Viva la Vida
List of Contracts.
You must purchase all clauses from Contracts in order. One dot in the Contract will earn you the one-dot clause, another dot invested will earn you the two-dot one as well, etc.
In order to use Court Contracts, you must first have Court Mantle at a rating of one less than the clause, or Court Goodwill at two dots higher. Anyone can learn a court’s one-dot clause.
- Fang & Talon
- Oath & Punishment
- Shade & Spirit
The enigmatic powers of the changelings are curious — just as the Fae themselves — because these powers aren’t innate abilities. Rather, supernatural changeling abilities, known as Contracts, come as a result of bargains struck between the Fae and the natural world. Indeed, they are literal contracts between the dream-folk and the worlds they inhabit. The nature of the Contract defines its appearance: A changeling who seems “fireproof” actually has a Contract with fire itself to cause him no harm, while a changeling who can fly might have either a Contract with the air to buoy him or with a bird to grant him its aspects.
What is important, however, is that the changeling does invoke the Contract with a bit of his own supernatural essence. In most cases, gaining the benefit of a Contract costs the changeling Glamour. With certain Contracts, a changeling must also or alternatively spend a point of Willpower, as invoking the Contract takes on an additional degree of focus. This is common among the more powerful Contracts, in which the results are so far beyond the pale of what the normal world expects to be possible, or when the natural forces behind the Contract are exceptionally reluctant to indulge their side of the bargain.
Contracts come in a variety of types. Each type is denoted by a symbolic element or governing entity that represents the Contracts associated with it. These elements or entities are, effectively, the signatories to the Contracts, the fire and air and birds described above. Some Contracts are open to all changelings: The “common” Contracts of Dream, Hearth, Mirror, and Smoke. Other Contracts rely upon seemings or Courts, and their powers are more dearly gained by those not of the favored group.
Along these lines, Contracts are not generally something that a changeling strikes himself with something else. Rather, most established Contracts have been formed by a body of Fae or changelings. When a player buys a Contract for a character, that represents the changeling engaging his right to “accept” any one particular level or clause of a Contract to which he’s entitled via citizenship. For instance, a Contract of Smoke available to all changelings would probably be something they were entitled to accept by virtue of being changelings, as they fell into the category of potential “party of the first part” when the Fae took them in and infused them with Glamour. Other Contracts are more specialized. Thus, when an ogrish patron made you a changeling with an Ogre seeming, you became eligible for the specialized seeming Contracts that were struck by the Ogres in particular. A changeling of another seeming would also be eligible to invoke an ogrish Contract, by the Byzantine ties of fae blood, but the more distant connection makes it more expensive to “initial the clause,” so to speak.
In a literal sense, invoking a Contract translates to using a very specific application of the Wyrd to shape one’s environment, even in the mortal world. Changelings perceive the satisfaction of Contracts as being adorned by the powers that negotiated them: They have visions in which they see faces in the fire, or hear bullets make noises like dying songbirds as they try to slow down or see a glittering shower of shadow fountain from a changeling’s hand as he dulls a person’s vision. A changeling’s understanding of a Contract in effect is dictated by Wyrd, and anthropomorphizes the forces at work somewhat. Naturally, the higher one’s Wyrd, the more pronounced this effect seems.
As is the nature of changelings, they rarely agree to a compact from which there’s no possible way to extricate themselves. Even these Contracts they’ve made since time long forgotten have loopholes and technicalities that can occasionally allow them to circumvent the expenditure of Glamour. These are known as catches, and they allow for the invocation of the Contract at no cost to the changeling. Another type of Contract, the Goblin Contract, operates by entirely different rules, and is more of a spontaneously agreed-to, single-time effect.
Certain Court-related Contracts have prerequisites of a certain level of Mantle before they can be purchased; in some cases, a high level of the appropriate shade of Court Goodwill can be substituted. This prerequisite is necessary only for the purchase of the Contract. If a character later loses Mantle or Court Goodwill to such a point that he no longer meets the prerequisites for purchasing the Contract, he can still use the Contract, although at a penalty. Activating a clause while unable to meet its prerequisites adds an additional charge of one Glamour for every dot of Mantle the character is short. Thus, if a character with Mantle (Autumn) 1 attempts to use Scent of the Harvest (which has a prerequisite of Mantle (Autumn) 3), he must spend four Glamour (two for the standard cost + two for the two dots of Mantle he’s lacking).
The Contracts listed are grouped by type. General Contracts that all changelings have affinity for. Then come seeming-related Contracts, then Court-specific Contracts and finally the pernicious Goblin Contracts.
Contracts Versus Supernaturals
When supernatural entities such as changelings use their powers on one another, the strength of their very nature may help them resist the other’s abilities. Contracts with contested rolls allow the defender to add his Wyrd to the dice pool to resist the Contract. Essentially, the power of the changeling’s inner supernatural nature gives him some added resistance against magical or supernatural powers. Thus, the roll to resist a contested Contract is the appropriate Resistance Attribute + Wyrd.
This holds true even when supernatural entities other than changelings clash. If a vampire were to attempt to bend a changeling’s will with its unholy powers of mental domination, the changeling would roll Resolve + Wyrd to resist. The same is true in reverse; if the changeling were to retaliate with the Friendless Tongue Contract (which requires a Composure + Wyrd roll to resist), the vampire would substitute its Blood Potency trait for Wyrd and roll Composure + Blood Potency to resist.
Canny changelings should therefore be wary of those other supernatural creatures that stalk the World of Darkness. Though the Lost may be protected by some degree by their Wyrd, they aren’t the only ones who can draw on preternatural reserves of inner strength.