However, if I actually write a two-thing action (e.g., “hitting it with”), copy over this Understand segment, and compile/test it, I do not get a “What do you want to […] with?” prompt. Instead, the following happens:
If a single-noun alias (Understand “hit [something]” as hitting it with) has been set, as I would do if I wanted to write a supply-missing-second-noun rule, the response is a static
Otherwise, if I specify only the fully filled-out alias (Understand “hit [something] with [something]” as hitting it with), an apparently random object is filled in as the second noun despite the fact that I have not written any “supplying a missing second noun” rules for the action.
Either way, there is no prompt.
So: have I misunderstood the documentation?
And, how can I make a custom prompt of the “What do you want to […] with?” sort? The “reading a command” rules all seem to be about commands in general, not about a specific parser response to a specific attempted action that then reads in one specific player response-input, and I don’t see a way to hook something from an “after reading a command” rule into an action – I can’t say “After reading a command when the action is” (or variants thereupon), for instance.
“Supplying a missing second noun” only applies when the one-noun grammar line (Understand “hit [something]” as…) is used with a two-noun action.
It’s more usual to define a two-noun grammar line for a two-noun action. The second noun then goes to disambiguation, which will generally show a prompt unless (a) there’s really only one object to choose, or (b) does-the-player-mean rules bias the outcome.
It’s been a while since I tested this stuff, so I’m probably missing some steps. But the first thing to try is the case where the player is carrying two objects, if you haven’t tested that already.
Thanks for the test case! It looks like (a) is sort of the explanation behind my weird experience. I have multiple objects, but at the start of the game, all but one is a removable part of something else. I guess I can get around this by hiding some freefloating invisible dummy objects in the starting room, so that it can actually get to the “try removing” rule. No more automatically attempting to use the poor belabored door to do things…