What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#1
What are the main, overarching storylines that you love to see? For example, is it hero against the game system/world? Hero-vs-Villain in back and forth rivalry? Economic overview of the world and changes made? Personal growth journey? War? Other?

What about sidestories? Are they annoying, or a healthy part of character development and world building? In anime, for example, you'll often see side stories that flesh out side characters, like the blacksmith or a kid or a villain. Or they might go into various backstories. You'll see side episodes that don't really have anything to do with the main plot, but that deepen relationships. Do these side stories make the story richer for you, or do you find them annoying because they're holding up progress with the main plot?

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#2
Personally, I really like isekai stories that deal with the main character's life before the isekai, and have it actually be relevant to the story (either their character arc requires us to visit the backstory, or there's actual cross-world stuff going on).

With LitRPG, I can't care less about the stats and number crunching, but I adore awesome game/magic systems that the story's world revolves heavily around and we get to see a really different culture because of it. I also like when the system becomes a tool, rather than the main part of the main character's journey, ESPECIALLY when the system actually causes problems for them, either through quirks in the design, or malicious intent, or even malfunctioning.

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#3

Thedude3445 Wrote: Personally, I really like isekai stories that deal with the main character's life before the isekai, and have it actually be relevant to the story (either their character arc requires us to visit the backstory, or there's actual cross-world stuff going on).

With LitRPG, I can't care less about the stats and number crunching, but I adore awesome game/magic systems that the story's world revolves heavily around and we get to see a really different culture because of it. I also like when the system becomes a tool, rather than the main part of the main character's journey, ESPECIALLY when the system actually causes problems for them, either through quirks in the design, or malicious intent, or even malfunctioning.
This, so very much. All of it, everything you've said. 


I'm so tired of Isekai stories where the MC's backstory basically doesn't exist. There's so much space for it - real world experiences informing their motivations, psychological trauma from being ripped away from the world and people you love (or psychological trauma coming from not loving anyone or anything about the old world), plot parallels, etc. And yet for so many stories the protag's only motivation is whatever quest popped up in his magic bracket vision. If I really just wanted to explore some number/class system I'd go browse an RPG core book. I'm reading a story, and the gamelit aspects should inform the story, not the other way around. 

Oh, to answer OP's question: Failure. I like to see what happens when a protag screws up, or gets screwed over. Failed quests, suboptimal builds, beating the quest through some game-logic loophole only to see the rewards of the quest ruined by the same loophole. That's what I love to see. 

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#4

Genuine55 Wrote: This, so very much. All of it, everything you've said. 


I'm so tired of Isekai stories where the MC's backstory basically doesn't exist. There's so much space for it - real world experiences informing their motivations, psychological trauma from being ripped away from the world and people you love (or psychological trauma coming from not loving anyone or anything about the old world), plot parallels, etc. And yet for so many stories the protag's only motivation is whatever quest popped up in his magic bracket vision. If I really just wanted to explore some number/class system I'd go browse an RPG core book. I'm reading a story, and the gamelit aspects should inform the story, not the other way around. 

Oh, to answer OP's question: Failure. I like to see what happens when a protag screws up, or gets screwed over. Failed quests, suboptimal builds, beating the quest through some game-logic loophole only to see the rewards of the quest ruined by the same loophole. That's what I love to see.
I have noticed a confusion around GameLit and LitRPG, and you are right. GameLit informs the story, however, a lot doesn’t seem to understand this. From what I have experienced that is. I have encountered GameLit, that doesn’t really have story, and focuses on stats, builds, etc. You know, what you’d find in a LitRPG, the same in vice versa. There was a division made due to complaints a while back. In short, GameLit has the elements of the game, without focus on stats, charts, builds, etc. It focuses on the story part, and is the literary part of it. LitRPG is the reverse, not focusing on the story. Doesn’t have a literary aim in short. It has the strict numbers, builds, and other things around these lines.

