and especially Desire become to some degree a willing party to their own possession.
    Desire Demon: Happiness is bewitching.
  • Motifs: You could make a drinking game out of how many times blood becomes a subject of importance in this game, to say nothing of how much of it gets splattered around.
  • Muggle-and-Magical Love Triangle: It's entirely possible for a male Warden to end up in a love triangle with Leliana or Zevran (Muggle) and Morrigan (Mage).
    • It's also possible for a mage Warden to end up in a love triangle with Alistair, Leliana, and/or Zevran, all of whom are muggles.
  • Multiple-Choice Chosen: At the start, Warden-Commander Duncan chooses which of six potential recruitment leads - chosen based off of their potential abilities to resist/fight the Blight - to pursue and make a Warden. Accordingly, the game has Multiple Game Openings, one for each possible recruit who can become the Player Character, while the other five die shortly thereafter without Duncan to save them.
  • Multiple Endings: The game has four endings, as listed by the achievements:
    • "The Ultimate Sacrifice" (The Warden dies after slaying the Archdemon)
    • "A Dark Promise" (Everybody Lives, but Morrigan gives birth to a Grey Warden's son who may or may not be The Anti-Christ)
    • "Warden-Commander" (Alistair slays the Archdemon and dies)
    • "Redeemer" (The Warden spares Teyrn Loghain's life, and he then kills the Archdemon and dies)
    • There are also a myriad of variations in the text-only epilogue, depending on a handful of choices you've made throughout the game.
  • Multiple Game Openings: Sixfold.
  • Multishot: Done by splintering the arrow.
  • Mundane Utility: Apparently Shale carries around the majority of all the goodies you pick up, saying that you would have to carry the entirety of your inventory alone if it left. To a lesser degree, anyone who takes the Arcane Warrior specialization for the sake of wearing heavier armor, but sticks to casting spells via a staff.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The Warden can be played this way. For example, in the City Elf Origin, you can casually suggest that it would be better to just kill Duncan, instead of, you know, gently asking him to leave. In the Dwarf Noble Origin, you can have someone from another lowly noble house killed ten minutes into the game simply because you didn't like the way he talked to you and he needed to learn his place. Of course, this is standard fare in dwarven politics.
  • Mutual Kill: Happens whenever a Grey Warden kills an Archdemon.
  • My God, You Are Serious: Alistair's reaction to being told he has to sleep with Morrigan to keep one of you from dying.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much:
    • In the Circle Tower, you run into a Desire Demon who claims to truly love her Templar "captive". It's up to you whether to give her a chance or kill her (and the Templar).
    • There's also a Sylvan (a demon-possessed tree) in the Brecilian forest called the Grand Oak, who unlike all the others, will not attack the party if approached. It speaks in rhyme (complete with Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe), and is more interested in simply living in peace than anything else, and will offer assistance in return for a favor. Since it's possible for other, more benevolent Fade creatures to possess people, probably it makes sense that a more benevolent one might possess a tree.
    • A case of "caste" instead of "species". Lord Helmi, a Noble caste Deshyr in the Assembly of Orzammar, has a controversial opinion that the rigid caste system is outdated and stymieing social growth. He's fond of mingling with the other castes in social settings, is a "terrible disappointment to my dear old mother" because of it, comes near-to-blows with a more traditionalist Deshyr, and decries how "people born into privilege inevitably want more". His reflexive response to the question "how does the caste system work?" is "Badly."
  • Mythology Gag: Bioware has made a lot of RPGs, and they won't stop telling you about them.
    • In a tavern in Denerim is a bitter, bitter serving wench by the name of Edwina.
    • You can summon one Arl Foreshadow in the Circle of Magi.
    • Also, "When in doubt, remember to go for the eyes!"
    • A sailor named Casavir in the Pearl, Denerim's brothel.
    • Spend some quality time with the right "craftswoman" in the Pearl, and she'll ask you, "Hey, sexy! Wanna take a look at me ditties?"
    • Shale isn't too fond of "Organics".
    • There is an obscenely powerful optional boss, a lich expy called Gaxkang who drops one of the best items in the game. Observe the suspicious similarities to the obscenely powerful optional boss lich in Baldur's Gate, Kangaxx, who drops one of the best items in that game.
