Mana System - Hello, World! [Complete]

Mana System - Hello, World! [Complete]

by M.J. Markgraf

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

What would you do if your world collapsed and you had less than an hour to choose a suitable role that would allow you to survive?

Would you give in to despair?

Paul choose to fight for survival, now he has to face off against predatory animals, monsters, and even the land itself all modified by the Mana System. Eventually, he will have to face off against a foe even deadlier than the rest. Humans!

I feel I need to add this disclaimer because some people really get their panties in a twist when they reach the second arc. This is not a grimdark story. Yes, there are portions that are dark and grim, including slavery which is why I have the traumatizing content box checked. If you can't stomach a little slavery and torture, probably best to find a different story to read. Complaining that you felt lied to isn't going to make me change my story. If this offends you, leave a review.

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M.J. Markgraf

M.J. Markgraf

30 Review Upvotes
2nd Anniversary
Royal Writathon April 2022 winner
Royal Writathon October 2021 winner
Word Count (15)
Fledgling Reviewer (II)
Top List #2000
Table of Contents
228 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Initiation ago
Chapter 2: So it begins ago
Chapter 3: Trek to the South ago
Chapter 4: Random Encounter ago
Chapter 5: Stinky Goblin hole ago
Chapter 6: Well there goes the neighborhood ago
Chapter 7: The Town ago
Chapter 8: Royal Guard ago
Chapter 9: Day 2 ago
Chapter 10: A book in the hand ago
Chapter 11: Knowledge is power ago
Chapter 12: Travel Partner ago
Chapter 13: Betrayed ago
Chapter 14: The Horde ago
Chapter 15: Rune crafting is hard ago
Chapter 16: Back on track ago
Chapter 17: Meet the new neighbors ago
Chapter 18: The enemy you know ago
Chapter 19: Time for a discussion ago
Chapter 20: Home sweet home ago
Chapter 21: Bazaar ago
Chapter 22: A place to rest ago
Chapter 23: Midnight callers ago
Chapter 24: Training montage ago
Chapter 25: The Matron's task ago
Chapter 26: Draft dodger ago
Chapter 27: Of delving and loot ago
Chapter 28: Abominations ago
Chapter 29: Crypt Lord ago
Chapter 30: Morning After ago
Chapter 31: Ill omen ago
Chapter 32: Conflict ago
Chapter 33: Behind enemy lines ago
Chapter 34: Stirring up trouble ago
Chapter 35: Missing locals ago
Chapter 36: Bazaar Battle ago
Chapter 37: Rock Bottom ago
Chapter 38: Patrol ago
Chapter 39: A long road ahead ago
Chapter 40: Forest Kin ago
Chapter 41: Final Destination ago
Chapter 42: Black Dragon Stronghold ago
Chapter 43: Test ago
Chapter 44: Three months later. ago
Chapter 45: Dissenting opinions ago
Chapter 46: Rest period ago
Chapter 47: First steps ago
Chapter 48: Preparations ago
Chapter 49: Tormented ago
Chapter 50: Fomenting rebellion ago
Chapter 51: Coming undone ago
Chapter 52: Pawn takes Queen ago
Chapter 53: Afterglow ago
Chapter 54: Surrounded by darkness ago
Chapter 55: Remnants ago
Chapter 56: Checkmate ago
Chapter 57: Friendly face ago
Chapter 58: Ghosts ago
Chapter 59: Civilization ago
Chapter 60: New acquaintances ago
Chapter 61: Biloxi ago
Chapter 62: Failed attempts ago
Chapter 63: Revelation ago
Chapter 64: Returning to Arman ago
Chapter 65: Arming the locals ago
Chapter 66: Moving in ago
Chapter 67: Back on the hunt ago
Chapter 68: Turning heads ago
Chapter 69: Hunter and the prey ago
Chapter 70: Appearances are deceiving ago
Chapter 71: Looking for answers ago
Chapter 72: Anticipated meeting ago
Chapter 73: Confrontation ago
Chapter 74: An old enemy ago
Chapter 75: Rescue attempt ago
Chapter 76: New day, new goal ago
Chapter 77: Spending spree ago
Chapter 78: Dirty bulking ago
Chapter 79: Up, up, and away ago
Chapter 80: Maiden voyage ago
Chapter 81: Precipice ago
Chapter 82: Grimalkin ago
Chapter 83: Moving west ago
Chapter 84: Better, stronger, faster ago
Chapter 85: Into the pit ago
Chapter 86: Old trauma ago
Chapter 87: Open for business ago
Chapter 88: Banditos ago
Chapter 89: Leaving the past behind ago
Chapter 90: Penniless, but not broken ago
Chapter 91: Shifting gears ago
Chapter 92: Remnants of the past ago
Chapter 93: Time for answers ago
