The LitRPG sub-genre is quickly growing in popularity among readers… and for good reason!
LitRPG blends fantasy and science fiction with game mechanics and action-packed narratives. It’s the perfect escape for fans of Dungeons & Dragons or other virtual reality and multiplayer games. Listeners can immerse themselves in a game-setting style of adventure without being strapped to a console.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with Nick Mondelli, an accomplished audiobook narrator, on several of our titles – including some of our favorite LitRPG sagas. We interviewed Nick on his favorite LitRPG scenes he’s narrated, his favorite characters, and his recent voice work for Zathura.
This is a transcript of a Tiktok video
made in collaboration with Dreamscape Lore.
What is the hardest part of preparing for a LitRPG narration?
So, the hardest part for me is just characters.
You need good characters, and obviously, borrowing so much from the tabletop RPG genre and video games and stuff… good characters make or break those things sometimes.
I just focus on good characters. If they sound good, make them grounded a little bit. Some can be like crazy and zany (that’s fun sometimes), but usually trying to make sure they’re good.
Make sure they’re grounded.
Which LitRPG character have you connected with the most so far and why?
For me, the character that I have connected with the most so far in the LitRPG books that I’ve read is Kiran in the Unblood Series.
Mostly because he’s a lot like me in that he’s not a fighter. He’s not like a warrior. He’s very introspective and caring – I would say a thoughtful, main character. He’s trying to think his way through everything, and most of the time that means he’s got to rely on friends and everything like that.
But I don’t know, that seems a lot more my style.
He does have an alternate-universe version of himself that you find later in the first book, and that guy’s much more of a fighter, but I am not a fighter.
What is your favorite LitRPG scene you’ve narrated so far?
My favorite scene that I’ve narrated for the LitRPG genre is… I think it was in book three of A Student Wants to Live, and it was almost like a round table of villains.
I really wanted to do some kind of fun stuff with that. I had a leader that was in that round table and he had kind of a scratchy voice, and he was “looking for something.” There was some big warrior that was a part of that group too, and I wanted him to sound kind of boomy and menacing, so he was “ready to strike at a moment’s notice.”
I had a ton of notes and it took a while, but I liked it. It was a lot of fun.
First of all, narrating that was awesome, and I feel incredibly lucky that I got to. But, it was definitely different.
With that, I was just one of the brothers, along with the incomparable Pete Cross, who’s narrating my older brother. And all I had to worry about was that character, you know what I mean? I was just focused on him. And not to say that’s easier, but it’s very different.
LitRPG is, especially for a lot of the books that I’ve read (ones that aren’t multicast or anything like that) you’re in control of the whole world and these authors are coming up with crazy world-building. So, you’re just trying to make sure everything fits within that, but also come up with these characters and how some of these characters interact and how some of them change throughout these series. Because some of these series are long-running and huge and sprawling, so it’s different.
It’s a different kind of difficult, but I like it a lot. I love having a chance to do characters, so that’s fun.
If you could have a game version of any of the latest LitRPG titles you’ve narrated, which would it be?
A Student Wants to Live, by far.
To be honest, I’m pretty sure that the main character – I’ve only read through the first two books – the main character can control blood and stuff. Sort of like a blood emperor almost. Diablo 4 came out and I was playing that and I was like, “Yeah, I think I’m going to be a blood necromancer.”
There’s something about that world specifically… That author has created just a good vision of what a game would be. It’s fun.
If you were a LitRPG character, what would your alignment and role be?
Well, my current alignment and role is that I’m a chaotically good dragon-born monk. That’s what I play with my friends. If it was just me, to be honest, probably not far off.
Probably not a monk. I don’t know if I’m disciplined enough for that, but I think I would probably be a bard. I think that makes the most sense. I’m very pale. It’s got to be an elf, I think. An elf, or maybe just a human who doesn’t leave his audiobook studio. But something like that. It’s got to be a bard and probably lawful good.
I don’t think I’d be chaotically good in real life, but I guess every game that I’ve ever played I am chaotically good and it always gets everyone else in trouble. I’m doing too many good things at the worst times. I’ll have to think about that one. I’ll have to see. Maybe I am chaotically good.
I don’t know. You tell me!