Dragon Age Wiki
Dragon Age Wiki

Waking Nightmare is a mage spell from the Entropy tree in Dragon Age: Origins.


  • Area of effect: 5m sphere. Duration (adjusted by target rank): 20s.
  • Range: 25m.
  • Conjuration time: 1s.
  • Hostile creatures performing a successful spell resistance check are not affected.
  • Hostile creatures that are asleep or fail a mental resistance check against Spellpower are randomly divided into 5 groups. Members within each group are friendly to each other. All 5 groups are hostile to each other, hostile to the party and hostile to enemies not affected by the spell.
  • For all affected enemies:
    • Current Threat toward the party is maintained.
    • Members of other hostile groups are discovered and each is added to the threat table.
    • The current command queue is cleared and the highest threat is set to be attacked. If the target is a party member, this particular enemy is slowed.
    • Due to relatively high threat from close proximity, party members who keep their distance and have not drawn threat from this enemy, won't be attacked (unless they start drawing sufficient threat).
  • Enemies not affected by the spell may attack enemies who are affected, if they are the highest-threat targets.
  • The spell generates no Threat on the caster.


  • Activation base is in Mana and values vary with fatigue%.
  • Arcane Warrior Spellcasting: The spell requires be cast with your weapon(s) sheathed.
  • The distribution of affected enemies into groups works like this: A random number between 1 and 5 is generated for each affected enemy. This number determines the group the enemy is put in. Thus, groups can be empty and in rare cases all affected enemies may be in the same group.

Tactical Notes[]

  • Using AoE abilities / spells that draw threat from affected enemies makes the spell ineffective (affected enemies will stop attacking each other and target the AoE ability user).
  • On Hard / Nightmare difficulties, Miasma draws 20 extra threat from all enemies in the AoE, which will often be sufficient to make the caster the highest-threat target (and keep enemies affected by Waking Nightmare from attacking each other).
  • Running away from affected enemies who attack party members can cause them to choose a different target, since threat decreases with more distance.
  • Using this spell effectively is very challenging, since even a single enemy chasing after the party can trigger a chain effect of most enemies attacking or chasing after the party. Using Sleep first can be extremely helpful in setting up hostile groups that are closer to each other than the party and will thus attack each other due to high distance-based Threat. This will often result in a very tight cluster of enemies that is an excellent setup for Walking Bomb and Virulent Walking Bomb. The bomb must be immobilized to prevent the enemy cluster from going after the party.

See also[]