Become a Bajjutsu Master! [Open Beta]

edited October 2011 in Story Games
Josh Mannon and I have been talking back and forth about this odd idea for a game all week. Now, it's ready to be unveiled!

With this badge, you are a Bajjutsu Master. Compete against other bajjutsu masters in a contest of arcane powers! Ally yourself with a Bajjutsu clan or seek glory on your own! This game is perfect for when you and your friends are at conventions, concerts or other large gatherings.

Here's how to play Bajjutsu Master!

I'll post properly designed cards or stickers for the Techniques soon. I just wanted to share the badge first. :)


  • Nice! Sounds fun. How do you pronounce it? "Bazh Jutsu?" "Buh-jutsu?"

    What would you need cards or stickers for? Looks ready to go to me...
  • David:
    You would have to talk to Andy K. about proper pronunciation but I have been going with 'Badge-utsu" as the name is suppose to represent 'The Art of the Badge'

    We're looking at doing cards and stickers so that players won't need to run their printers out of ink before a con just to take the game with them. Also printed badges would be a bit more durable than a standard home print job.
  • I like it. Clever little game.

    I think you should look at a version of the badges with the art shrunken a bit, designed to fit onto printable business cards. I think a business card would be big enough to hold all the content and look good.

    Done in that way, you can print them out 10 to a page and easily make a bunch for your con friends.
  • Yeah, basically "Bah-jutsu" or "Badge-Utsu".

  • Andy's already found and corrected my egregious Japanese error. I'll post revised graphics tonight, reformatted to horizontal layout suited to the specs of a GenCon badge.
  • The Baj is, as far as I can tell, intended to be Japanese transliteration of "badge". (For extra irony, the latin letter spellings of Japanese are already a transliteration to begin with. So it's a transliteration into a transliteration. Yay.)

    If it were Bajustu it would be less clear. But the double j (which is most likely a violation of word construction rules, but that just makes it funnier) makes the intent more clear.
  • Yep! The word for "badge" (in this sense, not so much for military service badges and the like) is the English loanword Badge, written as bajji (バッジ). Ji is also the first "letter" of Jitsu/Jutsu (ジツ/ジュツ, or simply the kanji 術) so their combination was an inevitability. And the call to make it Bajjutsu over Bajji-Jujutsu has an epic historic precedent in everyday Japanese word-shortening: Pocket Monsters (the official title!) is "Pokemon", Sexual Harrassment is "Seku-Hara", Harris Teeter (grocery store on the East Coast) is known by Japanese locals as "Hari-Chi", etc.

    The double language hat-tip/pun was too juicy to pass up on.

  • Thanks, Andy! I totally just copy-pasted that into the post.

    Also added a call-and-response opening ritual suggested by Ryan Macklin.
  • I think you should also specify that the chant Ba-Ju-Tsu is used to time the pose throwing. (Which is another good thing about the name - 3 syllables, which is traditional for a RPS chant.)
  • You could also specify that people traditionally hold the last pose (or go back into it after resolving their hits and charges) and then go straight into the new pose. This makes it easier to be sure that people are following the "Can't use the same pose twice in a row" rule.
  • We're of the same mind, Rob. When I play Utara, I always teach players to count "Ooh-Tah-Rah" before rolling. Holding poses is a little trickier, for reasons you have noted.
  • Just expanded the HAND VARIANT with the following rules:

    Instead of posing, you can use hand gestures. Cross your fingers to charge. Hold out a flat palm instead to block. Close your fist to attack.

    You can even use your off-hand to keep track of health and charge. When your health meter is at 6, hold your hand so only your thumb and pinky are extended. That is "6." You can count your health down from there using your fingers.

    Keep track of your charge by using your whole arm. When your charge is at "0," let your arm hang naturally. At "1," place your hand on your hip. At "2," place your hand on your stomach. At "3," place your hand on your heart.

    By combining arm positions and hand gestures in this way, you can play Bajjutsu Master anywhere, any time.
  • edited October 2011
    I'm liking the arm jestures for charges but I think I may need a demonstration of the 'six' possition for the fingers.

    The most accomplished Bajjutsu Masters know that the Badge is just a symbol.
  • Bajjutsu Master might make an awesome combat mechanic for a parlor larp.

    I especially like how it looks like it scales up really well, which most combat mechanics don't handle well.

    I'm going to point all the parlor larp folks that I know at it and have them take a look. I think some of them might borrow the mechanic.
  • Looks like a cool take on this game. Back when I played it in middle school it was gun-based, with reloads and grenades and such, but I think the addition of special moves is pretty neat!
  • Posted By: UserCloneI think it'sthis.
    Yup, otherwise known as the "aloha, dude" surfer greeting. This is also how you count past five on one hand in Chinese.
  • Alright, the page is updated with new graphics and a new PDF with a printer-friendly option. Also, this mockup:

  • looks great! I'm going to give it a shot.
  • Put together a prototype last night and snapped some quick pics this morning. I need to adjust some of the indicated fold lines. The front panel is a little too short. Otherwise it works as designed!

    image image
  • Looks great, what sort of printer/paper did you use?
  • For this prototype, just plain ol' printer paper glued together back-to-back.
  • Updated the PDF again so it folds down to 4"x3", the same dimensions as the GenCon badge.
  • I played Bajjutsu Master with my son and some of his fellow cub scouts (and some dads) this past weekend during a campout. It was a good time.

    One thing we discovered - there needs to be a penalty if you throw the same pose twice in a row. So what I had them do was take 1 damage, plus the effect of their pose did not happen. This seemed to work out well and everyone felt that it was fair and made sense.

    Which then also gives rise to possible new powers - the ability to repeat poses.

    You could either do it as 1 power that let you do whatever pose you wanted to whenever you wanted. Or 3 powers - one that let you Attack as often as you wanted, one that let you Defend as often as you wanted, and one that let you Charge as often as you wanted.

    I haven't tried those out to have a clear sense of how those would work and how they would be used.

    I can say that Healing Wind and Fire Form were chosen far and away the most often.

    However, we played a lot of the games without powers. Because we always played without powers when someone was learning for the first time. And the game is still very fun that way.

    I love how close the games are. Blocking turns out to be more important than I originally assumed. Successfully blocking a charged up attack seems to be pretty much the big key to winning, though of course you need to be attacking as well.

    One thing that is a little weird about Healing Wind - do you decide whether to attack or heal? And if so, when do you decide? Cause if you can wait until after you see your opponents are blocking and then decide to heal yourself, that's hugely powerful and probably broken (because, like I said, successfully blocking a charged up attack is the key to a win). If the power is automatically used whenever you have a charge, but you do a regular attack only when you do not have a charge, then that needs to be made more clear.
  • I just realized that unlimited Blocks would be really bad. So I guess a repeat technique should only let you do a pose 2 times in a row, but not 3. Then it would work, I think.
  • Hey Rob,

    I'm glad you guys had a good time but I think you may have been miss reading some of the rules. The one that stuck out most to me was the way you were using Healing Wind Technique. With Healing Wind you cannot heal yourself and you cannot attack. That Technique more than the others is really only useful if you are playing clan vs. clan. You also sounded like there might have been some confusion about the rule that you can only throw the same sign twice but it wasn't clear if you were using that rule or not.
  • Honestly? I'm thinking about removing Healing Wind entirely. It's the most problematic of all the Techniques.
  • You can heal yourself if you're the only one left...
  • Hey Josh, I added some exceptions to that technique when used in melee and if you're the last player left. That may have caused the Technique to become overpowered. :P
  • Ah I hadn't seen the change. My mistake :)
  • Healing Wind says it works when you attack and you have a charge. So I figured that, at the very least, when you attack with no charge you do damage - the technique doesn't say otherwise.
  • But yeah. It looks like I misread the part that says "No player may take the same pose more than twice in a row."

    I read it as "You may not take the same pose twice in a row."

    Interesting. That changes things a lot, actually. I'll have to try that a few times and see how it plays.

    I still think there needs to be a specific penalty if you throw the same pose more times than is allowed. Do over is a boring solution.
  • Head's up! The text and graphics for Bajjutsu Master are now under Creative Commons licenses.
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