Specializations are subclasses, and further customize a character and their focus. Characters are allowed only one specialization when character biographies are written, and a reason must be given for the character to have it. Through roleplay, the character may learn other specializations later on down the line.
Regarding custom specializations: As of right now, only canon characters -- and Hawke is excluded as he is more of an OC than a canon -- may have these. Later on, if you've proven to be active with your character, your OC may be allowed a custom specialization, to be learned through roleplaying.
Canon specialisations are:
- Arishok: The Arishok
- Dalish Pariah: Merrill
- Guardian: Aveline
- Marksman: Varric
- Royal Archer: Sebastian
- Swashbuckler: Isabela
- Tevinter Fugitive: Fenris
- Vengeance: Anders
- ??: Orsino
- ??: Meredith
If you are applying for a canon and feel they should have a specialization, PM Garrett Hawke with your reasoning.
- Berserker: Anyone can fly into a rage, but only berserkers can channel that dark rage into power, sacrificing finesse for strength and resiliance. It takes a lot of focus to know how to anger oneself, and when to do it, and even moreso to control it -- but berserkers do it with great discipline. It is a dwarven discipline, but has been passed on to other races through various means. Berserkers are renowned as terrifying adversaries on the battlefield. While they stand, while stamina remains, they have no match, but they can’t stand back and let battle unfold. For the Berserker, battle always ends in glory, win or lose.
- Champion: The champion is a veteran warrior and a confident leader in battle. Possessing skill at arms impressive enough to inspire allies, the champion can also intimidate and demoralize foes. These are the heroes you find commanding an army, or plunging headlong into danger, somehow making it look easy.
- Guardian: Many warriors foolishly believe that they can control the tide of a battle on their own, but a guardian realizes that an ally's survival is as important as an enemy's death. Guardians prefer to protect party members directly, but if necessary, they are prepared to make personal sacrifices to ensure that their companions live.
- Reaver: Life is power. Blood mages know this, but are not the only ones. Reavers are fearsome warriors who revel in death, literally feasting upon their souls as they slay them to heal their own flesh. They can unleash a blood frenzy, making themselves more powerful as they traid pain for power, flirting with death, a dangerous gamble counting on strength to save them. To become a true Reaver, one must drink of ritually prepared dragon's blood. It is a practice taught by demons, and not widely known. (Special permission and a good backstory are required to play a reaver).
- Spirit Warrior: Although spirit warriors employ magical abilities, they are not mages; instead, they flirt with inhabitants of the Fade who agree to augment mortal abilities in exchange for a glimpse of the physical world. Naturally, the Chantry's templars rarely acknowledge that distinction. (Special permission and a good backstory are required to play a spirit warrior).
- Templar: The strong arm of the Chantry, templars serve as guardians of the Circles of Magi, hunters of apostates and maleficarum, and rarely, as a standing army at the command of the Divine. The Templar specialisation originated in the Chantry with the establishment of the order. Templar abilities, however, are nto divine; they are the product of a disciplined mind. Templars don't just endure magic, but deny the use of it, through techniques that dispel magic and drain mana -- the magical force dwelling in all mages. It is made to be believed that lyrium is ingested to utilise these powers, but merely it augments them, and makes it easier for them to detect magic. With the proper training, any warrior -- and sometimes, rogue -- can learn to become a templar. (If your character is not a Templar of the Chantry, you will need a special explanation as to how your character learned to use Templar abilities).
- Assassin: Assassin aren't just killers, they are artists in the field of killing. Using any means necessary to debilitate a foe and kill their opponents, often utilising poisons of varying sorts, or striking from range. They target where it will hurt and harm most, exposing vulnerabilities through anatomical knowledge. In Antiva, assassination is an artform, and in fact the nation is known for its skilled assassins. Assassins generally owe loyalty to no-one but their pursestrings.
- Bard: This specialisation does not refer to a person who simply tells stories, though such bards exist. The Bardic arts originate in Orlais, where everyone plays the Grand Game. Minstrels and storytellers double as spies and use their abilities to gather information. In battle, they use their songs to aid their allies.
- Duelist: Duelists are deadly combatants who prefer to fight in light armour and strike with light, but precise attacks. To them, combat is a proving ground where mettle is tested and mastery is proven. Unlike their stealthier counterparts, followers of this specialization will often announce their intent, inviting attention with bravado and insult. And while few can close as quickly or strike as decisively, duelists can also choose to match targets parry for parry, extending or ending the battle as they see fit. To face a duelist is to face a master of blade or bow -- it is an opportunity to be grateful for, however briefly they allow it to last.
- Ranger: Rangers have an affinity for open country and wilderness, but as independent scouts and militia, they are opportunists, not stewards of nature. They exploit every advantage of their environment, and can lure wild beasts such as wolves, spiders, and bears, to aid them in and out of battle.
