Characters from Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura include:
The Main Character
You were one of the passengers aboard the airship HSS Zephyr when it was shot down by Molochean Hand ogres. Amidst the wreckage, you encounter a dying gnome who gives you a strange ring and implores you to "find the boy". Not long after, you learn that you are in fact the reincarnation of the Panarii hero Nasrudin. So begins a journey that will soon determine the fate of all Arcanum...
- Action Girl: If female.
- Badass Normal: If one hasn't made any investment in magic or the technological skills that opens up possibilities for making stuff.
- The Chosen One: Or so does the prophecy imply.
- Deadpan Snarker: Can be played as one.
- Guile Hero: With the Persuasion skill.
- Multiple Choice Past: You can give yourself a more general background, or pick from several pre-made characters who all have more detailed backstories.
- Science Hero: Possibly.
A young initiate of the Panarii religion, and your first party member. He's the one who tells you about Nasrudin's prophecy and your role in it. Although kind and loyal, there may be more to his past then he's willing to tell...
- The Atoner: He made "friends" with a really bad lot, was a thief and a gambler. This eventually led to his brother being killed. Virgil joined Panarii religion and ever since tries to atone for his sins and death of own brother.
- Back from the Dead: At certain point, he will leave the party to sort his own personal business. When searching for him, he player will find his dead body, killed by group of thugs he was "dealing with". There is always nearby spell and technological means to bring him back.
- Badass Bookworm: Both trained with melee skills and White Necromancy.
- Combat Medic: He is a decent fighter and and can support your party with his Healing Hands.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He used to be a thief that ran up a huge debt to the local mafia, who eventually decided they'd forget about the debt... after they killed his brother.
- The Lancer: He is the very first party member you can get and joins literally within first 5 seconds of the game. Due to his build, he is a viable follower till the very end of the game and one of the least problematic ones.
- Magic Knight: Both trained with melee skills and White Necromancy.
Sogg Mead Mug
A simple, but friendly half ogre that loves a good ale. He is encountered in Shrouded Hills' tavern, and can be convinced to join the player with a decent charisma. If he joins, he quickly becomes a great fighter and tank.
- The Alcoholic: Fortunately, a fully functional and jolly one. Or it's just the amount of alcohol it takes to knock this guy down.
- The Big Guy: A half-ogre that has no qualms about joining the party, just by promising him some good fun and fights.
- Drunken Master: He's one step from outright alcoholism, being drunk half of the time.
A young fledgling herbalist that lives in Dernholm. She is struggling to try and help the Dying Town, but feels she is too inexperienced to be of any use. If the player has a high enough technological aptitude, they can offer to let her join so that she can learn what she needs to to be of help.
- Action Girl
- Badass Bookworm: She's perfectly capable of standing her ground in combat, while in the same time being highly-trained physician.
- Science Hero: She dedicated her life to study of medicine to improve the life of people around her.
- Squee: Try talking to her about the area while in Tarant.
- Sweet Tooth: She likes sweet cakes.
Dog (Worthless Mutt)
A literal dog who gets in trouble after stealing someone's dinner in Ashbury. Despite his name, he is definitely worth saving as he is one of the best fighters in a game especially after he becomes Master of Melee by himself.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Dog can tear wooden chests, metal doors, stone golems and fire elementals to pieces in couple of bites.
- Cutscene Incompetence: When you first see this lightning fast killing machine, he has been kicked unconscious by a weak civilian with absolutely no combat skills. He was evidently very hungry, but if anything that should have made him more determined unless he was near-death.
- Glass Cannon: On low levels.
- Heroic Dog: The most trusting companion capable of defending his master or mistress from all sorts of dangers. He also happens to be a dog.
- Lightning Bruiser: Later on.
- Non-Human Sidekick: His prowess actually comes from this. Since he isn't human, his "natural weapon" is much faster and more damaging than fists, and he's got no ways to invest skillpoints beside stats and fighting, meaning he gets to max STR and DEX (huge damage and action point bonuses) very quickly, becoming a real terror.
Magnus Shale Fist
A (relatively) young dwarf from Caladon, bent on finding his lost clan. His quest leads him to one particular jewelry trader, where the player can meet him and get him join.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning. His lost clan tuns to be legendary Iron Clan. He restores it and is proclaimed a chief. And later, if Loghaire doesn't return, even a king of all dwarves.
