Shinigami, Variant (3.5e Class)
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"Death Gods", they channel restless spirits back to where they belong. They are exorcists who do battle with the ghosts and shadows in their world.
Making a Shinigami
Shinigami are warriors who are strongest when not in their native plane. They work best in planar campaigns, but make excellent ghost and undead slayers even without plane hopping. With some small adjustments Shinigami's can perfectly take the role of a fighter/paladin in a group of adventurers.
Abilities: Strength and Constitution are vital for any melee warrior class, though Charisma also plays a large roll, such as their special abilities and attacks. Wisdom is good for their special class skills, and Dexterity helps as they lack major armor. Shinigami who want to use their skills may want Intelligence to shore up their low skill points per level.
Races: Any class is capable of becoming a Shinigami. Strong races focus on the melee attacks while dexterous and wise races take a defensive roll. Charismatic races focus on the more magical aspects of the class.
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (80 gp).
Starting Age: Moderate.
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Zanpaktou, Spiritual Form, Aura, Detect Alignment, Bonus Feat||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Planar Senses, Determination +1||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Ghost Hunter, Bonus Feat, Uncanny Dodge||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||+1 Weapon, Detect Magic, Evasion||1||1||—||—||—|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Shikai, Shikai Ability 1/day, Flash Step, Ghost Strike, Soul Burial, Bonus Feat||2||1||—||—||—|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+5||+2||Spiritual Armor, Manifest Spiritual Pressure||2||2||—||—||—|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+2||Material Essence, Bonus Feat||3||2||—||—||—|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+6||+2||+2 Weapon Shikai Special Ability 2/day||3||2||1||—||—|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+3||Sense Spirit, Bonus Feat||3||2||1||—||—|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+7||+3||Shikai Special Ability 3/day||3||2||2||—||—|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+7||+3||Locate Spirit, Determination +2, Bonus Feat||4||2||2||1||—|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+9||+5||Bankai, Bonus Feat, Fly||5||3||2||2||2|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+5||Timeless Body, Bonus Feat||6||3||3||3||2|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+11||+6||True Sight, Bonus Feat||6||4||4||4||3|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+6||+5 Weapon, Determination +3, Death God Apotheosis||7||4||4||4||4|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Shinigami.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A shinigami is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, the bastard sword (katana), and with light armor and no shields.
Spells: A shinigami casts divine spells which are drawn from the shinigami spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a sorcerer must (see below).
To learn or cast a spell, a shinigami must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. However, the Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a shinigami’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the shinigami’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a shinigami can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Shinigami. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score.
A shinigami’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A shinigami learns one 0th level spell and one 1th level spell at 4th level. These new spells can be common spells chosen from the shinigami spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the shinigami has gained some understanding of by study. The shinigami can’t use this method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate, however.
Upon reaching 6th level, and at every even-numbered shinigami level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a shinigami can choose to learn a new spell in place of one he already knows. In effect, the shinigami "loses" the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least two levels lower than the highest-level shinigami spell the shinigami can cast. A shinigami may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that he gains new spells known for the level.
Unlike a wizard or a cleric, a shinigami need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells he’ll cast.
Shinigami choose their spells from the following list:
2nd—Cure Moderate Wounds, Searing Light, Magic Vestment, Remove Curse, Speak with Dead, Gust of Wind, Whispering Wind, Lightning Bolt, Fireball, Halt Undead, Ghost Touch Armor (Spell Compendium), Stabilize (Spell Compendium)
4th—Cure Critical Wounds, Dismissal, Restoration, Break Enchantment, Plane Shift, Holy Sword, Freedom of Movement, Locate Creature, Divine Agility (Spell Compendium), Vigor, Greater (Spell Compendium), Zone of Revelation (Spell Compendium)
|Level||Spells Per Day|
Zanpaktou: At 1st level a Shinigami receives a masterwork weapon to bond with, typically a katana. This weapon will become the physical base for all Shinigami powers beyond spellcasting. Each Zanpaktou has a special name, and as the Shinigami levels, he will eventually become aware of it and bring it to a sort of sentience.
