§3.20. Possessions and clothing

We have seen how to place objects in rooms, and in containers or on supporters. But what about people? Perhaps it could be said that they "contain" the fillings in their teeth, or "support" a top hat, but this is not very natural. Inform therefore never speaks of things being "in" or "on" people. Instead, they have two sorts of possessions: the things they carry, and the things they wear. (Body parts, such as arms and legs, are different again: see "parts" below for a clue to how to do these.) Thus:

Mr Darcy wears a top hat. Mr Darcy carries a silver sword.

In fact, Inform deduces from this not only who owns the hat and the sword, but also that Darcy has the kind "person", because only people can wear or carry.

As all the assertion verbs do, "to wear" and "to carry" have participles which Inform knows about. So we could equally well write:

The scarlet coat is worn by Mr Wickham. The duelling pistol is carried by Mr Wickham.

If we do not specify who does the wearing, or carrying, then this is assumed to be the player. Thus:

A brass lantern and a rusty iron key are carried. The mosquito-repellent hat is worn.

It would make no sense to "wear" the key, for instance, so Inform needs to distinguish between what is clothing and what is not. It does this with an either/or property called "wearable": if something has this property then the player will be allowed to wear it, provided it can first be picked up. Anything which is worn by somebody at the start of play is assumed to be wearable (unless we say otherwise). But if nobody is initially wearing the item in question, then we have to be explicit:

The player carries a scarlet gown. The gown is wearable.

(When we come to asking questions about the current situation, we will need to remember that "to carry" and "to wear" are different. Thus "if Lancelot carries the plate armour" will not be true if he is wearing it rather than carrying it under his arm. As we will later see, we can instead vaguely say "if Lancelot has the plate armour" to mean either carrying or wearing.)

* See To carry, to wear, to have for a more detailed explanation of carrying, wearing, and possessing as Inform understands them


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*ExampleDisenchantment Bay 10
Disenchantment Bay: things for the player and the characters to wear and carry.