Should "an actor" include the player or not?

As far as I know, the standard way to write a rule that applies to any actor—player or not—is to use “an actor”.

Instead of an actor taking a container…

This is nicely documented in WI 12.14:

[With this syntax] the rule applies to anyone who tries taking a container, player or not.

However, the implementation of action patterns disagrees. Section 8 specifically delegates any syntax involving “an actor” to a phrase helpfully named “Anyone except the player”.

The behavior doesn’t seem to have changed in version 10; indeed, the Standard Rules still use the “an actor” syntax to have rules apply to everyone. So I have to wonder—are the phrase names and comments in the implementation just outdated, or misleading? Or am I just horribly misreading this?


It would seem so, both on the basis of the observed behaviour, and that the name of the documented enumerated outcome ACTOR_EXP_UNIVERSAL would seem to be shorthand for ‘Explicitly stated universal actor’ - so the phrase should be named “Anyone including the player”

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In my (very important) opinion, it should stay the way it was, since changing it would fail to deliver the intended program behaviour after compiling some of my code.