Improv addendum

Notes on Dragon Age: Origins #3.1

I have to start this post by saying that in my last post I was totally wrong. I’ve been talking about Dragon Age: Origins in terms of improv and saying “yes” and “no” to the situations around you, embracing what you’re given, tweaking it, and adding something in order to move the situation forward. I described Morrigan, who is snide, impatient, and clever as a “no” character—the apotheosis of no, even.

I was totally and entirely wrong. If there’s a “no” character, at least for me at this point in this playthrough, it’s Sten, who comes across (to me, at least) as a brick wall. He’s killed a family, and I get the sense that I’m supposed to feel that he’s being wrongly punished for it, but at least according to him, he did it. He seems (sort of?) to be unhappy that it happened, but he’s not exactly apologetic. I’ve tried to chat with him, but he’s just kind of shut down.

He doesn’t give me anything. Morrigan, on the other hand, gives a great deal. She might not like what I’m doing, but she doesn’t hesitate to tell me why. She doesn’t entirely like me, I think, but I totally get it.

Conversation seems to indicate that I’m something of an outlier on Sten, and I’m cool with that, I think. Nobody in Dragon Age wants to be my friend and I am tired of trying.

And maybe that’s a good thing! Maybe I should just get on with trying to save the world.

Maybe I should just be me and not worry about it.

Or you know, the digital fantasy version of me. As an elf. And a mage. And the second to last of the Grey Wardens. The other of whom really doesn’t trust my judgement right now.


Originally published 3/6/15 on Medium