Shinigami (3.5e Race)

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Shinigami are very melancholy in their duties, whether they foretell the lifespans of mortals, reap their souls, or ferry them across the Sanzu River. They have been around for far too long, and know most every trick in the book. Because of their long existence, Shinigami are highly adept at reading others, not just in a social sense, but as heralds of death itself, a Shinigami can always tell how close a mortal is to dying. Shinigami, in their boredom, are often adept at thinking up their own games to pass away the endless hours. As they play a part in the journey that souls of the departed take to the afterlife, the Shinigami are under orders from the Yama, the highest judges of the afterlife. The life of a Shinigami is so laid back and morbid that an eternity of souls leaves each Shinigami their own coping mechanism for the long millennium.

Physical Description[edit]

Physically, despite the fact that Shinigami are undead, they look almost identical to a human, if only more pale-faced. They are actually only partially corporeal, so they tend to be much lighter than they would appear. Their eyes are red with no pupils, but their hair can be any variety of colors. All Shinigami look slightly, if not very, emaciated.


Shinigami are the collectors of souls, with no particular need to worry about races. After all, one human soul looks the same as a Tengu soul looks the same as an Oni soul. To this end a Shinigami will often simply not care what race you are. They occasionally converse with Kitsune, and the two races sometimes find friendships, but ultimately, the Shinigami outlive their mortal friends, further instilling their grim view towards existence.


Shinigami are typically Lawful by necessity, as they carry the immense task of being the collectors of souls to bring to their final destination. There are many exceptions, however, and many shinigami end up simply slacking off. Shinigami are almost never inclined toward Good or Evil, and are nearly always Neutral in that respect.


Shinigami do not have their own "territory" in a literal sense, however the area leading to the Sanzu River and the river itself are the main operating place for most Shinigami, and mortals typically dare not approach. The Sanzu River is impossibly vast, and only a Shinigami's Ferryboat is capable of crossing it, and only when a Shinigami guides it such.


Being part of the cosmology, Shinigami do not bother with Religion. they know that Animistic views are true, and leave it at that.


Shinigami speak Common and Spiritual. Spiritual is the language that all departed souls know, and only them, the Yama, and the Shinigami can know and understand it.


Shinigami usually have names that signify their connection to the afterlife and the journey to it.

Examples: Amaterasu, Asuka, Ayumi, Chie, Azumi, Hoshi, Izanami, Izanagi, Kasumi, Ko, Naomi, Nori, Noriko, Rei, Rin, Shizuka, Yasuko, Yoshie, Daichi, Eiji, Hisashi, Hisoka, Hotaka, Nobu, Norio, Satoru, Yasuhiro, Yasushi, yoshinori,

Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma, No Constitution Score: Shinigami have had eternity of practice to learn how to read others, but their occupation leaves them not too sociable.
  • Undead: Shinigami are the force that maintains the flow of souls into the afterlife and mortality in the normal world.
  • Medium: no bonuses or penalties
  • Shinigami base land speed is 30 feet
  • Seers of Death: Shinigami are treated as if constantly under the effect of a Deathwatch spell. This is always active, and it cannot be suppressed or dispelled.
  • Professionalism: Shinigami always count Profession(Ferryman) and Profession(Executioner) as class skills.
  • Omens of demise: increase the save DC of any magical Compulsion effect delivered by a Shinigami by +2
  • Undead Traits
  • Proficiency with Scythes
  • Wisdom of the Death Gods: Whenever a Shinigami utilizes a spell or class feature of the Spirit Shaman class, they can substitute their Wisdom modifier for any class feature that would normally use the spirit shaman's Charisma modifier (including passive features such as Spells per day).
  • Immortality: despite being undead, Shinigami cannot be utterly destroyed. A Shinigami can be brought back (while remaining Undead) by a True Resurrection, Wish, or Miracle spell.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Spiritual. Bonus Languages: Any.
  • Favored Class: Spirit Shaman (Complete Divine).

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
1000 years +10d% +20d% +30d%
Table: Shinigami Aging Effects
Shinigami have no aging effects or a maximum lifespan.
Table: Shinigami Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4' 10" +2d10 60 lb. × (1d4) lb.
Female 4' 4" +2d10 40 lb. × (1d4) lb.

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