What is LitRPG and what does it mean for this series?
Portal fantasy has been around a while—think of, say, Thomas Covenant who is transported to a fantasyland through his sickness, where he battles Lord Foul “The Despiser” with his wild magic. Then there is straight up Fantasy where land exists independent of anything earthbound (think LOR or GOT), or where the earth is an extension of an existing fantasyland we are unaware of—Zelazny’s Nine Princes in Amber. In a way, Litrpg is an extension of all of those and sits along beside them. Where Thomas Covenant was drawn into a land through his despair, with LitRPG or Gamelit you are transported to a land through a virtual reality program.
There is some debate about what constitutes LitRPG, what constitutes Gamelit, but that really doesn’t matter in the end. Sure, the purists want stat sheets, levelling, and RPG mechanics, and that is what attracts them to the genre, but I think it needs a great story driving it forward, and perhaps constant stat sheets sometimes get in the way. Most important, it’s what suits the tale, nothing more, nothing less and a book shouldn’t be forced into LitRPG by having game mechanics forced into it just so it can be tagged with that magical tag.
In the Barakdor series there will be a mixture. In The Legacy Builder there are both stat sheets for Lincoln and settlement sheets for the city building. Not all are posted in the books, but if you’re interested, they’re all posted on here. Alexa Drey and The Veils of Lamerell has a more character sheets than Legacy, as Alexa gets off to a dodgy start and has a bit of a push getting up there.
Later books about the characters of the land may well not have any stats at all. So, for instance, if I were to write a book about the fall of Petreyer, about Canelo Jones’ betrayal, then stats become irrelevant because it is an NPC story (Non Player Character), and is therefore not LitRPG but straight forward fantasy, but it’s a great tale, so it deserves to be written.
LitRPG is a vibrant genre full of raw authors inspired by playing hours of video games. If you want to learn more about it, go to the links page and that will take you to Facebook Groups, Forums, websites and a Sub-Reddit. If you want to get involved, no one bites.
Whether LitRPG, Gamelit or straight up Fantasy, my aim when writing the books is to entertain, to take you away to a magical place, and what it’s classed as is nowhere near as important as that.
I will however be forever in the debt of the LitRPG pioneers who paved the way forward for the success of The Legacy Builder, and who therefore enabled me to carry on writing the series.
Whatever the category, I hope you enjoy all the tales from Barakdor.