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Bait and Switch (quest)

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For the rogue ability in Dragon Age: Inquisition, see Bait and Switch (ability).


Bait and Switch is an Act 1 secondary quest in Dragon Age II. During this quest, Hawke meets Fenris, an escaped slave who is being hunted by his former master, a Tevinter Magister named Danarius.

Acquisition Edit

After completing the quest A Business Discussion, go to the writing desk at Gamlen's House and read the letter from either Athenril or Meeran to obtain the quest.

Walkthrough Edit

Travel to Lowtown at night to meet Anso, who will ask for help retrieving some property. The first dialogue choice doesn't affect Friendship/Rivalry, but the second one does:

  • "I'll do it."
    • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+5)
    • Rivalry small Carver: rivalry (+5)
  • "This better be worth it."
    • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+5)
    • Rivalry small Carver: rivalry (+5)
    • Friendship small Varric: friendship (+5)
    • Friendship small Isabela: friendship (+5)
  • "Forget it."
    • Rivalry small Varric: rivalry (+5)
Note: If Hawke asks both, "What kind of property?" and "So it's lyrium?" with Varric in the party, he makes a remark, which will award Codex entry: The Coterie at the end of the conversation.

After agreeing to help Anso, head towards the Abandoned House entrance located at the northeast corner of Lowtown.

Once inside the Abandoned House, open the southern door and kill all the hostiles; further groups will spawn as the battle progresses, so be ready to move ranged party members out of harm's way. The Street Thugs aren't tough, but they can trouble a low-level mage in sufficient numbers. A standard fire trap is in front of the door. Open the Smuggler's Cargo chest, and then leave the house.

After a cutscene, Tevinter forces attack. The initial group consists of eight Tevinter Hunters in an arc surrounding the door. A variety of Slaver reinforcements, including a mage, arrive from different directions so try not to allow Hawke's party to become too spread out. Afterwards, approach the steps to the west to be introduced to Fenris. The last set of dialogue choices affects Friendship/Rivalry:

  • "Lead the way."
    • Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+5)
    • Rivalry small Isabela: rivalry (+5)
  • "Make it worth my while."
    • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+5)
    • Friendship small Isabela: friendship (+5)
  • "Forget it."
    • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+5) regardless of whether Hawke accepts ("You owe me") or rejects ("No") the quest after this choice
  • "You tricked me!" > "Lead the way."
    • Friendship small Aveline: friendship (+5)
  • "You tricked me!" > "Make it worth my while."
    • Rivalry small Aveline: rivalry (+5)
    • Friendship small Isabela: friendship (+10)
Note: If Hawke refuses to help Fenris at this first meeting, he will give Hawke 2 DAO goldpiece trans and permanently leave the game.
Fenris's Mansion

Danarius's Manor

After agreeing to help Fenris, travel to Hightown at night. Meet Fenris in the Hightown Estates area, then enter Danarius's Manor. The elf will be locked into the party for the next section of the quest.

Once inside, be on the lookout for two traps: one is in the doorway to the next room, and the second is in the center of the large central room. Fight your way through the numerous shades and some rage demons until reaching a room in the northeast corner of the manor. Kill all the enemies here before looting the area for the Magister's Key (to prevent a possible bug). Return to the large room with the two staircases and go up to the mezzanine level. Search the two smaller side rooms for loot (the northern room contains a standard locked chest worth 100 XP), then save your progress and prepare the party for battle.

Unlock the Magister's Chambers (the center door) to trigger the appearance of an arcane horror and some shades. After the fight, a cutscene will ensue, and Fenris will leave the party. Collect everything of note, then head outside for another cutscene, which ends the quest.

If there are any mages in the party, Hawke will be able to earn Friendship/Rivalry points from the first set of dialogue choices in the last scene.

The options for the first dialogue choice if Hawke is a Warrior or Rogue are:

  • "But a mage helped you."
    • No effect
  • "That's not your concern."
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+5)
  • "I'm well aware."
    • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+10)
    • Rivalry small Mages: rivalry (+5)
  • "(Mage's name) has proven himself/herself."
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+5)
    • Friendship small (+5) from that mage.

The options for the first dialogue choice if Hawke is a Mage are:

  • "Survival."
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+10)
  • "Find out."
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+10)
  • "Power."
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+25)
  • "Is this a problem?"
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+20)
  • "Nothing."
    • Rivalry small Fenris: rivalry (+15)

The remaining dialogue options are the same regardless of Hawke's class:

  • "I could use your help."
    • Recruits Fenris.
  • "I don't need you."
    • Fenris leaves permanently.
  • Investigate:
    • "Why is Danarius after you?"
      • "Can you repay him?"
        • Friendship small Fenris: friendship (+5)
    • (The other investigate choices do not result in friendship/rivalry changes.)

Hawke will unlock the Codex entry: Slavery in the Tevinter Imperium upon completion of this quest.

