Epic is a fantasy role-playing game that an entire world interacts with. More than a game, it controls their lives, the economy of the planet, and how work is distributed among the planet’s inhabitants.
To improve you, your family, or your community’s life, you played the game as often as you could, to earn the right to challenge laws, and confront accusers. The game is the only way to resolve legal issues and violence towards any other person outside of the game is strictly forbidden and harshly punished.
The world’s controlling body is called the Central Allocations Committee; they decide who and what districts get supplies, new equipment, or upgrades.
And one 14 year old boy has decided to make a stand with his friends to help his family and community. The only problem with that is that Central Allocations has its own in-game players that plan to stop him.
Erik lives on a planet called New Earth. A planet of millions of people, most of which participate in a world-wide role-playing game called Epic.
Epic is how they resolve disputes, earn supplies for themselves or their communities, or earn a better education or job. Epic is overseen by a group known as the Central Allocations Committee, with each member of the committee having his or her own character within the game world.
After a dispute is resolved in a battle arena within the game, Erik’s father is exiled for an aggressive act in his past and Erik wants him freed. So he enters the game and learns how to slay a dragon which, if successful, would earn him and anyone that accompanies him huge amounts of gold and priceless items as a reward.
Together, with his friends, Erik goes out on his quest to kill a dragon, earn the rewards, and then challenge Central Allocations to a battle to free his father from exile.
Central Allocations isn’t happy, and they have all of their in-game players ready to fight. But they also have a very special, very secret player that can kill the players outside of the arena. And now that the character has been activated, they set its sights on Erik. This special character is named “The Executioner”.
The intended genre of the novel was Science Fiction, based on the idea that a planetary society was completely driven by a computer-based role-playing game. Where it slipped up was the game itself was fantasy, pure and simple, and blurred the idea of science being involved.
Magic and mystical creatures of lore show up throughout the work and the in-game as if the characters in the story must battle them to gain their needs.
It was difficult for several readers here to grasp the concept as they have never participated in a role-playing game, either on a computer, or as a board game.