May 15, 2021
LitRPG Inspired by Strategy Games – Warcraft and Age of Empires.
Like some authors in the LitRPG field, I combined my love of writing science fiction and fantasy with games I miss playing like Warcraft 2 and Age of Empires. I played those games through high school, but then spent a ton of time in college and graduate school reading books. With my preferred hobbies of writing, reading and skateboarding, I lost track of the games I used to enjoy. Then I got married and had kids. You get it.
In 2017, I discovered LitRPG and was amazed at how the authors included quests, leveling up and loot drops to the kinds of adventures I’d loved for decades. Since then, I have mostly read LitRPG, and have penned my own series called Ciphercraft.
The story introduces a space bounty hunter on a mission to rescue a mother-son duo who have been genetically engineered to become telepaths. They are one of very few of the race called Ruciens who are alive in this part of the universe ruled by a ruthless race called the Osuna. It has been millennia since the game system called the Cipher helped empower the Ruciens in their fight, but now it has appeared to Cullen, Ehli and her son.
Welcome to the Cipher. Do you accept your quest?
After reading this strange message in the air, and agreeing to follow it’s quests, Cullen and his new partners are equipped with temporary powers to uncover the clues to unlock this real-life game system for all their people. With it, they might stand a chance in defeating the galactic tyrant when it follows them home.
If you’d like to read more, Cipher’s Quest is one of 29 free LitRPG books from 5/11-5/15.
It took a little time to get to book 3, Resurrection City, but now that we’re there, I got to play with what I loved most about the real-time strategy games like Warcraft and Age of Empires. Do you remember the simple fun of sending peons to chop wood and harvest gold? How you had to strategize your resource spending so you could build your town and army faster than your opponent? How once you advanced to Keep and Castle Age, you could build up your armor, weapons and research new skills like healing and in Age of Empires: Mythology, the incredible Titan?
With each book in the Ciphercraft series, I’ve added another aspect to the game. Book one was an Indiana Jones-type adventure to collect and decipher texts while the three heroes gained new abilities to go with their classes. Book two, Windwalker introduced a plethora of new classes and the option to multi-class. Now I had a party system and the strategy of how each one would apply battle XP to their skills and classes.
In Resurrection City, the LitRPG elements are even crunchier, with a governor class who gains XP for himself and the city, to spend on military, defense, economy, territory, education, and more. Not only did I get to play with the adventure of colonizing a fantastical area with golem raising sorcerers and dungeon cores bent on revenge, but I also got to play with spending my city XP as though this were just one big game full of interesting characters, and with the fate of a planet on the line if the city fails.
I have at least one more book in this series, but it could use your support. If you’re new to Ciphercraft, please enjoy book one for free, and if you’re all caught up, check out the newest, Resurrection City. It’s free for Kindle Unlimited readers. You can also get my novelette, “Apocalypse Archer” by subscribing to the Tim Kaiver newsletter.