Chapter 94: The Fortress ago
Chapter 95: Difficult choices ago
Chapter 96: War Crime ago
Chapter 97: The new Lord ago
Chapter 98: Collecting a debt ago
Chapter 99: Location, location, location ago
Chapter 100: Tides are turning ago
Chapter 101: Basic Bureaucracy ago
Chapter 102: Aggressive diplomacy ago
Chapter 103: Negotiations begin ago
Chapter 104: I/O ago
Chapter 105: Unwanted Guardian ago
Chapter 106: The hard sell ago
Chapter 107: Parting words ago
Chapter 108: Unexpected enemy ago
Chapter 109: What lay beyond ago
Chapter 110: Edge of darkness ago
Chapter 111: East Exit ago
Chapter 112: Damage control ago
Chapter 113: The wait ago
Chapter 114: Action ago
Chapter 115: Endless enemies ago
Chapter 116: Converging in the dark ago
Chapter 117: The Spoils ago
Chapter 118: Mohai Council ago
Chapter 119: The way forward ago
Chapter 120: Random chance ago
Chapter 121: Kragor vs. Paul Round 2 ago
Chapter 122: Reconnaissance ago
Chapter 123: War footing ago
Chapter 124: Deciding battle ago
Chapter 125: The return ago
Chapter 126: Old acquaintances ago
Chapter 127: Dinner invite ago
Chapter 128: Dinner is served ago
Chapter 129: The Orc menace ago
Chapter 130: Orc Chief ago
Chapter 131: A meeting long overdue ago
Chapter 132: No good choice ago
Chapter 133: Mission complete ago
Chapter 134: Merchant-dising ago
Chapter 135: Unfinished tasks ago
Chapter 136: Paul’s delivery service ago
Chapter 137: Around the horn ago
Chapter 138: Old grudges ago
Chapter 139: Employee training ago
Chapter 140: Reap what you sow ago
Chapter 141: Cause and effect ago
Chapter 142: Alone again ago
Chapter 143: New headquarters ago
Chapter 144: New toys ago
Chapter 145: Setting the lure ago
Chapter 146: Quiet ago
Chapter 147: Glitz and glitter ago
Chapter 148: Tournament part 1 ago
Chapter 149: Tournament part 2 ago
Chapter 150: Tournament part 3 ago
Chapter 151: Tournament part 4 ago
Chapter 152: Clean up ago
Chapter 153: Returning to work ago
Chapter 154: Lost ago
Chapter 155: Found ago
Chapter 156: Choices ago
Chapter 157: Mourning ago
Chapter 158: Nascent Republic ago
Chapter 159: Cleaning house ago
Chapter 160: Free of interference ago
Chapter 161: In charge ago
Chapter 162: Keeping up with the Joneses ago
Chapter 163: Pest control ago
Chapter 164: Out of sight ago
Chapter 165: Dwindling returns ago
Chapter 166: A new horde ago
Chapter 167: On the move ago
Chapter 168: A town on the edge ago
Chapter 169: Vetting process ago
Chapter 170: The lies beneath ago
Chapter 171: The Hunt ago
Chapter 172: Elusive catch ago
Chapter 173: Trouble brewing at home ago
Chapter 174: Infiltration ago
Chapter 175: Overdue return ago
Chapter 176: The hunt is on ago
Chapter 177: City under siege ago
Chapter 178: Drained ago
Chapter 179: Cold war ago
Chapter 180: What drives me ago
Chapter 181: Working the bugs out ago
Chapter 182: An eye for an eye ago
Chapter 183: Burning out the vermin ago
Chapter 184: Discovering new lands ago
Chapter 185: The Isles of Mist ago
Chapter 186: The dishonored ago
Chapter 187: Captain Paul ago
Chapter 188: Learning the ropes ago
Chapter 189: Little fish ago
Chapter 190: Port of broken souls ago
Chapter 191: Quest ago
Chapter 192: Sha’Stis ago
Chapter 193: New crew ago
Chapter 194: The next target ago
Chapter 195: Polishing off the rust ago
Chapter 196: Chumming the water ago
Chapter 197: The wayward prince ago
Chapter 198: Legion ago
Chapter 199: Hot getaway ago
Chapter 200: Em’ah ago
Chapter 201: New prey ago
Chapter 202: Cutthroat ago
Chapter 203: The hunters ago
Chapter 204: Surprise party ago
Chapter 205: Repairs ago
Chapter 206: Ambush ago
Chapter 207: Island Paradise ago
Chapter 208: Intentions ago
Chapter 209: Industrious ago
Chapter 210: The Spark ago
Chapter 211: Flames of Rebellion ago
Chapter 212: Victory of ash ago
Chapter 213: Pirate Tide ago
Chapter 214: Survival ago
Chapter 215: Joining forces ago
Chapter 216: Overhaul ago
Chapter 217: The Enforcer ago
Chapter 218: Island retreat ago
Chapter 219: Protectorate ago
Chapter 220: Turncoat ago
Chapter 221: Troubled water ago
Chapter 222: The Storm ago
Chapter 223: Beachhead ago
Chapter 224: Unexpected arrival ago
Chapter 225: A valuable lesson ago
Chapter 226: The devil you know ago
Epilogue ago
Afterword ago

