The LitRPG genre

I’ve read so many LitRPG books, it’s like I’m obsessed.
This is not a complete list, but it’s close. Some of the series I have yet to finish or haven’t been written, yet.

  • Critical Failures series
  • Ascend Online series
  • Divine Dungeon series
  • The Henchmen Chronicles
  • Legends Online
  • Champion is Playing series
  • Myth of the Maker
  • The Two Week Curse
  • Viridian Gate Online series
  • Cowboy Necromancer
  • Serpent & Spirit
  • Shadeslinger
  • Level Up or Die!
  • The Completionist Chronicles
  • The Land
  • God’s Eye
  • Archemi Online series
  • Saga Online series
  • Delvers LLC series

Read any good LitRPG books?

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I have not read any. I kind of, sort of, understand what it is. I think. What do you like about the genre and what should I pick up if I’m interested in checking it out?

Start with the first book from The Completionist Chronicles: Ritualist by Dakota Krout
The 1st book should get you hooked. It’s a very fun read.

For me the genre can be a little broad, and some ideas of what constitutes LitRPG stretchss the definition, but in general one or more protagonists are characters in a game world, be it online, other RPG world in another dimension, etc. Often, there are character sheets and levels to attain, but much of it depends on the author. Mainly, the protagonist know they’re characters, or at least finds out they’re just characters. That’s pretty much where the commonality ends.

  • In Ritualist, Joe stumbles around trying to figure out the game world he’ll be in forever, because he lost his body in the real world. He interacts with a few powerful denizens, and gains levels in classes no one’s ever heard of.

  • In Critical Failure series, a disturbed GM uses magic dice to throw unsuspecting players into a game world, and the players adventure to get out of the game.

  • The Henchmen chronicles has the protagonist driving into a portal that allows the swap of personalities from one world to the next world. Or is it a game world?

  • The Myth of the Maker’s protagonist finds out he uploaded his incomplete online game, himself, and his friends into “The Strange” dark energy database of the cosmos to protect Earth from being devoured. He quests to find the memories of the events that lead him to do the things he did.

For me, I think the LitRPG genre captures some of that old Saturday morning D&D cartoons feeling, where regular kids get pulled into the game world. Oh, look! There’s the Dungeon Master.

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One of my favorite genre’s, about a quarter of my 400+ audible collection is litrpg’s.

Heres a few of my current favorites

  • He who fights with monsters, book 8 just came out last week. The MC is Australian who gets reincarnated in a fantasy world. If your a fan of American politics you might avoid it as he does comment on politics every so often mostly in the negative when something in the fantasy world relates though it lessens as the story goes on. The banter and comradery keeps me laughing and the game system is well thought out. best of all you don’t get the character sheet recap in the middle of every chapter just to add pages. One of the greatest failings of the genre Imo is the repeating of stats, skills and the reading of full character sheets every chapter, especially when its mid chapter.

  • The rise of mankind series, this ones only got 3 books so far but is a new fav of mine. Its of the “apocalypse system” variety of litrpg with dungeon core / base building elements in it as well. Of the several apocalypses systems I’ve read this one is my favorite so far.

  • The ripple system, is a fun series. The OP mentioned the first book, Shadeslinger in their list. I just finished book 3 yesterday, its a fun series set in a full dive type game world. I love the ripple event mechanics and the character interactions, lots of laughs.

  • Dungeon core online. This one starts slow for me, feels very coming of age, in the beginning, teen being bullied gains power and finally begins to make true friends. lots of humor and dungeon management so a fun read so far, I finished book 3 a few months ago.

I’ll second critical failures and divine dungeon, critical failure is hilarious fun though by about book 5 I think it gets a bit on the ridiculous side and was hard for me to finish. I enjoyed divine dungeon, one of the really early entries in the dungeon core genre, though haven’t read any of the spinoffs yet the core series was great.

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You missed a ton of series. =D

I will just mention two that are worth recommending:

  • The Gamer

  • Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

If you are willing to put up with odd language by fan translations, it will vastly widen your available pool of novels to read. What we call LitRPG is already a saturated genre in Japan, Korea, and China. Most of the ones I’ve read are translated from one of those places. Sadly, the quality will vary widely.

I’ve noticed that the main trends are

  • Isekai to a world that has RPG laws of nature (thousands of these types of novels, especially from Japan and Korea)
  • Isekai to a world with an RPG like system as a unique ability
  • There is also the Alien/Isekai Livestreaming System sub genre
  • Gain an RPG like system in this world (thousands of these type of novels)
  • Rarely you will find an RPG system in a unique world of the authors creation
  • VR genre almost always include RPG systems as part of the premise

I can slightly recall dozens you didn’t mention off of the top of my head, but then again I literally read hundreds of novels every year and have for several decades. Sometimes I’ll read as many as twenty novels in a single week. (That’s 2-400 page novels on average, mind you. The 1000+ chapter lite novels take me a bit longer to slog through, lol.) Thus recalling specific ones is a tad difficult.

Yeah there’s thousands of books out there now in the genre, would take days to even start to list theme especially if you add scanslations to the list lol. I prefer to listen as I usually have other things to do so though I love manga, I tend to avoid it as reading material and just hope it one day gets an anime adaption that’s remotely close to the book.

There’s also Royal road if your ok with self published works, many of the current popular series started there at one point. Before I started using audible I used to copy paste a few dozen chapters at a time into a text file and use a TTS app on my phone to listen to them at work.

I have mobile apps from the more popular and established translation groups/sites that can also read my novels to me at work.