Arête is the name for both the setting and the game itself. The game is designed and presented for individuals who have little or no experience with roleplaying, and the rules are intended to engage younger children. The game is intended to support both established campaigns and "pick up" games. However, the game is not a "child's" game and presents a relatively robust system to support high fantasy play. The rules are presented as a "basic" game with an appendix for an "expanded" (advanced) game. The expanded game adds a magic system and makes combat much more complicated (variant damage by weapon; additional damage and multiple attacks by level; etc.).
Characters select an occupation, or Class. Archer, Knight, Ranger, Scholar, and Spy are available in the basic game; Healer and Wizard are added in the expanded game.
Characters select a race from Human, Elf, Dwarf, or Cyclops. Race yields bonuses to Attributes and some Skills.
Characters have Attributes (Intelligence, Willpower, Strength, Agility, Endurance, Beauty, and Speed) with values determined by random die roll. An average value is determined by 3d6, though the number of dice in the pool varies from 1d6 to 5d6, with the pool for each Attribute being determined by the character's Race. Characters have other calculated values including Endurance Points ("hit" points). Characters gain experience points and "level up" (characters start at level 1 and may eventually reach level 5).
The magic system is based around Magic Points which are calculated from Willpower and character level. Each spell has a point cost, and each of the spellcasting Classes (Healer and Wizard) have proscribed spell lists.