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Please fix the slavery system!!!

Reviewed at: Chapter 47: First steps

First things first, be it author or mod, this review can be deleted after author sees it as it's more of an opinion on how story develops at chapter 36 that and massive criticism at slavery system that is totally broken. Mostly just so that author can see the system criticism. Otherwise until that point story was actually really good for me.

I don't like reading about someone being slave, mutilated and tortured. Especially how mc got himself into that situation was just so sudden and stupid. It took like an second :D

Second is that slave system, 65% of xp from slave at any distance is transferred to owner. And it seems like "slave", more like puppet with mind has to abolutely obey any commands. This is so ridiculous cheat in so many ways. You can have tons of slaves grinding xp in wilderness, people or dungeons. And because you get xp countless times faster than anyone else, you can always get more powerful slaves as addation or replacement. You can easily cut off any means of escape by simple commands like do not escape, do not ask for help, do not try to remove collar, and fight to death anyone who tries to remove it. With these simple things you could dominate everyone personally while also getting some nice puppets to do your bidding, and very effective puppets as they have mind.

I mean it seems like they have literally sect that practices slavery so they should be already really proficient at it. With rules of slavery story gives us they should be the absolute dominant force with no opponets unless it's another slave sect. I would either pick up slavery myself if I knew about how slavery works, or kill myself on spot as it would be impossible to surprass them. But honestly it's mostly just who starts the slavery first as long as they have some braincells to know how to use slaves for xp.

Even 1% xp leech with collars would make it ridiculously overpowered as all you need is to make or buy them. Even if there's some limit to number of slaves, you could just make an pyramid structure. It's just exponental xp and strength. Keep in mind that while slower than normal, slaves still level so their value increases as they gain you more levels ><, I mean can you get any more unfair?? I can't even :D:D:D I'm dying :D I can't even get anxious about the mc's development because slavery system is so broken xD

I will make new review when this issue is fixed.


