Why are scene changing rules run twice each turn by default?

To be clear, I’m not contesting the design of the scene system itself – I’m trying to understand the reasoning behind running the scene changing rules twice during the turn sequence rules, in the spirit of learning to work with the system instead of against it.

By default, the turn sequence rules are set up as:

  1. parse command rule - get player input from prompt and parse into action
  2. declare everything initially unmentioned rule - clear mentioned status globally in preparation for new turn
  3. generate action rule - resolve parsed action within world model via action processing
  4. [unnamed scene change check rule #1] - check for scene changes and run any when <scene> begins or when <scene> ends rules
  5. every turn stage rule - runs the every turn rulebook
  6. timed events rule - handle any At the time when... rules
  7. advance time rule - update the turn count and time of day globals
  8. update chronological records rule - update status for all past tense conditions used in the story
  9. [unnamed scene change check rule #2] - check for scene changes and run any when <scene> begins or when <scene> ends rules (again)
  10. adjust light rule - determine whether the player has ambient light and run the printing the announcement of light or printing the announcement of darkness activities if there is a change from the last check
  11. note object acquisitions rule - set the moved status of anything directly held by the player (something also done by the taking action), remove the undescribed property for anything in player inventory, and update the active player's holdall if the story allows these

Your point about the chronological records update is one to consider. In thinking about this I’ve come up with other questions that call for consideration:

  • What is the best way to define the relationship between the turn sequence rules, player-perceived time units (i.e. command prompt to command prompt cycles) and game turns/minutes?
  • Which world states should scene start/end rules be able to rely upon as being stable within a given cycle, and which cycle is the right one with which to align the checks for those rules?
  • Should different rules apply to past world states (i.e those accessed via conditions using was/has been/had been)?
  • Should different rules apply to out-of-world states (e.g. score)?
  • When should timed events happen relative to the actual change in time and other state changes?
  • When should chronological records be updated relative to other state changes?

By the Standard Rules, turn sequence is aligned with player-perceived time units (because the first rule in the turn sequence rules is the parse command rule), but it’s out of sync with game time (which changes at invocation of the advance time rule). As a result, neither time of day nor turn count is stable from the perspective of either turn sequence or player-perceived time (and the same applies to measures derived from them).

I’m curious about everyone’s intuitive sense of how these cycles should line up, and what range of reasonable answers can be put forth for the questions above.

1 Like