Battle Shinigami (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 Battle Shinigami
Battle 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. Shinigami come in two types, the Battle Shinigami focused on combat, and the Kido Shinigami focused on magic.
Abilities: Strength and Constitution are vital for any melee warrior class, though Charisma also plays a large roll, in saving DCs for spells and special attacks. Wisdom is good for their special class skills and what spells they can cast, 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 race is capable of becoming a Shinigami, all it requires is a powerful spirit and dedication to the cause.
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (80 gp).
Armor available: Light Armor, no sheild.
Starting Age: Moderate.
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Aura, Battle Spirit, Spiritual Form, Zanpakuto||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Determination +1, Planar Senses||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Ghost Strike, Shikai, Soul Burial||1||0||—||—||—|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+2||Material Essence, Spiritual Pressure||3||3||3||—||—|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+6||+2||+2 Weapon, fast movement +10||4||3||3||—||—|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+3||Flash Step 4/day||4||4||3||1||—|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+8||+4||Flash Step 6/day||5||5||5||2||—|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+9||+4||Material Essence, Weapon Ability||6||5||5||3||1|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+9||+5||Bankai 2/day, Bankai Power, Flash Step (Swift Action)||6||6||5||3||1|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+5||Flash Step 4/day, Timeless Body||6||6||6||5||3|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+6||Weapon Ability, Bankai Power||6||6||6||6||4|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+11||+6||Flash Step 5/day||6||6||6||6||5|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+6||Bankai 4/day, Death God Apotheosis, Determination +3, +5 Weapon||6||6||6||6||6|
Class Skills (2 + 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 wizard or a cleric 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 Battle 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. At each new shinigami level, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Shinigami Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a shinigami knows is not affected by his Wisdom score; the numbers on Table: Shinigami Spells Known are fixed.) 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:
1st—Cure Light Wounds, Cause Fear, Deathwatch, Protection from Evil, Shield of Faith, Align Weapon, Gentle Repose, Hold Person, Status, Undetectable Alignment, Longstrider, Magic Aura, Jump, Feather Fall, Slide (Spell Compendium)
Aura (Ex): A battle 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).
Battle Spirit: A battle shinigami of the discipline of combat has tempered their body to be strong. Their training allows them to select feats which require fighter levels as if he were a fighter -2 levels lower than his shinigami class levels. For example, a 6th level battle shinigami, and a fighter 2/battle shinigami 4 both qualify for Weapon Specialization.
Spiritual Form (Su): When facing incorporeal opponents, the shinigami may willingly leave their body and enter the ethereal or shadow planes to combat them, thus becoming ethereal themselves. While this levels the playing field against ghostly 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 and regardless of distance. If the body dies before the shinigami can return to it, the shinigami also dies.
Zanpakuto: 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 Zanpakuto 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 zanpakuto is ever broken, the weapon loses its power and zanpakuto 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 zanpakuto your powers come back in full.
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 actually 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 Armor (Ex): Being able to spend time in the ethereal plane has given the shinigami better defenses in those realms. At 3rd level, while ethereal the battle shinigami gains their Cha as a deflection bonus to AC. Even when material, they maintain their Cha bonus against incorporeal touch attacks only.
Weapon Enchantment Bonus (Su): At 4th level the zanpakuto of the 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 zanpakuto 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.
Fast Movement (Ex): The Shinigami is very swift from the training they receive, gaining a +10 bonus to their movement speed. This stacks with similar bonuses, such as barbarian's fast movement.
Ghost Strike (Su): At 5th level, when using the zanpakuto, 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 at ethereal creatures.
Shikai (Su): At 5th level, after a ritual which takes 24 hours of meditation, the name of the zanpakuto 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 zanpakuto can stay in Shikai form for 1 minute per class level and can be activated as many times per day as 1 + Wis modifier (minimum 1).
In Shikai form the weapon deals damage as if one size category higher. Also, many special abilities require the shikai form to be displayed.
There is a feat which allows your Shikai to be out permanently.
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 ghost attempting Rejuvenation becomes equal to (10 + 1/2 the shinigami's class level + Cha modifier). Performing this act in a Consecrated or Hallow area adds +4 to the DC. 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).
Weapon Ability: At 6th level and every four levels after, a battle shinigami develops a new ability as he unlocks his weapon's true power. When first chosing a special power you specify which type of zanpakuto you have. This choice will alter which special abilities are available and the nature of his Bankai later on. The types of zanpakuto are Booster, Defensive, Elemental, Environmental, Healing, Kido, Summon and Weapon types. These powers are only in effect while in Shikai or Bankai.
Booster (Su): At 6th level, the battle shinigami recieves a +2 competence bonus to one ability score chosen when taking this ability. At 10th level, the battle shinigami may apply a second +2, stacking either with the same ability score or a new one. At 14th level, the battle shinigami may apply another +2 to one of his scores. At 18th level, he may apply one last +2 bonus to one of his ability scores.
Defensive (Su): At 6th level, you gain a +2 sacred bonus to AC. At 10th level, you gain a +2 sacred bonus to saves. At 14th level, you gain another +2 sacred bonus to AC. At 18th level, gain another +2 sacred bonus to saves.
Elemental (Su): At 6th level, choose an element (fire, cold, electricity, or acid). Your weapon now deals 1d6 extra damage of that element. At 10th level, the bonus rises to 2d6. At 14th level, the bonus rises to 3d6. At 18th level, the bonus rises to 4d6. The damage stacks with the various elemental enchantments for weapons.
Environmental (Su): At 6th level, the Shinigami is under the effect of a pass without trace spell. At 10th level, the weapon alters the environment via illusion or some manner, granting 20% concealment. At 14th level, the Shinigami is under the effects of a nondetection spell. At 18th level, environmental alteration increases the concealment to 50%. True Seeing bypasses the concealment, but methods that rely on mundane means such as Blind sight, do not pierce the concealment. The concealment does not stack with that of Blur, Displacement, or similar spells.
Healing (Su): At 6th level, all your Cure spells heal 150% damage as if Empowered. At 10th level, you gain fast healing 1. At 14th level, your Cure spells heal 200% instead of 150% damage. At 18th level, you gain fast healing 3.
Kido (Su): At 6th level, your caster level rises by 1. At 10th level, your spell DCs rise by 1. At 14th level, your caster level rises by 1 again. At 18th level, your spell DCs rise by 1 again. All of these benefits stack with similar feats, such as Spell Focus. The bonuses apply to all shinigami spells.
Summon (Sp): At 6th level, your blade gains spell-like abilities it can use on command. You may select any spell off the cleric or sorcerer/wizard lists up to 2nd level, able to be cast 2/day in shikai form. At 10th level, you select a spell-like ability up to 4th level able to be cast 2/day. At 14th level, you select a spell-like ability up to 6th level, able to be cast 1/day. At 18th level, you select a spell-like ability up to 8th level, able to be cast 1/day. If any spell involves any costly material components you may pay 5 times the gold amount in XP.
Weapon (Su): At 6th level, you gain +1 to your attack roll. At 10th level, you gain +1 to your weapon damage. At 14th level, you gain +1 to your attack roll again. At 18th level, you gain +2 to your weapon damage again. All of these benefit stack with the Weapon Focus/Weapon Specialization chain of feats.
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 zanpakuto.
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.
Spiritual Pressure (Su): At 7th level, a battle shinigami may release his spiritual pressure forcefully in a 30 ft radius as a standard action. Those 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.
Flash Step (Su): At 9th level and every two levels beyond except 15th (9, 11, 13, 17, and 19) a battle shinigami may perform a Flash Step, teleporting across the battlefield in a supernatural burst of speed. The effect is identical to Dimension Door except that the battle shinigami requires line of effect, as they are not actually teleporting, and that it is a move action to perform. At level 15, the shinigami's speed has become so great that he may perform his flash step as a swift action.
Bankai (Su): The final transformation of the zanpakuto 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 24 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 1 round/class level and can only be performed 2/day, at 20th level it can be performed 4/day. Bankai's vary greatly, depending on the type of weapon you selected with your special abilities. (See below for details on Zanpakuto and Bankai).
Timeless Body (Ex): Upon attaining 17th level, a Shinigami no longer takes penalties to his ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that he has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the Shinigami still dies of old age when his time is up.
Bankai Power: At 15th level, you have gotten a hold of your Bankai powers and develop a devastating special attack. You may choose from the list below, each power can only be performed in Bankai, and each only 1/day.
Blade Beam (Su): You release either a 120 ft. line or a 60 ft. cone of energy from your weapon, dealing 1d8+1 damage per Shinigami level you possess. The Reflex save for half is 10 + 1/2 Shinigami level + Cha.
Blitz Attack (Su): You unleash a flurry of blows, and may take two full round actions worth of attacks in a single full round action. Activating this power is a swift action.
Curse Zone (Su): All enemies within 60 ft. of you suffer from your baleful aura, resulting in -4 to all attacks, skill checks, and saving throws, It invokes a Will save for partial, DC 10 + 1/2 shinigami level + Cha. A successful save results in only a -2 penalty. It lasts for the remaining duration of your Bankai.
Deathless (Su): Your will refuses to allow you to die. You may ignore the penalties of being at 0 hp or below, fighting on far into the negatives for 3 rounds, after which you must make Fortitude saves vs death with the DC equal to 10 + damage in the negatives. Abilities which destroy your body (such as Disintegrate) or kill you without hp damage (such as bringing your Con to 0 or Finger of Death kill you as normal. You may activate this power as an immediate action.
Power Blow (Su): All your effort goes into a single devastating attack, dealing your normal damage plus 5 extra damage per shinigami level. If you miss your melee attack, the attempt is lost.
Power Surge (Su): With a surge of energy you power up, gaining +8 to a single ability score of your choice. It lasts for 1d4+1 rounds, after which you are fatigued. You may activate this power as a swift action.
Toxic (Su): Choose an ability score for your poison to affect. As part of a melee attack you may activate this, dealing 2d6 points of ability damage to the ability score you chose on a successful attack. If you miss, the ability is not lost for the day.
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.
The Zanpakuto and Bankai
Bankai Powers : As a Zanpakuto 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, you gain the Bankai Form which is associated with the Weapon Ability you originally took. The zanpakuto possesses empathy, 60 ft darkvision and hearing, and two ability scores at 16, one at 10.
Booster (Su): While in Bankai, you may raise one of your bonuses by +4. Every 10 levels after 15th (25th, 35th, etc.) you may apply an additional +4 bonus.
Defensive (Su): While in Bankai, you may reduce all damage taken by 50%.
Elemental (Su): Your Bankai transforms you into an elemental themed creature appropriate for the type you chose (fire for fire, water for cold, electricity for wind, and acid for earth). You gain the Elemental type and all resulting immunities and weaknesses, the movement speeds of an elemental of your HD, and the Weapon Ability associated with each elemental, such as Burn for fire elementals or Whirlwind for wind elementals. The DC for those abilities are 10 + 1/2 HD + Cha. In addition just standing around you causes damage, dealing 1d6 elemental damage to any enemy within 10 ft.
Environmental (Su): A field of energy surrounds you, changing the environment. Everybody within 60 ft of you falls under a deep magical suppression of light, sound, and smell, granting you total concealment farther than 5 ft. and negating most blind sense, blind sight, and scent, no save. As long as you hold your weapon, you may ignore the supression effects. This is a mind affecting effect.
Healing (Su): For the duration of Bankai you gain a pool of healing equal to 10 hp per class level, which you may apply at a touch identical to the paladin's Lay On Hands ability. You may refill your pool of healing by causing damage with the weapon, which restores the pool on a 1 to 1 ratio. Alternatively if you cast healing spells while Bankai is active you fill your pool with harmful energy, which may be applied with a touch (Will half, DC 16 + Cha). When you first enter Bankai you may decide if your pool starts out full of positive or negative energy.
Summon (Sp): Your weapon transforms into a monster to fight for you. During this time your zanpakuto vanishes, so it is advised you carry a backup weapon. Choose a creature whose HD equal to your character level -2. You gain this creature as a sort of cohort that you summon. The creature possesses all the Shikai-granted spell-like abilities of your zanpakuto, and has either the zanpakuto's mental ability scores, or that of the base creature, whichever is higher. As you gain levels you may advance your summon appropriately. The summon is a manifestation of the spirit of your sword. If slain, it goes quiet for 24 hours, re-appearing as its zanpakuto non-Shikai form, and cannot be put in Shikai or summoned again for 24 hours.
Weapon (Su): Your effective weapon size increases beyond the increase granted by Shikai. At level 15, your effective weapon size is now 3 times its actual size,The weapon deals damage as if Three size categories higher which for a medium Shinigami is a gargantuan weapon damage. For every 10 levels past 15th (25th, 25th, etc) the effective size increases another step.
A shinigami who becomes evil or purposefully allows evil spirits to roam about freely will lose their shinigami powers. They may no longer take levels in Shinigami nor use their zanpakuto 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.
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Weapon Enchantment Bonus (Su): The zanpakuto continues to accumulate enhancement bonuses. For every four levels past 20th the zanpakuto 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, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Energy Resistance, Epic Fortitude, Epic Prowess, Epic Reflexes, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Epic Will, Fast Healing, Great Charisma, Great Constitution, Great Dexterity, Great Strength, Great Wisdom, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Legendary Leaper, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Perfect Health, Spell Knowledge, Spellcasting Harrier, and Superior Initiative.
Human Shinigami Starting Package
Weapons: Masterwork Katana.
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.
Feat: Improved Initiative.
Bonus Feats: Weapon Focus (Katana).
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 dedication 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.
Notables: 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.
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.
DC 10: A shinigami hunts ghosts and other incorporeal and extraplanar beings with their powerful weapon.
DC 15: A shinigami may leave their body at will and drift as a ghost. They possess both spell and sword to handle their meneces.
DC 20: 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 30: 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: If you remove the martial and exotic weapon profiencies, with exception to the weapon type of your zanpaktou, and add a monk's unarmed progression you can have an unarmed fist-fighting variant.
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.