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Literature / I've Been Reborn as a Dungeon Monster?

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I've Been Reborn as a Dungeon Monster? is a Web Serial Novel updated biweekly on by Friendlysociopath.

The story follows the adventure of the human protagonist when he's shoved into the body of a dungeon monster after his death in a previous world. This new reality is dangerous and the now-trapped human has to learn about the new world and understand it as quickly as he can before he perishes again- or worse- loses all memory of himself.


The story is available to be read for free here.

I've Been Reborn as a Dungeon Monster? contains examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The website allows for different markings in a given thread to separate posts- enabling the author to repeatedly explain and elaborate on various ideas and concepts in tabs marked as ‘Informational’.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Played straight- anyone from the outside world who manages to survive even briefly in the Spiral Dungeon becomes an adventurer complete with one of fourteen classes. How these classes are chosen is, as of yet, unknown.
  • Anti-Regeneration: While seemingly everyone in the Spiral Dungeon can regenerate so long as they’re not out of HP- a facet of some powers includes ‘damage potential’: low potential is basically unable to deal significant permanent damage beyond drawn blood and discomfort, medium potential can actually do stuff like taking off limbs and destroy organs, but high damage potential impairs the ability to regenerate the injuries or heal it with most methods.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Played straight for the most part.
    • In the Spiral Dungeon most minions follow anyone stronger than them through if only because the alternative is typically being killed by them.
    • Outside the Spiral Dungeon it has been established the stronger adventurers generally do what they want and the rest of the populace either cheers them on or runs away.
    • The protagonist attempts to use this diplomacy several times to mixed results. In fact it backfires on him once one of his allies notices the protagonist isn’t kicking enough ass and instead joins the enemy.
  • Audible Sharpness: Openly invoked, each time Vik 'The Bladesinger’ draws one of his three swords everyone present can hear the things ‘sing’. Notably every adventurer within earshot immediately either runs the hell away or does their best to become as inconspicuous as possible.
  • BFS: Only one example so far and it's easy to overlook but Thaig's greatsword is implied to be a full foot in width and forged of solid gold or a gold-like metal.
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  • Big Brother Worship: Averted since just about every interaction between Lenn and Vik involves the former disliking the latter for some reason.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The protagonist just after he gains a material body. The first thing he does is race through the forest and send a T-Rex-sized Daemon skidding backwards with a hit just before it can eat Lavender.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted with a passion- the text repeatedly emphasizes injuries produce a great deal of blood. Also just everything involving the Vampires.
  • Bottomless Magazines: A little bit of everything.
    • Adventurers have a limited number of arrows but they can enchant quivers to hold an endless amount or a bow to make its own arrows.
    • Those who live in the Spiral Dungeon will have their own personal stores of bullets/arrows/whatever replenished every day but if they use them up then they’re gone until enough time passes.
    • Anything not personally used like the munitions in abandoned tanks will never be replenished and will stay gone.
  • Casting a Shadow: The protagonist’s soul was shoved in the body of a Shadow- basically a sentient patch of darkness with a bad attitude. As such the vast majority of his powers relate to manipulating such.
  • Character Death: All kinds.
    • When a Spiral Dungeon defender dies it eventually respawns but most of its memories regarding any other creature will have been lost.
    • Played straight with adventurers- when they die they stay dead.
    • Unfortunately for the humans stolen from other settings to be reborn as Spiral Dungeon creatures- their second death apparently is borderline-instant as their souls are consumed for fuel.
  • City Guards: Played straight- the Spiral Guard are noted to serve more as guides than guards but otherwise fill the role as you would expect.
  • Combat Tentacles: Played straight with the Seeds. They're basically human with two exceptions- the third eye in the middle of their foreheads and their ability to create and manipulate tentacles that can be used for just about anything from crushing things or gaining edges to slash and stab them.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: A few chapters in the protagonist is steadily drawn deeper into a coming battle between two bosses and their minions. The factions involved? Daemons vs Undead.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Played straight and subverted.
    • Shadows as a species are noted to be basically incapable of anything other than pure malice.
    • The protagonist however generally tries to help others despite possessing a Shadow's body.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Subverted, played straight, and entirely denied all at once.
    • Minions respawning will cost them memories and will reduce them to their initial state of joining the Spiral Dungeon- which will almost always be weaker than their state prior to death.
    • Seemingly played straight with Bosses given they have different rules- one of which is they remember everything no matter what. Abyssen is noted to game this feature of the dungeon by dying easily the first time you face him so he can respawn with better knowledge of the adventurers later on.
    • Denied by adventurers- who remain very dead when they die.
  • Demonic Possession: Reversed in the sense that the Shadow is entirely aware the human protagonist has taken over its body and is far from happy about it. In this case the protagonist is the possessor instead of the possessed.