    • When going to the world map (and any other time you must select party members), you're asked if you would like to "Gather your party and venture forth". This is very similar to the "You must gather your party before venturing forth" that every Baldur's Gate player still has ringing in their ears.
    • Alistair occasionally yells "Down you go!" in battle.
    • The game shares a minor plot point with Jade Empire: Golems are made from people.
    • Your dog can bring you a pair of dirty abandoned pantaloons which, according to the description, seem to have been "either gold or silver in colour" at one time.
    • You can find a note in the Deep Roads in which the anonymous author mentions that "Mass will have an effect" and wonders why a dwarf would be named Shepard, and the implication is given that the author went mad from the isolation while trapped in an elevator for a very, very long time.
    • When exiting dialogue with majority of the NPCs, the line to do so is worded exactly as "I should go."

  • Never Trust a Trailer: The CGI trailers, which were done by Blur instead of Bioware, place a heavier emphasis on action than actually appears in game, in addition to the characters looking very different, except for Morrigan.
  • New Game+: Each specialization, such as Arcane Warrior or Berserker, has to be unlocked once in the game. However, as soon as it is unlocked, it can be freely used not just by the character who unlocked it, but also by any character of the same account or profile. Further, the specializations will remain unlocked for all future games, and even if you reload an earlier save from the same playthrough.
    • Unlike a true new game plus, you do not get to reuse your character from the last game (levels, gear, and all). However, by completing DLC campaigns like Witch Hunt, you can get new items — often extremely powerful, or at least good to sell for some coin.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In some of the origins, the PC's actions end up making life (either for themselves or others) difficult later.
    • In the Magi origin, the Mage may assist Jowan in escaping from the Circle. Jowan then proceeds to poison Arl Eamon at Loghain's behest, and set off a chain of events that nearly destroy Redcliffe. (Jowan escapes with or without your help, though.)
    • In the Dwarf Noble origin, it's possible for the Player Character to fall for Bhelen's deception and kill their eldest brother, resulting in their subsequent exile, King Aeducan's grief-induced death, and the Assembly's deadlock on the new king candidates.
    • In the City Elf origin, the Player Character effectively sparks a riot that prompts the Alienage to be purged.
    • Meanwhile, completing some quests can lead to disastrous consequences in the epilogue. Helping to construct a Chantry in Orzammar leads to a religious conflict between the dwarves and the murder of the dwarf who started it, concluding in the Chantry considering an Exalted March against the dwarves.
    • Completing a sidequest in the Circle Tower called "Summoning Sciences" will result in the escape of a Fade spirit which will then begin slaughtering innocent people on the road between the Tower and Redcliffe. You have to then accept a quest to kill this spirit, and there's no reward - not even XP - because it's your fault that it escaped in the first place!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Eamon flat-out states that had the demon Connor accidentally summoned not intervened, Loghain's attempt to poison him probably would have been successful.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: If you opt to help the beleaguered Redcliffe Village, the battle results in this. Whether it's a bloodbath for the still-living or a (relative) turkey shoot depends on how well-prepared you are and how good you are with tactics.
  • Nightmare of Normality: During the mission to save the Circle of Magi, you and your companions are lulled into an enchanted sleep by a Sloth Demon. Emerging in the Fade, all of your companions end up being trapped in their own respective dreams and nightmares - some of which are essentially this trope:
    • Alistair has been convinced that he abandoned the life of a heroic Grey Warden and is living happily with his sister and her many, many kids, having finally achieved his dream of having a family of his own. You break him out by drawing his attention to the the blanks in his "memories" within the fantasy.
    • Leliana is back in the Chantry at Lothering, a simple lay sister with no idea who you are, no memory of her prophetic vision, and no notions of saving Ferelden in the name of the Maker. For good measure, she has a Revered Mother around to chide her for ever imagining that she could have a higher purpose in life. You snap her out of it by reminding her of the sign from the Maker, prompting Leliana to realize that the real Revered Mother wouldn't be trying to discourage her.
    • Oghren has ended up lost in a nightmare of his life before you met him: back to being a dishonored warrior and a drunkard, he's relentlessly picked on by his fellow dwarves, regarded as an embarrassment wherever he goes, and unable even to summon the will to fight back. All he can do is keep drinking and hope that everyone will go away sooner or later. You awaken him from the illusion by inspiring him to get angry enough to resist the sense of futility and fight back.
