Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#1
Greetings my fellow Royal Roaders,

So, I saw that there are a lot of reincarnation stories, most of them are more orthodox, and some of them are more unique, like reincarnating into a tree, quite a unique situation that is interesting to explore.

Unfortunately, most of the stories are of humans from the earth that reincarnates in other worlds, don't get me wrong, sometimes these are some interesting and engaging stories, but I believe that there is more to explore in this genre.

I would love to read a story where an alien, let's say like a Turian (from Mass Effect), has to deal with being reincarnated into a human in a fantasy world. Imagine the struggle to deal with the lack of advanced technology, the difference in aesthetics, cultural shock, and so on.

So what's your Reincarnation story, what would you want to read?

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#2
I'm a sucker for any literature that explores philosophy. Isekai/gamelit are such an underappreciated and potentially powerful way to do that, because of how the system tends to work. It literally hands the protagonist superpowers, explains them, and then lets them explore a concept. 

I've been toying with an idea for a few years about an otherworldly cult that believes that the universe is made of memes (as in the original meaning of the word, 'to share something') and mistakenly assume that meme-hounds on the Internet are these great wizard who have comprehended the universe, rather than randoms sharing funny pictures for no real reason. So they summon this random kid to seek the truth of the universe from them, but ends up having to raise this understandably angry teenager to comprehend the secrets of universe-as-meme, because they sacrificed their secret treasure to summon them and now they're the only person in the world who can comprehend meme logic and get meme-related pointers from the system/universe in the form of spell descriptions. 

Que a story that actually explores the concept of universe-as-information. 

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#3
Except for fanfictions, your limit would be that you would end up explaining two cultures, the original alien one and then the fantasy world one. 

This is one of the reasons isekai is either our world to fantasy world or reverse isekai with fantasy world coming to our world. The description of two cultures clashing loses in strenght if both are alien to the reader IMO. 

One of the smart take on the trope was Am ennde with meine Latein. where the isekaied was a roman legionnaire going into 5th edition DandD. The story ha potential but was not well executed and the concept wasn't exploited anough (have humans from different cultures end up in another world, imagine samurais, zulus, vikings or 18th century soldiers ending up in another world and meeting each other... )

There are many other things you can do with Isekai other than cultural shock, I'm doing "science" things but on a bottom level (alphabet, numeral systems clashing with one another) before going to more technical matters, you can do magitech, you can do other races (MC ends up as a lizardman or whatever), make him a villain's minion etc... 

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#4


Tynian Wrote: your limit would be that you would end up explaining two cultures, the original alien one and then the fantasy world one.




Well, I understand that as a reader I can't even imagine the amount of work needed, the point is that I would love to read something like this! BTW, there was a book I saw sometime before, the guy died to reincarnate in the body of an injured alien on a spaceship in the middle of a battle, the confusion the alienness of the situation, I was so charmed by all that, unfortunately, the MC died again and got reincarnated again in some more cliche world, and unfortunately I don't remember anything else about the book, but that short scene gave me a very strong impression (I would like to read the opposite happening as well). 

And even if there is a need to create two different cultures, I don't think it's a limitation, yes it requires more work, but it is definitely not a limitation but a challenge, I mean there are so many books that have nothing to do with our world and there are many cultures mixed in the same world, even the World of the Rings, that was written in the 1950s, has a multitude of races with different cultures coexisting in one world, not the best example since it's happening in the same world at the same technological level. But there is a multitude of movies and tv-series where Sci-Fi and other totally different civilization meet each other, like Orville or Star Trek (Even though humanity is involved, the technological level and the presence of the aliens makes it totally different from our civilization).

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#5
One reincarnation I would like to read is reincarnation in the same (preferably fantasy) world. I am actually (minor spoiler alert) doing this for the story I am currently writing, but as far as I know I do not remember any stories (or at least any popular stories) with such a reincarnation. I always thought it is an undepreciated concept as instead of focusing so much of familiarizing with the new world, there is greater focus on the identity crisis of the protagonist and how he/she struggles to remake their relationships with the friends/lovers/family of their past live. 

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#6
What I'd like to see is a reincarnation type where the new body becomes the benchmark. Most stories make the MC look at his new environment through the cultural lens of their previous life. Instead, have his new self try to make sense of those memories through the perspective of his current environment. Though if it's another 'omg we are so awesome' story about our food, technology and culture, I'm gonna skip on it anyway

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#7

Oskatat Wrote: What I'd like to see is a reincarnation type where the new body becomes the benchmark. Most stories make the MC look at his new environment through the cultural lens of their previous life. Instead, have his new self try to make sense of those memories through the perspective of his current environment. Though if it's another 'omg we are so awesome' story about our food, technology and culture, I'm gonna skip on it anyway
That sounds interesting, it's like the MC remembers the past life and trying to make sense of it, that should be interesting to read! Will it lead to developing a split personality though? Well, still interesting!

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#8

DrakoRem Wrote: Unfortunately, most of the stories are of humans from the earth that reincarnates in other worlds, don't get me wrong, sometimes these are some interesting and engaging stories, but I believe that there is more to explore in this genre.

Generally I find reincarnation stories interesting as long as they maintain its focus on real issues. Like scifi has always done well by putting humans in alien if not hostile conditions to reflect upon the human condition, psychology, ethics, fortitude, etc. Similarly many older "isekai" stories does the same thing, using the world travel as a means to develop not just the protagonist, but also to showcase/debate a complex view of humanity itself -- be it social institutions and cultural mores.


Unfortunately I feel this is not a topic the majority of isekai does well. If anything the isekai genre feels like the early scifi genre in the 19th century, before it had time to fully mature. Though to me this is a bit weird since "waking up in another world" has been a premise for centuries (Gulliver's Travels was written in early 1700s)


Well in my case, if I don't find something that satisfy me out there, I write my own xD




Tynian Wrote: This is one of the reasons isekai is either our world to fantasy world or reverse isekai with fantasy world coming to our world. The description of two cultures clashing loses in strenght if both are alien to the reader IMO.

I think that rather depends on how cultural-oriented your viewpoint character is, and if the narrator or the protagonist can make the right analogies to help the reader understand easier. Like even among the cultures of our world there are huge variations, and many people (particularly westerners) don't understand this aspect as so many values are touted as "universal" even though they're not -- individualism being the biggest as most of the world's cultures see 'family' as the building block of society, not the individual.

Like this is one of the core reasons why I picked a multicultural social sciences expert for a protagonist. Even on Earth the level of variations between cultures is difficult to fully appreciate, let alone in a whole another world. Cultural, viewpoint, and ethics clash can often be difficult to understand... unless one has the right lenses.


Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#9
I read a manga several years ago about a highschool where all the students suddenly started recovering memories of their past lives, and it turned out every single one of them had been killed in the explosion of Pompeii.

It was great.

The MC had their memory the whole time, and maaaaybe some of them looked like people from his past life too? But there were all sorts of neat conflicts between past and present lives, like two people who were married before were now dating other people, or someone who used to be a big deal was now looked down on, stuff like that. I don't remember the specifics, but I loved the idea.

And there was a plot unfolding in the past, too,about what had actually happened before the volcano exploded; I don't remember what the central conflict was, but there was this whole 'each person who remembers brings another piece of the puzzle' kinda thing going on.

I'd like to see that sort of thing, but with more fantasy elements. Either a group of highschoolers start recovering memories of lives in a magic academy, or students in a magic academy start recovering memories of a class on earth.

I'd write it myself (and it is in my ideas folder) but I've kinda picked a project for now. It'll have to wait. If anyone else writes something similar, I'd love to read it.

