- 1 Responsibilities of a List Moderator
- 2 IIRs
- 3 The Ability System
- 4 Plots
- 5 The Anatomy of A Crew
- 6 Task Force Stations
- 7 Cross-Posts
- 8 Resources at Your Disposal
Welcome to the List Moderators' Handbook. This document covers the responsibilities and requirements for a List Moderator position in USI. As a List Moderator you are now moderating a list. You are now both a leader and a servant of the list to which you are assigned. Please read through this handbook carefully as it will provide you with some guidance as to what your new position entails.
1.0 Rule Number 1
The most important rule to remember is to have 'fun'! This game is simply that - a game. So even while you do have some new responsibilities, never lose sight of this rule. Have fun! Get goofy! Inject some humour into your plots - not everything needs to be life or death! Take a break every now and again - stepping away from the game for a couple days will renew your interest, and revive you for the duties you have accepted.
Responsibilities of a List Moderator
Now that you are a List Moderator, you have several new responsibilities. It's important to realize that your Moderation responsibilities are as important as your RPG ones are. The management behind the scenes is just as important to the smooth running of your list as your RPG participation is.
The most important thing you will be responsible for is managing your crew. This job differs depending on whether you are an Academy List Moderator or a Fleet List Moderator. Please refer to the Academy section (8.0) for specifics related to it. Generally, in order to access your crew, you can now login to Halo, and find a "Modify Crew" option in the menu at the left side of the screen. From here, you will see your list, with all of the crew assigned to it. You will be able to access email addresses from here, as well as being able to modify crew biographies. We ask that you do not make any changes to character bios, but rather contact players to discuss changes you think should be made in order to keep the bio in line with the USI universe. You can also change player ranks from this screen.
Promotions and Awards
Crew promotion is an important part of USI. Promotions are great motivators for posting, and it is important that you routinely promote deserving crew members. Promotions are based on a variety of factors including post rate, post quality, interaction and attitude. At this time, in the Fleet, it is left to the discretion of List Moderators to decide when to promote players from the rank of Warrant Officer to Commander. Promotions to Commander Elite and List Moderator are only done by List Group Moderators and Game Staff - but List Moderators are welcome to recommend players for these promotions in their IIRs (discussed in Section 2.0). It is important to remember that players can only be promoted if they post the minimum required number of posts - 3 per week. Also keep in mind that the higher the rank, the more you should require from your crew to attain that rank.
For example, more consecutive weeks of minimum or above posting, or perhaps particularly outstanding leadership during a series of plots. In order to promote a character, login to Halo, select "modify crew" and locate the character in the crew manifest. Once you enter their biography screen from this list, you will notice the drop-down menu for them that indicates their rank. Simply find the rank you are promoting them to within this list, and be sure to hit the Update button at the bottom of the screen. You will have now changed the rank of a player on your ship. When Promoting a Character, you will want to communicate with the ships captain (if you aren't already) so that they may role play this promotion on the list.
We will be re-introducing the award system in the near future.
Transferring players off the list will generally be done by List Group Moderator or the game staff. One exception is when you are transferring a player to Tryst Training. Tryst Training is a location where crew go when they have stopped posting for a long enough period that they need to be considered for removal. We remove non-posting players so that new players may take their place appropriately.
Transfers occur in the Fleet only at the request of players - once per year - or when they are promoted as a captain of another ship. Transfers in the Academy occur when a player is promoted to Warrant Officer, and off to another ship. To transfer a player, login to Halo, select "modify crew" and locate the character in the crew manifest. Once you enter their biography screen from this list, you will find a drop-down menu indicating the ship to which they are currently assigned. You may now select the ship to which they are being transferred, and select the Update button at the bottom of the screen in order to make the switch permanent. Any time that you transfer a crew member - in the Fleet or the Academy, you need to send an email to the List Moderators List that indicates who you have transferred and where you are transferring them. An example of such an email might be:
Subject: Crew Transfers
Warrant Officer Tamika Smith from USI Stingray to Tryst Training.
Tryst Training transfers should occur when players are no longer posting to your ship. If a player has not posted for three weeks, you should email them off list to determine why this is. If they do not intend to return to posting (indicated either in their email or by a lack of response to your query), transfer them to Tryst Training after 4 weeks of zero posts. Characters will be deleted after 8 weeks spent in Tryst Training. If players do decide to return, they still have access to the last ship to which they were assigned. They need to send in an RPG post, at which time you will notify the List Moderators' List that they have returned, and A list group moderator or game staff will transfer them back into your crew manifest. It is recommended that you notify players of the situation - that they are being transferred, how long they have before deletion, what is required to return - when you transfer them to Tryst Training. If a player indicates that they no longer wish to receive emails from the list, you need to notify them that they will need to use the leave game option after logging into halo. Please notify the List Group Moderators list and they will clean up any remaining lists which they may be a a part of.
