Every now and then, it comes a time when you feel like creating your own special style of combat, your own unique Tnd special fighting style. It may be Taijutsu Styles, Kenjutsu Styles or any other weapon styles. these styles vary and basically include any type of additional fighting style that fits either within the hand to hand combat or the weapon based combat.
These fighting styles, aptly named Custom Fighting styles or shortened to CFS, are fast becoming a cornerstone of the Customs System with several members creating their own styles and trading or learning other CFS. These styles often range in method of usage, several styles that are rooted in Taijutsu primarily yet utilize a sub category along with it existing, such as Nintaijutsu or Gentaijutsu.
Many RPers at this stage have submitted their own CFS's for approval, yet only a small amount have been approved. This is largely due to many members submissions being either:
1. Too powerful;
2. Makes little sense/inconsistent;
3. Can be done via canon jutsu or through simple freeform movements; or
4. Are Modes/elements/abilities attempted as fighting styles.
Normally members have to rack their mind to attempt to find ways to eliminate one or more of these issues in their re-submissions, but often fail to correct these problems correctly on their own but now, fret no more! With this guide, I'll try to show you how to create an approvable and awesome CFS!
Disclaimer: Following this guide alone does not always guarantee a CFS will be approved. The checker of a CFS reserves the right to decline any submission he feels does not uphold the requirements and reserves the right to state why it was declined, or omit this reason at his own discretion.
First and foremost, before we actually dive into the creation process, it is important that the actual template of a style is known and understood well as lack of knowledge here could cause your submission to become declined easily. This is the starting point for every CFS submission created and without this, one cannot go anywhere with their submission. So, let's begin!
There are several different types of CFS that can be created, each with it's own benefits and drawbacks. As stated before, these types range greatly and allow one to create a truly unique style. While diverse, all styles can and must be able to fall in one of two main categories: Weapon based styles or Taijutsu based styles. Without one of the two, your style already is not approvable. Under these two fields, there exist several categories, which I will list below with a small explanation of each and it's relation to a fighting style, starting with Taijutsu.
➔ Taijutsu: Pure hand to hand combat, CFS based solely on taijutsu are often brutish styles though not always. These styles are generally less versatile in terms of usage but allow quicker and smoother execution, the lack of chakra fueling most jutsus making them ideal for those who prefer the art of taijutsu in it's rawest form. However, this style has it's limits and drawbacks, as it is often difficult to create a style based solely on it that has yet to be made or cannot be done via canon or freeform jutsu. Example: Canon Strong Fist
➔ Nintaijutsu: A step up from the previous type, Nintaijutsu allows the user a much wider umbrella to create styles, using Ninjutsu concepts along with hand to hand combat for effective means. This can range from chakra enhanced attacks to elemental, specifically aimed attacks to much broader and obscure styles. This type allows much more versatility than the latter, but it also suffers from a drawback as well: given how one describes their style, if one doesn't make mention to specific things, such as elemental chakra, then one will not be able to utilize it with his style. Example: Madara Uchiha's Surge of Murderous Intent CFS
➔ Gentaijutsu: One of the more difficult fields to execute effectively, Gentaijutsus are the art of weaving taijutsu with genjutsu. A broad field, this art potentially can be used to create truly unique and amazing CFS, casting illusions as you mentally and physically destroy the opponent. However, just as the others, there exist a flaw with these styles: Unable to utilize ninjutsu alongside these fields, the range and effectiveness is often lower than Nintaijutsu, but are more ideal for recon and restricting an opponent in battle. Example: Lili-Chwan's Surreal Palm CFS
➔ Fuuintaijutsu: The art of combining Fuuinjutsu alongside Taijutsu, Fuuintaijutsus are often more advanced in nature than any of the previously stated subtypes, it's abilities ranging more than the other fields and as such, so do the weaknesses and strengths of it. Example: Wesobi's Sealing Fist
➔ Kekkei Genkei based taijutsu: Technically a subset of Nintaijutsu, this field ranges as much as Fuuintaijutsu does, it's weaknesses/strengths being based on the KG utilized alongside the style. Example: FeeLPaiN's Machinery CFS
➔ Bukijutsu: The art of using a weapon in combat, CFS Based on Bukijutsu aren't plentiful as execution of them is often time difficult. These styles would consist of using weapons to deal attacks, making them often times faster than using Ninjutsu based attacks and due to the nature of weapons, they also allow you to extend your attacking range, some weapons allowing an extension up to Long Range. Example: Canon Kenjutsu
➔ Genbukijutsu: Creating genjutsu through the usage of weapons, these genjutsus allow one to extend the range of his illusions and the effectiveness of his weapons, ranging from casting genjutsus via movement of weapons to contact with a weapon causing an illusion. Covering the range flaw in Gentaijutsu based styles, Genbukijutsu styles have their own subsequent drawbacks, often times being difficult to utilize Ninjutsu based attacks with these attacks.