    • Zevran's is an odd case, because his nightmare involves him being tortured by the Crows as punishment for failing in his mission. It seems like it doesn't fit this trope. However, as he himself (almost cheerfully) observes, this is normal for them!
  • Nintendo Hard: Higher difficulties will strongly punish players who don't properly use tactics. The game also gives a very minimal introduction to the combat, causing a Difficulty Spike when players get into battles designed to be won with strategy.
    • Given the focus the game has on tactics, there are a few design decisions that are a bit odd, almost to the point of being Fake Difficulty. The game makes some fights significantly harder by porting the entire party directly in front of the bad guys for a mandatory conversation before the fight starts; in extreme cases, this means the party walks directly into an ambush/crossfire/killzone.
      • Even worse is the irregular deactivation of abilities which of course have a cooldown, and are sometimes needed to use other skills. Other times you just lose the abilities themselves, which is bad enough.
    • The Golems of Amgarrak is designed to be much, much harder than any other entry in the saga, starting with being the only module that doesn't provide the Warden with at least one Mage as backup and ending with a Flunky Boss who spawns other bosses as its flunkies.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: Alistair and Zevran, the two male love interests, with Alistair being the Noble aspect and Zevran the Roguish.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: The Darkspawn Chronicles DLC averts this by allowing you to play as as a Hurlock Vanguard during the Battle of Denerim in an alternate universe where the Warden failed the Joining.
  • No Fair Cheating: There was a glitch to raise your levels to the cap in Ostagar. Using it makes the game unwinnable; the Dynamic Difficulty means that while your party levels up, without matching equipment for your level, you'll be far outgunned by the enemy. It can be averted while playing a warrior, since low level enemies will start immediately dropping silverite and dragonbone equipment and leveling up early means early access to the bonus items (blood dragon armor, etc.).
    • Wonderfully lampshaded when the PC reaches the paranoid hermit in the Brecilian Forest and has a mage in the party, who immediately points out that this isn't just your average old loon. "No fair, bringing mages to a guessing game!"
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Averted by Alistair and Zevran. If romanced by a female Warden, both know she can kick ass and take names, and neither would have her any other way.
    • Also averted in the Human Noble Origin. If you play a female, both your mother and sister-in-law imply, or outright state in Mom's case, that if you don't lay down your sword and become a proper lady, you'll never appeal to men. note  You can answer her by inviting a hunky nobleman to talk privately later right in front of her, which can ultimately end in you two going to bed together. However, if you pursue this, his life will end when Howe's men attack. He gets killed regardless, but if you sleep with him, you watch him die. Your father, on the other hand, has absolutely no problem with his little girl being a complete badass, and doesn't seem at all concerned about whether or not it will interfere with your marital prospects.
    • Subverted in the City Elf Origin. A female City Elf's father will encourage her not to mention her martial training to her new groom, but it's not because he thinks it'll make her seem unfeminine; it's because he doesn't want their family to seem like troublemakers (since elves of any gender who can fight tend to get killed by guards). Notably, he gives the exact same advice to a male City Elf Warden, so it's completely gender-neutral.
  • No Hero Discount: Mostly played straight; despite the fact that the Warden goes around saving the bacon of pretty much everyone in Ferelden, most of the merchants you encounter won't offer you so much as a minor discount in return, and the game even goes out of its way to rub this in the player's face by having one of the few who claims to be doing so (Bodahn) charge you some of the highest prices of anyone for his goods.
    • Gorim is an exception to this rule, but only if you play as a Dwarf Noble. Because he and the Dwarf Noble Warden have a history, he does give you a discount and buys your items for higher prices too.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction:
    • If you suggest that you and Alistair have a threesome with Isabela and he is not hardened, this is his reaction.
    • This is also Alistair's reaction if you suggest that he resolve the dispute over the succession by marrying Anora, the current queen; hardened or not, he'll go along with it, but he's against at it first.
  • Nominal Importance: If they have a name, or even an unusual description, they most certainly have important, or at least interesting, things to say — if not a side quest to offer/help resolve. By contrast, some temporary party members with no particular dialogue of their own are named things like "Circle Mage" and "Tower Guard." They die.
