Knowing the system [litRPG]

Localforeigner

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So I've read a few litRPGs, and in almost all cases, the MCs don't seem to know how the system works. Like either, it's some new thing that they've never encountered or whatever, but it is always a mystery to the MC. I've not read any of the Virtual Game Reality litRPGs, where I would hope that it would be different.

My question is, is this necessary? The story I'm writing now involves the MC not only knowing the system but using that knowledge to abuse it. He doesn't have some unique skill or ability someone else might not have, but he knows how to min-max like a bastard. I'm wondering if knowing the system is some litRPG taboo I'm unfamiliar with?
 

LotsChrono

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So I've read a few litRPGs, and in almost all cases, the MCs don't seem to know how the system works. Like either, it's some new thing that they've never encountered or whatever, but it is always a mystery to the MC. I've not read any of the Virtual Game Reality litRPGs, where I would hope that it would be different.

My question is, is this necessary? The story I'm writing now involves the MC not only knowing the system but using that knowledge to abuse it. He doesn't have some unique skill or ability someone else might not have, but he knows how to min-max like a bastard. I'm wondering if knowing the system is some litRPG taboo I'm unfamiliar with?
Sounds interesting, taboo or not. Though I doubt it's a taboo, it's more that it's frankly easier to explain a system to a reader, as the story continues, if the MC themselves doesn't know it much. I.e introducing things as the MC is introduced to them.
 

NotaNuffian

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If you need to add, the system itself isn't "talking" and it is sometimes growing alongside with the MC, *cough* Randidly *cough*, it is like having a cool friend up specing your gaming rig every now and then without telling you what and it makes the moment when you find some goodies more fun, like easter eggs.

Abusing the system is cool too, like knowing how to cheat the system and make yourself OP, but sadly it will get old if you don't have scenarios for the MC to work in.
 

TunTun

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I think the practical reason as to why it happens is because the Author himself doesn't know what the system can or not do. If the MC doesn't know the system, then that allows the Author to make the system as he goes.

If the MC knew the system, then that means the Author must also know it as well, or else he might run into plot holes and continuity errors.
 

Agentt

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Well, the question is...does it even matter if its taboo or not? I personally don't like chuuni. I am about 30 chapters in my work and my character is still weak as heck. Why? Cuz he is a normal human child. He doesn't do impossible and beat elite guards just because he has a strong mental fortitude or has strong will to live. He can't cuz he is 8 eight.
Point is, you are the author. Only take inspiration from readers and other author regarding the writing style.
 

Reisinling

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I also have an idea of a MC abusing the system in one of my unrelased novels... It's nice, but I had to add him being one of the few people with "Identify" like skill, otherwise locals would also know how to abuse the system and try to do it themselves, making the MC nothing special in this regard
 

Hathnuz

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Just make the stats meaningful and affect their life. One of my main pet peeves in litrpg is the stats are just number decoration that don't matter since the mc will win anyway despite the vast number difference with their enemies. Also, try to have less RNG based skills because it's really obvious to see whenever they will proc or not.
 

Agentt

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I also have an idea of a MC abusing the system in one of my unrelased novels... It's nice, but I had to add him being one of the few people with "Identify" like skill, otherwise locals would also know how to abuse the system and try to do it themselves, making the MC nothing special in this regard
One of my unreleased work is exact opposite of it. Everyone has that identify skill except mc
 

jabathehut

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its because its very easy to write exposition as the MC exploring the system or it being explained. There are tons of examples of litrpg where the MC knows the system, some more recent ones being Blessed Time(CoCo_P) and Kairos(void herald)
I'm currently reading an eastern novel called the world online where the MC abuses the system minmaxing. The same exposition can be done by having the MC explain the system to someone else though, its just a convenient tool for exposition
 

BenJepheneT

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So I've read a few litRPGs, and in almost all cases, the MCs don't seem to know how the system works. Like either, it's some new thing that they've never encountered or whatever, but it is always a mystery to the MC. I've not read any of the Virtual Game Reality litRPGs, where I would hope that it would be different.

My question is, is this necessary? The story I'm writing now involves the MC not only knowing the system but using that knowledge to abuse it. He doesn't have some unique skill or ability someone else might not have, but he knows how to min-max like a bastard. I'm wondering if knowing the system is some litRPG taboo I'm unfamiliar with?
It's usually because of two reasons (1) the author hasn't actually come up with the full system and is building it as they write, (2) the author doesn't want to dump exposition and is letting the readers understand the system as the MC does so as well.

