Attacking & Conditions

The ‘thwack’ 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 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.

Attacking Maneuver. An Attacking Maneuver is any type of Maneuver that has both a Strike and a Wound Roll. Rolls that replace your Wound Roll, such as in the case of Combination Signature Techniques, still count as a Wound Roll.

Anatomy of an Attack. When making any type of Attacking Maneuver, there are multiple events that occur in order and each one must be passed through for the next event of the Attacking Maneuver to occur. The sequence of events occurs in the following order:

  • Attack Declaration. When any type of Attacking Maneuver is declared, the target(s) must also be declared. If that Attacking Maneuver has an Area of Effect, the attacker will declare the Area of Effect given by that Attacking Maneuver. Unless otherwise specified, any effect that occurs when making an Attacking Maneuver occur at this point. Instant Actions can be declared in response to Attack Declaration and as a result, occurring before the Attacking Maneuver itself (see: Instant Actions).
  • Defense Declaration. When a character is declared as a target, they must declare if they will use a Dodge Roll or spend a Counter Action to use the Parry Maneuver. Only one Counter Action can be spent at a time.
  • Opposed Rolls. The attacker will roll their Strike Roll against the opponent’s defense – be that a Dodge Roll or another option provided by a Counter Action. If the attacker wins or the defender does not roll a Dodge Roll or alternate opposed roll (meaning a roll against the attacker) option through the Parry Maneuver, move on to the next event. If the defender wins their Dodge Roll or other Opposed Roll, the Attacking Maneuver fails against that target and any further events do not apply to that target or if they were the only target, the Attacking Maneuver ends here.
  • Damage. The Attacking Maneuver has successfully landed, so a Wound Roll is rolled to calculate the Damage. After it is calculated, it is reduced by the opponent’s Soak Value (depending on the Damage Category) and then deducted from their current Life Points. Any effects that occur when an Attacking Maneuver has successfully struck (hit) an opponent occur before this and any effects that occur when an Attacking Maneuver has successfully dealt damage is applied after this, if the value of the Damage surpasses the value of the Soak Value.
  • End of the Attack. After calculating Damage and applying it to the Life Points of the attacked opponent, the Attacking Maneuver ends. Any relevant effects, such as the Bonus Momentum rule, apply now.

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 your base d10, any ToP Extra Dice and then add Haste and Awareness Modifiers to the 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 equal or higher (see: Defender Wins, Core Rules), 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. Your Melee Attack Range depends on your Size Category.

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 8 Squares away from you, reduce your Strike Roll by -2(bT).

Dodge Roll. Your ability to avoid injury and other ill effects is measured by your defense. To Dodge an attack, roll your base d10, any ToP Extra Dice 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. Additional bonuses may be added in addition to your Dodge Roll, but these do not count towards your Defense Value but rather add directly to your Dodge Roll. 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. After each Attacking Maneuver that has targeted you, reduce your Defense Value by -1. Increase this penalty by -1 for every +2 base Tier of Power reached after Tier of Power 1. Example: at base Tier of Power 3+, the penalty will be -2 and at base Tier of Power 5+, the penalty will be -3.

At the start of each Combat Round, remove all penalties inflicted from Diminishing Defense.

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 Points Pool.

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 Ki Point Cost.