    • Also works in battle; most named NPCs on your side are literally invincible.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Subverted with Zathrian and Witherfang. Killing Witherfang will not end the werewolf curse. It only provides Zathrian with a cure for his Dalish kin, allowing the humans afflicted to continue suffering. Killing Zathrian will not end the curse either. If Zathrian willingly removes the curse, however, it will kill both him and Witherfang. Also with Flemeth (who stays a dragon after you kill her), mind-controlled Templars, some spells which survive the casters (the swarm of insects one, for example), and so on. The dev team like subverting this one, apparently.
  • No Such Thing as Wizard Jesus: Averted. Everything from Andraste to the origins of the darkspawn have alternate explanations suggested that go against the Chantry's canon in favor of non-divine explanations suggested in codex entries. Sten and Morrigan (a follower of the Qun philosophy and an atheist witch, respectively) occasionally bring these up as well.
  • No Sympathy: You can play your character as this if you're feeling heartless. The game provides you with cold or cruel responses, which may gain favour with the pragmatists (Sten), but are more likely to hurt your relationships with characters — even Morrigan demands a certain level of respect for her beliefs and upbringing. More significantly, your group generally dismisses or ignores your character's woes. Occasionally, however, the game will surprise you by averting the trope when least expected; it's possible to be cheered up by amoral Zevran, or receive approval for your romance from sharp-tongued Morrigan.
  • Non-Indicative Name: As Sten can note about the Crows in a conversation with Zevran.
    Sten: Why do you call yourselves "Crows"? Crows are scavengers, not killers.
    Zevran: I heard that at one time they considered calling us the Kestrels. But you know. It didn't sing. It didn't dance.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.:
    • Unless your whole party gets wiped out, a downed character is only unconscious, though with an injury that needs treatment. They'll haul themselves upright (usually with a one-liner) when the battle is over.
    • Implied to be the case in the Provings, should you enter them in either of the Dwarf Origins or while supporting Lord Harrowmont; your opponents go down hard and are not seen to get up, but the fact that one of your opponents in the Dwarf Noble Origin is later a Guest-Star Party Member suggests that they survive the encounters. Also, one of the reasons Oghren is no longer allowed to carry weapons in Orzammar is because he won without a Non-Lethal K.O.. His status as a war hero was the only reason he wasn't outright executed. Dummied Out dialogue reveal that it was originally going to be possible for the player to lose provings without dying as well.
  • Non Standard Skill Learning: Each party member has a hidden perk tree of "Inspired" abilities, which are automatically unlocked at 25, 50, 75, and 90 Disposition and give increasing bonuses to their primary character stats. If their disposition toward the Warden drops, however, the perks are revoked. Wynne additionally has an active power, Vessel of the Spirit, which is unlocked by certain story events.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Bann Teagan instantly recognizes Alistair when Alistair tells him he was covered in mud last time they met. No further details are given.
    • Leliana when visiting Tapster's Tavern:
      Leliana: I once drank a thimble of dwarven ale. Woke up a week later in Jader wearing nothing but my shoes and a towel.
    • Alistair is at it again:
      Alistair: What? Lead? Me? No, no, no. No leading. Bad things happen when I lead. We get lost, people die, and the next thing you know I'm stranded somewhere without any pants.
    • Sandal has one towards the end of the game. After fighting your way deep into the now darkspawn-infested Fort Drakon, you walk into a room to find Sandal all alone, surrounded by several dozen Darkspawn corpses and covered in blood. When you ask him the hell what happened, he responds with his catch-phrase: "Enchantment!"
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Neither Susan Boyd Joyce (Wynne) nor Kate Mulgrew (Flemeth) use the English-sounding Ferelden/Tevinter accent used by other human characters.
    • Doubles as Fridge Brilliance. All the elves in Origins have American-sounding accents. As a Circle mage, Wynne grew up in a tower where parents are not allowed to raise their own children. It's therefore quite possible she was mentored as a child by an elven mage. Flemeth, on the other hand, is secretly the host body of the elven goddess Mythal, although this is not revealed until the third game.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Zathrian refuses to undo the curse on the werewolves which he gave to their ancestors in the first place, seeing them as only savage beasts that deserve to be wiped out. Swiftrunner makes a great effort to dissuade you from helping the werewolves, such as repeatedly attempting to kill you, threatening to kill you even after you agree to a parley with the Lady of the Forest, and threatening to kill Zathrian even after learning that killing the elf will not cure the werewolves.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: Hoo boy, Orzammar is just chock full of opportunities for disastrous but well-intentioned meddling, often to the point where it seems like the whole sodding town is baiting a good-aligned character.