I've seen examples where the author rectifies the latter reason by having the MC meet easy scenarios where they could deal with them on a basic level, serving as easy examples for the readers to latch on and understand the system as they read on.

Or you could pull the Avatar approach and worldbuild as you reveal your system WHILST letting your character grow as they accommodate more of the power.

Having your MC understand AND abuse the system from the start is definitely special and all, but there isn't much incentive to keep reading UNLESS the story manages to push the MC to higher difficulties and higher stakes where they show some semblance of development or growth.

On the other end of that spectrum, you have those that are eternally wimpy and seem as if they can't get out of the rut of being eternally beaten. Sasaki Kojiro (from Record of Ragnarok, not Vagabond) is a great example on how to do this. His development comes from the establishment made prior that his victories are based upon his philosophy and emotional satisfaction of losing and having more peaks to climb instead of simply "strong man beat stronger man become strongerer". That story doesn't have a system but it's a great example on how to make it satisfying.

Most people slowly let their MCs grow into the system because they only understand it on a rudimentary level in terms of it being a plot mechanic, usually focusing on the system so much that they forget what made them satisfying to read in the first place. It's less of a taboo, and more of amateurism on the writer's part. There's no set rules to making a system. As long as it's satisfying and interesting to read, it's free game.
 

Localforeigner

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I think the practical reason as to why it happens is because the Author himself doesn't know what the system can or not do. If the MC doesn't know the system, then that allows the Author to make the system as he goes.

If the MC knew the system, then that means the Author must also know it as well, or else he might run into plot holes and continuity errors.
Yeah, that makes sense. It does often seem like the 'systems' these stories are in are particularly well thought out. The fact they are being built as they go is pretty obvious.

I'm basing my system on a couple of real RPGs (loosely smashed together) so while it doesn't actually exist in reality, it's close enough to games I'm familiar with to avoid the plot holes and inconsistencies. Mostly!
Well, the question is...does it even matter if its taboo or not?
Point is, you are the author. Only take inspiration from readers and other author regarding the writing style.

I guess it's just because I'm not super familiar with the genre and I don't want readers to show up and give me downvotes for breaking some cardinal rule. I mean, I'm having fun writing the story regardless, but if people come for the popcorn I don't want to feed them beans, you know? But it seems I'm worrying about nothing.
Just make the stats meaningful and affect their life. One of my main pet peeves in litrpg is the stats are just number decoration that don't matter since the mc will win anyway despite the vast number difference with their enemies. Also, try to have less RNG based skills because it's really obvious to see whenever they will proc or not.

Don't worry, they will! Yes, he'll be powerful because he's a superhero in a supers setting, but at the same time, his min-maxing will help him 'punch above his weight', but he'll still firmly be a 'middle teir' hero. There will still be the Justice League types and Avenger types well above him...at the start anyway. I suppose if it were a 1-20 scale, he'd be around a 10 to 12.
its because its very easy to write exposition as the MC exploring the system or it being explained. There are tons of examples of litrpg where the MC knows the system, some more recent ones being Blessed Time(CoCo_P) and Kairos(void herald)
I'm currently reading an eastern novel called the world online where the MC abuses the system minmaxing. The same exposition can be done by having the MC explain the system to someone else though, its just a convenient tool for exposition
Okay, cool! Thanks for letting me know that!
Having your MC understand AND abuse the system from the start is definitely special and all, but there isn't much incentive to keep reading UNLESS the story manages to push the MC to higher difficulties and higher stakes where they show some semblance of development or growth.

Yeah, don't worry, there will still be a lot of room for him to grow. Also, many of the threats and challenges he faces will not be ones he can resolve by punching people in the face! :D
 
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Ai-chan

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So I've read a few litRPGs, and in almost all cases, the MCs don't seem to know how the system works. Like either, it's some new thing that they've never encountered or whatever, but it is always a mystery to the MC. I've not read any of the Virtual Game Reality litRPGs, where I would hope that it would be different.

My question is, is this necessary? The story I'm writing now involves the MC not only knowing the system but using that knowledge to abuse it. He doesn't have some unique skill or ability someone else might not have, but he knows how to min-max like a bastard. I'm wondering if knowing the system is some litRPG taboo I'm unfamiliar with?
Necessary? No. You seem to be under the impression that there is a set of rules that one must follow for writing a litRPG.

In reality, there is no rule. As long as your story plays out as if it's an RPG game in story form, it is litRPG. You do not need any other requirement. There is no taboo whatsoever.

For an example very similar to your story, try reading Evasion Healer. The concept is stupid, at least compared to constitution healer, but the concept of min-max itself is nothing new.

 
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