Quick Access: Character Sheet
For a blank Character Sheet, click here.
Game Play Basics
For this game, all you will need are your character sheet(s), a copy of the rules, your imagination, and some d6. Each turn a character can take 1 Greater Action or 2 Lesser Actions. Some abilities even take multiple turns to charge. Most Actions take place by testing with one of the core game stats.
A character’s stats consist of Ranks and Specialties. Each Rank has 2 corresponding Specialties associated with it. For example, the Fighting Rank is tested during melee combat (physical attacks). Players can choose to specialize in Hand-to-Hand (H2H) fighting or with a weapon via the Weapon Specialty.
To continue the example, when performing a simple Fighting test, a player would choose H2H or weapon and roll a number of d6 equal to the sum of their Fighting Rank and selected Specialty, let’s say 4 from Fighting and 2 from H2H. All 6 dice would roll, and then the player would select the 4 highest value to total–4 being selected because the player has a Fighting Rank of 4.
Here’s a quick breakdown on which Specialties are associated with each Rank:
Endurance—Resilience, Thick Skin
Chi—Energy Attack, Flight
Spirit—Aura Deflection, Aura Detection
Inner Fire—Power Up, Meditation
In other words, this is a roll and keep system. Typically, you’ll roll more dice than you’ll keep–total together to be your test’s value.
Perhaps the most important decision you’ll make is your character’s race. In many ways the race selected acts as your character’s class. It opens up specific skills for your character and sets up your base statistics. While all Ranks start at 2, characters can quickly increase their power. After selecting your Race, you’ll be able to apply some stat boosts to your character to make him or her more unique to the powerful fighter you want to create.
The Races available in this DBZ RPG, along with their level 1 stat boosts:
- Humanoid | 2 Attribute ranks, 2 Specialty levels, and 3 Abilities
- Alienoid | 3 Attribute ranks, 3 Specialty levels, and 2 Abilities
- Saiyan | 4 Attribute ranks, 2 Specialty levels, and 2 Abilities
- Namekian | 3 Attribute Ranks, 3 Specialty levels, and 2 Abilities
- Android | 2 Attribute ranks, 4 Specialty levels, and 2 Abilities
Here’s a level 9 example of Tenshinhan–which I deemed to be his appropriate level at the end of the Saiyan Saga.
As characters level up, they become increasingly more powerful. While experience points are dealt out at the discretion of the Game Master, every time a character gains 100 experience points, they level up. Non-player-characters can be considered to be level 0 or even a negative numbered level. Therefore, character at level 1 are considered to have 100 experience points already. So, at level 9, this Tenshinhan has at least 900 experience points.
Players should follow this chart when leveling up:
|Every Level||Gain HP equal to (2*Endurance)||Gain EP equal to (2*Spirit)|
|Every 2 Levels (2,4, 8, etc.)||Increase a Specialty Level|
|Every 3 Levels (3,6, 9, etc.)||Increase an Attribute Rank|
|Every 5 Levels (5,10, 15, etc.)||Learn a new Ability|
The following stats are called Ranks. As we stated before, each Rank has two corresponding Specialties. When performing an Action, player’s will almost always be testing one or more Rank/Specialty. At Level 0, a character has a Rank of 2 in each of these stats. Your game can have your characters start at any level. Starting at Level 1 and awarding generous experience points is my recommendation for your first play experience. The Ranks are Athletics, Agility, Endurance, Fighting, Chi, Spirit, and Inner Fire. Here are the definitions for these from the rule book:
Athletics describes the general physical fitness of a person, occasionally someone’s physical size, how strong they are, and, sometimes, how capable they are of taking a hit. Most often, athletics determines the amount of damage that physical attacks inflict. This attribute also contributes to your character’s Physical Combat Defense.
Agility is the true mark of your character’s speed. How far you can move in a turn and whether you can avoid getting hit are determined by Agility. This attribute also contributes to both Combat Defenses.
Endurance enables your character to withstand the attacks of your opponents. For every rank of Endurance roll 2 D6 and add your character’s level to the amount rolled in order to determine your HP—health points. When your HP reaches zero, the character is passed out; when a character’s HP reaches -10 or below, they are dead. Similar to Agility, Endurance also contributes to both Combat Defenses.
Fighting is the attribute you test during melee combat. Characters can use martial arts for hand to hand (or H2H) combat or they may use a weapon if they choose. You use a Fighting test against an opponent’s Physical Combat Defense during combat.
Chi is your character’s ability to harness their energy into outward performance with energy attacks, the ability to fly, as well as performing a variety of special moves. When you want to perform an energy attack, you test your Chi ability against your target’s Energy Combat Defense.
Spirit is a character’s capacity for performing energy-based attacks. For every rank you have in Spirit, roll 2 D6, add the sum to your character’s level, the total becomes your EP—energy points. Spirit is used in some Special Moves and contributes to your Energy Combat Defense.
Inner Fire is a catch-all of attributes, it describes a character’s inward power. This is one of the most frequently used attributes for Specialty Moves. Inner Fire is also the most important attribute for your Tough Rating, which reduces damage. Your Inner Fire can describe your true power level, your ability to scrape off minor attacks, and is your gateway to powering up to perform even stronger abilities.
Some Specialties are more offensive by nature and others are defensive. It is also important to note that some Common Actions such as flight or performing an energy attack require at least one value in their respective Specialty. Any character could grab a weapon to fight with or try fighting hand-to-hand, they just won’t have access to the bonus dice to help raise their test’s total value.
