Original ONGOING Action Adventure Drama Fantasy High Fantasy LitRPG Magic Male Lead Portal Fantasy / Isekai Slice of Life Strong Lead
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
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  • Traumatising content

What would you do if you woke up alone in a forest in nothing but your pajamas?

This is a story about a man trying to answer that question as he navigates a world of monsters, magic, adventure, and numbers going up. It isn't all fun and games, though. Survival is tough when you are alone, and the dangers of this world are not to be underestimated.

This is a world governed by a system of stats, skills, and dialog boxes. It is vital to know how the system works if you want any chance of having a life of meaning. Too bad someone forgot to include the instruction manual.

 

Fundamentals:

 

Cover by Miha Brumec

 

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Author
SenescentSoul

SenescentSoul

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1: Woodland ago
2: One on One ago
3: Pothole ago
4: Statistics ago
5: Alone ago
6: Skill ago
7: Slime ago
8: Clarity ago
9: Commerce ago
10: Broke ago
11: UX ago
12: Class ago
13: Party ago
14: Math ago
15: Mine ago
16: Cleanup ago
17: Return ago
18: Rescue ago
19: Succor ago
20: Outcast ago
21: Smith ago
22: Search ago
23: Paralysis ago
24: Answers ago
25: Clay ago
26: Gratitude ago
27: Hunted ago
28: Plan ago
29: Practice ago
30: School ago
31: Gear ago
32: Well ago
33: Reunion ago
34: Kin ago
35: Dream ago
36: Focus ago
37: Modded ago
38: Geography ago
39: Arrival ago
40: Lair ago
41: Maze ago
42: Guesswork ago
43: Fall ago
44: Beast ago
45: Signal ago
46: Light ago
47: Core ago
48: Crucible ago
49: Downtime ago
50: Baggage ago
51: Completionist ago
52: Specialization ago
53: Forward ago
54: Adventure ago
55: Armored ago
56: Noble ago
57: Restored ago
58: Charge ago
59: King ago
60: Snow ago
61: Spree ago
62: Complication ago
63: Assessment ago
64: Exposition ago
65: Ring ago
66: Encounter ago
67: Footrace ago
68: Departure ago
69: Hangover ago
70: Skating ago
71: Perspective ago
72: Preemption ago

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GLM
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This one surprised me

I'm not really into HEAVY LitRPG novels that use and abuse numbers and gamey elements like this one, since most authors fail at balancing it out and making their characters, well... Believable and Relatable. Thankfully this novel is an exception, the game-like elements and numbers were incredibly well handled, characters felt believable and alive, and the MC is surprisingly enjoyable in his journey of making a quirky build.

There weren't any glaring grammar issues, (I didn't notice any at all actually). Characters felt alive, and the language barrier was a stroke of genius in my opinion, because it made the whole "Explaining the world and all the systems in place" which usually come in forms of infodumps in other stories that more enticing and not a slog to go through (like most other similar novels).

This is a LitRPG Novel in the purest sense of the genre. It doesn't do anything too original or different then what you'd expect from the genre, Levels, skills points, Level caps, Attributes, Adventurers Guild, it's all here, but it's well written enough that its still a good read if you like the premise.

Anyway; This. Is. Good. (If you like LitRPG). Give it a shot, you wont regret it.

Ciao Limited
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Inoffensive and colorless

Reviewed at: 20: Outcast

I read up to about chapter 20. In that time, precisely 2 characters received anything resembling characterization, and the MC wasn't one of them.

This story is a classic case of event-centric storytelling. It's a series of events with very little in the way of character investment or depth. Throughout the entire 20 chapters that I read in the last few hours before writing this review, I can only remember two events that had any sort of emotional impact on the MC, and thus me. Everything else has been him going to a place, doing a thing, and talking at length about how doing that thing affected his stats.

To clarify, when I say event-centric story telling, I'm referring to writing that has a lot of things happen but focuses very little on how those events affect the characters. If the author rarely expands on how the characters feel about an event, or that event doesn't deserve a reaction, then why should we as the readers fill in the chasms left behind?

Also, there're a lot of events described that don't need to be. Here's an (only slightly) exaggerated example of the type of thing I mean:

"I woke up, pulled the covers back, swung my legs over the edge of my bed, stood up, went to my dresser, pulled out a shirt and a pair of pants, dragged them on, sat back down on my bed, pulled on my shoes, laced them, walked to my door, opened it, walked into the hallway, walked down the hall to the stairs, walked down the stairs, stepped over my sister's corpse at the bottom, went to the kitchen, opened the fridge, etc...."

