Actions & Combat

A typical combat encounter is a dash between two sides, a flurry of punches, feints, deflections, energy blasts, and melee combat. The DBU RPG organizes the chaos of combat into a cycle of rounds and turns. To make combat manageable, combatants take turns. Combatants consisted of both player-controlled characters (PC) and characters controlled (NPC) by the ARC. During a round, each combatant takes a turn in battle. The order of turns is determined at the beginning of a combat encounter when combatants roll initiative. Once all combatants have taken a turn the round ends, combat continues to another round until one side is overcome.

1. Establishing Positions. The Architect and players decide and determine where the combatants involved in the encounter are positioned at the start of the battle.

2. Determine Surprise. The Architect determines whether any combatants are surprised or if any -combatant notices an enemy without being noticed in return.

3. Rolling Initiative. All combatants involved in a combat encounter must roll initiative, determining the order of turns for each combatant.

4. Surprise Round Actions. If any combatant gains a surprise round, they act in initiative order each one taking actions.

5. Taking Turns. In initiative order, all combatants take their respective turns which include various maneuvers.

6. Ending a Round. Once all combatants have taken their turn, the round ends and the second round begins. This continues until one side is defeated.

A complete round lasts about ten (10) seconds in the game world. Note that due to the nature of source material this time frame might/could be shorter or longer.

Surprise. A band of Saibamen sneaks up on your camp, springing from brushes and trees to attack. A gelatinous Majin goo slithers over the rocky outcropping, unnoticed by the combatants until it engulfs one of them. In these and other situations, one side of the battle gains surprise over the other.

When this happens, battles begin with a surprise round. This takes place after initiative, but before the first round. The ARC will determine who is surprised. If neither side is attempting to be sneaky, both will automatically notice each other. If any combatants are unaware of the enemy combatants’ presence or hostile intentions, they are surprised.

If one combatant manages to get the jump on another, they can act during the surprise round following the normal rules for turns and rounds found later in this section. When a character is surprised, they cannot take any actions (not even instant actions) during the surprise round and they have the guard down combat condition (See Attacking & Conditions) until the end of the surprise round.

Initiative. Initiative is the order of turns also call the initiative order. It determines the sequence of turns during combat. When a combat encounter starts, every combatant makes an initiative check to determine their place in the order. The Architect will make one roll for an entire group of indistinguishable NPC combatants, so each member of the group acts at the same time.

Roll a d10 and add one-half (1/2) your agility modifier to the natural results, plus any other modifiers to determine your initiative score. In the case of a tie, the combatant with the higher agility score will go first. If both combatants tie again, both will roll a d10 and the highest result wins.

Initiative Order. The ARC, or sometimes another player, will rank all the combatants in order from the highest initiative score to the lowest. This is the initiative order in which everyone will act during each round. Typically, the initiative order will remain the same round after round within the same battle.

Initiative Advantage. If your initiative is ten (10) higher than an enemy combatant’s initiative you will get one (1) additional action to spend during each of your turns. Increase this bonus by one (+1) thereafter for every five (5) higher your initiative is over the enemy combatant. The number of additional actions is based on the highest initiative score among the enemy combatants in the encounter; so you do not gain multiple actions for fighting multiple enemies.

You will also gain one (+1) action for each tier of power higher you are than an enemy combatant. The number of additional actions is based on the highest tier of power among the enemy combatants in the encounter; so you do not gain multiple actions for fighting multiple enemies.

Architect: You managed to save the young boy and get him to safety. Now the Paozusaurus has engaged you in combat. Roll initiative!

Garrett: I rolled 7 and I add my agility modifier to it right? So, I have an initiative of 10.

Rohan: My initiative is 11.

Architect: Okay, Rohan goes first in combat. What do you do?

Rohan: I attack the dino!

The Turn. When your turn arrives in the initiative order, it’s your turn to perform maneuvers in the round. Each of your turns has three steps: effect, act, and end. The effect phase happens before anything else and takes nearly no time, the act phase is where all the juicy stuff happens, and then the end phase happens, you guessed it, at the end of your turn.

Effect Phase. Before any actions are spent, there are a few things you must track and certain effects that occur at the start of your turn. These things take almost no time in the game world and are simply mechanical effects.

  • Ongoing Damage: If you are suffering from ongoing damage, you might suffer those effects now.
  • Mechanical Effects: Deal with any other effects that occur during your turn.
  • Ending Effects: Some effects and mechanics might automatically end at the start of your turn.
  • No Actions: You can’t take any actions during the start of a turn until all the above statements are completed.

Act Phase. You can spend actions on a maneuver to perform complex tasks ranging from solving a puzzle, transforming into complete badasses or, of course, rocking the socks off the bad guys. See later in this section for more details on this phase of combat.

End Phase. The end phase is identical to the effects phase but simply takes place at the end of your turn. Track certain effects that occur at the end of your turn and check any other effects that might be occurring during the end of your turn that doesn’t specifically affect your character but the whole encounter. These things take almost no time in the game world and are simply mechanical effects.

  • Ongoing Damage: If you are suffering from ongoing damage, you might suffer those effects now.
  • Mechanical Effects: Deal with any other effects that will occur during the end of you turn.
  • Ending Effects: Some effects and mechanics might automatically stop at the end of your turn.
  • No Actions: Characters cannot take any actions during the end phase of any turn.

The Round. The total sum of turns is called a round. A round starts with the character highest in initiative order and ends with the lowest, before starting back at the highest again. Once all combatants have taken their turn during the initiative order, the round is over. Repeat the process starting with the highest initiative until the encounter is overcome or has ended.

Actions. Every combatant, player-controlled or otherwise, has three (3) actions they can make during their turn in combat, plus any bonus actions. Actions are used as points you can spend on different maneuvers. Maneuvers are the different things, such as attacking, you can do during combat. You spend a number of actions to perform a maneuver.

Bonus Momentum. You gain one (+1) additional action to spend if you successfully strike and wound another combatant. This bonus action must be used by the end of the current round or it is lost. If you attempt to attack any target and you do not successfully strike any targets during the round you will gain one (+1) karma point – you cannot gain more than one karma point per round this way.

Maneuvers. Maneuvers cost actions and some require more than one action to perform. Some maneuvers can only be using other combatant’s turns, these are called counter maneuvers. You get one free (+1) counter maneuver per round of combat that doesn’t count towards your normal actions. Increase this number of free counter maneuver(s) you have each round by one (+1) for each tier of power reached. However, you may also spend your normal actions as a counter maneuver. There is also a maneuver called triggered which can occur at any point during a combat encounter when specific conditions are met.

Attack Maneuver (1 Action). The strike roll, or hit roll, is used when attempting to assault a target with any type of attack. Such as a physical, energy, ballistic, or magical attack. To make an attack, you roll a d10 then add your haste and awareness modifiers to the natural result. A strike roll’s dice score is compared to the target’s dodge roll score. If the strike roll is higher, the attack successfully hits; if the dodge roll is higher the attack fails and misses the target.

  • Desperation. When using the Attack Maneuver, if the target is considered significantly stronger than you or they are at least eight (8) Power Levels or higher then you. You can wager Life Points on your attack as if they were Ki Points. (See Attacking & Conditions – Ki Wager) You can wager both Life and Ki Points when using Desperation.

Blitz Maneuver (2 Actions). You throw yourself into a fight, dashing forward or flying at a target launching an all-out attack – blitz is a special physical attack. You must be at least one (1) square away from the target, to a maximum of eight (8) squares. When using blitz, you will make a non-signature technique physical attack. Using blitz costs six (+6) ki points. Increase this cost by two (+2) for each square between you and the target. Increase the ki point cost of blitz by three (+3) for each tier of power reached.

You will roll a physical attack against your target, however, for each square you travel through to charge the target increase the damage of the attack by two (+2), increase the damage of each square you move trough by two (+2) for each tier of power reached. After you use the blitz maneuver, your botch rate is increased to three (3) or less until the end of your next turn and you can’t add your agility modifier to the next dodge roll you take.

Barrage Maneuver (2 Actions). A barrage is a combination of many energy waves, fired at a very rapid rate. This technique is usually used as a last resort or a desperation move, typically motivated by frustration or rage; barrage is a special type of energy attack. Using barrage costs eight (+8) ki points. Increase this cost by two (+2) for each tier of power reached.

You will roll a energy attack against your target. If you successfully strike your target roll 2d10, this is the number of hits the target suffers. Do not roll to wound. Instead, the target suffers damage equal to one-half (1/2) your potency modifier for each hit. You can wager ki points when using barrage, but you cannot add any other additional damage modifier. When applying your ki wager to barrage add the wager to the overall total damage inflicted on the target, not each hit. Target’s apply soak to the total damage of your barrage attack, NOT each hit.

