Inform 7 Home Page / Documentation
§7.9. All actions and exceptional actions
The special description "doing something" (or "doing anything") matches any action, and "doing something to ..." also allows the noun to be specified.
For instance, the following puts its object out of bounds:
Instead of doing something to the cucumber sandwich, say "Lady Bracknell stares disapprovingly down her pince-nez at you, in a way which no amount of hunger or curiosity could overcome."
We sometimes need to be a little careful here: "waiting" qualifies as "doing something", but not as "doing something to something", because there is no object. "Putting the handbag on the cucumber sandwich" would also not qualify as "doing something to the cucumber sandwich" - only to the handbag.
More often, we would like to restrict the range of allowable actions to a select few. For instance:
Instead of doing something other than looking, examining or waiting: say "You must learn patience."
(Or we can write "except" instead of "other than".) Or we might have an object, too:
Instead of doing something other than examining, taking or dropping with the dagger: say "Don't fool around with that dagger. It's exceedingly sharp."
Note the "with", which is crucial here. Without it, the rule is subtly different:
Instead of doing something other than examining, taking or dropping the dagger: say "Don't fool around with that dagger. It's exceedingly sharp."
This second version matches if the action is, say, taking a shield, or even just looking, because that would be an action other than examining the dagger, taking the dagger or dropping the dagger.
|Start of Chapter 7: Basic Actions|
|Back to §7.8. Rules applying to more than one action|
|Onward to §7.10. The noun and the second noun|
Notice that the following two scenarios do not have the same effect:
...will prevent the player from doing anything else to the killer, but allow him free range of action with other objects. By contrast, the following will prevent him doing anything other than examining to any item:
But notice that because we specified "with something", actions that take no object (like sing) are still not affected.
The most strict statement would be
Because we left "something" out, now the pattern does not have to match an activity with an object; it will match any activity at all. Singing too will be deemed too risky in the presence of our sinister foe. But we do need to make an exception for "look", or else we won't get even the room description.