  • Ballistic (0). 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 doesn’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.
  • Physical (Varied)– A Physical Attack can be anything from a punch or kick, to a headbutt or even the swipe of a sword. A Physical Attack can either use a Melee Weapon or your own fist. You can only target characters within your Melee Range with Physical Attacks. Add your Force Modifier to the Wound Roll. You can perform basic Physical Attacks based on the Profiles found in the Martial Arts Foundation.
    • Simple (0). A simple attack that costs no Ki Points.
    • Combination (6T). A combo of several attacks. Roll Strike as normal; however, instead of the typical 1d10 and Tier of Power Extra Dice you would roll for a Wound Roll, you will roll a 1d8 and add 1d4(T) to it to determine the number of hits. The target will suffer 2 damage per hit. Any additional modifiers, including your Force Modifier, are added and/or subtracted to that total.
    • Powered (4T).  A melee attack that’s infused with a lot of energy. This Profile applies your Force Modifier an additional time to the Wound Roll.
    • Crushing (6T). A heavy strike that is made with a focus on doing internal damage and shattering the area. The attack could be a spinning kick, a double-handed fist strike, or a massively enhanced Ki-laced blow. This attack deals Lethal Damage.  Make a normal Strike roll, but do not roll Wound, instead, roll 1d6(T) and add any bonuses. 
    • Sweeping (4T). An attack that lets the fighter hit multiple targets. A spinning crane kick, capoeira moves, or some kind of physical shock wave, the user can attack all enemies inside their Melee Attack Range with one attack. Roll one Strike and Wound roll while all enemies within range defend separately.

      Once per Combat Round, if you successfully deal damage with this Attacking Maneuver against an opponent, reduce their Defense Value by -1(T) until the start of your next turn.
    • Soaring (6T). A concussive shockwave fired from your attack. Your Melee Range for this Attacking Maneuver is increased by +8 Squares and this Attacking Maneuver deals Direct Damage.
  • 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 can attack anyone, regardless of the range. Add your Force Modifier to the Wound Roll. You can perform basic Energy Attacks based on Ki Manipulation Foundation’s Signature Technique Types.
    • Sphere (2T). A sphere is a 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.
    • Rapid Fire (6T). An energy attack that fires many projectiles with one maneuver. Roll Strike as normal; however, instead of the typical 1d10 and Tier of Power Extra Dice you would roll for a Wound Roll, you will roll a 1d8 and add 1d4(T) to it to determine the number of hits. The target will suffer 2 damage per hit. Any additional modifiers, including your Force Modifier, are added and/or subtracted to that total.
    • Kiai (4T). A ranged attack that can’t be seen with the naked eye. This Profile has its Critical Target for Strike and Wound Rolls decreased by -1 (min. 7). If you successfully strike (hit) an opponent with the Guard Down Combat Condition, increase the Wound Roll by +2(T) and move the target any number of Squares away from you up to 1/2 of your Force Modifier.
    • Blast (4T). A cone-shaped attack that affects multiple targets. A cone (see – Area Attacks, Battle Maps) is made in front of you that is 5 Squares wide at its furthest point and 3 Squares long. Make a single Strike and Wound Roll against all targets in that area, who all make their own defense.

      If this Attacking Maneuver has only one target, increase your Wound Roll against that target by +1d4(T).
    • Explosion (6T). A detonation of energy that affects all targets in its range. Select a Square, which if you choose a Square that you occupy counts as if you selected all Squares that you occupy. All characters, except you, within 3 Squares of that Square must make a defense against your Strike Roll. You will only make a single Wound Roll against all those affected.

      Decrease the Defense Value of any target of this Attacking Maneuver by -1(T) for the duration of this Attacking Maneuver.
    • Beam (8T). A focused line of energy, usually seen as a sphere with a tail. Make a Strike Roll against the target as normal, and deal Direct Damage. A Beam attack has one free stack of Energy Charge attached to it.
    • Cutting (6T). A focused disk or blade of energy that is launched towards the opponent. On the d10s for your Strike Roll, you score a Botch Result on a Natural Result of 3 or lower. Reduce your Critical Target by -2 (maximum. 7) for your Strike Roll with this attack and if you score a Critical Result on the Strike Roll, increase its Damage Category to Lethal.
  • 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. Magical attacks use your Spirit Modifier for the Wound Roll instead of the Force Modifier and can attack anyone, regardless of the range. You can perform basic Magical Attacks based on the Magic Foundation’s Signature Technique Types.
    • Spell (2T). A flash of magical energy blasted at a target. A magical spell attack can only target a single enemy. This is your default Magical Attack if no other type is chosen.
    • Elemental (10T). Conjuring the power of the elements, you unleash a magical ability imbued with their natural power. All damage inflicted by an Elemental Signature Technique is Direct Damage. When you select this type, choose one of the options found on the Signature Techniques page for an Elemental Signature Technique.
    • Spiritual Assault (8T). Reduce your opponents Ki Points by 1/4 of the damage they received from this attack.

