Words and Chaos

Month: October, 2013

Word Clusters #3

Another month, another list. Here it is:


  • Measuring Spoons Timeframe Abominable
  • Foggy Pigs Shaft
  • Sucked Angelology Commotion
  • Theorists Lives Glide
  • Lighthouses Man Naughty
  • Macedonian Sub-Culture Unruly
  • Portrayed Chisel
  • Nougat Gorge Wiccans
  • Enlightened Hatchlings Illuminating
  • Imbecile Disco Adorned


One to Watch: Path of Exile

Path of Exile is indie developer, Grinding Gear Games’ grimdark Action RPG. Set on the continent of Wraeclast, you play – as you might expect – an exile. There are seven in total, each with their individual stories and strengths.

What sets Path of Exile apart from other ARPGs is the scale of the character building potential. If you’re the type of person that loved experimenting with new build ideas in games like Diablo II, you will not find a better game for in-depth build customization.

Gone are the typical pre-set ‘hit a level and gain an ability’ mechanics. Gone is the long slog down a semi-linear tree, so widely present in ARPGs for decades. Path of Exile’s skill gem system widens, drastically, the kinds of ability combinations and skills that a character can use. Nor is the tree a set of linear paths, but instead presents a wide web of nodes that can be shared and crossed over between classes.  ‘Experiment as much as you want! Be innovative!’ says Grinding Gear Games. Did you want to play a Marauder with a wand, who summons zombies? Go ahead. Did you want a berserker Witch, carving through enemies with a poleaxe? Go ahead. Did you want to be a holy warrior with a passion for drinking blood and setting people on fire? Go ahead.

And finally, Grinding Gear Games has gone the extra mile by releasing the game as a free digital download. A game that is widely considered to be what Blizzard’s Diablo III should have been, is going for free. More than that, it’s not pay-to-win. There’s a cosmetic item shop and few add-ons, but none of the essentials have been chopped out of the game.  You can’t buy power.

If you have any interest in Action RPGs, and are looking for something new, you really should check this one out. A word of warning: it may consume vast chunks of your time.

Path of Exile Website

Tea. Noun.

A transitional location for biscuits.

An explanation

Eccentricities Dialogue Acres
Shale Scribe
Hasn’t Corgi Prolonged
Hang Gliding Violate Thousandth
Covered Wings
Booking Organize Spider-form
Ornament Fledgling Stands
Ironside Irony Hunter
Drawings Chilblain Disillusioned
Untangle Scriptural Insistence

I post these lists up every month, I plan to keep at it, but I think I’d like to give an example of what I’d do with one in terms of outlining a plot, or scene, or whatever. I’m a writer, so I’m going to use this as a very vague plot outline/idea generator. Basically showing how a person might go about getting something out of these seemingly nonsensical word-clusters and how you can work with them.  I hope this is useful to someone.

I would immediately reorder ‘Eccentricities Dialogue Acres’ into ‘Dialogue eccentricities acres’. From that I would draw the idea that, in a very small region they have odd slightly odd ways of speaking.

Shale scribe – gives me a person who carves plaques from stone, or perhaps this is would be set far enough back from paper – perhaps this person is just writing on rock because paper, or parchment, isn’t available yet. It’s best to work out the details after the base outline has been figured – and don’t worry about the specifics if necessary. I don’t know that shale would be a good rock to carve things into, plaque wise – so I’d change the rock used. Something better for chiseling. It’s at least one character.

‘Hasn’t Corgi Prolonged’ – that’s madness for now, so we’ll come back to it, and perhaps just discard it entirely. Though it does raise the question of where a dog comes into this, and what’s prolonged – or not. We’ll see what happens.

‘Hang Gliding Violate Thousandth’ – Thousandth Hang Glider violated. Perhaps this is another character. How are they violated? Rape might be the obvious jump, but let’s not go there for the moment. Questions: Who the fuck is hang gliding in this small area, with eccentric speech patterns, and stone carvers.

Covered wings – implies that the ‘hang gliders’ are, perhaps, not the traditional hang gliders. An Icarus style scenario is unfolding, Or becomes part of the equation. Could you put this one in Ancient Greece if you wanted? Up to you. Where are they trying to glide to? Why? What’s ‘violating’ them?

Organise Booking Spiderform – a meeting with a shape-changer? Have we crossed into Marvel-land and has Peter Parker wandered into the scene? Something is going on involving some kind of future arrangement with an arachnid-esque creature or person. Why? Is this the ‘violator’ of the hang gliders? How are these related? Where does the stone crafter come into this?

Ornament fledgeling stands – a stone statue of a bird chick. Made by the plaque maker in their spare time? I would, perhaps, just take this setting  fluff, along with the localised speech eccentricities at this point.

Ironside Irony Hunter – A hunter, perhaps a particularly hardy one with a soft spot for noting ironies in any given situation. Another character.

Disillusioned Chilblains Drawings – Chilblains is a medical condition – often confused with frostbite or trenchfoot, according to Wikipedia. Implies a winter setting. Someone has Chilblains. Drawings – perhaps our stone carver has been wandering about in the cold too long? Let’s go with that. They’re not very happy about the affliction. Expect a grumpy bastard.

Untangle scriptural insistence
Some kind of religious aspect to the story. A conflict of beliefs. How does it fit, what’s the religion? Who knows. But for now here’s what you’ve got to work with:

A small area, probably with a lot of mountains or cliffs, in winter.
The locals speak strangely, they don’t have access to paper, there’s a statue of bird chicks, and there’s some kind of religion present.

The Stonecarver with Chilblains.
A violated ‘skydiver’/person attempting to fly.
A hunter with a love for irony
A spider-thing that’s meeting with someone for some reason – possibly the violation of hang gliders.

There’s probably a priest(ess?) around, given the religion, and someone doesn’t like them.

We’ll discard the dog for sake of brevity. That or discard “hasn’t”, and take ‘prolonged corgi’ as ‘old dog’. So somewhere in this there’s an old dog.

So take the bizarre mishmash of characters, setting, and find reasons, desires, whatever you’ve got out of the process, and make something out of them. Figure out how they all come together. Or just abandon all of this take a more regular route to an idea. This is pretty shoddy, vague, and full of holes, but it came together off the top of my head, in about 30 minutes. But it’s a good enough illustration for what I might do with this type of list.

Go wild.