Arcanum is a role-playing game similar in concept and many gameplay principles to Fallout. It is set in a unique world, which can be described as mixture between Tolkienesque fantasy, steampunk technology and elements of British and North American culture of the 19th century: dwarves may carry molotov cocktails, and a half-orc protagonist can travel by train between Victorian-like cities. Magic and technology are opposed to each other; most humans and dwarves embrace technology, while some elf clans stick to the old ways and consider scientific progress evil.
In the beginning of the game the player creates the main character, choosing from a variety of races, attributes, magical or technological disciplines, social skills, backgrounds, etc. When the character levels up, the player can increase his main parameters as well as any available skills. Like in Fallout games, the player directly controls only one character; however, companions who join the party may be given orders, and their inventory can be managed by the player.