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§12.3. Giving instructions to other people

So far, all actions have been carried out by the player: which is fine for exploring the passive world of an empty warehouse, but less good for a drama in which other characters have to be contended with. In fact, an action can be carried out by anybody - by any instance of the "person" kind, that is, which includes all the men, women and animals in the story, and not only the player.

In interactive fiction, players conventionally ask other characters to do something with commands like so:

> will, go west

Clearly "will, go west" should not produce the same action as "go west", because a different person will be trying it: this person is called the "actor", and while the actor is ordinarily the player, here it is the character called Will. Inform distinguishes these two actions like so:

going west
asking Will to try going west

As a result, we can write rules like so:

Instead of asking Will to try going west, say "Will scratches his head, baffled by this talk of westward. Is not the ocean without bound?"

To write rules like this, we sometimes want to generalise about who is supposed to do the deed. To do this we can refer to "person asked", just as the "noun" stands for whatever noun was typed:

Instead of asking somebody to try taking something, say "I don't think we ought to tempt [the person asked] into theft, surely?"

So if the player types "Algy, take sandwich", the "person asked" would be Algy; the "noun" would be the sandwich; and there would be no "second noun".

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Defining certain kinds of behavior as inappropriate, so that other characters will refuse indignantly to do any such thing.

***ExampleLatris Theon
A person who can accept instructions to go to new destinations and move towards them according to the most reasonable path.