Re: Overwhelmed by making a LitRGP system

I would say a good start is to look at the current systems around. Not necessarily ones found in other novels, but also things like DND, MMORPG's, singleplayer RPGs, etc.

Then find out not what the system is but how you want it to function in your story. Do you want a novel focused on crafting a lot? Well, having a LitRPG with items and crafting as major components is likely a good idea. Do you want it to be one focused on fighting? Well, maybe make the system less focused on crafting and more on combat. Remember, your story is not the mechanics; the mechanics are there for the story. So also consider the scope of the system. Heck, you could make it simple as hell and still have a good story.

That doesn't mean your system can just be made willy-nilly, though. You need to define rules, what stats there are, what they do, skills, rarities, special abilities, races, etc.

Once more, borrow from what is already out there. Find inspiration. Don't try to reinvent the wheel, but don't just steal a system either.
You could also just make most of it up as you go and only have some basic rules in place and keep everything very vague. This does risk leading to plotholes aplenty down the line, though.

For my novel, I have a document of around 100 pages only with rules, skills, examples of stat pages, calculations, etc. Most of it just built up over time. Nearly none of it will ever make its way into a chapter, but I like having it. In fact, one of the main reasons why I began writing was because I had an idea for a system and a story at around the same time. Mashed those together and here we go.

As for the stuff with formatting... just do what you want to. I personally hate the blue boxes in nearly every novel. Unless it is necessary (such as in a novel like Delve), I wouldn't say you need them. Some readers do prefer them, but it is far from a requirement (just check out one of the most popular LitRPGs Azarinth Healer).

This is just my thoughts though. I know I put way too much work into my system, but I mainly did it because I thought it was fun. In fact, I would say if you don't like making skills and systems you should avoid writing a LitRPG.

Re: Overwhelmed by making a LitRGP system

Have you considered making it a "soft" LitRPG, where you don't actually show the stat screens?

From a writing perspective, there are several advantages.

Right off the bat, it means that you don't have to remake D&D or playtest your own video game in it's entirety. Once you post a chapter that says, "This is how experience works," or "This is why a farmer who has a total of 10HP is fine, but an adventurer that's been reduced to 10HP is near death," you need to stick to it. Forever.

The single most common problem with "hard" LitRPGs is inconsistency with their own rules. Many LitRPGs fail to take scaling into account, so something that works smoothly in Chapter 1 at Level 1, might be horribly overpowered or obsolete thirty levels and chapters later. If the system that the world functions on is right there in the story like a wikipedia page, it's much harder to make adjustments without having to retcon things or make excuses for why the world isn't working the way it should be.

By showing the rules rather than telling the rules, your system will have much more flexibility, and adjustments can be made to the setting with less likelihood of causing plot holes.

Re: Overwhelmed by making a LitRGP system

To add to the excellent suggestions above, you can also go the "Diablo" route, and eschew numbers. Just give each skill a name and a general description of what it does, and then you've got room to fudge things. You can also avoid linear or direct interactions. For instance, if you have a Strength stat you can specify that it impacts physical attack damage, but that the relationship isn't linear. If you really want to play it safe, claim that the playerbase doesn't know the underlying calculation, either. But in either case, as long as it's clear that adding 1 to strength doesn't add 1 damage to all your attacks or something silly, then most people will accept it.

Another clever option I've seen before is to use non-specific numbers. For instance, don't show that your character has "100 HP". Show HP as a percentage, with the actual total unstated. That not only shortcuts the mental arithmetic readers have to do (because "losing 50%" is very explicit, whereas "losing 10 HP" could be anything from a mortal wound to a scratch, depending on whatever the running total is), but it gives you wiggle room to scale things up as the character's level rises without needing to obsess over keeping your equations balanced.

Good luck!

Re: Overwhelmed by making a LitRGP system

First of all, what kind of system do you want?
Here some examples:

-Job system: 
You have x job slots and you can take multiple classes.
eg. you have 5 slots, you are a lvl 20 cleric, lvl 10 knight. You combine the 2 classes and you get a new one: lvl 1 paladin,
Now you have 3 classes, and 2 free slots.

You pick a class at start, and you will be that till the end.

You pick a class (rogue), at lvl 100 you can choose a class evolution: (thief, assassin, ninja)

There are no classes only skills. Maybe advanced skills have requirements.


In most stories they are not important, mc can do whatever the author wants.
But  you can have a primitive stat system (body/magic) or a complex one with 10+ stats. (I personally hate the luck/char stat)

-You get skills by certain actions. eg. backstabbing someone will grant you the sneak attack skill (you will have 5000000 skills at chapter 20 with this method) 
-You get certain skills with your class
-You get skill points by lvl up and with that you can buy skills 

No, dont use numbers. Just look up any competitive game patch notes, hundreds of developers cannot make a balanced game.

My favorite system is in the infinite realm: monsters & legends

Re: Overwhelmed by making a LitRGP system

imho, most readers don't really care about the system's details as long as you make it clear. (e.g: in Mistborn, one can only telekinetically push an object if they have copper, or in fullmetal alchemist, an alchemist needs a transmutation circle and law of equivalent exhange to do shit) 
After all, we're in for the story and not the system itself. 
Not to mention, conveying details by showing the action instead of telling the numbers will make it somewhat rememberable.
For example:

"Congratulations! you get the xxx system, here's the list of what each stats do. A creature with 1 strength should be able to carry an object weighted up to 3lbs, 1 point of speed will increase your running speed by 1 foot per second, 1 point of intelligence will increase your iq by 1, etc...."

Now compare the example above with these:

1. His jaw dropped. How could he not? He knew the girl had put 10 or so points into STR, but never for once in his life he thought he would see a 4 years old girl carrying her wasted father on her shoulder as though he was a teddy bear.

2. I always thought speed is the most important stats for running away from danger, but after 1 continuous minute of pounding my feet to the ground, I can hear my lungs screaming for air and my legs starting to feel numb... yeah... if I manage to flee from those cheetahs, I should put one or two points into stamina.

By the way, I'm not a writer so this might be not the best example, but i hope you get the idea ^^.

TLDR; don't use numbers (as ElderLich said), but show what each point of stats do.