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§12.11. Making actions work for other people

The "photographing" action now works very nicely when the player does it. But not when others try. Suppose that neither the player, nor Clark Gable, is holding the camera:

>photograph clark
You can hardly photograph without a camera, now can you?

>clark, photograph me

An uncanny silence. What has happened is that the rules written so far are all implicitly restricted to the player only. This is because when we write -

Check photographing:
    if the camera is not carried:
        say "You can hardly photograph without a camera, now can you?" instead.

the action is "photographing", not "Clark photographing". In the next few sections we shall see how to make the rules work nicely for everybody. This is a little bit harder, so it should be noted right away that in many projects there is no need. In a story which has no other characters who succumb to persuasion, for instance, only the player will ever try the action.

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**ExampleThe Man of Steel
An escaping action which means "go to any room you can reach from here", and is only useful to non-player characters.

***ExampleTrying Taking Manhattan
Replacing the inventory reporting rule with another which does something slightly different.

****ExampleUnder Contract
Creating a person who accepts most instructions and reacts correctly when a request leads implicitly to inappropriate behavior.