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    Default Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Extra Anchovies' Guide to the Nightblade


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    In general, the only Pathfinder content that's commonly used is that of Dreamscarred Press, a publisher renowned (at least on these forums) for their quality content. However, in early March of this year, the fledgling Ascension Games released Path of Shadows, a supplement which introduced the Nightblade, a very well-developed class that definitely meets the bar set by DSP (along with the better Paizo content). To give this class more exposure, to help others know what it can do and how to do those things, and admittedly to help myself understand the class better, I present this guide.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    I. What is a Nightblade?
    II. Class Overview
    III. Ability Scores and Races
    IV. Paths
    V. Nightblade Arts
    VI. Feats
    VII. Archetypes

    COLOR CODE
    RED: A terrible choice. Anything that makes you worse at whatever you're trying to do. Avoid at all costs.
    BROWN: A poor choice. May have a place in some builds but is usually best passed over or ignored.
    ORANGE: An acceptable choice, or one that is only effective in certain builds. Take it if none of the better options are available. If it's an automatically-granted feature, you'll usually fall back on it in niche situations or when your main tricks are offline.
    BLUE: A good choice. Most builds will want to incorporate this somehow, and it will probably be in your main rotation of tricks.
    SKY BLUE: An outstanding choice. Almost everyone should take this at the first opportunity. Think very carefully before passing it up in favor of something else.

    SOURCES
    All content will be drawn from Ascension Games's Path of Shadows (PoS), the Pathfinder Cole Rulebook (CRB), Advanced Player's Guide (APG), Ultimate Magic (UM), Ultimate Combat (UC), and Advanced Class Guide (ACG), along with the Dreamscarred Press supplement Path of War (PoW). All content is available freely online on the PFSRD.

    I. What is a Nightblade?
    The short answer is, "whatever you build it to be". Depending on your choice of path, arts, spells, and skills, you can be a fear-based battlefield controller, a secondary damage-dealer and combat debuffer, a high-damage blaster, a tricky illusionist, a utility-heavy support, or anything in between. The class is solidly in tier 3, maybe on the slightly high end because of how many different things it's capable of. You won't be able to solve every problem with your spells, you can't cut down hordes of foes by yourself, and you probably won't have enough skills to let the rest of the party dump Intelligence, but you have enough tools that you'll always be able to put at least one of them to good use.
    From a fluff perspective, Nightblades are characters who draw on the powers of shadow and darkness to do, well, stuff. Like I said above, two Nightblades can have entirely different capabilities. It's not exactly the most rigid class fluff, which is definitely a good thing - the Nightblade class is pretty easy to add into any campaign or setting.

    II. Class Overview

    CHASSIS
    HD: You have a d8, on par with the Paizo 6ths-casters. Nothing special here.
    Skills: 6+Int per level is quite good (and again on par with most of the Paizo 6ths-casters). You also have a really strong class skill list, allowing you to focus on interaction, sneaking and scouting, or magic, and if you invest a few points into Int you might be able to cover two of those.
    Proficiencies: Simple weapons, plus longsword, rapier, scythe, short sword, shortbow, and spiked chain. Of these, you'll probably want to be using a spiked chain or rapier, since they're finesse weapons and kicking strength to the curb makes you less MAD. If you're going for TWF you'll want short swords instead. You're only proficient with light armor and not with shields, but it should be enough to keep you alive.
    BAB: Average, same as the Paizo 6ths-casters (seeing a pattern here?).
    Saves: Poor Fortitude, good Reflex and Will. You'll probably want to invest in some save-boosting items since you aren't going to have much room in your build to pump Constitution or Wisdom.

    CLASS FEATURES
    Spells: You have 6th-level casting, which is at least enough to get by, and your spell list is very versatile. You're a spontaneous caster, though, so you'll have to specialize somewhat. Spell selection is covered here.
    Path: One of your three core class features (along with spellcasting and Nightblade Arts). Your choice of path goes a long way towards determining your role in a fight. All five grant abilities at 1st, 2nd, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level, are described and evaluated here.
    Evasion: Pairs well with your good Reflex save. Not much else to say here.
    Shadow Surge: A renewable resource that lets you reroll a Stealth check, and gains another use based on your choice of Path. Remember to refresh it whenever you can, because there's no limit on uses per day.
    Nightblade Arts: You get one of these every three levels, and they either enhance one of your existing abilities or give you a new option. Described in their own section here.
    Nighteye: The darkvision is very useful, especially if you have innate darkvision to stack it on top of. Blind-Fight is a good feat to have, and it's free anyways so there are no complaints here.
    Hide in Plain Sight: Being able to use Stealth while being observed is awesome. Plus, you get this two levels before the Rogue and nine levels before the Ranger. You have to be near an area of dim light but that isn't hard to accomplish.
    Twin Surge: Being able to use your surge abilities twice before having to refresh them can be very useful.
    Shadow Shift: You can't bring friends with you unless you spend an art on it, but free teleportation is free teleportation. You can only move between areas of dim light, but it's not too difficult to create those on your own.
    Improved Evasion: Now you never take more than half damage, even if you fail your save. An excellent upgrade to an already useful ability.
    See in Darkness: Unlimited-range full-color darkvision that pierces magical darkness. What's not to like?
    Shadowy Realism: Useful if you've decided to focus on the Shadow spell chain, but it doesn't do anything for you if you haven't spent the spells known on them.
    Triple Surge: Two shadow surges wasn't enough? Here, have another.
    Last edited by Extra Anchovies; 2015-06-02 at 09:38 AM.
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    III. Ability Scores and Races

    ABILITY SCORES
    Strength: You're generally going to want to dump this; if you want to hit in melee you'd be better off with Weapon Finesse.
    Dexterity: Boosts your AC, reflex saves, initiative, and a number of useful skills. You'll want a few points here.
    Constitution: You're stuck with a d8 hit die and a poor Fortitude save, so you'll want a decent Constitution score. A 14 or so should do the trick here.
    Intelligence: Skill points are always good. You have a hefty 6 base to begin with, but your list is good enough that you'll probably want to invest a few points here, especially if the rest of your party isn't skill-heavy.
    Wisdom: Between your good will save and the lack of class features keyed off this ability, there isn't much reason to boost it past 10.
    Charisma: Your primary casting stat. If you want to focus on your spells, or on Arts or Paths that involve a lot of saving throws, you'll want to boost this as high as possible; if you want to focus mostly on utility spells and skill-boosting arts, you can leave it at 16.

