I7- animals talk?

Correct me if i’m wrong, but in Inform 7, an animal counts as “someone”?

so if I say:

Instead of asking someone about "jewels": say "The person denies any knowledge about the jewels."; stop the action.

then an animal in my game can be asked about jewels? Did I overlook something? (still a noob here)

Thanks for anyone’s advice!

Yes. If you look at the Kinds index you’ll see that animal is defined as a kind of person. (Whether or not that is a good design choice is debatable.)

If you want animals to be treated more like inanimate things than people, the easiest way is to define a new kind, say, “a beast is kind of thing” and use that instead of animal (“a horse is a kind of beast”). If it’s just the asking about action you can remove the existing grammar (“Understand the command “ask” as something new”) and redefine it separately for men and women (Understand “ask [a man] about [text]” as asking it about. Understand “ask [a woman] about [text]” as asking it about.)

(Also, “stop the action” at the end of an instead rule is superfluous because instead rules stop the action by default.)

Hey, thanks a ton for the advice! I will do exactly that. And I figured the “stop the action” was redundant, but I’m a tad OCD with things I guess. lol thanks again!

You could also say:

Instead of asking an animal about something: say "You're not Dr. Doolittle, and you cannot talk to animals. At least, they won't talk back."

or somesuch. (Though you would have to make sure that compiled, and also make sure that that rule actually fires before the “Instead of asking someone about [something specific]” rules – I’m not sure which would be considered more specific.

Text and generic things are apparently considered equally specific, so the sorting falls to Law III.3.2, specificity of the first noun.