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§7.2. Instead rules

An action is ordinarily handled by running it through Inform's extensive rulebooks of what might be called normal behaviour. An action such as "taking the napkin", for instance, will be run through numerous checks to see if it is physically reasonable, and then provided all is well, the napkin will be moved into the possession of the player.

Instead, though, we can bypass the rules to do with an action and do something else:

Instead of eating the napkin: say "Why not wait for the actual dinner to arrive?"

This is an example of a "rule": a set of circumstances followed by a list of instructions. When those circumstances apply, the instructions are carried out. In the case of an "instead" rule, after this is done the action is immediately ended (and counts as a failure, since the original intention has been thwarted).

A friendly alternative can be used when there is only a single instruction, as here: in such rules the colon can be replaced with a comma. Thus:

Instead of eating the napkin, say "Why not wait for the actual dinner to arrive?"

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A grill, from which the player is not allowed to take anything lest he burn himself.

*ExampleBad Hair Day
Change the player's appearance in response to EXAMINE ME.