    RACES
    Core Races
    Dwarves: Charisma penalty with nothing to really offset it is bad, and most of their traits don't complement your class features. Darkvision is nice, but there are much better ways to get it. FCB is worthless; if you want to use medium armor, take the Shadowstriker archetype or find some mithral breastplate.
    Elves: Int and Dex bonuses are quite nice, but the Con penalty hurts. A few of the alternate racial traits (e.g. Darkvision) are helpful. FCB is nice if you have a feat-heavy build that can't spare a few for Extra Nightblade Art.
    Gnomes: Charisma bonus, Constitution bonus, and a penalty to the one stat you really don't care about. They can get Darkvision without giving up anything major, and the +1 to Illusion DCs is really nice. Small size improves your stealth, too. FCB is somewhat useful but the hit point or skill rank is probably better (most of the important illusions have a duration of Concentration) These guys are probably the best choice for illusionists.
    Half-Elves: Floating stat is good, skill focus is nice, and they can get Darkvision. FCB is good if you like teleportation, but they also have access to the insanely strong Human FCB. They aren't a bad choice but there are better ways to get almost everything they can provide.
    Half-Orcs: Floating stat bonus is good, Intimidate bonus is great for fear-based Nightblades, and they can get 90-foot Darkvision without giving up anything important. Nighteye increases that to 150 feet, which is longer than anything else I know of (even devils only have 120 ft darkvision). Having that extra vision range over everyone else can mean a lot. The only bad thing about these guys is their FCB, but they have access to the Human FCB so that's a non-issue.
    Halflings: Bonuses to Dex and Cha, with a penalty to your dump stat. Small size is good for sneaking. No access to Darkvision, so Gnomes are probably a better choice if you want a Small race. FCB is forgettable (crit confirmation? really?).
    Humans: Are there any guides where these guys aren't a good choice? Floating stat bonus is good, extra feat is good, extra skill points are good. FCB is the strongest available. No access to Darkvision is pretty much the only downside.
    Other Races
    Aasimar: Charisma bonus is great, as is innate Darkvision. The FCB is strong to the point of being broken with ceratin Arts, similarly to the Aasimar Oracle FCB.
    Dhampir: Dexterity and Charisma bonuses are both great, but the Constitution penalty hurts. Innate Darkvision is good. FCB is useful if you want to focus on necromancy. These guys make for good fear-based Nightblades.
    Drow: Same ability scores as Dhampir, but with better Darkvision, beating out even the Half-Orc. FCB is good for sneaky Nightblades.
    Fetchling: Both strong and thematically fitting. Dexterity and Charisma bonuses are excellent, and the Wisdom penalty isn't much to worry about. Shadow Blending works well with the various darkness-creating abilities a Nightblade can get. Innate Darkvision is nice, and they have the same FCB as Humans.
    Tiefling: Dexterity and Intelligence bonuses are nice, but the Charisma penalty really hurts. However, if the variant Tiefling heritages are allowed, you can replace that with a Charisma bonus (Rakshasa-spawn are a particularly good choice), so if they're allowed these guys are blue thanks to that and their Darkvision. FCB is good for Intimidate builds, making these guys potentially better choices than Half-Orcs.
    Wayang: Dexterity and Intelligence bonuses are nice, Wisdom penalty isn't a concern. Perception and Stealth bonuses are small but appreciated. Good with Shadow spells due to racial traits and their FCB, so they make a good choice for Shadow Evocation users.
    Everyone Else: Anything with bonuses to Charisma, Intelligence, or Dexterity is good, and anything without penalties to those is at least decent. Racial Darkvision is useful.
    Last edited by Extra Anchovies; 2015-06-03 at 01:59 AM.
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    IV. Paths

    Every Nightblade must choose a Path, and the choice of path is a major determining factor the the role each Nightblade will play in their party.

    Path of the Bloodied Chain
    This path is heavily focused on fear and intimidation, and is also one of the strongest overall due to its ability to completely shut down fights, especially against groups of weak foes. Nightblades who choose this path will contribute in combat by locking down enemies and leaving them for their allies to clean up, and will want a high Charisma score to boost their save DCs.
    Umbral Shackles: This one is double-sky-blue. One of the best crowd-control effects in the game, and you get it from level 1. Darkness, no-save entanglement, Will save vs. shaken for everyone inside (and the save is made at the start of their turns, so you're guaranteed to hit everyone in its area at least once). Scales really hard as you level, between the increased area and the free fear escalation. Creatures immune to fear ignore the entanglement, but that becomes almost a non-issue at level 5 thanks to Aura of Fear. The only downside is that you can't exclude allies from the effect, so you'll want to make friends with either reliable ranged damage or immunity to fear.
    Haunting Rattle: Useful for locking down already-cowering foes, and it leaves you your standard action so you can still do something else with your turn.
    Frightening Display: Intimidate can't escalate fear up from shaken, but Intimidate is a great way to lay down that first shaken condition. The bonus from this ability means nobody is safe, especially if you invest in ways to use the skill more effectively, such as Martial Training (for Black Seraph's Glare), or the Enforcer feat. The ability to convert shaken enemies to frightened is nice if you want to rush someone to cowering, but you need to beat the DC by 15, which might not be happening often even with the bonus.
    Aura of Fear: This ability is the icing on the cake that is Umbral Shackles. The -4 to nearby enemies' saves against fear is really strong on its own, but the ability to ignore fear immunity leaves blanket immunity to mind-affecting effects as the only protection against your (and your allies') fear effects.
    Thrive on Fear: The [pain] and [emotion] descriptors aren't really common enough for this to be particularly good. The blanket save bonus is nice (and given your other Path features, will be available most of the time), but it's a morale bonus, which is a fairly common type.
    Eyes of Terror: I'm a bit disappointed that this ability doesn't actually apply any fear conditions. The paralysis is good for clearing rooms of mooks (since they'll be failing their saves anyways), but the standard action to activate is annoying unless you can get a surprise round in.
    Shadow of Dread: One of the worse capstones, but not actually bad. The fast healing is useful (although at this point in the game you might not get much use out of it, unless you're being cheesy and carrying around a bag of rats to frighten), and Weird is nice if you need to clear a room in a hurry.
    Path Arts
    Bloodied Chains: The bleed isn't much, but at least it automatically applies. Damage shouldn't really be your specialty if you chose this path, but it could be useful if you've already got all the arts you need.
    Dread Sense: Unless you like throwing your Umbral Shackles into empty rooms, you're not going to get much use out of this, and blindsight is easy enough to get by level 12, so this is mostly a waste of an art.
    Shroud of Chains: Useful if you need to keep fearing people who manage to run away, but that shouldn't happen if you stack your fear right.
    Terrorizing Glare: The only reason this isn't blue is because you're already so good at Intimidate. If you find yourself never using Haunting Rattle and have an art to spare this may be worth picking up.
    Untold Horrors: Here we go. Not only is it really cool, but it's also surprisingly effective. Deafened isn't usually the best condition to apply, but being able to put a failure chance on spells in the area can prevent enemy casters from escaping, dispelling the effect, or granting allies immunity to fear. It also blocks the various sound-based fear-resistance abilities (e.g. non-dancing Inspire Courage).

    Path of the Darkened Fortress
    This is an odd path, with a mix of offensive, defensive, and casting-focused abilities. Lots of fun stuff without a unified theme, so it's good for generalist or utility Nightblades. A lot of the features are strong, but it's balanced by the fact that they don't synergize as well as those of some other paths.
    Shadow Armament: Free magic weapon! Woo! It scales up to +7, which is pretty nice, but it can't go any higher without someone applying Greater Magic Weapon, and the weapon only lasts for Cha minutes, so you'd need to burn a lot of slots. Also, enemies get a Will save the first time you hit them and if they succeed you only deal half damage. Still, it's a free magic item with variable properties, so it's a good way to be at least somewhat relevant in a fight. This becomes blue with one or more of the path arts that enhance this ability.
    Shadow Barrier: Immediate-action defenses are always nice. Not much else to say here.
    Shadow Bond: The extra spell is nice, but it pales in comparison to the utility of a familiar. The familiar's ability to meld into your shadow is a great way to hide it and any items it's holding or carrying. Not unique to this path thanks to the Dark Conjuror archetype, but you don't have to give anything up for it, which is nice.
    Penumbral Craft: Item creation feats are always nice, because you get custom gear and can break WBL to boot. Ignoring spell prerequisites is very good, especially since you can ignore more as you gain levels.
    Guardian Shroud: Crit resistance? Sneak attack resistance? Yes please. You're somewhat squishy, which makes this even better.
    Dark Citadel: That's right, your own pocket dimension on the Shadow Plane, built to order. The free Guards and Wards effect makes it a nice stronghold. Just make sure it doesn't get dispelled!
    Shadow Raiment: Full crit/SA immunity is good. DR is mostly irrelevant at this point but at least you'll never get a bruise from stubbing your toe unless you decide to invest in silvered wallpaper.
    Path Arts
    Dark Enchantment: Gives you more versatility with your Shadow Armament, and lets you spend a use of the ability to create an illusory Greater Magic Weapon effect. Shores up most of the weaknesses of the path power, so if you want to focus on Shadow Armament this is a very good pick.
    Improved Shadow Bond: Free Improved Familiar, plus you get to share your Hide in Plain Sight with them so they don't need to meld into your shadow when you want to be all sneaky. The extra bonus spell and reduced craft cost makes picking a bonded object less of an inferior option, but the familiar is still better.
    Piercing Armament: Makes it a bit harder to ignore your Shadow Armament, so if you really want to focus on that ability this art is probably worth taking.
    Shadow Equipment: Missing that one key tool? Running a little short on rope? Out of daggers? Not anymore. Wonderful utility art, and it can be taken from level 1. Gets a little weird when you start using it to create containers.
    Versatile Armament: Lets you use Shadow Armament to create two weapons or a single ranged weapon. Worth taking if you want to focus on TWF or archery.

    Path of the Eternal Night
    I'm not sure what to make of this path. It's weird mix of abilities that provide some support for melee nightblades and help them keep enemies disorganized, so it requires some strategic thinking and competent allies to really shine.
    Corruption: This is an odd power. Considered alone, it definitely seems like something a tank would have; low but scaling damage in an AoE centered on the user. However, Nightblades have a different purpose for it; they aren't hardy enough to play the tank, but the continuous damage can help them increase their own output and it can keep enemies away from the Nightblade. It's not the greatest path power, but it's still a useful tool for melee Nightblades, and the swift-action activation saves on action economy.
    Entropic Grasp: Unluck effects are generally strong, and although this one only lasts for one round, it allows no save, no SR, and has no subtypes or descriptors for enemies to be immune to. Pairs very well with Gift of Shadow, because an ally can keep the debuff on an enemy while you recover your shadow surges.
    Powered by Death: The variety of available bonuses is nice, and they scale pretty well (or at least the damage boost and the heal do). Action economy drain hurts until 7th level (and still hangs around until 13th) but it's still a good way to keep your advantage after you eliminate a foe. Somewhat suffers from the Bag of Rats effect (especially with the heal) but that's mostly mitigated by the limited uses per day.
    Descent into Darkness: Diehard is a really good way to get overconfident about how much punishment you can take and die as a result. However, assuming your allies are sensible and don't run back into melee when they're already at -7 HP, this can be a useful ability, since they can walk over to whoever has the healing items/spells on their own, which saves nicely on actions. Also good if your DM really likes enemies with Diehard.
    Death Attunement: The save bonus is welcome, and constant deathwatch is nice for knowing which enemies to focus your attacks on first.
    Shadow Betrayal: This one's pretty good, especially once you can summon multiple shadows. They probably won't kill their targets but the Strength damage is a nice debuff. Shame you never get multiple uses per day, but it's still effective.
    Master of Death: Probably the best path capstone out of the five. The list of immunities is really nice (and includes healing from negative energy). The SLA is pretty nice too for when you really want someone dead.
    Path Arts
    Corrupting Feast: Deal extra negative energy damage to foes who strike you. You get a bit of a heal each time it triggers, but anything that relies on you taking damage to be useful is probably not the best choice.
    Grasp of Death: Useful against skirmishers (or if you're running away), but that's pretty much it. There are much better choices.
    Grave Walker: Shadow Shift between corpses. Could have some interesting uses; carry a bag of rats, pull two out and kill them, toss one over/past an obstacle, and teleport to it.
    Shadow of Death: Entropic Grasp is strong and short-lasting enough that you'll definitely want to consider picking this up.
    Vile Corruption: Free debuffs are good, especially when they're attached to something that's a non-action anyways and both the debuff and its source effect last for multiple rounds.

