LitRPG Podcast 144
LitRPG Podcast 144
Nov. 30th, 2018
Before we begin, I want to thanks our anonymous supporter who made a generous donation to the podcast to help keep it funded. Thank You. Starting next week, I’ll be wearing my holiday cap.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 6 new LitRPG reviews just for you.
New Releases and Reviews:
Book 2 is even better than book 1
Score: 7.7 out of 10
Interesting premise: an NPC villain body swapped with a player and then got reset.
Score: 7.8 out of 10
Pretty good slice of life story about a guy accidentally summoned to a RPG game world to partake in a game of some trapped gods.
Score: 7.4 out of 10
Irrelevant Jack (19:58)
Convoluted storyline, but think of it as a dungeon dive story and it’s fine.
Score: 7.1 out of 10
First Dungeon (Replay Book 2) (24:50)
Short Story. Childish characters. Got bored.
Score: 5 out of 10
Short story done right. Good world building, action, trapped in a table top game.
Score: 7.6 out of 10
(Play Music 2)
A quick shout out to Richard Hummel and his novel Radioactive Evolution. Since his first published novel came out a couple of weeks ago it has consistently been in the top 600 and on a couple of individual days been as high 205 on all Amazon paid store. It’s honestly much harder to be consistently in the top 600 for weeks than it is to do super well for a single day. It is again the author’s 1st published novel, so congratulations to him on doing well.
Aleron Kong did a cover reveal for the next Chaos Seeds series, Book 8: Monsters. No release date, but it’s a very nice cover.
Daniel Schinhofen, author of the Alpha World series and Apocalypse Gate LitRPG series, recently did an interview with Nevada Public Radio about his success as an indie author. It’s about 10 minutes, but it’s neat to hear one of authors do something like this.
George Fisher, long time member of the LitRPG reader community and great supporter of many authors, has started a GoFundMe Campaign to raise money for his wife’s cancer treatment. His wife, Blythe, was diagnosed September 30, 2018 with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and they are doing everything they can to fight right now. If you can give to help pay for treatments, please consider it, if you can’t that’s ok. He asks that you keep his family in mind if you’re the praying sort.
*Book 1 came out not that long ago, Cursemancer*
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Eden's Gate: The Omen: A LitRPG Adventure (Nov. 30th, 2018)
The Sleeper Must Awaken (The Twenty-Sided Eye Series Book 3) (Nov. 30th, 2018)
Cultivating Chaos (VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos Book 1) (Dec. 1st, 2018)
Gearing Up (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 3) (Dec. 1st, 2018)
Hero (Level Up Book #2) LitRPG Series (Dec. 10th, 2018)
Freehaven Online: Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Dec. 16th, 2108)
Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3) (Dec. 19th, 2018)
Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series (Dec. 27th, 2018)
Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)
*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
Civil War: A litRPG Adventure (The Rogue Dungeon Book 2)
Build. Evolve. Conquer. Welcome to the Civil War ...
Roark von Graf—former noble and hedge-mage, current mid-level mob in a MMORPG—has his sights set on taking down the tyrannical Dungeon Lord. But the reigning Troll despot is nearly as devious as Roark, and his followers are much higher level.
With forever-death on the line, civil war breaks out in the Citadel, pitting Roark’s new regime against Azibek’s horde of loyalists. To survive, Roark will have to outfox the Dungeon Lord, forge new, dirtier weapons and shady alliances, and above all, Evolve …
But while the Trolls are entrenched in their civil war, an outside threat is growing. Eyes from the IRL world are beginning to turn toward the Citadel. There’s something strange about this Roark, and they intend to find out what.
My Opinion: 238 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
I enjoyed book 1 in the series, but like book 2 even more. The authors really improved upon making the RPG world feel like more of an MMO by incorporating a few more POVs. Including player’s views outside of the game, and the game company’s. It adds a nice layer of complexity to the story and amps up the MMO aspect.
The other aspects I liked from book 1 are all still there: fast paced action, RPG monster evolutions, and crafting. Additionally, there are some kingdom building aspects as the MC tries to form alliances with the other dungeon level bosses, bring in outside NPC resources, and form a community out of the mobs on his level. Good stuff all around.
Score: 7.7 out of 10
Changing Faces (New Game Minus Book 1)
Bloodwraith thought of himself as an effective villain, until a single adventurer destroyed his entire lair. With his last breath, he switched bodies with the adventurer and discovered that his world was built on lies. Alien beings from another dimension were using his world as a game... and now he was one of them.