  • Not So Different: Prince Bhelen and Lord Harrowmont. Both hire criers to spread lies and slander about their opponents, both are willing to use deceit and fraud to win the support of the deshyrs, both have armed bands of supporters roaming the streets and assaulting their opponents, both hire mercenaries to assassinate the Warden if they side with the other...
  • Not So Extinct: The series takes its name from the fact that dragons were believed to be extinct for the last several centuries (not counting the Archdemons, who take the form of dragons). They reappeared at the start of the current age; ages (centuries) in Thedas are named for omens seen in the final year of the previous age, and the reappearance of the dragons was considered a pretty big omen.
  • Not So Stoic: A minor example, but if you bug the calm-speaking Master Ignacio about his innuendo of stating what he wants you to do and where your payment will be, he gets annoyed by your lack of subtlety and bursts out: "All right, yes. You kill them, look in the bleeding chest."
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: If a male Warden is romancing Leliana and Zevran simultaneously, Leliana will be quick to say this to clarify that it's the cheating she has a problem with, not the Warden liking other men.
  • Nothing Personal: Said by a group of desperate refugees who ambush you in Lothering (they want the bounty that Loghain has placed on your head), and invoked by Zevran after his failed assassination attempt, who says that he has no issues with you personally and was just fulfilling a contract.
  • Notice This:
    • The game uses sparkles to point out containers and lootable enemies. This can be turned off in the options menu.
    • Notably averted in the case of the side quest which gives you the Arcane Warrior specialisation, which if played right is quite possibly the most powerful specialisation in the entire game. The object you need to interact with to unlock this does not sparkle, or stand out at all. If you don't walk around holding down the key to highlight objects, then it's quite possible that you will walk right past it.
  • Nuke 'em: The Grey Wardens have no problem with burning down entire villages if they believe this would help defeat the Blight.

  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: In the Human Noble Origin, you can pull Arl Howe aside to wish him well. This makes him very embarrassed for some reason. He's planning to murder you, your whole family, And Your Little Dog, Too!. And he totally goes through with it.
  • Obvious Beta: The critically bugged and broken endgame sequence. Among other things, several of the epilogue slides either contain inaccuracies about your playthrough or don't show up at all. The inaccuracies were later handwaved by the developers as being "rumors" of What Might Have Been; when they made Origins, they didn't expect it to get a sequel so they weren't concerned about continuity at the time.
  • Oh My Gods!:
    • Dear Maker!
    • Maker's breath!
    • Andraste's flaming sword!
    • Andraste's light!
    • Andraste's holy knickers!
    • Andraste's sanctified girdle!
    • By my ancestors!
      Oghren: By the tits of my Ancestors!
    • As well as various less polite variations such as "Andraste's ass" and "Andraste's knicker-weasels".
    • Dalish Elves have suspiciously Christian blessings and creeds where "Creators" is hastily substituted for "God" — "Creators speed/guide you on your way", "It seems the will of the Creators", "Gods bless you", etc.
  • Omnicidal Neutral: The Warden's Keep DLC can end with the Warden slaying Avernus on behalf of the demon, then turning around and killing the demon, too. Or the other way around. Similarly, the "A Paragon of Her Kind" quest can end with the Warden killing Caridin, then talking Branka into committing suicide.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: For Mages, it's obviously the Magic stat. You don't even need the stats that give hit points or mana because hey, Magic improves your health and mana potions. And if you pick the Arcane Warrior specialization, you really don't have a use for Strength.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Any darkspawn with "Grunt" in their name. Grunts are suspiciously weaker than other darkspawn, which is strange because they only appear in the endgame, when you're at your most powerful.
  • One-Woman Wail: "I Am the One" during the end credits.
  • The Only One: The player is a newly-recruited Grey Warden among just roughly a dozen in the country of Ferelden. Then all but two of this small band are killed in battle, leaving just the player and another Warden who is nearly as new. Their goal is to unite all the races in the fight against the Darkspawn and defeat the Archdemon. However, the game's loading screens specifically mention that the Warden and Alistair are just the last Wardens currently within Ferelden's borders (not counting Riordan, who is incarcerated): there's many more elsewhere on Thedas, and they will stop the Blight if you don't. All you really do is reduce its duration to a matter of months instead of years, with a corresponding drop in casualties.
  • Only One Female Mold: Putting Wynne (whom Word of God confirms is in her 40s) next to Morrigan (early 20s with a figure that's openly admired by Leliana) and having them wear the same outfit (as long as it's not a formless robe) is... disturbing, to say the least. Lampshaded by one of Zevran's comments to Wynne:
    Zevran: But it is a marvelous bosom. I have seen women half your age who have not held up half so well. Perhaps it is a magical bosom?
  • Only Smart People May Pass: The Gauntlet from the "Urn of Sacred Ashes" quest. Lampshaded by Alistair: "Andraste only favored the clever, it seems."
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: When doing the last part of the "Urn of Sacred Ashes" quest, the Guardian practically states this word for word and puts you through tests of faith. And by faith, he means logic.
  • Open Secret: It seems that everyone but the Grey Warden recruits know all about the Joining, including its high mortality rate.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter:
    • Morrigan's and Zevran's Romance Sidequest will most likely start physically. If you break it off immediately or never move beyond the Friends with Benefits stage, it becomes this trope.
    • You can visit a brothel in Denerim, "The Pearl," and have your choice of partners, male or female of any race including a nug.
    • Sleeping with Isabela the pirate is one way to learn the Duelist specialization, with the additional options of a threesome (with Zevran, a hardened Alistair or Leliana) or a foursome (with Zevran and a hardened Leliana). Morrigan disapproves of such nonsense, so leave her behind if you want to get lucky.
    • The young Elvish couple in the Dalish camp. You could help them get together... or, if your Coercion skill is high enough, you can instead seduce one of them out of their virginity and rub it in to the other one's face.
    • The Human Noble PC can have one within the first ten minutes of the game, in the starter area, with either the son of a visiting noblewoman, or said noblewoman's handmaiden.
    • A male dwarven noble can have one with two female "noble hunters", either with one or both (but not at the same time). When you return to Orzammar, one of them will have successfully gotten pregnant.
    • There's one Optional Sexual Encounter which is plot-relevant. If you are male, then sleeping with Morrigan near the end (or convincing Alistair or Loghain to do so) is the only way to remove the need for a Grey Warden such as yourself, Alistair, or Loghain from sacrificing himself to defeat the Archdemon. If you're female, then only Alistair or Loghain can have the encounter.
    • A mage Warden can also choose to have sex with the desire demon possessing Connor if you go into the Fade to get rid of it instead of killing it or learning the Blood Magic specialization.
  • Organ Drops: Demonic ichor, spider toxin extract, corpse galls (the latter of which the Chantry collects after an apparent outbreak of zombies).
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: You will be splattered with an absolutely ludicrous amount of blood, no matter the battle. Makes sense if it's a long, drawn-out gore-fest against a dozen darkspawn that leaves you clinging to life through gaping wounds; not so much when it's just a couple of little rats.

  • The Paladin: Templars are this game's Church Militant Magic Knights (or Anti-Magic Knights, as the case may be). If you want a classic Paladin (magic knight with mostly healing spells), you could give your mage the Spirit Healer spec along with Arcane Warrior and/or Battlemage.
  • Parental Abandonment: In spades.
    • Every single one of the origin stories shows that the Warden is missing at least one of their parents. The City Elf's mother is dead; the Dalish Elf was orphaned very young; the Dwarf Commoner's father abandoned the family years ago; the Dwarf Noble's mother is dead; the Mage (elf or human) is, well, in the mage tower and doesn't really remember their parents, if they ever knew them at all. The lone exception is the Human Noble, whose parents are alive and well... right up until they're murdered.
    • The lost child in Lothering who can be heard crying out for his mother (who is likely the woman that you find dead in the fields during a certain sidequest).
    • Poor, poor Amethyne. When you meet her in the Denerim Alienage, she is completely unaware of the events that occurred in Highever (during which her mother was murdered), and the fact that she is now an orphan. And even if you're the Human Noble and actually interacted with her mother, you can't do jack for her or even speak to her.
