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§17.18. Changing the meaning of pronouns
The pronouns IT, HIM, HER and THEM are constantly adjusted during play, to save the player time when typing commands. If the player types EXAMINE NECKLACE on one turn, it's sufficient to type TAKE IT on the next, and IT will be understood as meaning whatever NECKLACE meant last turn.
All of that happens automatically, but once in a while the result can be unfortunate. Suppose that when the player examines the necklace, a security system automatically drugs her unconscious, and she wakes up in a cell, hours later, and is told that the cell is bare except for a key on the floor. If she types TAKE IT, she clearly doesn't mean IT to mean the necklace any more; she means the key. Inform's parser can't make guesses like this, so the following phrase can be used to help it.
set pronouns from (object)
This phrase adjusts the meaning of pronouns like IT, HIM, HER and THEM in the command parser as if the object mentioned has become the subject of conversation. Example: the combination of
might change IT to mean the silver key and HIM to mean Harry "Bunny" Manders, while leaving HER and THEM unaltered.
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Pot of Petunias
Suppose we have an object that makes a dramatic entrance on the scene, like so:
Some clouds and some trees are scenery in Wide Open Field. The description of the clouds is "That one looks like Yoda's head." The description of the trees is "You've never been much good at botany, so it's anyone's guess what kind they are."
At 9:01 am:
move the broken flower pot to the location;
say "Quite unexpectedly, a flower pot falls from the sky and breaks open on the ground. Good thing you weren't standing six inches to the left.";
set pronouns from the broken flower pot.
If we leave out the "set pronouns..." line here, we'll wind up with the following very unsatisfactory end to our test transcript: