Dragon Age: Origins The Darkspawn Chronicles DLC Q&A

GameSpot managed to nab the first interview with Darkspawn Chronicles lead designer Rob Bartel, which does a pretty good job of explaining how the Dragon Age: Origins DLC will tie in to the main storyline (it won't), what we should expect from the mechanics of playing a darkspawn, and roughly how much content we'll be getting for 400 points ($5).
GS: What are the biggest gameplay differences that players will discover while playing as a darkspawn as opposed to a Grey Warden or elf or what have you?

RB: The biggest difference lies in how the party is formed and dissolved. As a hurlock vanguard, you have the ability to recruit thralls--fellow darkspawn--to your cause at any time. If you spot a powerful emissary casting spells off in the distance, you simply select him and bring him into your party and start issuing commands. It's all very fluid. While he's under your command, you'll begin earning his respect and fear, which will make him braver and more powerful in combat. And then, when he's outlived his usefulness, you simply target him again and a vanguard will walk up and decapitate him in cold blood, clearing up a spot in the party for someone new.


GS: This is a return to the smaller-sized DLC that we saw initially before you released the heftier Awakening. Roughly how much content should players expect to find, and should we expect to see any carryover--items, story choices, and so on--from this pack to the main story?

RB: The Darkspawn Chronicles is set in an alternate history where the player hero died in the joining ceremony, never becoming a Grey Warden and never saving the world from the blight. As such, it doesn't make sense to carry over characters and story choices to and from the original game. That said, there are achievements and trophies to unlock, and one of those, once unlocked, will spawn a new sword called Blightblood into your character's inventory in Dragon Age: Origins and Awakening.