Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Wiki


There is a sliding scale of aptitudes in Arcanum, defined as:

  • Neutral Aptitude: 0 means that the character is neither a mage or technologist.
    • This can be due to having no training or background in either field, or
    • Having both but being in perfect balance with each other.
  • Magical Aptitude (MA): 5 to 100 (or more) means that the character is magickally inclined.
    • They get progressively greater value from magickal items or spells.
    • There is also a progressively greater chance of equipped technological items causing a critical failure.
    • This works defensively as well by providing resistance from technologically based attacks.
    • Elves (+15) and Half-elves (+5) are born with natural MA.
  • Technical Aptitude (TA): 5 to 100 (or more) means that the character is technologically inclined.
    • They get progressively greater value from technological items.
    • They also get progressively less value from magickal effects on objects -- both bonuses on normal items and penalties on hexed items.
    • It also provides resistance to magickal spells, both harmful and beneficial.
    • Dwarves (+15) are born with natural TA.

Adjusting Technical and Magickal Aptitude[]

  • Putting character points into magic spells raises your magical aptitude/lowers your technological aptitude by 5 per spell.
  • Putting character points into technological disciplines and the four technological skills does roughly the opposite, but scales slightly higher.
  • Some character backgrounds, some locations, and some items can affect MA/TA.
    • Some backgrounds include Day Mage, Night Mage, Magick Allergy, and Elven Blood.
    • Some locations can include steam rail and train stations, tech and magick shops, factories, The Ring of Brodgar, etc.
    • Some combinations of background and location include Nature Mage and Sky Mage.
    • The Dark Helm can increase MA up to +20 (at the trade of alignment at equal and opposite measure) if ever equipped. This effect is permanent, and it is cumulative if the helm is taken off and then back on.

Magickal aptitude > 65[]

Att mgck
  • Technical shops won't sell to the character.
  • The character can't use trains.

Technical aptitude > 65[]

Att tech
  • Magickal shops will not sell to the character.
  • Some scrolls will begin to fail progressively with complexity.

Neutral aptitude (0)[]

Att ntrl
  • The character is moderately affected by both magick and technology.
  • "Techomage" builds are possible that involve various combinations of magick spells and items, and tech skills, degrees, and items.
  • Some spells are unaffected by MA/TA, particularly the level 1 elemental spell buffs.
  • Some tech items are unaffected by MA/TA, particularly consumables crafted through the college of Herbology.