Dungeon Core, what is it and what are the best recommendations? This article has a list of the 10 best Dungeon Core books, or more precisely, the 10 best Dungeon Core book series. Hopefully, you will find some of our recommendations too your taste.
But first, a small introduction to what Dungeon Core is.
What is Dungeon Core?
Dungeon Core is usually thought of as a subgenre of the LitRPG genre or at least closely related. Check this article for what LitRPG is and some good suggestions.
Dungeon Core books have a dungeon as its main character, and it wants to grow and expand. Often it's a human that has died and becomes a dungeon core.
Usually, the dungeons grow by leveling up and spending points on what to grow stronger in. Just like most LitRPG books. But some also grow more like how they do in Wuxia/cultivation books.
The way that dungeons usually get the power they need to grow stronger is from sentient beings inside their realm. Mainly from them dying.
Dungeons kill adventurers.
To get more sentient being inside their realm to become stronger they need to build larger dungeons. Build more levels with traps and monsters that become gradually stronger the deeper the adventurers go.
Growing, building, and crafting.
Monsters, traps, and treasures.
The dungeons need to balance getting people to want coming back and killing them to grow stronger.
It's usually a symbiotic relationship between the adventurers and the dungeons.
Dungeon Core Recommendations
We have come up with a list of the 10 best Dungeon Core books we have read. Or as mentioned earlier, the 10 best Dungeon Core series.
Most of them follow the above description about Dungeon Core books, but to every rule there are exceptions. Some of the following Dungeon Core recommendations do not follow the above description exactly. But they all have dungeons as a core element of the story.
Is Ancient Ruins good?
Yggdrasil, the World Tree, has sent a bunch of seeds out to different planes and universes to find a new world to settle. It had no choice because the Goods screwed up Ragnarok.
One of the trees agrees to protect a treasure for a stranger in exchange for being through magic. It builds an internal world with traps to guard it.
The tree starts acting like a dungeon.
Milton Frederick was a professional gamer. He was the strategy coordinator for one of the top guilds in the online game Crowned Lieges of Destiny.
But then he was abducted by aliens.
They transferred his consciousness into a Station Core. They were going to use him, and many others, as a defense against other alien threats.
But Milton was lost in transit to his designated destination.
Confused and damaged, Milton finds himself trapped on a strange and primitive world filled with dangerous creatures.
Is The Slime Dungeon good?
Ryan is a dungeon core. The only thing he remembers about his earlier life is that he died because of some problems with a powerful organization.
Ryan is not just any ordinary dungeon, he is a dark dungeon.
Fared and often evil, darkness dungeons are closely watched by the Adventurer Guild. Ryan has to prove that not all darkness dungeons are evil even if they have skeletons and zombies in their dungeons.
Sandra was a merchant, but all she wanted to be a crafter. Unfortunately for her hands were deformed and she could not manipulate any basic energy, so she could not follow her dreams. But she did the next best thing, as she traveled around as a merchant see consumed every theoretical knowledge she could about crafting.
Then she was killed.
But then she was reborn, as a dungeon. After some initial confusion, she discovers that she now has the capability to craft, and that's all she wants to do.
But other stuff keeps getting in her way. Everything from invading animals and neighboring humanoids.
Is The Crafter's Dungeon: A Dungeon Core Novel good?
The Crafter's Dungeon is a very good Dungeon Core series. It has both strong Dungeon Core mechanics and Crafting elements.
What makes it slightly different is that Sandra does not want to consume dungeon crawlers to grow stronger. She just wants to be left alone to her crafting.
This is a world where dungeons are at the top of the food chain, and there are millions of them. Dungeon and humans are meant to have a symbiotic relationship. Dungeons get mana from humans in their territory and humans get scenes from dungeons.
In the north far away from any mana source, two dungeons live together in a taboo relationship. Because they are from rival factions. They live there with their child, who looks exactly like a human. A human born from two dungeon cores.
But then his parents are found and destroyed.
Fleeing for his life, the human-looking core flee south and starts living with the humans.
Is Dungeon World: A Dungeon Core Experience good?
The Dungeon World books are interesting Dungeon Core books with an original twist. A dungeon core born in a human body and having to learn to live as a human. Hunted by his own and hiding his nature from the humans.
Dungeon World has strong LitRPG elements and less dungeon core mechanics than usual.
Dungeon World is a good and interesting read.
Roark von Graf is a hedge mage, lesser noble, and a freedom fighter. When a desperate plan to unseat the Tyrant King fails, Roark finds himself in a strange and dire situation.
Roark escapes in a strange portal that sends him into an ultra-immersive fantasy video game called Hearthworld.
He can't log out, his magic is acting strangely, and he is no longer human.
Roark is now a low-level troll.
He has to guard the first level of a dungeon from players wanting to go dungeon crawling.
But if that was not enough. Roark stole something precious from the Tyrant King, something valuable enough that he uses his magic to send underlings into the game to hunt down Roark.
Can Roark become powerful enough to survive and get back to his world?
Rogue Dungeon is a mix of LitRPG and Dungeon Core. And its a collaboration between two good authors.
After Ryker was treated extremely poorly by a certain adventuring guild all he dreamed of was revenge.
They had driven him from his home and physically hunted him to the gates of the city.
And the only reason why they did it was that he was not as strong as everyone expected, Ryker included.
The first step of his revenge was to steal a dungeon core, ripe out its soul, and grow a dungeon that he controlled.
Warning and minor spoiler: Dungeon Deposed contains graphic violence, undefined relationships/partial harem, unconventional opinions/beliefs and forced political marriage (and consummation). Read at your own risk.
Cal is a Dungeon Heart, a soul forced into a magical stone against his will.
After several years of only instinctive living, he was able to regain his sentience. This allowed him to form new memories again, and to slowly start growing a dungeon around himself.
With help from a small friend, Cal learned to create monsters and traps and how to use treasures to grow his dungeon. His main goal is to lure in brave adventures to eat so he can grow in both power and size.
Is Dungeon Born good?
Dungeon Born is one of the best books I have read in a while. This book is written in a light and funny way. For me it was new and fresh, it was the first Dungeon Core type books I read.
Hopefully, you found some good suggestions for some interesting Dungeon Core books to try. And if you had never hard of Dungeon Core books, then we hope this article enlightened you on what it is.
This list will always be kept at only 10 suggestions. But we might update it in the future. The order might be changed, and new Dungeon Core book series might take the spot of existing ones.