    Path of the Ravaging Void
    If you like blasting, this is probably the path for you. Damage spells normally aren't the most efficient use of slots, but this path gives you some pretty nice tricks to make them more worthwhile. You'll want a high Charisma to boost those save DCs and get more spells per day.
    Elemental Shade: On its own, not particularly useful unless you're up against enemies with elemental resistances or immunities. Works well with the other path abilities, though.
    Umbral Blast: The damage is alright, and it's ranged touch, but after you've used it up it's better to be casting a spell than burning actions to recover your shadow surge. Still good if you've only got one enemy left and want to conserve your spells.
    Warding Shadows: Energy resistance is good, and being able to share it with allies is good as well. The ability to rotate out the resistance every day is useful if you know generally what you'll be up against.
    Twisted Elements: The debuff riders are generally good, and the ability to change damage types via Elemental Shade lets you pick which conditions to apply regardless of the base spell's damage type. The uses/day is generally going to be enough for two per encounter, so don't be too miserly with this ability.
    Shadow Energy: Being able to take those low-level spell slots and put them towards something useful is quite nice, especially at higher levels.
    Shadow Avatar: The immunities, fly speed, and Dexterity bonus all are very nice. More uses per day would've been great, but it's a ninth-level SLA at 15th level, so I'm not complaining.
    Inevitable Darkness: It comes online late, but damn is it good. Ignoring evasion/stalwart means that everyone takes at least some damage from your spells, especially when combined with the double rolls for spell penetration.
    Path Arts
    Destructive Shade: This path is all about dealing spell damage, so increasing your spell damage is a good thing.
    Empowered Elements: Could be worth taking to change an enemy's damage types to match your resistance, but most valid targets will be able to make their saves easily enough that this art doesn't do much.
    Encroaching Darkness: Good if you need to take enemies out from long range and want to use your Elemental Shade to help accomplish that, but most encounters start when both sides are fairly close to each other anyways.
    Enter the Void: You know that weird energy-changing ability? It now also tries to trap your enemies inside. Good for keeping enemies concentrated so you can lay down mass damage more efficiently.
    Exposing Void: A very solid pick. The move-action use means you can toss it down in the same turn as a spell, and although it has a save to resist, the chance for +50% damage is worth it.

    Path of the Twilight Veil
    If Path of the Ravaging Void is for blasters, this one is for illusionists. Like the other save-focused paths, you'll want a high Charisma.
    Distorting Shadows: The random effects means you won't always get what you wanted to, but the debuffs are generally good. Makes for a nice opener to disrupt enemies.
    Veil of Darkness: (Effectively) at-will Invisibility is pretty great. Plus it's move-action, so you can activate it and cast a spell in the same turn.
    Extended Illusions: By the mid-high levels, this ability will let you cast illusions and keep them active for entire encounters without spending even a round in concentration. That lets you move, cast other spells, stack illusions on top of each other - it's great.
    Illusory Arcana: The Sor/Wiz list has a lot of good illusions and enchantments to grab. Pick basically anything you like that isn't already on the Nightblade list.
    Entrancing Shadows: Fascinate isn't terribly strong, but the HD cap scales enough that it'll stay relevant. Good for getting past hordes of mooks without them raising any alarms.
    Slip Away: One of the strongest defensive abilities I've seen. Immediate-action invisibility (with enough of a duration to move away from where you were), plus enemies have to save or forget you were even there. Oh, and you're immune to everything that could possibly detect you, including True Seeing. I don't know of anything else that gets past that ability, which is a common one at this level. Unusual sight modes like tremorsense, blindsense, and blindsight are also blocked. When you activate this, you're gone. Only once per day, so save it for when you need it.
    Master of Shadows You already have Permanent Image, so the first effect isn't of much note, but continuous (Su) True Seeing is really good.
    Path Arts
    Controlled Distortion: The only real dud among the Distorting Shadows effects is the stagger, so you won't be needing many rerolls.
    Irresistible Shade: Overcoming mind-affecting immunity is really good, but it costs three uses of your Distorting Shadows and prevents you from making your allies immune. This one is blue if your DM really like Mind Blank and/or you have lots of ranged damage.
    Shade Inoculation: Essentially a must-have if your party doesn't have a reliable source of ranged damage. Letting your allies run in and tear apart the enemies after you've applied your debuffs is always nice.
    Shadow of Doubt: Keeps your lower-level illusions relevant for longer, and increases the chance that an enemy will end up unconscious or stunned from your Distorting Shadows. A very nice choice for your sixth-level art.
    Shrouded Casting: Concealing the fact that you're the one casting the illusions can be very useful, especially in areas where spellcasters are unwelcome or unexpected.
    Last edited by Extra Anchovies; 2015-06-03 at 09:44 AM.
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    V. Nightblade Arts

    Arts aren't as big a determiner of your role as your Path is, but they can increase your existing abilities or give you some more options. Nightblades aren't an inherently feat-intensive class, so you can probably afford to spend some of your later feats on Extra Nightblade Art.