It even took me a while to get this straightened out, I had to dig back pretty deep to find this out. Then some other confirmation. I see author’s with both LitRPG and GameLit, when it is one or the other, not both. So, there is a confusion there, which makes it harder to identify which specific one to read. 

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#5
I like ones where the long term goal is finding out what happened in the ancient or pre-apocalypse past, to either regain the deeper understanding they had then (of magic or cultivation or whatever) or to finally fix a problem that has plagued the world since then (perhaps because the unique combination of the present's survival skills and the past's esoteric wisdom is what enables the solution).

Another good long term goal is to build a non-feudal, non-secretive town/school as an example that it's more profitable or better at producing skilled people and innovations, compared to neighboring traditional communities.  The problem is that these almost inevitably have a war phase in the middle where the neighbors just attack outright.  The inevitable losses in war tend to taint the noble and helpful feel of the beginning of the story.  Then after the war is won it's tough to switch back to something that's not life-and-death and have it still be interesting.

I'm fine with murderhobo/assassin stories too, so I like stories where the main character quietly and competently exterminates some nasty conspiracy.  This is probably harder to make work if it's not a time travel or do-over story, but there are still ways to make it work in either litRPG or traditional fantasy.

I also like romances, buddy stories, nakama stories, formations of family-of-choice, etc.  So I do like some backstory, sidestory, or viewpoint sections for these important characters.  I just like all that 'domestic' style of content I guess - school, training, puzzle-like tests, labyrinths or dungeons that have a story or some tactical challenges, rather than pure monster extermination.

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#6

Edge Wrote:
Genuine55 Wrote: This, so very much. All of it, everything you've said. 


I'm so tired of Isekai stories where the MC's backstory basically doesn't exist. There's so much space for it - real world experiences informing their motivations, psychological trauma from being ripped away from the world and people you love (or psychological trauma coming from not loving anyone or anything about the old world), plot parallels, etc. And yet for so many stories the protag's only motivation is whatever quest popped up in his magic bracket vision. If I really just wanted to explore some number/class system I'd go browse an RPG core book. I'm reading a story, and the gamelit aspects should inform the story, not the other way around. 

Oh, to answer OP's question: Failure. I like to see what happens when a protag screws up, or gets screwed over. Failed quests, suboptimal builds, beating the quest through some game-logic loophole only to see the rewards of the quest ruined by the same loophole. That's what I love to see.
I have noticed a confusion around GameLit and LitRPG, and you are right. GameLit informs the story, however, a lot doesn’t seem to understand this. From what I have experienced that is. I have encountered GameLit, that doesn’t really have story, and focuses on stats, builds, etc. You know, what you’d find in a LitRPG, the same in vice versa. There was a division made due to complaints a while back. In short, GameLit has the elements of the game, without focus on stats, charts, builds, etc. It focuses on the story part, and is the literary part of it. LitRPG is the reverse, not focusing on the story. Doesn’t have a literary aim in short. It has the strict numbers, builds, and other things around these lines.

It even took me a while to get this straightened out, I had to dig back pretty deep to find this out. Then some other confirmation. I see author’s with both LitRPG and GameLit, when it is one or the other, not both. So, there is a confusion there, which makes it harder to identify which specific one to read.
really?

you could just read the tool-tip in the search parameters when selecting a tag to get the definition to each.
is it not clear? do you think newbies gonna miss it also?

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#7

emperor Wrote: really?

you could just read the tool-tip in the search parameters when selecting a tag to get the definition to each.
is it not clear? do you think newbies gonna miss it also?
That would depend, the tool tip isn’t clear enough. From what I have witnessed, I would say, it is likely those who come into writing not being aware of it. As I said, a while back it was separated due to the confusion. However, there are a lot that combines it without realizing the individual qualities. GameLit, you can have stats if you want. However, you don’t need it. That is the base line. LitRPG is what more are familiar with, having stats, builds, etc. These tend not to have a proper story, and lacks in the literary element. I suppose another way to look at it as. 

If you want a game world, but with a proper story. Look into GameLit. If you want all the stats, builds, without a need for a story, then LitRPG.

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#8

Edge Wrote:
emperor Wrote: really?

you could just read the tool-tip in the search parameters when selecting a tag to get the definition to each.
is it not clear? do you think newbies gonna miss it also?
That would depend, the tool tip isn’t clear enough. From what I have witnessed, I would say, it is likely those who come into writing not being aware of it. As I said, a while back it was separated due to the confusion. However, there are a lot that combines it without realizing the individual qualities. GameLit, you can have stats if you want. However, you don’t need it. That is the base line. LitRPG is what more are familiar with, having the stats, builds, etc. These tend not to have a proper story, and lacks in the literary element. I suppose another way to look at it as. 

If you want a game world, but with a proper story. Look into GameLit. If you want all the stats, builds, without a need for a story, then LitRPG.
Plus, a thing as subjective and arbitrary as genre categorization doesn't exactly fare well when you grind the divisions too finely. There's a reason that Sci-fi and Fantasy are put on the same shelves in book stores, even though those two are widely separated at first glance. And if Sci-fi and Fantasy are that easy to mix up, you shouldn't be surprised when people use GameLit and LitRPG interchangeably.

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#9

Genuine55 Wrote: Plus, a thing as subjective and arbitrary as genre categorization doesn't exactly fare well when you grind the divisions too finely. There's a reason that Sci-fi and Fantasy are put on the same shelves in book stores, even though those two are widely separated at first glance. And if Sci-fi and Fantasy are that easy to mix up, you shouldn't be surprised when people use GameLit and LitRPG interchangeably.
Right, it is a good idea to at least look a bit deeper. Anyway, the whole reason the division came into place, is due to pretty much a conflict happening. Where it was decided best to divide the genre.  

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#11




Thedude3445 Wrote: Personally, I really like isekai stories that deal with the main character's life before the isekai, and have it actually be relevant to the story (either their character arc requires us to visit the backstory, or there's actual cross-world stuff going on).

With LitRPG, I can't care less about the stats and number crunching, but I adore awesome game/magic systems that the story's world revolves heavily around and we get to see a really different culture because of it. I also like when the system becomes a tool, rather than the main part of the main character's journey, ESPECIALLY when the system actually causes problems for them, either through quirks in the design, or malicious intent, or even malfunctioning.
I'm pretty much into all of this and try to incorporate it into my (Isekai LitRPG/GameLit/whatever) story. I also really like side stories and side chapters focused on fleshing out the relationships between characters. It makes everything feel alive. Hero vs The World and Hero vs Villain rivalry are two storylines I also really like.



In addition to all of these things, I like struggle. Not tragedies or sob stories, mind you, but just the struggle of having to overcome a difficult challenge through skill and effort. The no-room-for-mistakes vibe, that sense of urgency, the desperation, and the ultimate victory at the end of it all. I live for that shit. It's the reason why the level of difficulty of the MC's challenges in my story is so high haha

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#12
Exploration. Although, only of the mysterious and the unknown. I don't like the real world, traditional fantasy settings, although common sci-fi worldbuilding is acceptable.

Anything with surreal landscapes and otherwordly planes sparks my interests. I love it when the environment shifts.

I can't really give an example other than what I am reading right now on RR and it's too early to judge that novel. I'm also not sure if it fits the genre. Maybe something like the anime 'Made in Abyss' would have me occupied for a while.

Re: What are your favourite storylines in LitRPG / Isekai books?

#13

SackOfSnails Wrote: Exploration. Although, only of the mysterious and the unknown. I don't like the real world, traditional fantasy settings, although common sci-fi worldbuilding is acceptable.

Anything with surreal landscapes and otherwordly planes sparks my interests. I love it when the environment shifts.

I can't really give an example other than what I am reading right now on RR and it's too early to judge that novel. I'm also not sure if it fits the genre. Maybe something like the anime 'Made in Abyss' would have me occupied for a while.

oh, I love made in abyss too, but for different reasons~