A Coder's Guide To Magic

by MrBadWithNames

Original HIATUS Action Adventure Comedy Fantasy Grimdark High Fantasy Magic Portal Fantasy / Isekai Reincarnation Slice of Life
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Magic, you wave your hand, use up some mana, call out the name and stuff happens; that's how it usually works.

Not in this world...

Otto is a slightly unhinged programmer brought to a fantasy world where magic exists, not as a list of spells or a wall of icons you press but as a detailed system of commands and mechanics allowing one to problem solve encounters and create countless inventions!

With one goal on his mind, to learn all he possibly can about magic, Otto will be thrust into a troubled world where magic is heavilly regulated and the corupt nobilty wield god-like powers and arcane tools passed down through generations.

Will Otto join the system? Try to overthrow it or completely ignore it on his quest for knowledge? Or maybe he'll fall prey to it... 

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Nice magic system, horrible story - Chapter 17

Reviewed at: Chapter 17 - The Shadows

The system for magic used in the novel is essentially just basic programming, rather overpowered seeing how magic doesn't actually cost anything to use and pretty much anyone with half a brain cell could create scripts that turn them into immortal gods.

You never have to worry about the mc being overpowered though due to the ungodly amount of stupidity he seems to display constantly. He is a schizophrenic weirdo, refuses to learn any useful magic to defend himself despite being aware he lives in a very dangerous world for reasons no one can discern but at the same refuses to give up magic despite knowing its use is illegal. He goes around splashing half baked useless magic everywhere, not forgetting to brag to everyone he meets that he's a mage (remember magic is illegal), gets a whole bunch of people killed because of it, blames others for it then goes back to doing it all over again while chatting with his hallucinations.

Unless what I described somehow tickles your fancy I'd say give this one a skip.


Okay, but could use some heavy edits

Reviewed at: Chapter 10 - The Drink

Style: The pacing is okay, albeit the descriptions are a bit lacking, and the sentences are short and (too) to the point. The dialogues are also in a similar fashion, they lack depth and are too short. I also dislike the formatting; the author should use consistent spacing between his paragraphs. To be honest, it reads a lot like an okay-ish translated Japanese WN.

Story: So far, this reads as a magic system with a story attached to it. The magic system is very detailed and work has clearly been put into it, but the rest is a bit lackluster.

Grammar:  Grammar is okay, it is readable but the sentences are a bit too simple and lack variety. It ties in to the descriptions mentioned earlier.

Character: Characters are not very developed beside the MC. Even then, the other characters are cliché and a bit two-dimensional.

Conclusion: This story could be better, but it’s still readable if you’re into the ‘magic programming’ subgenre.

Toby Ziegler

I so want to give this story five stars. Unfortunately, it has not yet earned all of those stars.

Otto wakes up trapped in a tower with no memory of anything beyond going to sleep in his normal bed last night. Standard isekai entrance.

Before the first chapter is over Otto discovers a magical instruction manual and casts his first spells. I found all of this interesting, but presented in a choppy, almost bullet-point manner. The dialog is often confusing, with transitions between speakers often only separated by an extra line space. The characters often use several lines of quoted sentences to express what is typically found in a single paragraph--usually with only contextual hints at who is speaking.

Hopefully without spoiling anything for you potential readers, the magic system is complex, but is actually the nuts-and-bolts of how the system is built. Where a common mage might know how to cast a fireball, Otto learns the language used to construct a fireball spell, which he can then call, "Fireball." A normal magic-user never learns anything like this.

I like this. I like the coding approach to magic, even if it is bulky and complex. What I have a harder time with is Otto's attitude toward the simple task of reading a magic instruction book. He is so desperate to escape, he ignores the fact he is in a perfect environment to take as long as he needs to learn everything in the book.

In short, Otto is an idiot. Soon, his idiotic decisions start getting people killed. It makes it hard to like Otto, and difficult to root for his success.

As a coder, Otto should be a problem-solver. That's what writing code is really all about. If the author can clean up the dialog and description issues, then have Otto act with more forethought and deductive reasoning, this story has a five-star potential. I will keep reading with my fingers crossed.


In the world of LitRPG/Isekai, it's rare to find an out and out unhinges MC and I'm all for it. Otto is crazy in a good, comedic way without making light of mental illness. 

The story and character is incredibly chaotic and in a good way. The author does an incredible job of conveying the chaos and uncertainty anyone, let alone a fictional character, would feel when they find themselves thrust into a new, unusual world. Add to that the fact that Otto is already a bit unhinged from the get go and you have the first 5 chapters, where it feels like you're actively stuck in a mind, that's already tenuously connected to reality, having to come to terms with an uncertain situation. He  comes to understand magic in his own unique way, through the language of coding, and this adds to the hilarity in that he learns to code magic in an overly complex way while still questioning his own sanity. Otto is extremely funny and I enjoy his take on not taking anything that's going on too seriously and just wanting to figure out what the hell is going on. While I still need to read more to see where the plot goes I have enjoyed the experience because of how satirical and comedic the novel feels. The author has a great sense of humor that I really enjoy. 

The main problem with the novel is the execution. I think it adds charm to the story as it makes me feel something like "this is what it must feel like to be stuck in a paranoid schizophrenics mind." Of course, not every reader would feel this way as there is a basic expectation as far as structure, formatting, and grammar. But, I think it can be done if the author seeks some help from someone who understands how to make the unique circumstances of his MC and world shine through in an easier to read and understand way. Basic copy editing and line editing would help improve the quality as there are missing dialog tags, words, misused grammar, and other basic writing problems that can be improved with time and effort.


Overall, I really enjoy the novel. It's a unique concept with a unique MC that I really enjoy and a breath of fresh comedic air amidst the sea of super serious Isekai. I believe the author has an excellent concept on their hands and all they need is some work on the execution to polish things up and let more readers fully enjoy this gem. 


Even at the time of this review, I'm not entirely sure if Otto is completely alright but it does make for some interesting first few chapters.

Style - Diagloue and descriptions are a bit too short. If there was a little more sprinkled here and there I think it would help a lot without taking away what I like. What I did like about the style was its simplicity and how easy it was to just come back to it without having to reread.

I think there should be more space between characters talking or if a character is speaking, make sure its all put together instead of being spaced out.

Grammar - I didn't see major mistakes but there were a couple scattered here and there. Just another editing pass should do the trick.

Story - It has an interesting start and he goes out into the world soon enough. The magic is very unique, probably the most unique one I've seen. The explaination for it is simple but the application seems complicated. The story is still in its early phases from when I'm reviewing this and the world is just starting to open up.

Character - This is a love or hate kind of thing. I thought Otto was weird and still kind of think he is but he carried the first few chapters well enough and I got used to him. It's not so bad when a character is goofy every now and then. The book is interesting too but I'm still not sure if Otto's just crazy or whatnot.

Overall - I think its worth a shot. The magic is something to think about and Otto's antics can be endearing.

Mia Dendragon

An overly complicated fantasy story

Reviewed at: Chapter 5 - The Friends

Otto was a crazy, Schizophreniac with multiple personality who do magic with overly complicated mathematic equation and programming thingy.

Otto taught me Australia had two sun. 

I've been laughing too much at his nonsense although I didn't understand anything of the magical thing he wrote. 

Grammar and style are average but author compensate it with his humor.

I totally recommend this if you're looking for a light, humorous reading. Except you're some crazy grammar nazi.. Please Otto, changed them to goat. Or I'll come over and do it myself. 


Nice novel 👌.