When a person dies, but still has business with the world they've left behind, they become a ghost, wandering a world that cannot see or hear them, trying to resolve the problems they cannot put aside. But, what happens when they are left for too long, when the hatred, the loneliness in their hearts starts to eat away at their very being?
In this world, they become horrible, soul-devouring creatures called Hollows. To ease the pain in their rotted away hearts, Hollows hunt those they once loved, living and dead, to consume their souls. But that's not enough. When they are dead, they continue to hunt, preying on the souls of the living and dead alike. To combat these monsters, and to guide these lost spirits to the afterlife, a place known as Soul Society, a special group of spirits from the afterlife, called Shinigami, or Death Gods, return to the real world, to maintain the balance of life and death.
Armed with magic and powerful blades, they protect the living and the dead, unseen by those who still live. Well, most of them, anyway.
Some humans have the power to see the dead, to interact with them. Some even go one step further, gaining powerful abilities to fight these Hollows, that can, if left unchecked, kill countless people. The most organized group, the Quincy, use spirit-powered bows to slay these evil creatures, eradicating them entirely, while other humans acquire abilities, ranging across the spectrum of imagination.
This is the world setting of the manga/anime Bleach, a quite interesting, action-based anime, focused on a group of teenagers who can see these ghosts, and very quickly get caught up in the politics of the Shinigami, as their own powers appear.
Having watched the entire series over the last month, I am very interested in running a scenario, set in this world. However, as I am a fan of using rules, I quickly began to formulate ideas for how to bring their fighting style into Dungeons and Dragons. Thankfully, I didn't have to do much work myself, as there's an active project to create a Bleach d20 ruleset, found here. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38291
Direct link to rules: http://professor.fireandrobot.com/Bleach-D20-Rulebook-Compilation.doc
I don't recommend reading the whole thread, but if you're interested in the rules, there's a link to the document with them. So, here's my ideas:
1) A low-level, survival-horror style game. Players would start as ordinary humans, who can see ghosts, maybe with a little knowledge of Hollows, but never having seen them. No shinigami characters, right off the start. As the story continues, they develop powers, to combat these deadly spirit creatures, intent on devouring their souls. Did I mention that people with powers are extra-attractive to the monsters? This would be the most newbie-friendly game, as little or no knowledge of the setting would be required.
2) A mid level game, featuring a mix of humans and shinigami. More akin to the actual Bleach story, a small band of shingami are dispatched to an area of particularly high spirit concentration, eventually encountering humans with powers, as they fight ever increasingly powerful foes. Would likely travel to Soul Society and/or Hueco Mundo (The world of the Hollows, where the most powerful flee to, if injured), and would probably require some knowledge of the series, especially to play a shinigami.
3) A high level game, starting in Soul Society, and featuring almost exclusively shinigami, likely in very high positions, as high as Vice Captains. More dealing with the politics of Soul Society, a major threat to the balance of the worlds, and almost certainly featuring trips to the real world, and Hueco Mundo. Advanced players, both in the d20 system, and in knowledge of the anime, only.
This thread is mostly an interest check, to see who would be interested in the game at all, and, of those, who would be interested in which scenario. Unless I get overwhelming requests for more than one, I'll only run one of these. Also, any questions or comments would be appreciated!