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Chapter 12: Advanced Actions

§12.1. A recap of actions; §12.2. How actions are processed; §12.3. Giving instructions to other people; §12.4. Persuasion; §12.5. Unsuccessful attempts; §12.6. Spontaneous actions by other people; §12.7. New actions; §12.8. Irregular English verbs; §12.9. Check, carry out, report; §12.10. Action variables; §12.11. Making actions work for other people; §12.12. Check rules for actions by other people; §12.13. Report rules for actions by other people; §12.14. Actions for any actor; §12.15. Out of world actions; §12.16. Reaching inside and reaching outside rules; §12.17. Visible vs touchable vs carried; §12.18. Changing reachability; §12.19. Changing visibility; §12.20. Stored actions; §12.21. Guidelines on how to write rules about actions

arrow-up-left.png Contents of Writing with Inform
arrow-left.png Chapter 11: Phrases
arrow-right.png Chapter 13: Relations
arrow-down-right.png Indexes of the examples

§12.1. A recap of actions

Actions are impulses to do something, which arise sometimes through typed commands:

>examine tapestry

and sometimes through "try" phrases occurring in other rules:

Before examining the tapestry, try switching the ultraviolet light on.

Every action either succeeds or fails, though failure may not be a bad thing (something better may have happened). Besides any rules applied in the source text, actions are subject to basic realism rules. A general rule ensures that actions are rejected if the actor would need to touch something which is out of reach, or see something which is invisible; and a couple of hundred other built-in rules police individual actions. For instance, if the ACTIONS testing command has been used to switch monitoring on, then:

>unlock cage with watermelon
[unlocking cage with watermelon]
That doesn't seem to fit the lock.
[unlocking cage with watermelon - failed the can't unlock without the correct key rule]

Actions generated by "try" phrases are allowed to run "silently", which means that if nothing out of the way happens and they succeed, then nothing is printed. For instance:

Before examining the tapestry: say "(Switching on the lamp first.)"; silently try switching the ultraviolet light on.

There are many ways to impose extra rules on actions, and we have seen three main kinds: Before rules, intended so that preliminary activities like the one above can happen before the action is tried; Instead rules, which block or divert the intention, or may cause something spectacularly different to happen; and After rules, which allow for unexpected consequences after the action has taken place.

arrow-up.png Start of Chapter 12: Advanced Actions
arrow-left.png Back to Chapter 11: Phrases: §11.18. The value after and the value before
arrow-right.png Onward to §12.2. How actions are processed