Sugar adds alcohol and lowers body. Small amounts of table sugar won't affect flavor much, but large amounts can yield a taste that's described as "cidery". Brown sugar will add some small amount of flavor, but not as much as you might expect.
If you like your dark ales light bodied and high alcohol, go ahead and add some sugar. It's not, as far as I know, traditional for any dark ales to be brewed with sugar. Myself, I add table sugar to my Belgian tripel and saison beers, but nothing else.
The guideline is usually to have sugar contribute no more than 20% of fermentables. For example, if the starting graviy of your beer is 1.080, no more than 16 points of gravity should come from sugar. Sugar provides 46 points per pound per gallon. So for 5 gallons, that works out to about 1.7 pounds of sugar.