The problem is, Bloodwraith has no experience being an adventurer. He was a mage, but his new body is only good at hitting things. He relied on undead minions, but now he has no choice but to depend on other people. And worst of all, strange boxes are constantly appearing in his vision, describing the world in unfamiliar, nonsensical terms.
Taking over the world is off the table, because the alien gods might be watching. To survive, Bloodwraith will need to learn the truth about himself and his world. And that means acting like an adventurer, at least for now.
My Opinion: 366 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The premise is that an NPC villain body swapped with a player and then got reset. Only from the villain's perspective it was more of a fantasy magic spell he cast at the last minute before his lich body was going to be destroyed. The novel goes through the entire noob experience of learning about RPG game mechanics but it's all from the perspective of this fantasy villain who thinks of it in his cultural terms. The blue boxes are sent from some mysterious gods who know everything and have strange powers to improve the body of the adventurer he is in. Gaining power from XP is viewed as some strange necromancer magic that steals the soul power of defeated enemies. The main character (MC) constantly fights with his bodies inclination to do good versus his pragmatic evil viewpoint of doing things like: murdering the quest giver and stealing everything, or poisoning a whole town for the XP.
The game mechanics are solid and consistent through the story. Fairly standards D&D style character sheet with leveling giving 5 stat points to assign and various skills that can be learned, and improved through use or practice. The MC is never over powered and when faced with tough odds the author never breaks the game rules established to get him out of a jam.
Overall, I had a really good time with the story. Though I’ll admit, most of the stuff that happens is familiar LitRPG slice of life adventuring, it’s told through a unique lens that gives it a fresh feel. I was only a little disappointed that the story didn’t take more of a villain's approach. Still, good action, good RPG mechanics, and some very good story twists.
Score: 7.8 out of 10
Crota (The Gods Game, Volume I): An epic fantasy, LitRPG and GameLit novel
A Game, played between Gods… where the playing field is the world itself… and the pieces, living beings.
A young man caught unwittingly between… in a strange world, without allies or help… must battle for survival…using his wits and magic alone.
Pawn or Player… his fate is his to decide… which will he prove to be?
Accidentally summoned from Earth to the world of Myelad, Kyran becomes embroiled in a thousand-year war between the Gods. Through no fault of his own, Kyran earns their ire and is trapped in Crota, an abandoned city haunted by undead, and infested with all manner of beasts and monsters. To escape the Gods’ trap, Kyran must become a Player that even the Gods would learn to fear…
My Opinion: 223 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
*Note: There are minor formatting issues noted: A persistent grey background, and sometimes heavily shrunken tables. The author has said he’s fixed it, but the corrections may not have pushed to everyone.
This is a pretty good slice of life story about a guy accidentally summoned to a RPG game world to partake in a game of some trapped gods. That last part doesn’t really come into play in book 1 but is setup for the series. This novel is mostly about how the main character (MC) survives on this hostile world, figures out best to use the RPG progression system, and levels. He is dropped in hostile territory, starts out at level 1, but has to figure out a way to beat monsters that are level 7 and higher.
The game mechanics in the story are pretty detailed and there are lots of notifications, character sheets, spell descriptions, item descriptions, and loads of info about the game mechanics. Even more important, the author does a good job of describing the MCs reasoning for choosing one power over another that gives insight into his gaming choices and preferred play-style.
The only real minor complaints about the story: 1) It takes an awfully long time to get to the RPG game world. The main character (MC) doesn’t get there till about the 30% mark. Everything prior to that is either setup of the premise or details about character creation. 2) The author introduces a lot of characters in cut aways from the MCs story. But most of those characters aren’t ever seen again, at least in book 1. They may be developed later in the series, but here they just feel a bit abandoned. Neither issue ruins the story or anything though.
Overall, a fairly fun slice of life story about a guy dropped into an RPG world and seeing how he survives.
Score: 7.4 out of 10
Jack is violently pulled into a game-like universe and dumped into a seaside town on the brink of destruction. When the people of Blackmoor Cove begin to ask about his combat role, Jack discovers his odd Hero Class and finds that parts of his game interface are riddled with exposed coding errors.
He quickly learns that the only way the town can grow and push back the unknown substance threatening to consume it is if brave Heroes venture into an infinitely high, ever-changing tower, kill bizarre monsters for their valuable equipment drops, and then deposit those items into a special chest.
