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GroggyGolem

Dragonball/DBZ setting

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So I decided on a whim to put together a Dragonball/DBZ setting and some setting-specific rules. What follows is over-the-top ridiculousness on purpose, for fun, because that's what Dragonball is all about.

 

Consolidated the resources into one link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kwn0ffzd7dp0d66/AAB_it_gfI_Vw8mbRjjiCBZ2a?dl=0

 

Setting worksheet:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/byhubs8dfjy7gfi/Dragonball Setting.pdf?dl=0

 

Setting-specific rules:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7fa00dqss35ghqs/Dragonball Special Rules.docx?dl=0

 

Archetypes:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yr6ddkp6mu38o5a/Dragonball Archetypes.docx?dl=0

 

Form-Fillable character sheet with setting choices already made:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/txxpvv25tw19aw8/Dragonball Fillable Character Sheet.pdf?dl=0

 

Sample starting Saiyan character:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5i5u6uhadu8uwfr/Marscapone - sample saiyan starting character.pdf?dl=0

 

Sample starting Namekian character:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/29zkgu8x76828i7/Apple - sample namekian starting character.pdf?dl=0

 

Sample starting Human character:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/c9wqs1xti5jvud3/Twolip - sample human starting character.pdf?dl=0

 

Let me know what you think!

Edited by GroggyGolem

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While I'm not knocking it, I feel that Genesys works well with more realistic, grounded settings, or settings that true to lay out rules to their universe. Some shonen, like DBZ or One Piece, are just too "rule-less" to try to bind to this system, as the authors almost literally write whatever they think is neat.

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I really like how you handled the saiyan racial feature. I would love to hear how it's used on the table and how well it is received.

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2 hours ago, Swordbreaker said:

While I'm not knocking it, I feel that Genesys works well with more realistic, grounded settings, or settings that true to lay out rules to their universe. Some shonen, like DBZ or One Piece, are just too "rule-less" to try to bind to this system, as the authors almost literally write whatever they think is neat.

I can see that with most of the settings but I think that's where the super chsracteristic rule comes into play. Roll 3 triumphs? You punched your opponent through a mountain or your ki attack launched them into space.

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1 hour ago, kaosoe said:

I really like how you handled the saiyan racial feature. I would love to hear how it's used on the table and how well it is received.

Thanks! I wanted to represent their constantly rising battle power in a way that wouldn't break the game so I figured a limit of once a session and only when they get beaten down pretty bad would work. I already have a couple players interested in it, so I might start up a game soon!

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During our GeneSys playtest one of our players made a wizard and funny enough half-way through character creation he decided his character would be a martial arts Wizard a la DBZ. So OP isn't the only one to see the potential. Though, we both agreed that any Dragonball RPG would be best use the original Dragonball series or early DBZ as the basis for their game, rather than later parts of the series where the Z fighters had to intentionally hold back or risk destroying the planet.

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The magic system pretty well has that built-in, since the effects are only ever going to be a certain level of deadly. Super Characteristics can make stuff over-the-top for sure, which is mostly just used for flavor (making craters with your ki) or for raising the stakes of a battle (making your ki-attack super-sized to suggest it is of the planet-destroying strength).

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For the Saiyan, I feel like gaining 5 XP is pretty crazy and the potential to abuse it is  likely to cause a major headache. Maybe something like:

"Once per session, after receiving wounds exceeding their wound threshold or a crit of 100+ the Saiyan may spend a story point to upgrade their attack rolls for the remainder of the encounter."

The story point and once per session use puts it more on par with what we see with most of the species/races special abilities. It's still very powerful. Besides during the Freeza saga, you never really see this come up again (why isn't Vegeta just half killing himself all day every day if that is the case?" also, once it is used it pretty quickly becomes irrelevant from a narrative standpoint (as do most power-ups in DBZ).

I like your take on the transformations, I tried modifying the FaD rules to this end a few years back and the transformations were troublesome as heck. Genesys's format is definitely better for it.

Edited by philmandalorian

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26 minutes ago, philmandalorian said:

For the Saiyan, I feel like gaining 5 XP is pretty crazy and the potential to abuse it is  likely to cause a major headache. Maybe something like:

"Once per session, after receiving wounds exceeding their wound threshold or a crit of 100+ the Saiyan may spend a story point to upgrade their attack rolls for the remainder of the encounter."

The story point and once per session use puts it more on par with what we see with most of the species/races special abilities. It's still very powerful. Besides during the Freeza saga, you never really see this come up again (why isn't Vegeta just half killing himself all day every day if that is the case?" also, once it is used it pretty quickly becomes irrelevant from a narrative standpoint (as do most power-ups in DBZ).

