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.