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Highlander

Some Immortals have awakened to knowledge of a great and terrible Game, pitting them against their brethren in a contest said to lead to ultimate power. While the fabled Gathering is still rumored to be a long way off, and the coveted Prize even further, these Immortals are still capable of taking the memories, skills, and experiences of those they kill in preparation for this ultimate contest.

The highlander is an archetype of the blue mage class, available only to immortal blue mages.

Archetype Main Ability Scores:

The highlander mainly focuses on STR and DEX for martial combat and WIS for his class features.

Archetype Feature Replacements:

1stBlue Magery, Spell Proficiency, Cantrips, Limit Breaks. 2ndScan, Azure Talent. 3rdArmored Mage (Light), Analysis (Lucubrate). 4thAzure Physical Training, Azure Talent. 5thClear Mind I, Blue Magery, Azure Learning. 6thInvoke, Azure Talent. 7thI Know That Trick, Analysis (Mettle). 8thAzure Physical Training, Azure Talent. 9thBlue Magery, Azure Counter. 10thClear Mind II, Libra, Azure Talent. 11thSimulation, Analysis (Foreknowledge). 12thImproved Invoke, Azure Physical Training, Advanced Azure Talent. 13thBlue Magery. 14thAdvanced Azure Talent. 15thClear Mind III, Doublecast (1/day), Analysis (Flummox). 16thAzure Physical Training, Advanced Azure Talent. 17thAzure Lore (3/day), Blue Magery. 18th1 MP Spell (3/day), Advanced Azure Talent. 19thCerulean Focus, Analysis (Puissance). 20thClear Mind IV, Assimilation, Azure Physical Training, Advanced Azure Talent.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A highlander is proficient with all simple slashing weapons and all martial slashing weapons. In addition, a highlander is proficient with all armor, but no shields.

This ability replaces the blue mage’s starting weapon and armor proficiencies.

Class Skills

A highlander adds Climb (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str) to his list of class skills. This replaces Fly (Dex), Knowledge (Arcana), and Spellcraft (Int) as class skills.

This ability modifies the blue mage’s class skills.

Limit Breaks (Su)

At 1st level, a highlander receives the Limit Breaks (Highlander’s Fury and Shared Quickening).

Highlander’s Fury (Su): This Limit Break allows the highlander to enter an offensive stance. For a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four blue mage levels after 1st, while under this Limit Break, the highlander gains a +2 circumstance bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws plus an additional +2 bonus for every four blue mage levels after 1st. In addition, he gains 10 temporary hit points that increases by 10 for every four blue mage levels after 1st. This limit break requires only a swift action.

Shared Quickening (Su): This Limit Break allows the highlander to assist his allies by sharing his Memories with them. Each ally chooses one type of bonus granted by the highlander’s Memories, such as DR, speed, or natural armor, and gains the same bonus of that type that the highlander has for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four blue mage levels after 1st. This limit break requires only a swift action.

These abilities replace the blue mage’s standard limit breaks.

Immortal Flesh

A highlander’s base attack bonus increases by one step (from 3/4 BAB to Full BAB). The highlander’s hit dice also increase from d8 to d10. In addition, the highlander’s Fortitude save and Reflex save progressions become Good, while his Will save progression becomes poor.

This ability replaces creature magic and MP pool. Highlanders do not gain any spells or spellcasting ability, do not have a caster level, and cannot use spell trigger and spell completion magic items.

Quickening (Su)

When a highlander beheads an enemy (including with a coup de grace), he may choose to inherit their experiences and power in a phenomenon known as The Quickening. The highlander must have at least one unused Memory to enact the Quickening. The Quickening requires 8 hours of rest within 24 hours of making the kill. If the highlander has not completed an uninterrupted 8-hour rest by the time 24 hours have passed, he instead falls unconscious for 12 hours.

The highlander begins with a single Memory at 1st level and gains a new one every blue mage level thereafter. A Memory is used to store the experiences and power gained through a Quickening, which the highlander may use to gain certain feats or special attacks from this primal Immortal energy. A Memory can store one defeated foe’s experiences, from which the highlander can choose one at the end of the Quickening in which it is gained. Upon gaining a level or experiencing a Quickening, a highlander may choose to change the abilities granted by any of his Memories. The highlander may also choose to discard a foe’s experiences, freeing up a Memory, but losing any benefits it may have previously granted. A highlander cannot gain the experiences of a foe with hit dice exceeding his blue mage level by four or more.

Memory: A foe’s experiences and power contain several traits that make up a Memory. A highlander can draw upon these to increase his strength, defense, and even grant him feats and skills. Certain types of abilities may only be equipped when the highlander is strong enough to control it. In the same way, some experiences may only offer a partial bonus until requirements are met.

LevelMaximum Aspect TypesMaximum Natural ArmorMaximum Damage ReductionUseable Speed
1st1+1+130 ft.
2nd1+1+130 ft.
3rd1+2+340 ft.
4th2+2+340 ft.
5th2+3+340 ft.
6th2+3+550 ft.
7th3+4+550 ft.
8th3+4+550 ft.
9th3+5+560 ft.
10th3+5+1060 ft.
11th4+6+1060 ft.
12th4+6+1070 ft.
13th4+7+1070 ft.
14th4+7+1070 ft.
15ht4+8+1080 ft.
16th5+8+1580 ft.
17th5+9+1580 ft.
18th5+9+1590 ft.
19th5+10+1590 ft.
20th5+10+2090 ft.

The highlander may only have so many of a single type of aspect. Types include: damage reduction, feats, languages, natural armor, resistances, senses, skills, speed, and spell resistance.

  • Damage Reduction (DR): A highlander may choose one form of damage reduction if it is available. For example, if the foe has DR 10 vs cold iron or evil, he would have to choose between having DR 10 vs cold iron, or DR 10 vs evil.
  • Feats: A highlander may choose to take any one feat possessed by the slain creature. He is still required to meet the feat’s prerequisites.
  • Languages: A highlander gains every language possessed by the slain creature. This includes additional communication methods like telepathy.
  • Natural Armor: A highlander may choose to equip a slain creature’s natural armor. This bonus does not stack with natural armor granted by spells or spell-like abilities. In such a case, the highlander uses the higher armor bonus.
  • Resistances: A highlander may choose one type of elemental resistance if it is available. For example, if the slain creature has ice and fire resistance 10, he may choose a resistance of 10 to ice or fire.
  • Senses: A highlander can choose any of the following senses if the slain creature possessed them: all-around vision, blindsight, darkvision, lifesense, low-light vision, and scent.
  • Skills: The highlander may select any skill mentioned in the monster’s entry, or that a character had ranks in. She gains a bonus equal to one half her blue mage level on all checks with that skill. Additionally, the highlander is treated as if they were trained in that skill.
  • Speed: A highlander may take the slain creature’s base speed if it was higher than his own, up to a maximum based on his level.
  • Spell Resistance (SR): A highlander may choose to take a creature’s spell resistance as his own if it is available. If he takes another Memory with spell resistance, they do not stack, he uses the greater of the two.

This ability replaces blue magery, spell proficiency and cantrips.

The Buzz (Ex)

At 2nd level, a highlander can detect another Immortal within a radius of one mile per blue mage level.

This ability replaces scan.

Greater Quickening (Su)

At 2nd level, when a highlander defeats another Immortal in single combat, reduces them to -1 or less HP, and beheads them (which occur at the same time if the foe is reduced to -15 or lower HP), he takes a much more significant portion of the slain Immortal’s existence. A non-highlander Immortal beheaded this way is immediately stricken with 5 negative levels and cannot regain consciousness by any means for 8 hours. Another highlander beheaded this way is slain (see Immortal Flesh).

In addition to a Memory, the highlander permanently gains a +2 Inherent bonus to one of his ability scores, corresponding to the highest among the slain Immortal’s ability scores, to a maximum of +2 in any one score. (For example, if the slain Immortal’s highest ability score was STR, the highlander gains +2 STR. This maximum increases to +4 at 10th level and increases to +6 at 18th level. This bonus remains even if the Memory is dormant.

Memories gained from Greater Quickenings do not take up Memory slots. Instead, the highlander may only have one such Greater Memory active per five blue mage levels. The rest are merely dormant, unable to be accessed. He may change which of these are active and dormant whenever he gains a level or experience a Quickening (normal or Greater).

In addition, the highlander may use Commune as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier, except each question is asked to his choice among active Immortals whose experiences were consumed this way. A non-highlander Immortal can only give answers according to their knowledge at the time the Greater Quickening occurred. If used to ask questions of a highlander, the response can be a full sentence, up to twenty words.

This ability replaces azure talents and advanced azure talents.

Immortal Regeneration (Su)

At 3rd level, a highlander gains fast healing 1. This increases by 1 for every seven blue mage levels beyond 3rd, to a maximum of fast healing 3 at 17th level. This does not stack with other sources of fast healing; use the highest value.

This ability replaces analysis (lucubrate).

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Also, at 3rd level, a highlander gains the ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does he lose his Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to armor class if immobilized. A highlander with this ability can still lose his Dexterity bonus to armor class if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against him.

If a highlander already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

This ability replaces armored mage.

Highlander Combat Training (Ex)

At 4th level, the highlander gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with slashing weapons. This bonus increases by +1 for every four blue mage levels beyond 4th.

This ability replaces azure physical training.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

At 5th level and higher, a highlander can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a thief the ability to sneak attack the highlander by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more thief levels than the target has blue mage levels.

If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum thief level required to flank the character.

This ability replaces azure learning.

Memorandum (Su)

At 5th level, a highlander can spend an hour of concentration away from stress or any overt distractions to choose a different bonus granted by a single Memory. This ability may only be used once per day plus an additional time per day for every five blue mage levels after 5th, and deals the highlander 1d2 points of Constitution damage each time it is used.

This ability replaces clear mind.

Quickened Assault (Ex)

At 6th level, a highlander may make an extra attack at his full BAB when making a full-attack action, but this attack and all other attacks made during the round suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls.

This ability replaces invoke.

Maneuver Knowledge (Ex)

At 7th level, the highlander gains a +1 bonus to his CMD. This bonus increases by +1 for every three additional blue mage levels beyond 7th level (+2 at 10th level, +3 at 13th, +4 at 16th, and +5 at 19th).

This ability replaces i know that trick.

Blade Rush (Ex)

At 7th level, when a highlander attacks with a slashing weapon at the end of a charge, he gains a bonus on his melee weapon attack rolls equal to half his blue mage level, while suffering a penalty to his AC equal to half his blue mage level. These replace the normal attack roll bonus and AC penalty for charging. This bonus also applies to his checks for a bull rush or overrun made when charging.

This ability replaces analysis (mettle).

Counterattack (Ex)

At 9th level, a highlander gains the ability to counter blows when attacked. As a free action, he designates an opponent and once per round, if that opponent attacks him from within his reach, he can immediately make an attack of opportunity. He can select a new opponent on any action. A helpless highlander (such as one who is unconscious or paralyzed) does not gain the benefit of this ability, nor can he use this ability when flat-footed.

This ability replaces azure counter.

Rush Assault (Ex)

At 10th level, a highlander can make an additional attack with slashing weapons when he charges, if he hits with the first attack.

This ability replaces libra.

Feats Remembered (Su)

At 11th level, as a swift action, the highlander can temporarily gain any feat within one of his active Greater Memories, without needing to meet its prerequisites. This ability can be used for a number of rounds per day equal to half his blue mage level, rounded down. These rounds need not be consecutive.

This ability replaces simulation.

Battle Ready (Su)

Also, at 11th level, a highlander can spend an hour of concentration away from stress or any overt distractions to dedicate a single slashing weapon as his signature weapon. He may then store or retrieve his signature weapon as a swift action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Only one weapon may be dedicated this way at a time; switching signature weapons requires a similar hour of concentration.

This ability replaces analysis (foreknowledge).

Greater Blade Rush (Ex)

At 15th level, when using blade rush, the AC penalty is reduced to 1/4 his blue mage level instead of half his blue mage level. In addition, a highlander can charge through friendly creatures and difficult terrain.

This ability replaces doublecast.

Unstoppable Strike (Ex)

At 15th level, a highlander can take a standard action to make one attack with a slashing weapon as a touch attack that ignores damage reduction (or hardness, if attacking an object).

This ability replaces analysis (flummox).

No Escape (Ex)

At 17th level, moving out of the reach of the highlander with a withdraw action provokes an attack of opportunity from the highlander.

This ability replaces azure lore.

Quickened Counterattack (Su)

At 18th level, when performing a counterattack, the highlander’s attack of opportunity is resolved before the triggering attack.

This ability replaces 1 mp spell.

Rapid Memorandum (Ex)

At 19th level, a highlander can use Memorandum any number of times per day. In addition, he can spend 10 minutes to reallocate all Memory bonuses, as if gaining a level. The intense stress of such quick change deals the highlander 1d4 points of Constitution damage.

This ability replaces cerulean focus.

Devastating Blow (Ex)

At 19th level, as a standard action, a highlander may make a single melee attack with a slashing weapon at a –5 penalty. If the attack hits, it is treated as a critical hit and deals double damage.

This ability replaces analysis (puissance).

There Can Be Only One (Ex)

At 20th level, the highlander can temporarily steal the existence of an enemy he cuts. Whenever he successfully hits an enemy, he can choose to deal minimum damage, a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier. If he does, the struck foe must make a Will save (DC 20 + his Wisdom modifier). If they fail, the highlander temporarily creates a Memory of the foe struck. This Memory does not take up a slot, and grants his choice of one of each possible bonus (up to the maximum values). (For example, he may choose one feat, one skill, one type of DR, etc.) While this ability is active, the struck foe loses all chosen features; they lose the chosen feat, all ranks of the chosen skill, etc. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the highlander’s Wisdom modifier.

This ability replaces assimilation.

Highlander