One Bad Roll, the first book in a new series by Ryan Rimmel (author of the Noobtown series), has the same level of humour, wit, and irreverence as Noobtown, which is just what I was looking for. Rimmel’s humour tends towards the slightly low-brow end much of the time, and there are plenty of pop-culture winks and nods along the way, as well as references to his other novels (puma check, anyone?)
The story starts out a little slow, but stick with it, and you’ll be chuckling out loud once it hits its stride. It starts out in the real world, where five friends are meeting to play 5E – not to be mistaken for the copyrighted 5e – Fifth Era (5E) is a far superior system in this world. It’s not long before they’re transported into the fantasy setting, an unfortunate “home-brew” campaign by a stickler for rules.
Many of the characters then realise how bad of a choice they made – from a really stupid minotaur barbarian to an androgynous, genderless elf named Melf. Finding themselves in a town called Booger (just down the road from Old Booger), they find out just how game mechanics work when you’re living it.
In this new game world, they are mostly along for the ride. Their character sheets determine a lot of what they can and can’t do. Sure, they have some degree of control over things, some more than others, but for the most part, if you wrote down you were the world’s horniest bard yet forgot to write down your gender, then that’s what you have got to play.
There are the occasion blocks of stats, but they’re short and to the point. At no point was I sighing and reaching for the skip button, so if you’re looking for crunch LitRPG, this won’t really fit the bill. If you are looking for an easy-to-enjoy story that doesn’t take itself too seriously, enjoy good-natured poking fun at tropes, and the occasional bit of ribald humour, then you’ll enjoy this one.
Narration was done by long-time Noobtown narrator Johnathan McClain. His delivery, for the most part, is on-point, with his trademark style landing well. One BIG thing of note was a lot of obvious re-takes, where McClain almost sounds like an entirely different person.
So yes, sign me up for this series. Hopefully, many more books to come. I’ll gladly drop a credit on these each time one pops up.