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Guild: A LitRPG Novella

Monsters, Maces and Magic, Book 3
Narrated by: Jonathan Waters
Length: 2 hrs and 58 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
Non-member price: $9.68
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Publisher's Summary

You can’t hide in an RPG forever.

Eighteen years ago, Tom, a barber college student, got trapped in the Monsters, Maces and Magic game world as Josiah the thief.

The first two adventures saw all of Tom’s party members, also trapped within the game world, perish within the fetid depths of the Dark Heart Swamp. His subsequent stint adventuring with NPCs proved short lived. He preferred survival.

Over time, Tom became Josiah, adopting a life blending in with the game world’s NPCs. He gave up advancing as a thief, trained as a lay healer, and works as a barber, cutting hair, pulling teeth, lancing boils, and functioning as a low-level operative within the local thieves’ guild.

But life, even one lived as a faux NPC, can get interesting. Such happens when a young half-goblin thief named Gurk shows up in Josiah’s shop, looking for information. Little did the pair know that the unobtrusive barber shop would become a focal point in a brewing guild war.

©2018 Terry W. Ervin II (P)2018 Gryphonwood Press

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  • Ray Johnson
  • 05-02-2019

An excellent short story for MM&M


I’m going to be honest. When I first saw the description for this book I was a touch disappointed, I didn’t see any mention of our party from the main series, and this looked to be an internalized battle between different guilds. I knew that with Ervin it would be good, I just wanted more of my good old adventuring party. So I started this with some trepidation.

Guild is a great gamelit short story that tells the tale of our adventuring party from the Mazes, Magic, and Monsters series from the perspective of another player who has been lost in the game for some time. The MC, is a thief who has gone semi-legit, working as a barber surgeon in that wonderful city of hills, but still keeps his toe in the seamier side of the underworld. Life as a non-adventurer hasn’t been bad, but it doesn’t seem to be as fulfilling as he’d of liked. Still, Josiah (the MC) has lived a life free of monsters and mayhem so he’s satisfied.
That is until the night everyone’s favorite half goblin strolls into his barber shop looking to get a haircut. Turns out Gurk is just in time to help Josiah battle against a rival guild that has targeted his establishment to serve as an example.
I have to say that I really liked this treatment of the group from another character’s perspective, and the question I kept waiting to be answered was whether or not he would cotton onto the realization that they were players trapped just he was. I won’t say if he does or not. What I did enjoy was getting the realization that Josiah had noticed Player Characters, i.e. characters that were actually operated from the other side of the veil so to speak. Players that manipulated their characters like puppets, and that one NPC was more than likely a former PC who had been abandoned by her player. That is just smart and creative gamelit hitting the pages. Seriously, some thought has gone into this book, and I ate it up. It helps that Josiah is fun and interesting, and that his takes on the “main” party are very observant and give the listener a very different spin on things in their world.
The story is pretty short, and basically just centers around Gurk having gone to see Josiah in the hopes of learning about his cursed dagger. All the action centers on what happens between the two of them, initial meeting down to the appraisal, and I have to say that I really loved this book. Normally, I get antsy when an author sort of abandons their main team in favor of a side quest, but this works in a lot of ways. First, because it includes the main party, secondly, because it is a short story and furthers the original story line.
Waters carries the story on able shoulders, and I have come to really appreciate his ability to tell a tale. He’s really made this his series, and I love his interpretation of Gurk. Oh, and I have to admit that he really played Josiah like a weary old player.
Kudos to Ervin for centering more on the half gobbling and not rotating between him and the gnome. Gurk is far more interesting, and is more fun to listen to and I think that he and Josiah mesh pretty well together.

Final score? This is a solid 8.1 stars. It adds to the main series, and fleshes out the game world in a wonderfully sublimated way that doesn’t smack you over the head. I really enjoyed this, I think you will to.

As seen on the Litrpg Audiobook Podcast!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • TU
  • 05-02-2019

Fantastic addition to the series

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This is a great novella in the series. It doesn't follow the normal cast of characters we've grown used to in books 1 & 2, but a side character. That being said, I really quite liked the different perspective and how it tied into the main story. I thought it adds depth to the world building the author has done and am eager to see where things go from here. The narration was great and definitely kept me thoroughly entertained. It is only 4 hours, but well worth the listen, in my opinion.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful