Skills & Demons - Crunchy

Skills & Demons - Crunchy

by UnwrittenDreams

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content

For months Mark has been bugging his friends to try this gaming system he is enamored with. Skills, Archetypes, and Demons. This system has a skill for everything and even different approaches for some skills. Instead of levels, he tells them, each skill has its own experience and level.

"As true to real life as a gaming system could be." at least it says on the box. When the group finally break down and decide to play it, they head over to Hunter's house to start. Next thing they know... trapped in the game.

Everyone dreams of being trapped inside their favorite game. Abusing the mechanics and becoming OP AF. No one ever dreams of being trapped in a crappy system. One ladened with rules and so much record keeping it almost becomes tedious.

 

Author Notes: 

Note: There is two different versions of this story, one with the game mechanics and dice rolls(this one) and one without. Some people have still said they preferred the lite/noncrunchy version so I'm updating a 2nd story with that version. It will lag behind this one a little but if thats more your cup of tea, check it out...  https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/29481/skills-archetypes-and-demons-first-encounters 

I truly hope you enjoy.

 

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UnwrittenDreams

UnwrittenDreams

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 43 - Oh Shit! ago
Chapter 44 - Shit Happens ago
Chapter 45 - If an Idiot Speaks in a Forest ago
Chapter 46 - Slug Bug ago
Chapter 47 - Running ago
Chapter 48 - Wet Bandits ago
Chapter 49 - Small Town Blues ago
Chapter 50 - Down Shit Creek ago
Chapter 51 - Divine Will ago
Chapter 52 - Planning Committee ago
Chapter 53 - Endure Stupidity ago
Chapter 54 - Murphy's Law ago
Chapter 55 - Into the Woods ago
Chapter 56 - Out of the Woods ago
Chapter 57 - Loose Ends ago
Chapter 58 - Somethings A Foot ago
Chapter 59 - Wheelin' and Dealin' ago
Chapter 60 - Don't Hate the Player ago
Chapter 61 - Hate the Game ago
Chapter 62 - East Bound and Down ago
Chapter 63 - Side Quests ago
Chapter 64 - Easy Peasy ago
Chapter 65 - It's Goblin Time ago
Chapter 66 - If It's Too Hot ago
Chapter 67 - Rain Rain Go Away ago
Chapter 68 - Full Metal Combat ago
Chapter 69 - End of One Road, Start of Another ago
Poll and Making Highly Unbearable short story free on Amazon ago
Book 2, Chapter 1 - Grinding Phat Lootz ago
Book 2, Chapter 2 - Don't Leaf Me ago
Book 2, Chapter 3 - Crafting a Plan ago
Book 2, Chapter 4 - Split the Party ago
Book 2, Chapter 5 - Fork You ago
Book 2, Chapter 6 -Shattered People ago
Book 2, Chapter 7 - Council of Nine ago
Book 2, Chapter 8 - I Would Walk 500 Miles ago
Book 2, Chapter 9 - Bait ago
Book 2, Chapter 10 - Goblins in Shantytown ago
book 2, Chapter 11 - Heavy ago
Book 2, Chapter - 12 - Greater Than A Dozen ago
book 2, Chapter 12 - Professions ago
book 2, Chapter 14 - Independence Day ago
Book 2, Chapter 15 - Stand ago
Book 2, Chapter 16 - Deliver ago
Book 2, Chapter 17 - Fight ago
Book 2, Chapter 18 - Evening the Odds ago
Book 2, Chapter 19 - Hard Times ago
Book 2, Chapter 20 - Better Men ago
Book 2, chapter 21 - Winning! ago
Book 2, Chapter - 22 Hail to the King ago
Book 2, Chapter - 23 - Exurge Domine Et Judica Causam Taum ago
Book 2, Chapter - 24 You Say You Want A Revolution. ago
Book 2, Chapter 25 - Closing the Trap ago
Book 2, Chapter 26 - Shrugging it Off ago
Book 2, Chapter 27 - Saving Todd, Maybe? ago
Book 2, Chapter 28 - Untitled Chapter ago
Book 2, Chapter 29 - First Edition Blues ago
Book 2, Chapter 30 - Untitled ago
Book 2, Chapter 31 - Untitled for Now ago
Book 2, Chapter 32 - A Man and A Mission ago
Book 2, Chapter 33 - Original or Extra Crispy ago
Book 2, Chapter 34 ago
Book 2, Chapter 35 ago

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KoboldPatrol
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Great and novel idea, needs polishing

Reviewed at: Chapter 41 - Paper Beats Darkness

(as of chapter 41)

Five friends wake up in a fantasy world ruled by a tabletop RPG system that they had just started to try out. A system where each and every possible action has its own skill that has to be practiced individually. The characters also quickly find out that when they die they will respawn at the same location without memories and all the earned skills reset to zero; it turns out that they have over time left a large amount of their own corpses scattered throughout the region. Will they ever live long enough to defeat evil and find the way home?

Style: The story is told in third-person limited style following the five main characters, but from the point of view of only two of them. The word choice is mostly good and the descriptions are limited but okay.
The action-specific skill system makes much more sense than what you often see in litRPG stories: when you start using a short sword instead of an axe you have to learn it from zero instead of relying on an illogical global "one-handed weapons" skill.
The litRPG elements themselves are a blessing and a curse. The basic mechanics of the story lead to lots of dice rolls with or without success in the respective action, explaining why the hit landed or the foot slipped. I mostly like that. On the other hand, when the characters are grinding a skill while doing something else (like gathering mana while walking), do we really need to (rolled 9,6,3: success, 6543 more until level up) see each and every (rolled 1,2,3: failure) dice roll that happens (rolled 5,6,7: success, 6542 more until level up), each taking 2-3 lines in (rolled 2,4,6: failure) the text, cluttering the page and (rolled 4,9,9: double success, 6540 more until level up) disrupting the reading flow?
Now, if I don't like it, why don't I read the non-crunchy version that is posted in parallel on RRL, where all mechanics are hidden? Well, I do like to read about dice rolls and leveling up, just not in every second paragraph. E.g., those failed "awareness" skill checks where the reader knows that something surprising is about to happen are great and I don't want to miss them.

Story: The two main premises of the story (action-specific skills and restarting from zero) are very interesting but make reading it rather taxing. The pacing of individual scenes is good, but that of the general story is sloooow as the characters keep dying and so everything has to start again from the start. Even though most of the chapters so far repeat the same basic structure (respawn, set out, die to something) we have seen glimpses of various plotlines. As the world goes on regardless of their respawning, those plotlines advance and the MC party regularly meets people who have met them before, for better of for worse.

Grammar: Now and then there are errors, with a significant amount of them very basic errors (e.g. wrong possessive apostrophes), but that doesn't hinder the reading flow.

Characters: Phew, the main characters are really stupid. They learn that they are respawning in a fantasy RPG and have had to start from the beginning lots of times, but they still don't take it seriously. While after a while they at least do some grinding to improve their skill levels, they lack almost all common sense. Or how would you call it that they play pranks on each other during a quiet moment of a deadly fight? They are making the same errors again and again and for the readers that is frustrating. Of course they don't remember the earlier times and they might still believe it a game, but if you're suddenly in a different world you might want to think before acting, at least after you saw your friend die in a painful way. According to the author, part of this is intentional but it still hurts me when I have to read it.

All in all, while I like the idea of this story, it still needs improvement to keep the readers from giving up halfway.

Retrodude653
Overall

So the story itself is pretty good but a little to dark for me personally if you write something similar but less serious and grim i'll probably enjoy it way more.

warownslife
Overall

A. what beautiful god damn comedy. 

 

B. add more tags. 

 

This book is great. Truly a blessed piece of enjoyment. I laughed, I had questions, I had more questions, they got answered, I laughed again, beautiful. 

Urza Ironclaw
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

What wonderful violence - As of Chapter 7

Reviewed at: Crunchy Chapter 7 - By the Numbers

The story is just starting but I am enjoying it.  The characters haven't had much time to develop but they seem to be going in a good direction.  Also contains some fresh ideas, at least from my point of view. 

 

Good work. 

Cyoa11aa
Overall

First chapter was great, I can tell that I'm really going to like this book when there's a little bit more.