LitRPG Podcast 063
LitRPG Podcast 063
August 04, 2017
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 63 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 7 new reviews for you.
New Releases and Reviews:
(Play Music 2)
Robert Bevan, creator of the Caverns and Creatures universe, has started a Patreon page. It’s still a bit bare and only has a $1 reward tier at this point. He plans to expand those rewards and is gathering ideas. However, even though it’s only been up a couple days he already has 25 supporters.
This week Michael Chatfield’s Time of Change (Emerilia Book 7) was taken down by Amazon. The reason? They claimed their automated programs flagged it as not belonging to the author. Even after he resubmitted the manuscript it still took days for it to get fixed. A sad case of mistaken digital identity or a conspiracy to bring down a popular LitRPG author?
Baron Sord, author of Reternity Online, has published a director's cut edition of his novel. He got some negative reviews of the first edition of the novel and worked on addressing those issues. He’s primarily addressed reader complaints that the main character Logan is a jerk and hard to relate to or root for. The author says that he’s changed Logan’s dialogue. He also feels the extent of the changes warrants a new publications with new cover art and a slightly different title. A statement from the author:
“A ton of people were unhappy with what a jerk Logan the hero was in the original version (I didn't realize he was THAT jerky! LOL). So I substantially revised his character. He's no longer a jerk, and he has a gamer background. Although much of the story is still the same (the kidnapping of his sister, the quests, the monsters, the leveling, etc.), Logan's responses are very different. I've also added some new material about his backstory and new scenes to clarify the larger story of what's going on behind the scenes at NeuraSoft, makers of Reternity the game.”
I’ve looked through the first 30% novel and the biggest changes I can see are additional scenes:
Early in the story there’s a scene that shown the main character, Logan, protecting a kid named Ben from bullies. I know the scene is supposed show Logan as a protector but he just comes off as a different kind of jerk. One that threatens teen bullies with physical violence.
The way Logan treats his gamer brother is still the same. He sees him as a leech and loser for gaming so much. Even though it’s revealed later in the story that it’s the brother paying all his dad’s bills, he hardly acknowledges his bad behavior and is more concerned about the money his brother has.
There’s also the addition of an AI conversation that implies some manipulations from the game itself to kidnapped the sister.
More game info. Item descriptions.
Out Now, Will Review next week!
Fjorgyn: The Deep Below (Fjorgyn Book 2)
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Narrated by: Pavi Proczko
Narrated by: Doug Tisdale Jr.
Narrated by: Jeff Hays
The Glitch Fiends (LitRPG): Part 2 (Hell's Glitch Book 3) (Aug. 4th, 2017)
Side Quest (Aug. 8th, 2017)
Beyond All Expectations Emerilia Book 8) (Aug. 8th, 2017)
Stratus Online: Awakening (Stratus Online: a LitRPG series Book 1) (Aug. 11th, 2017)
Fayroll, Book 4 (August 15, 2017)
The Last Warrior of Unigaea (Aug. 15th, 2017)
Shaman's Revenge (The Way of the Shaman Book 6) (Aug. 20th, 2017)
SHARDS OF REALITY: A LitRPG Adventure (Enter the Realm Book 1) (Aug. 22, 2017)
On the Lost Continent (AlterGame Book #2) LitRPG Series (Sept. 28th, 2017)
Infinite Reality: Daggerland Online Novel 1 A LitRPG Adventure (Sept. 30th, 2017)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
Slime Tamer's Chronicles : Volume 1 (Slime Tamer 's Chronicles )
Living a hellish life with his abusive father. Our protagonist lives a closed off life but not a NEET's life. He trains everyday until finally he was ready.
Killing his father he made sure that his mother who divorced was paid back for what his father did to them all.
Walking away to who knows where and dying from an accident.
Now follow the daily life of our MC as she tries to adapt to her new life in a new body and in a unique world.
My Opinion: 320 pages, $3.50, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
Originally published on the Royal Road as a way to overcome writer’s block, it’s now on Amazon as a full novel. Volume 2 of the series is still.
This is a slice of life or daily adventure story. No real plot other than, let’s explore this magical RPG world.
The beginning of the story is really straight forward and interesting. A male teen has a shitty life. His parents are divorced and he is beaten daily by his frustrated stockbroker dad who has sole custody of him. He trains in secret to learn martial arts and then kills his dad when he next comes to hit him. He sells off all dad’s stocks and send money to his mom. While on his way to leave the city he is killed by truck in an auto collision.
The God of reincarnation, puzzled by the balanced karma of the kid, reincarnates him into a new game world. The MC is cursed with a low physical score but blessed with high magical affinity and a peaceful aura that ensures no animals in the world will attack him. Meshes with his natural affinity for animals. Also, reincarnated as a girl. LOL.
From the 3- 24% mark, the MC is learning about her new RPG world, her OP magic, making friends and family, and learning she has a special knack for slime training. It’s cute and even funny sometimes.
After the 24% mark the story skips ahead three years and it turns into a magical academy story. There are still some interesting and funny parts here (battles, dungeon making, Mario kart race) but it’s mostly slice of school life stuff and it’s just not as interesting to me personally.
Score: 6 out of 10.
Human: A LitRPG Novel (Tower of Gates LitRPG Series Book 2)
Black Dragons and Dwarves, Oh My!
Eric, Sarah, and the rest of the party are determined to do better on level one-two. Every action they make will affect level one-one for new players, so they strive to bring about positive changes.
Defeating a black dragon is their main quest, but the game quickly takes a dark turn. They learn of a monstrous plan by Magi Inyontoo and his Magictology crew to rid the game of all dwarves.
The risks that come with helping are great, but so are the rewards. As they journey and meet other player characters, they also hear more hints about escaping the game. Giving up is not an option.
Can this ever-changing group of adventurers make it to level one-three intact? Or will they finally find a way out of the game? Find out in this exciting second installment of the Tower of Gates LitRPG Series.
This is a full-length LitRPG novel with no cliffhanger. It is part of an ongoing series of connected LitRPG books.
My Opinion: 405 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This story has some issues.
Book 1 got a score of 4 out of 10. The multi perspective narrative was messed up and every other small chapter switched points of views. The characters had foreknowledge they shouldn’t have had and a lot of the novel didn't seem to have a point.
The things I liked in book 1: A quest system that seemed to help the characters deal with their real life issues, detailed innovative action scenes.
Thankfully, the perspective issues from book one are gone. However,all the stuff I liked and saw potential from book 1 are gone too. The quest system feels bland and impersonal. Combat isn't bad but also feels more standard, no innovative tactics.
There’s almost no character development in book 2. At the end of the story, I know little more about who the characters are or why they do what they do, than I did at the beginning of the story. 95% of what I know about the three main characters comes from the opening section of book 1.
For anyone picking up book 2 without having read book 1, there’s no recap about who these people are, where they are, or the general situation about them being trapped in a game. Which makes it a bit confusing at first.
-Group: Eric (MC), Sarah (MC 2, elf), Evan and Ewen (brownies), Bernard (Cleric? Player) spawn on 2nd level hundreds of years in past of 1st level. Time Travel, ugh!
-Bad Guy: Magi Inyantoo, game designer and player. Wanted to kill kids trapped there for some reason.
-The big goal: Escape game by traveling through levels until they find a way out.
*Semi regular spelling errors. Like parts of whole words missing. Wrong names of characters.
The story starts out with Eric, Sarah, Bernard, Evan, and Ewen starting on level 1-2, which is somehow in the far past of level 1-1 (time travel). There’s a lot of random stuff that happens on the novel but the gist of the story is that the bad guy is trying to create a game world with only the human race. He’s blocked the dwarves from this level by putting a dragon at the entrance, thus eliminating them in the future. The group has to defeat this dragon, free the dwarves trapped in the mine, and then they can travel to level 1-3.
By some unexplained means, Josh the third kid trapped in the game finds the group and joins them (21% mark). They also find the one and only dwarf not trapped who kits out the group with a bunch of magic items (30%). Then at the very end (90%) the thing with the dragon and dwarves gets resolved.
While the game mechanics in the story are solid. Just about everything else in the story feels random. There are a bunch of side quests and fights that feel like they were inserted as filler and don't have anything to do with the main story. The advancement of the story happens because of what the side characters do and not what the main character’s do. Giving an impression that they’re not important and are being led through the level. This is especially evident when they’re literally given a room full of magical items by a character they just met.
For those reasons and because of the evil betrayals at the end that make absolutely no sense, I just didn't enjoy the story.
Score: 4 out of 10.
Stunlocked: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 2)
It was the shot heard around the Internet.
The inevitable standoff between professional gaming's highest-paid mercenary and the suddenly famous host of the No-Name Games videocast took place in an underground tomb near Scythe Ridge.
The ensuing struggle over an assassin's level 72 weapon left Highwayman's in-game rival destroyed, and the battle lines drawn.
Jordan Hall thought Kings and Conquests was just a game. His friends thought they were just along for the ride. But someone wants them dead, and in the real world, there are no re-rolls.
Now Jordan is out of time and on the run. Standing between him and a billion-dollar prize is a shadowy coven of ruthless killers controlling events both in the game world and in real life. All he has left is a malfunctioning augmented reality interface, a level seven Founder's account and a 3D printer that serves as a doorway from game world to real world.
What Jordan doesn't realize is something is about to step through that doorway, and its quest consists of only two words.
My Opinion: 165 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Book 1 not LitRPG.
Book 2 suffers from same issues. Lots of talk about the game. Hype about success of game. Plans about creating crafting empire, becoming bounty hunter team to catch No Name Guild before they can cash in company shares. Talk about possible character builds and abilities. But little actual in game time.
There’s a bit more in game time than book 1 but the thriller part of the story inevitably pushes the story away from the game. Not LitRPG.
Score: 4 out of 10.
Reborn as a Dungeon Core Volume 2: Feared
The misanthrope has taken the fight out of his dungeon and is now attacking the town he hated.
My Opinion: 97 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: The author sent me a copy for review. I purchased the novel when it became available.
Too expensive for the page count but perfect for KU.
Written by Myself Notyou, volume 2 picks up right where volume 1 stopped. A brief recap would have been nice. Even just a summary paragraph.
Things go from micro insect dungeon experience to killing humans with swarms of wasps and summoning larger monsters. It was interesting to see what tactics the dungeon used to overcome intelligent humans. There were a few sad scenes but it’s surprising how quickly I became ok with the dungeon killing people.
There are also hints that there are other dungeons in the world creating different monsters and magic humans opposing them. Hopefully cool stuff for the next book.
Overall, a good read. Not everyone is going to like the story. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the journey of the dungeon collecting SP by killing humans and creating and upgrading his monsters.
Score: 7 out of 10.
***Next three novels all have graphic sex scenes. I grouped them together because they provide an interesting set of examples of how different authors are trying to combine sex and LitRPG. Some combine it well, others don’t.***
Wild Times in Virtual Reality: Total Immersion VR Adventures Unlimited LitRPG
Ariana is eager to play the newest rage in virtual reality MMOs with her friends Tom and Charlie. She's promised that anything is possible in virtual reality, which makes her a little nervous. It can get really dark, really fast, if she isn't careful.
Total Immersion VR Adventures Unlimited gaming center offers games in any kind of world imaginable, with thrills and chills galore. Player can be anyone, or anything, they want, and challenge the game's dungeons, or each other, to their heart's desire. Ariana finds "life" in virtual reality indistinguishable from real life, only with orcs, drows, vampires, and other gaming creatures.
The friends are forced to scatter after a run-in with the law. Ariana explores more than just that new world while looking for her friends, and throws herself into dungeons and situations she'd never dreamed of doing before. Anything is possible for the bold in that new world, both good and bad.
Will Ariana and her friends conquer and rule? Or will they be conquered and serve dark masters?
This book deals with adult themes in an uninhibited virtual reality, so there is more than just flirting going on while players fight assorted fantasy creatures and other players.
My Opinion: 168 page, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Ariana, going with friend Tom and Charlie to a total immersion VR facility. MC worried that people will start rumors if they knew she went with two guys. There she creates her character, a chesty, sexy rogue and finds the anonymity of the game frees her to satisfy her dark sexy desires.
This is a fantasy sex romp story with occasional reminders that it’s supposed to be set in a VR game. There’s also occasional fighting but the majority of the story is sex or bondage oriented. The author really should have added Erotic in the title or mentioned how much sex there is in the description.
The extend of the game mechanics are a name tags that appear over people/creatures heads and one XP gain by the MC after she escapes being made a sex slave early in the story. That’s it.
20% of the novel text is just graphic sex scenes. The MC has sex with elves, dark elves, orcs, vampires and more.
Ther few action scenes are well written but most of the story is composed of scenes that lead to sex or from it.
So, yes the novel is set in VR world with a few game game mechanics. Unfortunately, they largely disappear as the story goes on. There is no character progression according to game rules. So, it’s not LitRPG. It may be better described as a fantasy action sex story set in a VR simulation. Either way, it’s not my kind of story.
Score: 4 out of 10.
Gamer Girl Caught in the Game: An Erotic LitRPG Adventure
Carly is off to slay the Dark Lord that trapped her in the game.
All the warrior-mage Carly wants to do is kill orcs, goblins, and kobolds, trash dungeons, and celebrate her victories with her Guild mates. It is going great. She is a rising star in her warrior's guild, kicking butt and taking names. But in that PvP game, a player's fortunes can turn on a dime.
Carly is leading the charge into the dark tower, earning experience points, leveling up, and scoring loot. She's about to take down Dark Lord Artimus, when the evil wizard strikes her down instead. Only he doesn't just kill her, sending her avatar back to respawn in town. That isn't cruel enough for the wizard. He kills her character permanently, and traps her in a humiliatingly lowly character. And then he takes away her ability to log out of the game.
Now Carly's in a race against time to find and defeat Artimus. Her only goal is to force the wizard to reverse his curse before the authorities disconnect her body from the game, trapping her inside forever. But along the way, she encounters men and creatures who have other ideas about what she should do, and who she should do.
This LitRPG book is adult themed, both bloody and sexy. Prudes and the squeamish should avoid lest your hold on sanity be shaken.
