Tethralin (LitRPG)

by zeryn

Original HIATUS Action Adventure Fantasy GameLit LitRPG Magic Male Lead
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity

In a world many years ahead of ours, a technology which moves a person's soul is introduced. Then, using their technology, Xyvarc Corporation creates a game called 'Tethralin', moving players' souls into this game.

Zeryn Felix finally makes it to the 20th floor, but gets betrayed by his teammates. He started with five lives, yet now only has one. Due to frustration and a sudden realization, he places his difficulty on 'Hardcore', but then throws all his attributes into Luck—just to find out it may be more than he could afford to handle.

Can someone truly rely on luck to survive on their last life—or will his impulsive decision lead to his downfall? Why does Hardcore seem so different than Easy and Normal? What does Luck really even do? Zeryn sets out to find answers while trying to survive—to see what completing this game offers.

 

 

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Discord

Can also be read over at scribblehub

Book cover commissioned by https://matokunewa.artstation.com

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zeryn

zeryn

Author of Tethralin

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 0: Prologue ago
Chapter 1: Hardcore Difficulty ago
Chapter 2: Floor 1, The Beginning ago
Chapter 3: Almost Died! ago
Chapter 4: The Goblin Chiefs ago
Chapter 5: Floor 2, Goblin Forest ago
Chapter 6: Journey Through the Paths ago
Chapter 7: Unexpected Occurrence ago
Chapter 8: Karafil ago
Chapter 9: Floor 4, Goblin Kingdom ago
Chapter 10: A Goblin’s Deal ago
Chapter 11: Those Within the Throne Room ago
Chapter 12: Entering the Fifth Floor! ago
Chapter 13: Floor 5, Ashen Flame ago
Chapter 14: Miraculum ago
Chapter 15: Blazing Blossoms ago
Chapter 16: Into The Pit ago
Chapter 17: Ants ago
Chapter 18: Morohein ago
Chapter 19: Frenzy ago
Chapter 20: The Hub; Multiplayer Active ago
Chapter 21: What A Joke ago
Chapter 22: Mana Bolt Destruction ago
Chapter 23: Escort ago
Chapter 24: A Stranger ago
Chapter 25: Meeting A Veteran ago
Chapter 26: Cursed Again ago
Chapter 27: A Powerful Duo ago
Chapter 28: Dance of the Shrouded Shadow ago
Chapter 29: Floor 13, Needing Victories ago
Chapter 30: Fight, Fight, Fight ago
Chapter 31: I’m A Little Lamb ago
Chapter 32: The Plot Was A Lie ago
Chapter 33: A New Quest ago
Chapter 34: Explosions, Explosions Everywhere ago
Chapter 35: The Inferno ago
Chapter 36: Nysel and Azumith ago
Chapter 37: Wisdom +1 ago
Reviews

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Moonman1999
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Fun to read but it needs a lot of work

So i stumbled upon Tethralin while searching through the stories on royal road and decided to read it mainly because i had the time. I read up to your recent chapter, 32, as of the time i am writing this and decided to write this review to help you out. Partly due to the fact that Your story beats haven’t really been hitting the mark. So i hope you can use my input to help make a better overall experience for your reader, if you are at all interested in doing that.

 

STYLE

 

To be blunt, i think your writing style has been pretty boring so far, and from what i can tell there are three reasons for it.

The first, and in my opinion, the most important is that your writing style lacks creativity. Not just in the imagery you use to flesh out your world for the reader, but also in they way you use your words as well. They lack impact, gravitas, and a wow factor. Leading to the world, that i am pretty sure you worked hard on, coming off as dull and boring.

For example let’s use the goblin palace, from your spare descriptions of the surrounding i could only imagine a bland, brown, and utterly human construct of a castle. Just imagine if you had added more flair to it. Like instead of it just being a solitary place, maybe it’s the center of sprawling city full of goblins. Who’s house have been made into circular pottery, laced with plant fiber that grows and elevates the homes above the ground. Defended by guards who ride beetles that leak silk which fly and grow inside the trees that lift their clay homes into the sky. Children playing on suspended gardens made of moss and mudd, which shift and turn from magical runes that keep the mud always soft to play on. And the palace itself, a monument of goblin ingenuity, pottery laced into a kaleidoscope of art, that supports the massive structure on giant trees suspened high into the sky. 

 

I would add more but you should get the idea, if you want to sweep in more readers add some creativity to your world and setting of each of the floors. 

The second tip to keep in mind is to always show, don’t tell. It’s so overstated that it has become a cliche in its own right in the writing community. But it’s an important rule to keep in mind if you want to intrigue readers to continue reading your story. The reason why is that it just sounds so much cooler to read, “Sally looks away, tears streaming down her cheeks as her lips quiver with a voiceless reply.”  Versus, “Sally begins to cry, looking away and not responding. 

Show with everything you do in your writing, from writing dialogue, to writing descriptions, to writing actions. It’s a lot more engaging for your readers.

Third writing tip is try to stay in the same point of view, and keep prose succinct. I noticed you sometimes begin to dip into first-person, and talk in the past versus the now.

 

STORY

 

So onto your story, and to get this out of the way, i feel very meh about it. I know a big point of  this project is watching the protagonist gain power, and levels as the story progresses. But that can’t be everything, and it obviously isn’t considering what you have brought with the recent chapters. But all the other parts of a story, world-building, plot, theme...etc just fall flat. 

One reason is that, besides getting stronger there really isn’t any other form of intrigue. I know you are starting to bring up the corporation and their shit but that has its own problems that i will get into later. It feels like you have foregone everything else in a story in order to make a super powered loner, that gets stronger and fights against the corporation. Which is fine, but there is so much more interesting stuff in here that you can get into. How do players interact with each other in this world, knowing that they are forever trapped in a “game”? Have players banded together to help out groups of weaker players in the game? Have groups of players farmed other players in order to get more levels. Is there any deterent from leveling by PvP, or something that encourages it. If this is a game, can you go back to other floors or hubs? Is there a communication/ messaging system in the “game”. Are there forums or aides on how to progress therough the floors? How did the corporation even extract a soul, and how did they even get away with trapping people in a game and effectively killing them. What’s happening on the outside world? Has the corporation faced ramifications for their actions? Are people figuring out a way to bring people back from the game? What happens to a persons body if they die 4 times and can’t pay the bill( I honestly don’t understand the whole thing with that in the first place)? What are people doing in the game to get back out? Are you traveling between different placesin the sane world or traveling to complete new ones? How are gods connected and confined to a system that obviously limits them? Do they fight against such a system? What is the society of the outside world even like? How come the protagonist(Who’s so boring that i forgot his name) framed for stealing? 

I understand that you probably thought this through to an extent already but with what you have given us, i can’t see it at all. No questions have been answered and the ines that were, have this layer of silky all over it. Not silly as in fun, but silly as in dumb. Like how could the main character walk up to a palace, be the only human around who fits a wanted poster, and still be allowed in. If you want your reader to take your world seriously, to treat the settings you put your protagonist in, approach each situation with a veneer of logic. Cause a lot of stuff has been going with nothing being explained, or without even a hint to an explanation. 

Another thing to add is that try to have your protagonists leveling involve plot with it. Either by engaging eith the world, the players or both. I know you wrote up that whole thing with the mermen thing, but that wasn’t enough, i want to see something that goes deeper. Explore your protagonists psychology, especially since he seems to spend so much timewith his own thoughts. Have things pop up in his kevel thst remind of his life outside the game. Include overarching plots that include more than just finding out about the corporation and whatnot. Hell, even switch persepectives from your protagonist. 

 

CHARACTERS

 

Boring is about the only way i can describe it. The are no prominent character flaws that impact how your character functions in the world. We barely know a thing about him, other than he has a bad life that he doesn’t want to think about, and got flaked out by the corporation who made this game that he used to work for. I mean that is definitely a start, especially going with 31 chapters of barely nothing. But it needs more, he needs to interact with the workd around him more fluidly, put him into situations ehere he has to talk to more players, maybe he has to do a social intrigue mission, or a stealth mission. Maybe he has to assassinate a high kevel player with a bunch of low level ones for mysterious reasons. Push him to be involved with the world around him more intimately so you can drag more of a character out of him.

The same fould be applied eith your side characters, build a “human.” A person with good and bad flaws, that feels whole, not like a cartoon. Try not to rely on cliche’s and try to keep your characters interesting. There are so many characters and stories you fould out of this setting if you just expanded on it. So expand!!

Get a little ambitious, and go nuts with the world and locals you visit, let your protagonist meet side characters that push and prod him in different ways. That make him vulnerable, that bring out his bad qualities, that change him for the better, or give him goals outside of getting stronger. Don’t just make loner badasses only in love with leveling eithout exploring their psychology. And in a world where your stuck in a game that can kill you brutally and easily. That trick you into accepting weaker abilities or stats, that lies and manipulates to you. Explore how they stay human and keep their sanity in a world like that.

 

OVERALL

I think you have potential, most do but you need to capitalize it more to make your project better than it is. Embrace your creativity!! Or you could just ignore my advice.....

 

Rethorian
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Bland/Lazy MC, Excessive Plot Armor

When I first read the synopsis, it sounded really interesting, luck-based characters can be really interesting, because high luck can lead to awesome moments where a character can pull off a 1 in a million chance event without causing a sense of disbelief, and how crushing events can go when luck doesn't workout because it's not a sure thing.

Tethralin's luck is NOTHING like that. The main character is always 100% lucky regardless of whatever value his luck stat is at. Unlucky outcomes just don't happen. His 'luck-based skill' is a random chance event, but when all the outcomes are the equilivant of Get a Million Dollars/Get a Super Model Girlfriend/Get a Giant Mansion, there's no real 'losing', just winning something equally as good.

Spoiler: Spoiler

 

The Power Creep in the story is INSANE. Early on, the MC gets a skill that lets him get even more skills for basically doing nothing. The skills he gets early on are just plain broken.

 

Spoiler: Spoiler




Oh, and the items?

He randomly gets items that are designed for significantly higher level players, so are completely broken at the level he gets them, and the author is nice enough to let him completely ignore the item requirements so he can use these completely broken items and one shot basically everything.

 

 

Now, onto the MC. The MC is boring, a moron, and completely undeserving of the massive amounts of plot armor he's given. You can write stories where the MC is overpowered and still make it interesting. But they have to DESERVE to be overpowered. They need to avenge their dead family, or be extremely hard working and/or put up with extreme pain, etc. He/she has to have a good reason why he/she is 10x as powerful as the average dude.

In Tethralin? His motivation comes down to 'I don't want to die'. While not exactly lazy, and more along the lines of 'sorta tries a little harder than average', there's no point in the story where he tries to do any real hard work to get any one of the million overpowered items and abilities. He literally just does what any average joe would do, and gets insane crazy rewards. In any other novel, Tethralin's MC would be one of the guys a real MC would call pathetic and beat the everloving crap out of him for being lazy and not deserving any of the power he was given basically for free. Yes, the MC in Tethralin is the equilivant of a Young Master who just gets given tons of resources and overpowered items just because someone spoiled him rotten (in this case, the author).

He's also a complete moron. He dies FOUR times, and it takes until his 5th and final attempt before he dies for good, before he has the brilliant idea of killing all the enemies on a floor instead of just running straight to the exit. And technically he doesn't even come up with the basic idea that killing more enemies = more XP and loot = get stronger/die less. He's forced to fully complete the floor because the exit is locked. Literally anyone who has ever played an RPG before should understand the basic concept of grinding.