Called Shot (2 Actions). A called shot is an attack aimed at a particular part of the body, in the hope of gaining some extra effect from the attack. The smaller or better guarded the area, the more difficult the called shot. Called shots work best at close range. While in melee range a called shots suffers a negative two (–2) penalty to your strike roll. If you are making a called shot at range, you will suffer a negative four (-4) penalty to your strike roll. Range penalties are increased by one (-1) for every four squares away the target is away from you.

Combat Recovery Maneuver (2 Actions). Want to stand facing the enemy exchanging monologues for three game sessions? Combat recovery allows you to restore life points and ki points during battle at the cost of your actions. When you perform this maneuver roll a 2d10 and restore both your life and ki points by the corresponding natural result, increase this effect by +2d10 for each tier of power reached.

Counter maneuver (Dynamic). These maneuvers are a response to a specific action against or near you such as leaving melee range, attempting to make a ranged attack within melee range or some other special situation. Note the action cost of a counter maneuver is equal to the action cost of your attempt to counter with. As an example, if you were going to use the maneuver attack as your counter then your counter maneuver will cost you one action. Some maneuvers require a counter action to use them, this means that the maneuver cannot be perform on your turn.

Dragon Rush Maneuver (2 Actions).  A combination of techniques, a barrage of punches and kicks and powerful attacks. This sequence of attacks is a combination of timed strikes that deliver massive damage to a target.

When using an attack maneuver, but before making any rolls, you can declare that you are attempting to use dragon rush. You will make a non-signature physical attack against a target. If you are successful the dragon rush sequence begins. If your attack fails continue combat normally, however, you will suffer from the combat condition impediment (See Attacking & Conditions) and you can not use the dragon rush maneuver again until the end of your next turn.

You also cannot attempt to use dragon rush if you are suffering from a combat condition, other than superiority, or stress exhaustion.

When a dragon rush sequence begins you will make three (3) separate strike rolls against your target’s full dodge value, don’t roll to wound. If you fail to strike the target with any one of the rolls the sequence ends. When the sequence ends you will make a final attack against a target; this attack can be any type. The damage from this attack is increased by +1d10 for each successful strike roll you made during the sequence.

If you successfully strike your target will all three rolls. Make your final attack’s strike roll twice and select your highest result and discard the lower. When making the wound roll for your final attack, multiply the damage by three (3) instead of adding the bonus 1d10s.

The total ki cost of dragon rush is equal to the total ki point cost of your final attack against the target multiplied by the number of successful strike rolls made during the dragon rush sequence. Note, that a successful dragon rush doesn’t grant you a bonus action from bonus momentum rule. You cannot make more than one dragon rush maneuver per round.

Dragon Rush example chart

Empower Maneuver (1 Actions).  A supportive maneuver in which you transfer your own ki to another character either through touch or in the form of an energy wave. You transfer your own ki to another empowering them and restoring their ki points. Using empower you can transfer a number of ki points to a character equal to your potency modifier.

Energy Charge Maneuver (1 Action). You can charge an energy attack to create a powerful, overwhelming blast. Energy charge is a special ability that can be applied to any type of energy attack. Your selected attack will cost an additional four (+4) ki points, added to its normal cost. The additional cost increases by four (+4) for each additional action you spend charging the same attack. Increase the total ki point cost of energy charge by two (+2) for each tier of power reached. You pay the total ki point cost for this maneuver when you release the charged attack.

You can charge an energy attack for a number of actions equal to your potency modifier. After you declare that you are using the energy charge maneuver, you can use your actions to continue charging the attack or launch the attack. If you elect to charge the attack again its damage will increase. If you select to launch the attack you will target an enemy combatant and roll for the attack. The charged energy attack follows all its normal rules, however, for each action you charged the attack increases its damage by 1d6, increase the damage per action by +1d6 for each tier of power reached. As an example, if you charged an attack for two (2) actions increase the attack’s damage 2d6. If you charge an attack for three (3) actions and your tier of power is two (2) the attack’s damage is increased by 6d6.

While charging, you grant enemy combatants the superiority combat condition.(See Attacking & Conditions) Until the end of your next turn, after using the energy charge maneuver your botch rate is increased to three or less.

Energy Duel (1 Counter Action). An energy duel is a situation in which two energy-based techniques collide and compete to consume one another. When two characters enter a duel, due to the extreme power, no other combatants can aid them or enter the affray. An energy duel might begin when you are the target of an opponent’s energy-based attack. If you are targeted, you can forgo your dodge roll and spend a counter maneuver (if available) to enter a duel. Combat is paused as the duel is carried out and completed.   

