LitRPG Forum discussion

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The LitRPG elements spectrum & making LitRPG elements meaningful.

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message 1: by Shamil (last edited Dec 19, 2018 10:53AM) (new)

Shamil K Sheriff | 14 comments As a new comer to litRPGS I’ve have tried to come up with 3 categories most books that use LitRPG elements can be put into:

1-Hard LitRPGS = These are books where the world to a degree or completely is like a video game or where the plot or at least a important part of the story is being in a videogame/videogame like world. With this group the LitRPG elements are essential and removing them would fundamentally change them.
2-Soft LitRPGS = These are stories where the LitRPG elements are small or trivial. With books in this category you can remove the LitRPG elements with small effect on the book or little effect expect losing a cool video gamey aspect of the book.
3-Minimal LitRPGS = lastly these are books where the LitRGP elements are at best sparse or at worst an after thought. With these books the LitRPG elements can basically be removed and having no effect on the actual story or universe or quality of the book, basically the elements are irrelevant.

The reason I started this post was because their have been some books I’ve read that don’t meaningfully use the LitRPG Elements that they introduced, I’m not saying every book needs to have their LitRPG Elements be super flashed out and integral but they should at least be worth putting in the first place. This is not something that makes or breaks a book for me but would like to know if anybody else has run into this or just anybody's thought on this topic.


message 2: by DJay (new)

DJay (djdjay) | 31 comments You're forgetting that LITRPG's also fall under the umbrella of GameLit. So just because a game has RPG elements does not automatically make it a LitRPG. There's also LitFPS that have RPG elements. Not to mention, there's a bunch of books that could easily fall under the game lit genre but are more suited for fantasy. So if anything I would say that there's only 2 genre of books here. GameLit (things that have game elements to include RPG elements) and LitRPG's which are games that are heavily inundated with RPG elements. Level Up or Die! (Underworld #1) by Apollos Thorne would be a LitRPG, where as NPCs (Spells, Swords, & Stealth, #1) by Drew Hayes would be more of a GameLit book. It has RPG elements, but not really a LitRPG.

At least, that's how I feel about the genre. I canNOT afford to make anymore categories for books for me. LOL


message 3: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Moss (crissymoss) | 29 comments This sounds like the difference between hard science fiction and science fiction. It's more of the depth of how deep you go into it then weather or not it relys on it. Like hard scifi in the case of the Martian goes over all the science behind how he uses his resources to survive, while Star Trek waves a hand and things just happen, and soft scifi just has a few gizmo's with no definite reason for their existence that happen.

Since litRPG and Gamelit brush the scifi barriers there are multiple ways of describing everything. I would definitely think of something like The Land or Ascend Online as harder on the gaming than, say, Crystal Shard. That doesn't make them not gamelit.


message 4: by Shamil (new)

Shamil K Sheriff | 14 comments DJay wrote: "You're forgetting that LITRPG's also fall under the umbrella of GameLit. So just because a game has RPG elements does not automatically make it a LitRPG. There's also LitFPS that have RPG elements...."
Thanks for the rundown I did not know that LITRPG’s fell under the umbrella of GameLit I only found out this term when seeing if the Scott pilgrim series counted as a LitRPG thanks for the distinction.
So I guess something like Gun Meister Online: Adult and Uncensored would be a LitFPS, I wonder then where shows like sword art online or Code lyoko would fall under. But yeah I think two genres works as well.


message 5: by Shamil (new)

Shamil K Sheriff | 14 comments Crissy wrote: "This sounds like the difference between hard science fiction and science fiction. It's more of the depth of how deep you go into it then weather or not it relys on it. Like hard scifi in the case o..."

Ok your right it’s more about depth than how much it’s relays on it but then does something like the Scott pilgrim series count as GameLit because the world has a few video game quirks here and thier but by no mean is it fleshed out or even explained.


message 6: by DJay (new)

DJay (djdjay) | 31 comments Crissy wrote: "This sounds like the difference between hard science fiction and science fiction. It's more of the depth of how deep you go into it then weather or not it relys on it. Like hard scifi in the case o..."

