Skills, Archetypes, and Demons - First Encounters

by UnwrittenDreams

Original ONGOING Comedy Fantasy Gender Bender LitRPG Multiple Lead Characters Portal Fantasy / Isekai
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 1 - Why Do We Keep Meeting Like This? ago
Chapter 2 - One of Many ago
Chapter 3 - Funeral for a Friend ago
Chapter 4 - Practice, Practice, Practice ago
Chapter 5 - Signs of Danger ago
Chapter 6 - Hunter Becomes the Hunted. ago
Chapter 7 - By the Numbers ago
Interlude - Characters so far - possible minor spoilers ago
Chapter 8 - Still Alive ago
Chapter 9 - Odd Acquaintances ago
Chapter 10 - Fuckity Fuck Fuck ago
Chapter 11 - Restrictions ago
Chapter 12 - Maps and Direction ago
Chapter 13 - Road to Badassery ago
Chapter 14 - Getting Stoned ago
Chapter 15 - Magic Thingy ago
Chapter 16 - Stuck in the middle with you. ago
Chapter 17 - Power Overwhelming ago
Chapter 17 B - Power Overwhelming ago
Chapter 18 - Stupid the Bandit Slayer ago
Chapter 19 - Fight, fight, fight! ago
Chapter 20 - Fear of Mark ago
Chapter 21 - Knives, Lives, and Lies. ago
Chapter 22 - Sometimes even the Stupid hurts. ago
Chapter 23 - Hanging with the Boys ago
Chapter 24 - Not our Circus ago
Chapter 25 - Not our Clowns. ago
Chapter 26 - Hunk of Burning Love ago
Chapter 27 - Return fire ago
Chapter 28 - Plot Device? ago
Chapter 29 - Sometimes Success is Failure ago
Chapter 30 - Life and Death ago
Chapter 31 - Playing With Dead Things. ago
Chapter 32 - As Luck Would Have It ago
Chapter 33 - Getting Stoned ago
Chapter 34 - Size Does Matter ago
Chapter 35 - Craps, Snaps, and Traps. ago
Chapter 36 - Pun'ishment ago
Chapter 37 - Knot your ordinary loot. ago
Chapter 38 - Give Me a Hand ago
Chapter 38 B - Give Me A Hand ago
Chapter 39 - Everyday We're Shuffling ago
Chapter 40 - Fanning the Flames ago
Chapter 41 - Paper Beats Darkness ago
Chapter 42 - Getting High ago
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

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KoboldPatrol
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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 Score

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 Score

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. 

Wardozer
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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 Score

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