Character Origins

Largely segregated by character race (with only Mage as an exception), the following character backgrounds are availabe, with the character inheriting traits from their race and origin without having those traits on their sheet directly.


Only humans or elves can be mages. Mages gain the unique skill Control that lets them alter reality by drawing on the power and mutability of the Fade, divided into 5 (or more) schools of magical specialty. Mages also gain a Mana Stress track, set by their Will skill, reflecting their capacity for drawing and using the Fade’s power before having to expend their own lifeforce to fuel their magic. Unfortunately, their connection to the Fade makes they Targeted by Demons who wish to use them as an easy entrance to the physical world. Along with their eldritch power, this adds to them being Hated & Feared by normal folks. Every Mage is also either Bound by the Circle, or Hunted by Templars if they turn apostate.

Control (Magic): -9 Refresh
Limit: 5 Subdomains: +5 Refresh
Limit: No teleportation (through time or space): +1 Refresh
Mana Stress track: -2 Refresh
Targeted by Demons: +1 Refresh
Hated & Feared: +1 Refresh
Bound by the Circle/Hunted by Templars: +1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -5

Human Noble

Human nobles, from Knights to Arls bear their Title and all it’s authority and respect. They also bear better arms and armor. One cannot begin as a Teyrn, Teyrna, or a member of the royal family.

Human Noble:
Ser/Sera/Lord/Lady/Bann/Arl/Arlessa: -1 Refresh
Better Equipment: -1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -5

Human Templar

Templars, almost exclusively human, are revered for their piety expressed through loyal service and ferver or even ferocity in exectuting their duties (and sometimes in no other way). They are rigorously training in Templar combat discipline (unlocking the Templar Ability path), and have Unwavering Resolve. To prepare for their role in protecting mages, and hunting apostate mages they are force fed large quantities of Lyrium until their body develops an aversion to it (must like that found in dwarves), continuing to ingest it in smaller quantities they gain the ability to Declare Reality real and immutable, repelling energy from the Fade and it’s magical effects. Sadly, they also develop a dependence; a Templar that has completed his training is almost certainly a Lyrium Addict.

Human Templar:
Templar path: -1 Refresh
Unwavering Resolve: -1 Refresh
Declare Reality: -1 Refresh
Lyrium Addict: +1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -5

Human Soldier

Human soldiers lose much of the freedom to pursue other passions, replacing the human benefit of +1 to a skill of their choice with +1 to Melee, Shoot, and Defense (up to the skill limit).

Human Soldier:
Lose +1 skill point: +1 Refresh
Gain +1 Melee, Shoot, Defense: -3 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -5

Human Criminal

Career criminals, other than enforcers and brutes (who are Human Soldiers), are always Rogues. They live in the cracks of society and the shadows where polite society does not look, making them Outlaws unbound by the rules but unwelcome (though wanted). They also learn Dirty Fighting very quickly.

Human Criminal:
Rogue Only: +/- 0 Refresh
Outlaw: +/- 0 Refresh
Dirty Fighting ability: -1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -4

City Elf

City elf warriors learn to Dual Weapon Sweep, to compensate for lack of larger, more damaging weapons; while rogues learn Dirty Fighting for about the same reason; one of either will grow up as an Alley Rabbit (to use the polite term). They are, even if they tried a more civil pursuit, a Non-Citizen; forced to live in the Alienage ghettos of Ferelden’s cities.

City Elf:
Alley Rabbit, Dual Weapon Sweep (warriors)/Dirty Fighting (rogues): -2 Refresh
Non-Citizen: +1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -2

Dalish Elf

Dalish elfs live in nomadic clans that travel paths through largely unclaimed (or unwatched) land, living off the land and living every clansman a Woodsman, with 1 free rank in Shoot (up to the skill limit) from years hunting to survive. They do tend to have excellent equipment crafted with care (rather than the mass produced scrap used by the human masses).

Dalish Elf:
Woodsman, +1 to Shoot: -2 Refresh
Better Equipment: -1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -4

Casteless Dwarf

Those rejected by Dwarven society are Castless, having to find inventive ways to survive in Orzammar’s Dust Town. Other than a few outcasts (and technically surface dwarves) they are Born in Dust, never having an opportunity to live on their merit. Castless learn to Dual Weapon Sweep, to compensate for lack of larger, more damaging weapons; and rogues generally stick to Dirty Fighting to reinforce that.

Castless Dwarf:
Castless: +1 Refresh
Born in Dust: +1 Refresh
Dual Weapon Sweep and Dirty Fighting (if Rogue): -1 Refresh (-2 if Rogue)
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -4 (-5 if Rogue)

[Caste] Dwarf

Dwarves born to a caste are shaped by it; as stone is shaped according to its inherent properties, removing impurities and using harnessing its raw potential. Unfortunately, those who leave are Caste Out (that they simply left cannot be considered), risking losing their Caste if they do not return soon or accomplish great deeds for the Dwarven Kingdom or race. Player Characters won’t be staying in Orzammar. Warriors are relentlessly drilled to wield an inherited weapon from the day they can stand up (before learning to walk, so that they learn to walk correctly). Smiths and Artisans learn to craft, armaments or artifice. Miners spend their lives bashing through, breaking down, and hauling rock; exposed to raw lyrium and sweltering heat. Merchants must out negotiate their siblings for their share at the dinner table. Servants learn to read their master’s moods and whims and see empty cups and upset furnishings, while being admonished never to lie (only to remain silent if ever their master requires discretion).

Warrior Dwarf:
Caste Out: +1 Refresh
+1 to Melee: -1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -5

Smith Dwarf/Artisan Dwarf:
Caste Out: +1 Refresh
+1 to Craft: -1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -5

Miner Dwarf:
Caste Out: +1 Refresh
+1 to Physique: -1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -5

Merchant Dwarf:
Caste Out: +1 Refresh
+1 to Rapport: -1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -5

Servant Dwarf:
Caste Out: +1 Refresh
+1 to Empathy and Notice, -1 to Decieve: -1 Refresh
Total Refresh (w/ Race): -5


FATE of Thedas Apletto2