Character Creation

Characters are a combination of statistics, role playing, and your own imagination. As a player, you will select a race, subspecies, talents, and more to make your unique character. You might also invent the nature, appearance, and origin story for the character; some ARCs require more customization than others. Once you complete your character, it will serve as your representative in the game world.

Before starting step one of Character Creation, think about the kind of character you want to play. You might be a courageous Earthling, a prowling Arcosian, an enthusiastic Namekian, or a flamboyant Majin. Or you might be more interested in an unconventional character, such as a brave gadgeteer who likes Ballistic Weaponry that picks off enemies from afar. If you don’t know where else to begin, look at some artwork to see what catches your interest.

Once you have a character in mind, follow the steps in order, making decisions that reflect the character you want. The concept of your character might even evolve with each choice you make.

What’s important is that you come to the table with a character you’re excited to play. Throughout this section, we talk about your character sheet. This is what you use to keep track of your character, whether it’s a formal character sheet, some form of a digital record, or a piece of notebook paper.

Before you begin the process of Character Creation, you will need to talk to your ARC and determine the level of play. In the DBU you will use Power Levels to determine how strong your character is and what abilities they have access to. Once you are given the specifics about the game you will be playing in, you can start creating your character.

Power Level

Power Level. As you go on journeys and complete encounters, you will become stronger and gain Power Levels. When you have defeated a noteworthy opponent, reached an important leg of your journey, undergone intense training, or due to any other reason that can be said to be a ‘milestone’ in your journey – your ARC will permit you to increase your Power Level by +1. As you increase Power Levels, you’ll get access to additional features and abilities.

The Power Level Table summarizes the advancement as you increase in levels from level 1 through level 20. Such as Capacity Rate, Ki Pool, and features for a character of a specific Power Level. There is no maximum Power Level you can reach.

Power LevelCapacity RateKi PoolFeaturesTier of Power
114262x Character Perk, 2x Talent Addition, Attribute Addition, Skill Improvement, 20 TP to spend on one Signature Technique or Magical Ability+0
22038Character Perk
32650Attribute Addition
43262Character Perk
53874Talent Addition, Attribute Addition, Skill Improvement+1d4
64486Character Perk
75098Attribute Addition
856110Character Perk
962122Talent Addition
1068134Talent Addition, Attribute Addition, Skill Improvement+1D6
1174146Character Perk
1280158Attribute Addition
1386170Character Perk
1492182Talent Addition
1598194Talent Addition, Attribute Addition, Skill Improvement+1D8
16104206Character Perk
17110218Attribute Addition
18116230Character Perk
19122242Talent Addition
20128254Talent Addition, Attribute Addition, Skill Improvement+1D10
+1+6+12See Beyond PL 20See Tier of Power

Getting Started. Technically, your character starts at Power Level 1 and increases in power by adventuring. Starting off at Power Level 1 symbolizes your character’s entrance into the Dragon World, but it isn’t required – many ARCs may choose to let you join a game at a higher Power Level to represent starting with more of a foothold in the world. 

Record your character’s Power Level on your sheet. If you’re starting at a higher level, record the additional elements you gain from higher Power Levels, as shown above.

Beyond Power Level Twenty. If you are higher than Power Level 20, use the last row of the Power Level chart above to figure out the aptitudes you gain from your level. Features repeat every twenty levels. As an example, at level 6 you gain a Character Perk so you will also gain a perk at level 26, 46 and 66, so forth and so on.

Ki Energy. Ki, also known as chi or simply energy, is the latent fighting power used by all living creatures, the energy that makes up all life in the Dragon World. This force is a tangible energy inside everyone. An individual can manipulate this power and draw it outside the body to be used for many different abilities and techniques. The physical weaknesses of the body itself can limit your control over it, so it is necessary to train your body and mind to become stronger.

Ki Points. The Ki Point Pool is the maximum amount of points you can spend during a single Combat Encounter. Your Ki Point Pool is directly related to your Power Level. You can spend Ki Points on many different aspects inside the game. Nearly every Maneuver in combat requires Ki Points. (See – Actions & Combat). It is important to keep track of how many points you spend each turn and during rounds, lest you find yourself without any points and unable to perform a Maneuver.

