[[caption-width-right:197:Beauty and The Beast!]]
''Nightbane'' is a DarkFantasy TabletopRolePlayingGame and setting created by C. J. Carella and published in 1995 by Creator/PalladiumBooks. Originally published under the title "Nightspawn", the game's name was changed after legal threats from the lawyers of Todd [=McFarlane=], creator of the ''ComicBook/{{Spawn}}'' comic book.

The setting is this: On March 6, 2000, the entire planet was shrouded in unnatural darkness for three days. This was due to The Nightlords, a secret cabal of supernatural beings from another dimension, and their shapeshifting minions, who then quietly seized control of the world's governments and corporate powers. It was also during this darkness that thousands of people learned that they could become inhuman monsters with strange powers and often terrifying visages. These shapechanging beings are called the Nightbane, for it was at night that they become monsters. It is now up to the Nightbane to save the Earth from the Nightlords with the rest of humanity unaware of their secret war.

The game uses Palladium's "Megaversal" system, which is also used by the multi-genre game ''{{TabletopGame/Rifts}}'' and the horror game ''TabletopGame/BeyondTheSupernatural'', among others. Players don't have to be just Nightbane, however, they can also be human, vampires and even mysterious angelic beings known as The Guardians.

There are several factions that the players can encounter, or even join: ''The Resistance'', made of up Nightbane who oppose the Nightlords; ''The Underground Railroad'', who just wants Nightbane to keep hiding from humanity; ''The Warlords'', Nightbane who used their powers to take over gangs and organized crime; ''The Nocturne'', an alliance of supernatural beings (including vampires, whom most Nightbane do not trust); ''The Seekers'', a group (mainly of humans) who investigate magic and the supernatural; ''The Spook Squad'', an organization made up of (former) government agents who survived the Nightlord takeover and are trying to retake control (but are underpowered and barely understand what's going on); and ''The Lightbringers'', all-around do-gooders led by The Guardians.

!Tropes in Nightbane:
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Nightlords and most of their minions. Also most vampires.
* BodyHorror: The Stigmata Table has plenty of stomach-churning possibilities for a Nightbane's Morphus. Issue #1 of The Rifter included the Gross Stigmata Table for those who thought the regular Stigmata Table wasn't gross enough.
* CuteMonsterGirl: Though there's no hard data to back it, it's widely believed in-universe that Nightbane possessing a Morphus with unearthly beauty are disproportionately female.
* CrapsackWorld: Evil rules the world, most people just don't realize it.
* ChangelingFantasy: Of sorts, if a pretty dark take.
* CursedWithAwesome: Nightbanes may have some FreakinessShame inducing powers... except they are in complete control of them, and may do with them as they will.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Many Nightbane powers are shadow-based, and they belong to people who have the same rate of good and bad as everyone else.
* DarkWorld: The Nightlands, where the Nightlords come from (and possibly the Nightbane's original homeworld.)
* DevilButNoGod: Subverted, despite appearances, with the Baal (the Nightlords) being the 'devils' and [[ThePowersThatBe a mysterious being]] creating The Guardians as their counterparts.
* DimensionLord: The Nightlords.
* FantasticRacism: Plenty among the various races.
* GovernmentConspiracy: Twice. First, there was the "War Room", a secret faction that carried out "black ops" without the public's knowledge; now that the government has been taken over by "aliens" this group became the Spook Squad.
* HordeOfAlienLocusts: The Shadow Mantis monsters.
* IdentityAmnesia: The Guardians *might* be dying humans revived to serve the light. They don't remember.
* LayeredWorld: Has multiple realms in the form of the [[DarkWorld Nightlands]], the [[SpiritWorld Astral Plane]], and the [[DreamWorld Dream Stream]].
* LightIsGood: The Guardians, who are always good, have light-based powers.
* TheMasquerade: The Nightbane existed for thousand of years on Earth, hiding from humans. Most of the current ones had ''no idea'' they weren't even human!
* MetaOrigin: Dark Day, sort of. (While many Nightbane already existed on Earth, it 'awoke' many more.) Also, magic has become stronger since then.
* {{Muggles}}: Most humans.
* NamesTheSame: The Baal use the names of famous devils (such as Lilith) but they are not those beings (who exist in other parts of The Megaverse.)
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: There's the classical kind, and the Wampyrs (free-willed vampires).
** The Nightlords are psychic vampires.
* PsychicPowers: Nightbane cannot have them, but humans, guardians and vampires do.
* RecurringElement: Darkness, both literal and metaphorical.
* RideTheLightning: One of the obtainable Nightbane Talents allows this.
* ShoutOut: To Creator/WilliamHopeHodgson's work ''Literature/TheNightLand''.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Subverted; while most Nightbane's true form (the "Morphus") is often hideous, they usually retain control of themselves, and it provides most of their powers.
* TheUnreveal: Many facts are left ambiguous, such as: Are the Nightbane originally from the Nightlands? Were the Nightlords once human? What exactly are the Guardians?
* UrbanFantasy: The game's genre.
* TheVerse: The Nightbane's Earth is part of the larger Palladium Megaverse.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Many examples: The Nightbane, The Vampires, The Nightlords etc.