In addition, if a zanpaktou is ever broken, the weapon loses its power and zanpaktou related powers cannot be used, and you may not level in the class. In addition you must make a Fortitude save DC 15 or lose 200 XP per class level (a successful save halves this amount). You must repair the weapon yourself, effectively crafting a masterwork weapon from your weapon's remains. You may receive help and use magic and items to help you achieve this. After 24 hours to attune yourself to the newly forged zanpaktou your powers come back in full.
Spiritual Form (Su): When facing incorporeal opponents, the shinigami may willingly leave their body and enter the ethereal or shadow planes to combat them. While this levels the playing field against incorporeal opponents it comes with a major disadvantage: your physical body remains in the material plane helpless. Therefore it is a good idea to hide your body to have friends who can watch over it. You may exist away from your body for 50 ft. every shinigami level. You may stay out of body as long as you like, but your body continues to age, get hungry, and require maintenance while you are out.
A shinigami is vaguely aware of the condition of their body, as if by a Status spell. When their body is in danger, a shinigami typically rushes back to join with their corporeal form. Leaving or returning the body is a move action which does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If the body dies before the shinigami can return to it, the shinigami also dies.
Aura (Ex): A shinigami of a chaotic, good, or lawful alignment has a particularly powerful aura corresponding to the shinigami’s alignment (see the detect evil spell for details).
Detect Alignment (Sp): At will, a shinigami can use detect alignment, as the spell.
Planar Senses (Ex): Able to sense the world beyond, the shinigami may now use Spot, Listen, and other sensory skills on ethereal and incorporeal creatures, as if they were on his plane, with a +10 DC modifier. Spotting an incorporeal creature does not mean you see them, but rather have pinpointed what square they are in. You still incur normal miss chance.
Determination (Ex): A shinigami gains a +1 competence bonus on Will saves at 2nd level. This bonus increases to +2 at 11th level and +3 at 20th level.
Ghost Hunter (Ex): The focus on defeating incorporeal dangers has given the shinigami an edge in fighting. They receive a +1 competence bonus to attack and damage against incorporeal creatures.
Weapon Enchantment Bonus (Su): At 4th level the zanpaktou of he shinigami becomes magical, gaining a +1 enhancement bonus. Unlike magic weapons created by normal means, the shinigami need not spend experience points or gold pieces to accomplish this task. However, an shinigami’s magic bonus only function for him. For every four levels the character advances past 4th level, the zanpaktou gains +1 greater potency (+1 at 4th level, +2 at 8th level, +3 at 12th level, +4 at 16th level, and +5 at 20th level).
The weapon may be enchanted as normal, though the shinigami must first spend the 2000 gold needed for a +1 weapon before applying any additional enchantments, regardless of the class-granted enchantment bonus.
Detect Magic (Sp): At will, a shinigami can use detect magic, as the spell.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, the shinigami can react to danger before her senses allow her to do so. he retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a shinigami already has uncanny dodge from a different class she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.
Evasion (Ex): At 4th level and higher, a shinigami can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the shinigami is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless shinigami does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Shikai (Su): At 5th level, after a ritual which takes 24 hours of meditation, the name of the zanpaktou becomes known to the shinigami, and he can unlock its true form. With a move action the weapon transforms, sometimes into an entirely different weapon. It retains any still valid enchantments placed upon the original, as well as any feats such as Weapon Focus still operating, even if the weapon type changed. A zanpaktou can stay in Shikai form for 1 minute per class level and can be activated as many times per day as 2 + Wis modifier + Shinigami Class level (minimum 3).
In shikai form the weapon deals damage as if one size category higher. There is a feat which allows your shikai to be out permanently.
A shinigami is allowed to use his Shikai ability more times per day but at a cost. Using the Shikai ability more times per day than normally allowed, after the effect of Shikai is over the shinigami's hit points are reduced to -1 and he suffers 1 Con damage and remains unconcius for at least 8 hours unless magically treated by any healing spell.
Flash Step (Su): At 5th level the Shinigami gains the ability to move at blinding fast speeds. At 5th level the Shinigami gains the ability to Dimension Door three times per day as a swift action. Every two levels after the Shinigami can Flash step once more per day. (4/day at level 7, 5/day at 9, 6/day at 11, 7/day at 13, 8/day at 15, 9/day at 17, 10/day at 19)
Ghost Strike (Su): When using the zanpaktou, the miss chance granted by incorporeal creatures is negated, much like Ghost Touch. Unlike Ghost Touch, you cannot be ethereal and attack the physical realm with your weapon, it can only strike ethereal creatures.
