What do you have when you blend a pinch of litrpg, a touch of farming simulator, a sprinkle of epic fantasy, a whole cup of Isekai, and a dash of Home Alone?
You have Arnold’s life.
Accidentally murdered by a cleric in another universe during a botched resurrection, Arnold, a semi-pro gamer, wakes upon an altar to find himself incarnated into the overweight body of a farmer who could have been his fatter twin. He’s not the hero. He’s not the villain. He’s certainly not the chosen one who is there to save the world. He’s a clerical error.
It could be a bad joke, but apparently, it happens so often that they have a standard procedure for returning you. That standard procedure doesn’t apply to Arnold.
Now stuck on a new earth, in a new universe, with no way home, Arnold must use his gaming skills to figure out how to level his farmer class to 100 and gain a second class which doesn’t make him want to beat his head against the wall. There is just one small problem: farmers don’t gain experience from killing monsters. Like at all.
Follow Arnold on his hilarious journey as he stubbornly comes to grips with his new reality and tries to change his destiny from that of your typical farmer.
LitRPGs about farmers are not necessarily about farming. Arnold resents being forced into the Farmer class and the world system won’t let him take a second class until he hits Farmer level 100. It takes him months to even accept he does need to own a farm and that farm does need to produce at least a few crops, though they can be terrible quality.
Arnold was the exploit guy for a group of semi-pro gamers, so he looks for all the exploits to avoid farming. He can’t get experience killing monsters but can gain experience defending his farm. He turns his farm into a giant death trap that happens to have a few traumatized chickens and some poor quality squash. And that’s just the start of his exploits.
The supporting cast includes a cat familiar, Salem, who is a complete asshole, both verbally and by knocking over glasses and biting ankles. This cat is great and surpasses his namesake. The village mayor is a minor noble who acts as Arnold’s voice of reason but also gets onboard with all of Arnold’s nonsense. Later additions include a kooky scholar and a prickly lady trapsmith. Also the farmhouse is haunted but it’s fine – she makes breakfast!
This book doesn’t have Stardew Valley/Harvest Moon vibes, but it’s one heck of a wild ride. If chickens dying will upset you, maybe skip this one. They’re the primary monster bait and Arnold goes through a lot.
Classes are inherited, so you’re stuck in whatever profession your parents had. Every class has its own way of gaining experience. Merchants gain experience by selling goods. Craftsmen gain experience by making things and those things being used. You might gain experience from someone using the thing you made, depending on what it is.
Experience appears as glowing gems, which can either be absorbed or sold. Every twenty-five levels, you have to do something extra to pass through that “threshhold”. For some classes that’s easy, like farmers can just grow really good crops. Others are nearly impossible, like scholars needing to discover something new.
The system of this world is overly complicated and obnoxious for the people who live there. For the reader, there’s not a ton of system messages except when they can be the most inconvenient for Arnold.