What's the point of spending a story point to upgrade your attack rolls if you've exceeded your threshold and you're knocked out?

 

The reason I went for an increasing battle power ability is because saiyans do advance at a faster rate than humans and most other species. You don't see Krillin going super-human and all that and it takes him longer to advance in fighting ability.

 

What if I limited it to an extra 1xp every time it happened? it's negligable until every 5th session, provided you are nearly dying every session, but still you are advancing at a faster rate.

 

*EDIT* 

 

I think I see what you meant. You're concerned about a player abusing the mechanic to gain the xp by just half-killing themselves. Well, I think I have a fix to that.

 

"Saiyan Blood: Each time a Saiyan survives a near-death experience, after they have healed, they grow much stronger. Their body adapts to compensate for the apparent weakness. This allows Saiyans to increase their power the more they fight. When a Saiyan would exceed their wound threshold or suffers a crit of 100+ from an opponent’s attack, they immediately gain 5xp. This effect can only happen once per game session."

Edited by GroggyGolem

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2 hours ago, GroggyGolem said:

What's the point of spending a story point to upgrade your attack rolls if you've exceeded your threshold and you're knocked out?

 

The reason I went for an increasing battle power ability is because saiyans do advance at a faster rate than humans and most other species. You don't see Krillin going super-human and all that and it takes him longer to advance in fighting ability.

 

What if I limited it to an extra 1xp every time it happened? it's negligable until every 5th session, provided you are nearly dying every session, but still you are advancing at a faster rate.

 

*EDIT* 

 

I think I see what you meant. You're concerned about a player abusing the mechanic to gain the xp by just half-killing themselves. Well, I think I have a fix to that.

 

"Saiyan Blood: Each time a Saiyan survives a near-death experience, after they have healed, they grow much stronger. Their body adapts to compensate for the apparent weakness. This allows Saiyans to increase their power the more they fight. When a Saiyan would exceed their wound threshold or suffers a crit of 100+ from an opponent’s attack, they immediately gain 5xp. This effect can only happen once per game session."

I was imagining that they would have been healed and back on their feet - you could also change the effect to the next encounter. Basically if you get your *** kicked, you can do the archetypal saiyan comeback. 

I think your change does help limit the abuse factor and definitely captures the effect as it is described in the show. My only other reservation would be from a balance perspective (which is always the issue with DBZ as an RPG): how do you reconcile one PC getting significantly more powerful over the course of a campaign and why wouldn't everyone want to play a Saiyan? I know these games feel the strain between power levels much less strongly than other systems, but I think you might run into problems at the table eventually if you played over the course of a campaign. Just some thoughts. When I stated them out a million years ago, I just gave them a version of the Wookiee Rage ability from EotE, I thought it represented the ability abstractly and I knew it had been playtested for balance extensively. 

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8 minutes ago, philmandalorian said:

I was imagining that they would have been healed and back on their feet - you could also change the effect to the next encounter. Basically if you get your *** kicked, you can do the archetypal saiyan comeback. 

I think your change does help limit the abuse factor and definitely captures the effect as it is described in the show. My only other reservation would be from a balance perspective (which is always the issue with DBZ as an RPG): how do you reconcile one PC getting significantly more powerful over the course of a campaign and why wouldn't everyone want to play a Saiyan? I know these games feel the strain between power levels much less strongly than other systems, but I think you might run into problems at the table eventually if you played over the course of a campaign. Just some thoughts. When I stated them out a million years ago, I just gave them a version of the Wookiee Rage ability from EotE, I thought it represented the ability abstractly and I knew it had been playtested for balance extensively. 

Well, when I run Star Wars I use a houserule I made where players can reduce the cost of talents, force powers or skill ranks if they learn them from an NPC or even a PC who can teach them said things. It's based on a skill check and if they roll particularly well (triumph) then they reduce the cost of the talent/power/skill to 0. Only my Force Sensitive players engage that houserule and my non-Force Sensitives seems to have no issue with the xp difference. I have made it clear the option is available to all players and encouraged use of it. So if my players already don't care as much about xp differences, then I'm not concerned with doing a similar thing but with only a single archetype.

 

I have further adjusted the ability as of now, though. It works now in a way that only in the more rare circumstance of suffering a 100+ crit would you gain 5xp. Otherwise, if you are incapacitated in a session, you only gain 1xp. If both happens in the same session, you take the higher benefit. You are basically rewarded with strength for risking your character's life in a reckless manner, which to me captures the essence of a Saiyan warrior.

Edited by GroggyGolem

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What about....

