The Order of the Stick


The Order of the Stick
The Order of the Stick
Orderofthestick Newer.gif
Principal characters, from left to right:
Belkar, Vaarsuvius, Elan, Haley, Durkon, and Roy
Author(s) Rich Burlew
Website http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots.html
Current status / schedule No regular schedule[1]
Launch date September 29, 2003[2]
Publisher(s) Giant in the Playground
Genre(s) Fantasy, comedy, parody

The Order of the Stick (OOTS) is a comedic webcomic that celebrates and satirizes tabletop role-playing games and medieval fantasy through the ongoing tale of the eponymous fellowship of adventuring heroes. The comic is written and illustrated by Rich Burlew, who creates the comic in a colorful stick figure style.

Taking place in a magical world that loosely operates by the rules of the 3.5 edition Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), the comic follows the sometimes farcical exploits of six adventurers as they strive to save the world from an evil lich. Much of the comic's humor stems from these characters either being aware of the game rules that affect their lives or having anachronistic knowledge of modern culture, which in turn is often used by the author to parody various aspects of role-playing games and fantasy fiction. While primarily comedic in nature, The Order of the Stick features a continuing storyline serialized in one- to four-page episodes, with over 800 such episodes released so far.

Although it is principally distributed online at the website Giant in the Playground,[3] seven book collections have been published, including several print-only stories (On the Origin of PCs, Start of Darkness, and Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales). An alternate version of the strip appeared monthly in Dragon magazine for 22 issues; these strips, among others, are collected in Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales.

Contents

History

The Order of the Stick began its run on September 29, 2003, on what was (at the time) Rich Burlew's personal site for gaming articles. Burlew initially intended the strip to feature no plot whatsoever—depicting an endless series of gags drawn from the D&D rules instead—but Burlew quickly changed his mind, and began laying down hints of a storyline as early as strip #13.[4] The strip was originally produced to entertain people who came to his website to read articles, but it quickly became the most popular feature, leading Burlew to eventually abandon writing articles almost entirely.[5]

The comic is created directly on a computer using the vector-based software Adobe Illustrator, and the art style has been upgraded several times.[6] In strip #103, the curved and crooked panel borders were replaced with straight—though still slanted—black lines. Burlew now questions how he ever thought the initial format was acceptable.[n 1][7] After he sprained his wrist in 2005, Burlew used some of the time he took off from writing the comic to improve the designs of the main cast, straightening their lines and adding tiny details like the runes stitched along the edge of Vaarsuvius' cloak.[8] These changes were humorously acknowledged by the characters themselves when they premiered.[n 2] Burlew made adjustments to the colors that were required when the material was to appear in print for the first time.[8] The later comics feature more frequent double- and even triple-page strips than in the early days, when longer strips were reserved for special occasions (such as reaching #200). In addition to these permanent improvements to the art, two variant art styles are used to distinguish the events of certain comics from those taking place in the story's present. Historical events relating to the plot are portrayed in a hand-drawn crayon style both in the online comic and in Start of Darkness,[n 3][n 4] while events in the "prequel" print-exclusive stories are shown in black-and-white.

The Order of the Stick began as a twice-weekly comic that debuted new strips on Mondays and Thursdays. When presales of the first OOTS compilation book allowed Burlew to make writing his full-time job, he increased the number to three per week.[9] Since 2007, the comic has been published on an irregular schedule due to the author's ongoing health concerns.[10]

Dragon Magazine

The cover of Dragon #339 promotes The Order of the Stick by featuring Elan's head in the top left corner of the cover.

On September 30, 2005, Burlew announced that The Order of the Stick would begin appearing in Dragon, the long-running official D&D magazine.[11] The strip debuted in the December 2005 issue, on the last page of the magazine.[12] The following issue, OOTS appeared as a four-panel strip in the magazine's interior,[12] but by the February 2006 issue, it had returned to a full-page strip on the last page, a position it would hold until the magazine's major reformatting in September 2007.[13][14]

The Dragon version of OOTS featured the same main cast of six adventurers, but saw them adventuring in an unspecified underground location. None of the villains or supporting characters from the online strip appeared, with the exception of Mr. Jones and Mr. Rodriguez, who appeared together twice.[n 5][n 6] Burlew has stated that the events of the Dragon strips take place in an alternate universe from the online strip, and events in one storyline do not affect the other.[15] This status quo was broken for the sake of a joke, however, when a character in the online strip referred to the July 2006 Dragon strip by claiming that "I told you that in one of the Dragon Magazine comics, so I'm not even sure that's the same continuity."[n 7][n 8]

Characters

Protagonists

The comic's central protagonists, known collectively as "The Order of the Stick," are a party of adventurers who are questing to destroy an evil lich that is planning to conquer the world. Though they have many allies, the official members of the Order of the Stick are:

