|This article relates to content added by Biotech (DLC). Please note that it will not be present without the DLC enabled.
Highmates are a xenotype, commercially available to those who aspire to being one.
Empathic and effortlessly beautiful, these designed companions and concubines have the unique ability to psychically bond with a mate. In a certain context, they seem to be perfect - happy, charming, and kind. However, they are also inept at manual tasks, physically weak, and mentally incapable of violence even if their life depends on it.
On a few wealthy worlds, highmate xenogerms are commercially available and some people become highmates as a sort of career. However, many societies find them abhorrent, either because they distract people from forming natural families, or because they are humans shaped to serve the pleasures of another. On such worlds they are either reserved as playthings of the powerful, or banned entirely. This particular line of highmate fits the fashions of classical Novaroma, but many other variants exist.
Highmates are similar to so-called "perfect mates" in both concept and name, however information of unknown canonicity implies that perfect mates are instead vatgrown from birth rather than a xenotype implanted onto existing people.
Standard pawns from the primary factions do not spawn as highmates, likely because their violence inability prevents common uses. Instead, only select pawnkinds can spawn as highmates. These include:
|Standard caravan trader
|Factionless pod occupants from the Transport pod crash event
|Quest refugee. See also the faction table below for quest factions.
|Standard slaver caravan and ship stock
|Empire slaver caravan and ship stock
|Standard caravan trader
The table below describes the chance for a given pawn from each faction being a highmate. Note that this value does not account for chances in xenotype chance from ideoligion or from pawn kind, it only shows the base value before those factors.
|Standard Pawn Highmate Chance
|Fierce neanderthal tribe
|Savage impid tribe
|Civil outlander union
|Rough outlander union
|Rough pig union
|Cannibal pirate gang
Because Highmates always sport irregular skin color and their distinguishable snow-white hair, Highmates tend to stick out more in large groups.
All highmates have these xenogenes:
|Sheer white skin
Highmates' most attractive feature is their psychic bond gene, raising the mood and Consciousness of a single pawn (of compatible orientation). Psychic bonding doesn't check how distant pawns are, it only checks if pawns are on the same map. This can make caravaning more difficult, but you don't have to bring your highmate into combat situations for the bond to count.
Psychic bond doesn't just result in the +12 mood from the bond itself. Pawns will immediately have +75 opinion with a new highmate lover (beauty, being lover). With no other opinion modifiers, this results in another +7 Opinion of my <lover/spouse> moodlet. And this isn't including the Lovin' that the pawns will do. Age matters - elderly pawns won't do nearly as much Lovin'. On the other hand, a younger couple might have to deal with pregnancy. Fertility Procedures can be researched if you want to stop that. Highmates can be paired with depressive or otherwise low-mood pawns to ease their worries. You can also pair them with an important colonist, who you don't want going into mental breaks.
On their own, highmates are incapable of violence and awful at Plants and Mining. They can do most other tasks reasonably well, depending on the specific colonist. Psychic bonding's +15% Consciousness also affects the highmate, resulting in increased Manipulation and thus increased work speed. Highmates are also great at Social, and due to all the mood bonuses, are very resistant to mental breaks.
If you don't want a specific highmate in your colony, it's best to eliminate them quickly. Highmates romance quickly and with 100% success, meaning they'll be "stuck" to another colonist in no time.
There is no penalty for having the bond mate be imprisoned or enslaved. Slaves and prisoners don't increase Raid points as much as full-fledged colonists do and do not attempt to romance colonists. A bedridden, imprisoned "bond slave" can provide full benefits of bonds at minimal cost and risk. Note that a colonist cannot make Lovin' with a prisoner or slave.
Synergy with other DLC
Psychic harmonizer - thanks to Psychic Sensitivity, psychic bonding, higher natural mood, and capacity for Lovin', Highmates are a natural fit for the harmonizer, which increases other's mood as the user is happy.
Psycasters - With the boosts from both psy-sensitive and psychic bond, highmates are capable psycasters. They have more neural heat, and regenerate both heat and psyfocus faster than baseliners. This also allows them to make significant contributions in combat, despite their non-violence, though care must be taken to keep them behind other pawns and away from damage due their delicacy.
Ideoligious Roles - Highmates have a naturally high Social skill, making them great candidates for a Leader or Moral Guide. Thanks to their natural happiness (from both the gene and the amount of Lovin'), the increased expectations from these roles are not as much of a problem.
Some of the more valuable genes that highmates have to extract are:
- Psychic bonding - Gives access to psychic bonding, without the restrictions of being a highmate. This makes pawns more effective so long as they remain lovers, but makes death more devastating. Also makes caravan trips harder.
- Kind instinct - The kind trait prevents pawns from starting social fights, for the cost of −1 metabolic efficiency. The kind trait can also give others a +5 Kind Words moodlet.
- This gene can be combined with Aggressive or Hyper Aggressive to negate the extra social fights while having a positive metabolic impact. The aggressive genes will still increase the chance of violent mental breaks, however.
- High libido - Makes Lovin' more common, for 1 complexity and no change in metabolism.
- Psy-sensitive - While not the largest boost to psychic sensitivity, the boost from psy-sensitive is a significant buff to any psycasters until Super psy-sensitive can be acquired.
Remember that xenogerms replace all xenogenes. If you implant a xenogerm into a highmate, all of their genes will be replaced, including psychic bonding. This also applies to certain other xenotypes. Don't install Kind Words on a hussar to negate Hyper Aggressive, unless you're prepared to erase and/or replace all of their existing genes.
Replacing Psychic bonding will erase existing bonds without causing any penalties to either side.