There are those who are meant to serve, and those who are meant to rule. A highlord stands proudly as one of the latter, joining minds together in a powerful network driven by his will and goals above all else. His true power shows itself when fighting alongside his allies, but if deprived of followers, the highlord can still fight by invading the minds of his enemies and briefly bending them to his will.
Unlike other telepaths, a highlord's power runs far deeper into both his mind and those of others. For a highlord, the touching of minds is a two-way street — just as he draws on the minds of his subjects, they get a glimpse into his thoughts and desires. The strong connection of a highlord's collective allows him to avail himself to the talents of both his allies and any enemies unfortunate enough to fall under his sway. When a highlord speaks, others obey. What a highlord decrees becomes fact, manipulating the course of battles, whether they take place in the mind or outside of it.
Each highlord chooses his own path, using the tenets they follow as a guideline to further their own goals. A highlord can drive his soldiers to seek victory at any cost, or exploit them for temporary advantages in combat. Those with evil in their hearts may treat their allies like pieces in the game of battle to be sacrificed if necessary. However, benevolent highlords may value the lives of those under his command, and consider them as friends or assets too valuable to discard. Instead, such highlords choose to use their talents to guide their allies towards a mutual goal. A highlord can drive his collective to step over the bodies of their fallen comrades, or to work together and persevere as one.
Role: The highlord is a battlefield leader who guides the minds of his allies and grasps the minds of his enemies. By forcing enemies into his collective, he can inconvenience or incapacitate them, or direct his allies with pinpoint precision. Through his psionic abilities, he can fight alone or strengthen his party, ruling the battlefield regardless of his choice in tenets.
Alignment: Any. Though certain alignments may gravitate toward different tenets, any given individual may channel the tenets of a highlord towards whichever goals they desire.
Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (175 gp). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
Hit Die: d8
Class Skills: The highlord's class skills are Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Knowledge (Psionics) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per level: 4 + Int modifier
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Power Points Per Day||Powers Known||Maximum Power Level Kown|
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Lifeblood resonance (1d8), collective, guarded rulership, highlord’s tenets, open heart||1||1||1st|
|2nd||+1||+3||+0||+3||Bonus feat, skill affinity||2||2||1st|
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+3||Gift of power, telepathy||4||3||1st|
|4th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Lifeblood resonance (2d8), Highlord’s decree||6||4||2nd|
|5th||+3||+4||+1||+4||Highlord’s mark, tribute||8||5||2nd|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+5||Gift of power, lifeblood siphon||12||6||2nd|
|8th||+6/+1||+6||+2||+6||Lifeblood resonance (3d8), highlord’s mark||20||8||3rd|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+3||+6||Bonus feat, gift of power||24||9||3rd|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+3||+7||Highlord’s decree, greater decrees||28||10||4th|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||Lifeblood resonance (4d8), gift of power||44||12||4th|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+9||+5||+9||Collective range (unlimited), gift of power||68||15||5th|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+5||+10||Bonus feat, lifeblood resonance (5d8), highlord’s decree||80||16||6th|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||Gift of power, highlord’s mark||104||18||6th|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+11||+6||+11||Collective range (planar), highlord’s decree||116||19||6th|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+12||Lifeblood resonance (6d8), supremacy||128||20||6th|
The following are the class features of the highlord.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies
A highlord is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light, medium, and heavy armor, and shields (except tower shields).
A highlord’s ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points he has available. His base daily allotment of power points is given on Table 1-1: Highlord. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Charisma score.
A highlord begins play knowing one highlord power of his choice. Each time he achieves a new level, he unlocks knowledge of a new power.
Choose the powers known from the highlord power list, which consists of the psychic warrior power list and all tactician powers of up to 6th level. (Exception: The feat Expanded Knowledge does allow a highlord to learn powers from the lists of other classes.) A highlord can manifest any power that has a power point cost equal to or lower than his manifester level.
The total number of powers a highlord can manifest in a day is limited only by his daily power points. A highlord simply knows his powers; they are ingrained in his mind. He does not need to prepare them (in the way that some spellcasters prepare their spells), though he must get a good night's sleep each day to regain all his spent powers.
The Difficulty Class for saving throws against the highlord’s powers is 10 + the power's level + the highlord’s Charisma modifier.
Maximum Power Level Known
A highlord begins play with the ability to learn 1st level powers. As he attains higher levels, he may gain the ability to master more complex powers.
To learn or manifest a power, a highlord must have a Charisma score of at least 10 + the power's level.
Highlords learns minor powers called talents that they can use at will. At 1st level, he gains two talents; one is chosen from the highlord talent list, and the other is based on his chosen tenet.