  • Roy Greenhilt: A 29-year-old[16] veteran fighter, Roy assembled the Order and acted as party leader. Roy is a counterstereotype of the traditional dumb fighter cliché.
  • Belkar Bitterleaf: A barefoot halfling ranger at the start of the Order's adventures, he has since taken at least three levels of barbarian.
  • Durkon Thundershield: A 55-year-old dwarf, Durkon is the party's cleric, worshipping Thor as his patron deity.
  • Elan: Originally a bard, he has now taken levels as a Dashing Swordsman, an obscure prestige class created specifically for the webcomic.
  • Haley Starshine: A 24-year-old[17] red-haired human rogue, she is the only obvious female on the team.
  • Vaarsuvius: A high-elven wizard, Vaarsuvius' gender is intentionally unclear.

Antagonists

The comic's central antagonists include the following:

  • Xykon (Formerly human Lich Sorcerer, unspecified Evil[n 9]): The archvillain of the story,[n 10] Xykon is engaged in a plot to conquer the world by controlling a world-destroying beast known as the Snarl.[n 11] While he has a notoriously short attention span and requires near-constant amusement, he is also capable of truly horrific acts of evil.[n 12]
  • Redcloak (Goblin Cleric of the Dark One, Lawful Evil[n 13]): Xykon's main ally, he is a high priest of his deity and commander of the goblinoids that serve as the lich's minions. He is motivated by concern for the goblin people and their poor lot in life, believing that harnessing the power of the Snarl will allow his god to bargain for a better place for all goblins.[n 14] Unlike his boss, Redcloak is a patient planner and a competent leader,[n 15] and has shown an inclination for scientific thought.[n 13]
  • The Monster in the Dark: An enigmatic, childlike monster whom Redcloak and Right-eye rescued from a circus. Although designated as Xykon's secret weapon, the Monster is terrified of almost everything, including the dark. On the rare occasions he has used force, he demonstrates incredible power, causing an earthquake by lightly stomping on the ground and smashing a high-level paladin and her war-horse through a wall after hitting them "as lightly as he can". The paladin O-Chul deemed the Monster "a good man" after befriending him while imprisoned.
  • Tsukiko: A female human Mystic Theurge who was originally imprisoned in Azure City for necromancy, she was released by the Azurites to help them during the battle against Xykon, but betrayed them to join Xykon instead. She is a necrophiliac attracted to Xykon, who has firmly rejected her advances. She plans to supplant Redcloak as Xykon's second-in-command.
  • The Linear Guild: An adventuring party comprising "evil opposites" to the Order, led by Elan's literal evil twin, Nale. While the Guild originally sought a powerful magic artifact, its purpose turned solely toward defeating the Order after their first encounter with them.
  • Miko Miyazaki (Human Monk/Paladin, Lawful Good): Strongest warrior of the Sapphire Guard,[n 16] Miko is dispatched to apprehend the Order at the request of her liege. Her sanctimonious attitude and her frequent judgment of others on moral grounds[n 17] create conflict with the Order, although both oppose the forces of Evil. She was killed in comic 464.[n 18]

Plot

The Order of the Stick #1 begins with the protagonists in the midst of a battle.

While the online version of The Order of the Stick unfolds continuously, the strips have been broken down into plot arcs for purposes of publication; the plot summary that follows breaks the story down into these arcs for clarity. The most recent strips, those which have yet to be compiled for print, have no title yet. Burlew notes in the commentary of War and XPs that the strips contained within that volume were the first to be plotted with publication in mind from the very beginning.[18] Several volumes have been released in book-only format: On the Origin of PCs, a prequel to the heroes' adventures;[19] Start of Darkness, a prequel to the villains' escapades;[20] and Snips, Snails and Dragon Tails, a collection of all the Dragon Magazine comics plus 80 pages of new material. (This last volume was announced on March 14, 2011,[21] and eventually shipped in August of 2011.[22])

Dungeon Crawlin' Fools

The comic begins with the Order fighting goblins and other monsters on their way through the Dungeon of Dorukan. They are led by Roy Greenhilt on a quest to destroy a lich sorcerer named Xykon. Roy is motivated by nightly visits from the ghost of his father, from whom he receives a cryptic warning. The Order briefly joins forces with an adventuring party known as the Linear Guild, led by Nale (the evil twin of the Order's happy-go-lucky bard, Elan). The Guild eventually betrays the Order, but the Order prevails due to Roy's sudden understanding of his father's prophecy. The Order goes on to battle Xykon near a mysterious magical gate. Xykon shatters Roy's ancestral sword, but before he can release his ace-in-the-hole (a powerful monster shrouded in darkness), Roy flings him into a deadly mystic rune that protects the gate. Xykon's body is destroyed, but his disembodied soul is ferreted to safety by his lieutenant, Redcloak. The book ends with Elan accidentally destroying the entire dungeon, including the gate, by activating another magic rune. The Order escapes to safety.[23]

