LitRPG Podcast 186 - Scamps & Scoundrels, Street Cultivation, Forever Online, Olympus Online, The Realms 5


LitRPG Podcast 186 - Scamps & Scoundrels, Street Cultivation, Forever Online, Olympus Online, The Realms 5

Aug. 23rd, 2019

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 186 of the LitRPG podcast.

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 6 new reviews just for you.

New Releases and Reviews:

Scamps & Scoundrels: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Bad Guys Book 1)

Enjoy the author’s writing but this one just barely missed for me.

Score: 6 out of 10 

Street Cultivation

Not as good as New Game Minus for me, but nice if you like cultivation stories.

Score: 7.1 out of 10 

The World's Strongest Wizard Becomes Manaless: A Fantasy LitRPG Series (Volume One) 

Reads a lot like a children’s story with a simplistic setup and one real point of conflict.

Score: 5 out of 10 

Forever Online, ep 1: Uploaded (Forever Online LitRPG saga)

Start of a short story series. Too much setup and not much else. Got bored. 

Score: 5 out of 10 

Olympus Online: Book One: Hero

Greek themed. The stats don’t matter but I enjoyed the slice of life action.

Score: 7.2 out of 10 

The Forsaken God: The Realms Book Five: (An Epic LitRPG Series) 

The beginning of a new arc in the series. Smaller story, but still good.

Score: 7.3 out of 10 

(Play Music 2)

LitRPG News

Daniel Schinhofen has put just about his entire Alpha World series on sale on Amazon between Aug. 18th and Sept 8th. If you haven’t read them or bought them, this is a great time to do so. He doesn’t put his stuff on sale very often. 

AW1: Gamer for Life-- August 18-21

AW2: Forming the Company-- August 21-24

AW3: Alpha Company-- August 24-27

AW4: Playing for Keeps-- August 27-30

AW5: Fractured Spirit-- August 30-September 2

AW6: The Path to Peace-- September 2-5

AW7: Darkhand-- September 5-8

Alpha World Series page 

James Hunter and Dakota Krout are doing a giveaway contest to help promote their co-authored book Bibliomancer, which will not be on Kindle Unlimited but instead get a wide release on multiple platforms. They have a goal to get best seller status on The New York Times and USA Today, but to do that they have to go wide. To help get them to that goal, they’re doing the contest giving away t-shirts, signed books, and audiobooks. Go check out the contest and enter by pre-ordering through the link they give there. 

Out Now!

A Mage Champion: (The Chronicles of Herst: Book 3)

Ruins of Rimnir: The Cabal: (A Gamelit Series)

Path of the Blood Phoenix (The Firebrand Series Book 3)  

Dungeon World 3: A Dungeon Core Experience

Distortion (Somnia Online Book 5)

Clockwork: The Return: Book 2

Clear and Present Ranger (Caverns and Creatures)

New LitRPG Audiobooks

The Adventurers Guild - The Realm Between, Book 3 

Death Awoken: Death God System, Book 1 

Upcoming LitRPG:

A Check for a Billion (Galactogon Book #3): LitRPG Series (Aug. 30th, 2019) 

Zones of Alacria: The Dragon Gate: Epic GameLit / LitRPG (The Experimental Alchemist Book 1) (Aug. 31st, 2019) 

Darkness Named (dARkness: Online Book 1) (Aug. 31st, 2019) 

Endless Fantasy Online: The Phoenix Kingdom (Aug. 31st, 2019) 

The Forest's Silence: A LitRPG Fantasy (Adventures on Brad Book 6) (Sept. 1st, 2019) 

A Game of Villains (World of Karik Book #1) Dystopian LitRPG Series (Sept. 2nd, 2019) 

Dragon Heart: Iron Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 2 (Sept. 5th, 2019)

**Error with the previous pre-order and it got canceled. It was supposed to be available now, but is now scheduled for Sept. 5th** 

Cliffs of Eldimar: A GameLit/LitRPG Adventure (Kazaran Online: Cerulean Server Book 2) (Sept. 6th, 2019) 

Gamer For Love (Alpha World Book 8) (Sept. 8th, 2019)

Blood of Fate (World 99 Book #1): LitRPG Wuxia Series (Sept. 9th, 2019) 

Gloominess +2: Congregation. A LitRPG Adventure: Book 2 (Sept. 10th, 2019) 

Bibliomancer: A Completionist Chronicles Series (Wolfman Warlock Book 1) (Sept. 17th, 2019) 

*Co-Author from Dakota Krout and James Hunter*

Skulls of Atlantis: A LitRPG and GameLit Pirate Adventure (Sept. 19th, 2019) 

Shadow Sun Rebellion (Shadow Sun series - Book 3) (Sept. 30th, 2019)

First Song 2 (Sept 2019)

Fairyed: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 4) (Oct. 1st, 2019) 

Quest for Power: A LitRPG Saga (Hero Online Book 2) (Oct. 3rd, 2019) 

Varnoth: The Black Blade: Book Two (A LitRPG Story) (Oct. 3rd, 2019) 

Dungeon of the Gods: A LitRPG Journey (Legends Online Book 2) (Oct. 6th, 2019) 

Dungeon Dive: A LitRPG short story (Tales from the Gods' Game Book 1) (Oct. 16th, 2019) 

Second Story Man: A GameLit/LitRPG Adventure (The Bad Guys Book 2) (Oct. 17th, 2019) 

Universe ICS: Keymaster. LitRPG Series. Book 2 (Oct. 17th, 2019) 

Deadman's Retinue (An NPC's Path Book #3): LitRPG Series

(Oct. 21st, 2019) 

A Dark Path: Grimdark LitRPG (Forsaken Talents Book 1) (Nov. 1st, 2019) 

The Way of Deception (World of Karik, Book #2, Part 1): LitRPG Series (Nov. 4th, 201) 

Avatar of Light (Interworld Network Book #2): LitRPG Series

(Nov. 7th, 2019) 

The Last Time Loop, Book #1: LitRPG Series (Nov. 11th, 2019) 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

(Play Music 3)

New Releases and Reviews

(Picture 1)

Scamps & Scoundrels: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Bad Guys Book 1)

Just yesterday, Ben was a neckbeard weeb with a weakness for Red Bull and tendies. Today, he's got a new name, a new face, and a new body, and he's watching the Glaton City Guard fight a twenty-foot-tall ooze that crawled forth from the sewers. Tomorrow, he'll need to find a guild to join, save a girl, steal a crown, and most importantly, convince an innkeep about the gloriousness of chicken fingers.

My Opinion: 446 pages, $4.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited

I really didn't connect with the story. Perhaps it was a case of too high expectations after enjoying the Good Guy series so much. But I was a little disappointed with this. From the series name, I expected the story to be about well, bad guys. Instead it's about a kindhearted thief that doesn't do a whole lot of stealing for most of the book. Additionally, one of the things I liked about the 1st book in the good guy series was that sense of discovery as the main character (MC) learned about the new RPG world. That also isn't here, instead there's a huge info dump in the 1st half of the story where the MC gets told everything and doesn't earn any of the knowledge or advantages being introduced to the world of rogues, thieves, and assassins. A few minutes in the world and he kills a significantly higher level character, gets loads of loot, connections to just the thief world, gets a place to stay, free food, and a ton of knowledge about how things work in the RPG world and the crime world. The MC never even dies or on any of his adventures even though there's a respawn system for him.

There are still good aspects to the story. It has a good snarky sense of humor. The fights that are there, are well written and very actiony. The author does a good job of fleshing out the city and building a foundation for the series. I also liked the nods to several characters and storylines from the Good Guy series.

However, though the writing was good I didn’t connect with the main character. He gets a chance to go to a new world and change his life and be anyone and he chooses to be the same person. He was a kindhearted thief in our world and in the new RPG world he chooses the rogue class. Additionally, he doesn’t do a whole lot of stealing and thievery in the book. The MC isn’t a villain or remotely a bad guy, so you don’t get that aspect either. 

Overall, while the 2nd half of the story was a bit more entertaining, I was still a little disappointed in the story. Just enough to push it below good for me. I have hopes for book 2 in the series though.

Score: 6 out of 10

Scamps & Scoundrels: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Bad Guys Book 1) 

Street Cultivation

In the modern world, qi is money.

The days of traveling martial artists and mountaintop masters are over. Power is controlled by corporations, modernized martial arts sects, and governments. Those at the bottom of society struggle as second class citizens in a world in which power is a commodity.

Rick is a young fighter in this world. He doesn't dream of immortality or becoming the strongest, just of building a better life for himself and his sister, who suffers from a spiritual illness. Unfortunately, life isn't that easy...

My Opinion: 607 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

From the author of the New Game Minus series comes something the author describes as 80% cultivation and 20% LitRPG. I think her proportions are pretty spot on. The majority of the story is a cultivation set in a modern world where a person’s power, position, and status are tied to how much lucrium, the author’s alternative to Qi, a person can make. The plot is pretty slice of life with several conflicts but is mostly about the main character (MC) trying to make a living in life while his cultivation attempts are being siphoned off by his sister, who has a unique ailment. It transitions into tournament fighting and class warfare to a degree plus quite a bit of personal training and development.

The game mechanics in the story are fairly regularly seen, though they mostly appear as status notifications of characters showing their rankings and lucrium generation levels. It’s a custom system of progression that uses the same lucrium for cultivation, as a currency, and a source of energy. Honestly, I was frustrated sometimes by the lack of a foundational explanation of how the cultivation worked. The story kind of explains as needed which left the progression system feeling ungrounded sometimes. Though I'll also point out the author explains all the terms and ideas in an appendix in the back.

Outside of that bit of slight frustration, the story was pretty fine. It's a slice of life story with some good martial arts fights and cultivation set in a modern setting. It is stretched out a little but it also has a good satisfying ending.

Good, not as good as New Game Minus for me, but nice if you like cultivation stories.

Score: 7.1 out of 10

Street Cultivation 

The World's Strongest Wizard Becomes Manaless: A Fantasy LitRPG Series (Volume One) 

In a world where mana means unparalleled power, Zephyr Chronis sits comfortably at its peak.

Granted the title of “The Grand Wizard” at a young age, Zephyr has always been the genius everyone around fears and respects. However, some things were about to change when he acquires a cursed sword artifact— The Ruler’s Blade.

Suddenly devoid of any mana, Zephyr could only hope to rely on his mediocre physical ability.

The future looked bleak, but not with the Ruler’s Blade’s power at hand— 

[Reached damage threshold— Stamina increased!]... 

[Reached speed threshold— Agility increased!]...

“I— I can actually get stronger with this!”

TWSWBM is a Fantasy LitRPG Series.

My Opinion: 203 pages, $2.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited

The title says it all, The World's Strongest Wizard becomes Manaless. That's the setup. After a brief and efficient into to the world and way the RPG stuff works. The main character (MC) , the strongest magician ever, finds a rare sword that takes his mana and replaces the basic interface with a better one. One capable of upgrading his stats and leveling him and increasing stats through use. No other like it. Trade off? No more mana to cast spells. After that it’s a bit of training to increase his stats, some huge multi year time jumps, and one good fight. There’s some mediocre story about the MC trying to get revenge for being a former slave and an evil duke, but it’s not really good. It’s just an excuse to get the MC to fight someone. 

Overall, other than the one fight in the middle everything is pretty simple. The story reads a lot like a children’s story with a simplistic setup and one real point of conflict. Not a terrible story, but a bit predictable. It is LitRPG though with ranks, and stats and levels but it’s not a major feature of the story just a way to describe the overpowered characters.

Score: 5 out of 10

The World's Strongest Wizard Becomes Manaless: A Fantasy LitRPG Series (Volume One) 

Forever Online, ep 1: Uploaded (Forever Online LitRPG saga)

Maybe putting everything in the hands of machines hadn’t been a good idea after all. 

But it was too late to cry now.

We, the gamers, needed to act.

Gone are the days when gamers were shunned and despised. Humanity is now facing a threat that defies comprehension, and the only chance to stop it is to get everybody hooked up to a virtual game. A game where rules are rich and complex and only the best can find the path to victory. 

The name of that game... FOREVER ONLINE. 

My Opinion: 59 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

This is the 1st episode in a planned serial story and it’s off to a rocky start. There’s virtually nothing but setup to this first episode. It sets up the premise, game mechanics, and the beginnings in the game. The premise: that gamers are supposed to connect their minds together to hack an alien interface, only the gamers will  have to play a FIVR game for this to work. I’m sure it’s part of a long term story arc, but it doesn’t make sense and honestly eats up way to much of the already short story (25%). The game mechanics are nothing special and character creation eats up another 25% introducing the other races, only for the main character (MC) to choose to be a human with his real name. The last half drops the MC in the game with some high minded storyline that really doesn’t matter yet. He gets a quest that is magically solved with no effort on his part, and then the story just ends. 