Even when picking his skill allocation, he's surprised when he finds out Alchemist is a class anyone can get, and gets frustrated because on hardcore, skill allocation can't be undone. If he could have redone all his skills on easy, why the hell did he not redo all his skills constantly and bother to check out all the different classes he could have become? Then it would be blatantly obvious Alchemist is a class for everyone. The only real explanation is he's a moron.

 

Spoiler: Spoiler

 

A moron with plot armor and no social skills does not make an interesting character. And I honestly can't really think of any other character traits he possesses that I noticed that are worth mentioning. He's generic and boring.


The plot itself and the LitRPG elements aren't... terrible? There's nothing particularly revolutionary in there, but for a basic level grinding story it hits most of the main concepts well enough. Assuming you can suspend your disbelief over the countless plot armor interventions by the author.

There's a lot of hints about what the plot is going to be about later, but it never really lets you sink your teeth in, and 30+ chapters in, I really think you should be giving the readers some idea about what the novel is about apart from being generic LitRPG No.45643. No one owes it to you to read 100 chapters into the novel before it starts taking off. A lot of people would just drop it if it's going to take that long.

Not that there aren't plot points that don't really make sense to me.

 

Spoiler: Spoiler



The extreme lack of characters for the MC to talk to also contribute to how boring and generic he feels. There's no way to flesh him out unless he's talking to people. There's a reason it's a common trope to have some sort of spirit or AI companion follow an MC who spends a lot of time alone, because it keeps the social aspect going. Not saying that it's right for this story, but there's a giant push to keep the MC from talking to basically... anyone. Which is fine if people are really only reading for the LitRPG elements, but that's not me.


I mean, i've said a lot of bad things about the novel, but it doesn't feel like a horrible novel to read. I'd have dropped it otherwise. It's just the plethora of problems I have with the story make it much harder to enjoy than I otherwise could. I'm hoping it picks up a little more later. Otherwise, yeah i'll end up dropping it if it keeps going like this.

KamiKira00
  • Overall Score

This story started quite well. Writing style is simple but easily understood.

Slight spoiler.

MC gets OP skill that can create new skills or copy them from opponents. This skill is OP yet, classified as low rank skill. Not only that but MC also has skill that creates miracles when needed(and based on writing, it is plot armor, that isn't even hidden) or other skill that can give player really rare items right at the beginning of the story. It is told that MC ascended the tower three times, yet he is oblivious to everything(skills, spells, fighting, strategy, game mechanics).

I can't suspend my disbelief that much. Idea is good, but if author wants it to be action/adventure type of story, he needs to put limits on MC, and hide plot armor.

Stranger J
  • Overall Score

There is a plot for people who are wondering, but it is not apparent in the early part of the story. Another thing that needs to be mentioned is that the motive is not clear for the MC in a way of achieving certain goal. He wants to get better, sure, but I feel like he's just wondering around with a general direction at first. It really gets better later on, however. And the plot do thickens and progress. If you like this kind of litrpg series with op characters, this story definitely deserves a try and a bit of patience.

Temporal Figment
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Beginning Needs Work, It Gets Much Better

The beginning of this novel definitely needs more oomph. More information would greatly be appreciated, but as I kept reading the story pulled me in and I didnt want to leave.

The MC is flawed, don't go in expecting a god gamer (i think it is actually explained much later he isn't someone who games often- prob better to have that known to the readers early...) But he learns and grows, and the progression I come for in LitRPGs is definitely there.

There is a bit of mystery tied in to the story, but I don't think it covers for a plot just yet. Maybe if the info was prevalent earlier in the story it would be easier to show. Grammar is on point and I like the style in which the novel flows.

But if you enjoy a good climb through a tower and killing mobs and watching stat progression, definitely give it a try. Here's hoping the author can put information towards the character & plot early on in the story.

obran
  • Overall Score

In which a Murder Hobo ambles pointlessly around

No real plot.  No real progression.  No real goals.  Just a main character who moves from completely random event to completely random event, killing everything that gets in his way.

Y_D
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Good story I guess

First of all I am not the best to give a good review to anything really, I'm just another random reader with a rant in mind.

As of chapter 34... And please be aware of spoilers ahead.

This is not such a bad story, it needs a bit of polish, some work on plot maybe. 

Grammar is good really, can't say anything bad about it.

Characters... There is MC that is not the brightest but I guess he is learning, not very believable in my opinion, so maybe a bit more work in the earlier chapters might be nice... Can't remember if there was a reasonable description of him (ex: age was only revealed at latest chapters 33 I think)… other than MC there is a princess pirate captain that was in 1 chapter only and there was maybe a friendly cursemaster, the company spokesperson that had a interview and a Battle and maybe a few others like a storm mage that had one line and a Archer that appeared twice but had little spotlight... So just MC really... But maybe it is all on purpose right?

I have a few problems with the time lapse in the story, the  tower structure that seems to be only one way... Rollercoaster up... Other than death that is, how the players seem to not interact as one would guess when there is mortality in play as was broadcast in a game thats is to have a few clear conspiracies at the least, how the first 4 lives of MC got explained, just felt like he really didn't live them in a way, not much of a learning experience for him... Well yes there was, but not like one would expect, again, not the brightest, even if he was just trying to run away from rl. But he seems to be learning slowly... For plot conviniece I guess. That's mostly why it does not feel too believable to me.

Basically it

The spoiler below is more  detailed and has more ... Well spoilers so be warned... Oh and more rant... Enjoy 

Spoiler: Spoiler

And I'll repeat this was all me trying at review, rating and ranting... All my thoughts, mostly jumbled thoughts of just one of many readers.

Rhynie
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It's like cooking eggs. Its good no matter wat

Spoiler Warning (Duh)

This is a review not minding plot armor. why? That is because plot armor is part of the story and you are lacking in brains if you think that a story is perfect without it. 

(im not saying a story is perfect with plot armor but im saying a story can be good depending on how the writer uses it)

 

Why one should read this?

There is one thing that made me stick this story and that is progression. I love how things always move and there is always tis feeling of things going as these events are going on. Clearly as shown in the characters that they also have their own version of the game. Nice take on that part. Very gamerish(?) of you.

 

So the story as of Ch.34

there are moments in the beginning that I wished you applied towards the defense arc. I love the concept of how he can do the quest in different ways. The goblin arc was magnificently done. I loved how you tied it with a bigger scheme. 

comment: Need more character substantiation(idk if that is a thing). You have an amazing cast if characters already so breath more life into them. Give them more Omph because I know when a DBZ episode will destroy rocks or mountains and it is the same here. Let me get to know smash smash and the great legacy of smash smash.

 

Words?

Grammar is grammar and I read it smoothly so if there are errors then they are probably as smoll as my self esteem.

 

My enjoyment?

It was a good binge. it was not the best excecution but you did good. With an amazing concept such as this, I cannot wait to devour more of this story.

 

WAUT? You never played tuber simulator?

Koinzell
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Rarely read something this bad

This story is excruciatingly bad, even for RRL standards, it's entirely without plot(or rather, cohesion), the MC has no motivations whatsoever, there's no consistency either.

The only thing that wouldn't be done better by a 4 year old, is the grammar, which is somewhat decent.

HairyHermit
  • Overall Score

I like the story and the writing style. The whole great tower theme works well and the MC is still discovering what the result of his actions are in the world. As most of his power comes from his gear I expect him to really struggle on the higher floors, he doesn't seem to be particularly skilled at combat and has a huge advantage over most mobs, however the mystery of the tower keeps every floor interesting.