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?

Core Concepts

Continuity. Many times, throughout this rules, we will tell you to make changes as you see fit. If a rule or guideline isn’t working for the 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 persons, 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 will 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’s 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 wasn’t really an absolute after all.

Forbidden But Not Forbidden. When something isn’t clearly prohibited doesn’t mean it’s allowed. No one, including Us, could think of every possible variation, mixture, or understanding of a rule; so, there might be some situations that arise while playing a game that we didn’t foresee. It is usually harmless to assume when something says that isn’t prohibited it is acceptable, just remember the final decision is always up to your Architect. If they don’t infer or use the rules the way you understand them, their conclusion will rule. Moreover, if something explicitly states that it is prohibited doesn’t specifically mean you can’t do it. Under the right situation, you might be able to do something that is typically prohibited. Even when the rules say you can’t do something, the Architect can lower that constraint if they feel it would be acceptable to do so.

Minimums. There will be times when a rule or situation arises that will reduce a numeric value or an amount of dice you own to zero (0) or less. In these circumstances, unless a specific rule states otherwise, you will always have a minimum numeric value of one (1) from any sources that you have been entitled to and you will always be entitled to at least one 1d10 dice when making any type of roll. No rule can cause you to have a negative numeric value or take away all the dice involved in any type of roll.

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 the tracking of everything happening. When you fly, your height is represented by increase distances traveled, where on the ground you might move only four squares while in the air you would move nine 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 isn’t 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 ten (10) seconds. Unlike the show where faster than light travel can be obtained, we need to create balance by setting forth a standard, static time frame for rounds.

Double Dip. You can not gain a aptitude or special trait 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 a ARC might use during a game or campaign. These optional rule 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 Dragon Ball Universe 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 page that covers the general rules for the DBU engine.

This website 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’ll Need To Play. Here’s what you’ll need to start playing the Dragon Ball Universe role-playing game:

  • Access to this website, of course, which contains all the rules and guides needed in order to create a character and play the game
  • A copy of the character sheet
  • A set of role-playing dice; including, but not limited to 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10.

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