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The Nyctomancer's Handbook (PFRPG) PDF

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The Nyctomancer’s Handbook is an expansion to the Dark sphere from the Spheres of Power magic system. Inside these pages you’ll find new talents, new feats, new rules, new monster templates, and more for making the most of Dark magic in your games.

The Nyctomancer’s Handbook is book 9 in a multi-part series.

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Disclaimer: I support the Patreon campaign funding Spheres of Power's handbook expansions, and as such I paid the full price for this product.

After some delays, the next book in Spheres of Power's line of expansions is here! I'm not much of a Dark user myself, but it's a nice counterpart to the Illuminator's Handbook, and not exactly an uncommon choice for characters.

Falling into the regular format these Handbooks have developed, this product opens with seven new archetypes.

The Darkshaper is an archetype for the Armorist that focuses on manipulating the user's shadow, which can be animated as an extra limb, make attacks, and generally change shape to be useful.

The Invidian is an archetype for the Symbiat, trading their psionic partner for a shadow demon. Their main feature is the Blackened Psyche, which allows for things like granting cover to allies or designating opponents as flanked against certain attacks.

The Nocturnal Predator is Batma- I mean, a shapeshifter focused on killing their foes in the dark. Most notably, they gain the Dark Sphere at full caster level progression (and don't lose progression in Alteration), which is a fairly notable benefit. To help balance this, the Nocturnal Predator also gains two Drawbacks without any extra talents for it (unless they already had the Spheres from a different class, which most won't).

The Shadow Boxer is an archetype for the Unchained Monk, and as the name implies, they can manipulate their shadow to strike their foes. It's a lot like the Darkshaper, really, but they have excellent reach (in all directions, including up), and they also gain some minor use of the Dark Sphere and can spend their Ki points to fuel its powers.

The Skulk is an archetype for the Fey Adept, trading powers of illusion for darkness and gaining the ability to steal shadows and fake the target's powers. Duplicating a foe's powers can be fairly potent, and I'd definitely recommend diving all-in on the flavor for this archetype.

The Talent Thief is an archetype for the Unchained Rogue that's a lot like the Fey Adept, covering the same general ground of stealing abilities. There is a limit on this in that you need to confirm a critical hit - which rather noticeably narrows the variety of builds this archetype will be effective for. (I can't actually dislike that too much - archetypes are usually all about playing in a particular way to begin with, but it's important to know if you want to use it.)

The Void Gazer is an archetype for the Thaumaturge that swaps their usual invocations for those with a darker theme. They also get the Clouded Vision curse of the Oracle.

After all of that, we finally get to the most important part of this book - the new basic magic talents. I was very happy to see that, once again, a Handbook contains new types of talents for a sphere. The new types introduced are Blots (flat surfaces of darkness with particular effects) and Shadows (which manipulate a shadow directly) - both of which offer definite new possibilities for casters.

The talents themselves include things like causing targets to quite literally choke on darkness, blindfolding someone with their own shadow, and extinguishing mundane sources of light (and magical sources of fire - a minor but useful utility, especially because it doesn't cost a spell point to use).

We also get a few augmented talents - new abilities that can be acquired by taking a talent multiple times. This isn't new to Spheres of Power - Fast Divinations had this - but it's still fairly rare.

To cap out the new powers, the Advanced Magic includes some new advances talents (like animating your shadow for a long period of time and creating fields that null alignments) and an Incantation to summon up a revenant shade.

The next chapter focuses on player options, starting with a variety of new feats that aid in the use of the Dark Sphere. Among them, we see things like free use of the Obfuscation talent in areas of dim (or darker) light, and Sickening targets at the same time you Fascinate them to really stack those ailments.

We also get three new traits, a handful of new drawbacks (including one for the Light sphere), and new Alternate Racial Traits for Fetchlings, Tieflings, and Wayang. Familiars aren't left out, either, as they get a nice new Archetype.

Section 6 is pretty short - just two pages - but it includes a few Wondrous Items, a Minor Artifact, and several new enchantments for weapons and armor. Three of these are GP-based, rather than magical, so they can easily be added to newly-crafted gear. The book wraps up with a new template and a sample creature.

All in all, this book nicely fits into what I've come to expect from Spheres of Power's handbooks. I was especially pleased to see the new Talent types, since those are an excellent way to add variety to a new Sphere without deviating from its central theme. If you enjoy Spheres of Power and plan on heavy use of the Dark Sphere, you're definitely going to want to pick this book up.


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