[No Spoilers]About to play DA:O for the first time, what mods should I be using that doesn't ruin gameplay.

You probably want to check out this thread.

I would personally recommend (all of them are listed in the linked thread):

Main campaign: - Pineappletree's Vibrant Colors: Brings out a nice glow in your mage's eyes. Also adds hair and stuff, but I'm a fan of the eye glow. - Extra dog slot: Because I like my dog. - Personal annoyance remover: I used persistent spells a lot and some of them have quite annoying graphical effects. This removes them and makes you not look like a shimmering space fairy all the time. - Faster combat: Some spells in the game have the character put away their weapons first. Looks quite cool, but gets annoying quickly. - Madd Gift Guide: Tells you ingame for whom gifts/pranks are supposed to be for. - Bidelle's cosmetics: Adds more character customization options. - More Hairstyles: I like to skim the hairstyles before I finally decide on the same boring one I always pick when creating my mage.

Awakening: - Blackblade drop fix: There is a light armor set, which cannot be completed, because one of the drops is bugged. - Vigilance appearance fix: If you have the Warden's Keep DLC installed, the sword Vigilance looks instead like Starfang from Warden's Keep. - Sigrun quest trigger fix / Law and Order: Each companion has a personal quest trigger. The trigger for Sigrun is bugged. Depending on some of your previous actions you might not be able to trigger the quest at all.

/r/dragonage Thread