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Barmy to the Spire



Xaosciation is a little game we here at the spire like to play. Keeps us entertained in between philosophizing about clouds or talking to anyone who we come upon, inanimate or not. It, quite certainly, is what keeps us sane.

In its simplest form, Xaosciation is just trying to associate a few words or concepts into something relative to Planescape. Usually in the form of an adventure hook, monster, place, etc. It's always amusing, and quite often a few ideas will come of it, at the very least getting your bonebox thinking.

Now, the best way to find some words or concepts to associate is to randomly pick them from some books, usually Planescape ones, but a few normal books can spice it up too. We at the spire usually pick about three words by randomly flipping through the book and pointing to a word on a page, or using dice such as three d10s to get a page number. It's not Xaos unless you use a different approach each time.

For an example, I'll pick three planescape books to get words from. The Factol's Manifesto, MC2, and the Planewalker's Handbook. For this example I'll use the randomly flip through and point method.

From the Manifesto I get "a river to take a thousand years to erode", "absorb magic" from MC2, and "Limbo by rogue magic" from the Planewalker's Handbook.

It usually helps if you pick general words like these that aren't to specific, it gives you more room to be creative.

So, the concepts I'm trying to associate now are: A thousand year eroding river, absorb magic, and rogue magic by Limbo.

Now, I could just take this and try and make something out of it, like a magic absorbing river in Limbo, but I'll narrow it down a bit more with a die roll to figure out what I'm planning on making. So, I'll take a d6 to figure out if I'm making a Adventure Hook, Monster, Npc, Spell, Item, or Place.

I roll a 4, so now I'm trying to associate the words in the form of a spell. This is the hardest part, but this whole thing is trying to get your brain working. I come up with the following short description, just enough to get an idea if I want to develop this idea further, or just set it aside as an interesting curiosity.

"Flowing Erosion: This spell was invented by the githzerai to affect others chaos shapings. By casting it, a erratic path forms from the caster, winding through the imposed reality on limbo like a eroding river, causing a trail to absorb back into the flowing chaos of Limbo. This spell is often used as a challenge, as it it slightly disrupts the chaos shapers travel, yet still leads them directly to the caster if the follow the path of corrosion."

Though not always directly related to the words picked themselves, the associated sum is usually much more interesting.

And that's about what there is to Xaosciation. Hopefully, I'll start putting little Xaosciations up weekly on the Spire to give you cutters an glimpse on how this works, and a chance to look at some of the barmy ideas I get from this method.


All content copyright 1999 Jeremiah Golden or credited authors.