Semantics of Standard Rules Actions in Inform 7 6M62

I’ve put together a spreadsheet document with an analysis of the functional semantics of the 77 built-in actions (excluding debugging verbs) that are included in the 6M62 version of the Standard Rules. While much of the information on it is available from different portions of the Index, this document assembles it into a compact format designed to provide a comprehensive single entry for each action.

In addition, it includes notes about interactions between the various rules and Understand lines associated with each action, and it calls out specific aspects that might not be naively expected. This can serve as a useful reference to authors who wish to better understand what interaction will be supplied “out of the box” by 6M62, and also serve as a guide to which rules must be changed to reflect and support an author’s vision of their story’s universe.

Most importantly, it describes in detail what conditions must obtain for the action to be recorded as a success via the built-in action tracking feature, and what the success of an action means in terms of the game universe or (for out of world actions) the operation of the interpreter. This is extremely helpful for knowing what to expect when using the “if we have...” construction. It is also useful in flagging those few cases where Standard Rules behavior is inconsistent between the text presented to the player and the record made of whether or not the action succeeded.

The initial draft is available for review and/or use. Let me know by PM if you are interested in receiving a copy.


@Zed has asked that this be published so that he can include it on the sticky post for I7 resources, so here’s a not-particularly-pretty version for public consumption.

I7-6M62-StandardRules-ActionSemantics.pdf (117.8 KB)

Note that the main chart is in VERY tiny print so that it can fit the entire width on a single page. It is not recommended that it be printed for reference – instead, use high zoom on the soft copy.


With Otis’ blessing, I’ve reformatted this as a Google sheet: I7 6M62 Standard Rules Actions reference.

Everyone, this is an absurdly invaluable reference. Trust me, you should bookmark it. It puts together in one place for each action things you would otherwise have to look up in multiple places in the Standard Rules, like what command verbs are associated with each action, and where those command verbs may correspond to multiple actions… In many of those cases you wouldn’t even know that there was associated relevant information to look up, let alone where you’d go to find it. And it’s not just reference; Otis also provides analysis of what the behaviors mean, both in terms of the world model and in terms of game state outside the world model, such as Inform’s idea of when actions succeed or fail.

(So far as I know, the only relevant change for v10 would be adding a mention of the can’t insert what’s already inserted rule to the Inserting it into action.)


I added a couple more sheets to the google doc with some views of the data I’d always wanted…

  • for each verb word, what are all the associated patterns and actions
  • for each action, what are all the command patterns that produce it


put,[other things],in/inside/into,[something],"",inserting it into
put,[other things],on/onto,[something],"",putting it on
put,[something preferably held],on,"","",wearing
put,[things preferably held],down,"","",dropping
put,down,[things preferably held],"","",dropping
put,on,[something preferably held],"","",wearing
removing it from,get [things inside] from [something]
removing it from,remove [things inside] from [something]
removing it from,take/carry/hold [things inside] from [something]
removing it from,take/carry/hold [things inside] off [something]

Finally, there’s an easy way to see that you can shut up a door, or screw on a machine, or cross a swimming pool, or unwrap the vault with the key, or hold inventory, or clear the big red button.