How to genre my book without inadvertently falsely advertising it?

#1
I'm currently working on a fantasy novel that I plan to release starting in January that incorporates some gaming elements. I'd originally thought about labeling it, amongst other things, "LitRPG" but I'm having second thoughts because I don't think it meets the threshold.

Without giving too much away, imagine a classic low fantasy setting where the main character mage can see a stat sheet, levels up, has maximum mana and prescribed spells with mana cost and his adventuring earns him experience points. Beyond this, there's not much of a hard system, the setting is still a "real world" rather than a "game" where he's hands down the MC and the focus is less on the progression and the rules of the game (since there is no game) and more the overall plot and the relationship between the characters.

Maybe it sounds like enough but I don't want anyone checking it out expecting one thing and then rage quitting because it wasn't what they were expecting.

Anyway, all thoughts on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Re: How to genre my book without inadvertently falsely advertising it?

#3
Gamelit in my opinion is where the characters are in an actual game, whether they initially know it or not.  Litrpg means it has rpg elements: that means stats, skills, XP, little blue boxes, levels, or any combination therein.  You are solidly in litrpg territory.  Not every litrpg needs to focus fully on the little blue boxes.  Far from it.  

Even litrpg needs to have a solid story.  The quests and little blue boxes are there to support the story.  They're a storytelling tool, just like tropes and funny side characters are.  Good luck, and write often.

Re: How to genre my book without inadvertently falsely advertising it?

#4
That sounds somewhat similar to what I've got happening with Beast of Ildenwood. I've got game-like elements in there (stats sheets, character profiles, maps, messages, quests, etc.) but it's all in the framework of a fantasy world and a plot that is unfolding due to Things Happening. It's not actually a game, and there are no game rules. Rather, the things that happen in the world are then translated into these game-like elements. (Plot reasons for this, but for now that's what it is.)

I refer to it as GameLit more so than a LitRPG, but I have heard a lot of people say that as long as it has those elements, even without clear progression or a 'game', it counts as a LitRPG. So, I think there's some flexibility there for you to work with! (Also, now that I consider it, BoI might be more LitRPG than GameLit considering how it's not... a game... Hm.)

Re: How to genre my book without inadvertently falsely advertising it?

#7
I go by this:

If it has stats, skills, level ups etc. it's a LitRPG. If it's a story that happens inside the world of a video game (think Player One, Sword Art Online, Tron, etc.) or has video game elements, then it's a GameLit. But at the same time all LitRPG's could be argued to be GameLit (because RPG elements are "game" elements), but not all GameLit are LitRPG's. LitRPG is like a subgenre of GameLit.

From the Wiki Page on LitRPG in the section about GameLit specifically:


Quote:Many of the post-2014 writers in this field insist that depiction of a character's in-game progression must be part of the definition of LitRPG, leading to the emergence of the term GameLit to embrace stories set in a game universe, but which don't necessarily embody leveling and skill raising.