Capacity Rate. Your Capacity Rate is the amount of Ki Points you can spend during a single round of combat. Your Capacity Rate resets at the start of each round, allowing you to spend the full amount again. Capacity Rate, or simply Capacity, is a governing mechanic that allows you to spend Ki Points during combat without dropping to 0 points within the first round or turn of combat.

Aptitudes. Your Aptitudes are values derived from your Attributes which are pertinent to combat. Haste, Awareness, Impulsive, Corporeal, Morale, Cognitive, Defense Value, Initiative, and Soak Value are Aptitudes. It is important to keep track of these Aptitudes as they may change during combat.

Character Perks

Character Perks. Character Perks are used to improve Attributes, Skills, Talents, and other abilities. At Character Creation, and specific Power Levels, you gain perks. At some levels, you will gain a specific perk, as described below, while at other levels you will simply earn a Character Perk. You can exchange a Character Perk for any of the following options: Attribute Addition, Skill Improvement, or Talent Addition.

  • Attribute Addition. You can gain 4 Attribute Points to spend on your Attribute Scores as you see fit.
  • Skill Improvement. If you select this perk, you receive 15 Technique Points and may select 4 different Skills. Gain +1 Skill Rank in each selected Skill. The first time you would gain this perk at Power Level 1, gain an additional +10 Technique Points.
  • Talent Addition. You may select 1 Talent.

Creating Your Character

Step 1 – Choosing A Race. All characters belong to one of the sentient humanoid species from the Dragon World. Your character’s race contributes to your identity in a significant way, by establishing an overall appearance and the natural traits gained from culture and origin. Your Racial Traits, Skill Ranks, and Attribute Score Bonuses are all influenced by your character’s race. These traits sometimes complement certain aptitudes. For example, the traits of Androids make them exceptional at Ki management, and the Shinjin tend to be powerful in the arts of magic. Sometimes, playing against a type can be fun, too. For example, Arcosians that focus on ranged weaponry, or a Namekian that pilots a Battle Jacket, can be unusual but memorable characters.

Playable Races. In the Dragon World, a visit to any corner of the universe will overwhelm the senses. Between the chatter of different alien languages, the smell of unique cuisines, and the myriad of architectural styles, the spectrum of diversity is dazzling. Scattered among the stars are the people themselves, the inhabitants of entire universes. We focus on 8 inhabitants of the universe, from the aggressive warrior race known as Saiyans, to the sly and cunning Arcosians. Join the wise and peaceful Namekians in meditation, or eat cake with the magical and spellbound Majins. The artificial beings called Androids might suit your fancy, or perhaps you wish to have tea with the divine Shinjin. Even the populations of Earth and the genetically engineered Bio Androids can be found exploring the vastness of the universe. Playable races include Earthlings, Saiyans, Arcosians, Namekians, Majins, Androids, Bio Androids, Shinjin, Neo-Tuffles and Shadow Dragons.

Subspecies. Some races have subspecies. Members of a subspecies have the traits of the parent race, in addition to the traits specified for them. These include Familiar and Uncanny Bio Androids, Beast-Man and Triclops Earthlings, Warrior Clan, Dragon Clan, and Demon Clan Namekians, Hatred Embodiment and Parasite Neo-Tuffles, Full-Blooded, Half-Blood, and Ancient Saiyans, and Kaio and Makaio Shinjin.

Subspecies get all the characteristics of the race, such as Attribute Scores, Health Modifiers, and Traits. As an example, Saiyans, regardless of subspecies, gain bonuses to Force, Tenacity and Agility, Skill Ranks from the Saiyan Skill list, a Health Modifier of 3, and the traits Battle Born, Powerful Physique, Blood of the Warrior, Warrior’s Pride, and Saiyan Heritage. The Saiyan subspecies Full-Blooded gains Thrill of the Fight and Battle Fervor as additional Traits, Half-Bloods gain Explosive Potential and Raging Hero, and Ancient Saiyans gain Primitive Durability and Primordial War. Each of those traits are unique to their respective subspecies.

