how do the new characters work?
(from previous threads here on BGG...)
Every player gets one of them (chosen within the three randomly dealt to him in the setup) and enjoys his/her power for the whole game (may be points, resources, small rule-bending, triggering upon actions of the opponents, etc.).
There's an alternative way for those who will think some characters are stronger than others and prefer thier games not affected by luck-of-the-initial-deal (auction N+1 characters, all known since the first auction, bidding with VPs; N = number of players, the remaining one is discarded).
A partial spoiler list is here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/370066 (do not read if you prefer to discover them when you'll play!).