The responsibilities of the SySop of a Fantasy RPG BBS system are great indeed. This is also true for any RPG BBS system. The SySop must have a working knowledge of the software in order to customize aspects of it for the users, must have time to keep the RPG world alive, and must be creative and individual in order to keep things interesting.
To keep the BBS successful, it is important to get to know the users and make them feel welcome- personally. Chat with them occasionally, answer all e-mail, and try to take care of the requests that pour in. At least give a user a reason why their request is not being taken care of.
Each user is an individual and has their own style. The mixture of all these styles will give your BBS its personality. There will be soft styles, hard styles, and styles that will give you headaches, but all of this makes for a successful RPG world.
Keep a set of rules and stick with them. Nothing kills a RPG BBS so fast as inconsistencies in the handling of actions and other things that are going on. Users will wonder why Blogmor got to pick Skanfrig's pocket, while Triffleduf never had a chance, though Triffleduf was more experienced than Blogmor. There has to be a set way of doing certain game mastering and it has to be followed.
The Gateway to Reality guide to refereeing a quest or similar situation.
Table of Contents:
1) Loggin In
2) Posting Messages
3) Quest Size
6) Underground and Aide Access
7) Quest Treasure
8) Saving Throws
9) Personal Character
10) Report Cards
11) Godly Intervention
NUMBER ONE GOLDEN RULE:
YOU MAY NEVER USE ANY INFORMATION LEARNED AS A REFEREE WITH YOUR OWN CHARACTER. DOING SO WILL RESULT IN TERMINATION OF YOUR PRIVELEGES TO USE GATEWAY TO REALITY.
Quest rules for players:
Log in at least twice a week or die unless excused by a dang good reason for their absence.
Quest rules for Referees:
Log no more than three times a week and kill off players who don't log in twice a week.
1) Logging in:
Referees should log in three times a week (mondays, wednesdays, and fridays are good) to give users a chance to do their thing.
2) Posting Messages:
When posting a message, Referees must take every action posted by every player in consideration.
3) Quest Size:
Number 2 can be difficult with a quest that has 16 players in it, so it is wise to keep quests down to around 5-9 or so.
Dice are useless. When making a decision on what happens to characters and the result of their posted actions, referees must use their best judgement. Eloquent messages with well thought out plans should have better results than one sentence messages saying nearly nothing except, "I want to kill it." Use your judgement and common sense.
If a player seems likely to die, tell the Referee. No player dies without the Referee's consent, even in the case of those who missed the three day call in. In those cases it is most likely that they will die in the next battle, rather than suddenly dropping dead out of context of the quest. If for some reason the Referee is unavailable to be consulted, then the following happens:
The character with more experience (been on the board the longest) wins UNLESS the character does something REALLY stupid (which is left to the referee's discretion). Also, the defending character (if it is an attack and defence case) always has the advantage.
Three day no call in quest: Kill the charcter off. No questions asked.
Other items such as assasinations, etc: Wait till the Referee is back.
6) Underground and Aide Access:
If you need certain access like aide or underground, let the Referee know and if he thinks it's something you need, you'll get it.
7) Quest Treasure:
On a quest the players are expected to win vast sums of money and a few treasure items. On a normal quest it is not unlikely that each player will go home with 7500 gold pieces.
8) Saving Throws:
There is ALWAYS a saving throw (dice, common sense, etc). Be it nearly nil or not, there is always a chance that a person can get out of something.
9) Personal Character:
In most cases, referee's should not run their own characters for the progression of that character. You may run an NPC character to enhance a plot, but it may not turn into a PC.
10) Report Cards:
You must fill out report cards for those coming off quests.
.hRCARD -Report card that gets filled out for your quest
.hCARDSMPL -Sample card filled out
.hCARDHELP -Help on how the card is filled out
11) Godly Intervention:
It will sap 90% of the character's strength (and all present in the prayer group) to call upon their god and have him NOT respond.
The god will respond 1% of the time, plus an addition .5% for every other person in the prayer group (rounding down to the nearest one).
If the god responds, there will be a 20% chance that it will intervene in a large way and get the players somewhat out of trouble, and conversly, there will be an 80% chance of the god being angry for being bothered (however, no overt actions will happen to the character/s)
12) Professional Attitude
All referees must have a professional attitude. No personal messages in public, no twitty smileys, nothing that makes you seem like a person can be posted in public. Exception in rare cases is the SySop, Referee, since this is his only account on the board.
This is not a complete list and it constantly evolves.