Sword the Dragon Mages (teaser/blurb)

Discussion in 'Works in Progress' started by Dean Chalmers, Jul 18, 2017.

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  1. Dean Chalmers

    Dean Chalmers Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    This is one of the projects I'm developing. I'm trying to figure out if this is a good idea. For that purpose, I wrote up a quick teaser/blurb. Looking for any crits and suggestions. Ultimately, is this a viable commercial idea?

    BLURB:

    It is the year 1998. 23 year-old Sam Primose has lost everything one rainy evening when another car collided head-on with the vehicle carrying his mom and his pregnant fiancée, leaving no survivors.

    He had been preparing to become a father and husband, working hard to leave his slacker ways behind. But now, everything he’d worked for was gone. Living life in a gray haze, he continues his job as assistant manager at a local video game store…. And spends his evenings trying to get lost in the 32-bit world of JRPGS which once gave him so much joy.

    But nothing helps.

    Then, one night, he receives a special package: a prototype console with a fully localized beta copy of an unreleased RPG, “Sword of the Dragon Mages.” The game is described as an online game where nine players take the role of key players in the game world. Decisions are permanent and death is real.

    Sam boots up the console’s internal 56K modem and places the strange, pulsing headset that comes with it over his head…

    And he finds himself waking up in house on a basilisk breeding ranch in an unknown world, with spiky crimson hair and a book which tells of a prophecy that he will become the one to wield the Sword of the Dragon Mages in the battle against the risen Dark Lord.

    Is this real, or has he gone mad? When he looks in the mirror, he sees RPG stats… he’s level one, and he’s pretty much useless. There is no option to quit the game… and the world outside is filled with dangerous creatures. What did the CD insert that came with the game mean when it said “death is real?”

    Does dying boot you out? Or do you die for real?

    But this world clearly needs a hero, and heck, he’s always wanted to be the white knight…
     
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  2. Dean Chalmers

    Dean Chalmers Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I feel like a need something more personal to motivate the hero in the beginning. Can't think of what though.
     
  3. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    His little sister plays the game first w/out him knowing and gets sucked into the game. He has to find/save her?
     
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  4. Seagrim

    Seagrim Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Well, keep in mind, you're backstorying the MC into, not really caring about the outside world. He has nothing to lose in the premise, since, he really has nothing outside of the game.

    So, how about a curve ball. Let's think of the evilest torture we can inflict on this MC. I like the little sister, she gets sucked in and he has to do a rescue mission, she's the only thing keeping him going.

    Now, how about this...He notices that the console was delivered to the wrong address, he doesn't match the prophecy at all. He's the wrong guy.

    Want to add some real torture? The picture in the book of prophecy of the dark lord matches his late fiance, down to a small scar near her eye that he gave her by accident.

    Maybe leave the "death is real" blurb out of things. How more frightening is it to think that you don't know what will happen and his sister's life could be forfeit if he guesses wrong.

    Just some suggestions. Yes, I've been a GM of some games.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  5. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    When's your first LitRPG coming out, @Seagrim? ;)

    Only half-kidding. I bet you could spin a great tale.
     
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  6. Felicity Weiss

    Felicity Weiss Musey Muse Muse Shop Owner Citizen

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    Yeah, I'm impressed.
     
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  7. Seagrim

    Seagrim Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    In process. I've had some personal things to work out, dark rituals to perform. I do need to get that stuff moving in a positive direction. My idea folder on the hard drive is beginning to get really full of idea's. None of which have anything to do with the story I'm working on...

    I also had a sudden inspiration that the picture of the Dark Lord matches his fiance. That way it can be a mystery for the reader's to catch on that, something in this world has deliberately targeted him and everything he holds dear.

    "To hell with being the chosen one of the prophecy, something is coming after my family and I'm going to make it regret *ever* having done that."
     
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  8. Seagrim

    Seagrim Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I edited the original thing to reflect that.
     
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  9. Dean Chalmers

    Dean Chalmers Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    So his dead fiancée is the villain in the game?
    Thinking about the sister, could have been her who died in the car accident rather than an unborn child...
     
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  10. Dean Chalmers

    Dean Chalmers Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yeah that kind of personal stakes are good... More of what I'm looking for rather than "duded levels up and gets LEET."

    thanks
     
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  11. Tfish10065

    Tfish10065 Level 9 (Burgler) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    How about the game developer gets caught up in the system after beta testing the game. Somehow, the ghost of the MC's fiance ends up in the game (the programmer/developer logs on at the same time she takes her last breath) and she's evil as f**k (soul catcher 1.0). She traps the developer in the game and his only way out is to get the MC into the game so she can have him. So, he gets a console.... and the rest is history. (Thinking outside the box).
     
