We’ve touched upon whether or not the templars or mages are the ones in the right (TL;DR: they’re both kind of insane right now), but that doesn’t really cover the actual in-game consequences of choosing between templars and mages.
First, Some Things You Should Know…
- You play the “first” part of the mages quest without committing to siding with the mages. Travel to Redcliffe and speak with the mages there to start this part. You will still be able to go to the templars later on.
- On the war table, you can select each mission before actually committing to them. Your advisers will discuss the pros and cons of each option. This can give you a better picture.
- Both missions have similar level requirements and power requirements, but, as noted, the mages quest has a bit of a “pre-quest” whereas the templars’ pre-quest is probably best considered to be the mission in Val Royeaux.
Now, Here Are The Consequences…
- If you choose templars, you will get stat boosts throughout the mission. If you choose mages, you will not.
- If you choose templars, you will get an additional series of missions with Leliana.
- If you choose mages, you will get an additional series of missions with Cullen.
- If you choose templars, you get Cole first and Dorian after.
- If you choose mages, you get Dorian first and Cole after.
- If you choose templars, you don’t necessarily have to fight Corypheus’ second-in-command.
- If you choose mages, you can weaken Corypheus’ second-in-command, but you don’t have to fight him.
- If you choose templars, Corypheus’ second-in-command is a former-slave named Calpernia.
- If you choose mages, Corypheus’ second-in-command is Samson from DA2.
- If you choose templars, Fiona dies.
- If you choose mages, you loose Ser Barris, a templar you can send on war table missions.
- If you choose templars, you will need to kill Fiona to progress the main plot.
- If you choose mages, you can have Alexius study magic for you. This opens up a war table mission.
- If you choose templars and disband them:
- Solas, Sera and Cole will greatly approve;
- Cassandra, Blackwall, Iron Bull, Vivienne and Dorian disapprove.
- If you choose the templars and ally with them:
- Cassandra and Iron Bull will greatly approve,
- Varric, Blackwall, and Vivienne approve,
- Sera disapproves,
- Solas and Cole greatly disapprove.
- If you choose mages and conscript them:
- Iron Bull, Sera and Vivienne greatly approve,
- Blackwall, Dorian disapproves,
- Solas, Cole greatly disapproves.
- If you choose mages and ally with them:
- Solas, Dorian, Cole greatly approve,
- Blackwall approves,
- Iron Bull and Sera disapprove,
- Cassandra and Vivienne greatly disapprove.
As far as equipment and experience goes, the missions are pretty much balanced.