Hear ye hear ye Princess Pinkie has returned with another Geeky Lifestyle post.
Salutations loyal subjects and sweet island guests. At night when princess goes to bed it always takes her a long time to sleep! Thoughts run trough her head like crazy.. maybe she is insane, who knows. It was last night, from when I write this that I was working on a grocery list, while also thinking about Aquaman when suddenly a thought popped in my head! It was briljant and amazing! This is something I would turn into a thing! That though was D&D … Dungeons and Dragon BallZ. A potential new Tabletop ruleset/world I would create Juuuust for fun. I thought I’d share that idea with you.
Let’s start to begin my world, first of all it is NOT actually the world of Dragon Ball. It’s a fantasy variant of that world. Instead of being set all across worlds it’s a singular world with all the Dragon Ball races living in this world in “relative” peace. There will be characters from the actual Dragon Ball world and some species will be renamed to avoid some confusion. Saiyans and Namekians for example will be renamed because Namekians are named after their planet and the terms Saiyan came from the off world as well. However all quirks will be shared with the Dragon Ball Mythos… just in a “what if Dragon Ball was high fantasy setting” Along with a tabletop ruleset and system.
The goal of any given game of Dungeons & Dragon Ball’s is to hunt down the seven mystic orbs. Whatever the story is the DM chooses the story “HAS” to involve the quest for the seven balls of legend. Story suggestions that are given would be “to revive a hero of old, who knows the secret to defeat the final evil” or to prevent a disaster like “the moon crashing into the planet” or to take away the “immortality” from a tyrant who has used the power of the Dragon Balls in the past. There would be a few modules for starting adventures, to help the rookie DM on their way.
One of Dragon Ball’s greatest assets is the simplicity of it’s world building, which allows a DM to basically build there own world to make every game different. There is stuff like “Canyon” or “The Ice continent” Yet there is also “less” of a climate, you can move from Icy villages to tropical archipelago’s. So for world building I imagine something like a Catan tile system. You design your own layout using water tiles and land tiles of various elements and each tile shows if it has a town, a hideout or objects of interest. Each tile is numbered and in a manual the beginning dm can find some example layouts for that tile. This can greatly help travel sections and encounters. Flight powers will be limited during a game of course and you will face some classic D&D encounters such as crypts or packs of ferocious beasts while out exploring. However instead of wolves and bears you encounter creatures like dinosaurs.
Races will replace the classic D&D races. Humans would of course stay humans but elves would be replaced by namekians, or slug-folk as they are called in this world. The Saiyan’s replace the Orc race as many of their quirks are quite similar. They will be called Ape-Folk Maijin will replace the dwarves. While seemingly not all that similar, their hedonist lifestyle and slightly oafish ways make for a good counterpart. Just rather than ale they like candies and pudding. Majijn could keep their name or be called Magi-folk by common and less educated people, who only know of the common language. The demon race would replace tieflings. Tieflings have demon blood, many dragon ball demons have blue skin, like one of the more common tiefling colours. They are fairly similar. To keep naming conventions intact these people are often referred to as Demon-Folk as it will allow a DM to create more “full blood” demons as well (think entinities like Janemba for example). The Frieza race, would be called “Cold-Folk” and devoid of any empathic abilities the best comparison to use for these would be the undead. Undead is not really a state to use in Dragon Ball due how after life would work. There are plenty of other races that could be replaced but the final one I shall reveal to you for now is that the Goblins would be replaced by Saibaman.. or Pod People.
Yet how do we use all these folks and would it all be about punching?! No! While transformations will be a thing that play a role.. people can be more or less all the classic D&D archetypes… with a twist. Dungeons and Dragon Balls would force you to cross class at least a bit. Each person has to chose a physical class AND a magic class. To mimic Dragon Ball’s style of fighting the best. Each races comes with it’s own perks.. but what is more special each race is limited in what classes they can pick, this is to prevent people form only ever playing humans. Each race has three classes at their disposal within the real of magic and three more within the realm of physical.
For an example a Saiyan could be
While humans could be
Depending on what class you combine it with you get access to new abilities. For example a Saiyan/Ape Folk who builds as a Fighter Wizard, will act a lot like Trunks swinging a weapon while having some back up of blasts. Or the other way around, you can specialise in either magic or physical. (While leveling you can level up your specialty compared to your minor class with a 2 to 1 ration). Basically giving each race 18 playstyles/build types.
A Druid Saiyan for example relies more on using their great ape form and can use techniques like the spirit bomb while a Wizard Monk focuses more on punching and deflecting.. while learning magical techniques such as the Kamehameha.The Blood hunter uses Ki/Magic to imbue their main weapon with magical properties and gets some neat tracking skills.
Humans can mimic the Saiyan’s most common build, the monk/wizard however they also often rely more on sneaky techniques and their agility and finesse. Thus they often are Rogues or rangers. The latter does not need to use sniping techniques but they can. Humans often have animal companions as they are much more social than Saiyans and unlike Saiyans they often rely on the strength of others to fight with them. Summoners have an archetype called Synthesis summoner, which basically allows them to fuse with what they summon, which is perfect for Tien’s extra arm technique but you can also think of a Rogue Summoner Yamcha, who is a bandit that can also summon a Ki based Wolf companion. The possibilities are there to create some very interesting characters here.
