Guide: Character Creation

Table of Contents

1. Playing A Canon Character

1.1. Canon Responsibilities

1.2. Unplayable Canons

2. Playing An Original Character

2.1 Naming Your OC

3. Character Personalites
4. Character Origins

4.1 Races

4.2 Social Class

4.3 Combat Class

5. Starting Skills & Specializations 6. Starting Factions
7. Character Avatars
8. Filling Out An Application

8.1 Character Application Form

8.2 Submit Your Application

8.3 Approval Process

9. Character Allowance
10. Character Profile Modifications

Character Creation

Click the blue tabs below to expand and/or collapse information about creating your character, you can also use the Table of Contents to the left to quickly navigate to a specific tab.

We highly recommend that you are already familiar with the Dragon Age series prior to playing our game, as we do incorporate a lot of canon resources from the video games, comic books, and even the official tabletop rpgs. However, if you need more information on the game in general such can be found via the Dragon Age Wiki (which we are not directly affiliated with, but you can use their Wiki as a research resource—do NOT post your character profiles there).

Unfortunately our website is not entirely optimized for mobile viewing at this time. You'll need to view the Character Creation section via standard computer if you're having trouble with the drop-down menus on a mobile device.

The Dragon Age universe is vast, as such there's a ton of canons to consider—many of which don't even have detailed backgrounds so it would be entirely up to the adopter to create a rich history for them. This includes canon characters mentioned but never actually seen, like those referenced in Dragon Age: Inquisition’s "War Table" missions, as well as blood relatives of canons.

We’ve compiled a Canons List of just some of the available canons. In reality, between the games, the comics, and the novels, the full list is too long. If you’re looking for a really obscure character, we may not have thought to add it. That said, major canons who are absent from our list are, as a general rule of thumb, considered deceased (though some might be NPCs). If you’re unsure, you can ask us about it in Questions About Canon Lore.

Major canons cannot be retired, even if a player leaves the game—when that happens, the canon is made re-available for adoption. However, all prior in-game decisions, contributions, etc. made by that canon’s prior player will remain as part of our own game’s canon going forward, even if someone else does decide to take up the mantle.

Minor canons are generally first come, first serve. For major canons—like the companions of Origins, DA2, or the Inquisition—preference will be given to players who’ve been contributing on our game board for at least a few months. Occasionally, we recruit externally for major canons as well should the need arise plot-wise.

Players interested in canons are still required to fill out a Character Application Form, and their profiles will still be subject to our game's regular approval process. Please don’t just copy canon character backgrounds from external resources like the Dragon Age Wiki. What we’re looking for in your canon profile is, really, a number factors among which is your writing ability (including grammar) and whether or not you can capture the tone of said canon.

If you’re filling out an application for a canon that hasn’t been adopted previously, that profile will set the standard for that canon going forward—even if you leave the game later on.

1. Players with canon characters are encouraged to post as said canon a minimum of 4 posts (not threads, but each post should be in a different thread) per month. This applies to each canon character under a player’s control. Obviously, given real life obligations we understand some people will not be able to post as often as others. Please let people know if your responses will be slow, however. Consistently leaving other players in the lurch, without addressing your absences, will initially result in a warning, while repeat offenders will have said canon removed from their personal roster by Administration so that it can be re-listed for adoption.
2. Solo threads do not count toward the suggested monthly minimum for posting, the posts must to be in threads with other players.
3. Players with canon characters cannot turn down thread requests from other players without justifiable cause or explanation such as:
◦ The canon character is in a different kingdom, city, etc. thus making it somehow implausible because… oceans, etc.
◦ The canon character is already in 10 separate threads (we don’t want to overload players).
◦ The canon character is unavailable on a specific in-game date (via the Chantry Calendar because they’re already in a thread at that time).
4. Players with canons must lead by example in threading with other players. Canon-holding players solo threading a canon with one of their own original characters, without other players involved, is not allowed—remember as this is a roleplaying community, not a fanfic one. Collaboration is key. Major canons, or those with high social ranks (monarchs, military leaders, etc.), should be active on the boards, leading small plots, and encouraging fellow players to join threads.
5. Canon characters must make an effort to engage with non-canon characters. Do not ignore OCs in favour of other canons.
6. Exceptions will be made, concerning the above, on a case by case basis at Administration's discretion.

Some canon characters are simply too powerful to allow for fair gameplay. Shapeshifters like Flemeth or Morrigan won’t be allowed, and God-like or Old God characters like Flemeth or Solas definitely won’t be allowed in our game. We may use Solas as an NPC in the distant future, following the release of the next Dragon Age installation. As of right now, we’re considering Solas MIA. Spirit Warriors, like Justice, are also forbidden.

Non-Dragon Age characters from other video games, comics, books, or movies are not permitted. You can only play an entirely original character of your own crafting or a Dragon Age canon character. Moreover, the Races in our game are canon to the Dragon Age universe as well—as such we will never allow other random or mythical creatures in our game (i.e. no anthropomorphic races, no vampires, no hobbits, etc.).

Darkspawn, Demons, and Spirits of the Fade are not allowed to be applied for, either, as they’re entirely NPCs in our game. Cole is somewhat of an exception because we’ve “made him more human” (plus, he’s an adorable cinnamon roll).

Original characters are welcomed and encouraged! The turnover for approving original characters might take a little bit more time, as you’ll be asked to make edits here and there to conform to our game’s world state, during the application process itself. The end result, however, is a seemingly canon non-canon—and who doesn’t love that?

If you want your OC to have some sort of association or affiliation with another character, canon or not, or a particular faction there will be variables to consider:

◦ If someone is already playing a canon that you want your OC to know or have a history with, we’ll have to include that canon’s player in processing your application for approval. If no one’s playing the canon in question, Administration will review the request instead. If it’s workable, staff will make note of it for when someone does want to play that canon later i.e. give that player the heads up that your OC knows them.
◦ As of right now, factions are open for new players to join—however, only in the lower ranks. Leadership ranks within factions will typically be played by moderators, but we will later implement a "promotions" system behind-the-scenes to reward players with surprise promotions in-game. Keep in mind that, with any faction, characters will have to adhere to said faction’s in-game/in-character hierarchies, rules, and missions. Grey Wardens and Circle Mages, for example, aren’t free to roam around without express permission of Grey Warden leadership or Chantry officials respectively. Those who are sanctioned to travel about Thedas will still have to regularly check in with their factions, otherwise they’ll be considered MIA and a faction representative might be sent to "collect" them. Circle Mages wouldn't be allowed to travel without a Templar guardian at all (which can be an NPC of yours, if you want to go the Circle origin route).

Most people in Thedas have only one name. Surnames are typically rare, with particularly original ones reserved for nobles and royalty. That said, some might identify themselves by their trade and/or by the area, or by the characteristics of an area, that they grew up in. If your character is not a noble and has a surname, you'll need to explain how they came to have a last name in their personal history. Dalish are somewhat of an exception here, because they have a "clan" name. For non-noble characters, consider surnames like Mason, Wright, Smith, etc. if your character potentially descendeded from someone who had that trade at some point in history. Alternatively, topographical naming conventions work well for creating surnames based on the characteristics of where your character may have been born or raised. This is actually the same system for naming locations themselves, and in real life the term for it is called "toponymy".

Ferelden, for example, is loosely based on Anglo-Saxon influences—which means English, Scottish, Irish, and even Germanic toponymy could work well for name creation. If you're really hardcore, though it's certainly not necessary for you to be, you can also explore the etymology of the toponyms themselves (that is, if you're curious about the meanings and/or origins of certain words... though, in researching it all, you may ultimately wind up like Alice falling down the rabbit hole toward Wonderland). Though it's been subject to fan-debate, the general real-world influences—toponymic or otherwise—for other regions in Thedas are: Ancient Rome (i.e. Old Latin) for Tevinter, Prussia or Austria for Nevarra, Spain for Rivain (it rhymes!), Italy for Antiva, France for Orlais, and Germany for the Anderfels. The Free Marches are more a mish mash of Old English combined with various influences—Starkhaven, for example, is especially confusing given that Sebastian Vael speaks with a Scottish accent yet his first name could be either French, Spanish, or Italian and yet his surname is clearly spelled in the Dutch style. For the sake of simplicity, we'll assume that the Free Marches are Thedas' melting pot. All things to consider when crafting a surname and/or your character's family origin, espcially if your character is Human.

Dalish clans are named for the nobles hailing from the Dales that had originally founded whichever clan. Every Dalish surname preserves a lineage from someone, though not necessarily a clan founder. As the Dalish often trade their own people between the clans, not everyone in a given clan is a descendant of its founder and as such doesn't necessarily bear the clan name. Canon Dalish clans include: Alerion, Ghilain, Lavellan, Ralaferin, Sabrae, Tillahnnen, Virnehn, and half a dozen unnamed ones (you can read more about that at this external resource for Dalish clans).

Qunari don't use personal names, instead they use their job title, which consists of a rank and task (refer to this external resource on the Qunari language, Qunlat, for more guidance). Their "real" names are merely used for record keeping, sort of like a social security number. However, since the Tal-Vashoth abandoned the teachings of the Qun, it's speculated they might use personal names to further create a personal identity. Vashoth, who stand in contrast to both Qunari and Tal-Vashoth as never having been introduced to the Qun at all, can have whatever name you like.

Naming conventions for the Dwarves remain unclear. However, the names of non-surface Dwarves in particular tend to be a little more melodic and seem more Norse-based than the stereotypical European influences surface-wide.

The Dragon Age tabletop RPG guides also provide suggestions for naming characters based on their races and regions.

We ask that players who roleplay canons, do so by sticking to that canon’s personality. Understandably, some things like motives are open to interpretation and some canon backstories are vague at best—in those instances, you’ve more wiggle room to make the canon "your own". When you fill out a character application for a canon, the latter is something we’ll be looking for. As much as we want to "hear" the character’s "voice" reflected in the application, we still want to catch a glimpse of what your rendition of the canon will be as its adopting player.

Personality is a good place for all players to show off their knowledge of canon lore, even for original characters, because you’re describing your character’s world view. World view can be skewed by internal and external influences and conflicts. An internal conflict might be a past trauma, for example, and that might make a character act differently from others. External influences are generally the things that are out of the character’s control, such as which social class they were born into will certainly have a direct impact on how they’re treated by and how they treat others in-game. External conflicts are generally events that happen that upset a character’s peaceful existence, such as wars or Blights. All these considerations will help in shaping your character’s world view in addition to help in carving out their core personality quirks.

Whatever personality type you decide on, try to stick with it as your own personal canon instead of flip-flopping in-game (that is, unless your profile clearly states your character is a bit contrary, flighty, or fickle). If you’re playing a Human noble who looks down City Elves, your character probably shouldn’t miraculously have a change of heart about City Elves unless there’s a catalyst for that shift in tone i.e. maybe a City Elf saves their life, etc.

Please note, however, that a character’s personality and biases are not reflective of its player’s personality and biases. If the arrogant Human noble character, used in the example above, calls the City Elf character "knife-ear" in-game, that’s fine. Remember, you are not your character—try not to take in-game banter too personally. In contrast, if the player of the Human noble harasses the player of the City Elf in an out-of-character forum? That’s bullying and grounds for banning.

We’re calling our character histories and personal backgrounds section "Origins" because, you guys, it’s s’uh canon. Use this section to elaborate on your character’s at-a-glance backstory i.e. we don’t need a lengthy story beyond you explaining where the character is from, if/how they were educated/trained, and what their ambitions are going forward. However, if your character does have a family surname and they’re not a noble, you will need to explain the origin of their last name in this section.

You may wish to specify what, if any, involvement your character had during the Fifth Blight, the coinciding Fereldan Civil War, and what they were more recently up to during the Mage-Templar War in this section as well.

The only playable races allowed in-game are Dwarves (Orzammar or Surface Dwarves), Elves (Dalish or City Elves), Qunari (Qun, Vashoth, or Tal-Vashoth), or Humans (Avvars included).

You should include what social class your character was born into, in your Origins section. This means whether or not they were born a commoner or noble, etc. If they’re noble, and you're creating a new noble family that isn’t canon, you should add a small excerpt about the extent of the family’s influence in the world of Thedas.

In contrast to social class is a character’s combat class. We have four such classes: Civilian, Mage, Rogue, and Warrior.

Civilian’s don’t actually take part in "combat". Their skills serve purely narrative purposes. A lot of nobles are actually Civilians, thus we wanted to be able to represent them fittingly in-game. In dangerous situations, Civilians don’t fight—they flee (or cower!). Keep that in mind if you choose to roleplay as one. A Civilian cannot skirmish like a wily Rogue or throw down with the brute strength of a Warrior, and they certainly won’t know magic.

Mages are our spellcasters of Thedas. They’re typically divided between Circle Mages, who dwell in Circle Towers, and Apostates, who usually have to hide the fact that they’re Mages to avoid being hunted by Templars. Apostates are sometimes called Hedge Mages by the Chantry, too, but it’s still a derogatory term. Mages are able to use, control and interact with magic. In order to qualify to be a Mage, one must be an Elf, a Human, or a Qunari. Dwarves cannot be mages, as they are unable to connect with the Fade. This is due to their prolonged exposure to lyrium, becoming immune to its effects (quite like lyrium-using Templars).

Rogues are a bit motley. They often have diverse, if sometimes shady, backgrounds. Rogues are cunning and crafty combatants who succeed in battle by combining speed, subterfuge, and a wide range of abilities to bring their opponents down in unexpected ways, sometimes before the enemy even perceives danger. Any race can be a Rogue.

Warriors are the front-line fighters and the backbone of any party under assault. They can rely on both melee and ranged weapons. Warriors are supplemented by powerful special abilities, gained after years of training, that draw from deep reserves of stamina. They can withstand and deliver a great deal of punishment, and usually have a strong understanding of tactics. Any race can be a Warrior.

Screenshots of your past Wardens, Hawkes, and Inquisitors repurposed for use as your original character are permitted so long as they are original looking and not direct rip offs of the default canons. If you've played Dragon Age on a PC prior, you can also use Nexus Mods to install more hairstyles, skin tones, etc. to make your characters look even more unique.

Otherwise, artwork must be credited in your signature to an artist who gave you permission to use their work - and a link back to the artist is mandatory.

Photos of real people are not permitted on our ProBoards site, but you can post them in our #headcanons channel on our Discord server. For our ProBoards site you can stil commission an artist to illustrate something based off of someone, if you want, though.

You'll notice some people have a new avatar every time you refresh the webpage. That's called a rotating avatar, and you can make one using various free services online. We often use Universal Sig Rotator, as it works for signatures too. If you use this feature, when you go to upload your avatar you'll see there's an option to insert a link instead—that's where you can input the link that the Universal Sig Rotator provides you with. Don't worry about avatar dimensions, as our forum automatically chooses and resizes for the best fit to our mini-profiles.

After some consideration into the complexities of game mechanics, it's been decided that our game be relaunched with a purely narrative focus. Here's why:

1. Heavy game mechanics sometimes deter otherwise amazing writers from the game itself, and we definitely don't want this given that collaborative storytelling is Heroes of Thedas' central focus.
2. It makes the character application system cumbersome for moderators and new players alike (we want to avoid "abandon cart"-style applications).
3. Narrative PBP RPGs rarely, if ever, wind up using things like skills and points systems in-game because they are clunky to track and they take a backseat to the storytelling anyway.

We allow characters to have 2 specializations, specific to their chosen class, maximum. Players must explain how their characters came to this training in their backstories. The specializations are as follows:

Mage: Arcane Warrior (Elves Only), Battlemage, Blood Mage, Force Mage, Keeper (Elves Only), Knight-Enchanter, Necromancer / Mortalitasi, Rift Mage, Saarebas (Qunari Only), Spirit Healer, & Virtuoso.

Rogue: Artificer, Assassin, Bard, Duelist, Legionnaire Scout (Dwarves Only), Marksman, Shadow, Swashbuckler, & Tempest.

Warrior: Berserker, Champion, Guardian, Reaver, Storm-Warrior (Avvar Only), & Templar.

