Some of the characters' special abilities allow them to have an additional card, such as a spell card, at the beginning of their setup. What does this mean?
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These cards are starting equipment. At the beginning of the game draw those cards and place them in front of yourself. They are no different than cards that you squire through out play.
These abilities grant no ongoing benefit once the game starts
It just means they have an additional item, clue, spell, or ally card to draw during game setup.