Discussion Bad luck MC in cultivation world

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Kamuizin, Jun 9, 2021.

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  1. Kamuizin

    Kamuizin Well-Known Member

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    This isn’t a request or looking for, just a random chat about one of the easier plot armor made by authors: Luck.

    If is xianxia/xuanhuan MC has tons of luck. Ok, to go from point 1 (begin) to last point (end) luck may play a role no matter your background, but... had ever been any history where MC instead of being lucky had bad luck? A history where MC had to plan over and over again to prevent every single variable as murph’s law reigned over his life, thus if something bad could happen it will happen?

    I’m more interested in your ppl comments and evaluations more than history names, so, had anyone ever read something like this? If yes, was it enjoyable? Can an author keep a bad luck MC legit forever? If not for how long the MC had bad luck in those novels?

    Share your perception here ppl!
     
  2. mizzu321

    mizzu321 Active Member

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    There are story where the MC had bad luck all the time, the bad luck here is all the opportunity he find is always life threatening, either he get the prize or he died. Its title is 'Nine Star Hegemony Body Art'. Though bad luck is really depend on perspective imo cuz you can view the MC there as lucky too as the treasure he find always good, though it always bring him in a life threatening situation.
     
  3. UnknownTakuaN

    UnknownTakuaN Active Member

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    The question is: Is it possible? I think it'd be almost impossible to do that. If the MC has bad luck, the novel would revolve around comedy. If not, then it'd be strategy. But, if it's strategy, it would eventually stray from the path of bad luck and become a novel about how smart the MC is. If he/she planned for everything ahead, and succeeded, would it still be about the MC having bad luck? If he had to choose between two doors in which one would lead to death, wouldn't them choosing the right door be good luck? If he chose the wrong door be novel would be over, or he would survive. Then again, that means he has good luck. Surviving bad luck is good luck, it seems. So, is it really possible to have bad luck? Hmm... Shower thoughts
     
  4. phucanhcr02

    phucanhcr02 Well-Known Member

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    Reverend Insanity, Fang Yuan got fucked over by bad luck and Heaven's Will for several hundreds of chapters.
     
  5. Kamuizin

    Kamuizin Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, Recerend Insanity was the first example that came to mind for me. Not because MC has terrible luck, but because he always have a plan, and when bad luck hit his doorstep, he always had a contingency plan. That’s the example of strategy i know, but bad luck happens there mostly to make a coherent world than to be a main thematic of the novel.

    Another novel that approach bad luck is A Will Eternal, but there, Bai Xiaoxuan isn’t the one to suffer bad luck, but ppl around him normally are the target of the bad luck he brings, and of course that’s the comedy cultivation example.

    I like both novels, but mostly because A Will Eternal was well done, i’m not a fan of comedy.
     
  6. God slayer

    God slayer Well-Known Member

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    Nah I haven't read any novels where protagonist is unlucky..... Even if author tries to make them unlucky they fail to because in the end of all that unluckiness he'll get some heaven defying treasure..so pure unlucky protagonist is rare I think
     
  7. Fluffums

    Fluffums 【R-18 Researcher】【Seeker of Moe】

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    I've actually seen a number of novels like that in general. Not so much in cultivation, because everyone stresses that good luck is essential in the path to immortality, but lots of protagonists who do their best, start looking like they'll be able to be happy, then plot twist! and suddenly they lost something important (or everything) and have to work hard to get it back or get revenge or whatnot. And then when they are about to succeed, again another plot twist! and they have to try again.

    Honestly, an unending string of bad luck or good luck is just boring to me. Early on it can't be helped, but after the story is established it would be nice if karma would replace luck and the things he did come back to help or haunt him. I don't mind so much bad things happening occasionally, but I can't enjoy a story where what the main character does has no effect on how the story ends - if his success or failure is entirely dependent on the whims of the author, all his efforts and sacrifices along the way are rendered meaningless. At minimum, it can't always be one type of luck, because the story just ends up being too predictable.
     
    Reack, AliceShiki and Kamuizin like this.
  8. dreamycreampie

    dreamycreampie New Member

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    just make him be like other side characters. don't make him constantly stumble across OP item, beast pet, and all that shit. Make most of his stuffs average/good.
    on that door example, make him avoid death by his ability, not luck nor someone else saving him at last minute for no reason
     
  9. Kamuizin

    Kamuizin Well-Known Member

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    I see a good bad luck cultivating legit novel as a place whete MC will not suffer the result of bad luck itself, but it’s happening only.

    He enter a bifurcation and chose poorly the most dangeours path, but he was prepared cos he researched the place beforehand and survive (with no godly item falling from the sky or prize, otherwise isn’t bad luck).

    A novel where things are more difficult for MC to achieve same result of others would be a nice change of scereny.

    He can go overpowered, but instead of... ops, a godly item fall in my head, he just need to sweat for it and even fail once or twice as a normal cultivator.

    Of course, as someone said above, this can come back as good karma once and twice too, but too much start to sound as plot armor.
     
