Disambiguating a second noun, and Epistemology

I have a game where I am using E. Eve’s Epistemology, using the suggested three separate actions for ‘thinking about’ covering all cases-- ‘thinking about’ for nouns that are ‘known’, ‘speculating about’ for nouns that exist in the game but have not been ‘seen’, and ‘pondering’ for plain text and nouns that aren’t in the game. For ‘speculating about’ the unseen nouns, I have a disambiguation rule (thanks to Zarf), for when there is more than one unseen noun, and you don’t want to reveal the names of either with a disamb question–

Rule for asking which do you mean when speculating about:
	say "I couldn't think of anything pertinent about that at the time.";
	stop the action.

On to my question–there are a few NPCs in my game that the player can talk to, and I likewise have three actions each for asking and telling. One action for ‘known’ nouns (questioning and relating), one for ‘unknown’ nouns (interring and regaling), and one for non-existent nouns and text (the built-in asking and telling). Each in the format '[action] [someone] about [any known thing/any thing/text]". The problem is with the unknown nouns–if the player happens to ask an NPC about a noun not yet seen, and there is another noun that can be referred to with the same word(s), there is a disamb question, such as ‘Which do you mean, the secret note, Will’s note, or the strange note?’, when the player types ‘ask Richard about the note’ (when none of these are known yet). I tried something like the above–

Rule for asking which do you mean when interring someone about something:
    say "[The noun] gives you a quizzical look, and quite frankly, you don't know what you're referring to, either.";
    stop the action.

I think that this only ‘works’ if the noun (and not the second noun, being the thing asked about) is the noun in question, which is not the case. It’s the second noun it’s trying to disambiguate, and I want to suppress that message, replacing it with the ‘quizzical’ message above. I can’t seem to find the rule that prints the disamb for the second noun, so I can change it–I tried ‘RULES’, but the message pops up before any rules are listed.

Any suggestions, short of changing my whole conversation model??


The “asking which do you mean” activity is not empowered to cancel the disambiguation question. “Stop the action” doesn’t work. All it can do is change how the question is displayed. It’s risky to display something that doesn’t read like a “…which do you mean?” question, because the player is in fact able to type an answer.

The same activity is used for the first noun and second noun, so I’m not sure what you’re running into. Maybe try “…when interring:” instead of “…when interring someone about something” – the less specific condition should work. (But I haven’t tested that.)

In general I’d say it’s a mistake to try to put unknown objects in scope, while hiding their names from the player. There are too many ways they can leak in.

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Actually, Zarf, you’re right–though I was able to get the ‘rule’ to ‘work’ (and it printed the quizzical look message), I then typed the only name of the specific object, and I got the response that was correct for the NPC as if that object had been seen (which was not the desired response). Even the speculation rule had this result (and if I was wrong about attributing it to you, I apologize).

Maybe for ask/tell, I should stick to using conversation tables, and just make sure that all the synonyms lead to the same responses?

Or perhaps an extension is called for…??