Some Dragon Age 2 mods

I’ve made a few things. Some staves, new skill tables for your companions at the start, some aesthetic changes. Unzip into your Documents/Bioware/Dragon Age 2/packages/core/override folder. I’ve made them all as compatible as possible with other mods. They’re after the cut.

Item mod — click to download
When I first played DA2 as a mage, I was annoyed that I kept finding only fire staffs when I didn’t know any fire spells. I also never found a great staff for Anders, with the spells I gave him, and nothing that fit Merrill. So I made this mod. It contains evolving upgrades of some quest-reward and boss-drop staffs already in the game, and the addition and upgrade of two staffs as quest rewards that were in the game files but never in the actual game. You’ll get four of the staffs before the end of Act One, and all of them before the end of Act Two (before mid-Act Two if you play the quests in the order I do.) It is possible to not get a couple of them if you’re mean to mages in quest choices. There is one staff for each type of magic damage: physical, fire, cold, spirit, nature, and electrical. They all have mana regeneration, one rune slot, an on-hit effect, and are evolving. Four of the six also increase healing, and the other two have the blood magic buff. None of them are overpowered, in my opinion, but they should last you (and/or Anders and Merrill) throughout the game.

There are also a couple items specific to the Anders romance, based on this mod by Tair. I’ll probably add things for the other romances as well after I see what they’re like. This mod is compatible with every mod except those that alter the specific staffs I’ve changed, the quest rewards for the two quests that I’ve added the staffs to, or the rewards for Anders romance quests. The only mod I know of that conflicts is the aforementioned one by Tair; mine incorporates the changes in that mod as well as adding other things.

*There is one bug I’ve found in this mod: you get one of the staffs twice. All other rewards for this particular quest are also double what the rewards file shows, so I have no idea how to fix it. I could attach the staff to a different quest, but I want it to be a reward for this one for character and story reasons. You can just sell or destroy the extra staff if you don’t want two of them.

Party Talent Changes — click to download
Talent changes for all joinable characters. This is the one mod I’ve made that I would consider a “cheat”, but to me it’s necessary for character and immersion reasons. I find it extremely silly that Anders yells “suck on a fireball!” when he might not even know fireball. There’s also a conversation in which it’s shown he knows a lightning spell (there’s one in Awakening that shows that too.) Not to mention that he was a powerful Grey Warden at the end of Awakening, and while he’s changed, I don’t think he’s amnesiac about spells. I have similar issues with all the characters: Aveline is supposed to be a veteran, Varric and Isabella have been around the block a few dozen times, Fenris is a powerful warrior, Merrill has conversations that revolve around her having skills you might not have given her. With this mod, characters are given “free” talents that fit with their cutscenes, conversations and personalities. Your siblings don’t get any, as they’re both 18-year old novices. This mod plays nicely with No Follower auto level by Veridical Q, and is meant to be used with it.

Added free talents are as follows:
Anders: Heal, Greater Heal, Spirit Bolt, Fireball, Chain Lightning, Panacea, Regroup
Aveline: Shield Defense, Elemental Aegis
Fenris: Mighty Blow, Lyrium Ghost, Spirit Pulse
Isabella: All Hands on Deck, Savvy
Merrill: Wrath of the Elvhen, Blood of the First, Wounds of the Past
Varric: Bianca’s Song, Pinning Shot

New Look for Champion Mage Robes — click to download
I find the Champion mage robes hideous. There is one set of robes in the game that I like the look of very much, and that you will never see if you play a mage. I’ve made the Champion mage robes for female Hawke look like that. This mod is incompatible with a male mage Hawke — he’ll be nothing but a floating head if this is in your override folder. Since I installed patch 1.03, this mod also works for male mages. However, I installed the Legacy add-on at the same time. I’m not sure which one of those made these robes work for a male Hawke as well. If you want this for your mage dude, stick the mod in your override folder; if it turns him into a floating head, simply remove the mod, and he’ll have his body back. The mod won’t affect any other class, so you can leave it in while playing a female or male rogue or warrior Hawke. This mod will only conflict with other mods that change the appearance of the Champion mage armor.