And that's not even getting into the RPG side of things. I can't even imagine reading this chapter to chapter, because it seems like half of every chapter is an internal dissertation on the benefits of greater range on one of his incredibly useful yet incredibly boring Auras. Powers that are almost exclusively buff abilities that he uses all of once in an actual team environment, something that such buffs exist for.

NotEnoughPixels
  • Overall Score

I won’t say this story is phenomenal or anything, but if you are a fan of portal fantasy I would suggest you give it a shot. I personally think the story has some pacing issues and could use some time skips or ‘training montages’ because in 57 chapters about only 1 month has passed in the setting. This is most likely due to the day-to-day experience updates that the system utilized, and the author’s decision to include seemingly every one. This story would appeal to readers looking for number crunching, power gaming, and a main character determined to discover the underlying mechanisms of his new world’s system. 

Aneurysm
  • Overall Score

Excellent work so far, great potential

Reviewed at: 58: Charge

SenescentSoul has done a great job with this so far: a system that’s intelligible, but not samey, characters that are likeable, or at least good, yet aren’t perfect, and a world that’s interesting without having to spend chapter after chapter just explaining things about it, rather keeping it in chunks that don’t detract too much from the action.

The pretty frequent and regular updates are a plus too.

Just about the only real gripe I see most people having is perhaps a little too much math and numbers, but if you’re like me, and that doesn’t bother you then I’m sure most anyone who like LitRPGs will enjoy this.

 

P.S. BLUE BAWKSES

Bobbert
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First off late me say that I think this is a good story.   That being said it is currently rated a bit too high for my taste (3rd best story on this site). 

As of the first 27 chapters it is off to a good start, but I don't see much which differentiates it from other good litRPGs.  That isn't to say it is bad.  It just doesn't have anything about it which makes it unique as of yet.  This is a world that we have seen before many times. 

It is still early in the story though, so hopefully as more time passes it will become something truly special.  I think it has a chance to.

HoloSol
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Thankfully not another magical swordsman

Finally  Royal Road gets a decent story about a pure mage...not another magical swordsman with a harem. Currently, this story reads as a slice of life. The MC is just slowly cultivating his abilities and exploring the world, while questing/doing side jobs to sustain this life style. I can definitely see the story diverging from this route once he can become more useful to other adventuring groups. I’m excited for when his build will start to come to fruition.

jcbutterrtoast
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An Addictive and Boxy Tale

This is a high-quality take on realistic RoyalRoad-style isekai stories. Accessible, light-hearted and satisfying, this story is like a sugar-free gelato: addictive and guilt-free. If you like LitRPG stories with blue boxes, you will crave this one...it does blue boxes very, very well.

Style 

The style's strength is its readability. Smooth and impactful, this author does not waste words. Blue boxes are simplistic, which is a treat - I can remember most everything I read, even if I scan. The system is easy for me to mentally experiment with and, most importantly, has the potential to be marvelously complex. Lot's of flexibility. PROs: Minimal dialogue tags, sensory details in inner dialogue, tastefully spaced blue boxes, breatheable system.

The spacious blue boxes might be a turn-off to some - personally, I love them, but since this review isn't about my preferences I'm listing it as neutral. Some will love it, others won't, and that's fine. This is a great site on which to post long blue-boxes.

The style's weakness is its overreliance on dialogue. On Ch. 26, about half the chapter is composed of dialogue. This isn't necessarily an issue in itself, however, most of it is pure dialogue - no description, no imagery, no inner dialogue to frame what's being said. Personally, I prefer the latter. This also has a negative impact on the Character score - it's the little details that make characters feel intimate. CONS: Heavy dialogue with minimal context.

Possible fixes: Space dialogue, create context, inserts imagery, focus on the characters' humanity when they interact.

Story

Based off of the blurb, this author isn't attempting to write anything groundbreaking - rather, emphasis is placed on psychological and physical realism, with some leeway (it is still a game world, after all). As a causal reader and LitRPG fan, I haven't come across any immersion-breaking errors that stretch believability. The character is laid back with laid-back goals. The plot... is survive? I would mark off half a star for how generic this is, except I don't give a rat's ass. Readers crave survival stories and that makes this a perfectly acceptable character motivation/plot-mover. (The Hunger Games, anyone?) Honestly, very well done. PROS: Immersive, fun premise.

