Hey, MSE, got any LitRPGs for me?
Well, I may have a little something for you. But first, let me drop a little knowledge for the new folks in the room.
LitRPG is short for Literary Role Playing Game. Stories are often developed around tabletop or computer-based RPGs with some sort of event trigger that pulls a main character or MC into a fantasy universe where they must now survive. Stats like strength, intelligence, wisdom, and others are leveraged to show character progression. Likewise, Stat or damage tables are often provided for weapons and equipment to further enhance the story and bring detailed visibility to the main character's power level.
Example of LitRPG Novels
- Lions Quest - DnD-like character progression with all the stats you would expect
- Space Knight - gear oriented character progression with a little something extra
- Deathship - ability purchase based progression, leveraging a morally questionable currency
How I Approach LitRPGs
When I write these stories, I like to consider both the typical reader (AKA, someone physically reading the book) and those into audiobooks. This is important because stat tables can often be extremely tedious and tiresome for those listening to an audiobook. However, it is still essential to provide the expected level of detail during the story and character development so that you, the reader, can follow along and understand how powerful the MC is at any given time. I do my best to provide stat information only when it makes sense to do so, and I try to shy away from what other authors do, like providing full character sheets at the end of every chapter, as an example. To me, this is just wasted ink that takes away from the actual story’s cadence and often ends up disrupting the narrative.