No Cure for the Paladin Blues

The Order travels to Wooden Forest, where they slay a black dragon and loot its hoard in order to retrieve a rare "starmetal" to repair Roy's broken sword. The party is arrested by the paladin Miko Miyazaki for the capital crime of destroying the magical gate in the Dungeon of Dorukan. While stopping at an inn, the party loses the dragon's treasure in an explosion, the shock of which renders Haley to speak only in cryptograms. In Azure City, Miko's liege Lord Shojo informs the Order that the gate they destroyed is one of five gates that reinforce the structure of the universe. Without them, a god-killing abomination known as the Snarl would escape and destroy all of creation. The Order is put on trial, but acquitted with the help of Celia, a sylph they had aided in the Dungeon of Dorukan. Shojo later explains that the trial was a sham to get the Order's assistance in defending the remaining gates. Roy reluctantly agrees once he learns that Xykon has survived and is recruiting a massive army of hobgoblins to seize the remaining gates. As payment for their future aid, each member of the Order receives a boon, one of which is the repair of Roy's sword.[24]

War and XPs

The Order makes a brief diversion to Cliffport to confront the Linear Guild, during which Haley recovers her speech and confesses her love for Elan. The Order returns to Azure City to ask Lord Shojo for further directions. Miko, who does not know about the plan to find the gates but does know about Xykon's army, overhears the conversation and jumps to the conclusion that both are in league with Xykon. She strikes her master down, and is immediately stripped of her paladin status by her gods and imprisoned. Xykon's hobgoblins attack the city the next day. The Order helps Shojo's heir, Hinjo, hold the city walls. Xykon attempts to circumvent the defenders, but Roy leaps up to the zombified dragon that Xykon is riding, and the two duel once more. Xykon overpowers Roy and sends him falling to his death. Xykon and Redcloak attempt to activate the gate hidden within the castle's throne room, and become locked in a losing battle with ghost-martyrs of the Sapphire Guard. Right before the villains are vanquished, Miko, having escaped from prison, destroys the gate in an attempt to protect it. In the ensuing explosion, Miko is killed, and Xykon and Redcloak escape. The city falls to the hobgoblins. Haley and Belkar become separated from the party when they go to recover Roy's corpse, while the others sail away with Hinjo and the surviving Azurites.[25]

Don't Split the Party

Looking down from the Afterlife, Roy finds himself with his father, who cannot rest until Xykon is gone. Roy is found worthy of entrance to paradise, but he returns to his father's side when he learns that almost four months have passed. Looking down, he sees that Haley and Belkar have formed an underground resistance movement in hobgoblin-occupied Azure City. Haley accidentally summons Celia, who convinces her to look for the other half of the party. Their travels take them to Greysky City, where Haley formerly was a member of the Thieves' Guild. Haley is betrayed by one of her old friends. The Order triumphs over the Guild in the ensuing battle. Meanwhile, Elan, Durkon, and Vaarsuvius stop the nobleman Kubota's plot to assassinate Hinjo, and Vaarsuvius kills Kubota during his escape. S/he then flies to an isolated island to search for Haley, where s/he is attacked and defeated by the mother of the black dragon whom s/he had killed during No Cure for the Paladin Blues. After the dragon threatens to kill Vaarsuvius' children, Vaarsuvius contracts with fiends to rent out the souls of three evil spellcasters. Vaarsuvius then kills the black dragon and her entire family. Loath to waste his/her increased arcane power, s/he teleports to Azure City to defeat Xykon, but is knocked out during the battle and loses control of the souls. Witnessing this, the paladin O-Chul escapes from prison, wounds Redcloak, and attempts to destroy Xykon's phylactery, but it falls into a storm drain and is lost. Vaarsuvius and O-Chul, assisted by Xykon's monster in the darkness, are teleported to Hinjo's fleet, where the Order has regrouped. Durkon then completes the ritual to resurrect Roy. The story arc ends with the Order sailing towards the next gate and Vaarsuvius apologising to his/her neglected familiar Blackwing, who tells him/her that it saw what appeared to be another world in the rift in space caused by the Snarl.

