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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

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It just means they have an additional item, clue, spell, or ally card to draw during game setup.

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This is simply giving the same information as the other answer. Do you have anything new to add? – Paul Marshall Apr 19 '14 at 21:45
There is nothing new to add. My answer describes succinctly exactly what it means when the cards have those characteristics. It's not just starting equipment; it can be a clue, spell, or ally in addition to equipment/item. – paperhurts Apr 24 '14 at 19:42

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