Mana Project Studio has traveled into the dark to illuminate you with the Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG Setting, a grimdark Horror using the rules of the world’s most well-known game of heroes battling monsters. Gloom, death, and decay are apparent with every page turn, and the art is beautiful. Never before has a world of doomed fantasy felt so enticing; with a host of new options and a richly tailored game world, Nightfell beams in its execution.
One will find that monsters lurk around every corner and guide your gaming group as they seek to survive the dark world from author and concept designer Angelo Peluso. This dark world is Iurmen, where The Last Sun burned out centuries ago, creating a cold and desolate present. Survivors in this new land have found themselves changed, and sometimes not for the better. Dark new magics that corrupt the soul and ancient creatures once thought legend roam the eternal night to slake their thirst.
You’re not alone – the game’s Dungeon Master (referred to as the Night Master) will struggle with the land beside you. For every creature lurking in the umbra, the players have a bevy of new options at their disposal.
The Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG setting adds a distinct, well-crafted flavor of gloom, darkness, and oppression to all facets of the game. The Moon, and the Dark of the land, have permeated everywhere – and everything. Humanoids have evolved into new ethnicities touched and changed by the magics in the world; a new series of 8 options that include dark fey, hyper-focused vampires, and elusive strangers from beyond the impassible seas. Each has a rich, exotic backstory and story hooks. Each is balanced and new, a fresh breath among the Undead-riddled threats.
Further character options include an array of new Moon-based and Night-based archetypes for each core class. Wild shape into undead as the druid Circle of the Masciari or astral-project yourself as a ranger Dreamstrider, among others. They’re all powerful, well-crafted, and dangerously threatened by the monsters they hunt. New classes in the Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG setting include the Lunar Cultist (whose divine power changes with the phases of the moon), the Master of Tradition (who can boost their allies based upon knowledge of creatures and lore), the Medium (who literally channels the spirits of the past and gain their abilities), and the Vampire Progeny (the most well-thought-out Vampire core class progression I’ve ever seen that makes the supernatural legend a member of the party). There are also 12 new Backgrounds which make new character options.
Everything ties your characters, including a new mechanic that determines which Phase of the Moon you were born (or created) under. Three sources of arcane power: The Sempiternal, or Outer World, where supernatural beings rule; The Earthly World and the Dark Mirror, three threats that battle within the soul of your antihero champions.
Nightfell also focuses on Soul Points, a new mechanic to showcase a character’s bond (or strength against) the decay of the natural world. They are used whenever a character interacts with magic, casts spells, and faces vile foes in their quest through the gloom. Channel them to use spells and powers unheard of. But, lose enough, and you become lost to the dark, and your fate is forever sealed. It’s a dynamic way to carefully choose how to interact with the game and adds a true sense of dread in an already scary place.
The art of the Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG setting book is evocative and smooth. Each page has high-quality illustrations that really capture the look of the setting and stand out among other books of similar intent. One can practically feel the menace of the vampire-like garnar and the devastating fall of the Last Sun. The layout also matches the vibe, with pages taking on an ethereal jaunt with their gloomy allure.
Thanks to the expansion’s successful Kickstarter, possessions, spirits, and werewolves factor into the dangers you face. Grim weapons that can be wielded are fused with corruption from the land. There are hundreds of new magical items, spells, and locales to challenge players and Night Masters alike, each with the flavor of the setting. A personal favorite was the cursed needle, which can destroy an enemy’s soul with a prick, or moon armaments, a series of items that can be combined piecemeal into a set that has stacking abilities when exposed to moonlight.
The Prophecy of the Fourth Truth has finally been fulfilled, and Nightfell aims to push the boundary of darkness. With a host of new classes and racial features, a gloomy and sinisterly delicious setting, and an inescapable beauty in its pages, the Nightfell D&D 5E TTRPG setting belongs on any shelf.
To travel into the silent lands, check out the D&D 5e setting and pick up the Nightfell Quickstart here.