  10. Lois.

    Lois. ❲.❳ ❲woh.❳

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    The reason why a purely bad luck mc prolly doesn't exist is because there's an extra that dies instead of the mc just because of bad luck lol and honestly for the whole cultivation, gaming or fantasy etc.. themed novels luck is a really important point so the story can progress.
     
  11. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    I've seen novels that do things like this, but never any that goes all in on the MC has bad luck, particularly not in a Cultivation Novel. The reason for this is simple, most Cultivation Novels are Power Fantasy's, the purpose of the story is allow people to generate good feeling from a character they like getting empowered and doing all sorts of things that they would want to do, and getting benefits that they would like to enjoy. Face-slapping cocky noble-sons/daughters, discovering that they're descended from someone important (mostly a China thing, from what I've heard), picking up beauties and leading others.

    The thing is, the way Cultivation Worlds are presented, there is actually room for a MC who's constantly unlucky. Sure, there is the Milo Murphy's Law version possibility, like the OP, Kamuizin, was suggesting, of which the closest I can think of is the MC of Cultivation Chat Group. Sure, Song Shuhang regularly receives good luck, but he usually receives it at the same time, if not in parallel to equal amounts of bad luck.

    But that wasn't what I was actually intending to refer to. No, I'm talking about a theoretical MC who suffers from anyone, everyone and everything as they develop, purely due to bad luck. Short version, they specialise in defensive techniques, and survive due to having more durability than diamond, steel and spider's web (per weight, for the last one), and numerous self-healing abilities, at the cost of pretty much any offensive abilities.

    This is purely theoretical, because I don't think the story exists, but imagine a story about a character who's born into a moderate level of a decent clan. Not anything overly impressive, either with the MC's rank or his clan's local power, but enough for the MC to grow and start cultivating in whatever way they want without worries. Due to the MC's propensity to accidents and other types of bad luck, when they start cultivating their parents choose two methods for them to train, both of which are primarily defensive in nature. One's a Body Cultivation Technique, and the other is a Qi Cultivation Technique, and the plan is for the MC to develop their ability to block with one of the two types of cultivation techniques, and later take something to work offensively to allow them to fight offensively. Unfortunately, as the MC starts developing their first Cultivation Technique, their bad luck kicks into overdrive for the first time and the clan's attacked, with the MC surviving due to the technique they started training. While the clan survives, the MC's parents are killed, and the now orphaned MC wouldn't be allowed to get any new types of cultivation manuals or resources from the clan. And the manuals they have are limited to early level, so to have any individual worth, the MC ends up training both to the highest level they can, which isn't very high. The MC is now, for his level, a human punching bag made out of pure steel. Incredible durability, but has no ability or power to utilise in an offensive manner.

    The MC's clan sends children out into a training zone, MC included, where the MC's bad luck ramps up again. A whole bunch of children end up getting kidnapped by someone who shouldn't be able to get into the region they're training in (think all the area's which are core-formation and lower only in Cultivation Novels), taken in for drug testing and experimentation. Of about fifteen kidnapped, five survive. Our MC, two pretty girls, a friendly boy, and a nasty boy. Specifically, the friendly boy, pretty girls and nasty boy escape after all five work together to work out how long they could have to escape after someone's taken for experiments, and after our MC's taken they just abandon him as a sacrifice. Treat these four as the main cast of a more standard Cultivation Novel, with the friendly boy being the Protagonist, the pretty girls being Future Harem Members, and the nasty boy being the Spoiled Young Master of the Clan Leader. Our MC survives due to his paired defensive cultivation methods neutralising all the worst aspects of the experimentation, causing the tests to actually reinforce his body and qi cultivation bases incredibly. It does not, however, help the MC to grow in rank. That comes after the MC's saved by high ranked clan members breaking in to exact revenge for the deaths of 11 (actually 10) "promising" youths of the clan, though the only ones who have shown any real promise survived.

    MC returns with the clan, gains access to new cultivation techniques that he can use to advance as a reward, but is only able to choose defensive techniques due to his physical and qi foundations being so heavily slated to defence cultivation as a result of surviving the experimentation, though he should be able to choose some techniques with some offensive techniques upon reaching the next rank. Continue through the story, hear about the friendly and nasty boys getting into fights as they improve and develop praiseworthy reputations and are touted as outstanding members of the clan, as lower ranked officials stand behind the friendly boy, and higher ranked officials support the nasty boy. MC reaches the limits of their rank again (in one method, probably body cultivation), but can't find anyone willing to give them access to the cultivation manual hall due to being an orphan with no backing, no affiliation, and a political fight starting between the lesser family's and the leading family, with the friendly and nasty boys as the showpieces. Important note, MC's at the same rank of cultivation as the boys, but is a few years (let's say 10) older due to his cultivation being stalled from lack of resources, manuals, and instructors, and is thus ignored despite being what is considered the same generation and power level. Anyway, new external training opportunity arises, with mixed clans this time. MC gets in to fill out numbers, due to the previous 10 deaths of people both young enough, and weak enough, to join in the competition. MC ends up getting kidnapped, and tortured, again, this time by one of the clan's who are known for being nasty and working to get rid of the competition before it becomes, well, competition. MC's saved as a side effect of one of the two pretty girls being kidnapped, the friendly boy saving her, and the nasty boy discovering it and dedicating the rest of his, and his subordinates, time there to wiping out the members of the kidnappers. Our MC is in the first cave cleared, excusing the one where the pretty girl was, and our MC had overhead the locations of a few other bases while his captors thought his eardrums were destroyed (they had recovered more rapidly than they thought possible due to twin defensive cultivation methods, and self-healing techniques counting as defensive, as well as being less harmed than they assumed due to, well, defence hyper specialisation). The places that's found are wiped out, but some members of the overly aggressive clan survives due to MC actually being deafened for part of that conversation.

    And so the story goes on. MC returns to the clan and reaches the limits of his current methods in his other cultivation method (probably Qi cultivation). Actual internal fighting in the clan starts, MC's receives an opportunity to get new cultivation methods again as a political maneuverer to use him as an example that they do give benefits to the ordinary members, though he's limited to choosing defensive techniques over caution about the MC joining the group formed behind the "rebellious" friendly boy. MC starts cultivating his two new methods again, and the clan ends up splitting, with the MC becoming a loose cultivator that neither side wants due to his lack of power. And the story progresses from there, with the MC joining a Cultivation School after reaching the limits of his current methods, only for that school to shut down as a result of competition with the school the friendly boy joined (nasty boy's permanently out of the picture now), and ends up joining that school as a side effect, where he's bullied for coming from his first school and having no backing. He graduates and joins a Clan that's ranked low on the Clan Council/Local Cultivation Authority Figure/Whatever it is that you call the group that's made up of the clan heads that are always shown to be working together on the mortal plain half-way through the mortal plain story, despite usually never being mentioned before. A massive war starts up, and the group the MC joined collapses, with the MC managing salvage only a few cultivation manuals from it, all of which ended up being, you guessed it, defensive techniques. Mostly because this is the point where everyone starts making their primary cultivation techniques more defensive in order to survive the immortal tribulations. MC becomes a high level Nascent Soul during the war, surviving numerous battles, many of which were distractions nobody was supposed to survive, secretly mid-war assassinations using enemies as killing implements, or just purely unwinnable situations. Not sure if MC joins council, but probably not, if the previous "friendly boy", who's certainly an adult now, is still in the country, said friendly boy needs to be able to lead the council by the nose around this point somehow, and I would be surprised if our MC hadn't received a reputation for surviving even when everyone else around them is killed. Friendly boy is witnessed moving up to the immortal realm about two decades before our MC reaches the stage where it's theoretically possible for him to attempt becoming immortal if he only utilises one of his cultivation methods. He gets both up to potential immortal tribulation level a decade later, about two years after all the friendly boy's harem members go up. And I can't be bothered thinking of all the c**p that goes on in the immortal realms, so I'm ending it here.
     
  12. Kamuizin

    Kamuizin Well-Known Member

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    This concept of self pleasure of cultivation novels is something that bothers me. I read cultivation novels dor the fantasy history mostly, in fact most of the time when i see the stupid face slap i always think: the guy who wrote this really has no idea of how society or normal ppl works.

    Cultivation is (or should be) self discovery and improvement of self, not necessary be number one in everything and alwaya end as lord of the universe as most shit novels try to do. Maybe i’m into the wrong genre, well... i just love the thematic.

    Really would love a novel where MC is just a normal cultivator, something like from 15 levels of cultivation MC goes from start to his area level (ex: lvl 7 as expert in the area he live and just get +3 levels during his adventure, doing his things, solving his problema and end).

    A novel focused interesse a family or clan, with multiple MCs descendants one of the others would be nice too.

    Bad Luck in the OP was a form i saw to give some flavor fot this thematic (cultivation). Maybe i’m giving too much credit to cultivation Authors, as not everyone can make a Reverend Insanity (where character evolve, but drop sweat for every single benefit he fights for).
     
  13. HappyHavak

    HappyHavak The Laughing Sage

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    I would agrue that A Record of a Mortal's Journey to Immortality is a novel where the MC spends all his luck on his first treasure and then makes his way through wits and guts. But it's been a while since I read it so grain of salt and all that.
     
  14. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    I can see what you're getting at here, but Cultivation Novels have been popularised as Power Fantasy's set in Fantasy Ancient/Medieval China. At this point, nobody in China is going to even attempt to write one as the calm story of someone leisurely going through a journey of self discovery and improvement. You're more likely to get a story focused on clan politics, following something like a disregarded fourth son of the main family's rise through the ranks via internal politics until they become the de facto, if not outright, leader of the clan, with inter-clan, school and sect politics starting up as the position of the MC increases alongside their cultivation. And that's probably not going to be written any time soon.