As Jack struggles to level up and help save the people he has grown to care for, he learns the true nature of this simulated word and his destiny... But can he overcome his reckless nature and become the leader this strange world needs?
My Opinion: 316 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
An entertaining tower crawl, which is just a dungeon crawl in a tower. There are some sci-fi subplots but it’s just an excuse to kill monsters and get new gear.
Game mechanic wise, the story tries to be a little different by omitting the XP in the progression system and instead basing the main characters (MC) level solely on clearing levels in the tower. MC beats the level 2 boss, he’s now level 3, gets upgrades to HP, Mana, and can use up to level 3 gear. Progression isn’t tied directly to killing monsters and increased damage and def is more gear oriented with level restrictions. The MC has a couple of cheat abilities, but he’s not over powered.
The storyline is a bit convoluted and comes down to clearing tower levels and feeding items to the RPG town to help it grow so it is not be overcome by the ‘corruption’. There’s supposed to be a bigger sci-fi impact on the universe for defeating these monsters too, but it’s all just an excuse to kill stuff. There are some character development sub plots which include a minor romance, but they feel forced and there are some big plot holes in the story if you look too hard. But just treat this as a slice of life dungeon crawl and it’s entertaining enough.
Score: 7.1 out of 10
First Dungeon (Replay Book 2)
Lana’s life has gone from bad to worse ever since waking up with no memories in a strange land with Peter. From the very start, Peter had to be saved from one situation after another. In fact, if it hadn’t been for their mysterious new ally, Frost, both would probably be dead by now! Even being rescued by a stranger isn’t enough to make Lana trust anyone. Not the shady Wilshire agent they contract as an outfitter for a dungeon; not the gorgeous Defender with the big Lion shield that takes a fancy to her and certainly not Frost who seems to have more secrets than answers.
Things are almost looking up when Lana and her party complete the dungeon and finally have some coin in their purse. That goes suddenly sour when they’re caught in a House Valor trap meant for their illegal agent who vanishes, leaving them in the lurch. Not knowing that they’ve captured the first true Heroes in decades gives them time as House Valor mounts a search for the elusive agent but it’s only a matter of time before the Valor warriors discover the prize they really have. Against the clock, will the trio be able to work together to free themselves and escape or is their adventure going to be cut short? Find out in this month’s installment of Replay: First Dungeon!
First Dungeon is the second installment in the Replay serial (releasing every 2 months)
My Opinion: 78 pages, $1.00, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The 2nd book in this serial is a bit of a disappointment. It feels more like a portal fantasy story than a LitRPG one. That’s mostly because the RPG stuff fades into the background. At least in book 1, you got to see the character sheets with stats, HP, and other details. I completely understand why the author eliminated them since they were inserted as images and those are expensive to have in a short story at this price. But that’s also where most of the RPG info was in the story. Sure, there is still mentions of levels and abilities, but it’s a minor part and it’s not really important to the story.
Overall, the story was kind of boring to me. The characters are still very child-like, both in their dialogue and behaviors. Which isn’t necessarily bad, but it wasn’t appealing to me. There’s not much combat to make up for that either. The story has the characters face a puzzle dungeon and some guild opposition. I just wasn’t engaged reading it.
Score: 5 out of 10
Guild: A LitRPG Novella (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 3)
You can’t hide in an RPG forever.
Eighteen years ago Tom, a barber college student, got trapped in the Monsters, Maces and Magic game world as Josiah the thief.
The first two adventures saw all of Tom’s party members, also trapped within the game world, perish within the fetid depths of the Dark Heart Swamp. His subsequent stint adventuring with NPCs proved short lived. He preferred survival.
Over time, Tom became Josiah, adopting a life blending in with the game world’s NPCs. He gave up advancing as a thief, trained as a lay healer, and works as a barber, cutting hair, pulling teeth, lancing boils and functioning as a low-level operative within the local thieves’ guild.
But life, even one lived as a faux NPC, can get interesting. Such happens when a young half-goblin thief named Gurk shows up in Josiah’s shop, looking for information.
Little did the pair know that the unobtrusive barber shop would become a focal point in a brewing guild war.
My Opinion: 94 pages, $0.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a short story and a side story in the Monsters, Maces, and Magic series. The author does a great job of efficiently setting up the story in the first 10%. You get enough background info to care about the main character (MC), and good details that make the world feel full. The story has action and ties nicely to the main series with that group being a larger part of the story than I thought they’d be. Overall, though light on RPG stuff, pretty darn entertaining.
Score: 7.6 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
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