Age-Appropriate Look for Mom — Click to Download
Changes how your mother looks. I don’t like that sometimes your family looks interesting, and sometimes they look like someone mashed “random” in a character generator a few times. And why take away their unique hairstyles because their skintones change? I also don’t like how old Leandra looks; for character and in-Thedas reasons, a mid-20s Hawke should have a mother who is 50 at the very oldest, imo. So I took away Leandra’s grey. (I would give her some grey streaks, but I don’t know how to do that, or even if it’s possible.) I plan to update Carver and Bethany later, but for now, here’s Mom with her “iconic” look and unique hairstyle, and different skin, hair, and eye colors depending on Hawke’s skintone. I think I fixed every head/skin combination, but I may have missed something, particularly when it comes to makeup, so let me know if anything stands out to you as wrong.

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Dragon Age 2

It is not as good as Dragon Age: Origins. Not by a long shot. Later edit: I take this back. It’s not as good as Origins in many ways, but now that I’ve played more, I would say it’s not quite as good as Origins, but it does some things better, and some of the things it does better are pretty important. For instance, I have some massive slowdowns in Origins, especially during the final battle, even with no mods installed, though my computer is well over the recommended specs. I have none during DA2 — zip, zilch, zero. DA2’s gameplay is perfectly smooth.

However, in my opinion it is as good as Knights of the Old Republic. DA2 has better graphics and voice acting than KotOR, but the music isn’t as good (for obvious reasons). I think it’s better than KotOR now. The gameplay’s better, imo, and so are the characters. I also like Anders much more than Carth, though I did like Carth. Aveline, Isabela and Merrill are also all WAY better than Bastila (I couldn’t stand that woman), and I look forward to seeing the romances with the female characters in DA2. I’m not going to pretend that romances in Bioware games are unimportant. They’re central.

So am I disappointed? Yes. But I am not nearly as disappointed as I expected to be. I am extremely annoyed by all the retcons, Anders doesn’t look anything like Anders from Awakening (get a mod to fix his looks immediately if you play it, it’s the first thing I did), elves look like ET (wtf Bioware?), Qunari have horns, and it takes a while to get into the story and characters. In Origins I cared for the characters I was supposed to care for as soon as I met them. The game had me crying in the first hour. DA2… not so much.

But Dragon Age 2 is a very enjoyable game, with characters who are interesting when you give them the chance. Plus the fact that it is easier than Origins means I can play it on normal mode even on painkillers. I hope to play it on Nightmare mode someday, which I never do with PC games, so it is definitely on the “too easy” side for dedicated RPG gamers.

It also has moments like this:

Revealing what led to that expression on Hawke’s face would be a spoiler, but suffice to say that expression is the same one that was on my face during that conversation. There are some really funny moments.

And this:

Later edit:  My opinion of the game keeps improving. I love how everything gradually builds up so that late in chapter two you realize how important some small-seeming thing in chapter one was. I adore this style of storytelling, which I think of as “Pamela Dean style”. You gradually get to know the characters — I like and care about all of them now (Anders most), and this has never happened before. There have always been at least two party characters in all Bioware games whom I disliked intensely, and in ways I think the writers did not intend. In Origins, I never liked Oghren, I came to despise Zevran, and even Wynne often annoyed me. (I don’t like Morrigan, but I think she is a well-written character and I dislike her in a writer-intended way.) Alistair and Leliana, to say nothing of the dog, more than made up for that, but still. I want all my party characters to be happy in Dragon Age 2. I do often want to tell Fenris to go boil his mage-hating head. But he redeems himself at the very end of the game, if you make the right choices. I don’t want to drop any DA2 party members off a cliff, even when they’re making asses of themselves.

I wrote the previous sentence before I downloaded the Sebastian DLC. Dear gods, I hate him. He’s a waffling, whining, morally bankrupt, self-righteous, unthinking, myopic, selfish fool of a drama prince. I like to imagine Isabela threw a dagger into his throat at the end of the game, and Varric just didn’t mention it in his story. I wish Hawke had the option to kill Sebastian, and I almost never feel like that about characters, even when I dislike them.

I couldn’t play without a mod to change Anders’ appearance, even if I wasn’t interested in romancing him. (This one is the best — it doesn’t make him look too-perfect, and his personality really shines through.) His original morph looks like some random sidequest-giver, not like the most important character who can join your party. And my belief that elves look like something out of a Roswell conspiracy theory hasn’t changed. Both of those art choices make me still say: wtf, Bioware.

