Any suggestions on how to teach a pawn to use springboard/launchboard? as a newbie mage, I chose a fighter to guard me, so I'm not too fussed about that, but I would like my minion to better utilize his skills now that I'm aware of things like this. Also, as someone who's never beaten the dragon in vanilla, is it worth it to upgrade immediately to DA or just beat the game first? Also, will a used copy be fine or do I need a new one? They're still pretty proud of their prices for this game in these parts...
As long as the disc isn't scratched, used is fine. You pick up exactly where you left off when you change from DD to DA.
Change your pawn's inclination to Utilitarian and get rid of the Shield Drum/ War Cry and defensive skills like Divine Defense. You could also take on that vocation yourself and model the behavior, but launching a Sorcerer Arisen isn't all that desirable, so be careful.