Both you and your opponent will make three (3) strike rolls. Each time a roll is made you and your opponent will secretly wager ki points. Add the secret wager to your dice score; the player with the highest dice score wins. Once one player has won two (2) the duel is over.

The winning player adds all the ki wagered during the duel, by both combatants, to their energy-based attack’s wound roll. Both you and your opponent will manage their ki points normally after a duel has been completed. You only have to pay the ki point you spent during the duel; remember that you are still bound by the capacity rate.

Grapple Maneuver (1 Action). When you want to grab or restrain a combatant, you can seize them, attempting to keep them from escaping. You can attempt to perform the grapple maneuver, but you must have at least one free hand and the combatant must be within one (1) square of you. You are considered the Grappler and the target is considered Grappled. Make a strike roll opposed by the Grappled’s strike or dodge roll, the target chooses. The Grappled may only select to use strike if they are within melee range (If you are a Namekian grappling a target that is six yards away using Nobiru-Ude, the target can only use their dodge against you). This is called a grapple check. If you are successful, both you and the Grappled are subjected to the prone combat condition. (Attacking & Conditions) If you fail the Grappled may spend a counter action against you and is free of your grasp. You may stop grappling a target as a instant action on your turn.

During subsequent rounds, while in a grapple, on your turn, you will need to make another grapple check. On the target’s subsequent turns they will need to make another grapple check as well. If a Grappled escapes your grasp they regain any lost actions due to the grapple.

  • Pinning. During the same turn you win a grapple check, using another action, make a second grapple check against the target using the same rules as above. If you succeed this second check, then you pin the Grappled, reducing their actions to zero (0).
    • Energy Restraint. If the Grappled is pinned, you can spend two actions and eight (8) ki points to restrain them with your ki. An energy restrained target’s actions are reduced to zero (0). You no longer are considered in a grapple and with the target. On the Grappled’s turn, they can spend an action in attempt to break the energy restraint with a strength check, TN medium.
  • Moving A Target. If you have a Grappled pinned you can attempt to move them about the battlefield. When you use the move maneuver, you can drag or carry the Grappled with you. If you move while carrying a target you must make a strength check, TN easy, if you fail your speed is reduced by one-half (1/2) squares.
  • Throwing A Target. You can throw a pinned target away from you by spending an action. Make a strike roll opposed by the Grappled’s dodge roll. This is called a Throw Check. If you win the throw check, the Grappled is moved two (2) squares away from you in any direction you wish.
    • Throw Distance. When your Throw check is two (2) or higher than the Grappled’s roll they are moved an additional two (2) squares. Increase the distance thrown by two (+2) squares for every two (2) higher your throw check is over the target’s. If a throw would result in moving through another combatant’s square, the combatant can roll dodge against your throw check. If the you are successful, both targets are knocked prone and take 1d10 direct damage (ki cannot be wagered). The thrown target is placed next to the second combatant, the second combatant is not displaced. If you fail, throw continues as normal, the target suffers 1d6 direct damage from the throw and is placed next to the second combatant. You cannot throw a target into more than one other target.

Instant Maneuver (No Action Required). This type of maneuver takes almost no effect or time to perform. You can take as many instant maneuvers in combat as you wish, they do not count towards the total number of actions you can spend per round. Instead maneuver are actions that take no time to do. Such as speaking a few words, dropping a weapon or drop prone. You can use instant maneuvers anytime during combat, even on someone else’s turn.

Movement Maneuver (1 Action). A movement maneuver is required if you are moving more than one (1) square. If you move along the ground you can move up to any number of squares equal your ground speed. If you move through the air you can move up to any number of squares equal your flight speed. While moving on the ground there is no ki cost. If you are using the maneuver to fly, you will have to pay three (3) ki points for each square you move through. When you move during combat if you move pass or leave the melee range of any enemy combatants you will provoke a counter action against you.

  • Rapid Movement. You move with great speed, which, creates the illusion of teleportation. Rapid movement lets you move anywhere on the battlefield any number of squares equal to either your ground or flight speed instantly without provoking a counter action. Increase the ki point cost of movement by two action (+2) for each square you move. This will cause moving on the ground to have a ki point cost and increase the ki point cost of flying. Using rapid movement increase your strike rolls for the remainder of your turn by two (+2). Increase this bonus by two (+2s) for each tier of power reached.

