The game system covers most of the options allowed in the video games while giving you the flexibility to create a unique character. You are able to choose between the three classes and four races found in the electronic games. Each of the three base classes (Mage, rogue and warrior) has seven options for prestige classes. These cover most of the prestige classes it does skip some of the options that are more specific to one area. An example is the rift mage.
Your race country of origin and status are chosen here. Each choice will alter your character in specific ways. While you can not play as tranquil you can be Human, Elf, Dwarf and Qunari. Along with Noble and commoner Ferelden or Orlesian. There is enough information for the in-depth players without making it complicated for new players. Each background allows you to pick or roll for bonuses to stats or proficences.
Mage- The biggest change between this and many other games is the magic system. Your mage starts with three spells chosen by you and uses a mana system. With many of the more powerful ones having the requirement of others forming the ability tree.
Rogue- While you start as the typical rogue with backstab and leather armor you are able to specialize to create a unique character.
Warrior- Start with training in two weapon groups instead of one. You also start with leather and metal proficiency.
Magic system: The mage fraternities are described if you wish to have a connection to one. Each gives a little depth to a character while choosing one will not change your stats.
Mages can wear armor with the only drawback being that it will cost more to cast spells. Casting any spell other then the basic spells comes with a chance to create a miscast. This can be as simple as accidentally burning yourself to summoning something that you have no control over.
Spells and abilities: Your progress is along ability tree tiers. Requiring you to work through some to get to abilities that you want to have.
With adventuring you also have a chance to build/create your own organization if you choose. Since even with all the lore available you still have the space and flexibility to add a lot to the world. Much of the history of the world has been shown to be veiled in shadows and uncertainty of fallen civilizations that came before.
The crunch: Dragonage has an extremely simple game mechanic that takes 3D6+ability+focus/tool to perform most tasks from combat and casting to social interactions and item creation.. You roll for your 8 stats or can use point buy. With the simplicity I have to wonder about the replay ability.