  • Early Game Hell: The protagonist is unable to be harmed only by traditional physical damage- enchanted weapons work fine and are easy to get and just about any magic will hurt him. And his HP is his worst stat with only a single HP to his name early on. It’s strongly implied this weak start plus the Shadow’s raw aggression and lack of caution guarantees its death so often people are surprised to see them at higher levels.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The version of Troglodytes featured in this setting consists of multiple sets of teeth and an anatomy that was explicitly designed via magic to let them eat anything.
  • Fairy Companion: Three of them. Rosemary, Lavender, and Buttercup are Pixies that the protagonist finds on the 2nd Floor and eventually befriends though the relationship changes from mentors to student to protector and allies as the series progresses.
  • Fantastic Racism: While slavery is illegal and the outside world’s races all seemingly consider one another equals- there is no doubt they still seem to harbor certain unflattering images of one another.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Noted as possible in the setting and one such hybrid, a Human-Elf named Lenn, serves as a POV in a given chapter and several side-chapters. Unusually, this confers no advantage to the hybrid and in fact seems to offer nothing but disadvantages as only pure bloodlines of given races get full access to their gifts: Elves live longer, Grokko get harder skin, etc.
  • Gentle Giant: Two of them. Grita, an Earth Giantess, and Kragi, a Sky Giant. The two reside in the Spiral Dungeon on one of its ‘safe’ floors and seemingly don’t really need or want to fight anyone as they’re on their honeymoon.
  • Good Feels Good: The protagonist puzzles a lot of the creatures in the Spiral Dungeon by appearing entirely genuine in his wish to help first given the chance rather than immediately jumping them for the experience or overpowering them to force the creatures to help.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal!: Almost every battle or momentary conflict involves either adventurers or minions taking injuries that would kill or badly maim a normal person- almost all of which are healed in moments.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Lampshaded as the Spiral Dungeon’s magic hiding helmets- though oddly this doesn’t apply to ninja face-coverings, owl-shaped masks, eyepatches, blindfolds, or regular hats.
  • Hit Points: The Spiral Dungeon appears to allow adventurers and its denizens to regenerate endlessly so long as their HP isn’t brought to 1 or less.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: It takes the protagonist the entire first chapter to learn basics like how to move, open his status window, and use an ability. This is somewhat justified given he’s not in anything similar to a regular human body.
  • Invocation: Played Straight for spells at least. A full incantation along with gestures draws out its maximum power while you can cut both down to cast faster but weaker versions.
  • It Can Think: While only hinted at in the story proper a side-chapter has made it clear that the Troglodytes shouldn’t be capable of thinking at all but they’ve begun evolving to the point where they develop tactics and understand the concept of hiding and allies.
  • Item Crafting: Seemingly the entire purpose of the Crafter class given they’re noted to be the weakest class for actual dungeon-diving.
  • Jerkass: Abyssen. Side-chapters have gone into detail that his only regret in ruining entire kingdoms is that he killed too many people and so ended up without anyone to rule over. The time in the Spiral Dungeon has done very little to improve his disposition.
  • Kaiju: The Jaeger on the 7th Floor resembles a large mechanical turtle with spikes growing out of its ‘shell’. While an exact height is never specified each of the spikes is described as the length of a bus and the Jaeger itself can evenly look at someone on a silver stone hundreds of feet tall.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: At least one weapon in the series has already been noted to make use of lava for attacking- in this case filling the areas a sword slashes open with it.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Openly invoked as the reason Shadows typically die quickly. They either refuse to learn caution and strategy or outright cannot do so without someone else intervening.
  • Level Goal: Not all floors in the Spiral Dungeon require a boss to be defeated. Some just require you to correctly find the end- typically depicted with a rippling white light.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Abyssen’s main hold over the Pixies is that Rosemary agreed for him to have power over them until he respawned them in exchange for bringing her sisters back from the dead. The loophole is that Abyssen is not responsible for this happening at all and so the blood contract is essentially never going to end.
    • A group of adventurers realized their enemies won’t respawn if they’re not killed and so attempt to set up a crystal-farm on the 8th floor of the dungeon via incapacitating the boss without killing it. Unfortunately for them this earns them the attention of the dungeon’s Keeper- who decides to change the rules in response.
    • Seemingly knowingly done by Vampires. Because their HP doesn’t hit 0 until their blood is destroyed- they can regenerate pretty much endlessly until that happens even though this apparently was not how it worked in their original world.
    • In a side-chapter Lenn is put through the wringer when he can’t get his pay due to the wording of his contract.
  • Loss of Identity: Noted as one of the darker parts of the story. While humans Isekai’d into the Spiral Dungeon normally ‘die’ instantly when their souls are consumed it turns out if they don’t perish immediately like the protagonist- the minion will slowly consume their memories until nothing is left of the original human.
  • Monster Adventurers: While the protagonist is arguably still a human- most his retinue consists of monsters/minions that he has successfully managed to form into a party that (mostly) works well together.
  • Mook Horror Show: Played straight- the protagonist sees the aftermath of an adventurer party steamrolling early floors of the Spiral Dungeon and is horrified at the ease of which the minions are killed given he’s become one of them.
  • Mordor: Abyssen’s main floor is comically grim and dark complete with literal rivers of blood alongside the burning heat and desolate landscape.
