LITRPG/GameLit Books

I have been reading a lot of LITRPG books the past few years and I know there are few other fans of the genre on QT3 and hoping we could share some of our favorites.

Personally, I think of LITRPG as the equivalent to a B movie. Not great literature but often fun and quick to read. I also listen to some books on Audible. Kindle Unlimited (KU) has a lot of LITRPG stories and I subscribe when ever there is a sale.

LITRPG for those new to it is usually a story where the MC is involved in playing in a game with elements in both the real world and the game, or it can be that they are stuck in the game. I suspect that Gamelit is where the characters are in a real world that has similarities to a game.

(I am not exactly sure what is the difference between LITRPG and Gamelit and I tend to use the two terms interchangeably. Anyone have a good definition? I suppose Progression type stories area close cousin as well).

I have actually enjoyed several Audible versions a lot. Two series that immediately come to mind are

Dungeon Crawler Carl Series and Chrysalis Series.

Dungeon Crawler Carl is a hoot to listen to. So much stuff happens and the narrators do a splendid job (Soundbooth Theater).

Chrysalis is translated (I believe it is Japanese). I have both read and listened to the story. An interesting take because the main character ends up as a monster (an Ant monster to be specific). The narrator is Jeff hays (also the main narrator for Dungeon Crawler Carl above). I really enjoyed listening to the story and to be honest not sure which I think is a better experience reading it directly or listening to it).

One narrator that comes up a lot on LITRPG Audible is @tbaldree who is a member of QT3 and probably known by most of you for Rebel Galaxy, Torchlight, and the narrator on the Cradle series. I find that he always makes the stories I listen to worthwhile.

Based on recommendations in the book thread, I’ve been reading the He Who Fights with Monsters series, which definitely qualifies in this category and it’s been quite good. I’m on book 4.

I’ll probably offer some thoughts on it. As I think about it, there’s some general book comments appropriate for the book thread and some LitRPG comments appropriate for this thread. I need to cogitate a bit more…

Great idea for a thread! I’m reading He Who Fights With Monsters as well. I’m interested to get other recommendations.

I will post some more recommendations as I go over my book lists.

I started He Who Fights With Monsters but then stopped reading it. I think it took a little long for me to get invested.

The series that gathered a lot of praise was Iron Prince (which I have not read yet):

I have seen it described as progression/litrpg; not having read it yet I cannot add any thoughts concerning it. It had huge success on Audible too.

The Grand Game Series (all books are available on KU (Kindle Unlimited)

The first book takes a long time to get started but it pays off as the book proceeds and more so as you continue in the series. I enjoyed the story alot.

Here is a series much inspired by DnD (not sure if it fits LITRPG so much but worth reading and is also on KU). I think most of the reader/gamers on QT3 would enjoy this series. Not heavy fantasy but well done DnD adventures and parallel worlds etc.

This particular author writes a lot of books in many genres and is worth a look (Superheroes, Fantasy, etc)

Yes, I didnt want to take over the main Book Thread with my LITRPG addiction!

Available on KU:

Now I know what you are all thinking - Battle Farmer?

This is a very good series that mixes Fantasy Adventure with some slice of life farming and has an overarching plot through the series. It is more than you think with both a strong male and female character (possible romantic interest - slow burn)

+1 for Dungeon Crawler Carl. Way better than it has any right to be at first glance and the audiobook in particular is elevated by the excellent narration of Jeff Hayes. It is amazing, entertaining and hilarious.

I’ve read a number of these but I have trouble continuing with a series. I think the books afflict me with the Chick Parabola or whatever Tom coined. Once I figure out the game system in the book my interest fades.

Another common trope in these is where the protagonist stumbles upon something very overpowered at the start so he in turn is overpowered. That gets old after a bit.

Yet another trope is the protagonist who is such a clever gamer now thrust into this new world that his min-maxing is so good he’s better than similar leveled opponents.

Then there are the commercial world VR MMOs that are supposed to attract players, yet have crazy harsh rules, like being deleveled to level 1 if you die. Games wouldn’t be like this.

So I have a bit of a love/dislike of many of these books. I think I like the isekai (thinks that what they are called) where the world becomes a level-based survival. It’s like at 3:47 am on such and such the date the entire world changed and monsters started spawning and there was a level based system implemented for every human. Most died, but some adapted and leveled and here is the story of one.

Ultimately, what’s surprising, is how popular these seem to be. Many readers consume these like popcorn – these are the male version of Harlequin Romance novels. Indie writers are making hay with these.

Like I said LITRPG are B novels. You cant help reading more even though they have all the problems listed above. ; )

I tend to read one or two in-between other books to cleanse my palate!

I would give Chrysalis a shot as it is well written. MC is an Ant who grows stronger but he is a monster Ant so who cares. And if you listen to the Audible version quite funny (I think Jeff Hays captures the author’s humor better than a straight read)

The one thing about this book is that Jeff Hays actually breaks the fourth wall once per book telling you that you can skip this chapter to get past all the power/ability elements that LITRPG stories tend to have to much of.

Oh - you said it better than I ever could!

Also, Royal Road seems the be a nexus of these things, where many originate before finding themselves in ‘print’. So you can sample many of them or even read them completely as they are often originally published there in serial format, which again, I think harkens back to the ‘B novel’ kind of feel.

For instance, DCC has opening chapters right here:

Chrysalis is on Royal Road too.

I wouldn’t be so sure. There are some really bullshit MMOs out there. Especially in Asian markets. And I swear every anime about getting stuck in an MMO, the fictional MMO is the least fun sounding game ever conceived. (c.f. Sword Art Online, .hack).

And then they make videogames based on them.

I missed one thing…“Godamn it, Donut!”


It is a great Cat…er… princess name!

I enjoyed this series (on KU):

It has Real Life and Game like elements and it is about the bad guy (well kinda).

The series not so far mentioned that I actually recommend is:

It’s pretty solidly classical LitRPG tropes but there’s some actually kind of interesting stuff going on in the real world as well, the main guy is a necromancer and while he does a bunch of evil stuff he’s more sympathetic than the good guys, and there’s “side quests” that get more into what’s going on with a bunch of the other characters. Overall feels more competent and professional than most LitRPG.