- Berserk Button: "NEVER ask a Dwarf the name of his Clan!" Because he doesn't actually know what it is. Shalefist is apparently just his last name made to sound dwarfy.
- The Blacksmith: Sort of, he can craft some (rather useful) weapons and gear for you.
- But I Read a Book About It: Magnus tries to behave as "true" dwarves do... well, at least as "Ron's Almanac About Dwarves" says they do.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": There are hints that Magnus' real name is Malcolm Schulefest, but he will rather cut his beard than admit it.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: His dwarven gauntlets, which is the only thing that was left to Magnus from his ancestral clan.
"The world's smartest orc", who lives in a museum, amusing people with his kindergarten-level intelligence. In fact, Garfield Thellonius Remington the Third, intelligent, educated, well-mannered pureblood human who was born with the appearance of pure orc due to some genetic quirk. If you are eloquent enough, you may pull him into a discussion about tea, thus uncovering him, and then he may join.
- Cultured Badass: He comes from a high class family and received all the proper education any wealthy gentleman could get.
- Guttural Growler: Has a raspy, growling voice.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The entire act of the "smartest orc" is based on the fact he's in fact a quite intelligent human with a looks of an orc.
- Spot of Tea
The King of all dwarves, who was forced to sentence the entire clan to banishment under the threat of a world war between dwarves and elves (whose woods are now being destroyed with dwarven technology, which was given to human by said clan). Soon after he begun to suspect that he was deceived (he was indeed, by Dark Elves) and felt himself a traitor. The guilt finally broke him and drove him to exile. Howewer, the Player Character can convince him that it wasn't a treason, while his exile is.
- The Atoner
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He is one of the best melee characters in the game and also happens to be dwarven king.
- Badass Grandpa: He's extremely old even by dwarven standards.
- The Exile: Sent himself into Exile as atonement for banishing the Black Mountain Clan.
- Genius Bruiser: One of the largest and strongest dwarves, excellent fighter, wise, eloquent and experienced.
- Lightning Bruiser: Combines high Strenght, Dexterity and Constitution with equally high melee and dodge skills.
- War Is Hell: He knows that better than anyone.
Elven princess, ruler of Quintarra, who helps you uncover Dark Elves' plot and later joins on to solve problems herself. During a course of events, she may fall in love with the Player Character.
- The Archer
- Badass Princess
- Bi the Way: Whether the Player Character can seduce her is entirely unrelated to their gender.
- The Chick
- Making a Splash: With water magic.
- Princesses Rule: Justified as her mother retired due to her incredible age, preparing to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and becoming kind of an oracle. It is Raven who now must do everydays work.
- Rain of Arrows: Just give her a certain magic bow and certain magic gloves and boots, and she will fire 60 arrows per turn (or 15-20 per second).
A world-wide known adventurer, explorer and hunter, who always seeks for some trouble and will follow you gladly to the island of Thanatos... just to shoot a hundred more of a lethally dangerous beasts.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: He's Allan Quatermain of the setting.
- BFG: His trusty "Old Mary".
- Cultured Badass
- Gentleman Adventurer
- Great White Hunter: The reason why he joins your quest to stop an evil sorcerer from causing The End of the World as We Know It? You are going to visit Thanatos island, and he always wanted to hunt there.
- Large Ham: He's well-aware of his status in the verse as famous hero and explorer.
- Weak but Skilled: Though game describes him as quite a powerful man, gameplay-wise he is too weak to use his BFG properly... but then he proves surprisingly effective with it.
An ancient warrior from Kree, who lived somewhen at the Age of Legends, but was raised from the dead a millenium later as part of Derian-Ka's Gray Legions to fight the Molochean Hand who rebelled against the order after learning about the horrible deeds of Kerghan, its founder. After their defeat, Torian was among a few survivng Legionaires who returned to the temple of Dearian-Ka. They stayed there for centuries, and eventually, their flesh rotted away, reducing them to crumpling skeletons and later to dust...
- And I Must Scream: Subverted since Torian himself was lucky enough to escape this fate. His fellow Legionaries whose bodies decayed to dust weren't.
- Back from the Dead: Not exactly from death, but due to the passage of time, his physical body turned into a dust and requires dragon blood to restore it.
- Guttural Growler: Has a really deep voice.
- Fish Out of Temporal Water: Twice, first when he was raised as Gray Legionaire a millenium after his death, second when he was revived by the Player Character another millenium later.