    Beckoning Shadows: Is the BBEG wizard hiding behind his minions? Not anymore. Now he's standing right next to your raging barbarian friend, and is about to have a really bad time. Save negates, and it eats up a good chunk of your shadow shift when it succeeds, but it's still worth trying.
    Casting Art: Metamagic isn't a particularly strong choice on a 6ths-caster, but the main reason this sucks is that you get six Nightblade arts and ten feats. If you really want metamagic, spend a feat on it and save your arts.
    Combat Art: The only reason this isn't red like Casting Art is that combat builds are more feat-intensive, especially in the early game, so you may want to spend your third-level art on this and use a later feat for Extra Nightblade Art.
    Dark Resurgence: Good for paths with strong surge abilities with short durations, like Path of the Ravaging Void's Umbral Blast or Path of the Eternal Night's Entropic Grasp.
    Disguising Veil: You have Disguise Self on your class list and it's a good enough spell that you should probably pick it up that way, so you'll usually want to pass on this one. The only redeeming quality here is that the DC scales with your level.
    Dusk Strike: Touch attacks are really good, especially since you only have average base attack. This art is worth taking if your path-granted surge ability is lackluster or situational, such as with Path of the Darkened Fortress or Path of the Eternal Night.
    Fall of Night: If you somehow ended up with a crit-fishing build, this could be useful. You probably won't be the primary damage-dealing so being able to apply debuffs with your attacks is nice (especially the blind).
    Flexible Art: You should have all the feats you need by 12th level. Pass.
    Focused Cast: Good for casters (especially illusionists, since they'll be concentrating a lot), but in general you shouldn't be in situations where Concentration checks are forced very often. Blue for Path of the Twilight Veil.
    Hidden Stride: A great pick for sneaky Nightblades. Also good for anyone who wants to make use of Darkness or Umbral Shackles.
    Mystic Shade: Boosting your UMD is good, but once you get enough ranks this one might become obsolete.
    Penumbral Aegis: Might be worth picking up if your DM uses lots of touch attacks, but there are better choices.
    Shadow Cache: Free extradimensional storage space, but people on the Shadow Plane can mess with your stuff. It'll usually be better to find a bag of holding, but this can't be taken away from you. If you somehow find yourself with room for an extra art, this is a good one.
    Shadow Form: Gaseous Form, but without the fly speed? Yuck. Good for scouting or for leaving the rest of your party to die.
    Shadow Motion: The only one of these skills that you should be using is Acrobatics, and even then your modifier will probably be high enough that the reroll usually isn't helpful.
    Shadow Run: Getting +Cha to most uses of CMD is nice, as is the ability to ignore difficult terrain. There are better options but this isn't a bad one.
    Shadow Transference: Most shadow- and darkness-descriptor spells are are-effects and thus immune to this, and they aren't exactly all that common to begin with. If your DM really likes those sorts of spells this might be worth taking via a feat.
    Shifting Focus: The one weakness of your shadow shift is that you can't bring your friends along, but now you can. The extra distance is nice, too.
    Void Sight: Vision modes are nice, especially when you can share them. But it's only 1/day, and comes into play a little late.
    Warp Strike: Increasing your reach can help you stay safe in combat, which is good if melee is your sort of thing. The range penalties are forgettable unless you're using thrown weapons, in which case you should ask yourself why you're using thrown weapons.

    VI. Feats

    Nightblades are not particularly feat-dependent, but they can still get a great deal of use out of certain options. This section will list and evaluate feats in the listed sources that a single-classed Nightblade could find especially useful, along with any feats that may seem useful but are not actually worth taking, but it will not cover Teamwork or Style feats.

    Core Rulebook
    Agile Maneuvers: You won't be a particularly heavy damage-dealer, but you could still contribute in melee through tripping or disarming, and being able to use Dexterity instead of Strength is nice.. However, you lack the base attack bonus to stay effective at higher levels, so it's probably better to skip this and find something else to do in a fight.
    Arcane Strike: A solid damage boost, especially for Nightblades who don't have much to do with their swift action during combat.
    Augment Summoning: Although you don't have access to Summon Monster by default, the Dark Conjuror archetype can make excellent use of this feat.
    Combat Casting: Even though you have enough touch-range offensive spells that this might be worth learning, it's probably better to save yourself a feat and just cast the spells before entering melee.
    Combat Reflexes: You'll probably have a reach weapon and high Dexterity, so you might as well make use of it.
    Improved Familiar: Useful for Nightblades with familiars (e.g. Path of the Darkened Fortress or the Dark Conjuror archetype). The Improved Shadow Bond art is better, so Darkened Fortress Nightblades would be better off spending a feat on Extra Nightblade Art to pick that up.
    Improved Initiative: Going first is always good, but it's even better for Nightblades with battlefield-control path powers, such as Umbral Shackles or Distorting Shadows.
    Point-Blank Shot: Good for archers, along with Rapid Shot, Precise Shot, and Improved Precise Shot.
    Spell Focus (and Greater Spell Focus): Good for illusionists, blasters, or anyone else who uses a lot of spells that allow saves.
    Spell Penetration: Good for the same reasons as Spell Focus is.
    Toughness: You're somewhat squishy. If you have room in your build this may be worth it.
    Weapon Finesse: It lets you dump Strength. Enough said.
    Critical Feats: Good for rapier-users, TWFers, and/or those with the Fall of Night art. You won't be contributing too much damage-wise, so you might as well stack some extra debuffs every now and then.
    Item Creation Feats: Useful if your DM gives you the downtime to use them in. Craft Wondrous Item and Craft Magic Arms and Armor are good choices. Blue for Darkened Fortress Nightblades, since they can ignore spell requirements.
    Metamagic Feats: You're a 6ths-caster, so you can't use metamagic as effectively as a full caster. Still, Extend, Widen, Silent, and Still Spell might all be decent choices at the mid-high levels.

    Advanced Player's Guide
    Deepsight: Between this and Nighteye, you can get 180-foot darkvision. Ask your DM if this feat lets Half-Orcs with Acute Darkvision extend their racial Darkvision to 150 feet, because 210-foot Darkvision is far and away the best range available in the game. However, all of this is obviated by the See in Darkness class feature once you get to that point. If your game won't run to 14th level or your DM lets you retrain feats, this becomes blue.
    Enforcer: Gives fear-based builds another way to apply the shaken condition (saving their other fear abilities for escalation), and it makes your demoralizations last a lot longer. Be sure to have some way to reliably deal nonlethal damage, whether it's a Merciful weapon or spending a feat on Improved Unarmed Strike.
    Taunt: Allows Small characters to get in on the demoralization fun.

    Ultimate Magic
    Eldritch Heritage: You'll definitely have the Charisma for it, so if you have the feats to spare this can be a good pick. Of note is Eldritch Heritage (Arcane), which lets you grab a familiar without taking Path of the Darkened Fortress of the Dark Conjuror archetype.
    Evolved Familiar: A good buff to your familiar, if you have one.
    Superior Summoning: Useful for Dark Conjurors.

    Ultimate Combat
    Dimensional Agility: A great addition to your Shadow Shift ability. The rest of the chain is much more combat-focused, so they might not be as useful, but if you plan to use Shadow Shift in combat this is worth investing in for the action-economy boost.

    Advanced Class Guide
    Evolved Summon Monster: Another useful feat for summoner Nightblades.
    Lunging Spell Touch: Good for delivering touch spells without having to get right in the middle of a fight.
    Riving Strike: A lot of your debuffs are (Su), but this is still a nice rider to add to Arcane Strike, especially if your allies tend to use save-dependent spells.
    Steadfast Personality: A nice boost to your Will saves if you need one.
    Twist Away: A good way to shore up your weak Fortitude save. The staggered condition is annoying but it's better than being disintegrated.

