Unlocking all sub-classes in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening

Again, I know this is old news. Just re-posting from my old blog to pass along the information. I figured with Dragon Age 3 in the works, some gamers who passed up on the older titles might pick them back up.

Each of the 3 classes gained access to 2 new specializations in the Awakening expansion and here is how to unlock them all. I’ve also included a little information about the specialization and what four abilities you gain with them.

Mage’s can now specialize as a Keeper and Battlemage.

Battlemage focuses on self preservation and close combat magic use, granting a +2 magic increase and minor in-combat health regeneration. It’s a high-risk-high-reward specialization but works well when paired with the Arcane Warrior specialization. The manual for Battlemage can be purchased inside Vigil’s Keep for 11 sovereigns from Ambassador Cera.

  • Draining Aura – Creates an aura around the Battlemage that drains the life of nearby enemies for as long as this mode is active. Each time life is drained, the Battlemage loses a small amount of mana.
  • Hand of Winter – Blasts nearby enemies with cold, damaging them and freezing them in place unless they pass a physical resistance check, otherwise slowing their movement speed instead.
  • Stoic – While this mode is active, all damage taken by the Battlemage restores mana.
  • Elemental Chaos – While this mode is active, all nearby enemies suffer elemental damage from all of the elements. Consumes mana rapidly.

The Keeper specialization focuses on stationary combat and grants a permanent +2 magic and +3 mental resistance bonus. The manual for Keeper can be purchased in Amaranthine from Master Henley.

  • One With Nature – The Keeper creates a defensive shield that immobilizes them but deals nature damage to all enemies who enter the field, as well as inflicting a penalty to movement speed. Lasts as long as the mode is active.
  • Thornblades – Requires One With Nature to be active. Summons roots to attack all enemies in the field of One With Nature, also knocking them back unless they pass a physical resistance check.
  • Replenishment – This passive ability regenerates health to the Keeper any time a Keeper spell deals damage. Also, while One With Nature is active, any enemy that dies within the field is consumed by the earth and grants a large bonus to health regeneration for a short amount of time.
  • Nature’s Vengeance – The Keeper summons gigantic roots from the ground, dealing damage and impaling enemies for a short time unless they pass a physical resistance check.

Rogue’s now have access to the Shadow and Legionnaire Scout specializations.

The Shadow specialization focuses on increasing the effectiveness of your backstab and avoiding incoming damage by distracting and neutralizing your enemies. Shadow grants a permanent +1 dexterity and +5 attack bonus. The manual for Shadow can be purchased from Yuriah in Vigil’s Keep.

  • Shadow Form – While this mode is active, each of the Shadow’s attacks reduce the targets interest in them. This mode consumes stamina continuously.
  • Decoy – Creates a decoy of the Shadow to distract enemies while the Shadow escapes in to Stealth.
  • Shadow Striking – This passive ability grants a permanent increase to critical strike chance and also increases Backstab damage while Shadow Form is active.
  • Pandemonium – The Shadow releases an airborn toxin that causes all nearby enemies to flee or attack a random target (friend or foe).

Specializing as a Legionnaire Scout grants a permanent +2 dexterity and +1 damage bonus while focusing on more of a defensive role by avoiding incoming damage and gaining a bonus to health. Sigrun will teach you the specilization of her approval rating is high enough, but you can also purchase the manual from Glassric the Weaponsmith in Amaranthine.

  • Mark of the Legion – This passive ability grants a large bonus to strength and constitution.
  • Strength of Stone – When activated, this ability grants the Legionnaire immunity to damage and knockdowns for a short period of time.
  • Endure Hardship – While this mode is active, damage done to the Legionnaire depletes stamina rather than health.
  • Blessing of the Ancestors – While Strength of Stone is active, the Legionnaire is now immune to all spells, friendly or hostile.

Warrior’s gain access to the Spirit Warrior and Guardian specializations.

Spirit Warrior’s gain a passive +1 constitution +5 physical resistance bonus and are a hard class to describe. Just read the abilities and decide for yourself, lol. The manual for Spirit Warrior can be purchased from Octham the Grocer in Amaranthine.

  • Beyond the Veil – While this mode is active, the Spirit Warrior evades a substantial portion of physical attacks. This mode drains stamina constantly.
  • Soulbrand – This passive ability enhances Beyond the Veil by now also evading hostile spells. In addition, all of the Spirit Warriors attacks will deal spirit damage instead of physical, bypassing armor, while Beyond the Veil is active.
  • Fade Burst – The Spirit Warrior deals spirit damage to all nearby hostile targets. The amount of damage done depends on the Spirit Warrior’s willpower attribute.
  • Blessing of the Fade – This passive ability enhances Beyond the Veil, further increasing the chance of evading hostile spells and increasing the Spirit Warrior’s attack and movement speed while the mode is active.

Guardian is the new “tank” style of play for the Warrior class, granting a passive +1 constitution +5 nature resistance bonus. This mode works particularly well when combined with the Spirit Warrior specialization for it’s evasive Beyond the Veil ability. The manual for Guardian can be purchased from Herren at Vigil’s Keep.

  • Guardian’s Shield – Applies a shield around a party member that absorbs an amount of damage determined by the Guardian’s constitution stat.
  • Fortifying Presence – Grants the entire party a bonus to armor. The bonus is determined by the Guardians constitution stat.
  • Master Guardian – This passive ability increases the amount of damage Guardian’s Shield absorbs and the amount of armor Fortifying Presence grants.
  • Aura of the Stalwart Defender – While this mode is active, the Guardian creates a field that pulls foes back to them if they leave the area surrounding them. This aura can only be activated in combat.

Same as last time, a big thanks goes out to the Dragon Age Wiki for providing the information that fine tuned the guide here.

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