- Immortality: A mix between Type II, V and VI.
- The Undead: As part of the old necromancy experiment, he and his men were granted "eternal life". Well, sort of...
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At the end, he will join Kerghan regardless of the Player Character's choice, as only Kerghan can "free" his undead friends.
An Elven girl who, despite being a Dark Elf, is prone to question the philosophy and the path of Dark Elves. She joins evil/master of persuade Living One to search for answers all around the world and finally concludes that the best she can do is kill Arronax. She is also a powerful mage and a seer, and will tell about visions she has in every city if asked.
- Dark Is Not Evil: She is anything, but evil at this point. While once she believed strongly in dark elves and their philosophy, she is now disillusioned with all of it, but still retains all her training and skills.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Apt earth mage.
- Heel Face Turn: Though only technically, as she really isn't as evil as her character sheet can tell. She must have had it before meeting the Player Character.
- Minion with an F In Evil: She long lost any interest in supporting the cause of dark elves, but is still within their ranks.
- Mystical Waif: She's a quite powerful seer and can help with minor quests by giving clues if asked.
- Time Master: The only follower with temporal magic in her sleeve.
- Waif Prophet: Has a minor insight in the future, which is part of being increasingly weary of dark elves: she knows their efforts are and will be futile.
A mysterious man, perhaps a mercenary, who is sent by Willoughsby to "clean" the Boil, the criminal part of Tarant (this means "to kill leaders of both main gangs"). He will appreciate every help and joins if you manage to remove one of the leaders.
- Badass Bookworm: He has an engineering degree, while being perfectly capable of fending his own in a fight and blowing his opponents to pieces.
- Master of Unlocking: Eventually.
- Professional Killer: Hired to kill leaders of the Boil's gangs.
- Science Hero: Expert of explosives and electrics, capable of making bombs out of random scraps and pieces.
- Stealth Expert: Eventually.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Well, he knows how to make bombs and how to throw them.
A gnome that may join your party in Dernholm and who actually is an agent of the Molochean Hand.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: And a top hat!
- Death Glare: His avatar is portrayed this way.
- The Gunslinger: Though he knows melee too.
- The Mole: Eventually, he will try to assassinate you if didn't became friendly with Molochean Hand.
- Professional Killer: He's a Molochean Hand member send to get the Chosen One killed.
- Science Hero: Knows gunsmithing and chemistry.
- Stealth Expert: Eventually.
Major Non-Player Characters
A high ranking member of the Panarii religion, and Virgil's mentor. Seeking him out is the first leg of the player's journey.
A genius inventor of steam engine, the primary cause of Arcanum's industrial revolution, one of the world richest men. Actually, he used dwarven technology, a deed which he deeply regrets and which almost costed Arcanum its existence. He is the mysterious "boy" whom you were instructed to find.
- The Atoner
- Big Good: The go-to quest-giver for most of the game.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Gil Bates, an eccentric millionaire, inventor of revolytionary technology. Oh, and his rival is called Appleby.
- Gadgeteer Genius
- Lonely Rich Kid: As a young man.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: His ring.
- Self-Made Man: Actually, not so much, as his invention was an improvement on an already-existing dwarven engine, though most people don't know that. He feels a bit guilty about this. Also, he capitalized the invention with his inheritance from his father.
- Uncle Pennybags: Unless you mention labor unions to him.
A legendary elvish hero who fought and banished Arronax the Destroyer long ago. He is revered by the Panarii religion, and the Player Character is believed to be his reincarnation. However, it eventually turns out that Nasrudin is in fact alive and well, albeit living in seclusion, disillusioned with the things he had done.
Arronax the Destroyer
A frighteningly powerful Dark Elf sorcerer that once tried to plunge the world into chaos, but was defeated and sealed in the Void by Nasrudin. His plots to escape drive the plot of the game, or so the party thinks...
- The Atoner: If he stays alive by the end of game, he will restore Vendigroth and bury his father on Thanatos.
- Big Bad: Subverted! You're led to think he is for most of the game, but he's actually still stuck in the Void, and Kerghan's the one you've been tracking down the entire time.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: His power in the Backstory and the ending is far, far greater than his power in the game proper.
Kerghan the Terrible
A mysterious necromancer that was killed in a war between his order and the Molochean Hand long ago. He, not Arronax, is the true villain of the game.