Well I was enjoying it for the most part but then he decided to hit us with a twist and have us go from a high to the lowest of the lows. Can he claw the story back from that and make it interesting again? Who knows but I certainly won't be sticking around to find out.  


I think i would have rated this story differently - more fairly certainly - if I didn't feel so very misled. The extensive content of the second book/volume matches neither the description nor the tags. As long as the author chooses to trap readers with tags like Comedy and leaves out some others such as Grim Dark or Tragedy, these kinds of reviews are the logical consequence.

Until the end of the first book, the main character was interesting enough (if only just) to keep on exploring more of the new world these people find themselves in. By the time I'm writing this review, the protagonist has zero personality left and there is nothing left for me to care for in this tale. The sad thing is that none of this was written badly from a technical point of view, because the changes in the protagonist are understandable, but it's not for me.

Finally the warning to everyone who catches this review: if you like how a group of powerful businessmen get their sociopathy on and enact a year-long if not decade-long plan to enslave all of humanity, then this is the tale for you. If you can get your rocks off from reading the protagonist's personality being crushed and destroyed under guilt, sorrow and failure, then keep on reading, because that's what you'll get. If you're anything like me, then save yourself the trouble and avoid this tale.


Okay first of all one of the main character's character traits is that he makes jokes when he's nervous..... but he's never nervous, he just keeps on spewing drunk frat boy jokes over and over.... and over again.

When he finds the ripped apart and eaten remains of another human being....and he's perfectly okay with it (he's so coool(really, he's so cool(really really cool (no I mean it  he is so cool(so so cool))))) after all he went in and then identified the patched and cleaned up remains of his family (ouch I feel pain a in my chest is that heartache, no that's just the author poking me with a stick that has sign taped to it that says feel sympathetic and he's so cool), after all remains that tell you that all things must come to an end is so similar to remains that tell you that any second now your about to be ripped to pieces and eating and become some animals contribution gift of fertilizer to the the same thing, when he finds the culprit of said mutilation and gestation is a massive super bear with metallic fur and could probably rip through trees and gouge rocks, but do not worry after all he has a magical class user so that obviously means he's become super good at melee so he precedes to use a stick he picked off the ground and to beat the bear on conscious.

I don't think plot armor fits the description anymore this feels like two stories one the main story one what ever the main characters going through (and no I do not know the main character's name I got to chapter 4 so all of those bad joke liners got crammed in my head and kind a push that out)


The Mc needs a lot of work. Constant remarks about how smart he is get old fast. 25 chapters in and I cant think of one truly good idea or move the Mc has made. He trusts people for no reason and then is distrustful of the people he should trust. again for no reason at all. This story does have potential because the main plot is good. One thing that really got me was that the available classes for people were supposed to be classes "known" to humans but he chooses one that is made up specifically for the story. Hundreds of classes available and he chooses the one with limited survivability and limited offensive ability.... sigh. A good thing the plot armor is so thick.


Horrible slavery arc, rest is okay but not great

Reviewed at: Chapter 115: Endless enemies

(as of chapter 115)

While my rating might look bad from the amount of stars I gave, this doesn't mean that the story is trash. I read more than a hundred chapters, after all. But there are some really negative parts that drag down the score. The stars are a mix of the technical aspects of writing, the premise/plot/ideas and how much I like the story; the subscore ratings are weighted for the later parts.

It's a system apocalypse LitRPG story, Paul is alone in the wilderness when it happens. He chooses his class smartly (conditions: melee fighting + magic + healing + survivability), then has some solo adventures. This works out for the MC and makes this a not overly special but okay read until it suddenly isn't. Because there is a slavery arc, which went on for much too long and was filled with horrible torture that made no sense except to show how inhumanly sick the enslaving group was. And it wasn't just one evil person or group, there are many interactions with needlessly cruel and sadistic sociopaths in various locations and situations; there are more heartless monsters in the story than friendly or even normal people, if you ignore the nameless masses only shown in the background. The MC's situation gets better later (that's not really a spoiler) but the damage is done. (Story: 4 stars at the beginning and in the later parts, but 1 star for the slavery arc)

The writing style was rather simple and bumpy in the beginning, it got better later but is still not great. Grammar is better too and the spelling has improved greatly (from "lots of errors" to "less than one per chapter") (Style: 2.5 stars early -> 3.5 later; Grammar 2 stars early -> 4.5 later). Many characters are, as I wrote above, not realistic in how evil they are; the others are often rather one-dimensional. Paul makes some strange decisions as well. 

