Grave Digger Gary

Grave Digger Gary

by Rob Thorne

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

Where is the last place you want to be when the zombie apocalypse begins?
In a cemetary, digging a grave, of course - which is exactly where Gary finds himself when his world is abruptly initiated into the multiverse. And that's just the start of his problems. Due to a technical error, Gary doesn't get the same character sheet and upgrades as everyone else. Nope. Instead, Gary gets classified as one of the undead. He's a zombie now - except, Gary didn't die. And he doesn't want to, either!
A LitRPG/Gamelit story of what happens when one man armed with a shovel takes on the undead hordes threatening to overrun his reality. Combines zombie apocalypse horror with pen and paper style RPG game mechanics.

Updates are daily Monday, to Friday at just after 6PM UK time / 11AM PT / 1PM EST .

I've set up a Patreon account here: https://www.patreon.com/gravediggergary if you'd like to support the story and read up to 15 chapters ahead. All support is very much appreciated!

The underlying system on which the story runs is a work in progress (like the story itself!) so there may be adjustments to character sheets etc as the novel rolls out.

Spelling and grammar are British English unless I mess up in which case it's just gobbledygook (please feel free to point out any typographical mistakes or obvious errors, I appreciate it!)

Finally, this story is cross-posted on Scribblehub.

And I think that's everything!

Thanks for reading!

All content copyright Robert Thorne 2021

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Rob Thorne

Rob Thorne

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ChaosRuneSmith
Overall
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Story
Grammar
Character

Competently written and the story kept me reading until it introduces a random D&D adventure group. 

If that sounds unbelievably jarring then you are right. It is also where i lost confidence in the story.

With a group of amoral murder hobos introduced the story can only kneel down with so much dignity before the tone, narrative tension, themes and characters are brutality ruined by the group.

The actions in chapter 19 especially makes it completely obvious that either the D&D group is outright evil as they callously kills the people our protagonist has been trying to save. That this action is done with what is described as sadistic glee against people we have been told are so weaker than the D&D party that they aren't worth a singular measure of effort firmly cemented that the murder hobos were your typical psychotic group of murderers and that the author simply does not know how to write good characters. Both ample reason for me to abandon the story.

It stings all the more since Gary was a well realized character and had a good thing going for him. To then see the story take such a radical turn off a cliff is really just baffling.

The Author claims to aspire to horror, unfortunately the story fails in evoking this in any form, especially after the D&D party comes in. My best guess is that they think that the imagery of bodies being destroyed, zombies walking and humanity finding itself off the top of the food chain is horror by itself. It isn't.

In short: the characters are a mess, the story fails to interest and the horror it aspires to fails to realize.

Cody37
Overall

This was a decent story had some good and bad but looked like was going to be good series not much happened at time wrote this so can not say too much at this time sorry all.  Basically guy becomes a glitch zombie error in system induced world.

Ahh the dreaded 50 words count....

Loyalscum
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

It started good and i thought it had potential but the mc's cheat is apparently more crippling then useful. The man gets all the benefits of being a zombie but can't level up from killing his own kind. Which is extremely bad because the main enemy are mostly all undead. Making this edge he has worse then just being a normal person. After he's killed hundreds of zombies there is shown to be no titles, path system, or anything worth a damn to give him an extr edge. I also say this knowing that intergalactic mercenarys found out about his glitch and were so under welmed by it they thought even if they sold him he would only be worth pocket change.

Author please fix this there's no point of making him undead just for a level 2 zombie to make all those benefits useless again I mean come on. I usually hated authors who made the mc stay human when there is a clearly superior race evolution. But this is the first time I routed for the mc to become human again. Its just sad.

Also you made it because of the glitch the system nerfed his movement speed making him more zombie like but if you going by that logic why does the mc not have infinite stamina as well since when do undead tire. He should also have or get some for of physical resistance like all undead since he considered one

Please give mc dope ass undead related race evolutions, magic, skills, titles, include a path system 2 make things skill based instead of fully level based like randily ghosthound or the new world which is superior to randily ghosthound in every way. Do something to salvage this mess.

DrBuller
Overall

If I had a penny for each time I read a story about a dude in an apocalypse scenario with a shovel, I would have two pennies. This might not be many pennies, but it's weird that it happened twice.

Anyway. I personally didn't take this story too seriously. I mean, there are some parts that are meant to be taken seriously. The style itself shows that off pretty well. However, the way the reader is shown the world just doesn't mesh well with it. Sure, it's a fun read but likely not in the same way that the author thought it would be. 4/5

tkalius
Overall

Unlike another review, while the DnD group insert was abrupt, it don't think it was out of place. 

It does set a tone for the novel though. Instead of a zero to hero where the MC slowly learns about his new reality which is the common trope in this genre, we're given a master/student relationship in the form of an adventure party, which is another, less common trope in this genre.

I do think it would have worked better if you pushed back their intro a bit, and allowed yourself to establish the MC a bit more. As it stands it feels a bit rushed because you want to info dump your world building.

Like it's 20 chapters in, the MC is level 1 still, but we have multiple important characters introduced, and we know far more about the multiverse than any other person on earth. As most people care more about characters and plot than worldbuilding, this is a huge problem.

The power level of characters is also absolutely bizarre. The DnD group should be WAY stronger than anything on earth, they even complain about how weak and worthless Earth is, but they were physically taxed killing level 1-2 zombies the MC was killing with a shovel solo. They also got hurt fighting both those zombies and the level 1 humans, and I dont even want to address the necromancer/revenant.

There's a ton of holes in your story from the get-go, but I am entertained. I look forward to see what you have planned with the MC, but my interest is on shaky ground.

eric_river
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The story starts of fun and then gets intense pretty quick
but it’s not so gross as to make average readers sick
it’s a bit light hearted though it deals with heavy themes
it brings some good ethical questions to their extremes

It opens like a sci-fi fantasy zombie movie
then it shifts into a straightforward LitRPG
there’s no blue-screens yet, but style’s updating as of now
it’s evolving still, but I am not quite sure yet how

The story seems original, some new twists here and there
it does get quite dark at times, so gentle hearts beware
the plot progress faster as the story goes along
as of chapter twenty, I don’t see anything wrong

The grammar is as good as one could hope for on this site
native level, gamer prose, it’s readable and light
it’s a conversational style, good and suitable
just a few typos here and there, nothing notable

The characters are more important than the plot so far
the main is really interesting, he’s normal yet bizarre
I like how he reacts to other members of the cast
side characters are alright, they’re introduced quite fast

The first twenty chapters rock, but things are still unclear
It feels like the beginning of the real conflict is near
what it lacks, the author seems excited to improve
I’m pumped to see the mysterious plot begin to move

Overall, I rate this highly because it is fun
though it isn’t perfect, it has only just begun
one thing I can tell you after reading this new book
it’s a deeper world and story than it may first look

AnarchticPrime
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

You will see some negative reviews for this story. Take them with a bucket of salt. I meant to read just one or two chapters before going to bed, ended up reading all the way up to chapter 20 and stopped because I have to wait for more.

Everything makes sense, and by that I mean the characters are acting in a fashion that can be logically followed. The "controversial" DnD party is made up of veterans. They're traumatized, twisted by the things they've experienced. Their actions, while awful, make sense. Gary, the main character, is functioning exactly how a normal person should act when everything he knows gets turned on its head. The DnD aspects are fairly obvious to anyone who has ever participated in a few sessions of a campaign, and it fits not only the beginning (in how Gary became a living zombie) but also in how the party interacts with Gary and the other characters (their fighting tactics and worldviews). 

The writing style is on point, grammar and spelling is excellent, and the lore so far provokes a ton of thought. There isn't much more to comment on since the story is still new, but you better believe that I'll be following it for as long as the author continues to write.

I encourage anyone who is considering this story to give it an actual chance. I can see it becoming one of the top stories on RoyalRoad easily. 

deus vult
Overall

I'm sorry. I see a "gravedigger gary" and the first thing I think about is one of those desk workers who have a bland, blank personality and pretend that's everything is perfect or something. with a smile.  boring happy drones, with dad jokes.  a simp. as in simple man. yeah, I think that's the vibe I'm getting from this. he's a simp dad-zombie. named gary. why?

anyways, some dude gets kicked to a system/zombie apocalypse. becomes one. so, the multiverse is vast. some guys let you get a system. for free. the thing they didn't realize is that when they do that, the necromancer faction starts killing everybody. well they do realize that, but maybe they don't care. they have no idea how that happens. well, they know but do nothing to fix it.

they guess that the chances of you becoming properly civilized vs those of you becoming an undead monstrosity probably works in their favour. joke. now, that's not bad. well, it is. can't you just leave them alone? but the whole story will revolve around fighting the undead. you have people wielding metal sticks with stats and skills calling you an uncivilized menance on one side. because you can't shoot fireballs from your ass. you're not civilized unless you can do that. when you had literal computers and they didn't. on the other you have zombies. lots of zombies. with intel. intel zombies.

it's a multiverse wide zombie apocolyse. zombie gary will fight zombies for the rest of eternity. until he slumbers. rest in peace zombie gary. rest in peace.

Throckmocker
Overall

A pretty fun start to an unfortunately timed story

Reviewed at: Chapter 18: Teenage Kicks (and Bites)

I binged the first 18 chapters and enjoyed it quite a bit. I didn't follow the story simply because reading a realistic description of how people act in a disaster is rather painful these days. The writing is sharp, the humor is on point, the situations match the tropes of the settings, and protagonist is a good guy in a terrible situation. Unfortunately, the realities that he encounters are hitting an open wound in the psyche right now. I may try it again if Humanity gets our act together.

Quaint
Overall

Thus is a very entertaining book. I'm only at ch 11 so we'll see what happens but so far the system is well thought out and the glitches are pretty funny. Overall I think its a very original idea and id like to see where it goes. One think I'm worried about is how the mc will level up.