Out-Of-Sequence Maneuver (Dynamic). Sometimes an ability, trait, talent or other mechanic will call for you to make an out-of-sequence action(s). When this happens the combat encounter is paused and you can take an action(s) based on the mechanic which triggered that the out-of-sequence event . Typically, this type of maneuver will take place immediately. After you have completed the out-of-sequence action(s) combat will resume normally.

Parry Maneuver (1 Counter Action). When you are attacked by a combatant you can forgo your dodge roll, spend six (6) ki points to attempt to deflect the attack. Increase this cost by six (+6) for each tier of power reached. There are three ways you can deflect an attack.

  • Melee attack only (Block). Instead of rolling dodge, you will roll your physical strike against the enemy’s attack roll. If your score is higher than the enemy’s, you deflect the attack and take no damage.
  • Energy attack only (Deflect). Instead of rolling dodge you will roll an impulsive save and add your spirit modifier to the roll. If your score is higher than the enemy’s roll you successfully deflect the attack, taking only one-fourth (1/4) its damage, and can attempt to rebound the attack.
    • Rebound. You can attempt to rebound an attack back at an enemy if you have successfully deflected. Roll the sphere energy attack normally, with your own to aptitudes, reduced your dice score by one-half (1/2). If you successfully strike the enemy, you rebound their attack and suffer no damage. Roll the damage for their reflected attack. A rebounded attack’s damage counts are direct.
  • Any attack types (Guard). When you are attacked you can guard against it. Guarding against an attack reduces the attack’s damage by one-half (1/2) its total and changes lethal damage into direct and direct damage into standard. If you use guard against an attack your dodge will be reduced by diminishing defense as normal.

Power Up Maneuver (1 Action). Powering up increases your character’s overall badassery by letting you spend more ki points per-round. When you use power-up increase your capacity rate by one-fourth (1/4). This increase lasts until the end of your next turn.

Reload Maneuver (1 Action). A limited number of attacks, or shots, can be made with a ranged weapon. Using the reload maneuver refills a single ranged weapon’s ammunition allowing it to be fired again.

Surge Maneuver (Dynamic). This backup power is the energy or potential you are holding back, a second wind of sorts. You can use one surge maneuver per combat encounter, afterwards you can only use the surge maneuver when an ability or other situation tells you that you can. An ability such as the Namekian trait cellular mending will grant you the capability to use a surge. The ability that allows you to use a surge maneuver will state the action cost requirement, if the ability doesn’t state an action cost you can use surge as an instant action.

  • Power Surge. When you use the maneuver power surge, you’ll restore one-fourth (1/4) of your capacity rate and ki points.
  • Healing Surge. Using this maneuver healing and restores your life points. Roll a 2d10 and heal that many life points, increase this restoration by +2d10 for each tier of power reached.

Transformation Maneuver (1 Action). You can use this maneuver to transform into any available alternative form. (See Transformation Rules)

Thrusting Maneuver (1 Action). You can make a special physical attack to shove a combatant to push them away from you. You can attempt to perform the thrust maneuver, but you must have at least one free hand and the combatant must be within one (1) square. A thrust is an active opposition between two combatants. Make a strike roll opposed by the target’s strike or dodge roll, the target chooses. If you score higher than the target you can thrust them backwards away from you or knock them prone. (See Attacking & Conditions)

  • Push Back. Move the target a number of squares equal to your strength modifier. The target can make an agility (acrobatics) check, TN easy. If they pass reduce the distance they are thrust back by one-half (1/2). If the target is thrust into or through an environmental terrain double any damage they would suffer. (See Battle Grounds)
  • Knocked Down. The target can make an strength (athletics) check, TN medium. If they pass they are not knocked prone, but are considered to have the guard down combat condition instead.

Triggered Maneuver (Dynamic). If you want to wait to perform a maneuver in response to something happening, you can use a triggered maneuver which lets you take part of your turn later during the round. To perform a triggered maneuver, declare what will activate your maneuver; this is called your defined activation. Then declare what your responses to your defined activation will be; this is called your response activation. For example, “When the Saibamen gets into a position I will perform a physical attack maneuver.” Note the action cost of triggered maneuver is equal to the action cost of your response activation. As an example, if you were going to use the maneuver dragon rush as your response activation then your triggered maneuver will cost you two actions. When the defined activation happens, before anything else is resolved, the response activation occurs. Perform the triggered maneuver and fully resolve its effects. Afterward the turn and round will continue as normal.

If the defined activation doesn’t happen before the end of the round, the triggered maneuver is effectively lost. If this happens you will lose one (-1) action during the next round.

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