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As the FoobSims Turn

I haven’t even moved everyone into town yet and already my For Better or For Worse Sims have decided to recreate a soap opera. That, or Mad Men with Weed in the role of Don Draper.

I’m using Twallan’s story progression mod, which really makes the game come alive. I recommend it if you want to play a “watch what those crazy Sims will do next” type of game, rather than a highly controlled game. I find The Sims 3 achingly dull when played as a strategy game, but I’m enjoying the soap opera.

So, here’s what’s happening…

Mike and Deanna decided they hated each other.

 This is no surprise. Half my game’s popups seem to be about someone hating Mike or vice versa. The only person who can stand his combination of mood swings and braggadocio is Elly. Deanna divorced him and neither of them cared. Their kids didn’t even care. Meredith and Robin don’t like Mike either. Mike moved into the Tiny Train House with his parents and April.
The house truly is tiny. It has a master bedroom upstairs and an itty bitty bedroom under the stairs. The bedroom’s sort of like the closet Harry Potter lived in. Mike took it over. April got to sleep in the basement.

Georgia and Phil had a baby. (They named him David.)

Rule 34 says that someone, somewhere, ships these two. I sure don’t.

About five minutes later…

Somewhere in here, John and Elly divorced. I didn’t get a picture of it because I remarried them right away. They divorced again the next day, but I remarried them again and set story progression to not allow them to divorce. Neither of them can escape the other, I enjoy torturing them too much.

Elizabeth got pregnant with Anthony’s kid. Then the next popup I got about them was this:

Was the one woohoo that bad?
Michael had moved in to the Tiny Train house with Elly, John and April, but now Liz needed to move back home since she’d be popping out an Anthony spawn any minute. So I moved Mike in with Weed, who had broken up with Carleen as soon as I plopped them on their lot.
Aw, true love at last for Mikey.
I figured I might as well move Carleen into the Pattermanse with Deanna. 
Then, while I was playing another house…
It’s official, Therese has the worst taste in men ever recorded. Though she doesn’t have much of a choice in this neighborhood. 
Dating your lover’s ex-wife. That’s an interesting choice.
I think I’ll cut out some extraneous stuff here and just show Weed’s relationship panel as it is currently.
He’s dating Therese, Deanna, Carleen (again), Julia, and Mike. Mike knocked him up. I had nothing to do with any of this, honest! Okay, I did direct Mike and Weed to woohoo the first time. But I never told them to have a kid, and I never told Weed to romance every single woman he meets.
At least there’s one couple in town that’s rock solid.
Whoops. I am not surprised that this happened. When I see them around the neighborhood, all they’re doing is romancing each other. The only skill they have learned is Kama Simtra. I think whenever they’re home, they’re woohooing. I’m surprised they remember to eat.

Also in the romance department:

 Becky and Duncan are going steady. Eva and Gerald are also going steady, but they annoy me so I didn’t take a picture.
So far, the Foobsims can be split into three groups: the insane, the cute, and the dull. Only one Foobsim rises above them all. She has made more money than any other Sim in the neighborhood, she is the most successful of any Sim at her “job”, and all love her and despair.
Bow to Queen Meredith, worthless Foobs!

Posted in Foobsims, Sims 3 | 4 Comments

Carpet Patterns for Sims 3

I converted some of my Shaw carpet patterns for use in Sims 3. Unfortunately some of my favorites from Sims 2 don’t look good in Sims 3, but these all work well. (If anyone can get Solvay to look nice in Sims 3, please send me a link!) Please go to for instructions on how to install .package files.

 These are all found in the design tool, under carpets and rugs. If anyone asks, I’ll put up links to download them in .sims3pack format as well. Pictures of them in Sims 2 are here. I seem to have forgotten to put pics of all of them up, I’ll get to that. The ones I converted are Belle Glade, Calabria (I really like how this one turned out), Chic to Chic (some of the texture got lost in the translation, but it picks up colors nicely), City Charm, Dream Manor (another of my favorites for Sims 3), Embrace, Grand Illusion, Habana, Hidden Cove, Hillbrook, Jack’s Walk, Katelynne’s Court, Mixed Media, Skyline, Soothing Grain, Trend Setters, Varese, Village Common, and Young Attitude. Download them all here:

I’ll get some screenshots of these in Sims 3 up soon. Let me know if you have technical problems with any of them — they’re the first patterns I’ve done for Sims 3.

I used Delphy’s Pattern Packager and Gimp to make these. 

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My Sims 3 mods

I made a few .xml mods for Sims 3. I’ve uploaded the ones I’ve tested to my satisfaction, and they all work with AwesomeMod and NRaas mods. They were made with Generations and patch 1.24. Please go to for information on how to install them.

* A mod to change the values of buffs/moodlets. I’ve altered a lot of them so they make more sense (to me), so that relationships are generally more important and items are less important. Overall, it might become slightly more difficult to have maximum mood during work. I’ve also fixed a couple things; I don’t believe the designers intended the buff for gaining parental approval for marriage to last ten days, for instance. The full list of everything I’ve changed is in the readme, here. Here is the link to the mod:

* Nerf to fish prices. In the first family I played, the husband had a fishing-related lifetime want. The family was ridiculously wealthy in no time. So I made this mod, which cuts the sell price of fish in half.

* A mod to kill pillow fights. When you meet your new boss, do you want to pillow fight with them? Is the one thing you crave after a long week a nice pillow fight with your 60-year old mother? When you’re having a romantic evening with your husband, is whomping him with a pillow the one thing that truly satisfies you? Yeah, me either. I hated that in Sims 2 and I hate it in Sims 3. With this mod, Sims will no longer want to pillow fight, and they will not be able to do so autonomously. You can still direct them to if you want. (In the future, I’d like to try to make pillow fight wants and autonomy possible during sleepovers for teens and children. I think that may be a scripting mod, though, so it’s beyond my capabilities right now.)

* A buff to the “My Love” buff. It now lasts forever (9,999 Sim days). A Sim will get it if she’s close to her love and her relationship score with him is at least 80.

* An omniplant mod. Sims will be able to buy the seeds after the second gardening opportunity rather than the third, and they can order six seeds at a time rather than two.

* A skillbook mod. Children can now read some of them, particularly lower-level ones. (Not bartendering or nectar-making.) All recipe books from World Adventures show up in the home world as well.

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Caine Residence

As narrated by my thought process while looking at these horrible strips and trying to build this annoying place.

Okay, the house looks easy enough, a smallish box. (Shut up Anthony.) That’s a huge porch for the apparent size of the house.

The game won’t let me place stairs to a basement under a foundation? *three hours later* Stairs placed, and of course that pain in the butt had to be associated with Anthony’s house.

What on earth is this thing? And where is it? Is that a dishwasher to Liz’s left? Is she supposed to be in the kitchen? If those are counters, they’re ridiculously high. If that’s a window to her right, it makes no sense in relation to the front door — the front wall of the house is flat. Just how big is the kitchen, anyway?

 Haha, you go Francoise. Geez Anthony has a lot of art. Wait, how big is this living room?

Francoise’s room is tiny.

Who does this? Apparently being engaged means you can rub your face against your ex-boyfriends’ arms and it’s perfectly innocent. And Anthony wears striped pajamas to bed.

The front door didn’t have a window before. Now it does.  Nice continuity.

This house took me days to build. It’s kind of blah (as fits Blandthony), but at least it’s done, and it taught me how to build a basement in a house with a foundation.

I had a lot more fun building Therese’s house. I think I overdid the flowering bushes though.

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Some Sims 2 carpets by me

I’ve uploaded some Sims 2 carpets I made. They used to be on Illusions of Grandeur, but the site has gone poof since I was last active in the community in 2008. (Wow, it’s been a long time.)

Anyway, here they are: floors based on Shaw carpets. They all look good in the game, and have what I think are appropriate prices.

Please feel free to upload these with lots to free sites and recolor them for free sites only. No paysites. Download all the carpets at once from here. (The links for individual sets don’t work for now. I’ve re-uploaded them all in one set along with all the floors and walls I’ve made in one 7z folder. I hope to get around to separating them out later. For now, if you just want these carpets, they all start with floor_neri_carpet_shaw.)

Posted in Custom content, Sims 2 | Leave a comment