    Path of War
    Deadly Agility: Dex to damage means your attacks might do more than just tickle.
    Martial Training: Are Nightblades weak in combat? Not anymore, they aren't. This chain eats up six feats, but every one of them is worth it. Maneuvers are a great way for a class to contribute to a fight, even if they're of average base attack with few or no innate boosts to hit and damage. Any of the disciplines can work pretty well, so pick the one that looks the best. Your recovery method will be pretty bad, so you may want to also consider Victorious Recovery and/or Extra Readied Maneuver.

    Path of Shadows
    Extra Nightblade Art: An extra nightblade art. Enough said.
    Lingering Shadows: Good for shutting down attempts to negate your [darkness] spells. Shame it doesn't also apply to (Sp) or (Su) Nightblade abilities.
    Realistic Illusions: Your illusions have a chance to effect people even in the face of proof that they aren't real. A great choice for illusion-focused Nightblades.
    Shadow Gift: Letting an ally use one of your shadow surges can set up some nifty combos. Especially good with Path of the Bloodied Chain, because an ally can use Haunting Rattle while you recover your own shadow surges to use on subsequent rounds.
    Umbral Striker: Getting around DR is nice, as is the option for cold damage. Worth taking if you're going for an Arcane Strike build and have room for another feat.
    Unseen Terror: Good for Intimidate builds that also use magical darkness effects.

    VII. Archetypes

    Dark Conjuror: Path power replacement is good, familiar is good, extra spells known are good (especially since they aren't on your class list), and linked senses is good. If you don't need any arts early on and don't care much for your path power, this is a really good archetype. Summoning is strong enough that this might be an upgrade from stock Nightblade, but it's definitely not any worse than the standard class features.

    Shadowstriker: This archetype is pretty clearly intended for combat-focused Nightblades, but it doesn't do a very good job of it. Diminished spellcasting hurts, especially since you just don't get anything in return - all of your other features are replacements or alterations. Being locked in to bonded object is annoying, and the combat feats are alright but not any better than evasion and improved evasion. Losing the 5th-level path technique in exchange for an art is a bit of a downgrade, especially since one of your other features trades away an art at about the same level. Fighter training is definitely worse than Hide in Plain Sight, and Armor Training is barely useful - a mithral chain shirt with the highest max Dexterity is only 1 point of AC behind mithral full plate with max Dexterity. Master's Armament is nice, but so is Triple Surge. Overall this is a downgrade from stock Darkened Fortress Nightblade. Note: The developer has suggested removing Diminished Spellcasting, which definitely makes this archetype more viable (bringing it up to at least brown).

    Shadow Agent: Sneak attack is good, although I wish it scaled every four levels instead of every six (for an eventual +5d6). Poison Expertise and Swift Poisoning go well together, although whether they're worth a path technique and your first art is questionable. Free uncanny dodge (and its improved version) makes it a fair trade, though. Assassinate is alright, but the 16th level upgrade is pretty nice. This archetype is pretty frontloaded so it makes for a nice 1 to 4 level dip.

    Traveler of Two Paths: You get to pick and choose from the path powers and techniques of two different paths, but in exchange you get a pile of nerfs. Fewer uses for the path powers (only 5/day instead of 7/day), and you know one fewer spell of each level. Access to both paths' arts is nice, though. Only worth it if there's a particular combination of techniques from different paths that you really want for some reason.

    Veiled Infiltrator: This archetype is weird, but it's pretty good for sneaky types. Trapfinding is good (not necessarily as good as the 1st level path technique, but good), Infiltrator's Veil is a nice replacement for your shadow surge that scales well as you level, and free trap sense is nice, but you get rogue talents instead of Nightblade arts (yuck). Whether it's worth taking is dependent on whether you like the disguise ability enough to accept the rogue talents that come along with it.
    Last edited by Extra Anchovies; 2015-06-03 at 01:43 PM.
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    Reserved post. Feel free to share what commentary you have.
    Last edited by Extra Anchovies; 2015-06-03 at 01:47 AM.
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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    This'll probably be very helpful for one of my players who is planning on trying out the nightblade.
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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    I might just use this to help build a Nightblade for my games. And to build an initiating Nightblade Archetype (spells for 6ths, with 2 set and 1 path dependent)
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    It definitely is very useful.
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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    I'm currently playing as a Nightblade with the Path of the Bloodied Chain, so not only will the guide help me out on later build options, but I can also say that playing as one is stupid amounts of fun. If only for the fact that my character can laugh at the red dragon who can't scare a paladin, but he can.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    I'm glad people are enjoying the guide! If you have anything you want to contribute (analysis of another feat, links to related homebrew), feel free to post about it and I'll include it in the guide along with your name. Also you can use this thread to discuss the Nightblade in general; I just read through every bit of related content so I can probably help if you have any questions that haven't already been answered!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy Viking View Post
    I'm currently playing as a Nightblade with the Path of the Bloodied Chain, so not only will the guide help me out on later build options, but I can also say that playing as one is stupid amounts of fun. If only for the fact that my character can laugh at the red dragon who can't scare a paladin, but he can.
    Yeah, Path of the Bloodied Chain definitely sticks out to me as the strongest Paths, and also one of the ones with the best-defined roles. You're the guy who scares people, and you're damn good at your job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    Yeah, Path of the Bloodied Chain definitely sticks out to me as the strongest Paths, and also one of the ones with the best-defined roles. You're the guy who scares people, and you're damn good at your job.
    Can't comment on power for it, as the game I'm running is a low op game (for example, for giggles I took Persuasion as a feat) but Bloodied Chain and Twilight Veil are probably the best two. Bloodied Chain for making Paladin's run away screaming like a little girl, and Twilight just for at will invisibility. Already thinking nasty thoughts on a Gestalt Nightblade//Rogue with that path.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    This makes me want to try to play a Nightblade.
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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Nice guide on the whole! I may not agree with a few of your assessments of the abilities I wrote, but it provides a good starting point for people who haven't looked through Path of Shadows to learn how nightblades work. I did notice you made a mistake about not qualifying for Dimensional Agility. By RAW you absolutely can take it:

    Shadow Shift (Su): At 9th level, the nightblade gains the ability to travel between shadows as if by means of a dimension door spell. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some dim light. The nightblade can shift 30 feet per level each day in this manner. This amount can be split among many shifts, but each one, no matter how small, counts as a 10-foot increment. This ability functions as if casting a dimension door spell for the purpose of qualifying for and using feats such as Dimensional Agility. She cannot bring other creatures along, except for her familiar (if she has one), and only if it is within armís reach. Bringing a familiar does not require additional uses of shadow shift.
    It was intentionally written to allow nightblades to take that line of feats by RAW so as not to have the same issue that shadowdancer has with its writing.