A highlord learns to use psionic power to connect willing minds through an internal network that strengthens their psychic bonds. As a standard action, a highlord can join any number of willing targets into his collective (up to his limit, see below). The highlord must have line of sight to each target, each target must have a Wisdom score of at least 1, and all targets must be within medium range (100 feet + 10 feet per class level). The collective can contain up to his Charisma modifier or half his highlord level, whichever is higher. The highlord is always considered a member of his own collective, and does not count against this limit.
The highlord can choose to remove a member as a free action on his turn, and any member can voluntarily leave the collective as a free action on their turn. Any member whose Wisdom drops to zero or who moves out of range of the collective is automatically removed. If a member enters a null psionics field, the connection to the collective is suppressed until the member leaves the field. A member who leaves the collective for any reason immediately loses any and all benefits they may have gained from being a member. A highlord is aware of the status of his collective and can, roughly, sense the presence of each member, although beyond telling if such a creature is still a member, this has no mechanical benefit until higher levels (see telepathy below).
A highlord can manifest certain powers through his collective. If a highlord power specifies one or more willing targets (or is harmless) and has a range greater than personal, he can manifest this power on a member of his collective regardless of the range of the actual power. All other non-range restrictions still apply. He may manifest any power with the Network Descriptor this way, regardless of their actual ranges or targets. If he is capable of manifesting powers or casting spells from a different class (as is the case for a multiclass highlord), any compatible spell or power with a range greater than touch can also be used through the collective.
If a member of the collective dies, the member is removed from the collective and the highlord must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or lose 1 power point for every Hit Die of the fallen member and be sickened for an equal number of rounds.
At 15th level, a highlord's collective range is limitless on the same plane as the highlord.
At 19th level, a highlord's range reaches even across other planes and dimensions.
Open Heart (Su)
A highlord's collective is more than just a link; when he touches the mind of another, he shares a part of himself, his core, driving goals and desires. To members of his collective, a highlord's psionic powers are unmistakably his, bearing sensory displays unique to the highlord instead of their normal appearances. The appearance of a highlord's powers is tied to what the highlord values—common displays are flowing streams of blood, coins, or other materials, sounds of the highlord's home and those he cares about, or similarly important things. Though these displays don't grant the highlord's collective members any unique insight into the effects of his powers, they do share knowledge of something important to the highlord.
Guarded Rulership (Su)
At 1st level, a highlord gains Unwilling Participant as a bonus feat, except that its save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 the highlord’s manifester level + the highlord’s Charisma modifier. When an unwilling member of the highlord’s collective dies, the highlord does not need to make a save to avoid losing power points and being sickened.
Highlord Tenets (Su)
Many of a highlord’s abilities draw power from his mere presence. How these abilities develop, however, are based on the tenets that he follows. At 1st level, a highlord chooses a set of tenets to follow from those listed in the Highlord Tenets section (which can be found here). This decision is made when a character takes their first level in highlord, and cannot be changed afterwards. A highlord’s choice of tenet grants him the following class features at the specified levels:
Tenet Power (Su): At 1st level, the highlord gains a unique psionic power based on his chosen tenet. Each power is only available to highlords of that tenet, and gains additional functions once the highlord grows powerful enough to augment it with more power points.
Lifeblood Resonance (Su): A highlord’s tenet grants him a means of punishing those who oppose him, assaulting their minds and bodies with his force of will. The exact details of a tenet’s lifeblood resonance are detailed in the tenet’s description, below, but in each case, this ability deals 1d8 points of damage plus an additional 1d8 points of damage per four class levels the highlord possesses (up to a maximum of 6d8 at 20th level).
Conscription (Su): At 1st level, a highlord gains a unique way to force others into his collective. Regardless of the method, these abilities only function on creatures within the range of the highlord’s collective, and this otherwise functions like the Unwilling Participant feat. A highlord can take Ability Focus (conscription), which increases both the save DC of this ability and the save DC of his Unwilling Participant feat.
First Command (Su): At 1st level, a highlord gains a decree based on his chosen tenet. He later gains other decrees of his choice (see below), and the individual decrees are detailed in their section below.
Skill Affinity (Su): At 2nd level, a highlord’s choice of tenets enhances his own mind, granting him a bonus on checks with a single skill equal to 1/2 his class level, as well as an additional ability related to it.
Highlord’s Decrees (Su)
At 1st level, the highlord gains a decree based on his chosen tenet, granting him a special command he can issue. At 4th level and every three levels afterwards, a highlord learns an additional highlord decree.
In order to use a decree, the highlord must expend his psionic focus. He cannot regain that psionic focus until the decree ends (either by its duration running out or the highlord dismissing it).