- Shadow: These are rogues who are masters of concealment and ambush. They strike from darkness, employing personal decoys and hallucinogenic poisons to distract enemies before sliding a dagger between their ribs. Opponents rarely know how their defences have failed, and Shadows have no interest in enlightening them. From the simplest misdirection to the most complex decoy, Shadows rob opponents of certainty, and are never more dangerous than when seemingly face to face with the enemy. To battle a shadow is to be uncertain that you faced one at all.
- Templar Hunter: Trained as a Templar first and the blade-work of a rogue second, Templar-Hunters are Chantry-sanctioned bounty hunters sent to deal with magi believed to be too dangerous to be recovered. They are not typical blades-for-hire, their loyalty as devout to the Order and its rules as the next Templar. Like other templars, they are capable of disrupting magic and draining mana, as well as other templar abilities.
- Arcane Warrior: Arcane Warriors are mages who have trained their magical arts to augment their martial prowess. They use this to use their arcane and their martial abilities together. They can throw up magical shields, and even enter partway into the Fade to protect themselves on the battlefield. The specialisation of Arcane Warrior started among the ancient elves. With the destruction of Arlathan, most considered this power to be lost. Though not completely lost, these talents are not widely known; some in Tevinter practice it, and Theron Mahariel, Hero of Ferelden, brought the knowledge of it back to the Dalish. (You will need a special reason, and staff permission, to be an Arcane Warrior.)
- Battle Mage: Some mages specialize in spells that permit them to engage in combat from afar. Battlemages, by contrast, prefer to wade into the fray alongside their blade-wielding companions, close enough to read the fear in their opponents' eyes. Their spells primarily concern personal preservation as well as control of the elements in their immediate surroundings.
- Blood Mage: Blood magic was the original type of magic, taught to the humans of the ancient Imperium by the Old Gods. A powerful lure to many mages, these dark rites tap into the power of blood, converting life into mana in place of lyrium. Not only that, but it has the distinct ability to make enemies' blood boil within their vein and can allow the mage to command the mind of others. Blood Mages are known as maleficarum, and are hunted relentlessly by templars -- to be killed on sight. Kirkwall sees more instances of blood magic with each passing year. Some whisper that the Order's relentless hunt has driven good intentioned apostates to blood magic in their desperation to survive and keep their freedom. In Tevinter, blood magic is commonplace among the magisters, and they pass the art on to their children, though to truly command the powers of blood magic, one must look a demon in the eyes and accept its offer. (Moderator permission and a good story needed to be a Blood Mage).
- Force Mage: While all mage specialisations manipulate energy, force mages focus on its raw application, bending the laws of nature and using force to control the battlefield. They do this by slamming opponents to the ground as though pummeled by a great fist, drawing opponents near, crushing them with magical force, and waves that throw enemies about the battlefield. Force mages also have the ability to prevent themselves from similar knockdown attacks. The Force Mage specialization requires uncommon precision to keep such overwhelming power under control. This is predominately a Kirkwall specialty, and is very popular within its Circle.
- Keeper: Keepers are leaders of the Dalish elves, both in the spiritual sense, as well as the literal. The Keepers are Dalish mages, and are trained in a special branch of magic, allowing them to utilise the forces of nature in their magic. It is an ancient elvhen art, a talent the Dalish protect and preserve, so it is highly unlikely that anyone but Dalish keepers and their apprentices will know it. (Character must be a Dalish Keeper, Dalish Apprentice, and have staff permission to be a Keeper.)
- Saarebas: A Saarebas is a Qunari mage, literally meaning "dangerous thing." The Qunari pity and honor the Saarebas, for striving while under constant threat from within is truly selfless, the highest virtue of the Qun. These mages are led and leashed by an Arvaarad, and are are bound in heavy pauldrons, a heavy collar, and witha mask covering their faces. They are taught a different brand of magic than human and elven mages. They are built just as thick as Qunari warriors. They are not fragile beings. (Only Qunari & Tal'Vashoth mages are allowed this specialisation.)
- Spirit Healer: While healing spells do exist, spirit healers are well-known for taking healing and restoration far beyond a standard mage's capabilities. Highly-sought by the Circles, they are the kind of mage likely to be accepted among the common populace, and yet are the most watched by the templars. This is because, to gain these healing abilities, the mage summons a benevolent spirit from the Fade -- or a spirit chooses them. It takes a certain resolve to make a deal with a spirit, and sometimes demons trick the mage into letting down his or her guard, possessing them. But the risks great outweight the awards, and the Spirit Healer is no exception, able to heal several allies at once, throw up healing auras, and spirit healers have been known to bring people from the brink of death.
I used in-game information, guides, and the wiki for most of my information. If anything in here does not seem canon, let me know. - Garrett Hawke/Crimea River