Normal D&D rules are quite complex with stats giving you bonuses to count many feats and other things. Dungeons and Dragon Balls will be a bit simpler. While there will be stats basically everyone starts at 0. Every player gets 2 specialty points and humans get an extra one. These people can put on their stats which will most likely be something like. Melee, Ranged, Ki/Magic, Charisma, Intelligence, Mobility, Mental and Awareness or something. Players also take a negative point in one department to gain another specialty in another.
The D20 dice will be replaced by 7 d6 and the goal is simple. You need to combine two dice to get the number 7. Per time you succeed you get one succes. (Easy tasks require only 1, medium tasks require 2 and hard tasks require 3 pairs). Say you are making a Melee check and roll 6, 6 , 6, ,5 , 4, 4, 1 You can naturally make one pair. Yet depending on your speciality points you might get to reroll a dice. Say your Melee is +1 you can reroll one dice of choice in the hope of getting a pair. In this example you would reroll one of your sixes or the double four because you can turn it into a success by rolling either a 1, 2 or 3. Or you reroll that extra six so you can roll the same. However if you have a negative point in this stat the DM can let you reroll a dice, forcing you to reroll your 1 hoping it will turn into either a 6 5 or 4. If you get 3 pairs in a single get a critical success and if you get 0 pairs in a single throw you get a critical fail.
In this ruleset the DM hardly ever rolls his dice. He decides beforehand if an enemy is either hard, normal or easy to hit. Damage will be a set number but is based on a number of factors that differ per attack. Attacks like the player can be leveled up and their level multiplies the damage. This means you can go through the campaign leveling a single technique as your signature technique ..but if you are out uses you suddenly do no damage, or you choose a few techniques to give you a wider range of possibilities. Regular kicks and punches and weapon attacks level up with the character level.
As I said transformations would play a role in the game as well. Each race .. and I mean every single one .. has transformation states. Each working a slight bit different than the other. Ape-Men might get a big damage boost, while Cold People will cause necrotic damage and negate damage reduction (necrotic damage will instantly kill you if a player hits 0 hp by it opposed to having a chance to be healed) Humans transformed are allowed to reroll their entire dice pool once or stuff like that. However in a transformed state all spell uses consume double energy. At the beginning of each game all players will be given a destiny to fulfill.. a cryptic description of lines and if the story checks one of them off the player unlocks their transformation.. or the stage beyond. It will help the DM create stories for every character and make sure everyone has a spotlight in the campaign.
Dragon Ball Fantasy
It would be fun to build the world itself, as there is little to no technology there would not be a dragon radar nor a power scouter. Players would have to find tutors to teach them how to sense energies, and discover rumors about the Dragon Ball’s locations. Each race in Dragon Ball would come with a number of roleplaying challenges as well. The Cold-Race not having the ability to feel empathy for example could make for some very interesting roleplay scenarios. Saiyans’ short temper would make them tricky to use and they transform during a full moon, losing control unless they are druids giving an interesting challenge with travel. Though they can just prevent looking at the moon, it would allow for a whole lot of fun roleplay wise.
In the ruleset as well as abilities there would be a lot of focus on reducing your own difficulty or for the DM to give you negative dice. For example if you get attacked and the DM specifies targeting your arm you might lose a specialty in strength/melee while getting a death beam through the lung will hinder you from being mobile. In medieval times a broken arm is also not easily healed so these negative dice can stack up later in dungeons. There will be healing items like Senzu that heal you but how many penalties do you take before healing them all away? You can not use them too early nor too late as damage output is relatively high and a character is fairly fragile. A character needs to be finished off which requires a character to have the cruelty ability..or for the knocked out character being the only viable attack target in an area. Yet overall there is a feeling of stamina… to this world. Your attacks can run out, you can only take so many hits. Cloth will rip, armor will break.
To mimic the style of Dragon Ball, armor and armored cloth is perishable. They have temporary hit points and players can tap into them as a health reserve they can choose to throw on their clothing.. but once gone the armor is destroyed. This makes resources more valuable.. players have to think .. I am in the wild.. I better take damage to myself rather than my armor because I might find healing items but there will not be armor around. In town armor and clothes will be cheaper than herbs and potions and the likes. Slug-folks would often be healers but be a bit xenophobes, so while you’d find a namekian in big towns to help the people there, small towns often miss a healer like that. Maijin’s can heal as well but they would charge a larger amount due to their candy addictions. So the world would be quite interesting to flesh out. Demons would make for the best bard, their get a bonus in charisma and often take the more raunchy jobs like working with a brother.. or owning one. Saibamen are mischievous running around loving to blow stuff up.. fairly regularly blowing themselves up as well.
All in all I think it could be a fantastic setting for a D&D style adventure and I might flesh this whole roleplay set out a bit more! What anime would you love to see work as a tabletop setting? Would you play a Dragon Ball tabletop adventure? What race would you be ? Let me know in the comments! And after some Dragon Ball Zzzzz’s I will be back to answer as well! Because remember, Friendship is Magic but dreams are even more wonderful. Oyasumi!