What is LitRPG?

The Birth of LitRPG

Some say the birth of LitRPG happened with Quag Keep by Andre Norton. If you consider portal fantasy a type of LitRPG, that genre also has a lot to do with modern LitRPG. The days before LitRPG was coined in 2010 by three Russian authors, the idea and spirit of LitRPG was alive and well in literature. And not only in the west. The Isekai genre and content like Legendary Moonlight Sculptor and Sword Art Online all dealt with the idea of being trapped inside a video game. At it's core, that is what LitRPG is about - an RPG experience in narrative form.

The first use of the term “LitRPG” was by three Russian authors who were trying to come up with the name of an anthology of their work. As they were Russian, this is likely why we have LitRPG (literary RPG or literature RPG) instead of RPGLit (RPG literature)! Still, the Russian fathers of the genre who coined the term have since gone down in history. Because of their books (sometimes roughly translated to English), the Western world saw an explosion of what could be called American LitRPG in 2015 and 2016.

However, again, there's other examples of the genre existing before the term was coin and given a definition by Aleron Kong and others. Conor Kostick wrote EPIC that came out in 2008. It dealt with the idea of being inside a video game, but it didn't have specific mentions of stats because at that time it wasn't common to do in Western literature. Since then, Kostick has gone on to publish a sequel to EPIC and another LitRPG novel too. He's also an editor for Level Up Publishing which specializes in LitRPG fiction.

Paul Bellow and LitRPG Reads

I found out about LitRPG in late 2016. By that time, some big names had grown in the fledgling Western market for LitRPG published in English. By January of 2017, I had started the LitRPG Reads blog. A few months later, I launched LitRPG Forum as a retro place for gamers and fans of LitRPG to gather in a more laid back atmosphere than found on the forever scrolling feeds found on most modern social media sites. Because of all this - the meeting of two of my big interests, games and writing - when I learned about GPT-2, I began to use the technology to combine the two even more.

Bellow's LitRPG Adventures

While it might be confusing to call this website LitRPG Adventures, I did so to hopefully introduce new gamers to the book genre I love. Not everyone has time to read these days, but many great audiobooks exist as well. Anyone who enjoys gaming but doesn't have time to game themselves may just find that LitRPG books are able to at least temporarily scratch that gamer itch.

Right now, there are hundreds of LitRPG books for you to enjoy. Hopefully, that explains why I named by GPT-3 powered RPG content generators LitRPG Adventures. The name does make more sense for the MMORPG than the Workshop that I launched first, but I'm happy with it. With a bit of luck, a few people may find some LitRPG adventures to enjoy on this website.

Be sure to browse our GPT-3 Dungeons & Dragons examples for all sorts of fantasy RPG tabletop games. If you're a gamer (new or old), you can find something to enjoy in those examples!

Here are links to other examples of fantasy tabletop RPG content created with the LitRPG Adventures Workshop. Suitable for Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, or other tabletop role-playing games, we've got a treasure vault of content waiting for you.