Ki Wager. When you attempt to strike a target, before any dice are rolled, you can make a Ki Wager. Select a number of Ki Points to wager, these are immediately lost and an equal amount is added onto that attack’s Wound Roll. You declare your Ki Wager before you roll your Strike Roll.

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 and any Ki Points wagered are deducted from your Capacity as if you spent them.

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. Ballistic Ranged Weapons do not have a related Attribute, the damage for conventional firearms comes directly from the weapon itself.
  • Power. Both Physical and Energy Attacks add your Force Modifier onto the Wound Roll.
  • Magical Power. Magical Attacks add the Spirit Modifier onto the Wound Roll.

Damage Types

Damage Category. There are three different Damage Categories that an attack can inflict to a target. The most common category in the game is Standard Damage. Unless otherwise stated by the attack, all attacks are considered to inflict Standard Damage to a target. Damage Categories are numbered from 1-3, which can be increased or decreased through various Traits, Talents or other effects.

Each effect that increases or decreases the Damage Category of an Attacking Maneuver is a numerical +1 or a -1, depending on the effect. If multiple effects occur at once that would change the Damage Category of an Attacking Maneuver, figure out the final Damage Category by using the default Damage Category’s number for that type of Attacking Maneuver, adding any increases to Damage Category then removing any decreases to Damage Category – if the end result is lower than 1 or higher than 3, set that number to 1 (Standard Damage) or 3 (Lethal Damage) respectively.

  • Standard (1). This type of damage has no special qualities. All attacks do Standard Damage unless otherwise stated.
  • Direct (2). When a target suffers Direct Damage, their Soak Value is reduced by 1/2 for that attack.
  • Lethal (3). Lethal Damage bypasses a target’s Soak altogether; targets cannot use their Soak to reduce the damage of a Lethal attack.

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 equal to your Tenacity Modifier. You have a Minimum Soak Value of 1(T)+1 regardless of your Tenacity Modifier (this Minimum Soak Value can be reduced through other factors). 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)

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/or your Life Points are reduced, you will reach thresholds that impact your fighting ability. Below are the list of Health Thresholds:

  • Healthy. If your Life Points are above 1/2 of your Maximum Life Points, you are in this Health Threshold, which suffers no penalties.
  • Bloodied. When you reach 1/2 or less of your Maximum Life Points, you will become Bloodied. A character that is Bloodied will suffer a penalty of -1(bT) to all Combat Rolls.
  • Injured. When you reach 1/4 or less of your Maximum Life Points, you will become Injured. A character that is Injured will suffer a penalty of -2(bT) to all Combat Rolls.
  • Wounded. When you reach 1/10 or less of your Maximum Life Points, you will become Wounded. A character that is Wounded will suffer a penalty of -3(bT) to all Combat Rolls.

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 – you only suffer from the penalties of the lowest Health Threshold you have failed the Steadfast Save for at any one time. You can pass through multiple Health Thresholds at the same time, at which point you ignore the higher Health Thresholds you passed through and only roll a Steadfast Save for the lowest Health Threshold you passed through, as well as any other effects (including Talents and Traits).

Health Triggers. Traits, Talents and other effects that occur when you pass through a Health Threshold can only be activated once per Combat Encounter for each Health Threshold. For example, the Saiyan Racial Trait, Blood of the Warrior, cannot be triggered even if you rise above the Bloodied Health Threshold and fall through it a second time. It can only be triggered again, after you’ve fallen through the Bloodied Health Threshold, by falling through the Injured or Wounded Health Threshold.

