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The Naked RPG

By theredsheep, author of Pyrebound

Feb 21, 2019: A frustrated waitress has a frustrating day. She decides to take a relaxing bath. The bathtub falls into another dimension with her in it. She finds herself in a giant RPG, trying to work out the rules without access to the owner’s manual or much experience with games. Mistakes are made. Hijinks ensue.

I’ve read through chapter ten so far (out of 22 posted). Where the story works, in my opinion, it works as a sendup of MMO/RPG conventions; Morgan is bewildered and struggles to make sense of the idiosyncratic rules, and the brutal but logical implications of actually living in such a horrid world. The author has put significant effort into thinking through what that would be like, and it shows. A few moments are hysterically funny.

It works less well when it strays from the goofy tone of its premise. One chapter moves the perspective away from Morgan, and I didn’t find it nearly so interesting. It’s not badly written as fantasy, but I found seriousness doesn’t fit well with the people-living-in-a-game setup. Possibly that’s just me; I’ve little experience with the whole LitRPG phenomenon.

Morgan isn’t quite as fleshed (har) out as I’d like, and some of the typical gripes about men-writing-female-characters apply, though I’ve encountered far worse. Typos are few and inoffensive, and the prose quality is above average. There’s room for improvement here, but it’s certainly worth a look. And, after all, I’ve only read half of it.

(an earlier, much less coherent version of this review was written and posted well past my bedtime; I apologize to anyone exposed to it)

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