The Programmer's Dungeon [Progression, LitRPG]

The Programmer's Dungeon [Progression, LitRPG]

by Astra Magically

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

Vincent, a college student from Earth, has been transported to another world full of strange powers and fantastic monsters. Ideally, this would be the start of his journey to become a legendary hero, build an everlasting empire, and gather a personal harem.

But no one said that this new world would be easy…

After escaping an assassination that accidentally befell him, he was forced to become a Dungeon Master. What will an average programmer student do when he finds out that he can code the dungeon?

Vanquish those savages above with his tech and savviness — along with an army of golems?

“Wait, this world isn’t even medieval?!”

With all the questions piling up in his head, Vincent is set to uncover all these secrets! And… conquer the world, perhaps?

The hard reboot of “The Programmer’s Dungeon.” It has an almost completely different plot, cast, and storyline, so expect tons of improvement from the old one.


This is a softcore LitRPG story; there are stats but no levels. Also, the LitRPG element isn’t the main focus of the story itself and is more of a support.

I have enabled the reader’s suggestion, and therefore, you can correct any grammar mistakes and typos you find in the story. There will definitely be some that I miss.


The cover was made by Jack0fheart, so a shout-out for him.

Releasing 3 chapters per week at 12.00 GMT on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday with at least 2000+ words.

[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]

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Astra Magically

Astra Magically

Dungeon Dominator

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Table of Contents
62 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Map (Contain Spoilers) ago
Glossary (Contain Spoilers) ago
Chapter 1: Scary World, Unending Troubles ago
Chapter 2: Dangerous Chase Across the Forest ago
Chapter 3: I Don’t Wanna Die! ago
Chapter 4: You, a Dungeon Core? ago
Chapter 5: A Dungeon Master’s Obligation ago
Chapter 6: Dungeon Catalogs ago
Chapter 7: Monster Creation ago
Chapter 8: Dungeon Planning ago
Chapter 9: Golem Making with Programming ago
Chapter 10: Building an Army of Golems ago
Chapter 11: Gains ‘n Dungeon Traps ago
Chapter 12: Last Effort Modifications ago
Chapter 13: The Imminent Invasion ago
Chapter 14: Insidious Strategy ago
Chapter 15: Opportunity in the Midst of Crisis ago
Chapter 16: Layered Traps ago
Chapter 17: Total Annihilation ago
Chapter 18: Monster Evolution ago
Chapter 19: The Secret of Stats ago
Chapter 20: Strength Comes for Those Who Seek ago
Chapter 21: The World Around Us ago
Chapter 22: Magic Fundamentals ago
Chapter 23: Call for an Adventure ago
Chapter 24: Treacherous Journey to Civilization ago
Chapter 25: The Genius Mechanic ago
Chapter 26: Night Scenery of Xenonia ago
Chapter 27: Knight and Dragon Inn ago
Chapter 28 City Plaza and Smartphone ago
Chapter 29: Joining the Adventurer’s Guild Part I ago
Chapter 30: Joining the Adventurer’s Guild Part II ago
Chapter 31: Two Weeks ago
Chapter 32: The Trio and Punishment ago
Chapter 33: Preparation Before the Assessment ago
Chapter 34: Rank-Up Assessment Begins ago
Chapter 35: A Visitor to the Dungeon ago
Chapter 36: Night Raid ago
Chapter 37: Duel to the Death ago
Chapter 38: Urgent Matters Ahead ago
Chapter 39: This Dungeon is Where I Call Home ago
Chapter 40: Her Background Story ago
Chapter 41: Getting the Starlight Wolves’ Allegiances ago
Chapter 42: Back to the Abandoned Wooden House ago
Chapter 43: Elixir, the Cure-All Potion ago
Chapter 44: Second Floor Completion ago
Chapter 45: Finishing With the Assessment ago
Chapter 46: A Noxious Rumor ago
Chapter 47: I Want Everything! ago
Chapter 48: An Unexpected Incident ago
Chapter 49: All’s Been Planned Accordingly ago
Chapter 50: Preemptive Strike on the Axiom Order ago
Chapter 51: Insta-Killing an Executive ago
Chapter 52: The Fish Takes the Bait ago
Chapter 53: Shadow in a Pinch ago
Chapter 54: Exterminating the Axiom Order Part I ago
Chapter 55: Exterminating the Axiom Order Part II ago
Chapter 56: Zero ago
Chapter 57: Frozen Beneath an Elemental Burst ago
Chapter 58: The Abomination Sealed Deep Within the Mine ago
Chapter 59: Acting is Hard Work ago
Chapter 60: My Dance is Only for You ago

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Essentially my review can be summed up with the fact that I was looking forward to the premise and found its execution lacking and thus I'm looking at the whole series more harshly than I would otherwise.

I really like dungeon core novels. I've read a whole bunch of them and can look past alot of minor annoyances as long as I like the actual dungeon building.

Similarily I like programming and love the idea of a LitrRPG with a character properly programming thier [system]. Long story short for a better version of that last point find late delve chapters.

My problem can be boiled down to this. This story is presented as programing focused, but the initial uses of his power are closer to "hacking" attributes instead.

But, and here's the important bit. I wouldn't call this a "hacking dungeon" instead of a "programming dungeon". There's no effort involved in hacking the attributes - real hacking involves endless searching for vulnerabilities and then abusing those. This is the equivalent to being shown the attributes and moving them around with sliders while throwing out the odd programing term that doesn't really fit...

This is the script kiddy version of hacking where the "hacker" is pushing a button to magically get the effect without any work.

To make this whole scenario worse very little time is put into the programing aspect - several chapters are spent describing the loli dungeon and then the programing an army is condensed into what feels like a paragraph or two.

SO. What could be done better? This portion is directed at the author and is genuinely written with the hope it will help them improve.

Personally, this feels kind of like programing is described by people who don't know how to program...I'm trying not to be harsh but thats the simplest way I can describe it. And I do like the idea of the story you want to tell so I want to try and give a way it could be/could have been better presented.

My recommendation would be to make it quite a bit more technical in one of two directions. Either focus on the "programing everything" and expand the hacking portion of it more. Break down exactly what his programming cheat does - not keep it vague with physics explanations that don't follow how they would work as described.

So displaying a list of potential attributes that can be changed - not just whatever the MC can think of. This could be easily done with something simple like the rocks used near the start. 

And actually showing them all in a blue box.

So showing a boiling point, mass, specific gravity, colour/luster/whatever...or more abstract "throwing speed", "durability" etc

...and then have a slightly more drawn out session of changing any of those attributes for the first time. Feeling like a sense is drilling down into the rock, seeing the rock change stuff like that. Maybe feeling a slight barrior to changing the values and figuring out how to manipulate his skill to get past those natural barriers.

Maybe some values are really easy to access and others are hidden in harder to "hack" parts of the rock. Maybe the object being "hacked" has a firewall that fights back if it figures its being changed.

The other option is to focus on the "Programing everything"

Basically focusing on programming by describing how it interfaces and works more, imagining the rock is full of registers and figuring out the command to set the value in those registers.

mass = 20

set_mass 20

mov 20 mass_reg

You could make a whole psudo programming language to describe what he was doing - from as simple to use as python to as ridged and defined as assembly.

...any sort of initial discovery of the system would involve seeing the types of commands that could be given because right now it feels kind of wishy washy.

Triggers? Figuring out how to get events to work right? Figuring out how to copy old code between items or creating his own "programs" to place into different items. Figuring out how to set up communication or subprocesses? Instead of just saying "using algorithms" actually describing the sort of goal the algorithm is solving and the thought process they used to get there.


And this is my final piece of advice. Real programming is fun but as the whole culture behind it can tell you is full of impostor syndrome and dirty hacks and bugs all the bugs. Barely anything anyone makes works the first time and its barely ever something as dumb sounding as a "missing semi colon". Sometimes it is just that most most of the time its...Stuff like race conditions or libraries that have updated and changed the name or function of a function without updating the docs. Off by one errors on hard to debug inner loops or hanging pointers or all sorts of stuff. 

What happens when those errors appear in "real life". Does a thrown rock fly sideways? Does it shatter? Does it clip through the world and fall into the ground?

Considering you seem to like the idea of hacking reality do any of these bugs have useful side effects? I feel like it was getting close to this point by making smoke bombs out of the side effect of stones turning to dust but it wasn't focused on enough. I want to read about a programing dungeon master scratching his head and screaming why wont it work "I'm the dumbest person alive" before suddenly realizing he forgot to connect an arm on a golem yelling that he's a geinus and a god as soon as he gets it working.

At the end of the day I feel like there's massive potential in this story that isn't being used or focused on. 






John Doe 123

Enjoyable story crippled by grammatical issues

Reviewed at: Chapter 20: Strength Comes for Those Who Seek

Written at chapter 20

I will start this review with some positives, because it will turn quite brutal further down.

"The Programmer's Dungeon" is the story of how Vincent (from Earth) ends up running a dungeon as a dungeon master in another world together with the dungeon core Lorelei.

Those two main characters are quite enjoyable and likeable. Their interactions and efforts in building a dungeon as well as observing how intruders fare against their preparations are what makes this story worth reading.

It is also the reason why I have given this a high story score, despite it being simple in certain aspects (especially with regards to fighting in the first three chapters). The character score is low partly due to the 'bad guys' in the story being very simple flat characters. Some attempts are made to improve this, but more work needs to be put into it.

The style score, I have given 4/5 stars, partly because I consider the stat and skill/vocation system to be part of the style of the story. I really like how it is done and consider it to be one of the main strengths of this piece of fiction. 
The writing style is also fine, with a well done first person narrator. 


And now to the not-so-nice/brutal part: The grammar, spelling mistakes, and sentence construction as well as idioms.
If a story is like a car and those elements the wheels that carry it, then "The Programmer's Dungeon" is like a car running on four flat tires.

The grammar is very poor, spelling mistakes are abundant, idioms are poorly used and misunderstood, and the sentence constructions are so bad that I am forced to claim that to make this a good piece of fiction, the author needs to look through everything again and rewrite countless sentences. 

The only excuse the author has for this is that they are not a native English speaker. This is a poor excuse however, since they themself have decided to post their fiction here in English and frankly the quality or lack thereof borders on being insulting to Royal Road readers. I have read poorly translated Japanese web novels with better overall grammar than this.

Now, I do like "The Programmer's Dungeon", which is why I have spent a couple of hours adding almost 250 edit suggestions in the first 20 chapters. This does not make the grammar perfect however, it is merely an attempt at putting out fires to make at least the start readable for others who decide to give this story a read.


In general, I consider a story to be worth recommending if my overall score reaches 4/5. If the author pulls themself together, starts to understand that grammar is not optional in a piece of fiction, and begins fixing the serious grammatical problems (maybe even rewriting the already released chapters), then I will change my overall score to 4/5. In fact, they are welcome to write to me if they do so, so I can change it.

However, as it is now, "The Programmer's Dungeon" seems to be only an enthusiast piece meant to share the author's thoughts and ideas, not a piece of fiction made to be read by others, and I cannot recommend others to give it a read.


I read the original and up to 40 chapters of the current. I think I'd sum up my feelings as irritated. This is not a dungeon core novel. It has a dungeon and the title and summary suggest that it's going to be dungeon focused. But it is not. The main character spends more time out of the dungeon instead of in it. And based on experience most dungeon core novels have to expand to incorporate other characters and more world building. But this story accelerated at mach 10 to get out of the dungeon. I think that if the other had a different title and a more descriptive summary I'd enjoy the story more. I also probably wouldnt have read it. I came for the dungeon in the name not Vincent the master magician whose an isekai reincarnate in a pseudo medieval steampunk world with a pet dungeon on the side. Stories ok just not as advertised.

Dungeon chapters: 8-10 out of 40

Adventure chapters: <30 out of 40

Still props to the author who is out here writing and letting us read for free. I think you really got the flow for storytelling but maybe a little self editing. Introduce elements of the world slowly instead of shoving the buffet of ideas out. I think it's a lot of massive story elements that needed way more time for introduction. If the pacing was slower and their was more arc centric focus.

I want to add on that Ill still keep reading this and the authors future works as well because I think theres a lot of potential.


Interesting Start, but not without Issues

Reviewed at: Chapter 6: Dungeon Catalogs

Well, first of, a big issue is that we dont know everything, or anything at all. How does his interface work? How can he do stuff that quickly?

We also dont truly see any emotional impact of the trasplant, nor do we learn much of anything about the main character. We know more about the Dungeon core, which showed up, more or less, in the latest chapter, than about the main character.

Grammar seems good, though.

The story is fairly standard for a dungeon core story to date, although it spends a number of chapters before the main character becomes a dungeon core.

Which is something with interesting implications, considering how easy the process seems to be. I am awaiting what the author does out of that.

But the story is technically still in what I like to call the tutorial phase, aka the phase when the new dungeon is still learning what it can do. 

The characters, and fight scenes need a lot of work, and the System needs significantly more introduction. I hope it will get that with further chapters.

All in all, a nice read, but I wouldnt expect too much from it. Still the author seems to have potential, and the story could easily develop into something rather impressive.


The programmer's dungeon is well done and worth the read for people just getting into it. I didn't get the chance to read this story before the rewrite but I am glad I started now. The premise is well done and I am excited to see more from this story and how it continues beyond the initial writing. The one thing I am worried about for the story is the dungeon elements. Vince has left the dungeon in more recent chapters and that is not what some like out of their dungeon core stories. For now, I am fine with it but I hope the divergence doesn't take too long but I understand the need to power up the MC with the help of others for a while.