Below are a list of how Health Thresholds interact with certain other system mechanics:

  • If you are knocked through a Health Threshold by your Life Points being reduced by any means other than damage, you do not activate the effects of Traits, Talents or rules that would activate when you are knocked through a Health Threshold. You still suffer from the Health Threshold Penalties.
  • If your Life Points rise above a Health Threshold, you lose any and all Health Threshold Penalties you are suffering from that Health Threshold but if you fall through it once again, you must make the Steadfast Saving Throw once again and additionally must make a Stress Test for any Transformation you are currently in.
  • If you fall through multiple Health Thresholds at once, you only use any Traits, Talents or effects that would trigger when falling through a Health Threshold once.
  • If a trait or effect states that you gain a bonus for each Health Threshold you are below, do not count the Healthy Health Threshold. You are classed as being below any Health Threshold that you have met the Life Point requirement for. For example, if you have 1/5 of your Life Points remaining, you are below both the Injured and Bloodied Health Thresholds.
  • If you would go through a Health Threshold during a Maneuver, trigger any effects that occur when you pass through that Health Threshold after finishing that Maneuver. Passive effects that occur for each Health Threshold you are below still apply as usual, however.


When your Life Points are reduced and you reach a Health Threshold, you must make a Steadfast Save. Steadfast represents your ability to quell pain and your courage during combat. A Steadfast is a special type of roll that is not affected by any Attributes, Extra Dice, or other bonuses unless specifically mentioned. Roll 1d10; if you roll a 6 or higher, you pass. If you successfully pass 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.

If you reach a Health Threshold during a Maneuver (such as through the Backlash Disadvantage), you will roll your Steadfast Save for that Health Threshold after finishing your Maneuver (as long as you are not Defeated).

Steady Momentum. When rolling a Steadfast Save, if you score a Critical Result, you gain +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 10, regardless of other rules that might lower your Critical Score requirements.

Defeated. In DBU, death might only be temporary. Once you reach 0 Life Points, you are considered Defeated- possibly dead, simply unconscious, or just otherwise incapacitated- and can no longer perform any Maneuver inside that Combat Encounter, unless you are healed above 0 Life Points and therefore no longer Defeated. When you are Defeated, you exit all Transformations, lose any existing stacks gathered by any Traits or Talents and have the effects of all Traits, Talents or any other passive effects immediately stop taking place (except for those that specifically state they would occur when you are or while Defeated).

Typically, 0 Life Points spells death, and you may have to spend a Karma Point to prevent it. However, your ARC might resolve otherwise. Death looms over everyone in the Dragon World, and it isn’t something to scoff at even with the power of Dragon Balls.


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, and 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. Each depend upon how much time you will spend outside of combat after a Combat Encounter and your ARC will declare which recovery method you have benefited from at the start of your next Combat Encounter, with the exception of Combat Recovery, which occurs within a Combat Encounter.

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 a rough time frame that each could 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. (see – Actions & Combat)
  • Instant Recovery. After you have conquered, defeated, or overcome a Combat Encounter you will automatically receive an instant reprieve. If it’s been less than an hour since your last Combat Encounter, you will restore 1/10th of your Maximum Life Points and Ki Point Pool.
  • Short Recovery. If you are not engaged in a Combat Encounter for 1-4 hours, you will instead restore 1/2 of your Maximum Life Points and Ki Point Pool.
  • Long Recovery. If you are not engaged in a Combat Encounter for 5-12 hours, you will instead restore 3/4 of your Maximum Life Points and Ki Point Pool.
  • Extended Recovery. If you are not engaged in a Combat Encounter for 13+ hours, you will restore all of your Maximum Life Points and Ki Point Pool.

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.

