Extra dog slot
The Mabari warhound is a Gray Warden’s best friend, with their snappy jaws, pointy ears, and muscled chest. They’re fantastic, happy partners, and essential tanks for mages and ranged fighters. Still, it’s easy to let your canine companion get left behind in favor of more useful companions who can carry inventory, equip items, and, you know, talk.
With the extra dog slot mod, your mabari joins you as a permanent fifth partymember attached directly to your player character. Adding a bloodthirsty mabari warhound isn’t the most balance-friendly addition to the Dragon Age combat system, but have you seen those big, sad eyes? You can’t leave him behind. No, you can’t. No, you would never. Who’s a good hound? Who’s a good boy?
Character Respecialization (opens in new tab)
A dark raven appears on a fencepost. A sour elixir full of evil portent is strapped to its leg. Drink it, and… respec your skills and attribute points at any time!
Well, that was unexpected.
As strategies shift in Dragon Age, it’s great to be able to rebuild a team to better support each other. The Character Respecialization mod pulls this off in a (mostly) lore-friendly way, and can be used at any time. After installation, find the dark-but-slightly-stupid-looking raven perched in most of the game’s major cities.
Download it (opens in new tab).
Hey, Dragon Age. It’s a post-US v Windsor world. It’s time to get with the times and fly that rainbow flag. Equal Love erases gender restrictions on companion interactions, so you can flirt, kiss, and love on any companion you’d like to, regardless of your player-character gender. Best of all, the new genderless rules carry over into the game’s storyline conclusions, so now male player-characters can [spoiler] with [spoiler], provided he chooses the [spoiler] ending.
Contrary to previous reports, enabling these relationships has not put us on a slippery slope toward player character-mabari warhound marriages, and the dog remains a strictly platonic friend.
Madd Gift Guide
Most of interpersonal politics, as we all know, begins and ends with the giving of gifts. In vanilla Dragon Age, though, finding a special “gift” item only leads to a bunch of talking as you try to figure out who is supposed to receive it. With the Madd Gift Guide, gift item descriptions suggest which of your companions would enjoy it, saving a lot of trial and error. For anyone trying to win the Most Popular Gray Warden contest, this is a simple but essential mod.
Download it. You can get a gift guide for the Awakening expansion (opens in new tab) too.
Ser Gilmore companion
The Human Nobles among you may remember Ser Gilmore as your well-intentioned, but only briefly relevant, childhood friend. Originally thought to be the next Gray Warden recruit, Ser Gilmore instead sacrifices his life to give you and your mother time to escape your burning castle.
Thanks to the retconning of this mod, however, Ser Gilmore is back. Even better, he is ready to join your quest and features full voice acting—a real rarity in the amature modding scene. The voice acting isn’t half bad, and I find it remarkable how well he fits in with the other companions. After installing this mod, you can recruit your miraculously alive childhood chum near the Lothering chantry.
New story mods
Baldurs Gate 2 Redux
For a taste of something a little different—and a break from Dragon Age lore entirely—the Baldur’s Gate 2 Redux mod is a thing of beauty. The first dungeon, Irenicus's Dungeon, has been entirely recreated by a team of modders, including original audio and Baldur’s Gate 2’s famously snappy dialog. Though this project was supposed to eventually include all of BG2 inside the Dragon Age engine, forum posts seem to indicate that the larger effort is all but dead. As sad as that is, the first module is still good for about an hour of nostalgic dungeon-diving.
Alley of Murders
Another excellent addition to the living, breathing side of the Dragon Age universe, Alley of Murders is an add-on campaign that introduces a serial killer in the grungier areas of Denerim. The local constabulary aren’t having any luck solving the case, so it’s up to the Gray Wardens to step in. This mod is fully voice-acted (to varying degrees of success) and took me about half an hour to wrap up.