Strength helps you do more damage in physical combat and allows you to perform great feats of physical prowess. For every point of Strength, a character’s physical combat damage is increased by 1.
Block gives you a chance to get into a defensive position to stop attacks from an opponent. It can also help in some hand-to-hand combat scenarios.
Acrobatics is a skill that helps you avoid getting hit in melee combat. Every level in this skill increases your Physical Combat Defense by 2. Characters can also test Acrobatics when trying to either fall gracefully or jump around obstacles.
Dodge helps you avoid being hit by energy attacks as well as other projectiles launched from foes. For every point in Dodge a character increases their Energy Combat Defense by 2.
Resilience is your body’s natural ability to resist damage from energy-based attacks. Every point increases your Energy Combat Defense by 2 as well as your Tough Rating by 1.
Thick Skin is a combination of muscle mass and physical training that allows your body to take punishment. Every point increases your Physical Combat Defense by 2 as well as your Tough Rating by 1.
H2H, or hand-to-hand, is your character’s martial arts ability. The skills to face an opponent in physical combat with no weapons besides your arms, legs, and forehead. When initiating a fight, points in this specialty act as bonus dice to engage an opponent. Once in the fight, the level of this skill determines how many tests are in the combat; the higher your skill, the more chances you have to strike your opponent.
Weapon acts the same way as H2H, your character simply carries a weapon of your choice into battle instead and is trained in using it. Most weapons do the same amount of damage (Athletics + Strength), but depending on your game, there could be more powerful weapons to be found. Also, if your character could choose to use a gun or blaster, look up weapons in the equipment section for damage.
Energy Attack, once invested in this skill, characters are fully capable of blasting their foes to dust. Each level acquired in this skill represents an energy attack your player can make on their turn during a combat round. However, the fewer attacks you make in a round, the more accurate, and potentially powerful, they are. Reference Common Abilities to learn more.
Flight can be a very convenient way to get around, avoid a foe, and even creatively attack an opponent. However, for most low-level players, this feat can be costly. For every turn a character spends any of their time in flight they must spend 10 EP minus their level in this skill, to a minimum of 1. That means that eventually flying can cost very little or even become effortless. While flying, a character can move four times faster than their Agility ranking.
Aura Deflection relates to a character’s knack for deflecting incoming attacks just with their aura. Every point in this skill adds 2 to your Energy Attack Defense and allows you to use some special moves to reflect incoming attacks.
Aura Detection: some characters will always require scouters to detect surrounding enemies, but for those who invest in this skill, the task will be just like breathing. Once invested in Aura Detection, a player can make an Aura Detection test using Spirit, and bonus dice from this stat, to survey the energy levels of others in the surrounding area (10 yards for every point).
Power Up is perhaps one of the most powerful and useful skills in the game. It can be used as a staple in your character’s offensive plan or saved for the special occasion when your normal attacks aren’t putting a chink in your enemy’s armor. Once powered up, your character has momentary bonuses to ranks and specialty levels in order to take down a foe. Doing so comes at a cost of EP and requires you to scream loudly.
Meditation is a skill that can be incredibly useful. By doing so, your character can regain HP and EP on their own, a must in heavy-conflict campaigns, like being involved in a war between planets or tribes.
Player’s should also select their character’s role. While this does not necessarily impact a character’s stats, it does give a situational bonus and helps player’s have a archetypal direction for how their character is likely to act in a given situation. I have given examples from Dragon Ball Z with each role’s definition:
Leader: The group depends on you—reroll any one test once per day (Goku).
Warrior: The fight is everything—gain an additional bonus die if you attack more than one foe on a turn, use once per day (Vegeta, Piccolo, Goku).
Chi Master: You crave harnessing control over your body’s energy—if you spent some part of the day in meditation, then gain a bonus die on a test, use once per day. (Piccolo)
Loner: Even though you may occasionally join a group’s cause, 90% of the time you only care about yourself—if you spend a turn passing and no one attacks you, gain a bonus die on your next test, useable once per day. (Yajirobe, Piccolo, Vegeta)
Specialist: Your fighting style depends on Specialty Moves—once per day ignore the maximum limitations from a Specialty Move (Krillin, Master Roshi).
Power Hungry: The only thing you want is to become stronger with every fight—receive an extra attack bonus die for the first test against a new opponent (Vegeta).
Relentless: You know no mercy, feel no pity, and have no remorse—gain an extra bonus die every time you test initiative. (Broly)
Protector: You take it upon yourself to make sure your group is safe; usually this means stepping into harm’s way—every round that you are the only one in your group that takes damage, gain a bonus die on your next test (Gohan, Piccolo—who can be used the most as an example because he’s my favorite).
This just wouldn’t be Dragon Ball without the amazing abilities the characters can perform. While learning most abilities is dependent upon which race a character is, there is also a host of General Abilities which any character can learn.
As you dive into the game-play mechanics, you’ll notice the term Combo Points. These are awarded during the flurry of blows which accompany melee combat in this universe. Certain Abilities become available for use after a number of Combo Points are earned.
These Abilities are outlined in Chapter 3 of the Rule Book. The races become very unique as Abilities are adopted and put to use.
Of course, characters can become equipped with all manner of weapons, armor, capsule items, Senzu Beans, and so much more. While this section is currently quite undeveloped, it is full of possibilities for even more differentiation between your characters.
Give It a Go
So, try creating your Level One character.
- Download the Character Sheet
- Choose a Race
- Choose to advance your Ranks and Specialties and choose Abilities based upon your Race
- Select a Role for your Character
- Get ready to roll some dice!