Qualities represent things about your character: a mental attribute, such as your watchfulness; a connection with an organization; or a plot you are in the middle of.
Qualities have a numerical score associated with them, which can increase or decrease based on your choices in the game. Some cards or storylet options unlock when specific conditions are met, such as having a quality or item.
Types of qualities
Some qualities only have text labels (eg. Profession: Pickpocket), while others have numerical values (eg. Troubled by Vermin 3), or some have both (eg. Nightmares 2 - Twitchy).
For those that are numerical, some qualities are Additive and some are Pyramidal. Additive qualities work as you would expect normal arithmetic: if you have a 5 rostygold, and gain 2 more, you now have 7.
Pyramidal have a numerical value also, but take progressively longer to increase than additive. These gain fractional amounts called Change Points. It takes 1 Change Point to get to level 1; 2 more Change Points to get to level 2; 3 more Change to get to level 3; etc. This means it takes 1, 3, 6, 10… CP in total to get to levels 1, 2, 3, 4… respectively.
The four Main Qualities, Menaces, Quirks and Contacts use Pyramidal numbering. Most Story Qualities and Items are additive.
Other categories of qualities: