Highborn (3.5 Class)

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The aristocrats of the realm are the living, breathing heart of the kingdom. It is here at the heart of the Queen's Court that wars are made, feuds declared, duels fought, and alliance sealed. The highborne can take his family to the heights of power or the depths of ignominy with a few words, and his influence in the world around him cannot be overestimated.

Adventures: The harsh environment of this kingdom does not lend itself to the type of blushing hothouse flower often found in other highborn courts. A voyage from one baron's estate to the next can often be an adventure in and of itself. Nobles often find themselves as the voice and mind of a party, providing intelligence on the world around them, tools for negotiation around the court, and a rapid supply of control and offensive power in times of necessity.

Level BAB Fort Save Reflex Save Will Save Special Maneuvers Known Maneuvers Readied Stances Known
1st 0 0 2 2 Wealth, Talent, Style, Breeding 2 1 1
2nd 1 0 3 3 Bonus Feat 3 1 1
3rd 2 1 3 3 Gossip 3 2 1
4th 3 1 4 4 4 2 1
5th 3 1 4 4 Bonus Feat, Imperial Command, Wealth(x2) 4 3 1
6th 4 2 5 5 Favored Son 5 3 2
7th 5 2 5 5 Call to Greatness 5 4 2
8th 6/1 2 6 6 6 4 2
9th 6/1 3 6 6 Leadership 6 5 2
10th 7/2 3 7 7 Bonus Feat, Wealth(x3) 7 5 2
11th 8/3 3 7 7 Lord of the Realm 7 6 3
12th 9/4 4 8 8 Majesty 8 6 3
13th 9/4 4 8 8 8 7 3
14th 10/5 4 9 9 9 7 3
15th 11/6/1 5 10 10 Bonus Feat, Wealth(x4) 9 8 3
16th 12/7/2 5 10 10 10 8 4
17th 12/7/2 5 11 11 10 9 4
18th 13/8/3 6 11 11 Regal Presence 11 9 4
19th 14/8/4 6 12 12 11 10 4
20th 15/8/5 6 12 12 Bonus Feat, Wealth(x10) 12 10 4

Game Information

Alignment: Any.
Hit die: d8
Class skills: Balance, Bluff, Concentration, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge (any), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Ride, Search, Survival, Slight of Hand, Sense Motive, Spot, Use Magic Device.

Skill Points at 1st level: (8+Intelligence modifier)x4.
Skill points per additional level: 8+Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

Weapons and Armor

Nobles are proficient with all simple weapons. In addition, they are proficient with the rapier, longbow, shortbow, longsword, sabre, pistol, musket, and whip. They are proficient with light armor and all shields (except tower shields).


Beginning at 1st level, highborns receive a masterwork weapon, armor, or tool of their choice. The also receive a highborn's outfit and 50 gp of jewelry. Every level after 1st, a highborn receives (50gp x their Charisma modifier) x their level in gold as income from their lands and gifts from their family. At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level this amount of bonus wealth is increased by the amount listed on the table (i.e., at with level the bonus gold is doubled, at 10th it is tripled, etc.) The highborn is expected to work on behalf of his family in court and maintain a good name and reputation in order to continue receiving this stipend.


All skill ranks cost 1 skill point for you to purchase, even if the skill is cross-class for you. The maximum number of ranks you can purchase in a cross-class skill remains the same. This feat does not affect the skill point cost to learn a language. In addition, having 5 or more ranks in a skill gives you a +4 bonus on skill checks with each of its synergistic skills, as noted in the skill description, instead of the normal +2.


You can take 10 on Diplomacy and Bluff checks even if distracted or threatened. In addition, you can make a rushed Diplomacy check as a standard action and take no penalty. (Normally, a rushed Diplomacy check requires a full-round action and imposes a –10 penalty on the check.)


You are considered to be a member of a “guild” - in actuality, a noble house. The focus and nature of a noble house can vary considerably based on their history, reputation, and character. Upon character creation, it is the player's responsibility to create a name, short background, and history for his noble house. In exchange, the player gets to choose whether his family qualifies as an Arcane, Government, Mercantile, Mercenary, Religious, or Scholastic “guild”.

