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Dragon Ball Z Transformations

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  • Dragon Ball Z Transformations

    So I've been kicking around the idea of running a Dragon Ball Z campaign for some time now. In most respects, M&M seems like the perfect system for the high-powered, over-the-top action of the series, but there's one problem that I keep stumbling over--transformations, like the various Super Saiyan levels. Specifically, how those transformations interact with Power Level, which is the major balancing factor of this entire game. Sure, you could take Super Saiyan as an alternate form, but since the whole idea of DBZ transformations is that they increase the character's overall combat ability, that basically just means that the character is underpowered until they transform. It makes the transformation feel like more of a restriction than an advantage. True, this is basically how they worked later in the series (from the Cell saga on), but I wanted to treat it more like the Frieza saga and early android saga, where transforming actually felt special and important.

    I thought about using the Holding Back flaw from Hero High, but if anything, that seems a little too powerful. Four whole power levels? Even if it is only under extenuating circumstances, that is just way too much power for 1-6 PP.

    Something else I considered was just having each player make two versions of their characters--one at PL 10, and another at PL 12. The PL 12 version would be their transformed state, and they'd only be able to access that power when dramatically appropriate (i.e., when the GM says so). It's basically like giving everyone a reduced version of Holding Back for free.

    Surely someone here on the forums has run a DBZ campaign before. How did you handle it?
    "In the real world, we tell Chuck Norris jokes. In the DCU, they tell Amanda Waller jokes."

  • #2
    That's basically how it would work. The GM decides when someone can transform and operate at a higher PL. Or, to look at it another way, you build the characters at their highest PL, and then put parts of their power into separate "Transformation packages" that add to their stats and powers. The GM can give everybody rules for how many power points and PL can be in each of these packages, and then you don't worry about Flaws or the like because everybody has the same setup (Complication could work, of course, since there will be times when you will want to transform, and it's dramatically appropriate, but your player is being prevented, so they get a Hero Point from the GM).
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