Old Man's Adventure
A plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean suddenly loses power and prepares to make a water landing. Yet as they crash into the ocean the passengers suddenly find themselves on land. A message greets them, stating that a System has taken over the world and that monsters will begin to spawn in two hours. Due to their circumstances, they have been transported to a special zone, away from the rest of civilization.
Amongst the passengers is an old man named Frank Wolfe. At seventy-nine years old, his best days are far behind him. But when the System arrives, he realizes that regaining his youth is possible. The System might bring devastation to the population, but for Frank, it's a chance to have a second go at life in this new world. If he and his fellow passengers can survive, that is.
Author's note: I am also participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge :)
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The story is pretty good, however I don't thnk the titular gimmick is really being used at all. The "old man" doesn't really feel at all old most of the time. He doesn't at all feel like my grandpa (or any other senior I know), but instead like a standard hyper-adaptable, unflappable, training-obsessed MC for this type of story. I'm continuing with the story because it's plenty good enough overall to warrant reading, but I really don't feel like the title is being delivered on. Instead, the "old man" part is being used entirely as a tool to crutch the MC at the start.
That's not to say the story doesn't have a lot of positives. I like that the MC isn't simply assuming a leadership positions nor are they the absolute standout among those around them. They're ahead of the curve, but nowhere near leading it. Overall, it makes for an interesting enough premise.
As of right now it has a good base and is a lot of fun to read. For whatever reason it reminds me of the fun I had reading Randidly Goashound all those years ago when I didn't even have an acount yet. Probably because the basic system is similar with "grids" instead of "paths". Anyway I like the System--I especially like it's snark. The almost cliche snarky system is here and the amount of atentention drawn to it makes me think it might become a future plot point (which I would find interesting).
There isn't much of a story yet--no real goal beyond get stronger/survive which isn't a problem now but could become one. I like the main cast of characters and they all have the potential to become fully fleshed out but their not there yet.
A worry I have is that the the character types are defaulting--my guess is that the author doesn't even realize it--The big guy is a tank, the named women are a magician, healer and food logistician (the stewardess), Thin dude gets a spear, Hispanic dude is in charge of construction and Texan is a hunter. None of these on their own are particularly bad but I have seen not one character fall outside of their expected mould as one would see normally (in reality). Not only is this boring (in the long term) but it could become problematic if gendered/racial/geographic stereotypes become the norm. I mention this only because I like the story and this is an easy pitfall for a writer to fall into regardless of their beliefs.
I like the old man and think he could become a very interesting character. I think his age could be shown more often than stated as I certainly wouldn't have thought him 79 without being told: he feels more middle aged. Old people can be really funny I love how they might buck trends and just not care what people say. There is a bit of that here but it could maybe be leaned into more. I was just reading Artorian's Archives and loved how those books expressed the old man maybe it would make good inspiration? On that train of thought the story also reminds me a bit Old Man's War so if you like those books you might like this one.
Grammar is great aside from the odd typo (damn typos are like cockroaches; I'll never fault anyone for a few of those getting through) and the style is smooth but nothing special or particularly interesting.
TLDR: WHAT'S HERE IS GOOD. TIME WILL TELL IF IT WILL BECOME SOMETHING GREAT OR JUST MEH.
A plane's worth of people finds themselves in a strange land with unfamiliar scenery after a sudden power outage crashes their plane into the ocean. Strange text boxes tell them that there are stats and skills now and that the monsters will arrive shortly. After defeating the first monsters they regroup, train and specialize into various skillsets and tasks. Frank, despite being a fragile 79 years old, is one who through life experience, knowledge of fantasy tropes and creativity makes many helpful discoveries and uses his resources ingeniously. This, combined with determination, soon leads to him pushing ahead of the others in the fight against a hostile world. We readers can only sit back and watch an Old Man's Adventure.
Style/Grammar: The story is told in third-person limited style from Frank's point of view. While the descriptions could be a bit richer sometimes, word choice is good and it is easy to be drawn into the story. LitRPG elements abound, with stats, skills and "grids" (=paths) being earned easily (for now), the system is looking fine so far. The system's boxes (no color and no borders though, just bold text) have the right amount of snark to warm my black heart. There are very few typos and none of the errors are painful ones.
Story: The overarching plot (a group isekai'd into a place with a system, monsters out to kill everybody, need to get better and fight to survive) is rather simple and not surprising to avid readers so far. It's too early to expect much more though and there are enough details and variations that make this story exciting and stand out from the rest. The pacing is very good, even though lots of things happen and the characters have to stay on their toes continuously.
