Dragon ball issues part 2

One of the main issues with creating a dragonball based rpg is the source material itself. Roleplaying games are a very social event, where many players are involved. Traditionally the storyteller/ gm creates a scenario and the players use their creativity to solve the problem. Dragon ball is not team focused. Each time a big bad arrives, the heroes usually get destroyed and one character stands up to the threat alone. Most battles in fact are one on one. In order to look at this game, you have to consider not doing dragon ball as it is alone.

What you need to do is take the flavor of dragon ball. Maybe you want large epic battles with heroes and villains who can shatter mountains and fly at super sonic speeds.  An example of how heroes this powerful work together is actually DC super heroes.  Epic 1 on 1 battles are just not very fun when it comes to role playing so the entire structure must be considered. For a dbz style game, there has to be teams of fighters battling. That is why I mentioned DC. Many times teams of villains fight teams of heroes. Something like that has to be present for a social event like an rpg. I am currently working on a way you can have a single super boss without outclassing one or more players to the point where they cant hit anything.

One issue I have with the source is that humans are essentially to be discarded. A lot of how dragon ball z works is that an alien saves the day. Not very many examples exist of human martial artists besting the villian are available. The issue with this is that the game sets you up to fail. In order to become better than a human (for example a sayian) you have to roll a 2 on 2d6. What this leads to is 90% of the group gets to play humans, who will eventually be worked out of the story. My suggestion (and something I wish to consider for my rewrite) is to find a way to keep all players involved.  If the game has mixed humans and aliens, find a way to keep the heroes in the game. Toriyama himself said that the only reason he came up with the Kami and Piccalo fuzion was because he wanted android 17 and Piccalo to be on even grounds.  Secret items and training techniques might save the day. For example, sacred holy water in dragon ball, perhaps a new strain of senzu bean could be developed to enhance benefits of natural trainning? Maybe you could avoid humans entirely and play a heroic Sayian campaign. That way, when someone becomes a super sayian, the other players would work even harder so they all can get to that level. Maybe you could play low level enough to avoid super sayains entirely.

These are some of my considerations while I am working on my rewrite. If anyone wants to drop a line and discuss, please let me know. If anyone has any good suggestions, I am also all ears.

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6 Comments

  1. My friend Mr. Wiggles and I created a grand series of house rules for the game, to the point where we’ve rewritten the rules several times. I’ve recently been trying to get back to using Instant Fuzion at least in part, and so have been spending the last week or so trying to work something out.

    We made several modifications to the races.

    Humans got discounts when learning new techniques, and we created Super and Hyper transformations for them as slightly weaker variants of Super Saiyan 1 and 2. They were also capable of creating their own transformations, using such things as the Split Form technique for ideas. We also made Split Form cost no ki, but rather divide your Characteristics by the number of forms you made. More attacks per round more cheaply, but weaker overall.

    Saiyans gained the ability to survive until their hit points reached HP x -1, and used that to tone down their near death boost. For every damage point that brought them into the negatives, they gained an extra experience point.

    Overall, humans ended up pretty well-balanced against the other races. That wasn’t nearly the extent of the changes we made, of course. For instance, we completely took out Power Level and Power Up, though I’m thinking of how to bring them back without them being a random factor. Somehow basing them on stats and skills feels much more appropriate, but also seems completely impossible to accomplish while keeping the numbers right.

    • Those are some great ideas. i love the power level and power up system in this game, but i do see where some issues can result. For instance, players becoming upset if other heroes power level is higher. I am trying to decide what to do with transformations and what to do with deadly effect under my new rules. I think I will take a page from your book and create transformations for other races. I may just release what I have shortly since transformations do not occur until late play anyway.

      • Here are some of the transformations I use:

        Split Form – Divides PL and HP by the number of bodies you end up with.

        Kaioken – PL x2, HP /2. Stacks with itself by adding to the multiplier/divisor.

        Super Form – Phys, Com, Move x2.5, good for any races it seems neat for. Mostly saiyans and humans.

        Hyper Form – Phys, Com, Move x5, next step up from Super Form.

        It’d be easy enough to make more for nameks: Growth could just be a multiplier to Physical.

        Icers are effectively taken care of already, though I prefer to see their ‘fourth form’ as being the species base form, with other forms being suppressions of their power. Creating suppressed forms would let you decrease your Power Level for the purposes of experience gain. Or you could just keep them the way they are and have them learn new forms from where they begin.

        As for Deadly Effect, I have it triple the overall cost of a technique and let it totally ignore all Deflections and Defense. It simplifies the effect, keeps it significantly expensive, and Evasion can still overcome it. But if they get hit they’re totally screwed, even from a weak attack.

  2. Dang, you are on fire! I love the Icer rule. It keeps the numbers from getting out of hand and in my opinion, it feels more inline with how I envisioned Icers. Have you seen the Llec saga manuscript? The author had some great ideas on how to do Kaioken as well as how to do rapid fire.

    • I’ve actually been referencing that Llec book as I make my techniques list. Apparently he also wrote the third official book (the Garlic Jr./Trunks/Android Saga), though I need to get hold of my copy again and check. His name is Christian Conkle, and I’ve been using his documents for Fuzion games for the last ten years. The guy’s pretty amazing. He also wrote Dragonball ZX, which is another document I’ve been using as reference.

      • I have been using the Llec saga, dragonball zx, and all 3 official books to recreate the system. I think I will post what I have either tonight or tomorrow and if you are willing, you can help me refine it. It wont be official by any means, but at least we can say we made a broken game much less broken, and by extension, funner.

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