My current project is the creation of a shinigami (Bleach) class that can have variable strengths despite being the same class, thus emulating, to an extent, it's progenitor. I've decided that I must have a power point system, akin to psionics, and then these points can be spent either to cast spells or do other things.
My problems, thus far:
- Balancing the spellcasting aspects with the martial aspects such that you can choose the martial aspect and not be (too) weak.
How to deal with Bleach's ethereality(mostly settled)
- Getting (balanced) numbers (reiatsu expenditure) on everything/reiatsu growth rate
- Balancing destructive kidō with the binding kind (if possible, since we know mages shouldn't prepare magic missile)
My current plan is to offer four areas of specialization, reflecting the four disciplines professed in Bleach (hakuda, hohō, kidō, and zanjutsu // unarmed combat, agility, magic, and swordsmanship, respectively), which offer scaling benefits. The more ranks you have in a particular discipline, the better you are at that thing. Below are tentative examples of the three I have done. Hakuda was going to borrow from the Tome Monk, while each kidō selection is supposed to grant a new sphere. I am worried that perhaps this will offer too much with the progression I currently have planned, where a 20th level shinigami has 8 ranks (2 at first level, one at 3rd and every three beyond that). The idea would be that, while 12 ranks at 30th level is the theoretical maxim (3 ranks in each), a shinigami could put more than four points in kidō, for example, with each extra rank granting a new sphere (like Tessai), or . Thus someone like Renji has access to a destructive aspect of kidō (maybe lightning bolt, scorching ray, fireball, enervation, cone of cold, chain lightning, disintegrate, polar ray, fire storm, meteor storm-- just for example), maybe one rank in hohō, and several in zanjutsu, whereas someone like Yoruichi could have mastered hohō, have a rank or two in kidō, and then have most of her points in hakuda and a few in zanjutsu. Tessai might have one in hohō and everything else in kidō. At least, that is the current school of thought.
With the zanpakutō I was going to follow something akin to Eiji's shinigami, but try to expand it a little more. Without giving everything away, I planned on doing a plus exchange system, where a shikai has one plus for every two shinigami levels and the bankai works at one for one, although I need to work on the whole creature aspect there as well as the proper trade-in rates.
Feedback (and criticism) can be left on the talk page here, as I'd hate put a lot of time and effort into something that doesn't work. I've noticed a few things that seemed awkward just going to post this, so I'm sure it's got all kinds of issues I can't see.
Warning: This page contains gratuitous use of the Japanese language. An Anglicized version may be found here.
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Shinigami are psychopomps who have the added duty of dispensing with corrupted souls, or hollows, that fail to move on from the land of the living and prey on pure souls.
Making a Shinigami
Shinigami are a varied sort, and may combine effectively with anyone depending on the shinigami's forte. One of the few classes shinigami cannot emulate regardless of focus, and thus are dependent on and work quite well with, is the rogue. Otherwise, the shinigami could fill a variety of roles, but is probably most akin to the swordsageTOB, regardless of his specialization.
Abilities: A shinigami has no primary attribute. Different aspects of the shinigami class features are governed by different abilities, so a shinigami should invest accordingly based on the big picture. Kidō proficiency can be based on any mental attribute (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) while a shinigami who eschews kidō would likely invest in physical attributes (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution). Certain class abilities can be based on an attribute of the shinigami's choosing to prevent multi-ability score dependence.
Races: Any race that can die may become a shinigami. Beyond that there are few restrictions, which are usually limited to sentience and a belief in some form of afterlife (DM's discretion).
Starting Gold: 2d4×10 gp (50 gp).
Starting Age: Moderate.
|Saving Throws||Special||Reiatsu||AC Bonus|
|1st||+0*||+0*||+0*||+0*||Aptitude, Reiatsu, Zanpakutō||1||+1|
|5th||+2*||+1*||+1*||+1*||<-any class features gained at this level->||15||+3|
|8th||+4*||+2*||+2*||+2*||<-any class features gained at this level->||36||+4|
|10th||+5*||+3*||+3*||+3*||<-any class features gained at this level->||55||+5|
|11th||+5*||+3*||+3*||+3*||<-any class features gained at this level->||66||+6|
|13th||+6/+1*||+4*||+4*||+4*||<-any class features gained at this level->||91||+7|
|14th||+7/+2*||+4*||+4*||+4*||<-any class features gained at this level->||105||+7|
|17th||+8/+3*||+5*||+5*||+5*||<-any class features gained at this level->||153||+9|
|19th||+9/+4*||+6*||+6*||+6*||<-any class features gained at this level->||190||+10|
|20th||+10/+5*||+6*||+6*||+6*||<-any class features gained at this level->||210||+10|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
*The shinigami's base statistics are subject to change depending on his focus once becoming a shinigami.
All of the following are class features of the shinigami.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A shinigami is automatically proficient with the released and unreleased forms of his zanpakutō, whatever form it may take.
Aptitude: There are four principle areas in which shinigami focus their abilities, which are given below. Depending on which one he chooses, a shinigami will have one of his saves boosted to the "good" level (+2 at first level, +12 at twentieth). At first level the shinigami receives one proficiency level, which can be spent wherever the shinigami chooses.
- Hakuda "(Ex)": Hakuda is somewhat the black sheep of shinigami abilities. It governs the principles of hand-to-hand combat, which often goes by the wayside given the shinigami's nigh-universal preference for the zanpakutō. Selecting hakuda at first level grants the Improved Unarmed Strike feat and allows the shinigami to choose which of his saves is upgraded to the 'good' level. Each selection of hakuda grants two benefits selected from the following list:
NOTE: Working transition from Tome Monk; constant nature of effects (here) may dictates changes in the numbers.
- +1 Dodge Bonus to AC (improves to +2 at level 5, +3 at 10, +4 at 15, and +5 at 20)
- +1 Dodge Bonus to Saving Throws. (improves to +2 at level 5, +3 at 10, +4 at 15, and +5 at 20)
- any opponent struck by your slam attack to make a Fortitude Save (DC 10 + ½ your character level + your Wisdom Modifier) or become stunned for one round.
- allows you to make an attack of opportunity against any opponent who attacks you. This attack of opportunity must be a trip or disarm attempt.
- provides you with concealment.
- provides a +30' Insight Bonus to your movement rate.
- allows your slam attacks to ignore hardness and DR.
- provides any bonuses it gives to your slam attack to any attack you make with any weapon.
- causes your slam attack to inflict piercing damage and to inflict 2 points of Constitution damage.
- causes your slam attack to inflict slashing damage and to reduce your opponent's movement rate by 10' every time they suffer damage from it. This movement rate reduction can be healed like ability damage (treating 5' of movement as 1 point of ability damage).
- Hohō "(Ex)": Hohō, or agility, determines the shinigami's mobility and maneuverability, as well as his ability to escape and avoid harmful situations. Selecting hohō at first level boost the shinigami's Reflex save to the 'good' level.
- Basic Access
- Special: Increase base land speed by 10'. Each ability within the hohō subschool is an extraordinary ability, unless noted otherwise.
- Level - Benefits
- 1 - Evasion
- 4 - Uncanny Dodge
- 7 - Shunpō - The shinigami no longer provokes attacks of opportunity for moving through, into, or out of threatened spaces.
- 10 - Long Strider - The shinigami may use his shunpō to move anywhere he can see within long range (400' + 40'/level) once per day.
- 13 - Slow Fall any Distance (Su)
- 16 - Blur - equal level or higher only 10% - If the shinigami moves 10' or more in a round (including with shunpo), he has 20% concealment. This is not magical, and as such is not
- negated by true seeing or similar effects. An opponent whose challenge rating is greater than your challenge rating only suffers a 10% miss chance.
- 19 - Transcendent Speed - The shinigami may use shunpō to go through solid objects (including through space occupied by another creature) once reaching this degree of mastery. This can be done once per day, in which the shinigami may, for one round, pass through objects and creatures as though he were incorporeal. Initiating transcendent speed is a free action and its effects end when the shinigami ends his movement on the round in which transcendent speed was activated. A shinigami may not end his turn in a square occupied by a terrain feature or another creature unless he would otherwise be able to do so.