    On a side note, do you plan on doing a spell selection guide as well? I'd love to hear your opinion on the class's spell list.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    Nice guide on the whole! I may not agree with a few of your assessments of the abilities I wrote, but it provides a good starting point for people who haven't looked through Path of Shadows to learn how nightblades work.
    Oh, cool, it's the author! I'm glad you like my guide. If you have any alternate perspectives on abilities, feel free to share them and I'll incorporate them into the guide.

    Also, one question for you: if you happen to know, is Slip Away (from Path of the Twilight Veil) supposed to make you immune to blindsight/blindsense/tremorsense/etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    I did notice you made a mistake about not qualifying for Dimensional Agility. By RAW you absolutely can take it:

    It was intentionally written to allow nightblades to take that line of feats by RAW so as not to have the same issue that shadowdancer has with its writing.
    Huh. Sorry about missing that. I wrote the Feats and Class Features sections near the end of a ~5 hour writing binge, so my accuracy on those sections might not be the greatest. I'll fix that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    On a side note, do you plan on doing a spell selection guide as well? I'd love to hear your opinion on the class's spell list.
    I'm planning on getting around to spells sometime, but I've got a lot going on IRL currently so it'll have to wait a bit. Maybe next week. If you want I can PM you when it's up (assuming you aren't already subscribed to this thread or some such).
    Last edited by Extra Anchovies; 2015-06-03 at 01:51 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    Oh, cool, it's the author! I'm glad you like my guide. If you have any alternate perspectives on abilities, feel free to share them and I'll incorporate them into the guide.
    I think the biggest one that stood out was the assessment of Path of the Eternal Night. Corruption is actually more of a mixture of offensive and defensive capability. Most intelligent enemies are not going to stand near you and take constant damage each round, so it can be useful to keep targets out of range of you as you cast or use ranged attacks while also being a nice damage bonus to melee nightblades.
    The main advantage of Descent into Darkness is that it gives all nearby allies Diehard, not just you, and makes enemies lose those benefits. When you have an enemy that has Diehard with a 35 CON score, it means they'll go down that much quicker since they'll be unconscious at -1, and your allies won't fall to the ground while someone is applying emergency healing. Still a bit situational, sure, but I don't think I'd rate it at red. Probably between orange and brown; still not a great ability by any means, but a nice boost.
    Entropic grasp only lasts one round because unlike many other abilities that force you to roll twice and take the worst result (like Misfortune) it does not allow for a saving throw. It will always work for that round that you use it, on any target, and since it has no descriptors or types the only way this ability will be stopped is by something like an antimagic field.
    Despite all of this, I'm sure you noticed that a large amount of Eternal Night's power comes from Powered By Death, especially if combined with Shadow of Death by level 13 to regain shadow surges as a swift action, hence why the 5th and 10th level techniques aren't as strong as some of the other paths'.

    A few other minor ones might be better to be assessed with spell selection. Dread Sense from Bloodied Chains, for example, combos incredibly well with the spell night terror in the book, since the spell causes a fear effect on 1 creature/level within close range (25 ft. + 5/2 levels) while also not requiring line of sight. A reasonable number of shadows and darkness spells like curse of the lightless or deeper darkness target a creature, and the shadow conjuration, shadow evocation, and new shadow necromancy spell lines can replicate spells that target an individual, making the Shadow Transference nightblade art a situational but powerful ability if planned around.

    Most of the other disagreements come down to opinion more than anything, like with Shroud of Chains (I think it's a very powerful ability, in most situations) so I can't say much about those. I do agree with your assessment of the shadowstriker archetype in hindsight; were I to make a second run of the book I probably wouldn't give it reduced spellcasting to make it more viable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    Also, one question for you: if you happen to know, is Slip Away (from Path of the Twilight Veil) supposed to make you immune to blindsight/blindsense/tremorsense/etc?
    The ability is meant to make you 100% undetectable for that short time, so yes, things like blindsense, blindsight, or lifesense would not see you. It lasts for a maximum of 1 minute and only once a day, so it's more of a panic-button than anything. Of course, it can be used offensively against an opponent but the nightblade doesn't get an enormous damage boost for being invisible (unlike, say, a ninja or rogue would).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    I might just use this to help build a Nightblade for my games. And to build an initiating Nightblade Archetype (spells for 6ths, with 2 set and 1 path dependent)
    This might be a bit too strict. Maneuvers are not as good as spells as you can see in the archetypes for psychic warrior (who only trades away his path and a few bonus feats) and soulknife (who trades away psychic strike and a few blade skills). Either replace it with full 9 level initiating or replace something else (like their path for example).
    Also 7th level initiatings seems to be the more common middle initiator (again psychic warrior and soulknife).

