The Grand Game

The Grand Game

by Tom_Elliot

Book 1, The Grand Game has been released (click here for the ebook) and (here for the audiobook)!

Book 2, Way of the Wolf has been released (click here).

One man. Assassin. Caster. A new world. And a Game that is brutal as it is complex.

Michael finds himself in the realm of the Forever Kingdom, with no memory of how he got there and who he is. Even so, he must participate in the Grand Game and forge a new destiny for himself.

Dropped into a dungeon of monsters, and strange magics, would you survive in a Game where to lose means death?

Alone, and with little more than his wits to aid him, Michael must advance as a player, slay his foes, and gain experience. All while navigating the intrigues around him and discovering his purpose.

A world of Powers, Forces, and mysterious factions. A Game with endless opportunities for advancement and power.

Join Michael on his epic adventure as he deals with the Game’s challenges, the machinations of the Powers, and the ambitions of his fellow players.

The start of an exciting new portal fantasy epic!


Please note that the full story is currently available on royalroad.com.  But if you are interested in reading the ebook version, you can download the full story on amazon

Book 1: The Grand Game: here.

Book 2, Way of the Wolfhere.

I'm posting chapters from Book 2 at the moment. At this stage my planned release schedule is 4 per week.

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Tom_Elliot

Tom_Elliot

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Table of Contents
132 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 001: A New Beginning ago
Chapter 002: The Grand Game ago
Chapter 003: The Epitome of Evil ago
Chapter 004: Gnat ago
Chapter 005: The Master's Gifts ago
Chapter 006: Gamers Speak ago
Chapter 007: Class Selection ago
Chapter 008: A Shrewd Strategy ago
Chapter 009: Getting Ready ago
Chapter 010: The Dungeon ago
Chapter 011: Moving On ago
Chapter 012: Trapped Games ago
Chapter 013: Side Trip ago
Chapter 014: Still Alive ago
Chapter 015: What Lies Beneath ago
Chapter 016: A Second Stab ago
Chapter 017: Crossroads ago
Chapter 018: Choices ago
Chapter 019: Dead Ends ago
Chapter 020: A Surprising Discovery ago
Chapter 021: Realizations ago
Chapter 022: Crossing ago
Chapter 023: What Lies Beyond ago
Chapter 024: Epiphany ago
Chapter 025: Ambush ago
Chapter 026: Killer ago
Chapter 027: Tunnels ago
Chapter 028: Traps ago
Chapter 029: Complications ago
Chapter 030: Discoveries ago
Chapter 031: A Gamble Refused ago
Chapter 032: One Good Deed Deserves Another ago
Chapter 033: Going Hunting ago
Chapter 034: A Roll of the Dice ago
Chapter 035: Clean Up ago
Chapter 036: Chiefly Matters ago
Chapter 037: A Broken Breakfast ago
Chapter 038: Assassin ago
Chapter 039: Death Lurks in the Shadows ago
Chapter 040: Dancing with Death ago
Chapter 041: A Better Plan ago
Chapter 042: Taking down a Goliath ago
Chapter 043: Finishing up ago
Chapter 044: Just Desserts ago
Chapter 045: A Magic of Sorts ago
Chapter 046: The Locked Gate ago
Chapter 047: The Way Out ago
Chapter 048: Making New Choices ago
Chapter 049: Markets and More ago
Chapter 050: Behind the Locked Door ago
Chapter 051: The Rich and the Poor ago
Chapter 052: Masterful Bait ago
Chapter 053: The Nature of Forces ago
Chapter 054: The Grey Merchant’s Wares ago
Chapter 055: Buying and Selling ago
Chapter 056: The Nightstalker ago
Chapter 057: An Army of Noobs ago
Chapter 058: The Painted Woman ago
Chapter 059: A Game within a Game ago
Chapter 060: A Question of Trust ago
Chapter 061: A Bold Proposition ago
Chapter 062: Outfitting an Army ago
Chapter 063: Preparing for War ago
Chapter 064: First Contact ago
Chapter 065: Mayhem before Magic ago
Chapter 066: On to the Main Course ago
Chapter 067: Running down Prey ago
Chapter 068: Predator and Prey ago
Chapter 069: Standoff ago
Chapter 070: Death and Mayhem ago
Chapter 071: A Reckoning ago
Chapter 072: A New Life’s Resolution ago
Chapter 073: Trapped in a Bowl ago
Chapter 074: Confrontation ago
Chapter 075: Turning the Tables ago
Chapter 076: Twelve Hours to Live ago
Chapter 077: Backup Gear ago
Chapter 078: Spinning for Control ago
Chapter 079: The Clock is Ticking ago
Chapter 080: Bait and Switch ago
Chapter 081: Rats in a Barrel ago
Chapter 082: Spider Stomping ago
Chapter 083: Picking up the Pieces ago
Chapter 084: Wanted ago
Chapter 085: Old Friends, New Faces ago
Chapter 086: The Two Stones ago
Chapter 087: The Teachings of a Wise Old Merchant ago
Chapter 088: What Comes Next ago
Books on Kindle and a note on the next book... ago
Michael at the End of Book 1 ago
Chapter 089: The Outside World ago
Chapter 090: Hunted ago
Chapter 091: Big Game Hunters ago
Chapter 092: In the Grip of Delirium ago
Chapter 093: The Law of the Pack ago
Chapter 094: The Green Triangle ago
Chapter 095: A Romp in the Forest ago
Chapter 096: In a Pickle ago
Chapter 097: A Fortified Mess ago
Chapter 098: A Mug of Ale ago
Chapter 099: Square of Surprise ago
Chapter 100: Wheeling and Dealing ago
Chapter 101: The Second Offer  ago
Chapter 102: The Tartan Legion ago
Chapter 103: What the Dark Wants ago
Chapter 104: A Howlin Mess ago
Chapter 105: On the Hunt ago
Chapter 106: A Dance of Blades ago
Chapter 107: The Great Deceiver ago
Chapter 108: The Sworn ago
Chapter 109: A Deadly Harvest ago
Chapter 110: Strung up like Rats ago
Chapter 111: Thieving Ways ago
Chapter 112: Playing Dead ago
Chapter 113: A Plan Gone Awry ago
Chapter 114: Adding to the Mayhem ago
Chapter 115: Instigating Violence ago
Chapter 116: Sowing Chaos ago
Chapter 117: Deceitful Revelations ago
Chapter 118: A Conundrum ago
Chapter 119: The Envoy’s Envoy ago
Chapter 120: Lies within Lies ago
Chapter 121: More Surprises ago
Chapter 122: Stirring up a Fuss ago
Chapter 123: A Difficult Choice ago
Chapter 124: The Spider’s Spawn ago
Chapter 125: Born from Darkness ago
Chapter 126: Back to Darkness ago
Chapter 127: A Goblin’s Revenge ago
Chapter 128: An Unexpected Arrival ago
Chapter 129: The Gift of a Blade ago
Chapter 130: Another Task Down ago

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Reviews
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blaze262
Overall

Relies on “The System” too much

Reviewed at: Chapter 091: Big Game Hunters

The story isn't bad, but the entire book relies on the game symantics too much. Every chapter is essentially about leveling up skills or obtaining new ones.

 

I would say try experiment with cutting the entire "system" portion out of the story keeping only the class and marks and see how you'll do.

 Balazar Iago
Overall

I love the fact that it is a single person adventure.  It reminds me a lot of a "Choose your own adventure" type style.  That being said, the author weaves an interesting story and background for the MC to explore.  Never been a huge fan of higher powers fighting for the MC, but the author doesn't over do it.  Well done and highly recommended.

Pranshu
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A good binge but without popcorn.

Reviewed at: Chapter 082: Spider Stomping

I binged this novel and I find it is one of the good ones out there. It's like a movie, that would way more awesome with popcorn and you didn't have any. You want to enjoy the movie by relaxing but popcorns keep reminding you that you are missing something. Same is with this novel, it's good but something is missing that is not making it great.

The story is light and paced, there are a lot of things going on within a short period. There are few things here and there that can be improved, but only if I nitpick those details. Overall I find the story enjoyable. I didn’t deduct a half star because I find the way the story is evolving a bit unnecessary but will judge this when the story has progressed a bit.

I usually do not care about the style very much until and unless it hampers my story reading process. I understand each and every person has his own style. I have deducted a half star because I find few things are hampering the flow of the story. Like the the way inventory of the MC is defined with system messages hampers the flow of the story. I can understand if the given information plays a role somewhere down the storyline but when MC dies and loses his possessions, the point of describing the inventory loses its purpose.

Another issue is with no show all tell story. Small cues or a line or two can go long way and will enhance the story. For eg: MC can look for cues while sneaking, the familiar can have a bit more dialogues or a paragraph summarizing their conversation. Another one can be MC is listening in to the conversation of other players in the safe zone to reach the conclusion to help them before confronting them. And the bold text is better than blue boxes in this story. Good work removing them.

The grammar is good. I commend the author for his efforts.

MC is good, well written, and seems to follow what he thinks is good based on things he knows. His personality can be explored in the later arcs and be used to define his current questionable actions. Other characters are lacking as you cannot justify the way they behave later down in the story. A suggestion that during initial chapters add few lines or few broken sentences which author hears from other players which would later help him judge whether to trust them or not. Like a near-dead candidate cursing another palyer which author listened to while sneaking. I would love to see more characters in the story and their dynamics if the plotline allows. Another character point is MC sticks to what is working and do not try weird stuff just because he is having a hunch and then getting a very OP skill.

In conclusion, the work done by the author is good. I thank him for sharing his work with us. I found the story entertaining and a good binge and I would love to read, how the story progresses in book two.

TomOBedlam
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

I came to this story after there was a sizeable backlog of chapters already posted, so I skipped over the issues others have raised about chapter length. I didn't notice them being short reading it all in a binge. I really enjoy this. It's fun, it's got dungeons and monsters and a bit of cleverness on the protagonist part here and there. It does what it needs to.

Style: prose is solid. It doesn't take a lot of chances, but it's readable, clear, and does what it needs to, usually.

Story: I like the premise, I like the detailing (skeletal bat familiar, good sense of the geography of the dungeon, etc.). It scratches that TTRPG itch to an extend. 

Grammar: Totally readable, with just a few minor errors. I've read (and graded) worse.

Character: The protagonist is enjoyable to go along with. Could there be more depth to some of the other characters? Sure, but we're also pretty tight in the protagonist's POV, so that often has a flattening effect anyway. 

Conclusion: Read this if you want a light, fun read that hits the gaming button. The progression elements make it satisfying, and there's enough fantasy furniture around that it's also fun and, if not a ground-breaking fresh take, still evinces an identifiable authorial voice.

darkocean (J. L. Salmonson)
Overall

Okay, after reading this book some more and a few others like it I'm seeing some of the things people are complaining about. Chapter one was fine with very few errors but the second chapter had misplaced punctuation, info dumps, and I kept wondering when the heck he'd have another party member to talk with. Characters need to have some dialogue with other characters besides themselfs in a story. (The bat isn't enough imop.) A character can't grow without interaction.

Still, overall I like this story and think people are being too harsh with it. A few edits and a couple of rewrites and I bet we'll see a change as the writer grows. I'd say come back in a few weeks and give the writer a chance to learn more. As is it's good if you ignore that it's like some of the other game-like stories on here. (I'm still new to this genre so please don't fault me.)

I like the main protagonist as he seems to have the intelligence to fight back against the master but is confused and trapped due to circumstances out of his control. I worry that the writer will get stuck later on if they try to force the protog. into doing things against his  character just to fit the plot, so keep an eye out for that.

From what I read in the story I get the feeling that the MC will try and fight back against this at some point.

I do wish for less info-dumping, it's best to trickle information at the right spot as late as possible while still being fair to readers. Otherwise, if all the information is given at once it gives little reason for readers to continue reading. As there are over 20 chapters a revision to address this would work well. (I stop every 20 or so to check for problems.)

If lost remember:

What does the character want?

What are his goals?

What is the lie they tell themselves?

What do they really truly need, even if they can't accept it?

What is the main plot?

Has the plot changed as the character grew?

If so does the plot need to be changed to address this?

What information is needed right now?

What info can be saved for later to keep readers engaged?

Cut ruthlessly! Chapters can always be saved in a document if you end up not liking the changes.

Update: Later on the writer gives an antagonist an OP spell then completely breaks the suspension of disbelief. so that really needs to fix and a more clever way of putting the MC out of commission is needed. It feels like they are overthinking things and bending around to work with making the MC a bit too powerful. and not making the current antagonist match them and or exceed them some. 

It's not about the spells and things it's the story, the characters, and the plot. So if a thing isn't working try something else or take it out. This is a kill your darlings moment. We love our world our stuff, characters but sometimes they need to be c/p and put in a text file to keep the plot moving correctly with the inworld logic.

 

MattMcCormick
Overall

As a kid I loved a telly program on ITV (UK) called Knightmare. It was kids guiding another blindfolded kid through a dungeon crawl. It was as awesome as the budget was low! Anyway, Grand Game gives me a huge nostalgia boner, with shades of the fighting fantasy books to boot. 

Look, I paid actual money for books one and two and have zero regrets. 

alcelaphinae
Overall

it was pretty good but book ended fast, i think it was more likely an arc instead of a book. There isnt much happened, there was so much grind and infodump dialogues and exactly where story actually begins, it ended.

So my summary of review is; book one was like a big prologue, if it is selled for money, i wouldnt waste my money for it but still decent for a free web novel.

My conclusion is; chapters could be more long and book one could be longer than it currently is OR with same lenght but different, more intense events, book one could be enough. I cant explain "intense", if you read you would understand, this one is so light for a book.

Rogosh
Overall

Great litrpg story, solid character build up, with a good long term plot that makes you want to keep reading. Looking forward to book 2 and how the Grand Game can change Michael and his perspective about light, shadow and the dark. Would recommend this to any litrpg reader that lovet to learn a new system.

Akelly9065
Overall

I did enjoy the complete story and I did give that 5 stars. But with only 10 chapters, of the 88 in the story, still here i'm bringing it down to 2 and half. 

And before anyone says something like authors need to make a living too, i get that. But i'm not reviewing the entire story, i'm reviewing what is on Royal Road. And maybe someone will see this review and still decide to read. But I'm giving my honest opinion. 

With how short some of the chapters were 10 of them is honestly not worth reading unless you are planning on buying it on kindle. 

I did enjoy the whole story. And I wish the Author luck in thier endeavors. 

SUrvivetheage
Overall

This is probably one of my favorite stories on royal atm.

Michael is a well balanced character and while not perfect he makes well calculated descions.  

The plot and sub plot are both very interesting and are both hidden from the reader but make for a great read. 

Plus if you love systems this is a story for you. To often you get baited by novels with systems then they become irrelevant. So great job building a pretty unique system from other novels!