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When I created my Changeling: The Lost character, I purchased the individual clauses of my contracts separately. For example, I purchased Darkness • and Darkness •• with three dots of contracts. My GM corrected me, noting that when you "sign a contract" at a certain level, you get the lower-level clauses for free. In other words, I should have gotten Darkness • and Darkness •• for only two dots.

I believe him, but cannot for the life of me find this explained in the book. Is he right? And can anyone point me to the relevant clause (harhar) that I missed?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

You are looking at from a slightly wrong perspective. It's not because you buy dot 2 that you get dot 1 for free, it's because the first dot in Darkness gives you the dot one contract and the second dot gives you the second contract.

It works differently with Exp than the character creation points. With Exp a contract cost 5*(New Rating) Exp, but the character creation points buys you one dot per point.

It often confuses people, in my experience. It was a design choice by the developers to make them different. While their intend is unspoken to my knowledge, I assume it's because they wanted to make character creation simpler and faster, compared to handing out 500 Exp for character creation. Too much math and stuff...

However, the current system rewards you, in a way, for placing a lot of points in a few stats. One 3-dot contract corresponds to 30 XP where 3 1-dot contracts corresponds to 15 XP.

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Isn't there something additionally weird with some merits? (Like the fighting styles one.) IIRC you do have to purchase each level separately, even at character creation. – starwed Apr 15 '13 at 19:02
Merits are weird in the special case, where there's an intermediate dot "missing". Example, Striking Looks is either a two-dot or a four-dot. Going from 2 to 4 means you Have to buy both dot 3 and 4. You always have to buy all intermediaries, even if it's because they start higher than 1. Also the reason no one buys common sense. It's 20 Exp! – Undreren Apr 15 '13 at 20:38
I didn't mean those, but the merits that have a series of "submerits", like kung fu. My understanding is that there, you have to first buy the 1 dot merit, then buy the 2nd for 2 dots, then the third for 3 dots, etc. – starwed Apr 16 '13 at 1:59
You only have to buy each dot once, and you must buy them in sequence. That's how "X to Y" dot merits work. – Undreren Apr 16 '13 at 4:58
+1 for the comment explaining why no one in this game ever has common sense. – Matthew Najmon Apr 28 '13 at 22:38

Page 74 of the Core Book has this:

Each category of Contracts contains five “clauses,” or individual powers, rated from one to five dots. Your character begins with five dots of Contracts, at least two of which must be spent on either seeming or Court Contracts. Each dot of a Contract (also called a clause, as it effectively represents a particular clause in the pact between the fae and the primordial entity in question) must be purchased in order. For example, you may spend three of your Contract dots in the Artifice Contract list, which would give you the one-dot clause Brief Glamour of Repair, the two-dot Touch of the Workman’s Wrath and the three-dot Blessing of Perfection. Similar to Attributes and Skills, the fifth dot of a Contract costs double (effectively making it impossible to begin play with a five-dot clause).

This should clear it up.

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