    Just something to keep in mind while you design the archetype.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    I think the biggest one that stood out was the assessment of Path of the Eternal Night. Corruption is actually more of a mixture of offensive and defensive capability. Most intelligent enemies are not going to stand near you and take constant damage each round, so it can be useful to keep targets out of range of you as you cast or use ranged attacks while also being a nice damage bonus to melee nightblades.
    Hm. Hadn't entirely considered that. So Eternal Night is supposed to be sort of a melee-support and disruption class? Either way, I'll add a bit about its defensive qualities to the description.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    The main advantage of Descent into Darkness is that it gives all nearby allies Diehard, not just you, and makes enemies lose those benefits. When you have an enemy that has Diehard with a 35 CON score, it means they'll go down that much quicker since they'll be unconscious at -1, and your allies won't fall to the ground while someone is applying emergency healing. Still a bit situational, sure, but I don't think I'd rate it at red. Probably between orange and brown; still not a great ability by any means, but a nice boost.
    Hm. I do suppose that ability gets a lot stronger if A) your DM uses monsters with Diehard and B) your fellow players don't interpret the benefit as "+Con hit points, woo!". I probably let my personal distaste for Diehard get in the way with this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    Entropic grasp only lasts one round because unlike many other abilities that force you to roll twice and take the worst result (like Misfortune) it does not allow for a saving throw. It will always work for that round that you use it, on any target, and since it has no descriptors or types the only way this ability will be stopped is by something like an antimagic field.
    Yeah, I was probably a little too harsh on that ability. I actually did the Class Features section after I did the Paths for some reason, so the first time I wrote the surge ability descriptions I didn't actually know that you could get more than one at a time I might have forgotten to change the rating on that one, I'll give it another look and probably ratchet it up to blue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    Despite all of this, I'm sure you noticed that a large amount of Eternal Night's power comes from Powered By Death, especially if combined with Shadow of Death by level 13 to regain shadow surges as a swift action, hence why the 5th and 10th level techniques aren't as strong as some of the other paths'.
    Yeah, that one was definitely my favorite from Eternal Night. Its activation conditions are annoying (spend a standard action on someone who's already out of the fight, plus they can still make a save if they aren't actually dead yet), but the buffs are generally nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    A few other minor ones might be better to be assessed with spell selection. Dread Sense from Bloodied Chains, for example, combos incredibly well with the spell night terror in the book, since the spell causes a fear effect on 1 creature/level within close range (25 ft. + 5/2 levels) while also not requiring line of sight. A reasonable number of shadows and darkness spells like curse of the lightless or deeper darkness target a creature, and the shadow conjuration, shadow evocation, and new shadow necromancy spell lines can replicate spells that target an individual, making the Shadow Transference nightblade art a situational but powerful ability if planned around.
    Thanks for the advice. I'll keep those in mind for the spell section.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    Most of the other disagreements come down to opinion more than anything, like with Shroud of Chains (I think it's a very powerful ability, in most situations) so I can't say much about those. I do agree with your assessment of the shadowstriker archetype in hindsight; were I to make a second run of the book I probably wouldn't give it reduced spellcasting to make it more viable.
    Would you mind if I included this in the guide as a suggested fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    The ability is meant to make you 100% undetectable for that short time, so yes, things like blindsense, blindsight, or lifesense would not see you. It lasts for a maximum of 1 minute and only once a day, so it's more of a panic-button than anything. Of course, it can be used offensively against an opponent but the nightblade doesn't get an enormous damage boost for being invisible (unlike, say, a ninja or rogue would).
    Awesome. I'll edit accordingly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    Would you mind if I included this in the guide as a suggested fix?
    Sure, considering it's what'll probably happen in future runs. I'm keeping an eye one people's opinions about certain abilities and making notes about possible balance tweaks; a buff to shadowstriker is likely one of them.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Followed the link in your sig because Nightblade is one of my favorite classes. This thread delivers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    Sneak attack is good, although I wish it scaled every four levels instead of every six (for an eventual +5d6).
    I was wondering if you'd mention this. Considering one of the things it replaces is Corruption, which scales every four levels and is infinitely easier to dish out than Sneak Attack (as well as bypassing the numerous feats/abilities that make someone almost completely immune to Sneak Attack), I was surprised at how slow the progression was. Sure, Corruption gets a save for half damage; but it doesn't need to beat AC, works against concealed enemies, and isn't super-conditional like Sneak Attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    the abilities I wrote
    Awesome Thanks for making one of the best classes ever.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Really loving it! Good to see some third party products getting the attention they deserve.



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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    I would love to see more of these for other classes that can be a bit strange to grasp but really good when you do, (Aegis, Soulknife, Akashic class'). If anyone gets time I would love to see them done.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Draco.v9 View Post
    I would love to see more of these for other classes that can be a bit strange to grasp but really good when you do, (Aegis, Soulknife, Akashic class'). If anyone gets time I would love to see them done.
    Akashic Classes

    Aegis

    Soulknife
    Last edited by Milo v3; 2015-06-04 at 05:01 AM.
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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Oh... Thanks then. They will be useful.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    To put the discussion back on the topic of Nightblades...

    @Seginus: When planning the next update, is there a possibility that the Sleep and Deep Slumber spells might be added to the Nightblade's spell list?

    They seem thematically appropriate, and I've had several instances where they'd have been fairly helpful while infiltrating
    Last edited by AzraelX; 2015-06-05 at 12:25 AM.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Quote Originally Posted by AzraelX View Post
    To put the discussion back on the topic of Nightblades...

    @Seginus: When planning the next update, is there a possibility that the Sleep and Deep Slumber spells might be added to the Nightblade's spell list?

    They seem thematically appropriate, and I've had several instances where they'd have been fairly helpful while infiltrating
    I do not intend on adding many spells to the nightblade spell list, especially enchantments. The spell list was specifically constructed to have pretty much no enchantments (the only ones are Night Terror and Memory Lapse, I believe) in order to avoid overlap with the bard spell list.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Seginus View Post
    I do not intend on adding many spells to the nightblade spell list, especially enchantments. The spell list was specifically constructed to have pretty much no enchantments (the only ones are Night Terror and Memory Lapse, I believe) in order to avoid overlap with the bard spell list.
    Ah, I see. It definitely makes sense to avoid excessive amounts of overlap. If you do end up adding any such spells, I hope sleep-inducing spells make the cut It wasn't something I noticed in other Nightblade builds, but my current Nightblade is heavily infiltration-based, and I find myself constantly itching for a non-combat method of rendering certain individuals unconscious: patrolling guards, watchtower guards, sentry guards ... well, most types of guards, so far. Not to mention how efficient it would be to put a lone target to sleep before assassinating them

    Regarding the earlier assessments of the Shadow Agent's sneak attack progression: would you consider the current benefits of the archetype to already be a sufficient tradeoff for the path power?

    Thanks for taking the time to address questions and share design insights about the class, by the way. It's really appreciated
    Last edited by AzraelX; 2015-06-05 at 06:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Into the Darkness: a Guide to the Nightblade

    Quote Originally Posted by AzraelX View Post
    Regarding the earlier assessments of the Shadow Agent's sneak attack progression: would you consider the current benefits of the archetype to already be a sufficient tradeoff for the path power?
    I believe so. The advantage of sneak attack is that is is "always-on"; that is, there is no limit to how often you can make sneak attacks aside from how many attacks you can make each round. The path powers when viewed as stand-alone abilities are more powerful, sure, but they are limited use each day and have a more narrow application than just a damage boost. The exception it Corruption, which is also a straight damaging ability, but it affects an area and only can hurt something once per round, whereas a well-built attacker can deal multiple sneak attacks in a turn. And it's not like the nightblade can't easily get sneak attacks, considering it has access to several spells and abilities to make a creature flat-footed like greater invisibility, deeper darkness, and blindness/deafness.
    Quote Originally Posted by AzraelX View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to address questions and share design insights about the class, by the way. It's really appreciated
    Sure thing! It's great to see people taking interest in something I worked on.

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