Elaborating the report rules to be more interesting than "Clark goes west."

Report rules can be a good point at which to add local color: while Inform provides default descriptions of character behavior, these are rather generic and can stand to be customized.

For instance, if we wanted to liven up our previous Clark Kent example:

"The Man of Steel Excuses Himself"
Escaping is an action applying to nothing.
Carry out someone escaping:
   let space be the holder of the person asked;
   let place be a random room which is adjacent to the space;
   let way be the best route from the space to the place;
   try the person asked going way.
Every turn:
   if Clark Kent can see kryptonite, try Clark Kent escaping.
The Daily Planet Newsroom is a room.
Perry White's Office is west of the Newsroom. In Perry White's Office are a desk and a poster of Elvis. On the desk is a lead-lined box. The box is openable. In the box is the green kryptonite crystal.
The Supply Closet is east of the Newsroom. The Elevator Bank is north of the Newsroom.
Clark Kent is a man in the Newsroom. "Clark [if Clark can see the kryptonite]looks a bit ill[otherwise]is here, frowning as he revises his latest article[end if]."
Test me with "west / get box / east / close box / east / west / north / south / west".
Report Clark Kent going a direction (called the way):
   say "[one of]With a particularly weak excuse[or]Muttering[at random] about [random excuse subject], Clark heads [way]." instead.
To say random excuse subject:
   choose a random row in the Table of Lame Excuses; say "[reply entry]".
Table of Lame Excuses
"needing a paper-clip"
"wanting an English-Tuvalu dictionary"
"walking a neighbor's dog"
"hearing air-raid sirens"
"having drunk too much coffee"
"thinking he smells smoke"
"wondering where Lois got to"
"needing to speak to Jimmy"
"noticing the Good Year blimp"
Test me with "west / get box / east / close box / east / west / north / south / west".
Daily Planet Newsroom
Clark is here, frowning as he revises his latest article.


>[1] west

Perry White's Office
You can see a desk (on which is a lead-lined box (in which is a green kryptonite crystal)) and a poster of Elvis here.

>[2] get box

>[3] east

Daily Planet Newsroom
Clark looks a bit ill.

Muttering about needing a paper-clip, Clark heads west.

>[4] close box
You close the lead-lined box.

>[5] east

Supply Closet

>[6] west

Daily Planet Newsroom

>[7] north

Elevator Bank

>[8] south

Daily Planet Newsroom

>[9] west

Perry White's Office
Clark is here, frowning as he revises his latest article.

You can also see a desk and a poster of Elvis here.

It's good to be careful, as the library report rules have been designed and tested to describe every contingency (going through doors, going in vehicles, etc.): so when replacing a report rule, we should try to consider all the possible variations of the action that we might want to describe.

However, in this case, our scenario is so simple that there are no doors, vehicles, or pushable objects, so we're safe in giving Clark a very simple reporting scheme.