Quote

 

"Saiyan Blood: Each time a Saiyan survives a near-death experience, after they have healed, they grow much stronger. Their body adapts to compensate for the apparent weakness. This allows Saiyans to increase their power the more they fight. When a Saiyan would exceed their wound threshold or suffers a crit of 100+ from an opponent’s attack, they immediately gain 5xp. This effect can only happen once per game session."

 

I've seen too much pestering on the Star Wars forums about a slight bump that a certain blue skinned species gets in starting XP and I cannot help but wonder if some of these people have ever played the game. A disparity in XP is rarely noticeable. Giving a player a small XP biscuit here and there is not going to over balance a game.

However. You need to consider how characteristics will affect the game. Specifically, Saiyans also get a bump in brawn and brawn is likely to play a key role in a DBZ game. So that alone would make them a stand-out in such a setting.

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1 hour ago, kaosoe said:

You need to consider how characteristics will affect the game. Specifically, Saiyans also get a bump in brawn and brawn is likely to play a key role in a DBZ game. So that alone would make them a stand-out in such a setting.

Indeed, I have been considering it. Brawn has a big impact on the game with it affecting starting wounds, soak, your dice and damage in brawl checks. The saiyan players basically have to be reckless if they are to acquire their xp boost regularly. As in don't buy toughness, don't buy durable because both lower your chance of gaining xp faster. The higher your brawn, the more damage you soak, the less likely you will fall in combat. The point of the ability is to encourage that saiyan knack for being overconfident, arrogant, reckless, etc... That said, you have to watch out that you don't end up killing your character off by playing like that. If worst comes to worst, you have allies and a Story Point, you can probably be saved. If not, guess it's time to go on a quest for the Dragon Balls.

As of right now, every characteristic but Presence is super useful and I think Presence can be useful if social encounters are also part of the game. I considered mixing rounds of combat with rounds of social combat with how they smack-talk through all their fights in the anime.

 

Saiyans are generally stand-out in the series but I tried to give the other species archetypes abilities and stats that are worth considering. I have a player that looked through them and already said they want to play a member of Frieza's race, so now I'm working on how to put that setup together.

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Is Ki-Attack still intellect-based like Arcana? I don't think that's very in-line with the way it works in the setting (Goku is an idiot, but his ki-attacks are among the strongest); considering guns / ranged weapons aren't really a thing in DBZ, maybe make Ki-Attack agility-based instead?

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23 minutes ago, IndianaWalsh said:

Is Ki-Attack still intellect-based like Arcana? I don't think that's very in-line with the way it works in the setting (Goku is an idiot, but his ki-attacks are among the strongest); considering guns / ranged weapons aren't really a thing in DBZ, maybe make Ki-Attack agility-based instead?

Depends on what skill you pick up. Could be cunning, intellect or willpower, just like the primal, arcana & divine are. It's basically just a retheme of the exsiting magic system.

 

As far as what Goku would use, I would consider him a willpower-based ki user.

 

Also guns and energy weapons are a thing in the series. Saiyans have on more than one occasion stopped bullets with their hands but can slip up or let their guard down and get somewhat damaged by them.

Edited by GroggyGolem

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I think you've done a great job with this I'd be thrilled to know how session 1 goes. Are you doing it in-person or over Discord or the like?

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The game ran amazingly well! I setup the beginning session as a world martial arts tournament in which 32 fighters passed preliminaries. Structured as single-elimination, each round halved the amount of fighters. Between each round was an hour to rest and recover (allowed them to recover fully). Wining a match was determined by knock out or ring out, with a time of 10 rounds (10 minutes). The matches would start with opponents at engaged range of one another in the center ring, with there being an inner ring around that and an outer ring around that. If a character was hit by an attack with the houseruled Knockdown effect, they could be pushed a range band or more away and if they were pushed past the outer ring they would lose. Victories were all through knock out or ring out. Nobody went to time but if they did it would likely have been a sudden death Clash to see who could land a blow (same way I wrote out the Clash effect in the rules but without a Story Point cost). The first round I left narrative and had the players describe themself, their opponent and how they won. Between rounds they spent time speaking among each other and  the notable NPCs, with one character being a stand-out hilarious trope that everyone favored. Round 2 they did one-check resolution in which the check wasn't about winning/losing but how well they won. Round 3, the Quarter Finals, got into structured one on one combats, in which there was both PvE and PvP, which went well! Things ended up coming down to an NPC and a PC in the final match, in which the NPC won the prize of 5k Zeni (in-universe currency) and a Dragon Ball, so I'm sure they will be involved in the story more since everyone wants the dragon balls. The session ended as the recovering fighters were eating at the event's free buffet and the Red Ribbon Army busted through the building with tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, humvees full of soldiers who were ready to  take the Dragon Ball by force. We will resume in a month as my next 3 Sundays are booked up with running Star Wars RPG. :D

 

