The Power of Ten: Book One: Sama Rantha, and Book Two: The Far Future
by RE Druin
(Author's Note: If you're wondering about the views, it's +1.8 million more on Webnovel, its original home. Updated daily starting Dec. 26, 2018, and continued with Book Three.)
Some time ago, a planes-traveling archmage made up a video game to train some people on the planet Earth for the catastrophe he knew was coming.
That game was the Power of Ten.
The gods seized this opportunity to take the templates of some of those characters, and even their souls, for use in other worlds, and other realms.
Sama Rantha is one of those characters, and is going to find out that being a Hagchild and having to survive after your Hag Curse fails to murder you at birth is much, much less fun than setting it as your Race at level One on a gamescreen.
Join Sama Rantha on her Road to Ten, and letting her Hagmother know exactly what she thinks of her...
Warning: This book starts with a HARD OPEN! It was written as an extension of other stories that have not made it onto the Internet yet for National Novel Writing Month in Nov/2018.
Book One/Sama Rantha: A traditionalist LitRPG in the fantasy world vein. The beginning chapters will be heavy with gaming terms and the supporting math as Sama exploits the rules as much as possible, minmaxing her heart out to get one up on the world trying to kill her.
The math and rules lawyering tapers off, but are never eliminated, as Sama is going to do everything she can to exploit the rules of reality here and not die, while making sure those responsible for this get exactly what is coming to them...
Book Two, The Far Future (starting Ch. 286): The Warp, the final frontier; in the grim darkness of a galaxy far far away, there came a hagchild...QX! Sci-fi/Fantasy/psionics mashup, grimbright clashing with grimdark!
Sama is sent into a setting she'd rather not be in, but the heart of a powergamer never says no, even in the crapsack galaxy of the Tellurian Empire.
BOOK TWO IS COMPLETE WITH 357 CHAPTERS AS OF 9/2020.
Book Three (updating daily): The Human Race (next Book!) - Urban Fantasy world. Three Power of Ten gamers come together in a world under the Shroud of the Cancer of Death. Whatever might happen when they do, and what might they find there?
Setting Synopsis and Prelude of Book Three are posted on their own Novel Page:
The Original Sama Stories: Being posted at:
Discord link: in zis location is always up if I'm online.
Patreon for my supporters! https://www.patreon.com/user?u=25742531
Courtesy of the Dread Fluffy Goblyn, I even have a Facebook page! The Book Of Hag Face
And join the Power of Ten Fan page! Tremble, We Come!
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This story is actually really good once you get past the first few chapters that bombard you with pages on stats and skills in a way that is very much reliant on you knowing your way around the way D&D and various other pen and paper systems work. Most readers will find themselves distracted by the short terms for some of it / for example 'DR'. I can only recommend that you keep the tab open to the first chapter and do a ctrl+f search for whichever term you did not understand. Once you get past the first 20-50 chapters, you will likely really enjoy this story. There's plenty of interesting world building and storylines within this book. There's also lots and lots of action and progression within the system. If you enjoy watching the protagonist(s) and their friends getting ever stronger.. this is for you.
Update: I am fully up to date on this story, having read the entire thing multiple times. I have now reached the conclusion that this story, in effect, is the Michael Bay action movie of LitRPGs. Don't expect character development; instead, expect video game character development. And gratuitous combat. And much smacking down of capital-E Evil.
1. Yes, this is a D&D-esque story. You're not going to be able to get away from the heavy math. Thankfully, it isn't particularly important once you get past the early chapters. Hope you like remembering acronyms, though, which is what I dinged this story for 1/2 star on the Grammar review.
2. This is a D&D-esque story, and the protagonist is a munchkin. Take in what that means for a second. It may not seem like much... but if you've never played D&D and you've never seen the difference between a munchkin Player Character and a normal PC, never mind the NPCs there to pad out the story... as the story drags on, it begins to feel more and more like a powerwank. Does the protagonist ever actually lose a fight? Nope. More tellingly, does the protagonist ever get into a fight that's not a total and utter curbstomp? Nope. Sure, the protagonist took like a dozen subclasses which makes her leveling slow (which means nothing before the speed of plot) and that means she has a bajillion feats and masteries and what the heck ever. Stealth, smithing, multihits, more Banes than you can shake a stick at, the No-Fear feat, the absurd insta-win button that is vivic fire... the enemies are out-statted, out-skilled, no-sold, ambushed - I could go on and on. And sure. It's in the mechanics, the numbers work out. But the number of enemies in this story that haven't gone down like chumps are countable on the fingers of one hand. The author can't help but throw out emergent ancient conspiracies full of Always Chaotic Evil abominations like candy; it's practically the only source of villains. So yeah, I gave it a -1 star to Story.
3. Despite the above points, this is still an Overall 5-star story anyways. Why? Because the characters are emphatically not written as simple powergamers and flunkies slavishly devoted to the protagonist (although they are admittedly also that). There's humanity in the writing, the metaphysics of the D&D-verse are explained and integrated excellently. The dichotomy between villains and heroes is extremely evident - non-heroes are assholes to a man, sadly; the author can't write neutral alignments - but when the heroes aren't chewing through infinite battlefields at hundreds of cannon fodder a round per hero, steamrolling supposedly unbeatable elites, and throwing vivic fire everywhere, the heroes read like actual humans. Don't knock that. The story's worth reading just for that, and too few stories have it.
Like i said in the title, never played DnD. But i still realy enjoy this story. Most of the numbers you can get behind easely enough and the rest you ignore or Google.