Racial Traits. Racial Traits, or simply Traits, are abilities unique to each race. They can enhance your character’s Skills, abilities, or other statistics, and even grant interesting capabilities. Each species’ Traits stand out among the crowd. It is important to read each ability carefully, as some have a complexity that might cause them to be misused.

Health Modifiers. Health Modifiers are the natural endurance or life force of a race. They are added as modifiers when rolling for Life Points each Power Level.

Ability Types. There are three different types of abilities in the game, and they can enhance your power, speed, and other statistics.

  • Active Abilities. Active abilities are special aptitudes that you can activate for a cost. The cost can be almost anything, such as sacrificing an Action, paying Ki Points, or paying Life Points. These abilities typically aren’t labeled as Active, but are easy to recognize. For example, the Namekian trait Cellular Proliferation allows you to spend Ki Points to heal your wounds.
  • Sustain Abilities. A Sustained ability has a cost or upkeep you must pay each round to keep the ability active. This is to help keep balance and ensure stability of combat. ARCs might find this rule unsatisfying, so another suggestion is to allow these abilities only to be used every so many rounds such as three or five rounds to “recharge”.
  • Passive Abilities. Passive abilities are always in play, and you always have the benefits. For example, the Earthling trait called Perseverance allows characters to always re-roll any natural results of 2 or lower.

Step 2 – Aptitudes. Now that you have your species and all the Traits related to it, you will record the aptitudes of your character such as Attributes, Life Points and Saving Throws.

Everything your character does in the game depends on your seven Attributes: Agility, Force, Tenacity, Scholarship, Insight, Spirit and Personality. Each Attribute has a score you will record on your character sheet. At Character Creation, select your character’s three main attributes: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary. A Primary Attribute Score is 8, the Secondary Attribute Score is 6, a character’s Tertiary Attribute Score is 4, and all remaining scores for the rest of your Attributes will start at 2. Remember to add any additional bonuses to your Attributes from your race, as seen in the blue box at the top of each race’s page. After assigning your Attribute Scores, you will need to determine their modifiers. (See – Core Rules)

Life Points. Life Points are the numeric measurement of damage you can suffer before you become defeated. Each time you increase in Power Level, your Life Points will increase. At Character Creation, you will roll 5d10, and add your Tenacity and Health Modifiers to determine your Life Points. When you increase your level thereafter, you will roll 2d10 and add your modifiers – the resulting Dice Score is then added to your maximum Life Points.

Also, each time your Tenacity modifier increases, so will your Life Points. For example, if your Tenacity modifier was +2 and you increased it to +3, you will adjust your Life Points as if your modifier has always been 3. Life Points are Solid Dice. (See – Core Rules)

Dodge. Dodge represents how well characters avoid being wounded in battle. Gear can also affect your Dodge. Add your Defense Value to all Dodge rolls. However, during a surprise round, if you are unable to perform actions, you can’t add Defense Value to your Dodge roll. (See – Core Rules & Attacking & Conditions)

Soak. Soak is your ability to ignore the damage inflicted on you. Your Soak Value is equal to your Tenacity Modifier. Additionally, your Soak Value can be increased or decreased by abilities, items or other types of modifications. (See – Attacking & Conditions)

Saving Throws. A Saving Throw is used in an attempt to resist splash effects, traps, poisons, mind control, and to maintain personal merit. Saving Throws are related to your attributes and represent your ability to resist unusual effects. There are five types of saves: Impulsive (Agility), Corporeal (Tenacity), Cognitive (Insight), Morale (Personality) and Steadfast. (See – Core Rules)

Skills. Skills represent a facet of an Attribute Score, and your Skill Score shows your focus on that facet. You can only add a Skill Modifier to your Ability Checks if you have Ranks in that Skill.  You will gain Skill Ranks from your race at Character Creation, and you also gain four free Skill Ranks of your choice from the fixed Skill Improvement at PL1. (See – Power Level table)

Initiative. Initiative determines the sequence of turns during combat. Your Initiative Modifier equals 1/2 your Agility modifier.