Strategy Edit

Maps with the "mansion" layout like this one provide lots of room to fall back as a group to smaller rooms and pull a few of the aggro'd enemies with you, dividing and funneling their forces and allowing you to defeat them more easily regardless of party makeup. This is particularly useful during the first encounter in the main hall, as the initial shades can be pulled to the starting room and slain, sometimes enabling a drop out of combat to fully heal and recover mana/stamina, before the rage demon can enter the fray. Additionally, it helps you avoid triggering the poison traps in the main hall. The rage demon is vulnerable to Frost, making Winter's Grasp the ideal choice for a mage, and despite fighting most like an "assassin" role among the demon faction it is nowhere near as annoying (particularly when fire resistance options become available later in the game). During the final encounter in the main hall, Arcane Horror will warp away to the lower floor a few seconds after spawning (making it highly unlikely that one can slay it before it can do so), so use this opportunity to retreat to the starting rooms. The Arcane Horror's retreat point is near this door, so lay down an AoE attack like Firestorm to attack the shades forcing their way over the threshold while damaging the Arcane Horror further. Killing it will prevent it from using more AoEs, after which you can repeat the tactics from the first fight to deal with the remaining shades. Beyond this, only a friendly fire hit from Fenris' or a mage's abilities can jeopardize your chances to win.

Result Edit

Bait and switch end

Fenris is recruited outside the manor.

If Hawke opts not to accompany Fenris to Danarius' Manor, or neglects to enlist him at the end of the quest, the option of recruiting him (and undertaking all of his companion quests) is permanently lost.

If Fenris is recruited, Danarius's Manor becomes Fenris's Mansion (his home base) after leaving Hightown and returning. His first companion quest, Fenris Recruited, also becomes available.

Rewards Edit

Unique items looted from Danarius's Manor:

  • Light helmet gold DA2 Slaver Lord's CowlSlaver Lord's Cowl
    Light helmet
    Requires: 16 magic
    12 willpower

    Armor: 25
    Rune slot
    +6 mana
    +2% critical chance
  • Belt silver DA2 String of PearlsString of Pearls
    Belt

    +6 health
    Enemies drop more coin
  • 2 DAO goldpiece trans is received from Fenris only if Hawke refuses to help him at their initial meeting.

Notes Edit

  • The locked chests and traps encountered during this quest are Standard rank, requiring a rogue with a Cunning of 20 to unlock them (without "bonus to disarm-" accessories only available in premium content at this early stage of the game). As Varric joins the party with 14 Cunning, he is the best candidate to reach this threshold, but it still requires getting to Level 6 and putting all additional attribute points into Cunning. Isabela is another option, but with Tranquility as a prerequisite for Fools Rush In, it can be difficult to recruit her before the game has automatically assigned her points. Thus, unless the player is a rogue or uses Maker's Sigh potions from the Black Emporium (which can be expensive in Act 1), it is best to wait until at least Level 6-7 to take on this quest, if one desires to maximize the xp obtained during this quest.
  • If the player has not defeated enough groups of Gangs in Lowtown and Hightown, you will very likely have to fight them en route to the waypoints for this quest. Both groups (Sharps Highwaymen and Guardsman Pretenders) are largely immune to Frost and susceptible to Fire on Nightmare difficulty, but they will spawn a large number of reinforcements after enough of them are slain. If they are proving too bothersome, it may be better to wipe them out until at least the reveal of their main hideouts in Lowtown and Hightown respectively before continuing with the quest.
  • The Guardsman Pretenders, at least, can be avoided by entering "Hightown - Night" via Darktown, as doing so places you in Hightown at the stairs near the Chantry, which in turn are near Danarius' Manor. Alternatively you can enter Hightown from wherever you please and simply beeline to Fenris while ignoring the pursuing Pretenders as best you can, which will begin the cutscene to enter the mansion and end combat with the Pretenders.

Bugs Edit

  • The Magister's Key may not spawn, leaving Hawke unable to finish the quest and trapping him/her within the manor. To prevent this from happening, when entering the northeast room, do not loot anything before all the enemies in the room are defeated. When this bug occurs, the player should reload a prior savegame and kill all enemies before looting the area. (This method is possibly flawed, as many have also recorded having to loot the ashes of the rage demon before the fighting has ceased to receive the Key. If this method fails you, try looting whilst still in combat. Preferably as soon as the Rage Demon has been defeated)
  • pcIcon pcps3Icon ps3xbox360Icon xbox360 [Possible Bug]: Hawke will not receive any monetary reward, despite Fenris claiming that he is giving Hawke all the coin he has, after the quest is finished. This bug occurs regardless whether Hawke asked for payment when accepting the quest or not. Of course, this could be an intentional design decision -- a deception on Fenris' part. All the coin a fugitive ex-slave has could very well be none.
  • pcIcon pcps3Icon ps3 Fenris' approval will not actually change regardless of conversation choice, mage or not. It will say it has changed, but it remains the same. (Confirmation needed -- didn't occur on PC 1.02 yet it did occur on PS3 1.02 under some circumstances; under other circumstances on PS3, the bug did not occur. Just tried it on PC 1.03 and the bug occurred. As a mage on PC 1.03 this bug did not occur and I got my rivalry points.)
  • ps3Icon ps3 If you re-enter the Abandoned House before triggering the cutscene on the stairs in which Fenris kills the slaver (after killing the enemies that spawn when you initially exit the house), the cutscene may not trigger when you exit and you will be trapped in the Alienage. You must load a previous save in order to fix this.

Gallery Edit