The Bettor's Oath [A Dark-Modern LITRPG]

The Bettor's Oath [A Dark-Modern LITRPG]

by PistolWords

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

We live in a world where the rabbit’s foot helped win the game. Following that logic, tell me, what happens when the odds are flipped against the strong and a god rises to give the weak their right for revenge?~Last segment of the First Monarch's speech before the Lablanca battle.

Lothar Ardolf, an alcoholic 27 years old high school teacher, was one of the many men who failed to catch up to life.
When everyone around him worked to leave a mark behind, he idled away between states of short sobriety and static numbness, hoping that one day everything would resolve itself.

It took little to wake him up. Only a life, soul, and body changing experience.
Thrust into a world of cheap power and tyrannical governments, where a man could rival what is true and alter what is false, he was tasked by an elusive being with befalling titans.

He wakes up in a prison with a path laid in front of him; one that would challenge all the resolve he has and more. Intertwined in a convoluted scheme of politics and old grudges, he will need to learn how to wield his new powers in order to escape before the secrets of the prison threaten to unravel him.

However, he shortly realizes that his new faded fantasy was not a fairy tale. All that awaits him in the end, for standing against the world, is death.

That is, if the three sided coin lands on heads. If it lands on tails... The shadowbane army rises.


This story is a neo-noir dark LITRPG in a world similar to earth. Take the tags seriously. I've been working on this project for 6 months and my MC is a bit unconventional, so I'm excited to introduce you all to him.

Beware, it will be a slow-burn, so please be patient. The main plot will start to kick up at around chapter 15. 

I will be writing about racists, rapists, cultists and horrible humans. I do not condone or excuse their behavior or choice of words but the first arc will be in a prison and (some) prisoners don't mince their words. 

My MC doesn't adapt to the new world immediately because that is not realistic at all. It takes time and because of his personality, it will take more than a system to convince him to do someone else's bidding ;)

Each chapter will have around 3000+ (give or take) words. I will be updating 2-3 times a week (depending on how busy I am with work and/or college) when I'm done publishing my backlog (Which is very big, 40,000+ words).

**Each comment gets rep!

Cover art by @tahraart on Instagram.

Link to discord:

Have a good one,



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A Deep Dive into the Darkness of Humanity

Reviewed at: Chapter 10

Reviewed at Chapter:10

Reviewed by: Faytales

Going into the story you are immediately pulled into a dark world of mystery and intrigued.  The reader is kept off balance the same way that the Lothar is, not knowing what is real, and what is a dream.  This helps hold onto a unique ambiance that sets the scene moving forward.
Systems are often used in stories, but this is the most unique way of using a system that I have seen, one with is very impressive to me.  I'd love to go into it but I don't want to spoil anything for new readers.  Just know that you are in for a treat! 
As for characters, Lothar is a very believable character.  Thrust into this new environment, as well as body, the time that it takes for him to adapt is believable, which created a stronger emotional connection to the character, which makes one all the more emotional when reading the devastating things that he is put through.

Aside from the main character the other characters all have unique and believable personalities, from their language, accents, and the way that they interact with the world around them.  For some it is easy to see one character blend into another, but Pistol is able to keep each as an individual, which is something that I appreciate greatly.
Overall a very enjoyable read!


Dark, gritty and angry

Reviewed at: Chapter 8

The story is still in its infantile stage, but I have liked it enough to post this review. 


Really smooth and easy to follow. The author describes the surrounding and events in a way that doesn't go on for too long but doesn't feel lacking either. They really nailed the show not tell aspect of writing, which in my opinion is something many authors fail to do.

NO INFO DUMPING. I'm so glad for that. The author is obviously taking their time introducing us to the world and magic system. This could be a double edged sword, as some readers like the action and adventure to start from chapter 1. You won't find that here so beware.

However, i advise your to hold on as the glimpses we get of the magic system show lots of promise for the future.


It is, like the synopsis says, an isekai litrpg. Not original but not generic either as the MC starts in a prison—Not a cave or a forest or whatever.