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#10

Oskatat Wrote: What I'd like to see is a reincarnation type where the new body becomes the benchmark. Most stories make the MC look at his new environment through the cultural lens of their previous life. Instead, have his new self try to make sense of those memories through the perspective of his current environment. Though if it's another 'omg we are so awesome' story about our food, technology and culture, I'm gonna skip on it anyway


You know what's funny? When I do this in my story I get readers complaining "why won't the protagonist teach these primitive people some real knowledge!"

Me: "uhhh, because they're not primitive? They've achieved their own sociotechnological balance? And the protagonist should at least understand it first before messing with things?"

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#11

Aorii Wrote:
Oskatat Wrote: What I'd like to see is a reincarnation type where the new body becomes the benchmark. Most stories make the MC look at his new environment through the cultural lens of their previous life. Instead, have his new self try to make sense of those memories through the perspective of his current environment. Though if it's another 'omg we are so awesome' story about our food, technology and culture, I'm gonna skip on it anyway


You know what's funny? When I do this in my story I get readers complaining "why won't the protagonist teach these primitive people some real knowledge!"

Me: "uhhh, because they're not primitive? They've achieved their own sociotechnological balance? And the protagonist should at least understand it first before messing with things?"


A good question to ask those people as well is how much they themselves know about manufacturing. Can you design an internal combustion engine? Can you even explain it sufficiently for someone else to figure out? Would there even be fuel for it? How does the gearbox figure in there? Can you tell me more about suspension other than 'it's something with springs'? Could you explain how a refrigerator works? Most people get as far as 'it runs on electricity and it makes stuff cold'. All our advances have been built on a succession of small steps. Trying to bring the end result into a society without the means to implement and support it, is useless. And how many people can really explain all the intricate pieces involved in most of our modern technology?

Sure, there are some simple things that anyone could be able to explain, but how useful are they going to be in a fantasy world? Binoculars are probably going to lose out against eagle-eye type skills etc. Why would you need a portable water pump for extinguishing fires when there's a cadre of water mages on stand-by?

You could ask for suggestions about what technology they think your character should try to copy, while reminding them that he doesn't have access to wikipedia or google.

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#12
There are things we take for granted but that aren't.

In my story the people of the fantasy world don't know about the zero and use a complex ideogram system for writing. MC introduces them to new ways to write both numbers and words.

It seems basic but has great consequences on the world. Among them is the use of printing press. 

Same goes for explosives, there are some that are quite simple to manufacture and can be game changing depending on how much magic is common in this other world etc... 

No need for the explosion engine, there are many things before that that are important. 

Like hygiene and microbial life, agricultural modern knowledge, basic chemistry, basic engineering etc. 
Sure, computers are out of the understanding of most people but there is still a lot of margin for changes in a low tech society. 

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#13

Tynian Wrote: No need for the explosion engine, there are many things before that that are important. 

Like hygiene and microbial life, agricultural modern knowledge, basic chemistry, basic engineering etc. 
Sure, computers are out of the understanding of most people but there is still a lot of margin for changes in a low tech society.


I'm pretty sure I went on a rant about this some time ago, somewhere. Crop rotation is NOT a modern agricultural technique. You could make an argument that the system with 4 different crops is new, but the idea to let a field lay fallow and to put different crops on them in succession is ancient

Right /end rant

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#14
I never spoke about crop rotation. You seem to have very low expectations.agricultural knowledge. 

But rather soil conservation, animal traction enhancements, seed selection, F1 plants, mycological rhyzome symbiosis optimisation, fertiliser production, phytosanitary, breeding selection, herd handling (antibiotics) etc... 

there is a lot that can be done with knowledge only and which was out of what was understood just a few decades ago. 

edit: even nuclear induced mutation could be done with a bit of granit. 

And those are just a few ideas that comes to mind in a minute, if you take time to do researchs and plan it in the story, there is a LOT more than crop rotation (which is an early middle age tech...) ^^

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#15

Oskatat Wrote:
Tynian Wrote: No need for the explosion engine, there are many things before that that are important. 

