"The world has never quite been the same since Dark Day. The day there was no sun rise — no moon or stars for that matter — only absolute darkness and hysteria.
"It is your seventeenth birthday when "The Becoming" changes your life and your world view forever. That was the day you discovered there were two of you, your human-self and the inhuman creature you can become at will.
"You quickly learn there are "monsters" in the world, both human and supernatural, evil and good. The question is, which are you?"
The Nightbane are characters who discover that they not entirely human. In fact, they are shape-changers who possess a comparatively frail, human "facade" and a supernatural, superhuman "morphus."
The morphus is said to reflect the character's personality or subconscious fears, desires and self-image. Thus some are exotic and beautiful, while others (most) are misshapened monsters. No two appear exactly alike and even the most hideous can have the spirit of a saint, while the handsome and beautiful may be evil incarnate.
Whether hideous or beautiful, cruel or kind, the Nightbane are feared and slaughtered by most humans who see only a monster. Creatures of shadows, when slain, they disappear like the morning mist, as if they never existed (and leaving no evidence of their existence).
A surprising number of Nightbane cherish and cling to their humanity. Many of these become secret protectors of humankind and champions of good. Yet even these misbegotten heroes must operate in secret lest fearful, evil or misguided humans torment or destroy them. But there are far greater horrors loosed in the world than this. Evil Nightbane, vampires, human sorcerers, supernatural predators and other dark forces all busy building their petty power structures, preying on the weak and innocent, or engaging in foul pursuits. Worse, the Nightbane are hunted and slaughtered without just cause and without mercy by the Nightlords and their minions.
The Nightlords™ plan to quietly seize control of the world! They have already secretly infiltrated the highest levels of world government and business, and have begun to manipulate and enslave humankind. Their only opposition: humans who have uncovered the truth, vampires (rivals for world domination), and the Nightbane who have elected to fight their own kind to save the human race.
Feared and hunted by humans, the Nightlords, and the forces of evil, the Nightbane are the ultimate anti-heroes who struggle to triumph against all odds!
- The Nightbane™ R.C.C. enables gamers to play supernatural shape-changers. Beings who can appear completely human, but are really superhuman creatures from the twilight dimension known as Nightlands™.
- Nightbane "talents" are supernatural and magic abilities of incredible power and range. The only catch, they must shed their human disguise and become a monster to use them.
- Over a dozen other O.C.C.s and R.C.C.s including the Sorcerer, Mystic, Vampire, Doppleganger and others.
- New magic, psionic abilities and supernatural powers.
- Nightlords™ and their minions like the Hunters and Hounds.
- The Nightlands™, secret organizations, and tons of campaign and adventure ideas.
- Written by C.J. Carella. Cover by Brom.
- Palladium game system by Kevin Siembieda; compatible with the entire Palladium Megaverse®.
- 240 pages; Cat. No. 730; I.S.B.N. 0-916211-86-X
Description and cover art from Palladium Books Web site, copyright ???? Palladium Books Inc. All rights reserved. Rifts®, Megaverse® and Palladium Books® are registered trademarks of Palladium Books Inc. and Kevin Siembieda. All other titles and names are trademarks of Palladium Books.
Palladium Books Online Catalog
The first section of the book described the setting of Nightbane; an alternate Earth where, on March 6, 2000, at 6:02 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The planet was enveloped in unnatural darkness for twenty-four hours, without warning or explanation, an event that forever changed this Earth. Dark Day, where the sun vanished and suddenly ordinary people were monsters in disguise. Panic broke out throughout the world, leading to the deaths of over 600,000 people. In the U.S. alone, an excess of 20,000 people died. Millions of other suffered nervous breakdowns and injuries. Since that time, the Nightlords have infiltrated the world and those formerly ordinary folk, now supernatural monsters, may be the only thing that stops them.
Introductions are made by way of The Wanderer Diaries, an underground publication that claims to be the writings of an ancient immortal being from a race of supernatural entities known as the Nightbane. The Nightbane themselves are also described; a race of shape-changers with a human form known as the Facade, and a monstrous form called the Morphus. No two Nightbane have the same Morphus; some are beautiful, some are ugly, but all are inhuman. All Nightbane are adopted children or orphans. They are supernaturally strong and resistant to damage, have several different supernatural powers, and have life spans measured in centuries. They are able to travel freely into the Nightlands, either by walking through mirrors or through magical gates. They can also sense the presence of others of their kind.
Nightbane are divided into many factions. These factions are groups of Nightbane with similar motivations, who try to guide their race after Dark Day. The Resistance is the largest Nightbane Faction, with members throughout the world and in nearly every city of the United States. The goals of this group are simple: To organize the Nightbane and oppose the Nightlords everywhere, by whatever means necessary.
The Nocturnes seem to have existed before Dark Day, and are enemies of the Nightlords. The Nocturnes claim to have been founded by an ancient Wampyr called Iosef Pendragon, who was able to magically sever his link to the Vampire Intelligence and slay his former masters. The Nocturnes fought the encroaching Vampires in centuries-long battles. Many were killed during Dark Day, but their secrecy preserved them and led them to rally in order to subvert the Nightlords.
The Underground Railroad is the oldest Nightbane organization. Like the Civil War organization who's name they share, the Nightbane version offers protection and shelter to their kind, while teaching them about their nature, talents, and how to survive humankind. They seek to provide Nightbane guidance and safe places to learn about themselves and how to survive in a dangerous world. Some, who felt the time for hiding in the background was ended, broke off to form the Resistance.