Bonus Feat

At 2nd, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level the courtier may choose one of the following bonus feats. The highborn must meet all prerequisites for the given feat before taking it: Combat Expertise, Goad, Imperious Command, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, Intimidating Strike, Master Manipulator, Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Ride-by Attack, Spirited Charge, Trample, Wanderer's Diplomacy.


At 3rd level, you have learned enough of the gossip at court to be able to produce some information on most subjects in the kingdom. A highborn may make a special knowledge check with a bonus equal to his highborn level + his Intelligence modifier to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places. (If the highborn has 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (history), he gains a +2 bonus on this check.) A successful knowledge check will not reveal the powers of a magic item but may give a hint as to its general function. A highborn may not take 10 or take 20 on this check; this sort of knowledge is essentially random.

DC Type of Knowledge
10 Common, known by at least a substantial minority of the local population.
20 Uncommon but available, known by only a few people.
25 Obscure, known by few, hard to come by.
30 Extremely obscure, known by very few, possibly forgotten by most who once knew it, possibly known only by those who don’t understand the significance of the knowledge.
Favored Son

At 6th level, you automatically gain the Favored in Guild feat.

Lord of the Realm

At 11th level, you automatically gain the Guildmaster feat. If you do not qualify for it, you automatically gain the feat as soon as you meet the qualifications.


At ninth level, the highborn receives this ability for free. If he already has it, his leadership score is increased by three. The cohort obtained from this feat is always a crusader, fighter, warblade, or ranger – an armsman and personal bodyguard. Most highborns put their lesser followers to work as servants, guards, informants, or members of their entourage.


At 12th level, it becomes almost impossible to lie in the presence of one so regal. The highborn may take 20 on a Sense Motive check as an immediate action.

Regal Presence

At 18th level, the idea of striking one so exalted becomes unthinkable. The highborn manifests a constant effect identical to the sanctuary spell (although this is an extraordinary ability, not a magical effect). If the highborn deliberately breaks the effect by acting in a hostile manner toward an opponent, the effect automatically reestablishes itself at the end of combat. (Note that use of the Imperial Command ability is a hostile act.)

Imperial Command

Beginning at 5th level, a highborn may rebuke or command humanoids in a manner similar to an evil cleric's power to rebuke or command undead. To calculate the number and hit dice of humanoids effected, treat the highborn as a cleric four levels lower than his actual level (i.e, a 4th level highborn has the same power as a 1st level cleric.) A highborn may make a number of command attempts equal to 3+his Charisma modifier. There are some key differences between this power and the abilities of a cleric: No positive or negative energy is involved, as it is the highborn's own charisma that fuels this ability. It is an extraordinary, not supernatural, power. Commands are given to affected humanoids through verbal, as opposed to mental, commands. The ability last for 5 minutes per highborn level. This ability does not qualify the highborn for any feat or prestige class that requires the ability to turn or rebuke undead. Any creature with the humanoid subtype is susceptible to this power.

Call to Greatness

At 7th level, as an immediate action, the highborn may expend one of his uses of Imperial Command to transfer one of his maneuvers to any ally within 60 feet. The highborn must expend his maneuver when he transfers as, as if he had used the maneuver himself. The recipient of the maneuver must use it within 3 rounds, or it is lost. Treat the transferred maneuver as if it was being directly used by the highborn for the purposes of initiator level and any other level-based variables. Any melee attacks or skill checks required by the maneuver must be rolled by the recipient of the maneuver. Stances may not be transferred in this manner.

Example: A 7th highborn transfers Sapphire Nightmare Blade to an attacking warrior. That warrior must use his own Concentration skill check and make a melee attack using his own melee attack bonus to initiate the maneuver.

Maneuvers and Stances

A highborn is nowhere near as skilled in the blade as a professional warrior, but he does know some tricks of the trade. Beginning at 1st level, the highborn knows two maneuvers and one stance from the Tome of Battle, and may prepare 1 maneuver per day. He may choose his maneuvers and stances from the Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, and White Raven disciplines. In all regards to preparing, learning, using, and recovering maneuvers and stances, the highborn is identical to a warblade.

Starting gold

8d4x10 (plus Wealth ability) gold.