I grabbed my copy of Res Arcana from the post office today on my way home from work. I got it to the table this afternoon.
This is how it comes. It's simple and very nice...
-The "Places of Power" cards (in box - large cards side by side) are thick carboard type cards. Double sided with different "Places of Power", which gives you 10 in total.
-Underneath those is one thick cardboard card (same size) that is double sided; one side to remind you of the setup, the other side to remind you of turn order/actions
-The Magic Item cards (in box - top left) are cardboard cards as well but smaller. There are 8 in total.
-Underneath the magic items is the shrink wrapped Monument cards, Artifact cards, Mage cards and 4 reference cards to help with understanding the symbols for beginner players.
-First Player Token (and 1VP to the person holding it at the end) (in box - top right)
-Essence multiplier tokens (in box - little bag in the middle)
-Essence tokens (Elan, Death, Life, Calm and Gold) to the right of the box in their own organizer. Very handy!
-Nice big, but short and to the point instruction manual
All the cards are really nice. I love the artwork so much better in person than on BGA. LOL
Since I already knew how to play (thank you BGA), I started with a two handed game to simulate multiplayer. Technically you can do it as a nice practice to get used to looking for all available actions per round etc... I played sort of half of that game, and then decided to check out the solo variant JW brought to my attention; I enjoyed it, and it's going to be a challenge for sure.
There is still another fan-made solo variant I'll be looking into as well.
Overall, I'm so excited to have this in my collection. :)