I understand the idea of splitting "read and “examine”, but in essence you’re going to at some point have someone who will forget to both “read” and “examine” some or the other thing at some point and get stuck because they missed something important. Instead, I suggest training the player to examine things multiple times with varying texts. It gives the effect I think you want of a cursory read and a deeper read of in-game text without the chance the jaded player who just plows through only using X THING repeatedly and thoroughly (raises hand) won’t miss stuff.
[rant=rant-tagged for tidiness][code]“Chapter and Book”
A chapter is a kind of thing. The description of a chapter is usually “[one of]This one seems to go on at length about pretty much nothing.[or]You read through the entire chapter. Yep. No relevant information, but lots of lofty metaphors and big words.[stopping]”
Understand “chapter/chapters/section/sections” and “chapter/section about/on/regarding” as a chapter.
Understand “read about [something]” and “read chapter/section about/regarding/on [something]” and “skim [something]” and “peruse [something]” and “leaf through [something]” as examining.
Cave Entrance is a room. “The cave ceiling disappears into darkness above, and a spiral pathway seems to circle downward.”
An old book is in Cave Entrance. “[one of]Lying here in a significant position, and lit mysteriously by a dusty golden shaft of light from above, is an old book.[or]The old book seems to glimmer in the golden cave light, as if wanting you to notice it.[or]You turn around and startle a bit–the book seems to have changed location to nearer where you are standing. It’s a bit disquieting–almost as if [italic type]the book wants to go with you[roman type].[stopping]”. The description is “[one of]The leathery old tome seems thinner than its spine would suggest, almost as if whole sections of it have been torn out and are missing.[or]You flip through the pages of the book. It seems to contain chapters regarding [a list of chapters incorporated by old book].[stopping]”
Instead of opening old book, try examining old book.
Understand “leathery/tome/spine” as old book.
Chap1 is a chapter incorporated by old book. The printed name is “An Introduction”. The description is “[one of]You skim the introductory chapter of the book. It seems handwritten in spidery blue ink by someone named ‘Jurgen’.[or][italic type]I happened across an old book in a prominent place in the cave. My name is Jurgen, and this is the record of my adventures in the Catacombs of the Magical Flugelhorn.[roman type][stopping]”
Understand “introduction/introductory” as chap1.
Some Love Poems is a chapter incorporated by old book. The description is “[one of]These are some pretty awfully written love poems, you’d guess by a person named Jurgen.[or][italic type]Roses are Red[line break]Violets are Blue[line break]This catacomb is damp and dark[line break]But soon you’ll love it too.[roman type][paragraph break]Ugh.[or][first time]Okay, just one more, you decide:[paragraph break][only][italic type]There once was a man from Levine[line break]Who somehow packed far too many syllables into every verse line[line break]The rhyme scheme got off[line break]When he wrote about sheep.[line break]So instead he decided to try getting some sleep.[roman type][first time][paragraph break]You decide Jurgen isn’t a very good poet at all.[only][stopping]”
Understand “poem” as some love poems.
Chap2 is a chapter. The printed name is “a lengthy research of blind albino cave squirrels”. The description is “[one of]On a summary examination, this would seem to be a lengthy chapter regarding the habits of blind albino cave squirrels.[or]You settle down to read the chapter. [italic type]The Blind Albino Cave Squirrel is indigenous to caves, as they seem to be blind and not equipped with any sort of visionary apparatus. They also tend to range from a light gray to a pale white, depending on the depth one encounters them at beneath the surface of the earth’s crust. Be very cautious when around! Any foodstuffs containing acorns, nuts, legumes, or nut products are swiftly sought out by their keen olfactory senses, and more than one of my party has succumbed to the white slashing fury of their sightless nyctian attacks after (once again) not heeding my judicious warnings and thinking the rules don’t apply to them and ‘Oh, that Jurgen with his unecessary warnings! Surely one packet of peanuts in my pack won’t do any harm at all!’[roman type][stopping]”
Understand “lengthy/research/habit/habits/blind/albino/squirrels/squirrel” and “cave squirrels/squirrel” as chap2.
[I split this here because I only want it to match “cave squirrels” typed together and NOT just the word “cave” since there might be a different chapter just about the cave and I don’t want “read about cave” to disambiguate “do you want to read about the cave or cave squirrels?” and fail miserably.]
Deep Catacomb is down from Cave Entrance. “The cave deepens here, and you can hear the scritterings of [if we have examined chap2]what you imagine from your extensive research are blind albino cave squirrels[otherwise]some type of creatures[end if] in the distant shadows[if old book is not enclosed by the player].[paragraph break]You have this weird feeling like you have missed something important. Perhaps you should go back up and figure out what that is[end if].”
Carry out going down from Cave entrance:
if the player encloses old book:
if chap2 is not part of old book:
now chap2 is part of old book;
say “You hear a papery fluttering sound, and the old book’s leathery covers creak as if they are a little heavier somehow.”
Test me with “x book/d/u/read book/peruse chapter/introduction/read introduction/x poem/read poem/read another poem/d/u/take book/i/d/u/x book/read about squirrels/peruse lengthy research/d”