I recently picked up the game, too, since it's the only one I didn't have from CC when the sale hit. I did read much of the manual, however, and I've played a couple games so here goes:
1) Increase your Orders Per Turn by raising your stats. IIRC, you need 4 in most stats, except for Martial (needs 5), and Charisma (don't think it does it at all ?). Well, technically you need 4 in the disciplines, or whatnot, whose base level is derived from stats and can be modified by Relics. There's at least one relice I've seen (and definitely used) that just plain gives you +1 Orders per turn when you have placed it.
2) You can see how many end game tokens have been drawn at the upper left corner of the game window, to the right of the magnifying glass. The first number in the ##/## represents how many tokens have been drawn this game and the latter is how many it takes to end the game.
3) The attributes give you extra abilities because they translate into the disciplines/skills mentioned in #1, above. One of the two also gives you some roll bonuses I believe, also. There is a cheat sheet made up somewhere that lists many of these things, but I think there is more basic ones near the end of the manual, too. In-game, you can see the extra abilities you get, from different levels, in the "Avatar" top tab, and by then selecting the second (and only other) sub-tab at the bottom, next to Stats.