But there are also good parts that kept me from dropping the story: The plotline and world-building have some great ideas and I like the crafting. Paul makes awesome stuff and uses it well. 

Ult the Dreamer

Was fine until chapter 36. Completely out of character behavior and doesn't make sense. The character has been built up as someone who reasons and has trust issues. The motivation for his actions at the end is weak and the loophole is far too obvious for him to accept even if the motivation made sense.

It's a bad shift that feels like the character had a personality switch.

Might function if he is knocked around and has a collar slapped on while she dies fighting, but even then I'm not interested in a long enslaved arc. So I won't be reading it but maybe it'll work better for future readers.



The MC must be in the state of disbelief, or the system done something to his brain, at least until this chapter. Because he acts like a 'player' more than a 'character' .

And the story pretty boring.


It was solidly average, and post revision it is again.

Reviewed at: Chapter 22: A place to rest

Old 1 Star Review: If someone tries to kill you, don't risk your life trying to save them. You don't trust them in any way, because they tried to murder you.

New Post Revision Review: It overcorrects in some chapters, but beyond that goes back to being a fairly average story for the genre.


Be aware possible spoilers ahead!

Hello fellows,

first at all im not a native speaker while im try my best for that review. So what kind of story we have? 

This story follows a big bunch of post apocalyptic system stories which fill the room of these kind of stories. The system itself have some interesting parts and everyone which is interested in something that went deeper than 90% of the stories will have a nice time with this work. 

I would say out there are three kind of stories, first at all the story which is like the name told before, then the story that are better than his trashy name and at least the story which is more trashy than his name will made us believe! 

I think these story could be the second kind of story where the name of it is more trashy than the story itself. 

Lets go ahead and talk about what made this story interesting. Our MC starts with the lone wolf setting and figure out what he want to be in this new world. While Chapter one deliever us an interesting start into this system that seems some different from other systems the author didnt use all things equaly he added at the beginning. 

Like the option to change/chose your race at the beginning. I cant believe that no one chose that option to be something different than a human. Not with the actuall diversity of our humanity and people which deamin about being something different. 


His first contacts gave us a nice intro what could happen with the world while he find back his way into the civilization or what stills remains of it. Here starts his adventure around the first days, weeks of the apocalypse which ones are also the most important times in these kind of stories. Most characters grows in these times their powers, expierences and everything other that made the most kind of stories for me as reader interesting. Also we find there some stories they broke with this tradition, when MC left earth and came back. While when they left the grew strengh somewhere else. 

What is realy great is the world building which is great used by the Author to gave us new areas and changed land scapes. The World Building is one of his great strenghs. 

Also interesting are the different sidecharacters of the story while some of them may unrealistic to for readers they cant imagine that some people raised different than them. We have different cultures and how they effect on areas and characters. 

Also great his and recommended for everyone who likes MCs they use Jobclasses engineering, envolving and creating stuff. It is fascinating how MC solves problems with his personal way of creating tools. Everyone who loves MCs doin that will have a lot of fun with this story! 

The systen at all is interesting while it is sometimes a bit to gamelit for myself. People which likes more game mechanisms in systems will love this story over all. 

From here we will follow the great issues of the story and i hope the author will work on these diamond he created. 


The first great problem we will have is that the story is writtin in first person past with changing POVs and i believe deep down in hell is a special place for writers which did that. 

To be fair he didnt screw it up at all. Every changed POV is written in third person limited. What made it well enough.