One of the most potent Combat Conditions is the Rage Combat Condition. You may enter this Combat Condition through narrative means when your character exudes an immense amount of rage, at your ARC’s discretion. You can also, when you reach the Wounded Health Threshold, attempt to enter the Rage Combat Condition by making a Morale Saving Throw, TN Easy. If you pass the Saving Throw, you do not enter Rage. If you fail, you successfully enter Rage until the end of your turn.

There are multiple conditions, depicted below:

Positive Combat Conditions

  • Hidden. You cannot be targeted for attacks and your opponents do not know your position. If you attack a character while in the Hidden Combat Condition, they are treated as if they have the Guard Down Combat Condition. You lose the Combat Condition if you attack another character.
  • Rage. Your Strike Rolls automatically succeed, regardless of what you or your opponent rolls. Ignore all Negative Combat Conditions and penalties to your rolls. Rage can only be gained once per Combat Encounter. Rage can only be active until the end of your turn. During the next Combat Round, you can only use One Action and suffer from Guard Down.
  • 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. This is a Solid Dice but has the ability to score a Critical Result on a 10 unlike typical Solid Dice. The critical range for Superiority cannot be increased by any means.

Negative Combat Conditions

  • Absorbed. You are removed from the Battleground in your current state and cannot make any Maneuvers. At the start of each of your turns, make an Opposed Cognitive Save against the Absorber. If you succeed, you are no longer Absorbed and are ejected from that character – returning to the Battleground at a square adjacent to that character. If you fail, you remain absorbed but increase your further Cognitive Saves to escape the Absorbed Combat Condition by +1 for each failure in this Combat Encounter.

    If you escape from the Absorber, they lose any stacks of the Absorption Manifested Power associated with you.
  • Blinded. You suffer from No Sight (see – Battle Grounds). The effects of Illuminating Aura cannot reduce or remove this effect.
  • Damage Over Time (DOT). Damage caused over a period of time, typically several rounds. 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 – after the duration of your first DOT ends, all accumulated DOTs end. DOT, from multiple sources, cannot stack higher than 5(T).

    Unlike other effects inflicted by opponents, DOT uses your own Tier of Power for calculation.
  • Fatigued. When you are subjected to this Combat Condition, reduce your maximum Ki Points and Capacity Rate by 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 1/2.
  • Guard Down. If you have the Guard Down condition, you reduce your Dodge Roll by -2(T). Also, you roll your d10 for your Dodge Roll twice and take the lower result (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 d10, you will instead reduce your result by -5.
  • Pinned. Your number of Actions is reduced to 0 and all Attacking Maneuvers made against you have their Damage Category increased by +1 (Standard becomes Direct, Direct becomes Lethal). If you would lose this Negative Combat Condition, you regain all Actions you lost during this Combat Round.
  • Poisoned. At the start of each of your turns, reduce your Life Points by -1/10 of your Maximum Life Points. While you are below the Wounded Health Threshold, reduce your Combat Rolls by -2(bT).

    You may spend One Action during your turn to make a Medicine Skill Check, TN Very Hard. If you fail, nothing happens. If you succeed, you remove the Poisoned Combat Condition.
  • Prone. While Prone, all damage is considered Lethal regardless of the source. You are also subjected to the Guard Down Condition, as described above. If you are not Pinned, you can spend One Action on your turn to stand up, ending the Combat Condition.
  • Shaken. While suffering from this Combat Condition, your Normal and Boosted Speed is reduced to 1/2 (rounded down) and you have -2(T) to all Strike Rolls against the one who gave you this Combat Condition.
  • Slowed. You have -1 Actions per Combat Round. This Combat Condition can stack.
  • Transfigured. You cannot use Signature Techniques or Magical Abilities. You are also subjected to the Slowed Combat Condition.
  • Weakened. When you are subjected to this Combat Condition, reduce your Capacity Rate by 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 1/2.

End a Condition. Most conditions have a number of Combat Rounds they will be in effect for or they may be due to a constant effect on the battlefield. Either way, you may attempt to end ANY Combat Condition by spending One Action to make a Morale Saving Throw, TN Hard.

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