➔ Ninbukijutsu: The art of utilizing Ninjutsu with weapons, Ninbukijutsu's usages are wide. Ranging from creating raw chakra enhanced creations around a weapon to generating Elemental Ninjutsu around the weapons. Weaknesses of these styles, vary. If one doesn't make a mention to specific Ninjutsu applications, such as using Elemental Ninjutsu, then it will not be allowed. Example: Souji's Way of the Bolas
➔ Fuuinbukijutsu: Combining Fuuinjutsu seals with weapons, the user is able to create a wide array of effects due to it's advanced nature. But due to this advanced nature, the drawbacks vary as well, depending on the styles themselves. Example: N/A
Backgrounds, despite being relatively simple, are important to the style itself for several reasons: The background sets the identity of a style. While seeming purely superficial, these backgrounds make up the creation of your style and from a RP standpoint, are as important as the name itself. Those with a flair for creative writing might find enjoyment out of writing background information for styles.
In addition to this, your background details how the style was formed and why, often giving information about a style there. An important point should be noted: If one makes mention to an ability in the background information yet makes no further clarification or reference in the actual Abilities part, then it will be considered as inconsistent and declined automatically.
The most important part of the submission, this is the part where the abilities and skills of a CFS are to be explained and listed. This part of the submission will fall under the most scrutiny and will need to be thoroughly explained in all facets. The abilities of the style most always be consistent with the background and the type of CFS it is. One cannot list a style as, for example, Gentaijutsu but details a style based on using Elemental Ninjutsu in the abilities section. One must also remember to not simply just try to post a collection of customs, abilities, or modes nor is it a way to create an alternate means for making hand seals and new methods of casting genjutsu. Styles must be coherent and make sense logically together; A style that states it is able to enhance the user's speed on any multiplying factor (1.5x, 2x, etc) or styles that state similar effects for Reaction/Tracking levels aren't generally allowed. However, in some cases it may be allowed depending on the CFS's methods of usage, though this itself is very rare.
Under this section, the submitter is to post example jutsus of the style that you intend to create once the style itself is approved. These example jutsu submitted most follow CJ rules, including naming methods and other parts. While it may be seen as superficial and useless, these jutsus demonstrate how one intends to use the style and putting it to actual use.
Additional Effects and Restrictions:
The last section, this is generally used to explain things such as the ranking system of the style as well as other effects granted. Common effects are increased agility, speed and strength when compared to the average Strong Fist user. Restrictions are often listed as well, such as the rank one needs to be at to start training as well as restrictions based on the type of style the CFS is. For example, if you create a Gentaijutsu CFS, then one must have mastered Genjutsu and Taijutsu before they can submit/learn the style.
Now that we've discussed all the parts to a style, let's talk about actually putting one together! Most times when you are thinking of making a CFS, you already have a general idea of what you want the style to be ( if not, this is a good time to think! ). At it's rawest form, what is it based on? Taijutsu? Combining Taijutsu with Elemental Ninjutsu? What makes it so unique that it differs from normal Taijutsu or Weapon Based jutsu that requires it to have it's own unique style? These are the first questions that you should be able to answer. If you cannot find good answers to these, then you need to put more work into your idea for it to work. Once a general idea is settled on, further research should be done before actual creation is done. This means looking through the pages of the thread to see if someone else has had this idea before you or something similar to it. If you don't see anything remotely close, then it's a sign that it might be a good idea that is certainly unique. After that, the brainstorming process begins!
It's ideal to write down all possible ideas that you have related to the CFS and the ideas that make sense together should be grouped together. At this part, it is highly advisable to try not to just add abilities together just for the sake of having a CFS, as it will likely be declined. It should be unique enough to be a fighting style and not just a slightly better elemental Taijutsu. Inversely, it shouldn't have so much added to it that it seems like it's just ability after ability. Finding this balance is often times a big problem for people, which is why a large portion of CFS are declined each cycle. At this stage, a few more questions should be asked; can this be done via normal customs? Does this really need to be a CFS?
Developing the Style
After you have gathered your thoughts on what you would like out of a CFS, you are ready to start actually writing it! By now, you should have divided all the ideas you have written down into different "groups", like things that are possible, things that arent possible with your style, what ideas are too powerful to allow, and other things like that. Taking the ones that you think would make the style great, you start a rough draft of the style. Granted, this is generally the hardest part for some because they have all these great ideas but don't know how to put them together. First, you should always start from the base, what ties the entire style together. For example, if I were to create a style based on a long bō staff that could detach into two smaller jō staffs. Combining it with, for example, Genjutsu could allow me to cast illusions through contact with the opponent. However, upon reading through the past submissions, I'd find that this would be done already, namely by Whip Arts which induce a genjutsu through physical contact with a weapon. I'd go back to the drawing board and scrap this idea before landing on using those bo staffs with elemental taijutsu and Bukijutsu.
With all the ideas listed that one could go with, it becomes time to further develop the style. Starting by taking the ideas that make the most sense in relation to the style, one should look at it from the point of view as the checker and ask themselves questions such as "Would I approve this with a clear conscious? Does this seem like it's just ability hoarding?" Questions like that should be asked to ensure that your style isn't too powerful or plausible. A good rule of thumb is that a style shouldn't have more than 2-3 abilities, or unique traits, associated with it and even then, it should logically make sense in relation to the style. Example being having a Wind based CFS that allows the user to coat his fingers with wind for sharper punches that grant piercing capabilities but also grants the user a heightened tracking ability. These wouldn't make much sense in relation to one another as the Wind is merely enhancing damage or effectiveness of the punches, but it doesn't logically give any reason why you should have increased tracking.
Another important facet of developing the style is wording and execution. There have been many a CFS submitted that have a great idea and base, but are declined due to poor wording and bad execution of said idea. How you word a style is the most important part of making the style. It can make or break any style. You should keep from writing filler lines or unnecessary parts, like over explanations of minor parts of the style or repeating sections. There isn't any reason to take 3 paragraphs to detail how a punch is supposed to be thrown for example but at the same time, a style shouldn't be condensed into one paragraph. Moderation is key, you should write enough to the point the style is explained, but not so much that it becomes overly worded ( seriously, I'll decline a wall of text and tell you to condense it! ). You should always be sure to clearly write what you are trying to achieve with a CFS. For example, if you want to create a style that utilizes Elemental Ninjutsu, then in the description of the style, you should be sure to clearly write about using Elemental Ninjutsu and not just Ninjutsu. In addition to this, proper English should be used and if it isn't your native tongue, don't hesitate in asking a friend to proofread it for you; be sure to find one who won't just be your "yes man" and tell you it looks good because they want to learn it.
Restrictions and Effects
Another important facet to understand is that restrictions should always be appropriate to a style. This means that if your style is rooted in Taijutsu usage, then Taijutsu should be mastered, or rather training completed. This also means submissions based around using Ninjutsu, Fuuinjutsu, Genjutsu, etc - any field that is utilized in a CFS has to have been previously mastered before submitted. The restrictions section is also used to list and detail other limitations of the style. These could be things such as the various ranks within the style, other requirements of the style that must be met to learn it and other things.
In addition to restrictions, a CFS can grant unique effects to practitioners. A very common effect is "Users of this art have slightly better reflexes, increased agility, when compared to Strong Fist users", commonly seen in many styles. What this means is that the user of the style generally has better reflexes and agility compared to a strong fist user. This doesn't mean that users gain an increase in damage or speed from a CFS; these effects are generally not allowed and are grounds for automatic declining of the style. Speed boosts and multipliers are also treated the same, having a 2x or 1.5x or even a + 3 speed levels effect is generally not allowed, only on rare occasions has this been allowed and even then, it wasn't something that was welcomed with open arms. Tracking boosts are also a touchy subject. Most are simply added just for the sake of having increased tracking and make no sense with the CFS, so it's something that is also not recommended.
While many treat this as unimportant and basically just write quick jutsus for the style, it should be noted that a CFS can and will be declined if the example jutsu are very poorly constructed. The Jutsu should be the epitome of the CFS, the idea put into effect. If you word a brilliant CFS but the example jutsu you post are sketchy and poorly made, then the checker will be less likely to approve it because how you intend to use it is poorly done. The example jutsu should abide by current CFS and CJ rules, as if you were to submit them that very day. In addition to this, it should always be in accordance to the style itself. There was a style previously submitted that had example jutsu with nothing to do with the style, a mistake more often than not surprisingly. If you have a style based in Nintaijutsu, then an example jutsu shouldn't be rooted in Gentaijutsu as it creates a clear inconsistency that can't be approved. A decent CFS should be able to create at least 3 example jutsu with varied uses. If you cant come up with 3 example uses, then your CFS will likely be hard to create ideas for and will likely not be approved.
Backgrounds of a style are very important, as noted above. You should always be consistent with your style when writing the background. You cannot, for example, start talking about how the style was created as a way to combine Genjutsu and Taijutsu when the style is rooted in Bukijutsu, or Weapon Arts. It creates an inconsistency. Also it should be noted that any additional abilities listed in your background but arent clarified or expanded upon in the Description section will prompt a declination. Your background should always tell a story, a story about how the style was created and why. It should always be entertaining as well as informative. A sentence or two isn't good but an essay about it isn't as well. A good general rule of thumb is that a background should not be longer than the Description itself.
Naming the Style
While this may seem trivial in relation to other parts of the style, it should be noted that names have a sense of importance. A style wont be allowed an update simply for a name change, for example. If you have a name and later feel it is inadequate and that a better name would suffice, you will be sadly let down. It's ideal to create a theme to go with the CFS, as it allows you a base to tie all the jutsus together and just makes it all sound better. The names should also make sense in relation to what the CFS does. You can't have a CFS named Ranged Bladed Assassin Arts if you are using a close range war fan based style.
In conclusion, there is a lot of work that goes into a CFS. While this guide doesn't cover everything explicitly, it should assist in the process of making a competent style. Of course, the rest lies with you, the creator. I hope that with this guide, better submissions will come to be submitted, allowing for a greater level of diversity within the RP's Custom system. With all this in mind, have fun submitting!