Movement. While you are inside combat, your speed is equal to 2 + 1/2 of your Agility Modifier. If you are flying during combat, your speed is increased to your full Agility Modifier +2.

Step 3 – Character Details. Once you have the basic statistics of your character, it’s time to flesh out their abilities. Talents are a great way to give your character focused abilities that increase their combat effectiveness.

Talents. Talents are a special feature that either gives your character a new capability, or improves on one that you already have. Talents represent an area of expertise that gives characters special abilities: training, experience, and abilities beyond what a character is granted by their race. At Character Creation, you will gain +2 Talents of your choice. Additionally, at each Tier of Power after the first, you gain +1 additional Talent (see – Power Level table).

Techniques. A Technique is a special attack created specifically and uniquely for your character. At Character Creation and at each reached Tier of Power after that, you gain 1 Skill Improvement (see – Power Level table). In addition to this, at Character Creation, you gain a pool of 20 Technique Points (TP) that you must spend to make a Signature Technique or gain a Magical Ability (that you meet the prerequisites for). You may spend any excess Technique Points on Advancements for your chosen Magical Ability. If your Signature Technique or Magical Ability would exceed 20 Technique Points, you may pay the difference between its cost and 20 TP out of the TP you have otherwise gained to still gain the Signature Technique or Magical Ability. If any Technique Points remain from this pool after gaining your Signature Technique or Magical Ability, they are lost.

At Character Creation, and when you reach a new Tier of Power, you gain a number of Techniques Points equal to your Scholarship Modifier. Also, each time your Scholarship Modifier increases, so will your Technique Points. For example, if your Scholarship Modifier was +2 and you increased it to +3, you will gain +1(bT) Technique Points (one representing Character Creation, and the rest representing any Tiers of Power reached), as seen in the Gifted Student ability of the Scholarship Modifier. Technique Points gained through increasing your Scholarship Modifier does not count as gaining Technique Points for the sake of the Earthling Quick to Master Racial Trait.

Size. You must choose your character’s Size Category. Traditionally, player characters’ default Size Category will be either Small, Medium or Large but you can choose any Size Category allowed by your race. Rules regarding Size Categories and their benefits can be found in the Core Rules.

Step 4 – Choosing Gear. You can select a Gear Kit at Character Creation, which will decide your starting gear. See Gear and Equipment.

Weapons. Your character can carry a number of weapons equal to 1/2 their Force Modifier. Weapons have a penalty to your Strike Rolls, but grant a variety of bonuses.

Step 5 – Finishing Touches. Your character has come together, and you’re starting to really breathe life into them. There are a few more things to finish up before you’re ready to play the game. Spend a few minutes thinking about what he or she looks like, and how he or she behaves in general terms. There are a few blank areas on your character sheet to detail and describe your character.

Z-Souls and Role Play. You have your Attributes, your race, and the details about your character, now it is time for your character’s personality. Sure, characters can fly around, shoot lasers, and punch hard, but what’s their personality like? What makes a character an individual? The answer is their Z-soul. A Z-soul defines a character’s natural mannerisms, behavior, and disposition; how you interact with the world. Z-souls are dynamic: they might deal with how you were raised, or they might revolve around a goal or ethic. There can be different types of z-souls; a good example might be that your character is prideful or uncaring. Your Z-soul might be an honor code, humble upbringing, or simply “lawful good”. You will work with your group and ARC to create the perfect, form-fitting persona for your character.  

It’s important to consider their alignment and if they are pure of heart, as well. (See – Z-Souls)

Filling the blanks. At this point, your character should be ready to play. You might find some blanks on your character record sheet. Fill in these blanks to the best of your ability for now. These areas will be covered in later sections and won’t affect your ability to play your character.

Ready To Play. You are now ready to start playing the game. Remember that most characters aren’t going to work alone or cover every possible outcome. Every character that makes up the party will have strengths that complement the rest of the group. Teamwork and cooperation greatly improve your party’s chances to overcome the many dangers in the Dragon World. Speak with your fellow players and your ARC to decide whether your characters know one another, how they met, and what sorts of missions the group might undertake.

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