The ‘bwak’ of a fist striking against a target, the sonic boom of a combatant moving at supersonic speeds. A brilliant flash of light from an explosion as it blooms from an energy blast. The sharp smell of petrichor filling the battlefield as rain begins to downpour. Fury of blows, shouts of conquest, cries of agony. Combat in the DBU RPG can be messy, fatal, and electrifying. Whether it is a skirmish against a handful of thugs or an all-out battle with soldiers and their ruthless sovereign, combat is the staple of the DBU. In a typical turn, you will use your actions (See Actions & Combat) to mount an attack, test your enemies’ defenses, and inflict damage on them. This section will cover all the mechanics, guidelines and rules related to attacking.
Strike Roll. A strike roll is your character’s attempt to attack another character. This includes any type of attack such as physical, energy, ballistic, or magical. See later in the section for details on specific attack types.
To hit a target roll a d10, then add haste and awareness modifiers to the natural result when attempting to hit a target: this is called the strike roll. A strike roll’s dice score is compared to the target’s dodge roll score. If your strike roll is higher, the attack successfully hits; if the dodge roll is higher, your attack fails and misses the target.
Melee Attack Range. The length or distance a target needs to be within to perform a physical attack against them is one (1) square; this is called melee attack range.
Long Range. It is assumed that all ranged attacks reach their intended target if the attack is successful. If the attack fails, it is assumed the attack either missed or fell short. However, the exception to this is if a character is simply too far away. If a target is more than eight (8) squares or twenty-four (24) yards away from you, they gain a bonus to their dodge rolls against you, this is called long range. For every eight (8) squares you are from an attacker increase your dodge roll by two (+2T).
Dodge Roll. Your ability to avoid injury and other ill effects is measured by your defense. To dodge an attack, roll a d10 and add your defense value to the natural result. Your defense value is equal to your agility modifier, plus any other modifiers that might be applied. Compare your dodge dice score with the attacker’s strike dice score. If the strike roll is higher, the attack successfully hits; if the dodge roll is higher the attack fails and misses the target.
Diminishing Defense. Even if you are on guard all the time, no one can be completely defensive through the throes of combat. Each time you are attacked during a round, reduce your defense value by one (-1). For example, you have a defense value of five (5) and have been attacked two separate times. Your defense value is lowered to three (3) against the next attack. If you are attacked again in the same round, your defense value will be lowered to two (2) so forth and so on. If your defense value is reduced to zero (0), you can still roll dodge, but you will not gain your defense value to the roll. At the start or beginning of every round, your defense value is restored to normal.
Point Pool Management. During the rounds and turns of combat, you will be keeping track of two important values: life points and ki points. As you suffer damage, you will subtract the value from your current life points. As you spend, wager, and pay the costs for abilities and attacks, you will subtract those expenditures from your current capacity and ki pool.
|Rohan: I’m going to spend an action to perform an attack maneuver. I use an energy attack against the dino! I wager 5 ki points and my strike roll score is 9. |
Architect: Nice roll! Okay, the dino attempts to dodge. He scores a pitiful 4, so you successfully hit him.
Rohan: Awesome! Right, this is where I get confused. How do I calculate damage now that I hit?
There are four different types of attacks in the game; physical, energy, ballistic, and magical; Each type is entered below with an (x) numeric value, this value is the base ki point (BKP) cost required to use the technique.
Ki Wager. When you attempt to strike a target, before any dice are rolled, you can make a ki wager. This is the number of ki points you are willing to spend or to risk on a given attack. Start by declaring the number of ki points you will wager and then roll the dice to strike your target. If the attack is successful, the number of ki points you wagered are added to the attack’s wound roll. If the attack fails, the wagered ki points are lost.
All attack types have a base ki point cost, this cost is not included as part of a wager and is NOT added towards damage. Base cost is the number of points required to perform the attack, where the wager is a gamble to increase the attack’s damage. You can not wager a number of ki points greater than your current capacity rate.
Wound Roll. If a strike is successful, roll a d10 and add any relevant modifier to the result and then increase that score by the number of ki points you wagered. The total value is the amount of damage that attack inflicted on your target, this is called a wound roll. When you add damage modifiers to an attack that value is only added to the total overall damage inflicted. Each type of attack has an attribute modifier related to it that increases the damage it inflicts to a target.
|Architect: You roll a d10 and add your power boost modifier to the results, then increase the score by the amount of ki you wagered, which was 5, I think. |
Rohan: Okay. I rolled a 6, my power boost modifier is 4 and I wagered 5 ki points. So, I score a total of 15 damage to the dino!
Architect: That was a powerful hit! Make sure you remember to subtract the ki points from your ki pool and capacity rate. What type of damage does the attack do?
Rohan: It doesn’t say what type of damage, so that means it is standard damage.
Architect: Right, well the dino has a soak of 7, so he only suffers 8 damage.
There are four different types of damage an attack can inflict to a target. The most common damage in the game is standard or normal damage. Unless otherwise stated by the attack, all attacks are considered to inflict standard damage to a target.
Soak. Soak is the ability to stave off damage from attacks and to weather damage through natural toughness. Soak is a passive aptitude that is directly related to your tenacity modifier. You always count as having a soak value of at least two (2T) regardless if your tenacity modifier is lower. Whenever you suffer damage, reduce the amount by your soak value. The remaining damage is removed from your life points. Soak is used against the total amount of damage suffered from an attack, not each individual damage dice roll. (See Core Rules)
|Architect: Alright, you have a bonus action this turn after moving and successfully attacking. What are you going to do? |
Rohan: I got the bonus action for making a successful attack and wounding? Okay, I am going to hold on the action in case I need it later.
Garrett: So, it is my turn now. How far is the dino?
Architect: Let’s say the dino is about fifteenth yards (5 squares) away from you.
Garrett: Awesome. I use two actions to perform a blitz. I wager 5 ki points. My strike roll score is 11.
Architect: Ouch, you hit the Paozusaurus.
Garrett: I moved fifteenth yards, which means I get an additional to 10 damage to my wound roll. So, I am rolling 1d10 plus my ST modifier blitz damage and ki wager. That is a total of 21 damage!
Architect: Wow! That is intense. The dino’s soak is only 4, so it suffers 17 damage to its life points, and it is now injured.
Health Thresholds. Health Thresholds represent your level of combat effectiveness based on the amount of damage you have sustained throughout an encounter. As you suffer damage and your life points are reduced you will reach thresholds that impact your fighting ability.
It should be known that the negative effects of health thresholds do not stack together, and your character cannot have the effects of multiple thresholds at any time.
|Architect: That was a super-effective attack, I think my dino might be in trouble. I am rolling a steadfast save to see if I can quail the effects of being injured.|
Garrett: I am going to use my last action to move back to keep some distance between us.
Architect: Move back you said? Okay, as you are moving back away from melee attack range, the dino will use a counter maneuver against you. He will spend the counter action to attack you with his bite!
|Life Point Variant Rule. The is an optional rule that can be used in place of the default Life Point system already built into the DBU engine. Instead of using a pure point-based system this variant rule uses Life Boxes. These boxes represent an amount of damage that has been inflicted on your character. All character will have the same amount of Life Boxes. When using the Life Box Variant Rule ignore all Racial Health Modifiers. |
Each character has three (3) rows of ten (10) boxes, each row represents a Health Threshold; Bloodied, Injured and Wounded, respectively. When you suffer a damage point you will place a mark in one (1) Life Box starting with your first row of boxes. Once this first row has been filled you will have reached the Health Threshold Bloodied. Repeat this process as you suffer damage until you overcome the challenge/encounter, or all your Life Boxes have marks in them. If your second row of Life Boxes are filled you will reach the Health Threshold Injured and if all, but three (3) Life Boxes in your third row are filled you will reach the Health Threshold Wounded. If all your Life Boxes are filled, you count as defeated.
When applying damage, you will need to convert your damage to the Life Box system metric. This is done by rounding your Wound Roll to the nearest tenth after applying all other rules, additions, and reduction including, but not limited to Soak – then following the conversion chart below. Damage conversion is based on the Tier of Power system and will scale according to your Tier of Power. For every five (5) damage you inflict to a target(s) that target(s) will suffer one (1) Life Box damage. The amount of damage required to inflict one (1) Life Box damage increases each Tier of Power by ten (10).
|Tier of Power||Damage Required|
|0||Every Five (5)|
|1||Every Ten (10)|
|2||Every Twenty (20)|
|3||Every Thirty (30)|
|4||Every Forty (40)|
|5||Every Fifty (50)|
When your life points are reduced, and you reach a health threshold, you can attempt to make a steadfast save. Steadfast represents your ability to quail pain and your courage during combat. A steadfast is a special type of roll that counts as a saving throw with a very easy TN. If you successfully past the save you ignore the effects of that health threshold. You must take a steadfast save each time you reach a health threshold, even if you reach the same threshold more than once during a single combat encounter. However, you can only roll for health thresholds once a turn.
Steady Momentum. When rolling a steadfast save if you score a critical result you gain one (+1) action to use by the end of your next turn. To score a critical when rolling a steadfast save your natural result must be a ten (10) regardless of other rules that might lower your critical score requirements.
|Architect: The dino attacks you with his bite. He scored a 14 to strike, which will hit you. His wound roll score is 12, his bite attack also has penetration. |
Rohan: What does penetration do?
Architect: It makes the damage of his attack direct, which means you can only use half of your soak value against it.
Garrett: Wow, okay. I’ll record that on my sheet. I need to remember to be more careful next time.
Achitect: Now, that your turn is over, Rohan’s begins.
Rohan: Alright, to follow up on Garretts’s attack, I am going to shoot a ki beam at the dino!
Architect: That is an exciting follow-up. I don’t think my dino is going to hold out much longer.
Rohan: I am going to wager all my remaining ki points for the round.
Architect: Well, you typically need to express any ki wagers before you roll. However, for now, we
will overlook that. You did a total of 19 damage to the dino. That is enough to defeat him.
Rohan: Fantastic! Sorry, about forgetting the wager rules.
Garrett: We won! The dino is defeated!
Defeated. In the DBU, death might only be temporary. Once you reach zero (0) life points you are considered defeated, possibly dead, simply unconscious, or just otherwise incapacitated and can no longer perform any action inside any combat encounter. Typically, zero life points spells death. However, your ARC might resolve otherwise. Death looms over everyone is the Dragon Ball world, and it isn’t something to scoff at even with the power of dragonballs.
As brave and courageous as you might be, you can’t spend all day in the thick of exploration, social interaction, and battle. You need time to rest and eat, tend your injuries, refresh your minds and spirits. There are five different types of recoveries that you can use to recover your characters: combat, instant, short, long, and extended.
In-game time is typically relative to the ongoing story and normally tracked by the game’s ARC. Creating a generic time metric that would fit all types of game play would be impossible, however, each recovery option below is listed with rough time frame that each should take place in; these are by no means what your ARC might actually use.
|Rohan: What are some of the mechanical ways I could have gained an advantage over the dino? |
Architect: There are a lot of traits, talents and other rules that could have given you a edge of the dino, but the most common mechanic would be combat conditions.
Combat rarely consists of foes standing toe-to-toe and bashing each other. Movement and position are key; if you fire from a hiding place at an enemy in the open, you might receive a combat condition. Temporary advantages and disadvantages in combat are reflected in a set of common combat bonuses.
There are six types of conditions; superiority, impediment, guard down, prone, debuff and an optional rule pure progression.
|Pure Progression (Optional Combat Condition). This is an optional rule and typically isn’t using during normal game play. With this rule in play, during combat you gain combat experience every second of a fight; your powers and strengths growing exponentially in real-time. While in a combat encounter, whenever you fail a strike roll or a dodge roll, increase that respective aptitude by one (+1) the following round. This bonus stacks and can increase up to double your total strike or dodge value respectively. After combat has ended, you gain a bonus amount of experience equal to the total amount of increases you gained from pure progression during the encounter multiplied by twenty (x20). This represents the combat experience and increase in power gained through pure progression during combat.|
|Rohan: Those seem like they can be dangerous to your character if you aren’t careful. How do you stop those conditions? |
Architect: Typically, when you are affected by a combat condition the rule which applied it will give rules about how it functions or should be handled, but you can also spend an action in attempts to end a condition.
End a Condition. You can end a condition by spending one (1) action and performing a morale saving throw on your turn.
|Garrett: Now that we’ve won, I do have a question. If we fight a more capable enemy that can use transformations, how would that work?|
Architect: Transformations are rather simple. A transformation can be using by spending an action. Check out the transformation rules. (See Transformation Rules)