When a decree’s duration runs its course, the highlord recovers the psionic focus he spent to use the decree. In any round after the one he activated the decree in, the highlord can dismiss its effect as a move action, regaining the psionic focus he expended to use it. If the highlord possesses the Psionic Meditation feat, he can instead dismiss decrees as swift actions. A highlord who has multiple psionic focuses (such as through the Psicrystal Containment feat) can have multiple active decrees at once—one for each psionic focus.
Unless specifically noted, decrees are mind-affecting effects, and if a member of the highlord’s collective is unwilling to be affected by one of his decrees (such as if it applies a negative condition, or directs them to take actions they’re unwilling to take), the collective member can make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the highlord’s class level + the highlord’s Charisma modifier) to resist the effect of the decree. This means that they forgo any actions that may have been granted and they ignore any benefits or conditions that may have been applied. A creature willing to be affected by a decree can voluntarily accept it; if they do, it ignores any immunity to mind-affecting effects they might possess. A highlord can take the Ability Focus (decrees) feat, in which case it affects the DC of saving throws made against any of the decrees the highlord uses.
At 2nd, 9th, and 16th levels, a highlord gains a psionic feat he qualifies for as a bonus feat.
Gift of Power (Su)
At 3rd level, the highlord is capable of sharing a portion of his power with his allies. The highlord chooses a power that he can manifest. This power gains the Network descriptor when manifested by the highlord. At 6th level, and every three levels thereafter, the highlord can choose an additional power of a different level that he can manifest to give the Network descriptor to. Whenever the highlord gains a level, he may change which powers to grant the Network descriptor to. However, any power that the highlord chooses must be the same level as the power he is changing it from.
When a highlord reaches 3rd level, all willing members of his collective (including the highlord himself) can communicate with each other telepathically, even if they do not share a common language. Psionic creatures who are willing members in a highlord’s collective (including the highlord himself) may manifest unknown powers known by another willing psionic creature in the collective as if they were making physical contact.
Highlord’s Mark (Su)
At 5th level, willingly or unwillingly, a highlord’s charismatic and psionic nature bleeds into the environment around him. The highlord can establish a location as his territory, after spending at least a week in the area around it. This location must be an area no larger in volume than a cube that is a number of feet per side equal to 10 feet per highlord level. If it is a public (or at least well known) area, it becomes widely regarded by others that the highlord controls or own it in some way. The highlord’s power influences the appearance of the area through his open heart ability, though objects within it are not changed as to become unrecognizable.
If another creature is already considered the controller or owner of the area, that creature and the highlord make opposed Charisma checks. The character who succeeds in this check is considered the owner or controller of the area the highlord designates, though the original owner is free to contest this claim by confronting the highlord directly. After establishing an area as his territory, the highlord must return to it at least once every three days to renew his claim upon it. Otherwise, the effect disappears and other creatures may become considered the owner or controller of the area, as normal.
The highlord can also channel this power into one of his subjects. As a full-round action, the highlord can designate a willing member of his collective to bear his mark. As a result, that creature remains within the collective and can communicate with the highlord through telepathy, even if they were to leave the collective’s normal range. As long as the creature is designated by the highlord’s mark, the highlord can communicate through that creature and use Charisma based skills as if he were occupying that creature’s space, using his skill ranks and bonuses in place of the marked creature.
These marks can be dismissed as a free action. The highlord can only mark a single location or creature at a time. Affecting a location or a creature with his mark means he is unable to use this ability until he dismisses the first mark.
At 8th level, the highlord can maintain a mark on both a location and a creature at the same time. His followers also grow more vigilant in their defense of the highlord’s territory. Members of the collective within the area of a marked location gain a +3 bonus to Perception, and creatures marked by the highlord gain a +3 bonus to Sense Motive.
At 14th level, while within areas the highlord controls, the highlord and his allies within the collective gain a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls and saves, and the DC to resist being forced into the collective increases by 2. In addition, the highlord can use his powers and class abilities from creatures that he has marked, treating the range and effects of such effects as if he were the marked creature. Doing this requires the highlord and the creature he has marked to use the same action required to manifest the power or use the ability.
At 18th level, the highlord can maintain a number of marks equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1) at the same time. These marks can be on any combination of locations and creatures.
At 5th level, a highlord can draw upon the talents of his collective and use them as his own. As a move action, the highlord designates a single feat, item enhancement, power effect, or spell effect from among those belonging or affecting willing members of his collective as tribute. The highlord gains the effects of the selected tribute until he designates a new tribute, for as long as the effect remains active on the member that possessed. In addition, if a member of the collective leaves the collective, the highlord loses the effects of tributes from that member.
When he gains this ability, the highlord may only have one tribute designated at once. At 11th level, the highlord may have up to two tributes designated, and at 17th level, he may have up to three. Once the highlord gains the ability to have multiple tributes at once, he may choose his tributes from either the same or different members of the collective, and can choose a different type of effect for each tribute.
