LitRPG is a subgenre of fantasy and science fiction which combines elements of role playing games (RPGs) with literature (novels). The games involved or incorporated are often video games, but sometimes paper and dice role playing game similar to Dungeons & Dragons. The protagonist and other characters spend time in the game world where game elements such as statistics and rules play a role in the plot.
The extent to which the game elements influence the storyline varies greatly, from barely noticeable to being a dominating factor as the story unfolds.
Many readers believe LitRPG is relatively new, but in actuality, it’s been around awhile. I would say it’s resurging. My first experience reading LitRPG was back in the early 1980s with Joel Rosenberg’s Guardians of the Flame series. The novels focused on a group of college students magically transported into a game world by the game moderator. Back then it was simply categorized as high fantasy.
There remains a number of offshoots, such as portal fantasies, like Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson in which the main character is transported to a parallel universe (fantasy world), and novelizations of games (game worlds), such as the Raven Loft Series, which originated as a series of Dungeons & Dragons Game Modules. Readers wanted more of the world and antagonists, and got them in book form. Of the Ravenloft books I read, the one I most enjoyed was Knight of the Black Rose by James Lowder.
While there are many others, I just mentioned those that interested me the most and influenced my decision to writer a LitRPG series. More recent novels (now classified as LitRPG) that re-sparked that notion are the Creatures and Caverns novels and stories by Robert Bevan and the novel NPCs by Drew Hayes.
That brings me to my recently launched series: Monsters, Maces and Magic. It is LitRPG loosely based off of RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons, Palladium and Rolemaster. In it, a college student attends the university’s game club to gather information for a Sociology 102 assignment. Two female students from the class show up with the same notion and they become involved in a game of Monsters, Maces and Magic, and end up, along with three other experience players, in that game world as the characters they rolled up. Their immediate goal is to survive. Their second objective, as the novels unfold, is to discover a way home.
The novels contain action and a bit of humor. They’re light on direct game references and mechanics, so that readers more accustomed to fantasy, from urban to epic, find it both easily accessible and enjoyable. Those who are hard-core gamers will appreciate the game elements incorporated into the magical world and how it affects the characters and the plot moving forward.
So, if you enjoy fantasy novels, especially with action and spiced with humor, and/or are a gamer looking for a solid read, pick up a copy of Monsters, Maces and Magic: Outpost and, after reading it, let me know what you think.
Terry’s Previous Articles:
Rock House and Cavern are his co-authored action adventure novellas (with David Wood), and Genre Shotgun is his short story collection, that includes SF, mystery, horror/suspense and inspirational tales.
His post-apocalyptic fantasy series, First Civilization’s Legacy, includes Flank Hawk, Blood Sword and Soul Forge.
Terry’s newest series (Fantasy/LitRPG) Monsters, Maces and Magic includes Outpost, with Betrayal slated for release in April of 2018. He is currently working on Relic Shield, the third novel in the Crax War Chronicles.
To contact Terry or to learn more about his writing endeavors, visit his website at www.ervin-author.com and his blog, Up Around the Corner.
Latest posts by Terry W. Ervin II (see all)
- What is LitRPG ? - March 2, 2018
- Avoid Fiction Being Dated - January 17, 2017
- Fantasy & Science Fiction: Works for Movies but Not So Much for Books? - January 2, 2017