I especially love the reason and how Lothar ended up isekaid. I won't go into details, but it is not truck kun's fault.

There is intrigue, mystery and lots of swearing. It's still too early to say more than that.


This is honestly my fav part of the story. The MC is exactly what he's supposed to be: a bum. He is trying hard to adapt to his new life but still dwells too much on the 'injustice' of it. He is a cynical man but doesn't spam it in your face. He does nott hink much of himself but still would spit in someone's face if they tried to step on him. I like the contradictions in his character, which make him feel more human.

He's basically not a one-quality, one-flaw character.

He's not a hero. In fact, he can be quite a scum (imo, talking abt chp1 flashback) but you still pity his situation.

Other well written characters are the inmates. I will also not go too much into details cz of spoilers.


Not a grammar wizard, but i can safely say that there weren't any jarring mistakes. A few comments have posted some edits and from what i saw, the author fixed them. 


I would recommend this to whoever found the synopsis interesting as it stays true to it. The characters are extremely well written (so far) and the story is intriguing.

Note: wrote this on my phone so there might be some typos. 


Definitely deserves attention.

Reviewed at: Chapter 4

Relentlessly gritty dive of macabre imagination envelops you from the first chapter on. Too early to tell the overall quality of the story as it is barely just beginning, but it is promising like few others I've seen here.
Only qualms I have are with few grammatical errors, easily fixed during further editing at a later date. 
Take a look at this darkness, the rich raw thickness of it... Oh my God! It even has a System...


fun edge story

Reviewed at: Chapter 4

Or maybe it's not meant to be edge and I'm misinterpreting the ways the author is writing. I can't tell for sure. Some parts seem entirely focused on making sure the world building is fully understood while others seem to focus on the actions of the characters while letting the reader know that it's more than a bit checked up. Entirely positive vibes from that. Style is great. Very imaginative at points. Really brings in the reader to the scene.

Clearly edited since I couldn't find any grammar mistakes. Style's great as well.



Felix Felicis

Grimdark at its finest.

Reviewed at: Chapter 3

When you hear about this genre, your mind probably goes straight to blood and gore 24/7. Sadly, this is what most authors do to set up their world. There’s nothing bad about it, but it’s no excuse to lack substance. This novel thankfully has that in spades.

Style: solid from the start. It’s third-person omniscient done right. Even the dialogue gives you a clear idea of the characters’ action. The prose is straightforward most of the time, and when it isn’t, it’s shockingly not confusing.

Story: an extension to the above. The worldbuilding is top notch and sets up the bleak atmosphere just right. I haven’t gone into the litRPG part, and it already has an identity.

Grammar: a little divisive at first until I realize a character spoke in broken English. Still, there were some typos. This is just a nitpick, though, and I don’t want people to get the wrong idea. The readability is phenomenal—complimented by the chapter font.

Character: memorable in every way. Lothar has so many stories to tell by dialogue alone, and it’s very tragic. Even the side characters get a day in the limelight. A frickin’ bus driver has a name and a personality. I always love it when authors don’t throw random no-names for a specific job.


Brilliantly Brutal

Reviewed at: Chapter 4

I don't think it would be fair for me to give this an advanced review because I've only read up to chapter four. My goal with this review is to champion what the author does well, and to give my constructive criticism for improvements. 

My favourite thing about the story so far

Is the brutality. I like the edge in the story but it hasn't yet become 'edgy' in a cringey sense. Instead I feel like the world is hard and bleak and there's a very satisfying consistency to the worldbuilding when it comes to tone. The aesthetics of the world; the blood, the gore, the lights that blink out, the desperately cramped living spaces and the grissly prisoners and cell guards, they all work for me as a unified whole. I buy into the world as something which will be cohesive in the long term. 

My Main Issue with the Writing So Far 

My criticism here, I hope, is constructive. I genuinely think the author has moments of brilliant writing, particularly with a few lines that speak volumes and are eloquent. Where I think the author can improve greatly is their word count per chapter and streamlining the narrative a bit. 