    • Almost every single mage who gets sent to the Circle Tower is affected by this trope. This is mainly because mages generally have to live out pretty much the rest of their whole lives locked away in that tower. Besides that, most of them are utterly rejected by their families anyway when their magical powers surface in childhood, since magic is so feared and despised in Thedas.note 
    • This is also the case for most of your companions. Alistair is an orphan (or so he was told), and his foster father sent him to the Chantry when he was ten. Zevran was born in a brothel to a mother who died at his birth, and he has no idea who his father is. Leliana never knew her father and doesn't remember her mother very well, as she died when Leliana was a child, though she has fond memories of the noblewoman who raised her. Morrigan also never knew her father, and Wynne has no memory of her parents at all. Sten is a Qunari, who never know their parents, although this isn't really explained until the third game. Shale is a stone golem who is eventually revealed to have once been a dwarf, but she has very little memory of her own identity, much less that of her parents.
  • Parrying Bullets: A properly built melee rogue can - through the application of Implausible Fencing Powers - block incoming arrows from the front, which not only nullifies any damage but also looks damn cool, especially when a dual-wielding rogue does it by casually crossing their blades in front of their face. When the ability procs is based on stats and luck, but a high-level character eventually becomes almost immune to arrows while charging hostile archers. Particularly useful for no-selling the lethally dangerous Scattershot ability.
  • Party Scattering: In the Fade section, the Warden's active party is scattered across a demon's otherworldly realm and they have to find and free them before they can fight the demon.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Disciples of Andraste were originally a peaceful cult dedicated to protecting the Urn of Sacred Ashes from the unfaithful, but eventually devolved into an Axe-Crazy Dragon Cult.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Averted most of the time. Chantry? Apostate? Maleficar? All real words. Well, except maleficar, but you can call that a modernization of maleficus.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • If you talk to the smuggler in Dust Town and don't accept his quest (for instance, if you don't have the money), he'll be gone the next time you enter Dust Town, denying you the opportunity to make 65 gold plus a tier 7 item in a single quest.
    • Any item or other goodie located in a one-time-only area, such as the Fade (visited extensively only during the "Broken Circle" quest and home to many 'altars' that increase stats). Lothering is a prime example. It's still in the early stages of the game, so the player is inclined to think of it as a recurring location. But if you leave without looking around, you miss out on not one, but two party members, Leliana and Sten, both of whom are never seen again once the village is lost. The village is destroyed after the completion of any of the four main quests, and cannot be revisited.
    • The Ancient Elven Armor set can certainly be this. One of the pieces is in the aforementioned Lothering, while the second is in the possession of an NPC who will stop speaking to you after you complete "The Nature of the Beast." That's 50% of a very nice armor set that you can easily miss if you don't know to look for it. Not to mention that due to a bug, the boots of the set don't even show up in the PC version of the game without a Game Mod or use of the command prompt.
  • Perspective Flip: Most of the base game and the bonus campaigns take place from the point of view of heroes fighting against the darkspawn to end the Fifth Blight. The Darkspawn Chronicles casts the player as a darkspawn Mook Lieutenant fighting on behalf of the Archdemon with a rotating roster of darkspawn minions, and involves the wholesale slaughter of every party member you might have recruited and several NPCs you interact with during the main game.
  • Pesky Pigeons: Shale the Golem hates pigeons even more than Darkspawn. Being paralyzed as a statue and getting crapped on by birds for thirty years before being rescued will have that sort of effect on the psyche.
  • Player Headquarters: The party's campsite. While there, you can buy items from the resident merchant, change everyone's gear, and make contributions to the stores of your growing number of allies. Certain conversations with party members are only available in camp as well, particularly concerning romance.
  • Playing Possum: The rogue ability "Feign Death."
  • Point-and-Click Map
  • Polyamory:
    • If the Warden is romancing Morrigan and another companion simultaneously, the Warden can suggest this to her when she calls him out on it. As it turns out, Morrigan disapproves.
    • Alistair disapproves if you romance both him and Zevran or Leliana; you have the option of inquiring whether you can have both and he insists that you choose between them. (Thanks to a bug, you may have this conversation with him even if you aren't romancing anyone but him, and you then have to break things off with someone you didn't even know you were "dating.") With Leliana, he even notes that "most men would say I'm crazy, but no." If you haven't hardened his personality, he also has this response if you try and seduce Isabela, pointing out that you're seriously treading on his boundaries by suggesting this.
