Adversaries. You can’t have a Dragon Ball story without antagonists. They are the figures that push the protagonists, motivate them to get stronger and force them to their limits and beyond. To create an Adversary, follow the rules below to figure out their Power Level and additional bonuses but otherwise (once you have their Power Level), make them as you would any typical character which had gained that Power Level normally. The only exception is that they do not require to meet the Prerequisites for any Magical Ability in the Spellbook nor do they need to keep track of their Technique Points – instead, simply grant them whatever Signature Techniques and Magical Abilities you deem fitting.

As a reminder, the Adversary Creation system below is a suggestion, nothing set in stone. Use it as a tool to help you make different enemy types stand out or as a tool to help you get your feet as a new ARC.

Adversary Advice

When building an Adversary, you should first and foremost solidify your idea of their character and what they represent in the story.

The Adversary Creation below is something of a guideline for newer ARCs with tame player numbers and maintaining a status quo between Adversary and player in mind. So, with more experience, you can simply use what parts of it you like and build the rest in your preferred style.

Adversary Creation

Adversary Categories

The first thing you must do when making an Adversary is decide the category of that Adversary – the kind of enemy they will be. This depends on the role in which that Adversary will play in your story. Choose a category from the Adversary Category table below.

They gain the benefits listed and what each category represents is explained below. 

Adversary CategoryAttribute PointsMaximum Life PointsMaximum Ki Points
Villain+6(bT)+16(bT) per every Opponent+8(bT) per every Opponent
Superior+4(bT)+12(bT) per every Opponent+6(bT) per every Opponent
Minion+0+10(bT) if no Superior or Villain Adversary is with them in this Combat Encounter.+5(bT) if no Superior or Villain Adversary is with them in this Combat Encounter.

Adversary Category Table. Generally speaking, you should not spend more than 2(bT) of these additional Attribute Points on any one Attribute – they exist to bolster your Adversary against a number of player-side threats and so, if you pour all of these additional Attribute Points into a single Attribute, it may be overkill. Additionally, use the highest base Tier of Power among your player group to calculate how many Attribute Points each Adversary gains.

The additional Life Points gained from the Adversary Category only apply at the beginning of a Combat Encounter and modify the Adversary’s Maximum Life Points. Any additional Opponents that arrive during a Combat Encounter do not increase an Adversary’s Maximum Life Points and any Defeated or fleeing Opponents do not decrease an Adversary’s Maximum Life Points. If your players are aware of this and attempt to abuse this rule, retroactively add onto the current and Maximum Life Points of your Adversary based on the additional characters.

Villains. While adversaries can be any kind of character who stands against the player characters, a Villain can be said to be the greatest adversary of an individual arc – usually, you will have one Villain for each story arc. The big bad, the strongest warrior, the final enemy that the story should lead to.

If you would create any Adversaries that are Minions, use this character as if they were their Minion Master but they always have access to their actions without requiring a Command Maneuver.

Examples of Villains in the Dragon Ball Universe include: Vegeta (Saiyan Saga), Frieza, Cell and Majin Buu.

Superior. Your generals, the elite warriors who pressure the players and threaten them before they even manage to reach the final villain. They can also be disconnected from the ‘villain’, but as long as you intend for them to pose a notable threat then this is the way to do it.

Examples of Superior Adversaries in the Dragon Ball Universe include: Raditz, Nappa, the Ginyu Force, Androids #17 and #18 and Dabura.

Standard. Named opponents who may give small challenges but usually are seen as roughly on par with your players, if not a little weaker. They are a common roadblock in any story, made to overcome without presenting too much of a barrier for your players.

Examples of Standard Adversaries in the Dragon Ball Universe include: Cui, Dodoria, Zarbon, Android #19 and #20 and Yakon.

Minions. Either no-named foes, beings that are subservient to a more powerful individual or the rabble that your players will handily defeat every time they’re faced. Make use of these to round out your world, threaten or stall your players with numbers, and supplement opponents that may not pack enough of a punch alone.

As their name suggests, they are in fact Minions – typically follow the Minion rules for these characters, though you can always add an extra flare to them by giving them a Race or other bonuses.

Examples of Minions in the Dragon Ball Universe include: Saibamen, Frieza Soldiers and Pui-Pui.

Difficulty Settings

Now that you’ve identified the type of Adversary you are creating, you need to choose a Difficulty Level. This is tied to both the Power Level of the resident Adversary and/or the number of Villainous Traits they possess (see below). An Adversary’s base Power Level should be the average of your player group before applying the Difficulty Level variations.

Difficulty LevelPower LevelVillainous TraitsTotal
Very Easy-10-1
Very Hard+4~62~48

Each increase in Power Level or each Villainous Trait, is worth a value of 1 on the Difficulty Level table. The ‘Total’ value on the Difficulty Level represents the total value that each Difficulty Level should provide, which can be split up between Power Level and Villainous Traits depending on the type of Adversary you intend to create – skill in combat or potentially raw power is typically best represented through additional Power Levels while Villainous Traits allow for more tricky Adversaries.

As a note, the above table represents Difficulty Level through Power Level and Villainous Traits – but Power Level tends to be less relevant at higher Tiers of Power. For that reason, there’s another table to consider applying starting from Tier of Power 3+: the Manifested Table (see below). Generally, you’d want to go for more generic Manifested Powers and you should only heavily rely on this if you’d like to have the Adversary rely less on using the strongest Transformations present. Keep in mind that the effects of Manifested Powers can be tremendous jumps in strength, so use this rule sparingly and only for Adversaries you intend to be challenging.

Difficulty Level# of Additional Manifested Powers (ToP 3)# of Additional Manifested Powers (ToP 4-5)# of Additional Manifested Powers (ToP 6~)
Very Hard+2+3+4

When considering Transformations for your Adversaries, you will generally want to base them off of what is available to your players or what will become available during the story arc, therefore allowing them to prove a consistent threat or be overcome by the awakening of a new level of power. There is no hard or fast rule for this and it highly depends on the story you wish to tell, but generally you would want your Adversaries to at least keep up with the Transformations that your players have. This table allows for you to make the Difficulty Levels more relevant at higher Tiers of Power, by granting an additional Manifested Power over your general Transformation layout. Of course, like with everything in the ARC Guide, it is a mere suggestion and you should design your Adversaries with your players and their capabilities in mind.

Another thing to consider is Downtime, which can grant players much higher Attribute Scores than typical campaigns. Of course, this is itself not an inherently bad thing but it’s worth considering that Downtime may allow for players to outpace certain Adversaries. If you feel that your use of Downtime is beginning to allow your players to overcome Adversaries far too easily, consider granting them an additional +6 Attribute Points for every 2 DT given to your players.

Villainous Traits

Villainous Traits have been mentioned multiple times so far but they are very simple in concept: they are additional Traits that allow Adversaries to have unique advantages over the players to test their limits. Not all Villainous Traits are created equal and alongside certain builds, they can be incredibly powerful – you are encouraged to experiment and keep the abilities of the players who will be facing them in mind when choosing any and all Villainous Traits. The Villainous Trait table below showcases a list of potential Villainous Traits to use in your games.

Peak of Power. All Villains have the One-Man Army Villainous Trait in addition to any other Villainous Traits.

Shifting Tactics. Between Combat Encounters, such as after being defeated by the player characters or being forced to find the legendary McGuffin to power up, an Adversary may change their tactics. As a result, between each Combat Encounter, you can swap one Villainous Trait for another one. It’d be unfair to completely change up how an Adversary fights each time they are encountered, but a slight change in tactics to show them taking the players seriously or some change that occurred due to their actions can really spice up a Combat Encounter.

When making a Villain, they may have a Second Phase. To make a Second Phase, when creating a Villain, select a Health Threshold and one of their Villainous Traits. When that Villain falls below that Health Threshold, swap that Villainous Trait for another Villainous Trait (chosen when creating the Villain) for the remainder of that Combat Encounter.

Villainous TraitPrerequisitesVillainous Trait Description
Dynamic???Can’t find something that fits? Make your own!
Villainous Karma PointsVillainYou gain 3 Villainous Karma Points. You can spend a Villainous Karma Point to either: automatically succeed at a Saving Throw (if it is opposed, it must be initiated by another character), increase a Combat Roll by +1d6(T) [even after knowing the result] or to increase your Soak Value by +1/2 for the duration of an Attacking Maneuver.

If you have 0 Villainous Karma Points, reduce all of your Combat Rolls and Saving Throws by -1(bT).

The effects of Villainous Karma Points can be applied after knowing the result of rolls during a Maneuver and may allow a Villain to overcome them. These are an incredibly powerful tool and should be used during the early stages of a fight to stress the threat of a Villain or counter attempts to undermine them (such as immediately using the Mafuba against them), rather than to prevent a dramatic or exciting victory.
One-Man ArmyVillain or Superior AdversaryFor every 2 Opponents you are facing, gain +1 Counter Action at the start of each Combat Round to be used by the end of that Combat Round.
Endless ResourceVillain or Superior AdversaryRegain +10(bT) Ki Points at the start of each Combat Round.
DauntlessVillain or Superior AdversaryOnce per Combat Encounter, if the damage inflicted by an Attacking Maneuver would reduce your Life Points to 0, you may reduce the damage you would take by -3/4.
Transforming EnemyVillain or Superior AdversarySelect one Transformation (other than a Legendary Form) that you have access to. Reduce the Stress Test Requirement for all stages of that Transformation by -1/2.
UnstoppableResilience TalentDouble the base Soak Value for this Adversary and reduce the Damage Category of all Basic Attack Maneuvers made against them by -1.
I won’t use my hands!Swaggering Wager TalentReduce all damage you take from Attacking Maneuvers by -1(bT) for each Restriction you currently have.
That wasn’t even three quarters of my power!Transformation with 2+ Levels of the Draining AspectReduce the amount of Ki Points lost to Draining by -1/2 while Holding Back. If a Transformation has 1 level of Draining, ignore the Draining Aspect for that Transformation.


A Weakness is something that an Adversary possesses that actually makes them easier to defeat. It could be a spot on their chest, their power waning over time, a personal weakness that makes them hold back subconsciously, or a weakness to mean words.

Each time you apply a Weakness to an Adversary, you can gain +1 additional Villainous Trait for them. A Weakness should be something that does have a meaningful effect on an Adversary and, upon becoming aware of it, should greatly increase the chances of the players against them.

Here are some example weaknesses:

  • Overwhelming Power. Each time this character uses a Power Surge, reduce their Soak Value by -1(bT).
  • Blinding Arrogance. This character cannot remove their Holding Back stacks through any means until they reach the Injured Health Threshold. They must begin each Combat Encounter with 1 to 3 stacks of Holding Back.
  • Emotional Resonance. If this character is targeted by an insult, the insulting character must make a Personality Ability Check. Double the Dice Score of their Ability Check and inflict it as Lethal Damage. If this would knock this character through a Health Threshold, they automatically fail their Steadfast Save. This character can only be insulted once per Combat Round.
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