Enforcing the Rules
Unfortunately, the List Moderator's job is not all promotions and rewards. List Moderators are also responsible for enforcing USI's rules. These include the language policy, zero on list NRPG fighting, universe continuity, monitoring SHS and SVS (discussed further in Section 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 respectively), and maintaining a PG-13 environment on the list. It is best to enforce these rules via off list emails to the offending crew members. However, if several people on your ship are breaking a rule, or if an NRPG fight has broken out, you may find it necessary to make some kind of appropriate comment on list to end the battle. When it comes to the rules, typically reminders are enough to bring an end to the offending behaviour. You may come across players who have not carefully read the rules of the game, and are not aware that we have a strict G language policy (think Disney cartoons) - requiring that words, which some players may deem are not swear words, are not used in any in appropriate context on the lists. These players will usually agree to modify their language when they are notified of this rule. You are also asked to monitor biographies for content - players are able to constantly update their biographies, and they may add material that is inappropriate or that indicates SHS. If players are not cooperative, or if you are uncertain about whether a rule has been broken, or about how you should deal with a particular situation, you are strongly encouraged to contact your List Group Moderator. It is also recommended that you cc them all emails sent out to players regarding broken rules so that they are kept in the loop about your off list activities. This is particularly useful if players are not cooperative - List Group Moderators will then be aware of everything that has transpired from the moment you first contacted them.
SHS stands for "SuperHero Syndrome." This occurs when a player posts their character as doing something that would typically not be possible for someone in their situation. An example might be an engineer performing surgery, or a navigator acting as a sniper. The most common acts of SHS include marines who are virtually invincible due to their mastery of combat skills, or any character who can single-handedly save the day. SHS makes the game less fun for everyone - who wants to roleplay in a situation where one character is constantly able to do everything, constantly able to save the problem within a post or two? You may need to ask players to tone down their characters abilities - it is important that the character's RPG behaviour matches the abilities listed in their biography via the game's Character Ability System. Remind players that their department is an indication of their specialization, and that they need to act accordingly. List Group Moderators will be happy to assist you in dealing with players demonstrating SHS.
SVS stands for "Super Victim Syndrome." A problem similar to SHS, this occurs when a player consistently places their character in the victim's role. Frequently being kidnapped, injured and generally the target of whatever evil might occur in a plot are good signs that there is a player on your ship with SVS. It is not fun for the rest of the crew to constantly have to rescue one character - and it also places that character constantly at the center of the action. This can discourage other players who feel their characters are being reduced to supporting roles. You may need to ask players to stop making their character be the victim. Give them tasks to perform that take them out of harm's way, and if need be, point out that other players would like the opportunity to be the one to run into trouble. TFCs will be happy to assist you in dealing with players demonstrating SVS.
PC vs. NPC
A PC is a Player-Character - i.e. the character with which a player has signed up, and who should be used by the player in the majority of their posts. An NPC is a Non-Player-Character, i.e. a character that the player has created to use in limited ways in order to post more frequently or to give more dimension to a ship. Players are not permitted to make NPCs that outrank their PC. NPCs are restricted by the same rules of SHS that PCs are - and should not be created so that PCs are able to do things - by having the NPC do it - that they would not normally be able to do. NPCs can be created in Halo, and entered into the NPC database. At present time, players are restricted to five NPCs in the database each, but should be encouraged to create 'temporary' NPCs for use in one plot, or in a couple of posts to add flavor to their posting.
There is no specific Posting POlicy for List Moderators as it is possible to be a List moderator of a list on which you do not have a character of. If you happy to be a player of a list on which you are list Moderator, you are held to the standard player posting policy in order to maintain that rank, however it does not effect your status of List Moderator. As long as you are performing your duties of list moderator, then you are allowed to keep the position. The List Moderator position does not grant your any specific RPG related authority (such as being able to order around anyone.) We ask that NRPG and RPG are kept distinctly separate. Captains and admirals are held to a posting policy, although it may differ from the standard posting policy. If you have a character which has one of those ranks, to maintain that rank you will be held against these policy's.
We ask that NRPG posts are kept to a minimum. It has been the experience of past List Moderators that NRPG posts tend to lead to off-topic conversations, and/or fighting on lists. It is important that you discourage players from posting NRPG messages without RPG posts attached to them. That said, as a List Moderator, you may find it necessary to address an NRPG message to your crew every now and again. Be sure to clearly label your post with NRPG in the subject line. NRPG's are encouraged to be used by List moderators as a way to help clarify plot discrepancies or announcements which need to be made to the general list population.
An IIR is a crew report that you are required to submit every other week. You will have access to fill one out on even numbered weeks in the year, starting Monday at 12:01 AM MST (GMT -7), and have the rest of the week to complete it. This IIR is submitted via Halo and is then made available to the Admirals so they can review the status of your ship, and comments you have made regarding the characters on it. It is one of several ways that USI Administration is able to track the progress and status of all players. The IIR is also the basis for the USI ability point system, with ability points awarded based on the level at which individual players are posting. If you do not submit a IIR, the players in your crew will not receive ability points. Finally, you are to submit post counts on a per character and per ship basis. This means that you will tally all RPG posts for each player over the two week period and indicate that number in the IIR. You will also tally the ship's total, discounting any RPG posts from your TFC. Joint Posts - posts written by two or more people - will count as one post for each player involved in writing the post, but as only one post for your ship total. To access your IIR, login to Halo and then select "modify crew." You should see on the left side of the screen an option that is "Ship Name IIR". Select it, and the IIR window will open.
If you have difficulty submitting your IIR for technical reasons - and you have double-checked to make sure you are trying to submit it at the right time, contact your LGM with specific details of the problem. If you are unable to submit your IIR because you are away, then contact your LGM and arrange to have them submit an IIR. DO NOT ask a player on the to complete the IIR; DO NOT give another player your HALO login information. This is a completely inappropriate solution that gives players access to all of your account, including the ability to modify your crew, read the archives of all lists you may be on, INCLUDING the List Moderators' List which is confidential, and all other elements of your account. If you need another player to submit an IIR, It is recommended that you ask your XO to email all pertinent information for the IIR to the LBM including post counts, notes on characters and a plot summary.
Anatomy of an IIR
Character Name, Rank, Position: Identifies for whom you are inputting data Posts on Server (for the last two weeks): Halo counts the total number of posts registered for this player, regardless of whether they were NRPG or RPG posts. Please do a manual count of posts - including joint posts - for each character when you are indicating their Posting Status.
Posting Status: There are several options here: Above Minimum, which is 4+ posts a week, Minimum which is 3 posts a week, Below Minimum which is less than 3 posts a week, Dead which is 0 posts a week and Excused which is used when a player has indicated they cannot post due to other circumstances (e.g. vacation, holiday, computer problems)
A post is anything that contains an RPG section for your ship. NRPG posts do not count towards a player's post count. Be sure to note in the player notes if they have posted several NRPG posts, or if their RPG posts tend to be either on the short side or particularly long.
Notes about Officer: Notes can, and should, be entered for each character providing useful details on their conduct and posting during the previous two weeks. This is the appropriate space for recommending an XO for List Moderatorcy, or a player for promotion to XO, as well as a good place to note any absences. These notes will be added to individual permanent records, which can be access by the player's current List Moderator and all Admirals above them in the chain of command.
Things to potentially include: A breakdown of how much they have posted e.g. did they post a lot one week and then not at all the next?, How well they are posting e.g. length of posts, quality of posts, interaction with others Whether there have been any problems e.g. broken rules, SHS, offensive NRPGs? Highlight their strengths e.g. very creative, strives to involve others, strong leadership qualities, utilizes information from the various databases in their posts
Posting Status: The second posting status is located after the crew list. It is an indicator of the posting status of your entire ship. Three colors are used red, yellow and green. Red indicates that posting is low, you are in need of new crew, and possibly some outside (TFC) assistance in getting your crew posting regularly again. Yellow indicates that posting is at a medium level, new players would be appreciated, but assistance is probably not required. Green indicates that posting is high, and you are 100% satisfied with your ship.
Other Notes: Use this section to describe in detail any mishaps that occur, any concerns you might have in general, or to highlight any positives that you would like to draw attention to. The general notes section is an appropriate space for any general comments about your crew. Have you noticed that certain people only post with each other, or that someone is being excluded (deliberately or accidentally?) from the plot? Do you have any general concerns about your list? Or do you want to praise your crew, or emphasis praise for any particular players?
Plot Details: A brief summary of the status of your plot is the final section in the IIR. A paragraph or two outlining what the ship's current mission is, is all that is required.
Promotion to Warrant Officer and the IIR
In the Academy, IIRs are to be submitted BEFORE any character transfers to the Fleet (which occur when a player is promoted to Lt. JG) are performed. In the Fleet, if you submit an IIR after a player is transferred to your ship from the Academy, you are expected to mark the player as excused. This is to ensure that the player receives an accurate number of ability points. If a player transfers to your ship from the Fleet, use the List Moderators' List to ask the player's former List Moderator what an appropriate posting status should be.
The Ability System
The character ability system was put in place to provide a guideline for character abilities, as well as to provide a resource for monitoring SHS. Characters are able to learn abilities as they receive points for posting. Initially characters can only learn four abilities, but they will have access to more the longer they stay in the game to a maximum of 8. Abilities range from level 0 to level 15 - with 0 being a very basic or weak ability to 15 being a mastery of the ability. Guidelines as to what the levels will mean on a per ability basis are being drawn up - but please think logically. Levels 1-4 should be played at a beginner level for each ability, while levels 10-14 would be expert. As a List Moderator, it is your job to ensure that players are respecting the ability system.
As a List Moderator, you are responsible for watching over plots on your ship. Plots should be appropriate and within the scope of the universe as described on the Website. Anyone is allowed to create a plot, though it should be upto the captain to actively participate in the propagation of them.
The Anatomy of A Crew
As a List Moderator, you will become extremely familiar with your crew - their biographies, their personalities, and what their roles are on your ship. The following are some guidelines regarding your crew.
If you are not the captain of the ship, please understand that the captains of the ship are the plot leaders and are looked upto by the crew. They are the ones who are running the ship and will often act like list moderators. Captains duties are more plot oriented in creating, ending, and maintaining the plots.
Task Force Stations
Each Task Force has a station list that is run by the Task Force Commander. These station lists are accessible by everyone who is maintaining a reasonable posting rate on their assigned ship. The lists are to be populated by NPCs, and PCs will only be present if the corresponding ship is docked with the station. It is up to you to decide during these periods of downtime how you will tabulate posts - you may opt to require players to continue posting to the ship list, or else count posts to the station only if they contain the player's character (thus not counting NPC posts). The Task Force Station is essentially intended as the hub for each Task Force. They will hopefully facilitate increased continuity throughout the Task Force. As the Admiral in your Task Force is in charge of the station, it is up to them to monitor the list. On the station list, you have no authority, so please leave any on list problems to the Admiral to deal with, or bring any off list problems to their attention. Also, it is recommended that players contact the Admiral off list if they would like to hold one of the open department head positions on the station.
Cross-posts can be set up between your ship and another in your List Group (Task Force, RPG-Wise) with the permission of your LGM. Cross-posts are essentially plots that are run with two ships. During a cross-post, players receive posts from both ships, and are able to interact with the crew of the other ship as well as their own. Cross-posts require a lot of planning, and require two willing List Moderators and Captains who will be available during the entire duration of the cross-post. For more information, contact your LGM. Cross-posts are not possible in the Academy.
Resources at Your Disposal
Whether you are newly promoted to List Moderator, or have held the job for several months or years, you are never without resources at your disposal to both improve your skills, and to assist you in List Moderatoring your ship.
List Group MOderators are assigned to each List Group - a group of upto four lists, often three ships and one station. The List Group Moderator is the next step up in the Chain of Command - they are your direct superior. If you have any questions or concerns, or need someone to toss an idea off of, this person is your best bet. They are here to help you, not only with the fun stuff, but also if you have any problems with players on your ship.
You should try to become very familiar with the Content on the USI website - located in the Universe Menu section. These pages can provide you with a variety of information regarding the USI universes, including crew and NPC databases, information on ships, species, factions and technologies. If you have a question about any of these things, look for an entry on the first, and if that does not clear it up, contact your LGM. These pages are updated so refer to them frequently to keep up to date.
The List Moderators' List
As a List Moderator, you now have access to the List Moderators' List. This list exists for the use of List Moderators, Admiral Sells, and the Admirals' List-List Moderators' List Liaison. All material sent over this list is 100% confidential - do not share any of it with non-List Moderators. You should feel comfortable using this list as a resource for any issue that may arise during your List Moderatorcy. If you are unclear about a rule, you can call upon the collective wisdom of the other List Moderators to clarify it. If you want to know whether you can do something within the context of the USI universe, this is a great resource to look to for a response. This list is also used for the communication of information or requests to and from the Admirals' list; hence, the existence of a Liaison.