The Dragon Ball Universe Role-Playing Game is about a mystical, action-adventure in a realm of martial arts and magic, known as the Dragon World. This is a game filled with moments of wonder and make-believe. Like other role-playing games, the Dragon Ball Universe RPG, also known as the DBU RPG, 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 – at least, not 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.
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.
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, that does not mean it is allowed. We could not possibly 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 nothing says that something is 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. Similarly to the Specific Over General concept (see – Core Rules), your Architect’s ruling supersedes any other interpretation of the rules presented here.
Scale & Movement. You can play with or without a battle grid. Without a grid, we use meters to describe distance. Meters are abbreviated “m’s or m”. With a grid, you would use Squares (Sq). A single Square on a grid battle mat is equal to 2 meters. So, if a player moves 12 meters, they will move 6 Squares on a battle mat. Combat in DBU is performed in the two-dimensional space for simplicity and ease of tracking simultaneous events. If flying, height is represented by increasing the distance needed to reach a position. On the ground, you might need to move 8 Squares, while in the air you would only need to move 4 Squares – 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 sometimes even a week within a few minutes of real-time. While inside of a Combat Encounter, time is split up into Combat Rounds, but each Round can last an amount of time appropriate to the narrative: the standard is 10 seconds, but feel free to deviate from that in the interest of fun, like dilating a Round’s duration to let someone make a rousing speech while charging a fight-ending attack!
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, so they 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 extraordinary 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-canon, 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 DBU RPG engine.
This rulebook contains everything you need to 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: