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§14.3. More on adapting verbs

If we need an adaptive message with a verb which doesn't belong to Inform's built-in set, all we need do is define it. In the previous chapter we defined verbs by giving them meanings, but in fact that's optional. For example:

To retrofit is a verb.

defines a verb without telling Inform what it means. Inform will throw a Problem message if we try to write text like:

Flash retrofits the meteor beam.

because, after all, it doesn't know what "retrofit" means. But it does still know how to print it, so this works:

"[The actor] [retrofit] the Mecha-Mole."

which might come out as "Dale retrofits the Mecha-Mole", or "Barin's archers retrofitted the Mecha-Mole", and so on.

This is especially neat for writing a single response to an action which works regardless of who the actor was. For example, the Standard Rules include:

say "[The actor] [put] [the noun] on [the second noun]."

And this can make either:

You put the revolver on the table.
General Lee puts the revolver on the table.

arrow-up.png Start of Chapter 14: Adaptive Text and Responses
arrow-left.png Back to §14.2. Adaptive text
arrow-right.png Onward to §14.4. Adapting text about the player

**ExampleFun with Participles
Creating dynamic room descriptions that contain sentences such as "Clark is here, wasting time" or "Clark is here, looking around" depending on Clark's idle activity.

Suppose we want all of our action responses to display some randomized variety. We could do this by laboriously rewriting all of the response texts, but this example demonstrates an alternative.

**ExampleVariety 2
This builds on the Variety example to add responses such as "You are now carrying the fedora" that describe relations that result from a given verb, as alternate responses.

***ExampleNarrative Register
Suppose we want all of our action responses to vary depending on some alterable quality of the narrator, so that sometimes they're slangy, sometimes pompous or archaic.