Current storyline

While Hinjo's fleet sails north to one of the remaining gates, the Order searches for Girard's gate in the huge desert of the Western Continent. Their search proves futile when they discover that Girard had lied about the coordinates and set a trap. While attempting to gather information, Haley, Vaarsuvius, and Elan are captured by bounty hunters who mistake them for the Linear Guild, and are brought before the Empress of Blood. They are released when the Empress's chief general, Tarquin, reveals himself to be Elan's father, and announces a festival and gladiator games in his son's honor. Tarquin is also revealed to be the power behind the throne and a Lawful Evil Warlord with a complex scheme to conquer the whole continent without putting himself on the fire lines. When Durkon, Roy, and Belkar attempt to enter the Empire, the latter two, lacking the proper papers, are sentenced to the gladiatorial pits. Among their fellow inmates are the bounty hunters; Haley's father and uncle, who had gone missing years ago; and "the Champion", revealed during his combat with Roy to be Thog, a member of the Linear Guild. The rest of the Linear Guild soon attacks the party, but are defeated by their counterparts in the Order of the Stick with the help of Malack.

Fictional world

The world the characters inhabit is similar to those depicted in Dungeons & Dragons, complete with functional magic and monsters. According to an introductory strip included in Dungeon Crawlin' Fools, the world operates under three sets of laws: Physics, Magic, and Gaming (specifically, paper-and-pencil roleplaying games).[n 19] Though ostensibly medieval in nature, the OOTS world is rife with anachronisms, both social (such as college admissions standards for the Evil Ivy League[n 20]) and technological (such as coffee makers[n 21]). The characters make references to real-life individuals (Michael Jackson[n 22] or Jessica Biel[n 23]), fictional characters from other sources (Green Lantern and Firestorm),[n 24] or pop culture in general. Sometimes, fictional characters (or explicit "third-rate knock-offs" thereof) from other fantasy works cross paths with the main characters, such as the halfling "Frudu".[n 19][n 25]

Geography

Three main areas of the world's geography have been mentioned: the Northern Lands, the Southern Lands,[n 26] and the Western Continent.[n 27] The Northern Lands resemble medieval Europe in setting, but with a wider variety of skin colors than was present in medieval Europe. For example, Roy Greenhilt and his family have dark brown skin, and are not referred to as coming from a different area or having a different cultural background than the characters with light skin. Other characters, such as the lawyer Phil Rodriguez, show a third (light brown) skin color. Non-human races, which are often player characters in D&D, such as dwarves and gnomes, have both dark- and light-skinned members as well. The people of the Southern Lands are significantly different ethnically and culturally, with nations roughly analogous to real-world Asian cultures such as feudal Japan, China, and India.

The Western Continent is split into an Elven forest and an expansive desert. The Western Continent includes Vaarsuvius's homeland and the ruins to where (s)he teleported the Azurite fleet.

Afterlife

Like most of the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, the Order of the Stick universe contains a verifiable afterlife—a series of planes to which dead souls are drawn. The afterlife in the OOTS world resembles the Great Wheel cosmology, with separate planes for the departed of each alignment.[n 28] To enter the afterlife, a planar being must assess whether or not a soul has fulfilled the tenets of their alignment throughout their life.[n 29]

The Northern Lands' Lawful Good afterlife plane has been portrayed in the comic as a mountain with seven plateaus loosely based on Mount Celestia. The first plateau is dedicated to satisfying physical desires, such as for sex and food, while higher levels offer spiritual satisfaction. The seventh level, at the mountain's peak, holds “true perfect enlightenment.”[n 30] Below the mountain is a demiplane of blue skies and clouds, where dead souls, archons, and gods from all of the Good-aligned planes can look down on the mortal world.[n 31]

Commentary on role-playing games

Much of the humor of The Order of the Stick is based on roleplaying games (particularly the Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition ruleset), with characters freely discussing game mechanics, such as experience points, skill sets, and random encounters.[26] The characters know very well that they live in a world controlled by the rules of roleplaying games, but attempt to function normally within it, often with nonsensical results.[26][27] Characters have been shown browsing through rulebooks for the D&D game to select a certain monster for use,[n 32] or to learn about a new class.[n 33] Common techniques of players and Dungeon Masters are spoofed, such as the weather of the campaign world changing to herald a dramatic encounter,[28] or a player who does not bother to complete the details of his character's backstory.[29] Burlew's satirical humor addresses many of the clichés of the fantasy genre as a whole, often by twisting them in new and different ways.[30]

Burlew occasionally creates characters and situations specifically to highlight what he considers common problems and deficits among roleplayers. The controversial paladin Miko Miyazaki is one such character; Burlew has said that she represents the division among players of the game over whether or not one character should be allowed to "police" the remainder of an adventuring party.[31] He has referred to her as being "one of the WORST ways to play a paladin."[8] Another example is the creation myth of the OOTS world, which shows a group of gods bickering over how to create the world—accidentally creating the world-devouring Snarl through their refusal to compromise. In the commentary for No Cure for the Paladin Blues, Burlew likens this story to the squabbles that might arise in a group of roleplayers, which threaten to destroy the fun that they have created together.[32]

The comic occasionally directly comments on current events in the roleplaying game industry by the inclusion of characters that represent the participants. In the last three comics to appear in Dragon, the OOTS members encounter a green dragon that serves as a self-identified allegorical figure for the magazine itself.[33] The dragon recounts the magazine's long history, complete with representations of its various publishers, including a wizard of the coast and Mr. Potato Head (the signature toy of Wizards of the Coast's corporate parent, Hasbro).[34] In the final issue, the dragon escapes the wizard of the coast's lawyers by flying through a room featuring characters from many of the comics that have appeared in Dragon over the years, such as Wormy, Knights of the Dinner Table, and What's New with Phil & Dixie, before the OOTS characters directly thank the dragon for its long years of service.[n 34] This theme was employed again when a character in the online strip voiced Burlew's eulogy to D&D co-creator Gary Gygax immediately after his death was announced.[35][36] The memorial comic was widely cited among websites covering Gygax's death.[37][38][39][40] Burlew created a similar tribute strip for D&D co-creator Dave Arneson after his passing.[41]

Reaction

Due to its reflection of the comical excesses of gaming culture,[42] The Order of the Stick has been hailed as "must reading" for those who play roleplaying games[27] and "the roleplaying comic to beat".[43] Critics sometimes cite the insular nature of in-jokes regarding the D&D rules that crop up regularly (especially in the early part of the comic's run) as a barrier to new readers, noting that without a working knowledge of fantasy roleplaying games, much of the humor may fall flat.[44][45] However, the comic is just as often seen as being accessible to casual readers without such gaming knowledge due to the strength of the main cast's portrayals and abundance of character-based humor.[26][27][43] The comic has been praised for its "shrewd writing" and "increasingly intricate and cleverly scripted adventures", as well as its execution.[28][44][46] One webcomic critic has called it "one of the few very simplistically drawn comics that can pull [off] an extensive storyline."[47] Particular praise has been given to the scenes depicting the siege of Azure City, which has been called "a war worthy of Peter Jackson."[48]

The comic's stick figure art has received mixed reviews. Some critics praise its "surprisingly expressive art,",[46] with PvP cartoonist Scott Kurtz adding that the comic would not be as funny or have as much heart if the characters were drawn in any other style.[49] Others denounce its simple geometric characters as "merely functional"[45] or (as fellow webcomic creator Josh Lesnick put it) only "good for someone who isn't really an artist".[50] Burlew has defended his art style several times in public statements, stating he has no lack of proficiency at drawing, but intentionally developed a clean and simple style to help the reader focus on the humor.[18] He has pointed out that the primary goal of comic art is to communicate the actions of the characters, which his style does as well as any other.[18][51][52] Burlew has addressed similar criticisms within the comic itself several times, either by contrasting his usual art with more realistic drawings or by simply putting self-deprecating dialogue regarding his style into the mouths of characters.[n 35][n 36]

Surveys of webcomic site traffic held since May 2007 have consistently placed The Order of the Stick as one of the 10 most widely-read webcomics in existence.[53][54][55][56] Every day, thousands of the comic's readers participate in the comic's official forums, which feature discussion of The Order of the Stick and roleplaying games in general. Many participants are noted for adopting avatars drawn in emulation of Burlew's stick figure style, with some fans even creating additional "fancomics" in that style on the site's message board or their own sites.

Awards and recognition

The Order of the Stick received two nominations for Britain's 2008 Eagle Awards, for Favourite Web-Based Comic and Favourite Original Graphic Novel (for Start of Darkness). OOTS won the former category, but lost the latter one to Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier.[57] In announcing the results on his site, Burlew stated he was pleased that he didn't win the Favourite Original Graphic Novel category, saying, "I don't think I want to live in a world where a parody stick figure comic beats one of the comic industry's top writers."[58] No Cure for the Paladin Blues, the comic's second print compilation, won a 2007 Gold ENnie award.[59] OOTS has been nominated for ten Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards, of which it has won five. It was named Best Long Form Comic in 2008,[60] Best Gaming Comic and Best Long Form Comic in 2007, Best Fantasy Comic in 2006, and tied for Best Fantasy Comic in 2005.

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York City included The Order of the Stick #443 in its first webcomic-only exhibit, Infinite Canvas: The Art of Webcomics.[61]

Publications

The cover of On The Origin of PCs, the first of two OOTS prequel books

The Order of the Stick books are published by Giant in the Playground Games, a small press publishing company formed by OOTS creator Rich Burlew. The books are widely distributed to online and brick-and-mortar retailers in the hobby game market,[62][63] as well as to comic book direct retailers. All four books feature an introduction by the author, as well as a preface written in the voice of one of the characters from the strip. The compilation books feature a number of pages of "bonus material", primarily additional strips inserted into various points in the story. The bonus material for Dungeon Crawlin' Fools, for example, includes an nine-page opening to the story that Burlew felt introduced the characters in a more organic way than the online comic's cast page.[5]

Title Year ISBN Volume Strips Pages Colors
Dungeon Crawlin' Fools 2005 978-0-9766580-0-3 1 1–121 120 Full color
On the Origin of PCs 2005 978-0-9766580-1-1 0 Print-exclusive prequel 72 Black-and-white
No Cure for the Paladin Blues 2006 978-0-9766580-3-8 2 121a-301 244 Full color
Start of Darkness 2007 978-0-9766580-4-7 −1 Print-exclusive prequel 96 Black-and-white with color inserts
War And XPs 2008 978-0-9766580-5-4 3 302–484 288 Full color[64][65]
Don't Split the Party 2009 978-0-9766580-6-1 4 485–672 272 Full color
Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales 2011 978-0-9766580-7-8 D Dragon content 112 Mixed color and black-and-white

Board game

Box cover for The Order of the Stick Adventure Game.

In partnership with APE Games, Giant in the Playground released the first OOTS game, The Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Dorukan. The game, which was released in September 2006, utilizes cards and a board, and has strong influences from games such as Talisman and Dungeon!, as well as the less-known "Kings & Things".

The Dungeon of Dorukan is designed for 2–6 people, aged twelve and older. Each player controls one member of the OOTS team to explore the dungeon and hunt down Xykon. The player is able to train their chosen member with a variety of shtick cards. Each character provides a different gaming experience, and the players have the ability to either aid or harm their team mates.

A second, stand-alone game, The Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Linear Guild, was set to be released by APE Games in the Fall of 2008,[64] but has not been released. Players will be able to take on the parts of Nale, Thog, Sabine, and other members of the Linear Guild in their own dungeon adventure, or they can combine the materials in the game with those from the Dungeon of Dorukan set for a massive Order of the Stick vs. Linear Guild head-to-head adventure.

Sources

  • Burlew, Rich (February 2005). The Order of the Stick: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools. Philadelphia: Giant in the Playground. ISBN 9780976658009. 
  • Burlew, Rich (August 2005). The Order of the Stick: On the Origin of PCs. Philadelphia: Giant in the Playground. ISBN 9780976658016. 
  • Burlew, Rich (August 2006). The Order of the Stick: No Cure for the Paladin Blues. Philadelphia: Giant in the Playground. ISBN 978-0-9766580-3-0. 
  • Burlew, Rich (May 2007). The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness. Philadelphia: Giant in the Playground. ISBN 978-0-9766580-4-7. 
  • Burlew, Rich (August 2008). The Order of the Stick: War and XPs. Philadelphia: Giant in the Playground. ISBN 978-0-9766580-5-4. 
  • Burlew, Rich (December 2009). The Order of the Stick: Don't Split the Party. Philadelphia: Giant in the Playground. ISBN 978-0-9766580-6-1. 

References

  1. ^ Richard Burlew posts on the current lack of schedule
  2. ^ Burlew, Rich (2003). "New Edition". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#1). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0001.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  3. ^ http://www.giantitp.com/
  4. ^ Burlew, Dungeon Crawlin' Fools, Author Commentary, p. 20.
  5. ^ a b Burlew, Dungeon Crawlin' Fools, Introduction, p. 5.
  6. ^ Burlew, Rich (2005-03-04). "How do you make the OOTS strips?". Giant in the Playground FAQ. GiantITP.com. http://www.giantitp.com/FAQ.html#faq3. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  7. ^ Burlew, Dungeon Crawlin' Fools, Author Commentary, p. 158.
  8. ^ a b c Burlew, No Cure for the Paladin Blues, Author Commentary, p. 108.
  9. ^ Burlew, Rich (2005-02-17). "Do Quit Your Day Job". Giant in the Playground News. GiantITP.com. http://www.giantitp.com/index4.html#ZO077QwnU5SEfN09hcw. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  10. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007-07-07). "An Important Announcement About OOTS". Giant in the Playground News. GiantITP.com. http://www.giantitp.com/index.html#yOSODsgTNhjraLs4GSe. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  11. ^ Paizo Publishing Creates Strategic Alliance with The Order of the Stick creator Rich Burlew, Paizo.com, September 30, 2005. Retrieved on November 10, 2007
  12. ^ a b Burlew, Rich (December 2005). "The Order of the Stick: Goo goo g' chuul". Dragon (Paizo Publishing, LLC.) (338). 
  13. ^ Burlew, Rich (February 2006). "The Order of the Stick: Save vs. Rods, Staves, and Schadenfreude". Dragon (Paizo Publishing, LLC.) (340). 
  14. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007-04-19). "No More OOTS in Dragon Magazine". Giant in the Playground News. GiantITP.com. http://www.giantitp.com/index.html#d73xkAsYUesECR37dT9. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  15. ^ Burlew, Rich (2005-10-10). "UberCon and Paizo". Giant in the Playground News. GiantITP.com. http://www.giantitp.com/index3.html#DNSedGQuL91veK9lIS. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  16. ^ "A Reason To Keep Trying". Episode 500. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0500.html. 
  17. ^ "The Order of the Stick # 168". http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0168.html. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  18. ^ a b c Burlew, War and XPs, Introduction, p. 5.
  19. ^ http://www.giantitp.com/GIPOTS00.html
  20. ^ http://www.giantitp.com/GIPOTS99.html
  21. ^ http://www.giantitp.com/index.html
  22. ^ http://www.giantitp.com/index.html#uLQT45zfBxKVbIS04oz
  23. ^ Burlew, Dungeon Crawlin' Fools.
  24. ^ Burlew, No Cure for the Paladin Blues.
  25. ^ Burlew, War and XPs.
  26. ^ a b c Summers, Matt. "The Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew", ComixTalk.com, August 2005. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
  27. ^ a b c Mishler, James. "The Order of the Stick: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools", Comic Buyer's Guide, January 2006, No. 1613. Reposted online, Retrieved January 24, 2008. Link has expired, as at March 25, 2011.
  28. ^ a b Burns, Eric. "Wait... thumbnailed graphic... parentheses... my God, Eric's SNARKING A WEBCOMIC!". Websnark, July 6, 2005. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
  29. ^ Burlew, On the Origin of PCs, Introduction, p. 4.
  30. ^ Rothfuss, Patrick. Foreward to War and XPs. p. 3.
  31. ^ Burlew, No Cure for the Paladin Blues, Author Commentary, p. 106.
  32. ^ Burlew, No Cure for the Paladin Blues, Author Commentary, p. 180.
  33. ^ Burlew, Rich (July 2007). "The Order of the Stick: Stop Dragon My Art Around". Dragon (Paizo Publishing, LLC.) (357). 
  34. ^ Burlew, Rich (August 2007). "The Order of the Stick: Claw/Claw/Bite the Hand That Feeds Me". Dragon (Paizo Publishing, LLC.) (358). 
  35. ^ Burlew, Rich (2008). "A Brief Tribute". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#536). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0536.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  36. ^ Burlew, Rich (2008-03-04). "In Memorium: E. Gary Gygax". Giant in the Playground News. GiantITP.com. http://www.giantitp.com/index.html#AmQKTxMeXozCUZHVw0L. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  37. ^ Grossman, Lev. Exploding Runes: A Roundup of Gygax Tributes, TIME.com, March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  38. ^ Taylor, Howard. Requiescat: Gary Gygax – 1938–2008, Shlock Mercenary, March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  39. ^ Jackson, Steve. Daily Illuminator: Gary Gygax, March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  40. ^ Utter, David A. Gary Gygax Departs for Ethereal Plane, WebProNews, March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
  41. ^ Burlew, Rich (2009). "An Unsung Legend". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#644). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0644.html. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  42. ^ Godek, Tym (June 2005). "Who Talks Like That? (The Use and Importance of Dialect in Webcomic Narrative)". The Webcomics Examiner. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. http://web.archive.org/web/20071006061040/http://webcomicsreview.com/?p=95. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  43. ^ a b Roney, Brian. The Order of the Stick, Brian Roney's Webcomic Reviews, August 15, 2007. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
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  46. ^ a b Grossman, Lev. "Webcomics Are the New Blogs: The Order of the Stick", TIME.com, January 31, 2007. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
  47. ^ "Writing vs Art", The Webcomic Beacon, December 14, 2007. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
  48. ^ Kingston-Gabai, Diana. "Diana Goes Digital #4: Natural Twenties", [http://savagecritic.com/ The Savage Critics, February 26, 2008. Retrieved on November 17, 2008
  49. ^ Kurtz, Scott. Foreword to No Cure for the Paladin Blues, p. 3.
  50. ^ Lesnick, Josh. "Artistic Critiques...", Josh Lesnick's Horsejournal, June 10, 1007. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
  51. ^ Burlew, Rich (2005-03-04). "How come your art sucks so much? Can't you draw?". Giant in the Playground FAQ. GiantITP.com. http://www.giantitp.com/FAQ.html#faq5. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  52. ^ Israel, Cecily. "Order of the Interview: Rich Burlew". Sequential Tart, March 1, 2007. Retrieved on November 9, 2007
  53. ^ Campbell, T (2007-05-31). "What We Don't Know". Lowdown. Broken Frontier. Archived from the original on 2008-02-21. http://web.archive.org/web/20080221095036/http://www.brokenfrontier.com/lowdown/details.php?id=869. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  54. ^ Campbell, T (2007-11-18). "What Are the Most Popular Comics?". Webcomics.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-08. http://web.archive.org/web/20080308083940/http://www.webcomics.com/full_blog_story.php?id=80. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  55. ^ Campbell, T (2008-02-14). "The Unreliable Survey, February 2008". Webcomics.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-04. http://web.archive.org/web/20080304031316/http://webcomics.com/full_blog_story.php?id=114. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  56. ^ Campbell, T (2008-04-07). "The Unreliable Survey, April 2008". Webcomics.com. Archived from the original on 2008-04-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20080411210434/http://www.webcomics.com/full_blog_story.php?id=134. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  57. ^ "Eagle Awards". The Eagle Awards. 2008. http://www.eagleawards.co.uk/. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  58. ^ "OOTS Goes 1-for-2 at Eagles". Giant in the Playground Games. http://www.giantitp.com/index.html#x5hwuKt9CaScNIim6bY. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  59. ^ "2007 ENnie Awards Archives". The ENnies. ENWorld. 2007-09-09. Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20080418085208/http://www.ennieawards.com/2007-archive.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  60. ^ "The Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards – 2008 List of Winners & Finalists". Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. 2008-03-08. http://www.ccawards.com/2008finalists.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  61. ^ Tyrell, Gary (2007-09-14). "This Woman Wants To Bring Webcomics Into The Rarefied World Of Museums". Fleen. http://www.fleen.com/archives/2007/09/14/this-woman-wants-to-bring-webcomics-into-the-rarified-world-of-museums/. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  62. ^ Greater Games Industry Catalog, Fall 2007, page 151.
  63. ^ "Company Listing for Giant in the Playground". Alliance Game Disrtibutors Online Catalog. Alliance Game Distribution. http://www.alliance-games.com/publicaccess/results.asp?SearchArg=Giant+in+the+Playground+Games&list=By_Company. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  64. ^ a b GTS Special: Order of the Stick Fall 2007 Releases. GamingReport.com, April 26, 2007. Retrieved on November 9, 2007
  65. ^ The Order of the Stick: War and XPs. Giant in the Playground Games, July 17, 2008. Retrieved on July 18, 2008

