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Storyteller Guide

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The Storyteller Guide is a resource that Regional, Domain, Assistant, and Junior Storytellers can utilize to understand their duties, responsibilities, and the hierarchy involved in storytelling. Please review this guide if you are considering applying to be a Storyteller. It will help you understand the expectations and commitments required of a Storyteller at all levels.

Storytelling is an multidimensional art form. (John William Waterhouse - A Tale from the Decameron)


What is a Storyteller?

Storytellers are the moderators of Mizahar. Storytellers are assigned to a specific forum known as a domain which they manage (or assist in managing) fully. Sometimes called Game Masters or Narrators, storytellers act as the main narrators of stories within these domains, giving characters involved in that story a chance to react to the situations that the storyteller provides them. Storytellers set the scenes, describe the atmosphere, and introduce NPCs into the core of the story. Storytellers are community leaders, developers, player helpers, and referees. If a person were to ask five different Mizahar storytellers what their job is about, most likely one would receive five different answers. Storytellers must be flexible, available, knowledgeable, and experienced. They must have exceptional people skills, a sense of fairness and equality, and an incredible creativity.

Types of Storytellers

Main article: Storytellers

Presently, our main focus in terms of storytellers is based on the Domain Storyteller and the Assistant Storyteller. These storyteller types make up the core of our Storytelling Team. In the future, we plan to have Regional Storytellers which oversee the six regions of Mizahar (Eyktol, Cyphrus, Sylira, Taldera, Kalea, and Falyndar). Until then, the Founders (Tarot, Gossamer, Colombina, Liminal, and Gillar) act as Regional Storytellers and oversee the various regions throughout Mizahar. Below is a more extensive definition of what the Domain and Assistant Storytellers are.

Regional Storyteller (RS)

These storytellers are in charge of one of the six Regions in Mizahar. They handle the coordination of the wildlands, all the spaces in between, and are in direct control of all the domains that fall into their Regions. A domain might consist of a popular IC area such as a city, a camp, a waterway, a mountain range, etc. Regional Storytellers are not expected to storytell full time, but they are encouraged to moderate threads. Instead, they coordinate their regions, develop their regions, and act as a 'go to' for the Domain Storytellers that fall into their jurisdiction. Occasionally Regional Storytellers will act as Domain Storytellers for specific 'pet areas' which might be a city or other type of location within their region. All Watchtowers are controlled by Regional Storytellers, unless a region is without an RS. Regional Storytellers are responsible for attending a RS Meeting once a month and should be positive proactive problem solvers in their regions. Regional Storytellers can approve XP anywhere in their Regions (even if one of their Domains has its own Domain Storyteller), and should act as an adviser for new players starting off. They also approve starting packages and mediate any disputes that might occur between players, between domain storytellers, or both. Regional Storytellers are set into place by the administrators under the advice of the rest of the gamewide storytellers.

Domain Storyteller (DS)

Domain Storytellers are specialists. They oversee smaller, more specialized areas located within regions. These areas could consist of a city, an encampment, a valley, an island, a group of people, a mountain range, or even just a fertile arch of land. Domains can consist of almost anything. It is even possible for a Domain Storyteller to be in charge of a large pirate ship and tell stories involving said ship. Domain Storytellers are responsible for developing the areas they oversee, helping players with questions, assigning starting packages, awarding experience, and working with the Regional Storytellers that oversee them. Domain Storytellers should be positive proactive problem solvers that are primarily focused on storycrafting and creating elaborate rich environments for players to interact with. Domain Storytellers act in close conjunction with the Founders and should keep an open dialog going between themselves, neighboring Domain Storytellers, and Founders in order to coordinate their development and keep informed about whats going on regionally and game-wide. Domain Storytellers are set into place by administrators with the permission of the Regional Storyteller and upon the advice of the rest of the game-wide storytellers.

Assistant Storyteller (AS)

Assistant Storytellers are storytellers that are working under the authority of a Domain Storyteller to help support a single domain that has become too large or popular for a Domain Storyteller to handle singularly. These Assistant Storytellers are responsible for moderating threads, aiding in the development of a domain, awarding XP, and promoting their domain. They are free to answer questions, assist players in starting out, and support a Domain Storyteller in any way they can. Assistant Storytellers are set into place by the administrators at the request of the Domain Storyteller and upon the advice of the rest of the game-wide storytellers.

Junior Storytellers (JrSt)

Main article: Junior Storytellers

These young members of the community are the staff positions we have available for young people under the age of eighteen since Assistant Storytellers and Domain Storytellers must be eighteen or older. JrSts have various jobs, which can change drastically from region to region and domain to domain. They do a great deal of project work and may or may not be involved in grading and moderation.

Hierarchy of Storytellers

  • Founders - Answer to each other
  • Regional Storytellers - Answer to the Founders
  • Domain Storytellers - Answer to the RS of their region and/or Founders
  • Assistant Storytellers - Answer to the RS/DS of which they are assigned
  • Junior Storytellers - Answer to the RS/DS of which they are assigned

Becoming a Storyteller

Anyone with the time and creative energy can be a storyteller. All it takes is a clear working knowledge of Mizahar’s rules and the game environment itself. Storytellers must have a great work ethic and a sense of fairness. They must treat people within their domains equally and respond quickly to moderation requests and questions. They must be able to identify problems (either realized or potential for problems) and eliminate these issues so that everyone has an enjoyable Mizaharian experience. There is no minimum requirement for age, length of stay on Mizahar, or experience, though all these factors will be taken into consideration before a Storytelling position is offered.

Applications can be found in the Storyteller section of the Wiki. Upon completing the brief questionnaire, interested individuals must post their application in the Help Desk. Applications will be reviewed and decided upon within a single week’s time.

Storyteller Access & Privileges

Storytellers enjoy a wide variety of commands that allow them to control threads in their assigned forums. They receive a set of controls that makes it easy for storytellers to manage forums effectively. They can close, open, move, stick, and unstick threads as well as create announcements both locally and globally. Domain Storytellers oversee Assistant Storytellers (who lack these forum controls) and direct them in helping to manage their assigned forums.

In addition to a whole set of controls, storytellers have access to the Storyteller Toolbox, where storytellers can post their ongoing plots, keep track of their domain secrets, and converse with other storytellers in the Staff Lounge. Domain Storytellers can also read and post to Storyteller Secrets, which are the singular threads that storytellers keep on individual characters that contain all those character’s secrets. Please see Storyteller Secrets for more information.

Storytellers are required to organize and document their domains intensively, and to reflect this expectation they are given all the tools they could possibly use to ensure this requirement is fulfilled.


Storytellers can develop NPCs, Locations, Groups, Concepts and basically anything that has to do with their Domain with a great deal freedom. They can create laws and bodies to enforce those laws. They can add animals, plants, and features to their domain. However, Storyteller's do not have carte blanche to develop concepts that might be found in their city but are pre-existing and created by other developers. These elements generally consist of race alterations (additions/subtractions/expansions) and groups (that aren't exclusive to that city). If a race is prominent in a Storyteller's Domain, then that storyteller DOES NOT have the ability to add to the race writeup based on their own concept or interpretation of that race. They must seek approval of the Founder who created said race or go through the proper stages in the World Development Forum. Otherwise, storytellers have a fairly free hand at crafting their domains. Assistants must stick to their domains and craft within the context of their domain storyteller's supervision. Remember, development is just a small part of being a storyteller. The main focus a storyteller should have is on actually telling a story and fulfilling moderator duties as a whole.

Storyteller Responsibilities & Expectations

Storytellers have a wide variety of duties and responsibilities. Above everything else, including their duties, Storytellers are expected to act professional and courteous. Not only do storytellers actively set up plots, run threads, and manage domains, but they must develop their domains as well. They must stay active, put in their time and moderate threads when asked and as their free time permits. There are no set 'hours of operation' on Mizahar or an ‘hours per week’ time commitment. Nevertheless, Storytellers must be active in their areas of expertise by posting frequently, contributing to their domain, its development, and by participating in Staff Lounge discussions. In addition, Storytellers are expected to maintain an open dialog with the Founders and keep a schedule posted that lists times they are available for either posting or talking face to face with players in chat.

Domain Storytellers must respond to PMs and questions on their OOC threads, post in the threads they are moderating, etc, all in a timely manner. They must show an active positive presence on the game (logging in frequently, responding quickly, etc) for the duration of their volunteerism. They must also maintain at least one open adventure (which can close later) within their domains at all times, even if the adventure is grandfathered. Storytellers must actively work to recruit players to their domains by providing quests open to the public or by ongoing development designed to attract players and induce interaction among them. Storytellers must fulfill the following obligations:

  • Maintaining or assisting in maintaining a domain.
  • Providing help, support, and encouragement to players in their domain.
  • Providing plots to fulfill the advancement or enrichment needs of characters in their assigned domain.
  • Fleshing out the Wiki in regards to your domain, including NPCs, flora and fauna.
  • Being available and actively posting, running quests, and participating in dialog, chat, and conversations in The Staff Lounge.

Storytellers unable to meet these requirements or fulfill their obligations will be asked to step down and retire their positions. Generally speaking, a storyteller will receive a thirty day notice if a Founder feels they are not actively participating or has gone missing. Mizahar understands that storytelling is a volunteer non-compensated position and will accept divergences from these requirements with prior notice due to circumstances in a storyteller’s personal life outside of Mizahar. However, when someone does volunteer to storytell and is approved and assigned a domain, they volunteer to fulfill these obligations. The rest of the staff expects those obligations to be fulfilled. Otherwise, players suffer from inattention who are actively counting on forum managers for assistance. All the Founders ask is an open line of communication and a heads-up on leaves of absences if they become necessary.


No matter what sort of domain a Storyteller is in charge of - be it a city or a set of ruins or even an ocean - there needs to be a minimum of 10 locations fully fleshed out with NPCs and/or appropriate flora/fauna for the main forum. Subforums need to be fully described and must contain at least five locations in addition to the mandatory Linkmap, Entrance, and News threads. Each domain gets one subforum automatically. Subsequent subforums must be justified by activity and fully described in the same manner domains are. Storytellers are in charge of fleshing out and maintaining (as well as updating) their wiki entries. Domain forums should always include the following threads:

  • Linkmap: A full list of all locations in the domain and the links to their threads. This thread should be stickied.
  • OOC Thread: This is an informational chatter thread where both PCs and storytellers can post updates, make announcements, and ask domain specific questions. This thread should be stickied.
  • Entrance Thread: This is a thread specifically listed for Storytellers to track movements in and out of the domain. Entrance threads can be anything from gates to a wide variety of creative descriptive threads to announce characters moving in and out of swamps, mountain ranges, ruins, and oceans. This thread should be stickied.
  • News Threads: These are threads that announce seasonal weather, events, holidays, and special happenings, etc. This thread should be stickied.
  • Location Threads: These are threads that depict specific locations that characters can visit. These threads can be allowed to drift anywhere in the forum but should always be linked to the Linkmap for easy access.

Location threads can include government offices, lodging, watchtowers, and places to eat and shop. Location threads should be noted by the prefix [Location] or [Domainname Location] where the domain name will be something like [Syliras Location] for clarity. Domains should also have places like gardens, parks, monuments, forests, rivers, roads or bodies of water. Locations can be almost anything! Be creative and colorful.

Domain and Assistant Domain Storytellers have the right to moderate and award XP in their own Domains and adjacent wilderness areas only. All requests to 'guest moderate' elsewhere needs to be posted in the Help Desk.

Domain Essentials

One cannot stress how important it is as a storyteller to define your domain. You can do this via your domain’s wiki article. Please include the following information in your article. Some of these questions will overlap somewhat, but they are all equally important. Remember, a Domain Storyteller might know the answer to these questions, but unless they document carefully (as is required of their position) no one else will.

  • Where is its location?
  • Where are its clear boundaries?
  • What is contained within it? This includes locations, flora, fauna, and other denizens.
  • What is the domain’s history?
  • Is there anything special about the domain?
  • What is its importance to Mizahar?
  • What makes it unique?
  • What are the domain’s secrets?
  • Any wiki articles that have special significance to your domain? These can include gods, goddesses, skills, magic, flora, fauna, NPCs, etc.
  • What are your domain’s resources? Imports? Exports? Population?

Pre-Development & Research

When granted the position of a Storyteller it is a good idea to post in the Domain's O.O.C. thread a call for information that may already exist about said area so that one can see what has already been developed, is in development or is otherwise mentioned or referred to. It is also a good idea to add a thread to the World Development forum or Staff Lounge asking for similar material. This could be anything from Lore articles to existing locations elsewhere that may relate to the Storyteller's specific area. In addition to the call for info, glancing through the Lore for existing articles on items related to one's area is always a good move. The purpose of all of this is to avoid potential conflict with existing material and/or allow the Storyteller to question, suggest and otherwise work with other developers to make said Storyteller's area that much stronger and more diverse. There is nothing worse than throwing your all into the development of an area just to find out that it comes in conflict with existing material. Chances are that through proper research and calls for assistance, one will be able to develop a truly unique and satisfying area for all to enjoy.

Wilderness Areas & No-Man's Lands

Each region has a wilderness area that is named for various things (Falyndar's Jungle, Cyphrus' Sea of Grass, Eyktol's Desert, Taldera's Unforgiving Mountains) that normally doe not have a storyteller attached to it. Each Domain Storyteller that has a domain within the region that has the associated wilderness area has the right to guest moderate in that wild area and can award XP of various types (quests they've ran, self moderated threads via characters). There are no location quotas for Wilderness or Wildland areas though associated Domain Storytellers have the right to add locations and do development on the adjacent/associated wilderness/wildland areas as they see fit. This is especially true of flora and fauna native to the wilds.

Experience Rewards

Main Article: Grading Guide

Experience points or XP are a method by which players can track their characters' progress in skills, disciplines, and/or magic abilities. Experience points are awarded by storytellers at the completion of threads. A Domain Storyteller (DS) or an Assistant Storyteller (AS) can award XP for any thread within his or her domain. A Regional Storyteller (RS) can award XP for any thread within his or her Region (including all the domains that fall within the region's boundaries). Founders can give XP for any thread.

Each thread can be worth anywhere from 1 to 5 experience points per skill or discipline. Threads can be awarded XP for more than one skill. If, for example, a Morphing mage PC changes shape multiple times within a complex thread and also uses a weapon for a lengthy battle scene, the PC could be awarded 1 - 5 XP for Morphing and also 1 - 5 XP for the appropriate weapon skill. There is no hard and fast post count requirement per thread, nor is there a length requirement per post. However, storytellers who award XP should look for depth of writing, creative use of skills, and other similar factors when awarding XP. The more effort a player puts into a post, the more reward he or she will reap.

Do not hesitate to award Lores. The term Lore depicts accumulated facts, traditions, or beliefs about a particular subject. This subject, in general, is very specific and doesn't fit into the traditional skill groups because it’s truly not a buildable skill in the sense that as one knows more about the knowledge, the better one gets at it. Lore knowledge is just simple knowledge that is somewhat unchanging and does little to affect your skill. Lore cannot be trained and built upon like a traditional skill. Lores are incredibly fun to collect and really have a tendency to round out a character.

When awarding XP, here are a few things to remember:

  • Read the thread completely. Our players put time and effort into writing threads and deserve to have them read thoroughly.
  • Be prudent. Use common sense when awarding XP.
  • Be punctual. Don't make a character wait for their experience points. You should award XP within 7 days of receiving the request.
  • Post all XP awards publicly in the last post of a thread.
  • Don't be stingy with XP. If people put time and effort into a post and have a huge word count devoted to that topic, give them full points and credit them with appropriate lores.

Most storytellers award XP at the end of a thread once the characters involved either request XP or finish their tasks set out by the storyteller themselves. Many storytellers end threads with this type of framed XP award.

Thread Award

Character Name

  • XP: Place any XP the characters have earned here.
  • Lore: Place any Lore the characters have earned here.
  • Additional Notes: Add any additional notes such as a link to a SS thread here.

Item Rewards

Domain Storytellers are allowed to give out unique quest items as long as they add them to a player’s storyteller secret thread when handed out. Founders reserve the right to edit quest items if they feel they are overpowered or unbalanced. If in doubt, check with a Founder to make sure your reward items are on par with the quest or adventure threads challenge level. There is no set scale, so storytellers are encouraged to use their best judgment. All quests should have equal risk verses rewards meaning the challenge should match the reward given.


Please keep all posts neat, visually pleasant, and as artistic as possible for the skill level of the storyteller involved. Locations should include some sort of image (if possible) and a lengthy description to go with them, including any and all NPCs associated with the site.

Please post in third person past tense format. This is considered a ‘narrator’s viewpoint’ and is the only accepted form in Mizahar.

Special Approvals, Character Help, NPCs, and Gods

All NPC approvals for players, Gnosis marks at start, starting package alterations, and unusual circumstances should be referred to the Help Desk for approval. Feel free, however, to help players create their Character Sheets and to pick their starting packages so long as they fit into the normal category. And by all means, please make yourself as a storyteller available for answering questions and guiding a player into getting started within your domain.

Storytellers have the right to create NPCs that dwell within their domains. These NPCs should be considered normal people with average skills. Storytellers cannot create additional Gods, Goddesses or Alvina. Fragment monsters should also be approved via the Help Desk since they are considered extremely powerful. Flora and Fauna should be developed via the World Development Forum before being added to the wiki. All development should be noted in the wiki under the domain’s personal wiki page.

Roleplaying gods and goddesses are encouraged but should be well documented under the god or goddesses writeup in the Wiki under Thread Appearances. See a Founder for help doing this documentation.


Once a city becomes busy enough, a Domain Storyteller might seek or agree to apprentice a few helpers in the form of Assistant Storytellers. It is always a good idea to seek Assistant Storytellers before a Domain Storyteller gets to the point of being overwhelmed and overworked. Burnout as a storyteller is absolutely no fun. However once these assistants are in place, its a good idea for a Domain Storyteller to start a Coordination Thread in the Domain Coordination forum found below.

  • Board index -> Resources -> Resources -> Storyteller Resources -> The Storyteller Toolbox -> Domain Coordination

In this thread, storytellers can feel free to chatter back and forth among one another, plan threads, track issues, solve problems, and gain support from each other in managing all sorts of issues from who is awarding XP to who is overseeing specific shop threads. Please make use of these threads and routinely post to them so that groups of staff members working together knows whats going on between each other. This thread is also a place to post absences and let each other know whats going on with real life in case things get busy. Coordination threads are also great places to discuss players that might be struggling with the game or plots that are bogged down so that threads can keep moving or those struggling can find help. They are also great places for words of encouragement and attahboys to each other. Use them. Enjoy them!

Changing Domains

It is quite possible to change domains. A storyteller needs the permission of the Help Desk to do so. If you are an Assistant Storyteller, you need both the permission of the Help Desk and your current Domain Storyteller and the Domain Storyteller you are moving on to if any. You are responsible for your commitments in your previous posting and for finishing threads up before your move. If this is an AS moving, both Domain Storytellers involved need to make sure things are wrapped up before any moves are granted. It is not fair for a storyteller to commit to someone's thread and then leave it hanging while going on to new things elsewhere. It reflects badly on the storyteller and both the help desk and any other storyteller's involved if this happens. Multiple moves are not advised nor will they be granted permission unless previous moves were smooth without any excess baggage left behind. If you are a Domain Storyteller moving on to a new Domain in order to help develop a new location or city, please note that your previous area of influence needs to be left tidy and in the sort of shape that a new Domain Storyteller can move in and take up where you left off. This means you need fully developed Wiki entries, NPCs, and leave no 'blanks' like culture, locations, etc. Domains are never 'totally' finished, but they do get to a point where they are playable and understandable. Leave your current domain in this state before moving on to a new domain.


Storytelling is an absolutely rewarding and fun experience for anyone who’s even a little bit creative. Being part of the staff, however, is also a great deal of work. Time management and having the ability to take a vision that is within ones’ head and translate it into a visually pleasing text display is always a challenge. In addition to being designers, developers, and creative founts of adventures of all shapes and sizes, Storytellers must be problem solvers.

Let’s face it. When multiple people are involved, conflicts can and will develop. These conflicts come in all shapes and sizes, from simple misunderstandings to all out personality clashes. Storytellers must be able to identify potential problems and take steps in order to quickly diffuse situations before they become out of control. This involves being impartial and having great communication skills. Storytellers must be firm and dedicated to laying down and enforcing their expectations within their domains. Being leaders, they must always uphold the game standards and rules – asking the same of the players within their domains – and above all leading by example. Founders rise to all the challenges a game like Mizahar presents on a daily bases and has a high expectation that their staff will do so as well.