Characters are likeable, tough they do seem a bit too perfect. And any character flaws aren't realy flaws in the current world.
I have not found a single grammer mistake so far and I'm at chapter 200. Altough I'm not a native English speaker so It might not mean too much.
Later on the story gets much more story driven than Litrpg number crunching.
I 10/10 would reckomend giving this story a chance.
But now I got to get back too reading I have 60 more chapters until I catch up. 😉
Apparently, this story has been around for some time, given the reviews from prior readers as soon as it showed up on Trending. Having just burned through the entire story in the last couple of days, I figured it would be worth writing out a review for anyone looking to try the story. First thing, the world and growth system is drawn from tabletop RPGs, primarily Pathfinder and D & D, which having only played a game once left me on the outside of all that information. That said, I would ignore those recommending to skip the Nightmare chapters (where the MC is trapped in the realm of Nightmare, not just dreaming). I didn't understand any of the glorious min-maxing going on, but the Nightmare chapters are endless growth runs, dying over and over again while introducing feats that eke out just a little more of an advantage each time.
The premise is that the main characters all died in Terra, and were notably the best players of a game that mirrored the world's mechanics exactly. It's relegated to the background but serves as an explanation for how the characters know exactly what classes and feats to sprint towards in service of min-maxing their perfect build. From there it's a grand romp of seeking out Evil and burning it for The Land, quickly getting embroiled in bigger and bigger schemes and conflicts and drawing more and more people into their orbit as events progress. The world-building is excellent, without overusing or reusing monsters, and constantly traveling into new spaces with new and strange things to kill. The pacing holds to a fast tempo from the start and virtually never slows down, with the occasional emotional beats that are built up to over dozens of chapters. I will say that the grammar and writing errors do interfere with the flow of things and editing would improve that, but significant issues are rare enough that it didn't put me off the story.
Overall, this story makes for an absurdly involved growth and progression that gradually spills out into plot and world exploration. Exposition is never dumped alone and always tied into the story, which makes for a much more compelling read. The only real issue I have is with the ages of the 'little sisters' and their interest in the opposite sex. Otherwise, the story is the equivalent of a team of legendary tabletop players gently taking newbies under their wing and setting them on the path of their perfect build. The main characters are solid, if a bit cut from the same cloth, but if there's one thing this story nails is the sense of endless growth that makes litrpgs so satisfying. There is rarely a moment where the cast isn't getting stronger through either direct stat growth or gear growth, though, the focus does shift after about a hundred chapters to something more plot-oriented while never dropping the rapid forward pacing.
So, all that said, I would recommend this, especially given the sheer amount of content immediately available for consumption. If it doesn't appeal after 15-20 chapters, even when skimming over the class and feat selections, I would guess that it probably won't be your cup of tea, but for those that enjoy it, buckle up for a wild ride.
five chapters a day for calculated awesome, yes sirree, definitely worth a five-star review, even if I don't understand half of the technicals. Only regret is that I have a severe case of 'caught up'.
Edit:Apparently the five chaps a day was because there was an excess. Sad days, but once a day updated are managable.
This story is legitimately one of my favorites on this website. RE Druin, the author, clearly put immense time and effort into it, and it pays off. The LitRPG is heavily based on D&D, but the author makes it their own. There are a number of original components, including various creatures, branches of magic, and the like that are well integrated into the world's lore and mechanics.
It is a bit overwhelming at first glance, due to the complex statistic systems used in D&D, but it lightens up significantly. If you read the prologue (even skim it) you'll be prepared for the story. Once you get past the first 20 chapters, it lightens up on the numbers.
The first 100 chapters are a doozy, and truly amazing. Be warned, however, that in these first 100 or so chapters, the story switches perspectives quite frequently (every other chapter), until Sama Rantha, the main character, is able to escape from 'Nightmare' (not a spoiler, I promise!). After that, there is about 70-ish more chapters with the switching perspectives before it realigns as characters unite. Because of this, make sure to read the author's comments. They are funny and will jog your memory.
Amazing work of ficiction that shows a love fantasy gaming and tabletop action. Makes me wish this was a published tabletop system. the rule/systems complement the story and explains the reason an scale very well.
It is a great story if you can take your time and get through the first 50 chapter where it stop being class/level focues and gets more world building and charecter development
Overall a very good read.
Those who know Tabletop Role playing games, will love the story.
Others will find the start a little rough, with lots of RPG jargon, once you get past the first couple of chapters, of character generation, the story gets rolling, and it is a very good tale.
The best way to determine if you are going to like this is to answer two questions with a 'yes': Have you ever played dungeons and dragons and other fantasy roleplaying games for at least 10 different rule variant campaigns? Do you know what MAB is?
The authors present hyper-competent characters using a homebrew system loosely based on munchkined AD&D with unexplained abbreviations like MAB and the expectation that everyone multi-classes. The backbone of this is the classification of characters in Null/Void/Powered/Forsaken which give different restrictions on the base power set.
The author is very good at writing characters dominating his D&D world variation using exploits based on extensive meta-gaming. The author also focuses on explaining the exploits more than the story, then introduces additional meta-gamed characters with different builds once the main character gets too dominating, I think with the eventual intention to make an overpowered adventuring party. (I'm at around chapter 170.)
The introduction is very technical. Many fight scenes I skimmed are "char X took this class level to synergize this power to get +Y to this, this, and more DR, so they didn't die and killed everything". Some of the mid-book scenes are really good, but it takes effort to get that far. If you fit the author's target audience, and have at least +5 vs. Jargon, try it.