The prose meanders a fair bit. I want the story to progress with each line, but instead I feel like for every good sentence that gives me the need-to-know information that helps me get into the story, there are four-to-five sentences that could really be either cut altogether, or trimmed down a lot. 

Prose economy is important because readers, particularly me, have short attention spans. I want only the need-to-know information that can take me through the story. I don't care about incidental details. Personally I would grab a chainsaw and cut at least half of the length of each chapter so we can keep the really good stuff and remove what ultimately reads like meandering filler. 

Delivery of Information 

Going off my last point I think the delivery of information to the reader needs a bit of work. There is a scatteredness to the first three chapters where we're not sure what is going on, why, etc. I don't NEED to know everything, but as a substitute to knowing things I need to be right there with the MC who is feeling the same confusion. On the one hand I feel like the MC is at arm's reach and I don't quite know him, but on the other there are scenes where I do feel like I'm right there with him as he deals with the new challenges in his world. 

My constructive solution to this is to remove a good deal of the narrative promises of 'he's an alcoholic' and 'he has an abusive father' and more of that stuff until it becomes directly relevant to the story. In a way including that stuff without it being directly relevant to the story feels like the author doesn't trust his reader to wait to receive that information. 

The Bad Stuff

There is nothing truly bad about the author's writing. Nothing that can't be fixed by a good round or two of professional edits.

Final Thoughts 

The reason I'm not continuing is because I'm just not a fan of any kind of progression stories. They just don't do it for me. So it more of a personal choice of taste than the author failed in some way. My main desire for the author is to greatly minimise their word count per chapter and to keep the narrative tight, the delivery of information controlled and steady, and to be comfortable with keeping information on hold for the reader for later. 

There are exceptional moments I think in the story, and I'll give mild spoilers below for things that stood out to me and I really liked:

- The graveyard and all the blood and guts and cut-in-half dogs and so on. I love it. Fantastic stuff that made me flinch when I read it. 

- The concept of the trade of souls from one universe to another via a proxy. I've toyed with similar concepts in my own stories so its fun to see someone else doing it too. I do find Lothar having the exchange flung on him, and he didn't choose it, a little...disappointing. Removes the character's agency a bit. 

- Similarly the proxy-god-power-progression plot that comes into play isn't my cup of tea because it sort of tells me what the future brings for the story. That predictability makes me lose interest. 

Final, Final Thoughts

I wouldn't have read up to chapter four of this story if I wasn't intrigued by the prose and world created. I stop reading 99% of stories on RR in the first two paragraphs because they just don't work for me for different and numerous reasons. Having said all this I recommend the story and think its worth checking out. I think the author needs to continue working on his style and eventually he'll get to a really good place and will reach top-tier professional level, no doubt (I say, not being near that level myself, just an observation from a reader.)

Banner Caygeon

This's amazing.

Reviewed at: Chapter 8

This is an iseaki/trading places story that doesn't start out there, or at least it's not known. There's hints it has happened, but the author let's us writhe in agony in prison before they let us in on what's going on. This is dark, creepy, surreal, and you can FEEL this story. It's gross and disturbing and all the more awesome because of it.

Grammar Score: There's a few errors here and there, but nothing too big, or anything that Grammarly wouldn't pick up. In the author notes, they've been noting recommendations from reviewers and putting those into practice. So full marks from me, even though it's not there yet, I imagine it will be quite soon.

Style Score: The style of the story is incredible - the author's prose is really something. I commented on a few lines that I thought were absolutely brilliant throughout the story. The author also does a really excellent job of 'not-telling' and letting the reader fill in the blanks. I wouldn't see this is a light need to pay attention to what you're reading but in doing so you're pulled further into the story which is really brilliant work by the author. The story itself could use a formatting tune-up. There's some parts in later chapters where the dialogue isn't spaced out properly, but it's really just a technical thing, I imagine will get sorted out quite quickly. The magic system, exposition etc are all brilliant and reveal in such smooth fashion. 

