Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dragon Age Origins: Playing Every Character Background

Dragon Age: Origins Playing Every Character Background, Changing Character Backgrounds

This is one of our Dragon Age: Origins walkthrough / cheats / mods posts. In this post, we will cover playing multiple character backgrounds with the same character, and changing your race/background with the console.

How to Change Your Character Background in-game in Dragon Age Origins

Download GQ Change Background Scripts.

Installation: Put all files in Override folder. There is a text file with instructions, NSS files (text files with the script code), and NCS files (compiled script files). You really only need the NCS files. The text file and NSS files are for reference only.

Usage example: To change to Dwarf Noble,
1. Select main character
2. Enter console command "runscript gq_race_dwarf"
3. Enter console command "runscript gq_background_noble"

NOT tested in every interaction involving race and background -- use at your own risk.
NOT tested in a game where the appropriate background story was not played through.
  • You must run the background script last so that the appropriate flags can be set in the game. Without doing this, the game scripts may not detect your race and/or background correctly.
  • You should play through the appropriate origin story as certain choices you make there are recorded for future reference. See below on how to do this.
  • If you are a mage, the game seems to check for main character class instead of origin, and sometimes you will get mage background options and responses in dialogue.
  • Sometimes the Dwarf Noble origin still won't register you as a Dwarf. Try switching to a Dwarf Commoner. An example of where this happens is when speaking with Sarel in the Brecilian Dalish Camp.
How to Play Every Character Background

These mods, or something similar, are required/recommended:

When you start a new game, you play through an origin story and end up recruited by Duncan and brought to Ostagar to start the campaign. In order to set the plot flags for the various backgrounds, you should play through all origin stories so that when you select a race/background combination in-game, you will have the appropriate history in case the script checks to see what choice you made during your origin story.
  • For example, suppose you didn't play the Dwarven Noble story. And during the game, you used the console to play a Dwarven Noble background. You talk to someone in Orzammar and the script checks to see if you personally killed Trian or not. There might be a default choice programmed if you are lucky; in the worst case, it could corrupt your save game or crash Dragon Age.
So, at the start of the game, play through one of the backgrounds. At this point, it doesn't matter how you play through them. Using the All Origins mod, you can choose any race and class to use. If you are not using it, you will need to choose the race/class you ultimately want to play, and play it LAST. For example, if you want to play a mage, you must do the Circle Mage origin last since you can't do each origin story more than once, and the final one will determine the character you are left with to start the campaign at Ostagar.

After playing through one of the origin stories, you will end up at Ostagar. DON'T do anything here yet. There is no storage, so you will need to write down the items you want to retain from game to game, and use either Add Any Item Visual Deluxe or Additem Script to create them later. Gold is retained from game to game, so sell anything you don't want to the Quartermaster.

To play the next origin story, use the console command runscript chargen. This will take you back to the character creation menu. Choose another origin story. You can change your gender, race, and class here if you like. You will not be allowed to change your appearance. If you select a different first name, the game will start a new savegame folder for that name. This is apparently harmless, but it can be bothersome later. I recommend just using the same name.

When you start the next origin story, save the game and reload it to refresh the character's appearance based on your new inventory -- which is cleared and reset, except for the cash you have. If you changed your gender and/or race, your appearance will be messed up. For example, if you were a human and now a dwarf, you will have a human head floating over a dwarf body. Use the Change Your Hero Hair and Face utility to fix this.

Repeat the steps above until you have played through all the origin stories. Once you've finished, if you want to redo your character, you can use Respecification DAO and Change Your Hero Hair and Face again. You can now proceed to play through the rest of Dragon Age Origins.

This procedure has NOT been thoroughly tested in terms of how the game scripts may react, so use at your own risk.
In some cases, it will not apparently be possible to trigger certain background options. For example, we played a male Mage, and it was impossible to marry Anora even if she recognizes the human Noble background and has dialogue acknowledging the Warden as the Cousland heir. Even by changing race and background, and by using the console to remove the Mage class and replacing it with the Warrior class, it was not possible to get a dialogue option for Anora to consider marriage -- she says a mage on the throne is impossible.

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