While some great stories fellow these practice of abusing writing mechanics you can do that if the rest of the story is that great so no one will offended by that. 

First person works as a filter and allows the reader only to have the view of the main character which made it easier for the reader to symph or emphasize with the Main Character and the clue is missing information. The effect works with the reader dont know everything that happened. He is forced into the view of the Main Characters view about the world and how it should works. Every Information the reader get is limited by the first person view and that also the MC only knowing things if he is able to gather the informations from someone or somewhat. 


That brought us to chapter 30 - 46 where MC passes the first months of taking his chances as a slave and here made the outer maybe at least for the Readerbase of RR Community the big mistake of enslave the Main Character in the case it is written in first person, which made the experience for the reader much havier than it could be.

For the Author should be told that his decision at this chapter is more worst than every decision i ever read in my entire life as reader - Dont discuss with terrorists - there would be much more options for a solution of this kind of stories.  


Here we got a break out and i recommend everyone which dislike chapter 30 to skip to chapter 46 where MC is also free to do what he want again. From there you will see a big change in the quality of the story and how it grews at all. 

The whole Arc, Book or whatever is difficult to read. About the Problem with the broken slave system i wont talk. Other people did it before and while im not complete agreeing with their opinion the slave system needs some work on it. 


While the Main Character had a lot of changes in his personalty after the last two arcs he dont grew in his decisions because sometimes he looks realy smart and in other decisions he looks stupid. It isnt realy clear what kind of character MC pretend to be.

While this is realistic for our world inkonsistence is hard for fiktional characters! It is always a two bladed sword and a risky walk between what is realistic and what kind of realism works for fiktions! 

The third Arc gave us new potential, while it starts were some troubling also in the case how MC got there where he is. We are back in the run of the traditional way of this kind of stories. From this point the story MC grows strengh again. While he learned how important strengh is he also always have some lazy times which made it inconsistenced again. 

Inconsistence decisions of the Main Character is something you have to deal with if you are willing to read it. 

He knows that strengh is important and decide to believe always he is strong enough. Only to made the same mistake again, again, again.


A mechanic for fiktion is that it should not fit everything that is realistic. While we do these kind of bullshit of repeating mistakes it mostly dont work for fiktional characters. It is about progress. Only with a good explanaition it should work. Anway a character should envolve, grow and learn from it. People like it to read about characters which are able to face their problems and grow from it. Cause they cant do it in their own life and be remembered that we stuck in our life isnt working for a fiktion we consume to get away from that. 


Another big problem with the story is the lack of varity in social systems for the survivors! More inside the spoiler!


Variety - dont tell me that every city have a mayor! Groups or while the story told us ruling of the strong comparing with democrazy not realy works. The system may fit it with some options for the mayor to claim someone as bandit, im missing here founded kingdoms and other social ruling systems by the survivors of the apocalypse! 


One Point that never changes the whole story is that MC shows his mind of innovations with his jobclass. Which brought us to another big problem. While he isnt strong enough to protect everyone he loves and isnt overpowerd like most characters in these kind of stories he also always shows strong factions his abilities in what he can do. He is begging for being hunted. 

I mean, REALY and SERIOUSLY??? 

He is realy begging for being fighted and cought by someone to be used. I dont run into a group of people and factions which are hungry for the great apple in my hand only to told them "No that is my Apple. I made it and i dont share the secret of it. While im knowing you are stronger than me and could kill me im prentend that his is my apple." And then he is wondering being on their headlist. Hell. Writer! What the heck?? 


I wont told to much about it and wont show every interesting part. But one thing should be told. Another big issue of the story is that the Author like it to introduce new enemies and factions. It is also inconsistence with if MC have some trouble with one part of a faction he sets the whole faction as enemy! Like one human did me wrong so every human is evil now! 

If the author is willing and able to work on his story it could be one of the bigger ones on royalroad. I gave him 5 stars for the potential and tried to as much advices i can in the spoilers for the author!