“Romance?” “Sex?” What are these “video entertainment TV games” teaching kids these days? That a meaningful sexual encounter takes time, patience and understanding? That sex can mean different things to different people? That sexual dynamics fundamentally alter the course of relationships? Bah, all we see are a bunch of half-naked elves lounging near a camp fire. Filth!
Above: Looking for more than love? Check out ourin-depth walkthrough (opens in new tab)for Dragon Age: Origins
But of course, we want you to be able to experience these carnal pleasures for yourself. Apart from the steamy payoff, romancing your party members is a key part of the Dragon Age experience, especially because of a little twist near the end of your quest that we won’t spoil for you here. This guide will give you the facts you need to woo your party members, including what types of gifts they like and the locations of the extra-special gifts that will really start a fire down below.
A little disclaimer: even though these tips will net you approval from all your characters, you won’t be able to experience sweet, sweet love with every member in one playthrough. You’ll be limited by your gender (only Leliana and Zevran will sleep with both men and women), and by each party member’s proclivity towards monogamy.
Above: If you’re sleeping around, don’t expect your other party members not to notice
Oh, and if you’re that other kind of “whore” (you know, the Achievement kind), sleeping with every member in your party nets you a total of 65 Achievement points/5 Bronze Trophies, plus an additional 25 points/Bronze Trophy if you collect all the party members.
How to recruit: Automatic as soon as you’ve finished your character’s origin story. You can’t join the Grey Wardens without his help, after all.
Alistair is the bastard son of some pretty noble folk, but doesn’t like to tell people that until he’s gotten to know them better. As your Grey Warden guide, Alistair’s a noble, lovably awkward guy who can’t help falling for a nice gal like you (assuming you are a nice gal, of course).
As far as gifts go, Alistair loves statuettes and rare runestones. However, he’s particularly interested in items from his past, be they from childhood or from his time as a novice Grey Warden. You can find Alistair’s Mother’s Amulet in the Desk at Castle Redcliffe on the main floor for a big increase in approval.
Duncan’s Shield can be found at the Armor Stand at Denerim Market Warehouse, but only after speaking to Ser Riordan in Arl Eamon’s study (this happens very late in the game, after you rescue him from the Arl of Denerim’s dungeon). If you’re good, you won’t even need Duncan’s Shield to seal the deal, but both gifts will make him swoon.
Optional Quest: One easy quest you can complete to improve your approval rating requires that you meet Alistair’s half-sister, Goldana in Denerim. The exchange doesn’t go exactly as planned, but you can cheer him up afterwards for some approval bonuses. If you talk to Alistair about being a Grey Warden enough, he may even unlock the Templar specialization for you, too.
If his haircut didn’t immediately tip you off, Alistair is as clean-cut as it gets, so you’ll need to play nice and be patient if you want to turn him on. Alistair’s a bit goofy around women and gets intimidated by overt sexual advances, so you’ll need a pretty high rating to get with him. Wait until he gives you his rose before pressing your luck too far.