Is it possible to re-create the command “ask” without fouling up ‘asking it about’?
I want my player to be able to ask a full question(from among only a few possibilities), for example 'ASK ORACLE WHERE IS FITZELSCHNITZEL?"

It seems that when I use ‘Understand “ask [someone][text]”’ to allow a full question to be asked, I think that this tells the program to expect anything typed after the [someone] to be the substance of the question, including any ‘about’.

I think I worked it out. I’m trying the following–

Understand "ask [someone][text]" as asking it about.  Understand "ask [someone] about [text]" as asking it about.

I just have to be careful not to include a topic that begins with the word ‘about’.

Thanks anyway!

Really, now what I am having trouble with is including ‘asking’ in an instead rule, specifically –

Instead of doing anything other than attacking, examining or asking with the mullah: if the scythe is enclosed by the player: say "Your actions are ineffectual towards the mystic. Though he seems apprehensive about your scythe."; otherwise: say "As you lack mystical power, he has you at a distinct disadvantage."

The mullah would provide an answer to a question, under certain conditions, but when I try to ask about something, I get that response, even though ‘asking’ is one of the allowed actions…! How can this be?

Instead interrupts everything else you might try, but I think you need the full action name “Asking it about”.

I worked out a rough example for your first question, but this may be moot now.

[code]Test Room is a room.
a frob is a thing in test room.
The Oracle is a man in test room.

A Well Hidden Room is a room.
A golden snee is in well hidden room.

Asking someone where it is an action applying to two things.

Understand “ask [someone] where [any thing] is” and “ask [someone] where is [any thing]” as asking someone where it.

A reaching inside rule when asking someone where:
allow access.

Check asking someone where it:
if the second noun is touchable:
say “‘It’s right there,’ says [the noun] pointing directly at [the second noun].” instead;
say “‘From rumors told, [the second noun] is possibly in [the location of the second noun],’ [the noun] says.”[/code]

Thanks Hanon,

I did try ‘asking it about’ and got the same blank response, but thank you for your effort. I find that if I exclude the blanket ‘Instead…other than…’ rule, the asking works perfectly. What’s funny is that I use that rule in another case, and it worked–but then in that same case, I had a specific ‘Instead of asking so-and-so about something’ rule, and that rule was accessed.

Maybe if I create a verb ‘querying’ and re-route ‘asking it about’ to that verb with an Instead rule…?? And then include ‘querying’ in the list of allowable actions under another Instead…??

Okay, I created the verb ‘querying it about’ and some rules that go with it, and an Instead re-routing ‘asking it about’ to ‘querying it about’, then put ‘querying’ in the list of allowable actions. It now works perfectly. But why, when asking did not?

Have you thought of investigating some conversation extensions, like the ones by Eric Eve? Often they improve the whole syntax of asking/telling. While it won’t do exactly what you want, you may get some ideas.

I like “conversational defaults” where you can set all kinds of fallback responses, and “conversation responses”.