Installing cosmetic mods for Dragon Age
Cosmetic mods (mods that add new eye colours, hairs, skin tones, etc) to be used by your character are not compatible. This means that, if you install more than one cosmetic mod at the same time, you won't see the resources added by all of them in the Dragon Age character creator unless you make them compatible first.
This tutorial will explain how to install more than one cosmetic mod for Dragon Age making all of them compatible so you can access the resources they add from the character creator.
- Notepad or another tool that allows edition of txt files
How the character creator works
Dragon Age character creator looks for the resources (skintones, eye colours, hairs, hair colours, etc) in a xml called chargenmorphcfg.xml. The character creator will show you only the resources that are listed in that xml file.
Most cosmetic mods add their own chargenmorphcfg.xml file that contains the vanilla respurces plus the ones added by the mod. But, if there is more than one chargenmorphcfg.xml file in your Dragon Age override folder, the game won't know which one is the right one to be used and the character creator won't work properly. That is the reason why, when installing more than one cosmetic mod, you will have to add the resources the new mod adds to the lists in the chargenmorphcfg.xml file that is in your override folder.
- * If you are installing cosmetic mods that add resources used by NPCs, and you don't want them for your character, you don't need to edit the chargenmorphcfg.xml as this file is only used by the character creator. But, if the mod adds a new xml file, delete it or your character creator will probably won't work as you want it to.
- * If you are installing a mod that adds tattos made for the toolset modifying the chargenmorphcfg.xml won't work. Refer to this tutorial Using custom tattoos with Dragon Age character creator instead.
You can also use the recently updated and improved: CharGenMorph Compiler, made by TerraEx, to combine the ".xml" files from multiple mods automatically. More information about this utility can be found here: Using Dragon Age Mods for Dummies. But, if this tool doesn't work for you or you would prefer to make the changes manually, don't worry. You can edit the chargenmorphcfg.xml using any txt editor (e.g. "Wordpad" works well with this file format.)
Open the chargenmorphcfg.xml and you'll see that it has several sections. Each section begins with a tag like this: <section name> and ends with a tag like this: </section name>. Some sections have also subsections for each of the races in game to indicate that some resources are available only to some of the races and genders and not to all of them.
The xml file has the following sections:
- <heads>: contains the list of preset faces that are loaded in the character creator. All presets end with a *.mop extension.
- <hairs>: contains the list of hairs that are loaded in the character creator. There is a subsection for each of the races and genders that you can use to create your character in game.
- <beards>: contains the list of beards that are loaded in the character creator. It contains subsections only for human male and dwarf male.
- <hair_colors>: contains the list of hair colours that are loaded in the character creator.
- <skin_colors>: contains the list of skintones that are loaded in the character creator. * <eyes_colors>: contains the list of eye colours that are loaded in the character creator.
- <eyes_makeup_colors>: contains the list of eye makeup colours that are loaded in the character creator.
- <blush_makeup_colors>: contains the list of blush makeup colours that are loaded in the character creator.
- <lip_makeup_colors>: contains the list of lip colours that are loaded in the character creator.
- <brow_stubble_colors>: contains the list of eyebrow and stubble colours that are loaded in the character creator.
- <crew_cut_colors>: contains the list of the scalp colours that are automatically assigned to your character when you select a hair colour.
- <tattoo_colors>: contains the list of tattoo colours that are loaded in the character creator.
- <tattoos>: contains the list of tatoo files that contains the individual tattoos that you will be able to select in the character creator.
- <skins>: contains the list of complexions that are loaded in the character creator.
The actual resources (hairs, eye colours, skintones, etc) are listed in each section or subsection like this: <resource name="resource file name"/>
Adding new resources to the chargenmorphcfg.xml file
If the mod you are installing already has a chargenmorphcfg.xml file:
- change its name to another name (like NewChargenmorphcfg.xml) and open it using Notepad in one window.
- Open your chargenmorphcfg.xml in another Notepad instance.
- Compare your xml file (chargenmorphcfg.xml) and the one from the mod (NewChargenmorphcfg.xml in the example) and copy all the <resource name="name of the resource"/> lines that are in the NewChargenmorphcfg.xml and not on your xml file, each one in its right section and subsection.
- Save your chargenmorphcfg.xml file
If the mod you are installing doesn't have a chargenmorphcfg.xml file:
- Open your xml file using Notepad or any other txt editor.
- Locate the section you want to modify: if you are adding new hairs, go to the <hairs> section, if you are adding new eye colours go to the <eyes_colors> section, and so on.
- If the section you are going to modify contains subsections, like in the case of the <hairs> section, locate the subsection of the race you are adding the hairs to: if you are adding hairs for human female characters, locate the <human_female> subsection that is between the <hairs> and </hairs> tags.
- Look at the mod files and add as many <resource name="name of the resource"/> entries as files added by the mod, replacing "name of the resource" by each file name.
- Save your chargenmorphcfg.xml file