Soul Burial (Su): A shinigami's job is to pacify and defeat ghosts. At 5th level, within 1 minute of defeating a ghost you may perform a full round action on the spirit's energies to purge it of its evil essence and guide it to the afterlife. The DC check for a Shinigami attempting to pacify a ghost's spiritbecomes equal to (15 + ghost's HD). Shinigami caster level equals Shinigami class level + his Cha modifier. Performing this act in a Consecrated or Hallow area adds +4 to his caster level check. A shinigami may also attempt this on objects which contain souls, such as a Trap the Soul crystal (using the Will save of the caster of the Trap the Soul spell) or a phylactery, if the lich has been defeated but has yet to respawn (using the lich's Will save).
Manifest Spiritual Pressure (Su): A shinigami may release his spiritual pressure forcefully in a 30 ft radius as a full round action. Foes within the radius are treated as if they had cast the appropriate Detect Alignment or Detect Power Level spell, including the stunning effect if the aura is overwhelming. This is typically used for intimidation and is impractical in combat with high level foes.
Material Essence: At 7th level, and later at 14th, the shinigami can make a DC 20 Craft check to permanently alter their weapon's material properties as if he forged it from that base material originally. The process requires enough material to forge such an item, and 1 day of work. They pay the costs of the material property (such as adamantine) as usual to bond it to their zanpaktou.
At 14th level you may add a second property. For example an adamantine/mithral weapon would be 50% lighter, hardness 20 and other adamantine bonuses, and count as adamantine and mithral for bypassing DR.
Sense Spirit (Su): At 9th level the shinigami can attune themselves to 1 person per point of Wis bonus. A shinigami with a Wisdom of 17, for example, can be attuned to 3 people. Attuning takes 24 hours and either requires a personal item of the creature or their presence, but once attuned the shinigami can recognize when they are within 100 ft of them. This ability does not tell them where the creature is located, simply that they are within 100 ft. It only operates if the person is on the same plane.
Shikai Special Ability (Sp): At 5th level, 1/day while in Shikai form the weapon can employ a spell-like ability. The imbued spell can be any from the cleric or sorcerer/wizard list, no greater than 7th level. At 8th level the amount of times increases to 2/day and 3/day at level 10. Effectively, it adds one spell you do not know to be cast 1/day.
At 15th level you can use your ability 4/day At 20th level you can use your ability 5/day.
Locate Spirit (Su): At 11th level, if you detect a presence with your Sense Spirit ability, you may now locate which direction they are in. This does not tell how far away they are or reveal them if they are invisible. It is useful for keeping track of allies, or if you managed to obtain the personal belongings of someone you are stalking, allows you to find them easier.
Bankai (Su): The final transformation of the zanpaktou is a strenuous process. After a week long ritual of meditation and fasting, you must face the manifestation of your weapon's spirit in mental combat, making a DC 22 Will save. Failure means you take 5d6 points of nonlethal damage and you are exhausted. Success means you have unlocked Bankai.
You may unleash your Bankai as a full-round action. It lasts for 2 round/class level and can only be performed 1/day, at 20th level it can be performed 2/day. Bankai's vary greatly. (See below for details on Zanpaktou and Bankai). While in Bankai the Shinigami gains a +10ft sacred bonus on his movement speed and +2 sacred bonus on his Armor Class.
While in Bankai sometimes a Shinigami's appearance changes (clothes, weapon and armor). This has no effect on the Shinigami's combat skills though its only a visual effect. The change can be a minor one (change on clothes) or a major one (a great sword showing like a huge weapon rather than medium). The Shinigami is under the effects of an Alter Self spell for the purposes of this effect.
Fly (Sp): At will, a shinigami can use Fly, as the spell. The Shinigami has good maneuverability and flight speed equal to his land speed.
Timeless Body (Ex): Upon attaining 17th level, a shinigami no longer takes penalties to her ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that she has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the shinigami still dies of old age when her time is up.
Ghostly Presence (Ex): When slain, the shinigami retains a thin link to the material world. When others, such as his team members, are concentrating they may receive messages from the shinigami as if he still walked among them. In truth he does, as if constantly scrying on one of his party members. Concentrating on the shinigami's ghostly presence is a full round action.
True Sight (Su): Attuned to seeing things clearly in spite of magic and planar effects, the shinigami becomes under the effects of a permanent True Sight spell.
Death God Apotheosis: At 20th level, a shinigami becomes a magical creature. He is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the shinigami’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical effects. Additionally, the shinigami gains damage reduction 10/magic, which allows her to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonmagical weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Unlike other outsiders, the shinigami can still be brought back from the dead as if she were a member of her previous creature type.
Bonus Feats: At 1st level, a Shinigami gets a bonus feat in addition to the feat that any 1st-level character gets and the bonus feat granted to a human character. The Shinigami gains an additional bonus feat at 3rd level and every two Shinigami levels thereafter (5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 17th, and 19th). These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted below. A Shinigami must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums. Shinigami Bonus Feat List : Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Armor Proficiency (Medium), Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Endurance, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Quick Draw, weapon focus, weapon specialization, melee weapon mastery, slashing fury.
The Zanpaktou and Bankai
Bankai Powers : As a Zanpaktou levels its bankai grows stronger and stronger. At 15th and every three levels after, it obtains additional powers taken from the list below. In many respects, it's identical to an intelligent weapon, including gaining an Ego score. Instead of the usual intelligent weapon benefits, they gain a series of spiritual abilities as detailed below. The weapon may also be enchanted with one of the normal intelligent item benefits in place of one or more of its spiritual abilities, but you must pay the appropriate cost. A Lesser Power is worth one spirit power, and a Greater Power or Special Purpose is worth two spiritual abilities.
Each spiritual ability may be taken up to three times, with increasing benefits.
|15th||Three Spiritual Abilities, 60ft Darkvision and Hearing, Two Ability Scores at 16|
|18th||+1 Additional Spiritual Ability, 90ft Darkvision and Hearing, Two Ability Scores at 18|
|21st||+1 Additional Spiritual Ability|
|24th||+1 Additional Spiritual Ability, 120ft Darkvision and Hearing, Two Ability Scores at 20|
|27th and beyond||+1 Additional Spiritual Ability|
Brutal: You weapon is a monster in combat, its spirit believing that brute strength wins the day. Your weapon deals damage one size larger than it actually is.
Taken a second and third time increases the effective damage size up again. For a medium creature swinging a medium weapon, after all three they deal the damage of a gargauntuan weapon.
Elemental: Your weapon's spirit is mixed in with the natural forces in this world. Fire, lightning, acid, and cold, these are its manifestations. Unlike other spirital abilities this can be taken beyond three times, but only with a new element. Choose an element from fire, electric, cold, and acid. Your weapon deals 2d6 additional elemental damage.
Taken a second and third time increases the elemental damage, up to 6d6 damage at its third level. You may take the path again for a different element.
Toxic: Your weapon's spirit is hazardous to life around it. On contact it deals its deadly poison which damages the body. Taken once, your weapon now deals a single point of ability damage to an ability score you specify on choosing this power. It is similar to Wounding, and stacks with Wounding if you happen to pick Con damage.
Taken a second time allows you to imbue your weapon with any poison you possess as a free action and increases the DC of your poisons by 2. You do not suffer a chance of poisoning yourself using this method, and may continue making poisoned strikes up to however many poisons you have access to. Taken a third time, the DC for these poisons rise by +2.
Mystic: Your weapon is magical and assists in your spellcraft. Your energy flows out through your blade naturally. The weapon becomes a Spell Storing weapon. In addition the caster level of any spells you cast rise by 1.
Taken a second time allows you to store two spells in your weapon. You still may only discharge one spell a round, however. You caster level for your spells rises by 1 again. Taken a third time allows you to store up to three spells at a time, with the same limitations, and your caster level rises by 1 again. As this is not a true enchantment, this ability can stack with the actual Spell Storing enchantment, but the same cavaet of one spell per round applies.
Summon: The spiritual form of your weapon is monstrous, proud, and strong. It manifests directly to fight the enemy. You gain no benefits to your weapon itself, but you are able to summon a monster that represents your sword's spirit. With DM's permission, choose a creature whose HD your character level -2. You may summon this creature and it exists for 1 round/level. As you level up, it too levels up, gaining additional HD appropriate for its species and additional feats, but it is always -2 your HD. If the summon dies in battle, you may not resummon it until 24 hours have past.
Taken a second time and the penalty is reduced to -1 HD. Taken a third time, and the summon matches your HD exactly. As this is the same creature summoned every time, one should keep their creature's information on hand as if it were a cohort. In addition the creature, like the sword itself, has its own free will. If the sword is disobeying its master, its summon likewise will be no more willing.
Skillful: Clever and intelligent, the skillful bankai assists its user in feats of daring and genius. Take one skill which the shinigami possesses at least 1 rank in. This skill recieves a +10 bonus while in bankai, and the shinigami recieves Skill Mastery in this skill, allowing the shinigami to take 10 in combat. Once chosen, your selection is fixed.
Taken a second time, and the shinigami may select another skill. They recieve a +10 bonus, and his previous skill rise to +20. Taken a third time, and you may select one more skill, which recieves a +10 bonus. The previous skill rises to +20, and the original skill becomes +30. In all cases, each skill with a bonus recieves Skill Mastery.
Booster: Without its user, the weapon is nothing. Therefore it goes out of its way to increase the users abilities to its fullest, boosting the shinigami with a surge of confiedence. The shinigami recieves a +4 sacred bonus to two of their abilities scores of their choosing. Once the choice is made, the decision is fixed.
Taken a second time, and the bonuses rise to +6. Taken a third time, and the bonuses rise to +8. This effect lasts as long as the shinigami wields his weapon.
Swift: Mobility is king. Riding the winds, the shinigami becomes fast as a thunderbolt. He recieves a +10 foot sacred bonus to his land speed, and a +1 dodge bonus to AC when moving at least 5 feet.
Taken a second time increases the speed of his travel to a +20 bonus. He may also employ his Flash Step as an immediate action. Taken a third time, and the speed increases to +30 feet. His Flash Step now grands the benefits of a blur and haste spell when used for a number of rounds equal to the shinigami's class level.
Protection: The weapon's spirit protects its user from harm. Calling on its bankai, the shinigami recieves a +3 sacred bonus to his armor class.
Taken a second time, and the bonus rises by +3. Taken a third time and the bonus rises by +3 again and the Shinigami gains 50% less damage from all attacks and spells directed towards him.
Warding: You soul is bound tightly to the soul, and you can endure the worse spells. You gain a +2 sacred bonus to all saving throws.
Taken a second and third time net you an additional +2 to saving throws and grants immunity to mind-affecting spells.
Healing: Your weapon's soul is a kind, gentle one. The shinigami gains a pool of healing identical to the paladin's Lay On Hands, equal to 2x his shinigami class level. While it can quickly be spent, the shinigami can re-charge his pool of healing by dealing damage with his weapon in bankai. This positive energy can harm undead as well.
Taken a second time, and the amount of the shinigami's healing pool increases to x3 his class level. Taken a third time, and the weapons healing pool increases to x4 his class level and his pool is full when he taps into Bankai power. In addition the healing pool may be used offensively, releasing a surge of negative energy in a single melee touch attack against an enemy as a standard action. Threat this ability as a smite attack, which is wasted if the attack misses.
A shinigami who purposefully allows evil spirits to roam about freely will lose their shinigami powers. They may no longer take levels in Shinigami nor use their zanpaktou and all abilities related to it. They only keep their HD, saves, BAB, and spellcasting abilities. He regains her abilities and advancement potential if she atones for her violations (see the atonement spell description), as appropriate.
Like a member of any other class, a shinigami may be a multiclass character, but multiclass shinigamis face a special restriction. A shinigami who gains a level in any class other than shinigami may never again raise her shinigami level, though she retains all her shinigami abilities.
8 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Weapon Enchantment Bonus (Su): The zanpaktou continues to accumulate enhancement bonuses. For every four levels past 20th the zanpaktou gains +1 greater potency.
Bonus Feats: The epic shinigami gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic shinigami bonus feats) every 3 levels after 20th.
Epic Shinigami Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Blinding Speed, Damage Reduction, Dire Charge, Energy Resistance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Prowess, Epic Reflexes, Epic Toughness, Epic Will, Fast Healing, Great Constitution, Legendary Leaper, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction and Perfect Health.
