Aetheria Offline: A LITRPG Saga

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The Aetheria server has come to life!

Join the Lost Legion and the Knights of Aetheria as they wage war against the forces of the Unseeing.

With each installment, one reader will be selected to join an ever growing character cast. They must create their own character, whose progress will be tracked throughout the story with a character sheet. Such characters are not entirely under the control of the author; the author will ensure that each reader's character behaves according to settings provided by the readers, as well as feedback provided in further reviews.

Readers who are part of the cast will be given the opportunity to vote on important decisions such as the direction of the story and what quests to pursue. In other words, the story is not set in stone.

 

My Opinion: 138 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

The Author has over 30 Minecraft based game stories that target the 7-12 year old age groups.  The author claims to have been writing stories with RPG elements for years but this is the first title that I could find tagged as LitRPG.

A unique aspect to the story is its ‘interactiveness’.

With each installment, one reader will be selected to join an ever growing character cast. They must create their own character, whose progress will be tracked throughout the story with a character sheet. Such characters are not entirely under the control of the author; the author will ensure that each reader's character behaves according to settings provided by the readers, as well as feedback provided in further reviews.

Readers are supposed to submit their characters as reviews of the story on Amazon and then they can help determine the course of the story on a special Discord channel.

This artificially inflates the review count.

So the author takes characters and story ideas given by readers and incorporates them into their own work. Some reviewers accuse the author of stealing these kid’s ideas and characters but reading the reviews where kids submit their characters, they seem happy to do it.

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The actual novel is six short stories that are loosely related and marginally LitRPG. There story takes place in Minecraft, a game, there are things like levels, abilities, and character sheets but there’s no actual RPG progression. But that’s sort of the nature of stories that are sometimes only a couple pages long.

There’s a lot of information thrown at the reader that likely relates to a specific Minecraft reference but it’s never explained. For example, the first story for Elric notes he’s a Knight 10/Initiate of Eight Winds 10/ Wayward Swordsman 3/ Purifier 15/ Retainer of Icehollow 6/ Disciple of the Silver Flame 15/ Twilight Shepard 1. Only there’s no explanation of what any of those classes mean or do.

The stories themselves are sort of boring. At least for me, a grown up. The story is very clearly geared towards 7-11 year olds and it may be more entertaining to someone who loves minecraft. For me, most of the stories fell flat. There’s rarely setup for plot or foreshadowing. Characters have no background so it’s hard to care for them.  Also, most of the stories just describe stuff happening and nothing else.

1-21% Elric. Just a combat scene with very loose and unexplained backstory. Fight between Elric and Underlord.

22- 27 % Kolb (Player) who dates an NPC. They eat pizza together a rare item that has to be crafted while the method is lost to players. (Actually kind of cute)

28- 41% Faolan (NPC), magician and humanoid wolf. Tries to cure the Mayor of a level 25 poison. When a player looking for a secret quest interrupts, things get crafty. (Cute actually)

42-46 % Becca (Player) supposed to unlock a black box. (Really that’s it)

47- 55 % Kae (Player) provides a key for the box. They get some items. (Yup, that’s it again)

56- 63 % Rubinia (Player) gives out enchantments.

63-70% Cobalt. Conversation with a noob player new to the guild. Introduce several players with character sheets.

71-81% Author explaining the rules of the story game and how reviewers can get a character added to the novel in future versions.

81-100% Glossary of items.

Overall, an interesting experiment on collaborative storytelling. Except the part where the author keeps all the money from sales. Also, note that a good 30% of the novel is just the author explaining the rules for submitting characters and stories to readers. The nature of the stories themselves and the vaguely exploitive way the author is coming up with the stories left me not liking the product.

Score: 4 out of 10.

Aetheria Offline: A LITRPG Saga

http://amzn.to/2CRBJ7C