The Dragon Ball Universe role-playing game is about mystical, action-adventure in the realm of martial arts and magic, known as the World of the Dragon. This is a game filled with moments of wonder and make-believe. Like other role-playing games, the Dragon Ball Universe RPG or also know as the DBU TTRPG is driven by the imagination. It’s about visualizing a crater-riddled battlefield beneath the stormy sky or imagining an epic battle between two Saiyans in a desolate landscape.
The Dragon Ball Universe role-playing game has no winning or losing – in the conventional meaning of those terms. The Architect (Game Master) and you, the players, create a thrilling world of bold stories and characters who confront deadly perils. You might save a young boy from certain death or you might meet a grisly end, sent to the next dimension by a nefarious villain or monster. You might search for the powerful Dragon Balls to grant your own personal wish, or you might choose to stop a malevolent antagonist from conquering the universe. Regardless, even if your party fails to complete a scenario, but everyone has fun and creates a memorable story, you all win.
|Architect (Game Master): After passing over the Northern Wilderness, the Spinach Wastes suddenly turns in the Bamboo Forest, to the left of the forest is East City and the Temple of Orin. The skyline is littered with modest skyscrapers, and they’ve been designed to adorn the city and each other. Beyond the city is the desolate barren area of the Grand Apollon. Beneath you, you spot a Paozusaurus chasing a young boy. What do you do?|
Garret: I want to fly down and rescue the young boy!
Rohan: Does the Paozusaurus look dangerous? I want to try to get its attention. Do you think I can draw its attention by swooping down in front of it?
Continuity. Throughout this rulebook, we will tell you to make changes as you see fit. If a rule or guideline is not working for your group, feel free to make a change. However, note that the rules and guides were designed and built around the system, and you are encouraged to keep the continuity of the game by adhering to as many rules as you can.
Defender Wins. In the case of a tie between two or more players, the defender always wins. If in any circumstance this rule seems inappropriate, the member of the situation with the highest bonus, roll, skill, or attribute might win.
Specific Over General. Specific rules hold rank over general rules, meaning if a general rule says, “target number is nine” but a specific rule says, “target number is six.” the specific rule would supersede the general rule. If a specific rule contradicts a general rule, the specific rule wins.
No Guarantees. The game does not have any “absolutes.” There is no specific way to create the perfect character, no guaranteed way to always be successful using a skill, and no total invulnerability to death. Absolutes tend to unbalance RPG games in general. Typically, when an absolute is discovered or presented you will often find unique ways to circumvent it which means it was not really an absolute after all.
Forbidden but Not Forbidden. If something is not clearly restricted it does not mean it is allowed. We could not think of every possible variation or understanding of a rule. So, there might be some situations that arise while playing a game that are unforeseen. It is usually harmless to assume when something saying that is not restricted that it is acceptable, however the final decision is always up to your Architect. If they do not infer or use the rules the way you understand them, their conclusion will rule.
Minimums. There will be times when a rule or situation arises that will reduce a numeric value to zero (0) or less. In these circumstances, unless a specific rule states otherwise, you will always have a minimum numeric value of zero (0) from any sources that you have been entitled. No rule can cause you to have a negative numeric value or take away all your dice.
Scale & Movement. You can play with or without a battle grid. Without a grid, we use yards to describe distance. Yards are abbreviated “yd’s or yd”. With a grid, you would use squares (Sq). A single square on a grid battle mat is equal to three yards. So, if a player moves twelve yards, they will move four squares on a battle mat. Combat in DBU is performed in the two-dimensional space for simplicity and easy tracking of everything happening. If flying, height is represented by increasing the distance needed to reach a position. On the ground you might need to move eight squares while in the air you would only need to more four square – both take place on the two-dimensional realm.
Time. In-game time can differ greatly depending on what is happening. When you are outside of combat encounters time is not accurately tracked. Your Architect will describe what is happening within an hour, day, or a week within a few minutes of real-time. While inside of a combat encounter time is measured more precisely, inside of an encounter time is tracked by the second – each round lasts five (5) seconds.
Double Dip. You cannot gain any aptitude more than once, unless specified otherwise. As an example, if your attack inflicts direct damage and another ability would also grant your attack the power to inflict direct damage you only gain the trait once. There is no double down or increasing of an aptitude in this type of fashion.
The Rule of One. You will come across many ways to reduce the costs, the requirements or other such things for abilities, attacks, and other similar capabilities. Regardless, of the rules, trait, guide, or other sources you always be required, or need to spend at least one (1) type of point to use or purchase capabilities.
Variant Rules. Variant rules are optional rules that an ARC might use during a game or campaign. These optional rules provide different and unique ways to use and play the DBU system. Variant rules are only used when your ARC says, otherwise you will ignore any rule changes they might apply. Variant rules can be highly volatile and might be unstable to the game or a campaign and should be used wisely by your ARC and gaming group.
Abbreviations. The DBU game uses some standard abbreviations for cross-referencing purposes, such as AG which means the Agility attribute, or PE which means Personality attribute. You will find these types of abbreviations throughout the rules.
|Scale of Power. Within the television show, some characters wield incredible and extortionary abilities. Many of these abilities, powers and even the species themselves eclipse other, weaker characters. To recreate and capture the essence of the source material while keeping the game balanced, we had to take certain creative freedoms to separate plot, personal story, head-cannon, and mechanics. We simply didn’t attempt to bring the show and its cast to the tabletop, we brought the source material’s theme, essence, and concepts to the tabletop|
Get ready to play! Now that you know the core concepts, read the core rules chapter that covers the general rules for the DBUTTRPG engine.
This rulebook contains everything you need play. Explore the pages, read about each species and their traits – discover how to play the game and what kind of character you might like to make.
What You will Need to Play. Here is what you will need to start playing The Dragon Ball Universe role-playing game: