I originally bought this book mostly because of the title. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. As it turns out, this book is one of the best 3rd party tomes out there! Once I started reading I couldn't stop. It's superb in it's execution, fluff and mechanics! A truly magnificent start to a neophyte publisher. I can't really say anything negative about it other than ... MOAR paths please.:p
Going to be trying one of these fellow out soon and wanted to build a "tanky" front-liner. This seems pretty forward to me but I wanted to check here if maybe there was a bit more that I could do or possibly that I forgot to include something.
The build is a human nightblade (Path of the darkened fortress) wielding a scythe. Gonna grab a ring of spell knowledge (shield) as well as Penumbral Aegis to ensure that I have a solid AC/Touch AC (should be especially good when using the surge ability!). Some key spells would be false life, Blur, Umbral Berserker, Displacement, Umbral Defender, and Greater False Life. Anything I am missing here? Maybe pick up toughness and mithral breastplate for my go-to armor.
Nightblades in general do not have a strong defense unless they are using magic, and even then most of those spells are short-lived or pierced with things like true seeing. You've already mentioned most of the staple illusion defenses, and the night shield and night armor spells within the book can provides some decent defense for ranged-heavy encounters. At high levels, I'd recommend greater sensory deprivation to make sure your defensive illusions work, though it is a 6th level spell for nightblades and, other than removing divination effects, doesn't directly reduce the creature's power and requires a saving throw. But when it works, it works very well.
I personally feel the better way to approach a "tanky" nightblade would be making enemies worse, rather than buffing yourself. You can make enemies have a 50% chance to hit you with...
Excellent advice, most points you've made I have already thought of implementing.:) Although the blindness/deafness is nice as far as the group is concerned. It can be negated with a save for this reason my go to is blur/displacement. Also, gonna pick up Power Attack + Cornugon Smash + Hurtful + Cruel weapon for awesome automatic debuffing.