Manipulating the order in which items are handled after TAKE ALL.

Suppose we have an item that produces an interesting result the first time the player lifts it – a rock with dangerous ants revealed underneath. The effect of the surprise is a little weakened, though, if the player sees that response as the result of a TAKE ALL, when it might be printed like this:

>[3] get all
tent peg: Taken.
water flask: Taken.
trading permit: Taken.
innocent-looking rock: You reach for the rock and turn it over to reveal a thriving colony of flesh-eating ants. Needless to say, you drop the rock and jump back with a decidedly effeminate scream. They can probably hear you all the way back in the base camp.
rusty nail: Taken.
[Your score has just gone down by two points.]

The calm response to "rusty nail" looks odd now, and the score change is disconnected from the event that caused it.

To manage this, we might institute a system so that interesting objects are handled last in their list, like so:

"Formicidae"
Use scoring.
Section 1 - Procedure
The magic rule is listed before the generate action rule in the turn sequence rules.
A thing has a number called dramatic potential.
This is the magic rule:
   let L be the multiple object list;
   if the number of entries in L is greater than 1:
      sort L in dramatic potential order;
      alter the multiple object list to L.
Section 2 - Scenario
The Foothills is a room. "The land has become hilly; though the soil is still mostly coarse yellow sand, clumps of grass are able to grow in the shadier places. Deep wagon ruts running from the southwest towards the mountains in the northeast show where generations of caravans have already passed."
The water flask, the tent peg, and the trading permit are things in Foothills.
The rock is a thing in Foothills. Before printing the name of the rock when the rock is not handled: say "innocent-looking ". The dramatic potential of the rock is 10.
The rusty nail is a thing in Foothills.
The ant colony is a fixed in place thing. "A busy group of ants are crawling to and fro in the unaccustomed sun." Rule for deciding whether all includes the ant colony while taking: it does not.
Instead of taking the rock when the rock is handled:
   say "It might still have a stray ant or two on it."
After taking the rock:
   now the rock is handled;
   move ant colony to the location;
   move the rock to the location;
   say "You reach for the rock and turn it over to reveal a thriving colony of flesh-eating ants. Needless to say, you drop the rock and jump back with a decidedly effeminate scream. They can probably hear you all the way back in the base camp.";
   decrease score by 2.
Test me with "get peg / drop peg / get all / get rock".
Test me with "get peg / drop peg / get all / get rock".
Foothills
The land has become hilly; though the soil is still mostly coarse yellow sand, clumps of grass are able to grow in the shadier places. Deep wagon ruts running from the southwest towards the mountains in the northeast show where generations of caravans have already passed.

You can see a water flask, a tent peg, a trading permit, an innocent-looking rock and a rusty nail here.

>(Testing.)

>[1] get peg
Taken.

>[2] drop peg
Dropped.

>[3] get all
tent peg: Taken.
water flask: Taken.
trading permit: Taken.
rusty nail: Taken.
innocent-looking rock: You reach for the rock and turn it over to reveal a thriving colony of flesh-eating ants. Needless to say, you drop the rock and jump back with a decidedly effeminate scream. They can probably hear you all the way back in the base camp.

[Your score has just gone down by two points.]

>[4] get rock
It might still have a stray ant or two on it.

Note that while one could also manipulate the object list to add or remove items at this stage, there's a simpler way to control what Inform considers "ALL" to mean in commands: see the activity "Deciding whether all includes" in the activities chapter.