Asking about instead of asking for

I’m trying to handle cases where the user types in something like “Ask Gaston.” I’d like that command to result in Gaston imparting some information to the user. However, Inform7 interprets the phrase as “Ask Gaston for” and ask the player to supply a noun (if the player’s inventory is empty) or assumes the player is asking for something in her/his inventory (if it isn’t empty).

I’ve tried redirecting the “ask” command this way:

Instead of asking Gaston for something: try asking boy george about.

While that does re-direct “ask for” to “ask about,” it only takes effect after the parser disambiguates what the player is about for.

Any thoughts how I can handle this?

You’ll need to define new syntax if you want the parser to recognize it. I believe this quick code accomplishes what you’re looking for:

[code]Home is a room. Sam is a man in the Home.

Understand “ask [someone]” as talking to. Understand “talk to [someone]” as talking to. Talking to is an action applying to one thing.

Instead of talking to Sam: say “He offers some information.”[/code]

Ah, that did the trick. Thanks!