- Advanced Access
- Special: Increase base land speed by 10'
- Level - Benefits
- 1 - Improved Evasion
- 4 - Improved Uncanny Dodge
- 7 - Shunpō - The shinigami may take a move-action as a swift action (2 reiatsu)
- 10 - Long Strider - Now three times per day.
- 13 - Air Walk (Su) - The shinigami is constantly under the effects of an air walk spell.
- 16 - Partial Displacement - As before, although the shinigami now has 35% concealment, and superior opponents only suffer a 20% miss chance.
- 19 - Transcendent Speed - Now three rounds per day.
- Special: Increase base land speed by 10'
- Level - Benefits
- 7 - Shunpō - The shinigami may take a move-action as a swift action (0 reiatsu)
- 10 - Long Striker - Now at will.
- 13 - Flight (Su) - The shinigami gains a fly speed equal to his base land speed with perfect maneuverability.
- 16 - Displacement - As before, although the shinigami now has 50% concealment, with superior opponents only suffering a 35% miss chance.
- 19 - Transcendent Speed - Now at will.
- Kidō "(Sp)": Kidō refers to the demon arts, which are akin to spells. Selecting kidō grants the shinigami access to a particular set of spells. Each further selection grants access to a different set, or sphere. A complete list of kidō can be found here. Choosing kidō at first level boost the shinigami's Will save to the 'good' level. Using kidō has a reiatsu cost equal to the level at which the ability is acquired.
- Zanjutsu "(Ex)": Zanjutsu governs the shinigami's swordsmanship. Each time a shinigami selects zanjutsu he gains one Combat Feat or two fighter bonus feats.
- Choosing zanjutsu for the first time increases the shinigami's BAB to the medium level (+15 at twentieth).
- A second selection of zanjutsu increases the shinigami's BAB from the medium level to the good level (+20 at twentieth).
- A third selection of zanjutsu means that iterative attacks cannot have a penalty of more than 10 below the shinigami's highest attack modifier (20/15/10/10 rather than 20/15/10/5).
- A fourth selection of zanjutsu means that iterative attacks cannot have a penalty of more than 5 below the shinigami's highest attack modifier (20/15/15/15 rather than 20/15/10/10).
Reiatsu: A shinigami’s ability to manifest nearly all of his abilities is limited by the reiatsu he has available. His base daily allotment of reiatsu is given on Table: The Shinigami. Reiatsu regenerates at a rate equal to Template:1/4 the shinigami's class level per round rounded down to a minimum of one. The shinigami's spiritual energy is constantly at war with the shinigami's environ seeking to repel outside sources, granting him a deflection bonus to AC equal to ½ his class level rounded down, minimum one.
Zanpakutō (Su): Every shinigami has a zanpakutō, which is both a katana (or other sword--or swords) and a materialized representation of his soul. The zanpakutō deals damage as whatever type of sword it is and has the same statistics, with a few small exceptions:
- The zanpakutō's hit points are equal to the shinigami's Wisdom modifer. If the shinigami is targeted by an effect that would alter his Wisdom score, the zanpakutō's hit points change accordingly, to a minimum of one hit point with no maximum.
- The zanpakutō's hardness is equal to the shinigami's Wisdom score. If the shinigami is targeted by an effect that would alter his Wisdom score, the zanpakutō's hardness is adjusted accordingly.
- A zanpakutō overcomes damage reduction as if it has a magical enhancement equal to the shinigami's Wisdom modifier.
- The unreleased zanpakutō may deal slashing or piercing damage.
- If a shinigami's zanpakutō is sundered, he may reform is as a standard action that costs 5 reiatsu (for a first level shinigami this cost is only 2 reiatsu). If the shinigami's zanpakutō is sundered in the same round in which a shinigami expends all of his remaining reiatsu, the zanpakutō can be reformed once reiatsu is regenerated, although shikai and bankai, if achieved, are unusable for one week.
As a manifestation of the shinigami's soul, the zanpakutō is both intelligent and jealous. At seventh level, when the shinigami achieves shikai, the zanpakutō acquires Intelligence and Charisma scores equal to the the the shinigami's level +3, to a maximum, which scales with the shinigami. If the shinigami ever uses a magical weapon other than his zanpakutō, he cannot again use his zanpakutō's shikai for two weeks.
