Into the Darkness
Casting spells in Dragon Age is straightforward. A mage must know a spell (that is, have it listed on their sheet or in their stat block) to use it. The mage must then spend an action and expend mana points (MP) to cast it. Each spell’s description lists the type of action— major or minor—needed to cast it.
Once a mage has spent an action and MP to cast a spell, they must make a casting test to see what happens. This is a simple test whose target number depends on the spell, and is listed in each case. On a failure, nothing spell’s target(s) are allowed a resistance test of some kind to avoid some or all of the spell’s effects. Instructions for these resistance tests are part of each spell’s description. Mages regain 1d6+4 MPs for each full hour they rest. For simplicity’s sake, assume that mages can’t cast spells while wearing armor. In the full rules it’s a little more complicated than that, and the NPC Hana in An Arl’s Ransom is able to do it, but the drawbacks are already factored into her stat block.
As with combat, rolling doubles when casting a spell lets you perform stunts. Also as with combat, you get SPs equal to the casting test’s dragon die result and can only choose a given stunt once per success. The stunts available when casting spells are listed here. “Spellpower” (a term used in the puissant casting stunt) is the target number of tests to resist a spell’s effects.