This page addresses the ruler and other government members directly. It is linked to from a message they all receive when appointed or elected, and there is no excuse for not knowing these rules.
As a member of the government, no matter which position, you carry a larger responsibility than other players. As such, you can ruin the game for others if you do not act mature and responsible.
There is one rule that you must follow, no matter what. If you are found to not follow this one, you will be removed from your position by the Titans or Magistrates, very likely without warning. This rule is the core concept of BattleMaster, which was designed for casual players, too. Many of the players will log in only once a day, or even less often.
The #1 Rule
Being able to be inactive at any time, for reasons he doesn't have to disclose, with no prior warning or excuse, is the one holy right of every BattleMaster player. Anyone so much as touching it will feel my unrestrained wrath. --Tom 20:46, 15 May 2006 (CEST)
All our players are free to play when and how often they like. Do not order them to log on at a specific time, or at certain intervals, especially not "every turn" or "one hour before each turn". This isn't limited to just orders, it also covers getting mad at people or "encouraging" them. Everyone can play this game according to his personal rhythm, and if you can't deal with that then step down. The game already does take care of players going inactive without properly deleting their characters, there is no need to kick or ban them, and it is usually not advantageous to do so.
This also doesn't mean you can't work with the people. Advising or asking players to notify their marshal, liege or the general when they go away for multiple days is a perfectly reasonable request. It is not ok to punish them for failing to do so, however. Real life always has priority and often makes it impossible to send a message, or simply not important enough. Never forget that this is just a game.
These rules are likewise a must, and not a should or could. We do not handle them quite as strictly, and you may make justified exceptions (provided you can actually justify them):
- Try to guide, not order
- This is a game, not the military, even if it simulates a martial society. Try to guide people. Work with suggestions and help and leave people their autonomy. A strict hierarchy of orders and blind followers is more efficient, yes. It also causes people to lose the fun and leave the game.
- Play within the game background
- You are playing a noble in a medieval feudal society. Your conduct and behaviour should fit to that background, and as a leader you should very much encourage others to follow.
Most importantly, the world of BattleMaster is not a militaristic one, and blindly following orders does not befit a noble. Engage the other players instead of just passing out orders.
- Avoid cheaters and abusers
- Do not encourage or tolerate cheating and abuses of the game rules in your realm. If you learn of any cheating going on, immediately inform us privately or on the mailing list. If you are certain, then report to the Titans.
- No Placeholders
- Lordships, Dukeships, and government positions are all positions of the utmost importance and not mere jobs to be shuffled around. If you appoint or elect someone to one of these positions, they are to be considered its rightful holder. Never appoint or elect someone purely to hold the position until "the real holder" returns. This also helps to ensure that new people get a chance to hold these positions more than once in a blue moon.
Suggestions and Requests
Here are a few more rules that we kindly ask you to consider. These are just things that we believe you should do, but you are totally free in handling them however you like:
- Work with, not against activity cycles
- This is essentially the solution to the main rule above. What you should do is find out who in your realm is logging in how often and when, and then plan according to that. Adapt your plans to the people, not the people to the plans.
Even players who play seldom have a place. They make good police forces or bureaucrats, or if they are up for more of a challenge, they can make great long-distance traders, especially since many of them have more patience than the turn-junkies.
- Manage your bulletin well
- Your bulletin should be short, to the point and current. People will base their actions on whatever is written in there, so make it count. Don't make it too long, though, or nobody will bother reading it.
You should also not update it too often, or likewise people will stop bothering with all the changes.
- Be open to criticism and never believe you know everything
- This goes especially for people using the Protest option. It is there for a reason, you know?
The other aspect is that of unit settings, designations, battle strategy, etc. While you may want everyone set on defensive, remember that there are unit slants. A player may have a good reason to not set his unit the way you prefer. Check if he knows something you don't. Of course, he may just be stupid, but err on the side of caution.
- Be friendly and courteous
- You should be a paragon for proper behaviour. Be nice to people, and be careful with what you say. BattleMaster is an international game, and the rude jokes that are appropriate with your friends may be completely out of place in some other players culture. Also do not forget that we have a few very young players.
- Make failures your responsibility
- If things do not work out the way you planned them, ask which mistakes you may have made first, before you flame other players for being dimwits.
If your orders were not followed, check if you posted them early enough, taking timezones into account, and if they were clear and easy to understand, especially to people whose native language is not english.
You should question your own abilities first, before you question others.