  • Nothing Personal: With few exceptions the protagonist doesn’t hold grudges against other minions or adventurers he comes into conflict with.
  • Oh, Crap!: Basically the reaction of the entire adventurer team when they realized the Jaeger had broken free of its magical prison.
  • Older Than They Look/Younger Than They Look: Played With as a concept. When the protagonist asks a Vampire named Locke how old he is, Locke responds by asking whether he should answer as a human, a Thrall (a weaker stage of Vampire), a Spawn (the next stage), and whether they should count the time between deaths or not. Ultimately the question isn’t answered but it does imply Locke is overall older than the protagonist despite looking younger.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Openly invoked multiple times when the protagonist and an adventurer both mention the Vampires they encounter aren’t what they expect. In the Spiral Dungeon Vampires are closer to sentient masses of blood than humanoids with a skin condition though they otherwise still demonstrate many traditional Vampire powers like enhanced senses.
  • Perception Filter: Desire Daemons like Incubus have this as a skill- enabling them to always sound and look just a bit more like what the person wants to hear and see. Incubus even has a permanent unhealing injury on his chest that people skim over when looking at him.
  • Portal Network: Seemingly the only way to get between the Spiral Dungeon’s floors normally is to find an entrance or exit located somewhere in the environment. They vary between being visible and waiting to sometimes needing a certain criteria to open them.
  • Portent of Doom: When Kragi tries looking at the protagonist's future the power fails and a black line embeds itself in the sky- permanently marring the clouds and sun. Inside the Spiral Dungeon this isn't considered a big deal but outside in the surrounding world it's considered bad enough that the Dwarf population of the city borderline vanishes overnight and everyone else is quite concerned that the sky is starting to split in half.
  • The Power of Friendship: Played straight when the protagonist is about to be consumed by a Shadow. The Shadow is seemingly aware of this trope too which was why it targeted memories of the protagonist’s family and friends first in order to make it easier to consume him.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Occurs when the protagonist battles a Shadow for control of his body. He wins the fight and so ensures his control is uncontested but the battle costs him most of his memories from the old world regarding family and friends.
  • Reincarnation: Literally in the title.
  • Respawning Enemies: Played entirely straight from an adventurer POV as everything in the Spiral Dungeon seems to come back eventually after they kill it. The only times this hasn’t happened involves sitting on the same floor for an extended time period- which either prevents the dungeon from respawning the enemies or makes it undesirable for some reason.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: A magical dungeon springing up in a random world offers a lot of potential for the people who can actually get to it and survive. However races and nations without immediate access are rapidly being left behind as the miraculous treasures and powers within are lost to them.
  • Stat-O-Vision: One of the few perks of being a Shadow- the protagonist has easy access to status windows just by looking at the shadow of a given being. He can see their stats and their powers but cannot see what their equipment does.
  • Squishy Wizard: Played straight. Magic-based adventurer classes and minions based around using abilities typically have lower health point, attack, and defense stats than their beefier counterparts that fight in a more physical arena.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: In general it does seem by accident or design that the Spiral Dungeon supports the idea that more mobile and damage-heavy minions and adventurers are best suited to jumping squishy caster-style opponents and that the beefier and stronger equivalents make short work of the mobile types if they get the chance. Magic users can seemingly pull a massive variety of spells out but they need someone to protect them or else they'll die quickly.
  • Tank Goodness: While it does ultimately fail- the protagonist and a Seed ally do make extremely good use of a tank turret against a party of adventurers. The cannon rounds are indicated to be decent threats to adventurers of that level and the turret’s armor holds up to several attacks before giving out instead of failing immediately.
  • Unbreakable Weapons: They exist but they require magic enchantments to work. Regular weapons, even magical ones, can still be damaged and broken. Informational tabs also explain being physically Indestructible does not necessarily mean the equipment is magically Immutable.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The protagonist has been bouncing around various versions of this trope basically ever since he got shoved into a Shadow’s body.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • Abyssen via proxy threatened the protagonist and the Pixies to have them relentlessly spawn-killed. This is regarded as entirely possible by all concerned and for good reason.
    • The protagonist has noted the health system in the Spiral Dungeon makes it entirely possible to continue taking far more pain than a human body would ever be designed to deal with in reality.
    • Given drowning only takes a single point of health away before your lungs refill with air- the bubbles on the 3rd Floor that seal you in solid stone must take a very, very long time to kill you.
  • Wall Run: Admittedly it’s more of a wall crawl but a Shadow can in fact only do this as true three dimensional movement cannot be done by a two dimensional being.
  • Weakened by the Light: The protagonist is routinely infuriated at how often this happens since his powers rely on darkness being present or at least possible to work.
  • What Is This Feeling?: The Seed known as Harkin is chock-full of this trope. His inner thoughts indicate prior to encountering the protagonist he didn't feel much more than a vague desire to seek out an all-powerful 'Root' and to gain strength to further that quest. Once the protagonist and the Pixies encounter Harkin he begins to instead doubt his purpose and feel concern for other beings and even conflict over the idea of backstabbing them.


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