Dragon Age: Origins is massive. Of course, you knew that already. Doing a guide that covers every sidequest, item location, and available dialogue option for every class, race, and gender combination would be tantamount to creating an encyclopedia. But what if you’re just stuck at a particular point in the main story and you don’t want to sift through the mountains of text covering every little side detail? Read our guide. We’ll see you through the rough bits. And if you're just looking for love, head over to our DAO romance and recruitment guide.
Table of Contents
Becoming a Grey Warden
The Circle of Magi
The Arl of Redcliffe
Nature of the Beast
A Paragon of Her Kind
The Landsmeet, revisited
The Final Battle
Becoming a Grey Warden
Depending on the race and class you choose when you build your character, you’ll experience a unique Origin Story. They’re pretty straightforward – just follow any quest markers the game gives you and get comfortable with the basic battle mechanics. Our guide will begin once your Origin Story is complete, i.e., you’ve started your quest to become a Grey Warden.
NEW AREA: Ostagar
You’ll arrive in Ostagar and immediately be given the option to engage in a number of sidequests. Our guide will keep you on the main story path as much as possible, unless the reward for completing a sidequest is particularly useful. For now, talk to Alistair.
He’ll be marked with a quest icon, and you’ll have to talk to him to continue. He’ll join you automatically, but be nice to him – “I look forward to traveling with you” is a good, positive response.
RECRUIT: Jory, Daveth
Also automatic when you talk to Duncan.
There’s a dog that’s sick in the Kennels. First, put on his muzzle, and you’ll get a sidequest to find a healing flower. It’s in the Korcari Wilds. Heal the Dog, and he’ll be yours to keep after the Tower of Ishal mission. He’ll appreciate any bones you find.
Make your way through the Korcari Wilds and meet Morrigan. You’ll join the Grey Wardens officially through the Joining, and go through a couple cutscenes before beginning the Tower of Ishal mission.
NEW AREA: Tower of Ishal
RECRUIT: Tower Guard/Soldier
You’ll have your first real taste of battle here in the Tower of Ishal. There’s not much good loot, but keep in mind that you can’t return here once the battle is over.
On the top floor of the tower, you’ll face your first real boss encounter with an Ogre. When he crouches down, he’s preparing a charge move, so get out of the way. His shockwave will knock you down, so if you’re playing a Mage, it may be in your best interest to stay back and let your comrades soak up more of the damage. Otherwise, let loose on him and heal as needed.
Above: Order your party to spread out when the Ogre gets ready to charge
Automatically recruited, but try not to get involved in the conflict between Alistair and Morrigan. They never get a long, and you’ll lose points with whomever you side against.
NEW AREA: Lothering
RECRUIT: Sten / Leliana
Sten, a Qunari criminal, waits in a cage near the edge of town. Tell Sten you’re a Grey Warden and he’ll recommend talking to the Reverend Mother to get the key to his cage. You’re not going to convince the Reverend Mother to give you Sten’s key without threatening her, though. Threatening a priest will severely hurt your approval rating with Alistair, but will raise your approval with Morrigan.
Better to first go into Dane’s Refuge and fight the guards. You’ll be able to pick up Leliana automatically when you talk to her. Talk to the Reverend Mother with Leliana in your party, and you’ll automatically get the key to pick up Sten.
Above: How to recruit Leliana
Above: How to recruit Sten
NOTE: The sidequests in both Lothering and Ostagar are one-time only. Whether you complete them or not is up to you. But you won’t be able to go back and complete them later if you skip them.
NEW AREA: Camp
Head north in Lothering, and move on. After meeting some friendly dwarves, you’ll wind up at night in camp. Talking to Alistair at camp can make him drop hints about an amulet you’ll find in the Arl Study in Redcliffe a little later. While traveling to Redcliffe, Alistair will reveal a secret about his royal heritage. Being understanding is a good move. He’ll also appreciate it if you avoid telling him that you think of him differently. You can also buy a Golden rope Necklace from the Dwarf here – Morrigan will love it.
Congratulations! You’ve become a Grey Warden, assembled a party, and set out on your quest to save Ferelden. Now the real game begins.