Human Shinigami Starting Package
Weapons: Masterwork Katana (Bastard Sword).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.
Feat: Improved Initiative.
Bonus Feats: Weapon Focus Bastard Sword.
Gear: Chain Shirt, Backpack.
Playing a Shinigami
Religion: Shinigami typicly worship neutral deities of death.
Other Classes: Shinigami typicly get along with paladins and samurai, feeling a sence of justice in their didication to law. Knights are less inclined to ally with shinigami, feeling their lack of armor a weakness. Ninja's, Rogues and evil Clerics are often under close suspicion when traveling with a shinigami.
Combat: Shinigami are to paladins as what barbarians are to fighters. For the barbarian, they excel when raging. For the shinigami, they excel in shikai or bankai. Knowing when and where to activate their bankai is key to victory. Shinigamis are highly focused on their weapons and benefit the most from weapon based feats, for a shinigami will never willingly change weapons.
Advancement: Shinigamis who multiclass lose out on the bankai and other advance abilities. However, the shinigami's flavor goes well with any divine melee class, making paladin prestige classes a good opportunity to explore their more religious side.
Shinigamis in the World
|“||This sword is one with me. That is why you cannot beat me||”|
|—Zukoe, Human Shinigamis/Fighter|
Shinigamis are a secrative lot, working across the planes and keeping the material plane free from harm. Most normal people have never heard, or seen a shinigami. But without them extraplanar horrors would surely reach out and consume them all.
Daily Life: The shinigami can never rest, always on the look out for demons who threaten the world from beyond this dimension. Like a vigilant police officer, they are never really off duty, and must always be on call. Most of the time Shinigami's work in groups of 3 or more and have to complete an assigned task.
Notable NPC's: Ichigo is a strange shinigami, who is completely freelance. He is said to have a sinister side which seems unbefitting of the otherwise good-minded hero.
Organizations: On the neutral and good outer planes, and specifically within the Outlands and the city of Sigil, the shinigami are organized travelers who look out for dangerous demonic invasion attempts and terrible hauntings of souls who refuse to pass on. Here the counsel of Seireitei is ruled over by 13 captains in control of 13 squads, each specialized by their bankais and fighting styles. Each of the 13 Squads are specialized in a different fighting style as in other ways of combat as well. For example the 4th Squad of the Gotei 13 is the squad that takes care of the wounded and heals their wounds during times of need like wars while the 11th Squad is the most offensive Squad of the Gotei 13 leading recklessly in every battle and strangely winning every single time with raw strength.
NPC Reactions: A common NPC would have no idea to the purpose of a shinigami. To them, they are just another man with a sword, some sort of fighter perhaps. Often shinigami go out of their way to look inconspicuous as well, and it may result in absolutely no reaction at all. Those NPCs who see a shinigami leave his body however may think the poor soul has dropped dead.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (The Planes) or Knowledge (Religion) can research Shinigami to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs. A character may be allowed a knowledge check about shinigami's only if he meets the following requirements :
Have met a shinigami during his lifespan knowing that the man/woman he met was a shinigami. Been in Sigil and heard about the shinigami's there.
DC 20: A shinigami hunts ghosts and other incorporeal and extraplanar beings with their powerful weapon.
DC 25: A shinigami may leave their body at will and drift as a ghost. They possess both spell and sword to handle their meneces.
DC 30: A shinigami's magical weapon is an expression of their soul, and through it they can achieve "bankai" and unlock massive power for a short time.
DC 40: Those who reach this level of success can find information on a specific shinigami, their powers and abilities, legends surrounding them, and their common whereabouts.
Shinigamis in the Game
Shinigamis are protectors, and thus are not evil. Those which fall until evil lose their powers or worse, become as demons themselves. They are best in campaigns against incoporeal enemies, but do just fine in the material plane.
Adaptation: By reducing the BAB to Poor, giving a Poor Reflex save, reducing the HD to d6, and granting the cleric's spell list and progression the shinigami becomes much more caster focused while still maintaining the iconic shikai and bankai abilities.
Sample Encounter: The party encounters a comatose man in a field. Attempts to revive him fail, but shortly after the discovery, a gate opens in the nearby town from the shadow plane and monsters roll out. The gate remains open, where the wounded shinigami is found inside beset by more monsters. Assist him and close the gate.