    • If you are romancing Zevran and are good friends with Leliana, one conversation allows you to ask her if she's interested in "joining the fun". If she's hardened she will actually consider the idea (though nothing comes of it).
    • The only party member who is in theory okay with the idea of you sleeping with other people is, not surprisingly, Zevran, who insists that what you have isn't a serious commitment and that "you are free to pursue your fancies as you desire, and [he] would have it no other way." His issue arises, however, in that he's incredibly aware that he's the only love interest who views things this way - Leliana and Alistair both want long-term monogamous commitments, and while Morrigan insists there isn't a serious commitment going on, she "isn't the type to share" regardless. He may be many things, but a cheat he isn't, and he would rather end your relationship on amicable terms than help you lead people on.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child:
    • Literally. The third option to destroy the Archdemon involves impregnating Morrigan to use her child as a conduit for the Archdemon's soul, transferring the soul into the child and leaving the Warden who slays it alive. Morrigan claims that the Archdemon's soul is purified in this process and the child will not be hurt. She does refuse to elaborate and scrams with the child later. Somewhat more reasonably, she also points out that at such an early stage of pregnancy, it won't really be a "child" by any stretch of the word - her plan is technically Powered By A Forsaken Embryo. Ultimately subverted; she and her son show up again in the third game, and he's mostly normal except for some flashes of supernatural insight and strange dreams. It's eventually revealed that his own soul is still in charge with the Old God just along for the ride.
    • There's also the golems, only slightly less literally. (They're powered by forsaken adult dwarves.)
  • Power Floats: Desire Demons and Arcane Horrors, and the Spirit transformation in the Fade portion of the Circle quest.
  • Practical Taunt: Taunt is a generic Warrior class skill used to instantly boost all nearby enemies' aggro, making them attack the tank instead of weaker party members.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Though the villain part is debatable for both of them, Morrigan and Flemeth qualify:
    • Morrigan presents herself as this as part of her Social Darwinist philosophy, but ends up coming across as Stupid Evil in some cases; for example, she'll complain about you helping the villagers of Redcliffe with their undead problem despite it being the most direct, not to mention safest, way into the castle.
    • Flemeth, despite her Grand Theft Me plot with all of her daughters, fits the trope to a T. She couldn't care less about the Grey Wardens, except for the fact that they're the only ones capable of stopping the Blight, which has the potential to destroy even her. (Well, that and her plan for getting Morrigan pregnant with a reborn Old God.) So naturally, she gives them as much help as possible on their quest, up to and including saving the PC and Alistair's lives.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • Several of Alistair's comments upon encountering a group of enemies.
      All right, who ordered death? Is that death you're wearing? It really suits you!
    • Leliana has one too: "I tried to be merciful!"
    • And the Warden, depending on which voice was chosen during the character creation.
  • Prefers the Illusion: Sten knows the Fade nightmare is a dream, but wants to stay because "it's a good dream" until you talk him out of it.
  • Private Tutor: Jowan serves as one to Connor Guerrin, whose mother won't let him be taken to the Circle and instead opts to have him learn just enough magic to conceal his talents. This backfires when Jowan poisons Connor's father on his employer's orders and leads to Connor being possessed by a demon and amassing an undead army.
  • Prolonged Prologue: There are six origin stories and they can each take an hour or longer to complete. And then that prologue is followed by another prologue in Ostagar, which will probably run between one and two hours, depending on one's thoroughness and efficiency. And if you want to get technical, you can also include Lothering, which will take at least fifteen minutes and can stretch to over an hour if you're thorough, since you have to get through that town if you want to go anywhere else in the game.
  • Protagonist Power-Up Privileges: If upgrades (such as attribute bonuses) can only be picked up by a certain character, it's always the Warden.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: The gender of your character has no effect whatsoever on your stats. Gender is not completely aesthetic, but it mostly affects some conversation options and a couple of the potential romances. Though it has to be said that you cannot impregnate female NPCs as a female player, which may affect two questlines, one minor and one not so minor.
  • Queer Flowers: Leliana is canonically bisexual. Her name is a variant of Liana, which comes from Lillian, which in turn comes from the Latin for "lily."
  • The Quest: You have to kill the Archdemon.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: