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General isekai & ISOT discussion and resource thread

Lord Kragan

The one and only Lord of Mutton Chops.
Author
An idea that made the rounds around my head is. "Isekai is a mildly frequent thing. Multiple persons from time to time are brought in to other worlds and hailing from multiple worlds. One guy is isekaied, the first for his/her world. And he ends tagging along with a guy that's been around for more time but went for longer." kind of set of contrasts.
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
An idea:

ISOT into conan the barbarian world. Evil gods. Barbarians. Sorcery. Slavery. Inhuman races. Ancient ruins. Nubile maidens. Kingdoms. Wild tribes. Monstrous animals. Giant tarantulas.

The guy here is isoted into a small town or city, with various powers. Able to do things like build entire walls in minutes, conjure enough food and water to feed thousands, and purify bodies, water, and other substances. Or summon automata and creatures for cheap labour. He has it made, doesn't he?

Except for one thing.

PR.

There's not a lot of magic here. Its rare, and hard to find. What magic there is, involves either magic cast from sanity, powered by human sacrifices, or made via pacts with dark gods. Which, again, require human sacrifices. So sorcerers are feared, hated, regarded with suspicion, or looked upon with horror. Everyone has heard of the story of the evil sorcerer, who captured a princess and tortured her family to death in front of her, collecting the tears she shed for a potion that made him immortal.

Then he sold her into slavery.

Or of Thulsa Doom, who took a thousand orphans and flayed them alive, keeping them alive and writhing using foul magics. He used their pain and agony in a ritual to use as a source of power for his weapon, and used it to annihilate armies until Taramar, a famous warrior and swordsman, cut him down, and put them out of his misery.

And.... so that's the typical story of sorcerers.

And the insert is one.

Ok, no human sacrifice needed. Nothing ghastly. No food that leaves you enslaved to the sorcerer. All perfectly harmless. Sure, it creates darkness, and the automata you summoned has spikes and glowing red eyes, but its just appearance. I'm harmless, really!

Yeah, right. No one believes him. Or at least, doesn't trust him.

All he wants to do is help people! Why are they so scared?
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Writing Champ
For that idea to work (and I think there's actually quite a few isekai already with that premise), the character itself will be the crucial point: it's all too easy to have the protag become a edgy douchebag like so many others.

Sadly, the safest bet would be to make that as a comedy, where the protag is the buttmonkey.
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
Suggestions/feedback in what sense? On the basic idea? On where to send them?
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
For that idea to work (and I think there's actually quite a few isekai already with that premise), the character itself will be the crucial point: it's all too easy to have the protag become a edgy douchebag like so many others.

Sadly, the safest bet would be to make that as a comedy, where the protag is the buttmonkey.
Yup.

I'm planning on making either misunderstandings like Tanya the Evil, or have the protag be just too monumentally thick to notice the mood in the room. He can't be upset over people fearing him, cause he doesn't understand fear. No one attacks him, because attacking a sorcerer with his demons in the same room as you is suicide.
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
Really, I'm trying to get feedback on what would be the most interesting with the basic premise here.

I think an issue I had with my last story, Unbound Soul, is that the protagonist came off as unsympathetic and this led to a reader drop off. I'm thinking if I present these varied characters with different personality traits, some will be seen as villains and some as heroes.

The only thing I want in where they go is that these Nine result in an Outside Context Problem for the setting which is why I'm thinking a historical setting which would probably be pre-Columbian.

My main issue with a historical setting is when to send them since there are so many interesting points in history that they could end up. All of them would probably end in various places across the Old World, though I might have one or two end up in the New World to cause a surprise for everyone that the American Indians are nowhere near the pushovers they were in OTL due to interference from one or two of the Nine on their side.

As for having Nine Protagonists/Antagonists, the main question is whether or not it would be better to show things from the perspective of all the Nine and switching as needed or if it would be better to focus on one and their interactions. I'm thinking it would be better to switch perspectives to show each's viewpoints, but at the same time it would probably be easier to follow with one viewpoint character.
Unsympathetic protagonists are fine, as long as the narrative also treats them as unsympathetic assholes. The problem with unsympathetic protagonists is when they get rewarded or at least, don't get comeuppance.

they all have magical powers or are otherwise inhuman, no? So even a post-Columbian setting would see them as very much Outside Context. It would probably be better to not send them to the past of Earth, though that might be my own take you don't have to agree with. As for nine protags - well, if they're gonna be spread all over the entire world, you can't have 'just' one. If each one is going to be dealing with the specific contexts they drop into, that's nine different stories. One solution would be to stay with one character for several chapters, then move onto the next, in a circular writing pattern, until such time as the various characters actually start interacting with eachother.
 

Kylia Quilor

Hopeless Romantic and Nerd
Author
I think an Alternate earth with similar geography, or one where history went very different well before the Isekai would be your best bet, yeah.
 

Kamzil118

Member
Author
There was this isekai idea I had back on SB that is its own original story, but I haven't gotten too far with it due to trying to prevent it from dying to poor decisions.

Originally, it was supposed to be a story about a reverse isekai where a prince of an empire had gotten home and decided to write books about his time in the other world. Most of his experience is being a Soviet soldier on the Eastern Front during WWII.

@Rufus Shinra kinda had a laugh with this by saying Stalin is the demon king while Hitler is a character for the Dark Elves.

Back to the idea I had, it essentially formed into a different story where I intend an emperor to try and get back his lost son from the other world, but due to the lost prince's disconnect from the empire he was born in he kinda loses patience and tries to go back to rejoin the Soviet Union.

Problems arise since said empire is in a middle of a civil war because a conclave of feudal elves doesn't want to have to share the same rights as orcs - one of the races they happily enslaved throughout their history. Due to this civil war, he gets caught up in it and so you have an image of humans in Napoleonic uniforms fighting alongside pike and shot orcs against elvish feudal armies. In the midst of this chaos, someone summons demon armies, invites foreign troops to grab some clay, and open a portal that allows the Third Reich to get its hand on newly acquired raw resources to continue its war against the Allies and the Soviets.

Fun times ahead.
 

Nerx

Golden Saint from the 22nd Century
Author
Simple, guaranteed Isekai with all of BROB's power in the next life. Then wait on the road for BROB/Truck-kun to arrive 80 mph
Thinking of writing a short Isekai story based on this prompt, besides the Manhattan analogue I am looking for suggestions. Also for some reason I am bored of the typical 'fantasy genre world insert'.
 

Terra Novan

Well-known member
Author
When I read some 00s Korean ISOT stories where the uptimers produce and sell Instant Noodles... I can't help but wonder, where are they getting wheat flours and ingredients? Korea is not exactly the place where wheat grows abundant (we import most of them from America, if I remember correctly), and flavoring powder contain MSG and other seasonings that would require industry to make.
 
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Alias

Bean Daddy
Moderator
When I read some 00s Korean ISOT stories where the uptimers produce and sell Instant Noodles... I can't help but wonder, where are they getting wheat flours and ingredients? Korea is not exactly the place where wheat grows abundant (we import most of them from America, if I remember correctly), and flavouring powder contain MSG and other seasonings that would require an industry to make.
Well depending on how far back they go, they could import small amounts of wheat from Japan, fermentation of a number of ingredients to produce the MSG, and well maybe get some spices from what would've been Indonesia. Or you know they hand waved the logistics issues away.
 

Terra Novan

Well-known member
Author
Well depending on how far back they go, they could import small amounts of wheat from Japan, fermentation of a number of ingredients to produce the MSG, and well maybe get some spices from what would've been Indonesia.
Usually, they ISOT to a mid-19th century since that was the start of the darkest era of our history.

Also, I just checked them again. Two of them were a deliberately planned large-scale ISOT for thousands of personals, and one of them explicitly mentions that they brought production line from the Uptime, so the latter could be handwaved away in that case? I am not entirely sure. Making Instant Noodles doesn't seem to be a simple thing, and even if they have that line, I don't think it would be enough for the Noodles to become a common food that early and fast. Even if successful, I think it is going to be a middle-class food (just like the early Instant Noodles) for years instead of stereotypical poor man's delight it is in Korean and Japanese media.
 
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beast_regards

Well-known member
Usually, they ISOT to a mid-19th century since that was the start of the darkest era of our history.

Also, I just checked them again. Two of them were a deliberately planned large-scale ISOT for thousands of personals, and one of them explicitly mentions that they brought production line from the Uptime, so the latter could be handwaved away in that case? I am not entirely sure. Making Instant Noodles doesn't seem to be a simple thing, and even if they have that line, I don't think it would be enough for the Noodles to become a common food that early and fast. Even if successful, I think it is going to be a middle-class food (just like the early Instant Noodles) for years instead of stereotypical poor man's delight it is in Korean and Japanese media.
To make noodles you usually need wheat flour, starch, salt, and water. I don't think you can draw seawater to this. At least all of those can be grown locally, even though you would need modern agriculture to make it easier, and supply everything is large enough quantities. Traditional methods won't do, they aren't that effective, so mechanization is necessary, which means other supporting branches of industry being present.

Some noodles are made with eggs too, but it depends.

Drying is then done either by hot air or by frying in palm oil. Palm oil is by far the most difficult ingredient to get as it can't be grown locally, there is no climate for that, and would have to be imported in large quantities.

You can probably still do drying by hot air, even though you need high temperatures to do so, and a whole production line would need electricity which would be also hard considering they travelled back in time when there was no infrastructure.

To make seasonings you would also need glutamate, salt, sugar and spices. Making glutamate industrially is difficult enough, and sugar can't be grown locally. Spices, it depends, you would probably need imported spices too.

And once you have all that you need packaging. Which needs to be waterproof, to keep moisture out, which in turn needs plastic. Plastic is nearly impossible to get that early, as it needs a lot of supporting infrastructure from oil processing. Hopefully, you packed some oil industry in as well in your get back in time package.
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
Even without antibiotics something a simple as introducing proper sterilization and sanitizing practices, germ theory, and producing distilled alcohol as an antiseptic to a setting that doesn't have it would be incredibly effective at preventing infection and disease.
It's more like thinking:

Let's all be honest here. Majority of us don't have the power to use chemistry or some other shit. The reason why everyone uses superpowered isekais, is because its really boring to watch someone fail and die at in the bronze age/ conan world/ whatever.

So thus, we have to give them powers. Even if we refuse to admit it.

Thus, I have an idea. Small-scale matter manipulator. He can create gold.... and he can also create medicine. If you could, on a small scale, create modern-day pharmaceuticals and chemicals, what would you choose?
 

beast_regards

Well-known member
Thus, I have an idea. Small-scale matter manipulator. He can create gold.... and he can also create medicine. If you could, on a small scale, create modern-day pharmaceuticals and chemicals, what would you choose?
Which would be fairly useless against being shot, stabbed, torn apart by wild animals, dying to the disease you can't even properly diagnose, or even fantasy disease you have no defense against etc.
 

beast_regards

Well-known member
Then just... Go to the city?

I mean, that's why people went to cities, right?
Sure.
What guarantees there is a city nearby?
How do you even know where the city is?
What guarantees you can reach this city soon enough?
What guarantees there aren't any monsters or bandit on the way?
What guarantees locals are friendly to weird strangers they never saw before?
What guarantees you even speak the same language?

It requires so much luck you practically can say luck is your superpower. Actually, being super-lucky is probably better power than matter transformation.
 

Terra Novan

Well-known member
Author
Penicillin is easy, rest would be more complicated.
No. Without modern chemical industry, you can't make enough of them to actually cure people (I believe one of the early test patients died because while the penicillin was effective, there simply wasn't enough of them to fully cure), and I think you have to sort out penicillin from other bacterias that are harmful to humans as well.

Thus, I have an idea. Small-scale matter manipulator. He can create gold.... and he can also create medicine. If you could, on a small scale, create modern-day pharmaceuticals and chemicals, what would you choose?
Mauveine.

Then just... Go to the city?

I mean, that's why people went to cities, right?
Well, pre-modern cities are not necessarily safer than the rural part, and certainly more vulnerable to disease...

What guarantees locals are friendly to weird strangers they never saw before?
Generally, the place that sees a lot of trade (aka cities) at least tend not to kill strangers on sight.
 
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