After you pick your race, you will have to pick the class of your character. The basic division into classes is as follows: a Rogue, a Warrior or a Mage. Each of these classes can also have an additional specialization:
- Rogues can specialize as Archers or Dual-Wielders - they use range attacks with the bow (and only Varric has his own crossbow), or from shadows, equipped with medium armors.
- Warriors can use Weapon & Shield or a Two-Handed weapon - here, you have a wider choice: swords, axes and hammers (especially the last group is noteworthy, because you can deal AoE damage with them), additionally, they can wear the heaviest available armors.
- For the mages, one uniform gear is available: light armors (note: the qunari do not wear the classic headgear - they use special war paints which, although they provide some protection, they fall short of regular helmets) and staffs.
Specialization selection does not oblige you too much, the points for the given specialization can be distributed, after you progress to the next experience level so, if you are not happy with using with a previously chosen type of weapon, you can always change that. Apart from the two combat-oriented categories that determine which weapon you use better, each class has a group of specific abilities, e.g. the Rogue can learn how to become invisible and perform surprise attacks. The warrior can encourage his companions to fight and provide them with additional buffs. Things are a bit different with mages,: here, you can distribute your points to four different spell types. Also, there are expert specializations, where you pick one out of the three available ones, later in the game. They are picked for your character only and the default specialization activates for your companions.
Note - Remember that there is one exception to these rules: dwarves cannot become Mages.