- Anti-Villain: He is undoubtedly the antagonist of the game, but he does have a genuine reason for the evil acts he commits.
- Big Bad: For being the man who orchestrated the banishment of the Black Mountain Clan by the hands of Dark Elves and, as the consequence, started the entire plot, Kerghan, not Arronax, is the main villain in the game.
- Hannibal Lecture
- Omnicidal Maniac: Or Omnicidal Sane as he has a well-thought-out argument for it.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
The Molochean Hand
An ancient, enigmatic assassin's guild that has agents throughout the world. For reasons unknown, they are determined to prevent you from finding the mysterious boy.
Other Non-Player Characters
Bane of Kree
A powerful Barbarian warrior who gathered an immense army and rampaged over Arcanum till he was banished.
A respected gunfighting doctor from Shrouded Hills, Doc is the only town's real law enforcer, as the official sheriff is a coward. Doc will eventually become a new and much more competent sheriff.
A factory owner in Caladon, the inventor of a zeppelin, an airplane, and a machine gun. Unfortunately, his factory was robbed and trashed, planes were stolen (and crashed after being used to shoot down the zeppelin), and the worst, he's going to have his funding cut unless he finds a proof that his heavier-than-air-machines actually flew.
- Disproportionate Reward: Downplayed: from Maxim's point, it's even too little help to give a healer robot to the one who saved the work of his life, assemble him a powerful gun and teach him Mastery. From the Living One's point, it's slightly disproportionate because the Player Character only has to keep that broken camera from crash site with him.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Besides being the master of Repair, he also invented airplains and produces advanced technological devices, such as a mechanized gun and a medical arachind.
- Mr. Fixit: He's the Master of Repair after all.
- Shout-Out/Expy: The real-life inventor of machine gun was Hiram Maxim.
- They Called Me Mad: After his flying machines were stolen, Maxim was left without any proofs that his machines can actually fly and is ridiculed by the people. However, if the Player Character gives him the camera from the crash site, Maxim can prove them wrong.
Once he was a cowardly man, but one day an ancient scroll containing powerful spell of transformation fell in his hands. The man killed the last Arcanum's dragon with a poisoned cow, took his blood and used it with the spell to transform into a monster. He took the name Kraka-Tur and "avenged" the world for his fears for ten years, but finally was caught by Elven Council and banished.
- Comic Relief: His hamminess is just plain funny.
- Dirty Coward: To say he's skittish is an understatement.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Using a sample of dragon's blood and magic, he turned into a dreadfull braconid himself.
- Half-Human Hybrid: And half dragon.
- Large Ham: Loves to boast how powerful and dangerous he is.
- Miles Gloriosus: He pretends to be a formidable fighter and dangerous beast, while being neither.
The most cruel, ruthless and Ax Crazy pirate of all times, feared all over Arcanum. He died more than two centuries ago, but rumors are that his spirit still sails the seas, punishing anyone who plays with his name...
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Pete's most horrible sins are: sadistic murder of an innocent for his silver bootstrap buckles, breaking a pirate oath by slaughtering his fellow pirates under control of an Evil Weapon, and peeing on the altar stone. It was the altar of a Greater God, however.
- The Atoner: He asks you to right the various wrongs he's committed over the years so that his soul can be at peace.
- Ax Crazy
- Badass Abnormal: Arguably the toughest character in the game.
- Bonus Boss: Himself and his crew.
- Death Equals Redemption: Literally, since he is already dead for 200 years.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Bangellian Scourge is too evil even for Pete, and he found the will to throw it and run away after he killed all his crew when controlled by the blade.
- Flying Dutchman
- For the Evulz: Why he defiled Halcyon's altar.
"Sir" Garrick Stout
The captain of the guard of Dernholm, a close confidant of the king of Cumbria, and the mastery trainer for the Melee skill. On the surface, he is an arrogant, elitist snob, but he does his job of keeping the peace well. In reality, however, he's a depraved psychopath who uses his position to stalk a noblewoman and remove her fiancee from the equation... by any means necessary.
- Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: Well, he's certainly got the attitude.
- Jerkass: Oh yes.
- Karmic Death: He ruined the planned marriage between the woman he's stalking and her fiancee (who happens to be the Dodge master) by using a special poison to destroy the fiancee's eyesight. The good-aligned ending for the Melee Mastery quest has you defeating him by using poison. Poison made by the vengeful woman, in fact.
- Stalker with a Crush