The plot is slow. I like this, some won't. There are entire chapters (especially in the 20+ range) where most "actions" are internal: reflections on the universe, optimizing System stat choices, experimenting with skills...

The story's weakness is its...ah, screw it, I can't think of anything. I will come back to edit this if I do. (EDIT) Thought of something. The plot is missing motivation for human (er, person)-to-person interaction. Solitary is okay for a bit, but the longer our relatable MC goes without meaningful character growth, the less we care about him as a person. CONS: Plot requires minimal character interaction and our MC is probably an introvert.

Possible fixes: Create potential for character growth via meaningful encounters with other characters. Meaningful doesn't mean dramatic - just memorable.

Grammar

Impeccable. Seriously, you must have an editor. Or is this English-teacher power at work? This grammar is fire. Improves Style score as well.

Character

Relatable guy with surpisingly relatable reactions. Even though I've re-read the "waking up in a new game world" scene dozens of times, I didn't skim the first chapter. I like Rain. I want him to succeed. He shares my curiousity at the world, at the system he must manipulate. PROS: Realistic reactions/motivations, no handouts, relatable personality, curious character.

The weakness of this story's characters is they have generic personalities. The MC does not have a face - he is hard to imagine because I know multiple people who could step into his body and act as he does. Side characters are also generic - they are interesting in that they further the story but when they leave I don't miss them or wonder about them. While I sense that some of them have backstories (this is good) they are missing uniqueness. While the plot doesn't have to be unique, characters do. Otherwise, how can I tell them all apart? Poke fun at them them? Become terribly attatched them? CONS: Generic characters.

Possible fixes: Give characters quirks that make them standout. These could range from fleshed-out backstories, to weird personal habits (we all have them!), to stark physical traits (that our MS constantly notices). Someone might debate me on this, but IMO? If you're going to sacrifice realism anywhere, it'll be here. Characters, especially main characters, absolutely need to stand out. Unless you're H.P. Lovecraft, generic characters are tough to overcome. And even he caught flack.

 

A Personal Note  

I love this story. Totally worth a bige-read! This game-like system is one of those that makes me want to completely overhaul my own and start over (I am worldbuilding, and boy, is it a process). It's just that good. Hopefully I did this review justice.

@SensescentSoul, I think it's awesome that you're an English teacher. As a college student studying English, I appreciate what you do - I was inspired by an English teacher in high school, and if it weren't for a handful of supportive/motivational teachers like her, I wouldn't have started writing as early as I did. Thank you!

Forever_King
  • Overall Score

Has everything you could want in a LitRPG. Action, adventure, monsters, and loot. All in a nice neatly wrapped package.

Leifman
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5/5 , Perfect.

Nuff said. (Really.. i can elaborate and further break it down like the best reviews on the front page with the most upvotes, but i think they did it more justice than me and i honestly have nothing but praise and compliments to the Author and what he created here with this AMAZING piece of storytelling,characters and plot. let alone the 'keeping you on the edge and wanting more but not abusing the known cliches and keeping it fresh and amazing every single chapter'.

Bravo.

Marmoset Threat
  • Overall Score

This story starts off as a standard LitRPG "Portal fantasy" where the main character (who is unhappy with his previous life) just suddenly awakens in standard mideavel fantasy world with accompanying social stereotypes. The main character then makes it his mission to become a powerful adventurer (suprise suprise), however (gasp) the main character has problems integrating with a world he's completely unfamiliar with. This isn't bad or a good thing. It's just that this style of story/ formula is popular for a reason: It's good and has a wide audience. The author executes this story very well and while it loses points in origianlity, it certainly holds up in quality.

Overall, while this story isn't anything special or genre-defining, and I don't think it deserves it's spot so high on the rankings as it currently is (#5 as of writing).

However, it is good enough that it keeps me coming back and reading every time a chapter is released and not many stories on RR can say the same.

Also, on a more "personal taste" note, I find the math portions have gotten a bit overblown. I don't really care for counting out percentages to three decimal points and multiple modifiers. Just give me the end result and i'll be happy. Also, the character claims to have barely passed high-school level math classes, yet the mathematical proficency that he shows is clearly above that of the average high school student. I think the author is oversetimating how smart average high schoolers are.