The Warlords are nothing but a Nightbane-dominated street gang that has spread across North America. They have no care for the war against the Nightlords, the vampires, or much of anything else. Instead, they control their streets against all comers. Heavy into crime, drugs and protction rackets, and other shady activities, this faction is mostly bullies and thugs, with a few heroes in the rough hidden deep within.
Magic and the occult are thought of as mere fantasy and superstition, at least before Dark Day. Unknown to the world at large, sorcerers and arcanists had been practicing the mystic arts in secret. The Seekers are an ancient organization of sorcerers who are becoming active in world affairs for the first time in centuries.
The Lightbringers are one of the strangest groups in the Nightlord-ravaged world of Nightbane. Their membership includes both Nightbane and humans, but the group is believed to be led by the mysterious Guardians. The mysterious beings are appearing in ever greater numbers, attacking the minions of the Nightlords, the growing vampire population, and those Nightbane who try to abuse their powers.
Special agencies of the government like the CIA, the NSA, the Secret Service, and the PAB (the very secret Paranormal Activities Bureau) have been forced underground by the machinations of the Nightlords, and are now fighting against them as a faction known as the Spook Squad. These former spies, law enforcement agents, and soldiers know that alien beings have taken over the United States and other global governments. They know very little about the supernatural forces they face.
The Others, Lexicon and Timeline
The Lexicon provides some of the unique names and concepts used in the Nightbane setting.
The Timeline begins with Dark Day in March of 2000, and describes the major events in the United States during the next four years.
Rules and Game Information
A large section of the Nightbane RPG is dedicated to the rules for running the Nightbane Role-Playing Game. These pages contains all of the rules for creating a character, learning and using skills, dealing with insanity, combat, psychic and magical rules, and general information about running a role-playing game.
While the Rifts Wiki does not describe rules for role-playing, descriptions of skills and abilities can be found on the following pages:
Talents are supernatural powers, somewhat similar to magic spells, instinctively known to Nightbane; they cannot be taught or learned. Talents typically appear for the first time at the first Becoming. Later on, additional Talents are acquired when the Nightbane focuses his mind intensely and tries to develop it for himself. The following Talents are included in the Nightbane RPG:
Nightbane also features a number of Magic invocations. The following are new spells for the Nightbane RPG:
Life After Dark
This section goes into much more detail about the setting, the major players, and the alternate Earth known as the Nightlands. The following monsters (and optional characters) are described in this section:
The last sections in the book include some campaign information about running a Nightbane scenario leading up to Dark Day, as part of the Resistance, or in other timeframes. It also includes some quick stat blocks for common antagonists, such as a Preserver Activist ("Preevert"), a Nightbane Gang Member, a Corrupted Police officer, a Night Cultist, and a NSB Agent.
Finally, there is an equipment section. This is mostly copies of entries from the Palladium Weapon Compendiums series, with little to no new equipment available.
Written By: Carlos J. Martijena-Carella
Game System and Additional Text: Kevin Siembieda
Editors: Alex Marciniszyn, James A. Osten, Kevin Kirsten, Julius Rosenstein
Cover Painting: Brom
Interior Art: Vince Martin, Randy Post, Scott Johnson, Roger Peterson
Typography: Maryann Siembieda, Michael O'Connor===
Nightbane was originally released as Nightspawn, which nearly resulted in a lawsuit by Todd McFarlane, who thought it was too close to his trademark character, Spawn. To avoid a lawsuit, Palladium Books changed the name of its role-playing game. The following note was added to Nightbane™ World Book One: Between the Shadows™:
Nightbane! What's with the name change? To make a long and aggravating story short, Palladium Books has changed the name of Nightspawn to Nightbane™ in order to avoid a long and costly legal battle. The bottom-line was that we thought we'd rather change the name and spend our time and money on producing more great products for Nightbane™ rather than spend it on litigation. Heck, we only had to change the title of one book, and C.J. and I really like Nightbane™. The archaic, 15th Century meaning of bane is, "slayer, destroyer, or cause of death" — in this case, the Nightbane are the "slayers of the insidious Nightlords" and the "destroyers of evil." The modern meaning is "Someone or something that is a nuisance or cause of distress," or "Fatal injury or ruin," both are applicable to the Nightbane and their struggle against the Nightlords and other dark forces! Only the name has been changed. Everything else you've come to know and enjoy about this role-playing game is the same. Between the Shadows is the first world book for Nightbane with lots of additional sourcebooks and supplements in the works (the next will be Nightlands). Read on and enjoy.
- -Kevin Siembieda, Publisher
- -Nightbane™ World Book One: Between the Shadows™
List of Reviews of Nightbane™:
- 2013: SomethingAwful
Using Nightbane in Rifts
Conversion notes for using Nightbane in a variety of Megaversal settings, including Rifts, can be found at the back of the book. Additionally, most of the information can also be found in Conversion Book Three: Dark Conversion.
Nightbane Role-Playing Game
Nightbane World Book 1: Between the Shadows
Nightbane World Book 2: Nightlands
Nightbane World Book 3: Through the Glass Darkly
Nightbane World Book 4: Shadows of Light
Nightbane® Survival Guide