The homebrew rules I put together for Energy Clashes and Brawl Clashes worked super well and allowed players to survive in a fight longer than normal, as well as turn the tide against their opponent, which kept things tense. Having houseruled Knockdown into a stronger effect allowed players to push their opponents around more, representing the launching hit effect the source material uses and it allowed them to actually go for a ring-out in the tournament. Story Points were used a lot more, since they are more set into the houserules of this setting than they are with the normal Genesys rules or even the Star Wars rules, so that was cool to see them getting regular use.  The archetypes worked well and I wouldn't really consider any one of them more powerful than another. Dishing out xp throughout the session was fun and players were able to upgrade whenever they liked, allowing them to "surpass their limits" like the characters in Dragon Ball so often do during battles.

 

The Magic system of Genesys worked really well, allowing the players to use different "Ki" blasts of varying type and effect. The double your Brawn damage from the Superhero tone made brawling furious and currently it's stronger than the Ki blasts until the players have access to powering up. The cost of "magic" actions in Genesys represents a character's Ki very well, allowing them to continue to push themselves with big flashy attacks or conserve their Ki for reactionary effects like Parry or Reflect.  The Super Characteristics rule from Genesys was a really fun mechanic and allowed some actions to become waaaay over-the-top.

 

Overall I am surprised and impressed how well the game went and how well the system (plus houserules) handles the Dragon Ball IP. I'm hyped for next month!

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that's great! 

 

I think its important to remember, especially as characters get higher xp levels, that strength is relative! It doesn't matter if a character's brawn is 'only' 5 if that five is the same as brolly's 5. A regular untrained human just wouldn't even have a brawn score in this setting as they are so far behind the characters that they would be literally no challenge and not worth rolling against. I think that's the issue a lot of people have trying to use this setting for supers or dbz. just remember to keep stats relative to pcs and it won't matter...thats why statting the death star or vader is irrelevant in SWRPG - they're just too powerful and out of scale of the characters. it works in the reverse too!

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The way I look at it, mundane people are likely all 2's in stats and 90% are minions with only group skills, and can only deal at most 1 strain or 1 wound to fighters (using the puny minions rule). In addition, unless a character is a trained fighter, they wouldn't deal double their brawn damage in brawl attacks nor would they have ki abilities. So the mundanes need to use their weapons and work in large forces, even then they are pretty much no match for fighters, PC or NPC.

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Really looking forward to trying this out at some point! I was thinking of working on a Dragon Ball setting awhile ago but never got around to it.

Hopefully I can get my group together again soon and give this a go!~

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@ZorinIchiona ,

 

Hello fellow Dragon Ball fan! Check the links every now and then. I update the special rules document here and there with new talents or modifications to existing ones to maintain a level of balance. The Archetypes should be set (I don't intend to add any others to it).

 

As of right now, current ideas are to limit the super saiyan and frieza transformation talents to 3 ranks and represent later transformations like SS4, SSG, SSBlue and Golden Frieza by other, new talents that can provide some uniqueness.

 

My group and I play in an AU with a slightly altered history and role for each of the prominent species in Dragon Ball. We all worked together to provide details on what the differences are to the Dragon Ball canon. I also set expectations before we started playing in regards to power levels by starting off during a point in the timeline that was handled by the Dragon Ball series, before Z. I would say within 3 to 4 sessions at 20ish xp a session, your characters will  grow into the early DBZ levels of power. You might find it useful to do what I did and, beyond the 4 Motivations that Genesys uses, ask each player to write 1 sentence for why they want to gather the Dragon Balls or what their greatest wish is. Helps for plot ideas and allows them to not have to write an entire backstory because between that and the four motivations, they have a pretty well-developed character!

 

A side note, I run Star Wars for a couple groups and I find it to be somewhat restrictive trying to keep things with the feel of Star Wars. Dragon Ball feels so much more open because it's crazy and you can never truly expect what is coming next. A man-sized rabbit that turns people into carrots? Living dinosaurs, some of which can talk? An alien race that are basically half plant half slug? It's an adventure and being whacky and out there fits perfectly with Dragon Ball!

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On 3/10/2018 at 8:14 PM, Imbasel said:

I think you've done a great job with this I'd be thrilled to know how session 1 goes. Are you doing it in-person or over Discord or the like?

Somehow I missed this question previously, my bad! The group is all friends of mine scattered about the Eastern United States, so we play over Skype. The players are part of a larger Star Wars group I run as well that has been going on for over 2 years.

 

10 minutes ago, Noahjam325 said:

Thank you so much for sharing. I'm absolutely going to use this for my players on Saturday. I'll report back for how it worked at my table. 

Hey, glad you can make some use out of it! I'd love to read your session report!

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