My Opinion: 102 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Carly plays the best full immersion fantasy VR game around. It lets players do anything, including have sex. Unfortunately, when her guild conquers the castle of a dark wizard, he curses her with some strange magic that not only deletes the avatar she’s using but traps her in a new low level one and prevents her from logging out of the game. Now she has to try to figure out how to escape before the doctors unplug her body from the game, potentially killing her.
This story takes the Trapped in the Game trope and mixes it with action and lots of graphic sex.
As Carly, the main character (MC), figures out her situation, fights, explores the world, and figures out how to get the wizard that trapped her, she also has lots of sex with lots of fantasy creatures. The main character’s new class, Wench of Easy Virtue, also contributes to her enhanced sex drive. In total, the novel has 18% of story text full off graphic sex scenes.
However, the story also has detailed game mechanics and that it consistently uses that makes it LitRPG. Because of all the sex the MC has a sex skill of like 20. But also has sword fighter and forager skills from using them. There’s an inventory system, levels, health, mana, and stamina.
For me, the sex is a distraction from a pretty good LitRPG story. Except the ending. The ending sucks and is not satisfying. No pun intended. It’s that ending that knocks it down from a 7.
Score: 6 out of 10.
Unexplored - Into the Wilderwood: A LitRPG Virtual Fantasy Adventure
Clint needed an escape from his hectic 10 to 12 hour a day job and almost non-existent social life. Mary, his only friend and game store employee, suggests he try a new Virtual Reality MMORPG, Unexplored. At first, he’s hesitant. He has enough crap going on in his life. He doesn’t need something else to bog him down. However, the mounting pressure of his hectic life has him looking for an afternoon of escape.
Clint spawns in the game as Cleave, a helpless elf with minimal fighting ability and no skills. Feeling the similarities between this game and his real life, he’s about to leave when he chances upon another player, a Kobold named Tarka. Along with Krug the Thud, a half-giant warrior, they enter the Wilderwood.
Throughout their adventures, they meet unique friends and have harrowing adventures. When the group comes across a powerful player’s guild bent upon the destruction of a peaceful community of dryads, they must come together with their new friends to stop the dryads from meeting a bloody end.
As Clint travels through the land of Unexplored, he wonders if he and his friends can make their mark in a world as merciless and unforgiving as his own.
Warning: This book contains erotic content. Reader discretion is advised.
My Opinion: 212 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Clint has a master’s degree in mathematics and works a job where people complain to him while he fixes their simple math errors on spreadsheets. He’s had his pay cut twice already as the company’s profits soar and he’s burnt out.
Mary, a friend from the game store he used to work at convinces him to try a new game, Unexplored, that lets players do whatever they want. Build kingdoms, establish trade routes, or even have sex.
Clint logs in thinking he’ll relieve his boredom before he starts his weekend work and finds an experience that changes his life.
All that setup takes 7% of the story and by the 8% mark Clint, the main character (MC), is in the game. He stays there mostly with small jumps back to real world to work and chat with game store girl, Mary.
Sex scenes comprise 14% of the story. They are graphic but are the least interesting thing about the story.
That’s game mechanics: character sheets, interface systems with NPCs, spells learned from scrolls, health and mana bars. Small amount of health restored through sex. Rest based on challenging realism. Want a fire? Rub some sticks together. Want a weapon? Make one or kill enough monsters for their loot to trade for one. Can steal from merchants but don't be surprised if they notice there stuff is gone after you leave.
One incident illustrates the flexibility of the game world. The MC steals from a merchant and is able to bluff/lie his way out of getting arrested by pointing out the merchant had no proof of the theft. Instead forcing the merchant to admit he gave the potions to the MC for work done or admit to the gathered crowd he got robbed while paying for sex.
I found the option to solve a problem through intelligence and not combat or some button press interesting.
Unfortunately, at about the 43% mark the novel becomes fairly standard. It loses most RPG game parts and feels like portal fantasy where the MC goes home sometimes and someone says, ‘this games great’ or they’re NPCs’. Story also becomes: evil group up to no good, bring good people together to fight them. Oh, look we won. And throw in some sex sometimes.
I really liked the first half of the story. The emphasis in-game on challenging realism and using smarts and role playing to get out of trouble made the game feel interesting. But that’s all lost in the last half of the story as weapons, spells, and adventure are just handed to the characters. That and that the fact that some of the sex almost feels like it was inserted after the main story was written, lessened my enjoyment of the story.
I’d give the first half of the story a 7. The last half a 5.
So overall score 6 out of 10.
That’s it everyone!
You can follow us on
If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support
Thanks for hanging out with me today. Until we can hangout again, remember to go read some LitRPG!
"Blip Stream" "Mighty Like Us" "Big Shift" "Vivacity"
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License