Readability and the grammar/editing of the story are well done overall and I haven't noticed anything wrong with the chapters as I go through them.

The style of the RPG elements and writing, in general, is great. The author doesn't use blue boxes which is a welcome change. The other parts that go into style have also been good. From the action scenes to the dialogue.

In the end, my main concern would be where the story goes from here and how the story focuses on VInce the dungeon master


Author I have to ask is Vincent half Japanese and half Chinese, He has the resistance to seduction of a JP LN MC and the quickly growing ruthlessness of a Xianxia MC.

I hope he can have a few friends from the minions.

And the enemy's power scale to match the advantage of technology afterall sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology

Anyways keep up the good work Ser Author




"The Programmers Dungeon" is a gimmick novel. But it doesn't really do much with that gimmick.

We follow along as our main character is unceremoniously chucked into a fantasy world, almost dies and just survives by fusing with a dubgeon core, who takes on a human shape and as whose 'master' he serves.

Fate settles him with a special skill called "programming" with which he can alter the world around him, using his trusty laptop and a code line.


Style / Grammar:

The prose flows decently, though I stumbled a few time — Only one of which being from a sentence that struck me as odd, while the rest were from (parentheses) uses in narration, or internet lingo, such as "¯\_(ツ)_/¯" or "Lol" appearing in text.

On those latter two points I'm not yet sure whether they're supposed to be part of the main character's personality, or if that's just the author's style. It did definitely make me cringe thought. Personal prefrences.

Apart from that necessary information is conveyed in a very, very exposition heavy way, which wasn't very enjoyable to read.

The grammar is okay. It didn't kill my enjoyment of the story, but it definitely isn't top notch either.

Other reviews go more into detail on that, so consult them if you want to know more.



The plot is fairly standard for a dungeon core novel. I don't think I even need to elaborate on what's the central conflict and danger to the main characters. If you're read more than two stories in the genre, you'll have a good idea how it goes.

What's the twist in this story is that the main character is not stationary — Though his dungeon is so... Hm.

And the fact that the world isn't medieval high fantasy, but has significant non-magical technology, such as guns as well.

The story is trop laden and it knows this.It lampshades this, but this didn't really improve anything for me. It didn't really make me laugh, as I presume it was supposed to. It just made me think "If you know about this, why don't you actually change, or subvert it?"

Even the chunks of originally the story has don't balance out those tropes at the story's core for me.



The characters aren't very interesting, honestly. Just as with the story, you get what you expect. Perhaps slightly worse because it once again digs into weeb elements that didn't entice me in the slightest.

What I did take notice of and wanted to point out was that the main character, or rather the prose, can transition between emotions rapidly — Sometimes even when they're polar opposites.

An editor, or just another person being told to keep an eye out for that could probably catch those moments.


I for the most part I enjoyed the story, but I just couldn't get past the MC and his aditude towards the core. He basically treats her like dirt in his head. He doesn't actually treat her badly, but his inner thoughts make it seem like he would if he could.


reading it wasn't as fun. It was still fun, to be sure. Initial premise sounded neat as heck and it had been a while since I read anything related to the Programming tropes. But, damn, was I annoyed by grammar issues. There aren't too many of them but it drags the fiction down too much. Mixed in with the execution of the tropes, I wasn't entirely happy with how it turned out. It has promise but it needs some work.


Kit Monster

Over all I really enjoy this story. I was really interested in where it was going from the moment I read the description, and so far I haven't been disappointed. The author has a great way of describing surroundings that makes it very easy to imagine what the world is like, which I love.

As far as style goes it starts off feeling very much like a standard isekai, but the way the author handles things makes it a bit more fun. It's like reading a manga without the pictures. Things have a sort of visual oomph despite only existing in words. It's fun.

The story so far has me interested. I'm curious to know what with happen next, and I've been really enjoying the interactions between Vincent and Lorelei. 

The grammar is where things take a harder hit here. It's not unreadable by any sense, but sometimes there's an awkwardly worded phrase or a sentence that's obviously missing a word. It's nothing that couldn't be fixed easily by giving it a quick edit while reading aloud.

The characters are great, too. At least the main characters are. The half point deduction on this is only because the bad guys feel a little one note right now, but I'm sure that will change.

All in all? Definitely give this a read if you like dungeon core. It has all the theorizing in dungeon maps and cheating the system into giving you things for cheap that you could ever hope for.