Advancement: At third level and every three levels thereafter, the shinigami advances one of his proficiencies (hakudo, hohō, zanjutsu) to the next level, or in the case of kidō, acquires a new set of spells (sphere).
Pressure Aura (Su): A shinigami of second level or higher is brimming with spiritual energy. Although normally contained, the shinigami may allow this energy to leak from his person. Doing so affects all living creatures within 10' for class level according to the table below. The shinigami may choose which of his attribute modifiers is used in the determining the difficulty class of the saving throw (10 + ½ class level + chosen ability score modifier).
|Level (or CR) Relative to Shinigami||Effect|
|Equal||Will save or be shaken. An enemy may save against this effect at the beginning of each of his turns; a success means he is no longer shaken and is immune to the spiritual aura of that particular shinigami for 24 hours.|
|-1 to -2||Will save at -4 or be shaken. An enemy may save against this effect at the beginning of each of his turns; a success means he is no longer shaken and is immune to the spiritual aura of that particular shinigami for 24 hours.|
|-3 to -4||Will save at -4 or be shaken. An enemy may save against this effect at the beginning of each of his turns; a success means he is not shaken in the round in which he saved, although he must continue saving in each round or become shaken again.|
|-5 or more||Will save at -4 or be treated as under the effects of hold person (or hold monster, whichever is most appropriate); success means the creature is frightened instead. An enemy who is held is entitled to a new save each round; success means the opponent is frightened an no longer has to save against that particular shinigami for 24 hours.|
Shikai: A shinigami's shikai, or initial release, is unique to the shinigami in both appearance and ability. The shinigami learns the name of his zanpakutō at seventh level, and can henceforth call on its true form as a swift action (costs 3 reiatsu) that requires vocalization of both the zanpakutō's name and a command (e.g. Howl, Zabimaru or Reap, Kazeshini); this does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Releasing a zanpakutō's shikai transforms the zanpakutō from its normal state into any weapon, or weapons (maximum two), which may still be a katana or a similarly 'normal' weapon or something far more complex, such as a spiked chain, lajatang, whip, or even something different entirely*. Having a two-weapon shikai does not grant the shinigami the ability to dual-wield weapons proficiently; he still must take the requisite feats to be more dangerous than clumsy when dual-wielding.
*See non-weapon shikai.
A shinigami's shikai has an enhancement bonus equal to here.½ his class level. The weapon must always have a +1 enhancement, but beyond that the shinigami may trade in his enhancement bonus for other effects, which are listed
With both shikai and bankai, plusses should be added until a desirable trade can be met rather than constantly trading in and out plusses with each new level to get the most desirable combination. Waiting is the price of power. The exception to this are like abilities, such as sphere access, or scaling combat effects such as flaming, flaming burst, and fiery burst. Also, a shinigami whose zanpakutō grants feats may trade the feat granted if he acquires the same feat through other means.
At the beginning of each of his turns, the shinigami must pay an upkeep cost of 3 reiatsu or his zanpakutō returns to its base form as a katana.
Spiritual Aura (Su):
|Level Relative to Shinigami||Effect|
|Greater or Equal||<-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills->|
|<-Skill name->||<-4 for class skills and 2 for cross-class skills->|
<span id="<-extraordinary class feature->"><-extraordinary class feature-></span> (Ex): <-class feature game rule information->
<span id="<-spell-like class feature->"><-spell-like class feature-></span> (Sp): <-class feature game rule information->
<span id="<-supernatural class feature->"><-supernatural class feature-></span> (Su): <-class feature game rule information->
<span id="<-class feature->"><-class feature-></span>: <-class feature game rule information->
<-number of skill points-> + Int modifier skill points per level.
<-existing class feature->: <-how this class feature increases or accumulates at epic levels->
<-another existing class feature->: <-how this class feature increases or accumulates at epic levels->
Bonus Feats : The epic shinigami gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic shinigami bonus feats) every three levels after 20th.
Epic Shinigami Bonus Feat List: <-list of bonus epic feats->.
- <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.