Set NPC as ambiguous


I’m wondering if there is a simple line to include in my code that will make one NPC ambiguous. Currently it is set to a man, so because I’m running Eric Eve’s Conversation SuggestionsI get

(You could ask him about himself...

I’d like it to say

(You could ask them about them,

… etc

See @sadiedemight’s extension, discussed here.

Or Nathanael Nerode’s: extensions/Nathanael Nerode/Gender Options-v4.i7x at 10.1 · i7/extensions · GitHub

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Shouldn’t that be “You could ask them about themself”?

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It should. I cut the sentence because it’s actually “You could ask them about themself, or about the boat or…” Etc

The short version is this isn’t something Inform supports out of the box, though it should. But there are a handful of extensions out there to handle it!

The crucial question is: is this character ambiguous or nonbinary? That is, when you see a mysterious hooded figure, you might want to ASK MAN ABOUT HIMSELF THEN X HIM or ASK WOMAN ABOUT HERSELF THEN X HER—all pronouns should be set to them. But a person who just goes by they/them shouldn’t necessarily override the parser’s existing values for HIM and HER by their presence.

In this instance, the NPC is the player’s subconscious, except they don’t know this. I am not capturing the player’s sexual persuasion, but neither do I want to force them to “ask npc about himself” or “ask him about…”

Ah, so more like the mysterious hooded figure sort. Zork III has one of those who’s meant to reflect the player character, so it has both MAN and WOMAN as synonyms. Base Inform absolutely can’t handle that, currently, but Sadie de Might’s extension can. (Mine can’t, and I think Nathanael Nerode’s can’t either?)

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Sadie’s extension appears solid but this is a lot of code to handle one NPC in one room. I need to think about this.

If it’s only for this one NPC, then yeah, it might be overkill.

The I6 routine that sets pronouns to refer to objects is PronounNotice in CommandParserKit. You can add a check to that for a specific property (call it “ambiguously gendered” perhaps?) which will make it set all three of HIM, HER, and THEM.

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