The lines are drawn where you put them. I'm sure that someone here could definitely write their own lines and say X is gamelit and Y is LitRPG. As stated Shamil in the beginning, they had 3 categories. That's not to say that those 3 are wrong. That's what works for em. I know that me personally, I have sub categories for Gamelit. I have LitFPS, HaremLit, LitRPG for example. And even for LitRPG, I have 2 more subcategories. VR and Non-VR. I wasn't trying to dissuade Shamil from making lines in the sand. Just trying to educate and from what I read, I was successful in illuminating that LitRPG's fall under GameLit. And like you stated, GameLit falls under Fantasy/Sci-Fi depending on how its written.


message 7: by Travis (new)

Travis (softcon) | 56 comments No, there's a very distinct difference between LitRPG and other genres such as gamelit. To qualify as LitRPG, it must have character progression in some way. Usually, this is done with levels, but it could just as easily be skill progression, spells growing stronger, gaining attribute points to invest in the character, and so on. If there is no mechanism for character progression in a measurable way, then it is not LitRPG, and I make it a point to state which books are not LitRPG when I post my reviews. There are several books that are listed in the LitRPG genre on Amazon that don't even come close to fitting this definition, and it irks me when I find one, because I choose to read LitRPG books because of this character progression, and when it is absent, the category should not be labeled LitRPG. Gamelit is a whole 'nother ball of wax, and that definition is *much* wider, and encompasses nearly anything having to do with games in books, though just mentioning games, or having the characters play games in the book doesn't qualify as gamelit if there are no details of the character's interactions with the game. Very clear cut, and not at all up to arbitrary lines drawn anywhere someone wants to put them.


message 8: by DJay (new)

DJay (djdjay) | 31 comments We agree to disagree. What you would consider the bare minimum I may not due to other things I feel weigh more in LitRPG than other things. So I'm not going to try and persuade you to see things my way, and I know for sure I don't see things your way. Let's just enjoy whatever it is that we ourselves consider LitRPG and have a wonderful day.


message 9: by Travis (new)

Travis (softcon) | 56 comments If you want to argue with the definiton of LitRPG I posted, then go complain to the father of LitRPG, (you know, that russian author that sold shousands copies of his books?) He's the one that wrote the definition, and he says if it doesn't have character progression that is measurable in some way, then it isn't LitRPG. You can't get anymore clear cut than that.


message 10: by Vikarti (new)

Vikarti (vikarti_anatra) | 5 comments What if... I just install & configure https://play.google.com/store/apps/de... on my Android phone and make some kind of literary description of my real life. Will it still be LitPRG? -:). Character progression will still be here.


message 11: by Christopher (new)

Christopher | 4 comments Seems like this is basically just a measure of rpg elements. Which I guess makes a certain amount of sense. I think it's a bit too nuanced to have hard definitions though.

Granted, I do agree with you though on books that don't use rpg elements being listed under the genre. A bit like scifi books that have like ONE minor sci theme in them, which is irrelevant to the story. I've read some litrpg that, were I to skip the first chapter, I would be entirely unaware that they aren't just a regular fantasy novel. it does irk, as I pick up a litrpg title because i'm in the mood for some rpg fun.

Still, I think the majority of readers are probably here for general gamelit more than pure rpg elements. thus they don't care how "rpg" a book is, as long as there's a game world.


message 12: by Chuck (last edited Dec 26, 2018 02:53PM) (new)

Chuck McIntyre (jithrae) | 37 comments Vikarti wrote: "What if... I just install & configure https://play.google.com/store/apps/de... on my Android phone and make some kind of literary description of my real life. Will it st..."

Taken to extremes, that's pretty much Restart. So, other than the fact that the book is a work of fiction, yeah, that would qualify as litrpg (if you made it fiction).


message 13: by Luka (new)

Luka Petrov (lukapetrov) | 1 comments As long as the story is good and the LitRPG elements make sense and don't seem forced, I do like any LitRPG on the gradient in the OP. Great descriptions!


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