  12. Dean Chalmers

    Dean Chalmers Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Why does everyone think the fiancée should be evil, lol? Look I've had my share of bad relationships but seriously...

    What if there was no fiancée, it was just his mom and sister who were killed in the accident (maybe his father ran off a long time ago, could be a dangling plot thread for later).

    Would saving his little sister, say 12 years old, be motivation enough without the love interest/fiancée to save?

    I could mention he did get some, uh intimacy, a couple of times from young ladies so he doesn't seem like a total loser... But he's been too busy with life for relationships, and after the accident too depressed?
    Would leave things open for new love interests in the game world too.
     
  13. Dean Chalmers

    Dean Chalmers Level 5 (Veteran) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    BLURB VERSION 2.0--
    (Is this too cheesy? Is the emphasis on him working for his family too, I dunno, not badass enough or something?)

    21 year-old Sam Primrose lost everything one rainy evening when a drunk driver collided head-on with the vehicle carrying his mom and twelve-year-old sister, leaving no survivors.

    Since his dad disappeared years ago, his main focus in life had been helping to support his family.
    Now, living life in a gray haze, he continues his job as assistant manager at a local vintage video game store.

    Then, one night, he receives a special package, apparently shipped to the store by mistake: a prototype 32-bit console with a fully localized beta copy of an unreleased RPG, “Sword of the Dragon Mages.” The game is described as an online saga where up to nine players can connect to via modem take the role of key players in an epic fantasy struggle. Decisions are permanent, and death is real.

    Sam boots up the console’s internal 56K modem, listens as it calls a mysterious phone number, and places the strange, pulsing headset that comes with it over his head…

    And he finds himself waking up in house on a basilisk breeding ranch in an unknown world, with spiky crimson hair. In his possession is a book which tells of a prophecy that he will become the one to wield the Sword of the Dragon Mages in the battle against the risen Dark Lord.

    The book states that the key to the struggle is the Princess of Chaos… And it depicts the Princess as a young teen girl who looks strikingly like his sister, Dani.

    Is this real, or has he gone mad? When he looks in the mirror, Sam sees RPG stats floating in his reflection. He’s level one… And he’s pretty much useless. The world outside is filled with dangerous creatures.

    But is Dani still alive somehow… Can she still be saved?

    One thing is clear: this world needs a hero. And Sam’s not one to give up when people need him.
     
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  14. Tfish10065

    Tfish10065 Level 9 (Burgler) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I like the "Dali is alive somehow...can she be saved?" But, thinking outside the box (and as someone who's read most of the LitRPG books, at least on KU that has been published over the past 2 years) there are many books that start off with someone who is financially stressed. Maybe it's time to read about someone who isn't in need.
     
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  15. Matthew James

    Matthew James Blind Beholder Beta Reader Citizen

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    Late to the party, but diving in!

    As far as the family accident angle, going with "collapsed suspension bridge" / "the ferry sank" and they never recovered the bodies, then the game cover can be a dark armored figure stabbing / draining the life from a woman identical to his mother while a peasant girl (identical to his sister) holds a teddy bear in corner of the room waiting her turn. (dun dun dun, his little sister grew up to be the dark big bads apprentice! Cue him failing to kill the big bad and letting down all the people he's worked to save.

    The ferry sinking / bridge collapsing can be a big traumatic event he has flashbacks of and survivor guilt about. Plus he can remember people from the game world from his time spent on the bridge / ferry before it collapsed. Maybe resurrect his family dog missing a paw as a Beastman basilisk trainer that looks out for him while absolutely hating literally everyone else: bonus points for a grumpy King Charles or Cocker Spaniel.

    As for the name and the order/cult/army/flock of Dragon Mages, "Sword of the Dragon Magus" or "Sword of the Order Drago", is slightly less weird on my ear than, "Sword shared by dragons who are mages."

    I like the little sister angle, but can't say whether or not it should be upfront information. If the characters bravery in the new world comes from feeling as though he has nothing to lose, reintroducing his family or another world traveler in a position similar to him (or just a co-worker who pops in and then explains he's been missing / found dead / whatever: and the co-worker likely suffered the same fate) can change the stakes and give him something to lose. Or if he is for sure dead in the real world (according to the big bad / co-worker) he can rededicate himself to the world after questioning what the point of his journey is.

    Good luck with it! Also... Primrose!?
     




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