Currently, I’m using Eric Eve’s conversation extensions to Inform7:
Include Conversation Framework by Eric Eve. Include Conversational Defaults by Eric Eve. Include Conversation Responses by Eric Eve.
And as I understand it, they are not defining any new actions, only providing a convenient handle to the core ask-tell actions. I have a series of relatively simple (but numerous) ask-tell subjects that NPCs can provide responses to:
Response of mom when asked-or-told about player: say "Mom looks serious. 'You don't need me to tell you anything. You know who you are, and you always have from the time you were a baby,' mom says.". Response of mom when asked-or-told about mom: say "'Me?' mom asks, 'You know everything about me already.' I should be asking you!'". Response of mom when asked-or-told about Honey: say "'Your Honey?' mom says, 'She really loves you, even if she's strict with you. You know that, don't you?'".
In one scene that happens in one location, I would like to provide text that prefixes the response that the NPC provides.
To say looks_away_from_movie: if player is in Room_Car_With_Mom and a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds: say "[one of]Mom turns away from the movie[or]Mom, absorbed in the movie, takes a second to respond[or]Mom turns toward you[at random]. [run paragraph on]";
I am loathe to put this prefix in front of each of the utterances of this NPC:
Response of mom when asked-or-told about mom: say "'[looks_away_from_movie]Me?' mom asks, 'You know everything about me already.' I should be asking you!'".
Is there a way to do this without abuse of the system? Something graceful like:
Before speaking to mom: say looks_away_from_movie; continue the action.
If it can be done, my follow up question will be whether I can make it appear as part of the same paragraph.