You probably want a “writing a paragraph about” rule for the desk. Then you can include whatever information you want.
For writing a paragraph about the desk:
say "A desk stands here. [if something is on the desk]On it [regarding things on the desk][are] [a list of things on the desk]. [end if]The
desk [drawer] is [if closed]closed[otherwise]open, and contains [a list of things in the drawer][end if]."
As part of the “initial appearance” description of the desk - or the normal description. Initial appearance is how an item is described in a room until it’s moved, or permanently if the object can’t be carried. “Initial appearance” is kind of a way to cheat portable objects into the room description even though they might get moved afterward.
[code]Desk Warehouse is a room. “Here is the room description. You see a wide array of desks on display for sale.”
A fancy rolltop desk is a supporter in Desk Warehouse. “A fancy rolltop desk with one drawer sits in a disused corner. Just what you’re looking for! Why hasn’t anyone snapped up this beautiful antique? (This is the initial appearance of the desk that will appear in a paragraph after the room description, notice the drawer is mentioned here.)”. The description of fancy rolltop desk is “Oooh, the fancy rolltop desk has one wooden drawer, just the number of drawers you want. (This is the description the player receives upon EXAMINEing the desk.)”
a wooden drawer is a closed, openable container. wooden drawer is part of fancy rolltop desk. The description of wooden drawer is “This desk has ONE drawer, which is perfect. All the desks you’ve looked at have two or more drawers, which is WAY too many.”
A cursed warranty card is in wooden drawer. The description is “Thank you for purchasing a Frobozz Cursed Antique Rolltop Desk! Please register your beautiful new furniture to activate the curse!”
A discarded ballpoint pen is in Desk Warehouse. “From its initial appearance, it looks like someone has dropped a pen here. It will only have this description until it’s moved.” The description is “It’s a giveaway FROBOZZCO DESK COMPANY ballpoint pen.”[/code]
Thanks for all the replies - I’ll look into them. My problem with initial appearance was that is creates an extra passage and the rest of the room description follows in a paragraph later. The desk is not THAT mentionable to stand out like that. Maybe I’ll just change the printed name to “desk with drawer” if I can’t get the rule for printing to work like I’d like it to.
You could make the desk scenery and describe it in the room description. Do realize that per normal supporter handling, if anything is on the desk, it will be called out in a separate paragraph.
It might help to look over Chapter 3:1 in the recipe book, specifically example “Eye of the Idol” which sounds like it gives an example of what you’re wanting to do: “A systematic way to allow objects in certain places to be described in the room description body text rather than in paragraphs following the room description, and to control whether supporters list their contents or not.”