Characters: Frank is shown to be an experienced, smart and resourceful but still helpful and, especially for his age, creative guy, he's optimizing his own training scheme while others are still trying to find their bearing. His thoughts and actions show a friendly no-nonsense guy who can solve problems easily while still accounting for future problems and who doesn't shy away from getting his hands bloody in order to improve himself. The others only call him a Crazy Old Man because they are short-sighted weaklings, although the self-mutilation in order to increase his Pain Tolerance skills is a bit too far-fetched IMO. From the other characters a handful have had a decent amount of presence in the story, but they are (for now?) mostly reduced to simple archetypes with defined roles; there is room and hints for further improved characterization for them. The large majority of the other survivors is a faceless mass and needs more natural human behavior like panic and drama; slight star deduction for that.
After almost getting stomach ulcers from some other stories' protagonists' stupidity and/or edginess, this story is a wellspring of pleasure. Not only from the sensible characters, but also from the straightforward yet comprehensive litRPG system. I'm looking forward to reading more of this story.
The large group of survivors makes this story shaky at best. There is no infighting, no power grabs. People very calmly take to the new world working side by side. Even the kids are silent and never heard from.
They face multiple waves of hundreds of monsters and nobody panics and runs away. Nobody cowers in fear, and best yet nobody dies!
The old man just calmly starts stabbing his self, to up his pain tolerance. This is not how people act and I can’t give a better score as I can’t suspend belief that far.
No not Hit Points, Healing Points. Described in chapter 2, this is the most elegant thing I've ever read about in the litrpg genre. In games where you can die your health( called Hit Points or HP for short) is tracked. You reach 0 HP you die in your game. It is hard to apply HP to realty; in some stories they ignore this and you simply have plain HP go to zero you die, you have 60 HP you take 60 scratches that do 1 point of damage each you die. In others you have things such as death blows where you take a blow that would instantly kill you in plain old realty you would die in New realty.This Healing Points idea blew up my mind, it's new, it's elegant. Wow just Wow!
Old man Frank is transported from normal earth in a normal airplane with normal passengers and crew to one with a System.
Now, armed with a questionable System, Frank is determined to extend his life- fighting and healing himself into feeling younger; dare I say a vital point?
Frank is a survivor who may have left 'nam, but his experiences there thankfully haven't left him as he battles monsters empowered by the System. Will Frank live another day?
When Frank discovers the system can be gamed, the old man goes all out. He's not building a character class, so much as pushing everything as far and as fast as it will go. This old man quickly becomes younger in outlook than many of his fellow survivors. In fact, other than some depths of experience to call upon, Frank doesn't really seem like an old man, somewhat short-circuiting the titular premise.
The story is interesting and the grammar is well-done. The litRPG elements are abundant and complex, with our survivors having to discover everything themselves. No tutorials here.
This is a good story I am enjoying reading and I am interested to see where it goes. If you like litRPG, this will likely make a worthy addition to your reading list.
The stories.... an interesting read, good...? Perhaps, it's enjoyable to read in a way if you're capable of some pretty high-level belief suspension. Thankfully it appears that the Author is begin to take this on board and in one of the later chapters there was a tiny bit of alternate POV to show some emphasis on the progress of the group of a survivors as a whole and some potentials for more interesting events other than "fight monster, grind skill"
So I'd say give it a try, it's definitely got some potential. I'll give kudos to the concept, it's actually quite good, I stuck with it as much for the "System Discovery" aspect as I did for any plot elements!
Hopefully when other groups of survivors are added and an actual... er.... plot... gets introduced the story will pick up and really get it's legs under it.
TLDR: Lacking in a few areas but has the ground work set for a lot of future potential, i'd advise checking it out!
Tldr: 4.5/5 extra crunchy litrpg system exploration, 3/5 story otherwise
Title pretty much sums it up, it's a decent enough litrpg system apocalypse so far. The mechanics are nice, especially the way the resource pools are handled.
Apart from the system though, it falls a bit flat. The mc is an old man, but apart from a little characterization in the first chapter, he hasn't displayed it. No reflecting on his past, no complaining about his current problems, the way he speaks doesn't sound like an older person. The only real advantage his past has given is that he read a lot of litrpg before.
It's still a little early for me to critique the plot, but so far there haven't really been any hints of overarching themes. No real indications of a purpose, or foreshadowing of future challenges.
The writing itself is a little bland for my tastes, but the grammar is good, and the action scenes flow pretty well.
Overall, if you like the crunchy stat exploration and a cool system, give it a read. If those aren't enough to keep your interest in a story, maybe give it a pass.
While other people might resent for the arrival of the System for parting them of their loved ones and forcing them to fight for their lives against fantastical monster, for Frank, who is approaching the last stretches of his life, this turns out to be a life changing blessing.
Recovering his youths health and spirit with every stat increase he seems more then eager to confront these new challenges alongside his fellow transported humans.