There's a wealth of factions to choose from, should you wish your character to be affiliated with any of them. We've compiled short summaries for each of them in our Factions codex, and some groups will have their own expanded codex as well (you will find links to them at the bottom of each summary, or in our Codices section).

Keep in mind that the senior-most ranks of factions are generally run by moderators. However, character promotions will happen in-game as narratives progress. Kknowledge of upcoming promotions is privy only to staff, in an effort to surprise non-staff players (and their characters!) in-game.

Choosing a faction will have consequences. Characters have to abide by their chosen faction's rituals and mandates, as well as defer to their in-game faction leaders. Grey Wardens, for example, do not have free reign to travel around Thedas without an assignment of some kind - so be sure to include such in your character's backstory. Likewise, only high ranking Circle Mages would be permitted to venture outside of one of the Circle Towers without a Templar escort - and those who failed to return, after some semblance of time had passed, would likely be tracked down by the Templar Order. Moreover, if you're playing a soldier of some kind, an extended absence from your post would likely result in your character being labelled a deserter. Consider your faction affiliations carefully, as they may not only have an impact on your character but other players' as well.

Approvals are a 3-step process: filling out your Character Application Form, submitting your application to the queue, and working in tandem with staff to edit the profile prior to a moderator signing off on the finalized version of your application request.

Applications must be filled out in their entirety. The form includes notes in some sections, which should be removed when you go to enter your character’s information.

The form has been pre-formatted for posting, using BBCode (copy and paste it into a new post). You may want to keep a copy on your desktop.

When posting your profile in the Applications Queue, please remember—the subject field of the new post you create should be your character’s name.

Do not delete the [img] links, they are dividers for each section. Also, don't fret about trying to put your skills in a table format as shown in profile's already approved - that's something staff will do for you in final edits:

Heroes of Thedas Character Application - BBCoded (Google Docs)

Once you’ve filled out your first draft, and have not removed the BBCode of the application form, you are ready to post your character profile to the Applications Queue where staff will review it. All profiles get edited, so do not expect instant approval. An administrator or moderator will reach out to help you with your required edits. Turnover for final approval is usually a few days, but might take up to a week in rarer circumstances. We will streamline this process later, once we’ve added more players to our staff roster, which will hopefully speed things up a bit. When you post your application, your subject line in the new thread that you create must simply be your character’s name.

As mentioned, your profile will go through a brief round of edits with the help of a staff member before it’s approved for gameplay. Don’t take it personally, we all have to go through it to maintain a semblance of consistency in the canon world state. Editing will always be done by private message. Once approved, the profile is locked and you won’t be able to edit it further without making a special request. Approved profiles are moved to one of our character "galleries". Don’t get too confused by the term gallery, it’s not a place to post multiple photos—it’s simply a pun on the real life term "rogues gallery" as used by law enforcement. We like puns. We pun here.

Every new player is entitled to have 3 characters to start with (1 of which must be a canon, it doesn't matter if it's a major, minor, or special canon).

Additional characters can be applied for after 2 weeks only if that player has been active and consistent IC.

For canons only, players can only ever have, over time, a maximum of 2 major canons, 2 minor canons, and/or 1 special canons (i.e. 5 in total).

The application process for additional characters will be the same, every time: fill out an application form, post it, and wait for approval before roleplaying as said additional character.

"Wait, wait, wait—back up a second—unlimited OCs? That's bonkers!"

Yeah, well... .

Once approved, character profiles become locked and cannot be edited further by players. This is to avoid subtle yet significant changes to a character's skills or history without staff oversight as we want to remain a fair and balanced game. Players can request small changes after approval, if they notice something like a grammatical error or forgot to add a minor detail. Moreover, as the game progresses, characters that train in-game will earn more points to spend on additional skills as well—at such point in time, the player may request a skills upgrade. Either request can be made in the Profile Modification Requests board. Please note, changes to skill sets or significant history revisions will be subject to the same review as normal character applications and you may be asked to make a few additional edits to your request before it's finally approved. Once it is, Administration will make the required changes.

That's it for Character Creation. Go forth and create like the Maker.