If the highlord selects a feat as one of his designated tributes, he must meet the prerequisites of that feat. He may use feats gained through other designated tributes to meet these prerequisites. If the highlord selects an item enhancement, he applies that item enhancement to a single qualifying item (such as a ranged weapon gaining the distant enhancement) that he is carrying or wielding. The normal caps on an item's enhancement bonus and special properties still apply. The item loses the designated property if the highlord ceases to carry and/or use it.
Lifeblood Siphon (Su)
At 6th level, a highlord can siphon mental energy from the members of his collective, drawing on their goals and desires that they and he share. Whenever the highlord manifests a power, he may also designate another member of his collective to drain energy from. That member of the collective takes damage equal to the number of power points used on the power and becomes staggered until the highlord’s next turn. In addition, the highlord regains half the total power points he spent on the power. The target can resist the staggering effect and deny the highlord the regained power points by succeeding at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the power points that would be refunded + the highlord’s Charisma modifier). This ability can only be used once per round, even if the highlord manifests multiple powers during that round.
In addition, a highlord’s tenet grants him a specialized version of this ability, as listed in the tenet’s description.
Greater Decrees (Su)
At 10th level, and every three levels thereafter, a highlord can choose one of the following greater decrees in place of a decree. Some greater decrees require the expenditure of power points in order to be used. The highlord cannot spend more power points on a single decree at once than his manifester level. Unless stated otherwise, greater decrees are treated as decrees for the purposes of abilities and feats such as Ability Focus.
Once per round, when a 20th level highlord would die or be destroyed, he may choose to have a member of his collective die or be destroyed in his stead. Loss of hit points and death effects simply fail to kill him, he suffers no change in Constitution score, and he ignores ongoing damage for a round. The highlord is healed for an amount equal to the current hit points of the member who died for him. If this amount of hit points is not enough to bring the highlord back above the threshold of death, then the highlord still dies. This is a death effect, and he may not choose a creature immune to death effects to die in his stead.
A member of the collective may attempt to resist this effect with a Will save (DC 20 + the highlord’s Charisma modifier). If they succeed, the highlord dies as normal.
Racial Favored Class Options
Highlords can choose from the following alternate racial favored class options.
- All: Gain 1/6 of a bonus psionic feat. Any race can choose this favored class option.
- Aasimar: Creatures in the highlord’s collective take a –1/4 penalty on attack rolls against the highlord.
- Blue: The highlord gains a +1/3 bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects.
- Catfolk: Add a +1/2 bonus to the highlord’s Perception and Stealth checks made to perceive or hide.
- Changeling: Whenever the highlord manifests and augments a highlord power with a range of personal, he regains 1/6 of a power point. He cannot regain more power points than he spent augmenting the power.
- Dhampir: The highlord’s lifeblood resonance deals 1 point of additional bleed damage. Damage from multiple selections of this favored class option is treated as a single instance of bleed damage.
- Dromite: Add 1/2 to the maximum number of creatures allowed in the highlord’s collective.
- Drow: Gain a +1/2 bonus on damage rolls with the highlord’s lifeblood resonance.
- Elan: Whenever the highlord manifests and augments his tenet power, he regains 1/6 of a power point. He cannot regain more power points than he spent augmenting the power.
- Fetchling: Add +1/4 to the highlord’s Unwilling Participant and conscription ability DCs when the target is in dim light or lower.
- Gnome: The highlord gains one psionic talent.
- Half-Elf: Add +1/2 to the maximum number of creatures allowed in the highlord’s collective.
- Half-Orc: Whenever a creature successfully saves against the highlord’s Unwilling Participant feat or conscription ability, the highlord deals 2 points of damage to them.
- Human: Increase the duration of decrees that have a duration greater than 1 round by 1/3 of a round.
- Ifrit: The highlord’s lifeblood resonance deals 1 point of additional fire damage.
- Kitsune: Add +1/5 to the highlord’s Unwilling Participant and conscription ability DCs.
- Maenad: The highlord gains a +1/2 on damage rolls against members of his collective.
- Ophiduan: The highlord’s Charisma is treated as 1 point higher when calculating bonus power points.
- Sylph: The highlord’s lifeblood resonance deals 1/2 of a point of additional electricity damage.
- Tiefling: Creatures in the highlord’s collective suffer a –1/4 penalty to AC against the highlord.
- Xeph: Whenever the highlord is subject to a bonus to his land speed, he also grants 1 foot of that bonus to each ally in his collective. This option has no effect unless the highlord has selected it 5 times (or another increment of 5); a bonus to movement of +4 feet is effectively the same as a bonus of +0 feet.