LitRPG is short for ‘literary role playing game’ and is an amalgamation of computer RPG’s or MMORPG’s, and either fantasy or science fiction novels.
Generally within a LitRPG, the reader will experience the same rich and vibrant worlds as they would within any fantasy or science fiction novel, with the inclusion of visible game-like elements, such as status panels, health and mana bars, quests, logs, skills, experience, in game chats and more. There will also generally be a character sheet that includes things such as strength, wisdom, charisma etc just like you’d roll for in D&D.
Usually within LitRPG, Gamelit and Progression Fantasy stories, the main character (or MC) is aware that they are interacting with some kind of game-like world and being usual humans, use that to their advantage.
Sometimes, the game-world is some other world and not actually a change made to reality and the MC can remember their real world life, and this is where LitRPG crosses over with something called Isekai – or Portal Fantasy.
There are a few ideas about where the term LitRPG came from, though after a spate of Russian produced and translated novels, author Vasily Mahanenko coined the term during a brainstorming session with editors Malkin and Bobl.
Here are some of my favourite books in the genre, or adjacent to. Generally, if you like LitRPG, you’ll probably like progression fantasy too!
The Land (LitRPG)
A brilliant and very long series - start here!
Life Reset (LitRPG)
Way of the Shaman (LitRPG)
Awaken Online (LitRPG)
The Perfect Run (Time Travel Fantasy)
Iron Prince (Progression Fantasy)
Dungeon Crawler Carl (LitRPG)
He Who Fights With Monsters (LitRPG)
The Mayor of Noobtown (LitRPG)
Rogue Dungeon (LitRPG)
War Core (LitRTS)
Derelict (Dungeon Core)
Ready Player One (Gamelit)
This book is a LitRPG / Gamelit fantasy novel set within a VR game world. The story follows William in his journey to rid the lands of the terrible threat that keeps him from exiting the game and threatens the very core of Eden as well as the real world.
Freedom Online: The Copper Rose
The Copper Rose is the first in a two-part LitRPG story that follows Tandy in a VR game world as he explores his new life within the game. Tandy will build a settlement, start a clan of goblins and above all, make best friends with a small goblin named Ushuk.
Freedom Online: From the Ashes
After the events of The Copper Rose, this LitRPG story follows Tandy, Ushuk and Rachel as they try to rebuild after everything that happened within the Copper Rose. A legendary beast and a long journey, this is an epic LitRPG.
Legacy of man is a sci-fi progression fantasy story about a paralysed, twelve year old orphan named Charlie, who is offered the change to undergo a kind of alien genetic modification that promises to give him back the use of his legs. In doing so, he is being turned into a soldier along with his peers so that the Intergalactic Council can use them as a weapon.
I have described this as a LitRTS, as this is generally a sci-fi base builder. A sarcastic AI and a healthy amount of time-travel mean that Daniel must use futuristic technology (remotely controlled ARCS) to carry out missions on faraway planets. Stranded alone with no one for company other than the annoying AI though, can get rather tiresome.
This work of Historical Fiction is set in the early days of the Roman Empire. There are gladiators, magic, the Gods and even a lovable pet dog!
This is my latest work on progress. It’s a LitRPG set in Victorian London during the Jack the Ripper murders. It’s not the easiest thing to write in LitRPG style, so bare with me!