[Goblin Cave] is a perfectly average Dungeon that becomes unsatisfied with its work.
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An absolutely average technical look at the fine mana control and being creation experiments of a goblin cave dungeon. The pacing is litered with technical fluff and experimentation that both does and doesn't intiate system controlled messages. I personally felt the pacing was slow, and the experimentation and mana science was very front facing.
The biggest burning question I had throughout it all was why the dungeon kept dungeoning. It may seem silly, but after the abrubtness of its midlife crisis chapter 1, I didn't expect it to make a whole second dungeon and open it up for adventurers again. It said it spent years learning the language and reading books, and yet it seems so naive to the world. It's at least 60 years old, how did it learn the language and nothing else?
You know the premise, dungeon digs hole, spawns monsters, kills adventurers, levels up, repeat. But to what end?
From this question springs the thoughly entertaining tale of a dungeon which begins to question its lot in life.
So far this story has delivered on its premise and overdelivered with an impeccable writing style, dry humor and grounded yet fantastic worldbuilding.
If you like stories about curious creatures trying to pry apart the logic of a game-like world, dungeon stories in general or well written stories in general then give this one a shot.
While dungeon core stories aren't new this one does achieve some originality which came as a pleasant surprise.
Found this while looking for another Goblin core story (turns out it was deleted, don't do that) but that doesn't matter this is great so far, keep it up.
Filler text filler text filler text filler text filler text filler text filler text
This story has an amazing level of grammar and vocabulary, with the writer also having a demonstrable and clear grasp of logic and complex mechanical insight.
The story, as other reviews have said, is that of a dungeon core having a mid-century crisis; not a human turned core, not a core with a human mind, but a proper Dungeon Core attempting to learn more about why things are as they are. The Author does a fantastic job immersing the reader into this completely alien perspective, using the right language and descriptions to show us how confusing the world we take for granted can be when your entire existence is yourself.
It's a very slow paced story; intentional interactions with humans begin around chapter 15, but even before that the experimentation and detail of the conundrums of the world are a fascinating take on what exactly it would mean to have a living Dungeon.
So, I very much enjoy dunneon core novels. However, there is a structural issue with many of them, if not all: how do you make a story about a wish-granting god interesting? I have seen: life or death struggles with other equal powers, slice of life to bring the story down to earth, or shared PoV with human protagonists to give the story relatable goals.
Here we see another take which solves this conundrum admirably: the protagonist Core is facing an internal conflict that is relatable on a human scale. Why do I exist? What is my purpose? Why are things the way they are? Why do things be... like they is?
This is a conflict that can be resolved or examined in as many chapters as the author wishes. Importantly, it is a conflict that a human audience can appreciate without the core conceit of dungeon core lit (the protagonist is a wish-granting god) getting in the way, because despite its powers, it cannot grant its own wish: no magic crystal or soul-growing machine can tell the protagonist what its purpose is.
This story has all of the characteristics of a dungeon novel that has real staying power. Most dungeon novels tend to run into the issue of staleness; they become repetitive descriptions of adding floors and monsters. Often an attempt to branch out is added by adding ethier monsters as characters or adventurers the dungeon becomes fond of. None of this is bad but it can feel contrived. The great thing about his story so far is the best character is the main character and it does not feel like he needs a huge supporting cast to push the story along, he already has plans and plots that are interesting, engaging and self motivated. It is chapter 22 at time of review and I can’t see any red flags on this guy. Give it a read if you have the time.
At first it seemed boring and i wasn't understanding what the story was about but the prose kept me ready and then it clicked and i re-read the last three chapters. The synopsis really needs to go. it is a story of a new dungeon experimenting ad trying to do things outside the system.
I had lots of fun reading this one. Chapter four is by far my favourite lots of cool and interesting goblin types. Might steal some for DnD one day. My major criticism would be some of the really big paragraphs. They are difficult to read in my experience. Otherwise an intelligent and cool story concept. There is no real tension so far the coolness comes from the exploration of neat ideas and the growth of the dungeon down its new path. Fun!
fascinating and dry. this concludes my review
the following words are the author's, from one of the chapter postscripts:
here are some stories that have been inspirations for this one, to tide you over during the pause:
An Unclean Legacy [http://hitherby-dragons.wikidot.com/category:an-unclean-legacy], by Jenna Moran
specifically this page of Kill Six Billion Demons [https://killsixbilliondemons.com/comic/king-of-swords-6-57/], by Abbadon. you could also read the rest of it i guess
Floornight [https://archiveofourown.org/works/2372021], by nostalgebraist
Ra [http://qntm.org/ra], by qntm
Dungeon core stories are decidedly 'not my thing' but it has been my experience so far that things like genre stop mattering when writing and story-telling ability reach a certain level of skill. So I'd only recomend passing up this novel if you really dislike this genre with a passion.
Thanks for the journey so far, its been a blast and I look forward to reading more!