Story Score: Full friggin marks. I LOVE this bleak, creepy, monster part shoveling prison place...and how little we know about it at the onset. Not knowing is like being in the MC's shoes, we're desparately trying to figure it out too. The name reveal? Fantastic. As the story unfolds, it does so in waves. Just when you thinking you figure something out, in walks a way to fancy psychiatrist to mess up some of your guesses. With that on to characters:

Characters: What an ensemble...every one of them has this facade of being tropey, but underneath it's something much deeper and darker. Even the bus driver had a weird deep dark tail that the MC preyed on for bus fare lol. Droj, the doc, psychiatrist the MC (Vols or Lothar) they are all really compelling and while we don't really 'like' any of them, every one of them is like a masterpiece in complexity and interest. 

This piece feels's not the kind of thing you'd read twice I don't think but it's so well done. It feels like reading a cronenburg movie. A few technical tune-ups from the author to fix some grammar and formatting issues and I would not be surprised to see this on the RR homepage for best fictions. Bravo!



A strong start to a new dark grim litrpg

Reviewed at: Chapter 7

Story 4/5: It's still too early to comment on the story but I like what I'm reading so far. There's real depth to this new world that the author has spent time to create. Each chapter has a little nugget that gives us more info about where he is and what kind of world it is. I feel like the story is building up to something big.

Style 4.5/5: The writing style is interesting with good use of vocabulary and prose. The use of descriptors is  more colorful than most novels but I was still able to understand what was happening without issue. I found myself reading all chapters in one sitting without realizing the time. 

Grammar 4.5/5: No glaring issues with grammar that I was able to notice.

Character 4.5: I like the MC. Lothar is a cynical alcoholic who is dark and gritty. The perfect combo for a dark litrpg. He's  not weak but nor is he a Gary Stu who adapts to his new environment instantly. Other characters show promise as well. Interested to learn more about Tink but I won't say any more.

Overall 5/5: The Bettors Oath is an interesting take on the dark grim litrpg genre that is sure to leave you wanting more. Highly recommend giving it a read


This is a story as entertaining as it is engaging; a unique twist on the isekai genre that is much needed.

Story: The novel follows a young man named Lothar, who in his previous life was a simple teacher and moderate in most regards. Following a very shady deal he doesn't know about, Lothar is thrown into the body of Vols; a convict in a very magical and dark world. This world's derangement is mainly fueled by the separation between those who are gifted in magic and those who are not, creating a schism between the 2 halves thats not too healthy. In the beginning of the story you'll follow Lothar (in the body of Vols) as he tries to make do with what he has and think of how to escape his current predicament.

Style: The author expertly crafts this world in a grimdark light and every word he puts to paper has meaning (you'll find little to no filler here)

Grammar: No issue whatsoever 

Character: Lothar is pretty darn frustrating in the beginning of the story as he goes into a pretty big denial phase and does things that could get him killed. But with that being said there is continuity in his character and he acts the way he should relative to his previous experiences. Lothar grows organically with every experience he goes through and his interaction with the other characters in the story is wholly human.


All in all a great story. Please take the chance and give it a read; you'll lose nothing if its not to your taste but could very much gain a story you can invest your imagination in if you enjoy it.


Read it

Jude McCabe

It deserves your time

Reviewed at: Chapter 15

Overall, the last 15 chapters have been a blast, somehow despite the very foreign environment i think i have a firm grasp on whats going on and why people are making the decisions they make and I have hunches on whats going to happen but nothing absolute.

I look forward to each chapter and I hope the overal quality of not just story but alos writing continues onwards. My biggest fear is that things might suddenly turn from weak mc to strong mc, Though there has been no indication of that so far, its simply something I see happen too often with these very gritty realistic novels.

More than anything I think it has done a lot with only a few chapters, Things move forward at the pace that keep interest but doesn't dissolve mystery.