Like hygiene and microbial life, agricultural modern knowledge, basic chemistry, basic engineering etc. 
Sure, computers are out of the understanding of most people but there is still a lot of margin for changes in a low tech society.


I'm pretty sure I went on a rant about this some time ago, somewhere. Crop rotation is NOT a modern agricultural technique. You could make an argument that the system with 4 different crops is new, but the idea to let a field lay fallow and to put different crops on them in succession is ancient

Right /end rant

This is also a bit of a pet peeve of mine. Indigenous peoples have/had some seriously fascinating ways of food production. The diseases from Europe ended up wiping out some of the South American cities and we STILL have not figured out how to reproduce some of their gardening techniques. We know they had them because the incredibly nutritious black earth they made is still around hundreds of years later, but even with science we haven't figured out its secrets. Another account talks about indigenous Australians who had grains that were the best the European explorer who recorded this encounter had ever tasted, and today this kind of grain is presumably lost because they got killed/displaced, of it it's still out there we don't know what it is. There are food forests from the pre-settler days in North America, still standing and producing long after the people who cared for them disappeared. Then there's stuff like KNF for caring for soil microbes of various types and so on and so forth.. 

And it's not like stuff like that didn't exist in Europe during medieval times, either (iberico pork is still a thing). 

Ah I know I'm rambling. It's a bit of a peeve of mine that some isekai stories literally just go "yeah you can put leaves and cow manure on your fields and they'll grow better!". "Oh wow, we had no idea, you're our hero, the famine is solved! Now please teach us the secret of basic hair care!" (And tbh I don't think the average youngster today knows much about agricultural practices. I've met my fair share of teenagers who had no idea you can actually plant and grow vegetables.) 

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#17

Crusixblade Wrote: For anyone who wants it, sense I won't write it...

I had a dumb idea some time ago that goes like this:

"I keep getting reincarnated as me in alternate worlds"

Multiverse shinanigans
Ok, but consider: Reincarnating the same guy in the same world repeatedly, but always one year before he died. Eventually there'd be dozens of the same guy running around, warning their younger selves on how to not die... 

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#18

Tynian Wrote: I never spoke about crop rotation. You seem to have very low expectations.agricultural knowledge. 

...

there is a LOT more than crop rotation (which is an early middle age tech...) ^^


Sorry, that wasn't meant against you, just against the average level of what 'introducing technology' means in most isekai novels. Most of them seem to have your misconception, that crop rotation was something from early medieval time. I couldn't find any indication when it was first used, but the Romans left records on it, so it predates their civilization. It's like that with a lot of novels that do the whole tech thing, a lack of research, and not just about agriculture either. I merely vented one of my pet peeves

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#19
I don't really want to read about anyone reincarnating into a human body unless it has significant invisible differences like a Chakra system, which the mc is going to spend a significant amount of time directly working with.  Reincarnating as a monster that can evolve species or as a dungeon core are my two favorites so far, but I'd really love to see a story where the MC reincarnates into an alien species which has significant social differences from humans - for example they form into packs like wolves, or they have 3 sexes and a normal reproductive unit is 3 people, or they build nests and lay eggs...

Hmm, maybe I should add, I quite like reincarnated-as-a-baby stories, though clearly authors of those have difficulty with the timeskips needed, especially if it's also a litRPG.

Re: What reincarnation stories would you want to see?

#20
I was thinking of writing something like Kampfer but the male MC dies and gets revived as a female and was a creepy prev in his previous life so he charms people and does interesting things to lure gentlemen into unflattering situation's. I think everyone would have a good chuckle out of that old saying from guys. 
"If I was a girl I would be such a slut Id have everything" would be the title HAHAH two drinks in and I am loving this idea more and more I write this comment on this thread reply to it if your curious or want to undergo the challenge yourself lol