Overall, there’s lots of setup, but nothing really happens and I was pretty bored. 

Score: 5 out of 10

Forever Online, ep 1: Uploaded (Forever Online LitRPG saga) 

Olympus Online: Book One: Hero

Earl was a salesman living in a post-WWIII Earth. All work was done by AI controlled robots, allowing people to do whatever they wanted, which was the problem. Apathy was the prevailing attitude now and no one was motivated to do anything. Earl was hoping that the new MMO coming out, Olympus Online, would provide a distraction. Earl was right - entering Olympus Online was better than anything else he had ever experienced. Bur from the start, it seemed that was another agenda at work. What had he stumbled into?

My Opinion: 223 pages, $2.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited

A fairly good LitRPG story with a greek god theme. The beginning of the story describes a future world where most jobs are taken by A.I. and robots. It’s well described and the speculation is believable, serves as a reasonable excuse why the main character (MC) would agree to spend 6 months in a full immersion game he has little information about. Ultimately none of the real world stuff matters since the main character (MC) never returns there and that world is never mentioned again after the 13% mark. Once in the game it’s a slice of life action adventure story with some minor survivalist aspect that disappear when he meets people. Lots of well described action and quests from gods, but not much else. 

On the game mechanic side of things it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The described game mechanics eventually become an important part of the story but initially they’re left out for a sense of realism. I feel like the story shifted from something more like portal fiction to the full immersion game setting. This is indicated by the shift in the story from an inferred permadeath system with the MC being told ‘he’ll only have one life’ in the game to an actual respawn system once he gets there. Though even then the MC only dies once in the story so it doesn’t get much use. Another issue with the game mechanics is that the stats shown don’t really matter to the story. The MC having 0 intelligence doesn’t impede him nor does him going from stats of 1 to 30 have any impact on the story since there are no damage notifications for the MC during combat. Other than that, most of the game stuff makes sense with the MC being a barbarian and having a rage meter and stamina and health mattering to the story. Lots of item descriptions which again don’t really impact the story, but the effort is made to keep them regular. 

Overall, once I accepted the stats wouldn’t matter, I enjoyed the slice of life action. I could have probably done without a full character sheet every chapter, but I liked the greek theme and the setup for series villains. 

Score: 7.2 out of 10 

Olympus Online: Book One: Hero 

The Forsaken God: The Realms Book Five: (An Epic LitRPG Series) 

The Realms continue in this epic sequel to the Bestsellers Barrow King and Scourge of Souls.

“We could end this war before it begins.”

Gryph thought freeing his sister Brynn from the shackles of the High God would be the end of his mission.

Only to learn it was just the beginning.

Tasked with building an army for the Resistance, Gryph quickly realizes it will never be enough to curb the High God’s despotic quest to control the Realms.

Victory seems hopeless.

But then a long-buried secret resurfaces, and a desperate plan is hatched.

The survival of the Realms is in Gryph’s hands. If he fails, billions of souls will suffer a fate worse than death.  

Can Gryph uncover the mysteries of his past in time to save the Realms, or will his actions hand victory to the High God?

My Opinion: 476 pages, $3.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited

The next arc in the Realms series begins to unfold, this time with the Chaos Lords set as the ultimate big bads. However, that’s only teased in the novel, while most of it is devoted to a smaller story. Gryph and his group search for the forgotten god, who may know how to remove a god’s power. Only Gryphs group isn’t the only one searching for this god and the first ones to find him may win the conflict between the despotic High God and Gryph.

The novel continues to bring in new magic, new companions, and new interesting stories. There is good action, an intimate story, a good backstory for the High God, and an interesting quest with some nice story twists.

One small annoyance. I thought the pages and pages of level and ability options was a bit much for the new group member/pet. It's like 5% of the entire story.

Overall, an entertaining read and I look forward to reading the next book. 

Score: 7.3 out of 10

The Forsaken God: The Realms Book Five: (An Epic LitRPG Series) 

That’s it everyone!

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Thanks for hanging out with me today. Until we can hangout again, remember to go read some LitRPG!  

(Music 4)

Music Credits

"Blip Stream" "Mighty Like Us" "Big Shift" "Vivacity"

Kevin MacLeod (

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