I read this sometime in the late 90s, borrowed from the local library. The basic plot was that people couldn't exit the VR sim(s), so the authorities brought in one of the original designers of the fantasy realm (as that's where the trouble started) to get to the bottom of it all. (It was a fairly generic D&D/VR ripoff, but trying to remember it has been bugging me.)
Other bits I remember:
- There were several VR realms, one of the others was a War sim - a general was mentioned as being trapped there.
- The main character's class was a bard, whereas normal users could only pick from warrior/wizard/rouge
- He was forced out of the VR company after creating the fantasy realm, and is reluctant to assist
- He's introduced in the book at a sword-fighting lesson (possibly fencing)
- He has a pegasus that's under the illusion of being an old nag
- He defeats a dragon by lassoing it's mouth shut on it's own fireball
- He has some root level systems access (a backdoor that he left in for himself), even within the sim
- The fantasy realm has some partial scenarios based on myths - he escapes from a snow white type scenario on his pegasus (which was depicted on the cover IIRC)
- VR tech was of the full body immersion tank type, with some sort of neural feedback
- At the start a bit character has his hand cut off in game, and on waking up can't feel anything in that hand
- The computer running the sim has achieved some sort of sentience and separated into id, ego and superego personas
- Someone was suffering from brain cancer IRL, so uploaded himself to the sim and suffers from persistent headaches. His attempts to hack the system from the inside using magic are probably the root cause of the problems.
Any ideas would be appreciated, my google-fu has failed me. (oh, and it's not the Otherland series — that's far more complex and interesting)