When in Rome 1: Accounting for Taste — 26 of 31

Emily Short

Release 3

Chapter 3 - Other Ways of Interacting with the Creature

Understand "point at/to [something]" as indicating. Indicating is an action applying to one thing. Instead of indicating something in the presence of a stupid creature: say "[The person asked] looks intently at your forefinger."

Instead of indicating a container in the presence of a smart friendly creature: say "You gesture imperiously. "; try the person asked trying entering the noun. Instead of indicating a delicious thing in the presence of a smart friendly creature: say "You gesture imperiously. "; try the person asked trying eating the noun. Instead of indicating a wearable thing in the presence of a smart friendly creature: say "You gesture imperiously. "; try the person asked trying wearing the noun. Instead of indicating a closed openable thing in the presence of a smart friendly creature: say "You gesture imperiously. "; try the person asked trying opening the noun.

Instead of indicating something in the presence of a smart creature: say "[The person asked] looks intently at [the noun]."

Carry out indicating something: say "You point your finger at [the noun]."

Understand "hi" or "hello" or "hey" as "[hi]".

Understand "hi" or "hello" or "hey" as waving hands. Understand "greet [someone]" or "wave at [someone]" or "wave to [someone]" as waving at.

Waving at is an action applying to one thing. Carry out waving at: try waving hands. Waving at something is useless action.

Before asking the creature to try waving hands: try waving hands instead. Instead of answering the creature that "[hi]": try waving hands.

Instead of waving hands in the presence of a playful creature: say "You wave to the creature, and it waves back delightedly."

Instead of waving hands in the presence of a secretive creature: say "You wave to the creature. It looks at you for a moment with much the same expression you see when you try to ask out Esther's girlfriends.

Then it waves back."

Instead of waving hands in the presence of a hostile creature: say "You wave. The creature ignores you pointedly."

Instead of waving hands in the presence of a slow creature:

say "You wave. The creature blinks mildly."

Instead of waving hands in the presence of a smart creature:

say "You wave. The creature waves back at you."

Instead of waving hands in the presence of a creature when the carrying capacity of the creature is 6:

say "The creature waves back with all six hands. The different arms have different personalities: the upper left hand gives you a stately monarchical salute, while the middle right hand flaps as frantically as a child's."

Instead of singing in the presence of the creature when the creature is hostile:

if the creature cannot touch the player, continue the action;

otherwise say "[The creature] puts its fingers in its ears and glares at you."

Instead of singing in the presence of the creature when the creature is playful:

if the creature cannot touch the player, continue the action;

otherwise say "[The creature] croons along, though not very well."

Instead of listening in the presence of a slow creature:

say "[if creature is weak]It is still and sluggish[otherwise]Its breath is slow and deep[end if]."

Instead of listening in the presence of a lightning creature:

say "[if creature is weak]Its claws are constantly clicking and clacking[otherwise]Its breath is rapid, its movements impatient[end if]."

Instead of listening in the presence of a fast creature:

say "[if creature is weak]It is constantly moving[otherwise]It seems to breathe at roughly the same pace as you[end if]."

Instead of listening in the presence of a moderate creature:

say "[if creature is weak]It is pretty quiet[otherwise]It breathes a little more slowly than you do; moves a little sluggishly[end if]."

Instead of listening in the presence of a creature when the moon of the creature is Titan:

say "[The creature] draws deep, gasping breaths, as though struggling to get enough out of this feeble atmosphere."

Instead of smelling the location in the presence of an inverse creature:

try smelling the creature.

Instead of jumping in the presence of a fidgety creature:

say "You jump[if the creature is in the location], and the creature leaps away swiftly, dodging into a far corner of the room[otherwise], making the creature flinch[end if]."

Instead of jumping in the presence of a moderate creature:

say "The creature watches you with interest."

Instead of jumping in the presence of a slow creature:

say "The creature draws its head back like a tortoise trying to retreat into a shell. Otherwise it does not move."

Instead of pushing, turning, or pulling the creature: try touching the creature.

Report eating something in the presence of the hungry creature:

say "You eat [the noun], while [the creature] watches you with grieved reproach." instead.

Report dropping the creature:

say "You gently set the creature down. It looks up at you soulfully." instead.

Instead of telling the creature about something: try asking the creature about it.

Instead of asking the creature about something:

say "The creature watches your mouth intently, tilting its head this way and that."

Instead of asking a hostile smart creature about something:

say "As soon as you begin to speak, the creature plugs its ears and howls rudely."

Instead of asking a friendly smart creature about something:

say "The creature listens with frowning concentration, then says, 'Glorp?'

As responses go, it makes as much sense as the ones you usually get from the boys at Alien Protocol..."

Instead of asking a friendly smart creature about something:

say "The creature listens with frowning concentration, then says, 'Glurble,' quite firmly."

Instead of asking a creature to try doing something: say "The creature either fails to understand your instruction or feels no need to obey."

Procedural rule: ignore the can't take other people rule.

Instead of taking a hostile creature:

if the creature is poisoned, continue the action;

if the creature is starving, continue the action;

if the creature is slothful

begin;

say "The creature registers displeasure at having you get near it[if a random chance of 1 in 2 succeeds], and you jump back to avoid being bitten. But another approach might work[otherwise], but is not strong enough to prevent you[end if].";

stop the action;

end if;

try the creature trying growling instead.

Instead of taking the creature when the speed of the creature is greater than moderate:

if the creature is starving, continue the action;

if the creature is poisoned, continue the action;

say "With [speed of the creature] reflexes, [the creature] scampers out of your grasp."

Instead of taking a curious moderate creature:

if the creature is starving, continue the action;

if the creature is poisoned, continue the action;

say "[The creature] momentarily allows you to pick it up but then scrambles out of your arms again."

Report taking a starving creature:

say "[The creature] is too weak to resist, and lies limply in your arms." instead.

Report taking the creature:

say "[The creature] wraps its arms around your neck and nuzzles against your shoulder." instead.

Understand "pet [something]" or "tickle [something]" or "cuddle [something]" as touching. Understand "rub [someone]" as touching. Understand "stroke [something]" as touching.

Instead of touching the creature when the creature is poisoned:

say "[The creature] feels unnaturally warm to the touch."

Instead of touching a hostile animal:

try the creature trying growling;

now the creature is passive.

Instead of touching a secretive animal:

now the creature is passive;

say "It holds very still and allows itself to be petted, watching you carefully."

Instead of touching a friendly animal:

if the noun is scaly, say "[The noun] rubs itself against your hand. Despite the scales, it is surprisingly pleasant to touch, not at all slimy or rough.";

otherwise say "[The noun] rubs itself against your hand.";

now the creature is passive.

Instead of touching a curious animal:

now the creature is passive;

if the noun is timid, say "[The noun] dodges, terrified." instead;

if the noun is playful, say "[The noun] watches you with a little wariness, then giggles when you touch it. Perhaps it is ticklish." instead;

say "[The noun] moves away [if the creature is slow](though slowly)[otherwise]skittishly at first[end if], then lets you touch it."

Instead of kissing the creature:

say "Fortunately your task does not require you to investigate its mating rituals."

Understand "rip [something]" or "tear [something]" as attacking.

Understand "kick [something]" as attacking.

[

Before attacking the creature when Test is happening:

say "You attack [the noun], which begins to squeal pathetically. This brings in the men in suits, much faster than you would have believed possible.

'What do you think you're doing? They're very easily hurt!' exclaims one of them.

Another: 'Maybe he was trying to protect himself; we didn't say not to attack them.'

'Yes, give him another chance.'

A third one: 'I don't think we should risk anyone with violent tendencies.' And this person glares at you ferociously, so that you feel wormlike.

'It's the war, you know,' says the first man. 'He was trained as a soldier; it does things to their attitudes.'

'Now, that's not fair--' '--happy to shoot members of their own species, why not aliens?' 'There's a difference between being happy and being willing--' '--defending their own people--' '--biological imperative to protect those most like themselves--'

It's obvious that these men have had this argument many times. Before it goes too much further, the dark-suited one turns back to you and says, 'We're going to have to fail you. I'm truly sorry.'

'Biological imperative,' says the blond man, with a humorless smile.";

end the game saying "This can't be good" instead.

]

Instead of smelling something stinky:

say "Phew!"

Instead of smelling the creature:

if the creature is inverse,

say "There is a faint stink to its exhalations and its exterior, probably the sign of an atmosphere high in methane or sulfur. If you had a real lab at your disposal...";

otherwise say "The smell is nothing you can identify."

Instead of tasting or eating the creature:

say "You aren't allowed to do anything that might kill the creature."

Instead of waking the creature:

say "Demonstrably it is already awake."

Instead of waiting in the presence of the creature:

say "You wait to see what the creature will do next."

After examining a poisoned creature: say "It looks distinctly ill."

After examining a hostile creature:

say "It glares back at you[if the creature is smart] with calculated malice[end if]."

After examining a starving creature:

say "It meets your eyes briefly, then closes its own in pain[if the creature is friendly]. Must be starving, poor thing[end if]."

After examining a blinded creature:

say "Its eyes are tightly closed."

Instead of throwing something at a fidgety creature when the creature wants the noun:

silently try giving the noun to the creature;

if the creature is carrying the noun,

say "You toss [the noun] to [the creature], which makes a deft catch."

Instead of throwing something at a creature when the creature wants the noun:

silently try giving the noun to the creature;

if the creature is carrying the noun,

say "You toss [the noun] to the creature, which watches the fall -- unable to make the catch -- but manages a retrieval afterward."

Instead of throwing something at a fidgety creature:

silently try dropping the noun;

if the player is not carrying the noun,

say "You throw [the noun], but [the creature] dodges quickly. [if creature is lightning]Lightning-fast[otherwise]Fast[end if] reflexes there."

Instead of throwing something heavy at a slow creature:

silently try dropping the noun;

say "You fling [the noun] at [the creature], and connect successfully with its head, to disastrous effect.

[if creature is red]Funny, it bleeds red[otherwise]Now you know what [color of creature] blood looks like[end if].";

end the game saying "You aren't supposed to harm them"

Instead of throwing something heavy at a moderate creature:

silently try dropping the noun;

if the player is not carrying the noun, say "[The creature] just manages to dodge [the noun]."

Instead of throwing something at a slow creature:

silently try dropping the noun;

if the player is not carrying the noun, say "[The noun] bounces harmlessly off [the creature]. It does not even flinch. Right. Very slow reflexes, then."

Instead of throwing something at a moderate creature:

silently try dropping the noun;

if the player is not carrying the noun, say "[The noun] bounces harmlessly off [the creature], which flinches. Medium reflexes, then."