Author Topic: 17 Things We Came Up With In Word Association  (Read 664 times)

Jubal

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17 Things We Came Up With In Word Association
« on: August 17, 2018, 09:49:14 PM »
17 Things We Came Up With In Word Association
By Jubal

Exilian has had a game of word association running since 2008. That's not to say we've had various games but always had one running: we're still literally going on with exactly the same chain as we were doing then. A decade on, I've decided it's time to finally put all that word associating to good use, so I've combed the most recent hundred or so pages (out of nearly one and a half thousand at time of writing) and picked three word phrases that actually seemed to hint at an interesting or fun concept generated by the random associations between the words. And then I've tried to usefully(ish) define them... without further ado, here's our first list of seventeen concepts generated by word association!



Body Double (or) Nothing
The gambit where someone uses two body doubles, and themselves just disappears as best as they are able to. This is actually a pretty fun gambit to pull in a story or game, though it risks being unfair to the players/reader if you're encouraging them to guess which is which without managing to drop any hints that something is up with both of them. If it pays off, the body doubled person can retreat into private life and let their doubles deal with everything from now on. If it fails, someone has a lot of explaining to do.

(The) Brain Fart Machine
It's a button that produces fart noises that also temporarily knock out the conscious brain functions of anyone within hearing distance who isn't wearing earplugs. Perfect for your nefarious but amusingly toilet humour themed scheming villain mastermind, and a great laugh at parties.

Christmastide Pods
Tide pods have come under fire for looking far too much like some sort of candy, tempting children to eat them. Behold the christmastide pod, which fixes the real problem here - that tide pods are insufficiently seasonal - by making tide pods shaped like candy canes and chocolate santas, so you can fret about your children accidentally poisoning themselves at the festive time of year as well!

Coat (of) Arms Race
ONLY THE FANCIEST SHALL CLAIM VICTORY. This is basically the genteel (or at least heavily marriage-focussed) medieval and early modern European version of an arms race, in which the actual goal is to get the most ridiculously over the top coat of arms possible. The best thing is that if you win, you probably also win the actual arms race because you're intermarried with so many of the other royal families of Europe that nobody can declare war on you for fear of your aunt Eugenia's withering gaze.

I, Robot Overlord
So this is a film pitch that's kind of like I, Robot, except with less subtlety and more skynet. Alternatively you could set it up so that's what people expect but then play it like I, Claudius, and have an unwilling robot overlord who just wants to play minesweeper on her but instead has to look after all these bizarre, badly constructed hormonally driven meatbags all the time, which she attempts to do with grace and kindness but ultimately will tragically fail at because humans are rubbish.

Kill-switch Bait
Something you use to persuade someone to throw a kill switch at an inopportune moment to shut down some machinery. If the person throwing the kill switch is a decent human being, kill switch bait could involve persuading them that a human or animal has become trapped in the machinery, or revealing that if the machinery finishes its task then innocent people will suffer. Alternatively, it could involve something else the operator cares about getting in the way of the machinery, or simply some sufficiently urgent alternative matter to attend to.

Lighthouse Arrest
It's kinda like house arrest, but they put the person in a lighthouse, perhaps in order to keep them away from humanity and potential rescue, perhaps as a punishment in and of itself. Lighthouses are definitely under-used settings, perhaps because people don't think of them so much nowadays, but the glowing tower atop rocks in a dark ocean definitely has a certain intrinsic mystique, and someone under lighthouse arrest may be a good way of leveraging that.

Moon Cheese Knives
I mean, how else would you eat your moon cheese? The fact that Wallace and Gromit forgot to pack any is an atrocity. A handy random but funny inventory for any space computer game you might be making - especially if it turns out that they're actually capable of cutting and peeling literal moon rock for some purpose or other.

Paradise Bird (of) Prey
Birds of Paradise look fabulous. It's pretty much their whole deal: their name is a synonym for looking fancy, and the names of the different species bear it out too, from the Crescent-Caped Lophorina to the King of Saxony Bird to Princess Stephanie's Astrapia, they're royalty in the world of birds. But there also merely fabulous. Enter the Paradise Bird of Prey, with ridiculously long tail feathers, iridescent wings, a probable link to European aristocracy, and razor sharp talons that will kick the ass of any animal stupid enough to get in its way. The Paradise Bird of Prey will not only shred everything you care about, it will make you look underdressed whilst it does so even if you're wearing a ballgown at the time.

People Power Outage
I can best imagine this phrase being used by a really melodramatic villain after rounding up a bunch of protestors under cover of darkness: "my, my, we seem to have had a little... people power outage across the city". (Cue street lights all shutting off, people getting bundled into vans, etc). Definitely a fun catchphrase to accompany a coup near you.

Personhoodwinked
The state of having been fooled into thinking that an inanimate object was a legal person. The person who just left their worldly wealth to a tree? Personhoodwinked. The person who thought the vending machine was capable of delivering legal judgements via fortune cookie? Personhoodwinked. The person who told a crowd that corporations were people? Uhm... in any case, it's a fun name for a concept that apparently actually exists in real life.

(The) Playtime Machine
It's a limited time machine that temporarily takes you back to your less-than-ten year old self in a playground setting. Potentially has both serious and silly ramifications that one could explore. It could definitely work as a joke concept for a humorous sci-fi setting, but it could also provide some interesting opportunities for exploring the characters' childhood settings and personalities in a more semi-serious one.

Robin-Hoodwink
The act of fooling someone into doing a good act that they otherwise wouldn't have intended to do, especially if it involves the rich giving money to the poor. The classic modus operandi of Chaotic Good characters everywhere.

Ruby Redcap
A redcap is of course a deadly pixie-type creature from the Scots borders, known for dyeing their hats red in the blood of their victims. The ruby redcap is, I guess, the advanced or more powerful member of them - possibly with magic powers emanating from a pulsing blood-red stone set into (or worn as a bauble on the end of, for real comedy-horror) their cap. If a normal redcap is bad enough, flinging rocks at strangers and murdering travellers who venture into its cave, how bad would the ruby redcap - more civilised, more cunning, capable of forethought malice and equipped with a lust for blood rather than merely a passive grudge against humanity - be?

(The) Shipwright Brothers
Ah, have you not heard the tales of the Shipwright Brothers, inventors of the ship? These great pioneers came from nowhere to discover that wood floats on water and were the first to manage a powered sailing voyage of over five hundred yards! Miraculous! Not to be confused with their lesser known cousins, the Cartwright Brothers.

Unchained Melody Pond
This is basically just a significantly cooler alternative way to refer to River Song from Doctor Who.

Weather Control Freak
You know that person who is constantly complaining about the most minor details of the weather, and shouting at weather presenters who declare the weather will be doing something they don't like? The one who probably doesn't even have an excuse like being a gardener, overly pale, on a sports team, or irredeemably British? Weather control freak, right there. If they're ever in a D&D game, they'll be playing a cleric and blowing half their spell slots on ensuring the right level of sunshine for a picnic every damned evening; in real life, they're out there on Facebook screaming that they needed a mood lift this afternoon and a stray cloud just ruined everything. If you don't know who this person is in your life, it might be you.



And that's your lot! If you liked this article, let me know and I'll dig back and write another one! If you didn't, let me know and we shall never speak of this dark and unhallowed hour again. The choice is yours! Stay tuned regardless though - we're going to have some other great articles in the coming weeks, including the continuation of Tar-Palantir's excellent and rather more serious Cartload of Cartography. Until then, take care!
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

Tusky

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Re: 17 Things We Came Up With In Word Association
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2018, 04:34:03 PM »
Very nice! I wouldn't mind reading some more.

My favourite was Coat (of) Arms Race, sounds like something out of Terry Pratchett.

Followed closely by Robin Hoodwink and Weather Control Freak. For the latter I liked the thought that such a person has an equally pedantic DM that is constantly describing the minutiae of the weather, and not getting fed up of this person wanting to adjust it
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Jubal

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Re: 17 Things We Came Up With In Word Association
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 05:03:16 PM »
Yeah, I've got literally hundreds more pages of Word Association to look through and get more ideas from and these are quick to write, so more is likely :)
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...