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.
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. 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, they gain a bonus to their Dodge Rolls against you; this is called Long Range. For every 8 Squares you are from an attacker, increase your Dodge Roll by +2(T).
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 -1. For example, you have a Defense Value of 5, and have been attacked two separate times. Your Defense Value is lowered to 3 against the next attack. If you are attacked again in the same round, your Defense Value will be lowered to 2, and so on and so forth. If your Defense Value is reduced to 0, you can still roll Dodge, but you will not gain your Defense Value to the roll. At the start of every new Combat 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 Points Pool.
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.
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.
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 1T+1 regardless of 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)
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. You can pass through multiple Health Thresholds at the same time, at which point you ignore the higher Health Thresholds you passed through and focus on the lowest Health Threshold you passed through for the sake of a Steadfast Save, as well as any other effects.
When your Life Points are reduced and you reach a Health Threshold, you must 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 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.
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 action inside any Combat Encounter, unless you are healed and therefore no longer 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.
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 should take place in; these are by no means what your ARC might actually use.
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
Negative Combat Conditions
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.