Attacking & Conditions

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?

Attack Types

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.

  • Ballistic. A ballistic attack is a form of strike that involves the usage of a firearm or blaster. Unlike other attacks, the damage from ballistic attacks don’t have an attribute tied to it. Instead, the damage comes directly from the firearm itself. Ballistic attacks also do not have a ki point cost and can be used without needing to spend ki points. You cannot wager ki points on a ballistic attack. All ballistic attacks count as direct damage regardless of the source.
  • Physical (2T) – A physical attack can be anything from a punch or kick, to a headbutt or the swipe of a sword. A physical attack can either use a mundane weapon or your own fist. Physical attacks are related to your strength and the damage caused by an attack is based on your physical power. Notably, if you are out of Ki Points you can make one (1) free basic physical attack a round. This free attack still requires an Attack Maneuver, but does NOT require you to spend any Ki Points.
  • Energy (Varied)– An energy attack is the general term used when attacking with any type of energy-based attack; energy attacks all follow the same rules listed here. Energy attacks are related to your potency and the damage caused by an attack is based on your energy power. You can perform a basic energy attack called a sphere by spending two (2T) ki points. You can use more specialized and powerful energy attacks from the technique section. (Signature)
    • Sphere (2T). A sphere is small or large ball of ki that is thrown like a ball at a target. An energy sphere attack can only target a single enemy. This is your default energy attack if no other type is chosen.
  • Magical (Varied) – A magical attack is a special, unique ability that has its own exclusive qualities. This can range from telekinesis, mind control, to a radical lightning bolt. You can use more bizarre and strange magical attacks from the magical section. (Magical)
    • Incantation (2T). A flash of magical energy blasted at a target. A magical incantation attack can only target a single enemy. This is your default magical attack if no other type is chosen. An incantation can be any type of non-specific magical energy determined by you and the ARC.

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.

  • Ballistic Power. Range weapons do not have a related attribute, the damage for range weaponry comes directly from the weapon itself.
  • Physical Power. Directly related to your strength, this modifier is added to a physical and melee weapon attack’s damage result.
  • Energy Power. This modifier is added to an energy-based attack’s damage result and it related to your Potency modifier.
  • Magical Power. Connected to Spirit modifier, a magical abilities damage results are increased by this modifier.
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.

Damage Types

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.

  • Standard. This type of damage has no special qualities. All attacks do standard damage unless otherwise stated.
  • Direct. When a target suffers direct damage their soak value is reduced by half (1/2).
  • Lethal. Lethal damage bypasses a target’s soak altogether, targets cannot use their soak to reduce the of damage of an attack. When attacking a target with lethal damage, you will always roll against a target’s full defense value, regardless of diminishing defense.
  • Damage Over Time (DOT). Damage causes over a period, typically several rounds. As an action on your turn, you can take a corporeal saving throw, TN medium, to stop the damage. If you pass the save you do not suffer any damage this turn and the effect ends. Damage over time is counted as lethal damage unless otherwise stated. If you are suffering from multiple DOTs increase the damage you suffer, do NOT increase the duration of the DOTs.

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.

  • Bloodied When you reach fifty percent (50%) or less of your total life points, you will become bloodied. A character that is bloodied will suffer a penalty of one (-1T) to all rolls during combat.
  • Injured. You become injured when your life points reach twenty-five percent (25%) or less of your total life points. If you are injured all your rolls during combat suffer a negative two (-2T).
  • Wounded. When your life points are reduced to ten percent (10%) or less of your total life points, you become wounded. When you are wounded all your dice rolls during combat suffer a negative three (-3T) penalty.

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!
Variant Rule
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 PowerDamage Required
0Every Five (5)
1 Every Ten (10)
2 Every Twenty (20)
3 Every Thirty (30)
4 Every Forty (40)
5 Every Fifty (50)
*Life Box Variant Rule*


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.

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.

  • Combat Recovery. This type of recovery happens during combat, it is very short and a quick way for you to recover a small amount of stamina. (Actions & Combat)
  • Instant Recovery. After you have conquered, defeated, or overcome an encounter you will automatically receive an instant reprieve. After a combat encounter is concluded, you will restore twenty-five percent (25%) of your total life and ki points back.
  • Short Recovery. A short recovery takes between one to four hours of time, during that time you restore fifty percent (50%) of your total life and ki points back.
  • Long Recovery. Long recovery takes more time, from five to twelve hours of time, and during this time you restore seventy-five percent (75%) of your total life and ki points back.
  • Extended Recovery. An extended recovery takes nearly all day and lasts between thirteen and twenty hours, restoring one hundred percent (100%) of your total life and ki points back.
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 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.

  • Buff. A buff is a type of effect that provides a beneficial effect to a target. Its effect, are persists and assist a target in some way. Buffs typically last more than one turn. A buff will reference a rule, which will define the duration of the buff.  Effects might include increasing attributes, Amplifying a target’s actions, or healing over time. A target cannot have more than two (2) buffs at a time.
  • Debuff. A debuff is a type of effect that provides a detrimental effect to the target. Its effect, while it persists, hampers that target in some way. Debuffs are persistent and typically last more than one turn. A debuff will reference a rule, which will define the duration of the debuff.  Effects might include lowering attributes, hindering a target’s actions, or causing damage over time. A target cannot have more than two (2) debuffs at a time. A debuff can come from either an advantage or a disadvantage.
  • Fatigued. When you are subjected to this combat condition reduce your maximum Ki Point Pool by one-half (1/2). You can only gain this effect twice – if you gain this effect a second time reduce your already reduced Ki Point Pool by another one-half (1/2).
  • Guard Down. If you have the guard down condition, you reduce your dodge roll by two(-2T). Also, you lose the highest natural result rolled: penalization dice.
  • Impediment. Reflects a negative condition during an event that is not in your favor. If you are impeded, remove one d10 from your dice rolls: dropped dice. If you only have one dice you will instead reduce your dice score by five (-5).
  • Prone. While prone, all damage is considered lethal regardless of the source. You also subjected to the condition guard down, as described above.
  • Superiority. While rolling dice, superiority reflects a positive circumstance during the situation in your favor. If you have superiority, roll an additional d10 with your rolls: extra dice.
  • Weakened. When you are subjected to this combat condition reduce your maximum Ki Points Capacity Rate by one-half (1/2). You can only gain this effect twice – if you gain this effect a second time reduce your already reduced Capacity Rate by another one-half (1/2).
Variant Rule
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.

  • If you are affected by impediment, are facing a character that has superiority against you, or have the guard down condition; you can roll a morale save, with a medium TN. If successful, the condition will not affect you; if failed, the condition stands as normal.
  • If you are prone and you successfully pass your morale save, you can end the condition and stand up.
  • Debuffs will typically provide the requirements to prevent their effects. If a debuff doesn’t specifically state how it can be prevented; you can roll a morale save, with a medium TN. If successful, the debuff is prevented; if failed, the debuff will function as normal.
  • Pure progression is an optional rule and doesn’t function like normal combat conditions therefore it doesn’t have the ability to ended.
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)

Return to Top