Cobralingus #3

edited February 2015 in Make Stuff!
This is a PBF approach to the surrealist technique called "Cobralingus" and invented by author Jeff Noon, who wrote with great conviction that, played with intention, this technique never fails to pull together a meaningful (if highly symbolic) story or poem. The PBF version uses a 17-sided die, which fortunately we happen to have: <roll>1d17</roll>.

THE GAME IS PLAYED by taking an "INLET" text, considering it as a "SIGNAL", and putting it through a random series of transformations or "FILTER GATES" until arriving at an "OUTLET" text (which happens when someone rolls "Save" on the d17), whereupon the game is done.

TO TAKE A TURN, make a post in which you do nothing but roll the d17. Consult the table below for your filter gate. Then post again, typing the name of your move in CAPS and then run the signal through that filter gate (i.e. perform the indicated transformation on the text). Note that this is a cumulative procedure, so each person will be acting on the state of the signal which was left behind by their immediate predecessor.
TABLE OF FILTER GATES:
1 = CONTROL
2 = DECAY
3 = DRUG
4 = ENHANCE
5 = EXPLODE
6 = FIND STORY
7 = GHOST EDIT
8 = INCREASE SENSE
9 = MIX
10 = OVERLOAD
11 = PLAY GAME
12 = PURIFY
13 = RANDOMIZE
14 = RELEASE VIRUS
15 = SAMPLE
16 = SEARCH & REPLACE
17 = SAVE
NOTES:
1. No one may make two moves in a row.
2. If "Save" is rolled on the first turn, replace the INLET text with a new one.

DEFINITIONS:

INLET - The start-up text. The initial signal on which the device will act.

OUTLET - The final result of the filtering process.

SIGNAL - The text itself, as it passes through all its filter gates.

FILTER GATES:

CONTROL - Brings the text down to earth. Forces language to behave itself.

DECAY - Gently breaks down the text. Dissipates. Introduces corruption to the signal.

DRUG - Injects artificial stimulant into the language. Type of drug will always be specified. (e.g. Anagramethane, Metaphorazine, Fecundamol)

ENHANCE - Creates elements of beauty.

EXPLODE - Breaks up signal into highly disordered fragments. To be used with caution.

FIND STORY - Forces text into the nearest possible narrative, however nonsensical.

GHOST EDIT - Kills the text. Calls up a ghost to haunt the language.

INCREASE SENSE - Significantly enhances text. Increases readability.

MIX - Combines all elements into a single entity.

OVERLOAD - Drastically increases image density of text. To be used with caution.

PLAY GAME - Mischief maker. Encourages craziness. Results may surprise the user.

PURIFY - Loses deadwood. Selects images or phrases from the text.

RANDOMIZE - Disorders text. Parts of text may be lost or changed.

RELEASE VIRUS - Attacks text, changing words of choice into others of a similar sound. Recommended for advanced users.

SAMPLE - Introduces new element to signal. Source of sample to be specified.

SEARCH & REPLACE - Uses machine function to introduce new elements to text. Elements always specified. For example, 'Search and Replace: day with night.'

SAVE - Denotes that the OUTLET text has been attained and the Cobralingus device has been deactivated. End of game.


Comments

  • INLET:
    Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. There were four walls, a floor and a roof, which made one room; and this room contained a rusty looking cookstove, a cupboard for the dishes, a table, three or four chairs, and the beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a big bed in one corner, and Dorothy a little bed in another corner. There was no garret at all, and no cellar--except a small hole dug in the ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path. It was reached by a trap door in the middle of the floor, from which a ladder led down into the small, dark hole.

  • (Rolled: 1d17. Rolls: 11. Total: 11)
  • PLAY GAME:
    Friends of Dorothy lived in the midst of the great San Francisco prairies, with 'Uncle' Henry and Auntie Matter, who was the glamorous wife. Their house was very small, with woodchip on the wall, but when you came round to call, they didn't notice you at all. There were N surfaces defining a volume in Euclidean space, which contained a rusty looking coookstove. Pick up cookstove; I'm sorry, I can't do that; Light cookstove; I don't understand 'light.' 'Uncle' Henry and Auntie Matter had a big stage in one corner and the Friends of Dorothy sat in the audience, but usually by the bar. There was no Gareth at all, because there was no closet--except a small hole he had dug for himself when explaining who these people were to his 'girlfriend.' It was reaching and he felt trapped and I'm not touching the end of this sentence with a 10' pole.
  • (Rolled: 1d17. Rolls: 17. Total: 17)
  • SAVE (oops! already)

    OUTLET:

    Friends of Dorothy lived in the midst of the great San Francisco prairies, with 'Uncle' Henry and Auntie Matter, who was the glamorous wife. Their house was very small, with woodchip on the wall, but when you came round to call, they didn't notice you at all. There were N surfaces defining a volume in Euclidean space, which contained a rusty looking coookstove. Pick up cookstove; I'm sorry, I can't do that; Light cookstove; I don't understand 'light.' 'Uncle' Henry and Auntie Matter had a big stage in one corner and the Friends of Dorothy sat in the audience, but usually by the bar. There was no Gareth at all, because there was no closet--except a small hole he had dug for himself when explaining who these people were to his 'girlfriend.' It was reaching and he felt trapped and I'm not touching the end of this sentence with a 10' pole.
  • Wow: that SAVE result really sucks; maybe it should only activate after the first three turns?
  • Yeah, we need a hack for this.
  • Maybe we should just roll 1d16 until someone makes a "cool!" or "I'd save this!" comment re: the current state of the signal, then we throw "save" into the mix?
  • Maybe we should just roll 1d16 until someone makes a "cool!" or "I'd save this!" comment re: the current state of the signal, then we throw "save" into the mix?
    I'm ok with this.

    I'd also be ok with just rolling 1d16 or 1d17 by preference.

  • I wonder if he used this technique for Vurt?
  • edited February 2015
    Yeah, we need a hack for this.
    Agreed. Whoever starts the next game should add at least one new rule.
    I wonder if he used this technique for Vurt?
    I don't think so. It was used for this.

    In the original rules there are also filter gates for "INLET", "HOLD" and "OUTLET". The first and third of those seemed unnecessary for a PBF game or deck game (I've also made a card deck of them), and "HOLD" (which temporarily halts the Cobralingus Device) seemed equally inapplicable to forum play.

    The page I got the text from is here. There's also this short explanation, and this one, and this thought-provoking review.

    The original Cobralingus site, unfortunately, has been taken over by Russian plastic surgery spam.

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