§19.14. Abide by

It often happens that one rule needs to invoke another one. Most of the time, the best way to do this is with "follow":

follow the magical mystery tour rule;

More often, though, we want not only to invoke another rule, but also to be guided by its advice. For this, we use the otherwise identical phrase:

abide by (rule)

This phrase applies the given rule, and makes its result the result of the present rule. If the rule being abided by succeeds or fails then the original rule also stops, at once and without going on to any further instructions. Example:

The omnibus rule:
    abide by the first rule;
    abide by the second rule;
    abide by the third rule;
    abide by the fourth rule.

This duplicates the effect of a rulebook of four rules: the "omnibus rule" tries each in turn, and stops as soon as any of them stop.

abide by (values based rule producing values) for (value)

This phrase applies the given rule to the given value, and makes its result the result of the present rule. If the rule being abided by succeeds or fails then the original rule also stops, at once and without going on to any further instructions.

Abide might be used in examples like this one:

A thing can be fragile or robust.
This is the can't handle fragile things roughly rule: if the noun is fragile, say "[The noun] is too fragile for such rough handling." instead.
A check dropping rule: abide by the can't handle fragile things roughly rule. A check throwing it at rule: abide by the can't handle fragile things roughly rule.

Had we used "follow" instead of "abide by", then in the event of the player typing "drop angel" the text "The glass angel is too fragile for such rough handling" would be printed, which is correct - but then the action would continue as though no difficulty had occurred, which is definitely not correct.

Finally, we can "anonymously abide":

anonymously abide by (rule)


or:   

anonymously abide by (values based rule producing values) for (value)

This phrase applies the given rule, and makes its result the result of the present rule. If the rule being abided by succeeds or fails then the original rule also stops, at once and without going on to any further instructions. However, the rule deemed to have decided the outcome is the one abided by, not the one doing the abiding.

This is only useful in complicated situations where one rulebook uses another which... and so on. Its effect is exactly the same as "abide", except that the rule deemed to have decided the outcome is the one abided by, not the one doing the abiding. It thus allows a rule or rulebook to act purely as a middle-man, never getting the blame or the credit for what happens. The rule which made the decision is often not very relevant anyway, but it's used as the source of the value "reason the action failed" (see the Advanced Actions chapter).


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