Character Creation

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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 conception of your character might 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 specific 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 gain experience, represented by Experience Points (XP). When you reach a specific number of XP, you advance in capabilities, known as Power Level.  As you increase Power Levels, you’ll get access to additional features and abilities.

The Power Level table summarizes the XP you need to increase in levels from level 1 through level 20, 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 PoolFeaturesExperience PointsTier of Power
1 12 26 Character Perk x2 +0
2 20 38 Character Perk 90
3 28 50 Talent 180
4 36 62 Character Perk 270
5 44 74 Skill Proficient360 +1D4
6 52 86 Character Perk 450
7 60 98 Technique Points 540
8 68 110 Character Perk 630
9 76 122 Attribute Addition 720
10 84 134 Character Perk 810 +1D6
11 92 146 Mixture Addition 900
12 100 158 Character Perk 990
13 108 170 Talent 1080
14 116 182 Character Perk 1,170
15 124 194 Skill Proficiently 1,260 +1D8
16 132 206 Character Perk 1,350
17 140 218 Technique Points1,440
18 148 230 Character Perk 1,530
19 156 242 Attribute Addition 1,620
20 164 254 Character Perk 1,710 +1D10
+1 +8 +12 See Beyond PL 20 PL + 90 See Tier of Power

Getting Started. Technically, your character starts at Power Level one and increases in power by adventuring and gaining XP. To figure out the number of Experience Point require for you to advance in Power Level simply multiply your current level by ninety (90). Each time you gain a Power Level your experience points will reset back to zero (0).

Starting off at Power Level one symbolized your character’s entrance into the world of the Dragon. If you’re already familiar with the game, or if you are joining an existing campaign, your Architect might decide to have you begin at a higher level, on the idea that your character has already endured a few harrowing encounters.

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. A 1st-level character has zero Experience Points. A higher level character typically begins with the minimum amount of XP required to reach the specified level.

Beyond Power Level Twenty. If you are higher than Power Level twenty (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 six you gain a Character Perk so you will also gain a perk at level twenty-six, forty-six and sixty-six, 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 the 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 limitation 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 Pool is the maximum amount of points you can spend during a single combat encounter. Your Ki Pool is directly related to the 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, lease you find yourself without any points and unable to perform 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 zero (0) points within the first round or turn of combat.

Variant Rule
Limitless Capacity. The following variant can be used in place of the standard Capacity Rate method. This option gives you the ability to use as many Ki Points as you wish. Instead of the Capacity Rate rule above you can spend Ki Points freely, during your turn and the entirety of combat, up to your total ki point pool limit.

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 of the following options: attribute addition, skill proficiency, technique points, a single talent, or a mixture. S

  • Attribute Addition. You can either increase a single attribute score by four (+4) or two attribute scores by two (+2) each.
  • Skill Proficiency. You can select to either gain two (2) new skill proficiency or increase the rank of two (2) skill you already have.
  • Technique Points. If you select this perk, you receive ten (10) technique points.
  • Talent Addition. You may select one (1) talent.
  • Mixed Aptitudes. Increase a single attribute by two (+2), gain one (1) skill proficiency or increase the rank of one (1) skill you already have and receive five (5) technique points.

Depending on your group and ARC’s choice there are two ways you can increase your Power Level. You can use the level up system, as described above, or you can use the variant experience purchase rule detailed below.

Variant Rule
Experience Purchase System. The following variant can be used in place of the standard level system. This option gives more control over what you do with Experience Points. You will spend your XP to purchase perks from the list below. You will still use the Power Level progression chart for Ki Points, Capacity and Tier of Power as they are related to your level, but otherwise will ignore all other information.

Attribute Addition (31xp). You can either increase a single attribute score by four (+4) or two attribute scores by two (+2) each.

Power Increase (33xp). Increase your power level by one (+1). You don’t gain any character perks based on the power level progression chart with this purchase.

Skill Proficiency (25xp). You can select to either gain two (2) new skill proficiency or increase the rank of two (2) skill you already have.

Technique Points (29xp). If you select this perk, you receive ten (10) technique points, which can be spent on customized abilities. 

Talent Addition (27xp). You may select one (1) talent.

Mixed Aptitude (37xp). Increase a single attribute by two (+2), gain one (1) skill proficiency or increase the rank of one (1) skill you already have and receive five (5) technique points.

Tiers of Power

Tiers of Power. A game might last a single session or longer. So, some scenarios might call for a higher level of play. With Tiers of Power, players and ARCs can increase their strengths and abilities beyond typical game play. Starting at Power Level five (5) and every five (5) levels afterwards you will reach a new Tier of Power and gain an Extra Dice to your rolls. Tiers of Power are referenced by a numerical value. For example, tier two (2) is Power Level five and tier three (3) is Power Level (10), so forth and so on.

For each tier reached your Extra Dice is changed into a one category larger. Starting at tier two (2) you will gain an +1d4, at tier three (3) the dice changes to a +1d6, at tier four (4) the dice changes into a +1d8, at tier five (5) the dice changes into a +1d10. A Tier of Power’s Extra Dice cannot increase beyond a d10. When your Extra Dice reaches +1d10 you will start the process over and add an additional die starting at +1d4 again. As an example, at Tier of Power six (6) you will have 1d10+1d4. (See chart below for more details)

Power LevelTier of PowerExtra Dice
1
5 2 +1d4
10 3 +1d6
15 4 +1d8
20 5 +1d10
25 6 + 1d4
The only dice from tiers of power that can score critical and botch results are d10s. See (Core Rules)

Cost of Power. As your Tier of Power increases so does the might of your attacks and actions. Any attack, technique or ability types that has a base Ki Point cost will increase in price by one-half (1/2) it current cost each tier of power reached. This includes, but is not limited to the following attack types, technique types, and ability types: Physical, Sphere, Incantation, Basic, Combination, Powered, Rapid Fire, Guided, Kiai, Energy Focus, Blast, Explosion, Beam, Aura and Dynamic.

For example, the base Ki Point cost for the Sphere attack type is two (2). At tier two the cost would be three (3). At tier three the cost would be four (4), at tier five the cost would be six (6), so fourth and so on.

Throughout the rules you will come across abilities, traits and other such aptitudes that increase their effectiveness depending on your Tier of Power – where this is the case the rule will be accompanied by a bracketed numerical value processed by the letter ‘T’. This means that the effects of the rule are increased by numerical value every Tier of Power reached. As an example, “Increase your Soak Value by two (+2T)”. Meaning that your Soak Value is increased by two (+2) every time you reach a new Tier of Power. For instants when the numerical value is based on every two tiers or a divisible value of you tier the letter ‘T’ will be followed by a slash and another numerical value. As an example, “Increase your Dodge by two (+2T/2)”. Meaning that your Dodge is increased by two (+2) for every two Tiers of Power you have reached.

You will also see rules that grant bonus dice for each Tier of Power reached these rules with look something like the follow, “Roll 2d10(T) and restore that amount of Life Points and Ki Points.” When the dice value is followed by a bracketed ‘T’ you gain that dice value for each Tier of Power reached. Dice values can also be processed by a slash with a numerical value as stated above.

Creating Your Character

Step 1 – Choosing A Race. All characters belong to one of the sentient humanoid species from 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 proficiencies, and attribute bonuses are all derived from your character’s race. These traits sometimes complement with certain aptitudes. For example, the traits of Cybernetic Organism Androids make them exceptional at using energy attacks, and Majin tend to be powerful in the arts of magic. Sometimes playing against a type can be fun, too. For example, Arcosians that focuses 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 universes. We focus on eight inhabitants of the universe, from the aggressive warrior race known as Saiyans to the sly and cunning Arcosians, the wise and peaceful Namekains, the magical and spellbound Majins, the artificial beings called Androids and to the divine Shijin. Even the populations of Earth can be found exploring the vastness of the universe. Playable races include Earthlings, Saiyans, Arcosians, Namekians, Majins Androids, and Shinjin.

In the Race section of this website, you can read about the attribute bonuses, skill proficiencies, vision, hearing, traits, and other aptitudes of the playable races in the DBU engine. We tailored each race and added what we thought was their best and most iconic features from the myriad of television shows and manga. We took those features and attempted to recreate them in an RPG pen and paper setting. There is a huge amount of species we don’t cover in the game; either there is too little information about them, or they simply didn’t display unique enough qualities to be mentioned. But we always encourage players and architects to build or create their own species for play.

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 Earthlings, Beast-men, Full-Bloods, Half-Bloods, Warrior & Dragon Clans, Artificial Constructs, Cybernetic Organisms, Bio-Engineered, Kaio and Makaio.

Subspecies get all the characteristics of the race such as attribute scores, Health Modifiers, and traits. As an example, Saiyans, regardless of subspecies, gain pluses to Strength and Tenacity, proficiency in the skills Athletics and Intimidate, a Health Modifier of three, and the traits Bred for Battle, Impenetrable Physique, Blood of the Warrior, Saiyan tail and Saiyan heritage. The Saiyan subspecies full-blood gains Unyielding and Reckless Aggression as additional traits, and half-bloods gain Warrior of Two Worlds and Raging Hero. Each of those traits are unique to each 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 strength, speed, power, and other statistics. An important note, if a racial trait requires the Ki Point cost that cost don’t count towards your Capacity Rate when used during combat encounters.

  • 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 up-keep you must pay each round to keep the ability active. This is to help keep the 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 two (2).

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 eight attributes: Agility, Strength, Tenacity, Scholarship, Insight, Spirit, Potency, 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 eight (8), and Secondary attribute score is six (6). A character’s Tertiary attribute score is four (4) and all remaining scores for the rest of your attributes will start at two (2). Remember to add any additional bonuses to your attributes from your race. 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 Sore 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 two (+2) and you increased it to three (+3), you will adjust your Life Points as if your modifier has always been three. When rolling for Life Points ignore both Botch and Critical Results. (See – Core Rules)

Variant Rule
Easy Game Difficulty. This variant rule gives you more life points which alloW your character to sustain more damage than normal. When using this variant rule, you will roll 3d10 for life points at character creation and each power level. Additionally, double your species’ health modifier when adding it to your life points.

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 type 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 are proficient with a skill.  You will gain skill proficiencies from your race at character creation, you also gain (1) one free skill proficiency of your choice. (See – Core Rules)

Initiative. Initiative determines the sequence of turns during combat. Your Initiative modifier equals to one-half (1/2) your Agility modifier.

Movement. While you are inside combat your speed is equal to one-half (1/2) of you Agility modifier plus your character’s dexterity – you can find your character’s dexterity on their specific race page. If you are flying during combat your speed is increased by your full Agility modifier plus your dexterity.

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 focus abilities that increase their combat effeteness.

Talent. 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 gain one (+1) talent of you choice. (See – Talents)

Technique. A technique is a special attack created specifically and uniquely for your character. At character creation you gain ten (10) Technique Points to spend on custom techniques. You also gain an amount of Technique Points equal to one-half (1/2) your level when reaching a new Tier of Power. (See Core Rules, Signature, Magical)

Size. The size of your character is important and can effect your attribute and aptitudes. Your race will give you the typically, average size that your character will be, but you can always elect to make your character smaller or larger than average to give a unique and interesting degree of creativeness. Your character can be small, medium or large – check with your ARC to discuss changing the average size of your character.

SizeM Threat Range Speed ModifierDodge ModifierSoak ModifierStrike Modifier Squares Occupied
Small
(Example)
Adjacent +0+2T-1T-1T1
Medium
(Example)
Adjacent +0+0T+0T+0T1
Large
(Example)
Adjacent +1 Square +1-1T+1 +0T 2×2
Enormous
(Example)
Adjacent +2 Squares +3-2T+2 +0T 3×3
Gigantic
(Example)
Adjacent +4 Squares +5-3T+3 +0T 4×4
Size penalties can NOT reduce your modifiers lower than two (2).

Punching Down. When attacking a target(s) that is two (2) or more size categories smaller than you increase your Wound Rolls by (+1d8T). Moreover, if the target(s) is three (3) or more size categories smaller than you all Standard Damage counts as Direct Damage.

Punching Up. When attacking a target(s) that is two (2) or more size categories larger than you reduce your Wound Rolls Dice Scores by (-1d4T). Moreover, if that target(s) is three (3) or more size categories larger than you reduce your Wound Rolls Dice Scores by (-1d6T).

Step 4 – Choosing Gear. Your species will determine how much Wealth and what equipment you start with. (See – Gear & Equipment) Your strength score limits the amount of gear you can carry. Try not to purchase equipment with a total weight exceeding your strength. (See – Core Rules)

Your character needs to be proficient with some gear to wear it effectively, gear proficiencies are typically determined by talents. There are drawbacks to using gear that you do not have proficiency with.

Weapons. Your character can carry a number of weapons equal to the number of arms they have plus one. For each of those weapons, you’ll need to calculate the attack modifier and damage for quick reference. (See – Gear & Equipment)

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 blanks on top of your character sheet, areas 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, 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 up-bringing, or simply lawful good. You will work with your group and ARC to create the perfect, formfitting persona for your character.  (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 world of the dragon. 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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