Story Notes

  1. ^ Burlew, Rich (2004). "Man-to-Man Chat". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#101). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0101.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  2. ^ Burlew, Rich (2005). "The Great Kazoo". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#198). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0198.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  3. ^ Burlew, Rich (2006). "The Crayons of Time: Doodles on the Sketch Pad of Eternity". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#273). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0273.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  4. ^ Burlew, Start of Darkness, p. 36.
  5. ^ Burlew, Rich (January 2007). "The Order of the Stick: It Was Just a Matter of Time Anyway". Dragon (Paizo Publishing, LLC.) (351). 
  6. ^ Burlew, Rich (September 2007). "The Order of the Stick: End of the Line, Thanks for Riding". Dragon (Paizo Publishing, LLC.) (359). 
  7. ^ Burlew, Rich (July 2006). "The Order of the Stick: The Tongue is Mightier Than the Sword". Dragon (Paizo Publishing, LLC.) (345). 
  8. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Crashing the Party". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#475). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0475.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  9. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Hell of a Job". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#446). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0446.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  10. ^ Burlew, Rich (2003). "Meanwhile.". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#23). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0023.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  11. ^ Burlew, Start of Darkness, p. 45.
  12. ^ Burlew, Start of Darkness, p. 98.
  13. ^ a b Burlew, Rich (2008). "O-Chul's Razor". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#546). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0546.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  14. ^ Burlew, Start of Darkness, p. 47.
  15. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Periodic Bombardment". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#423). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0423.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  16. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Intercession". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#409). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0409.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  17. ^ Burlew, Rich (2005). "Oh No, He DIDN'T". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#250). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0250.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  18. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Not For Everyone". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#464). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0464.html. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  19. ^ a b Burlew, Dungeon Crawlin' Fools', p. 8.
  20. ^ Burlew, Rich (2004). "Teenage Boys Are CR 1". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#100). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0100.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  21. ^ Burlew, Rich (2006). "The Best Part of Waking Up". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#317). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0317.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  22. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Not to Scale". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#413). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0413.html. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  23. ^ Burlew, Rich (2008). "The Philosophy of Chaos". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#606). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0606.html. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  24. ^ Burlew, Rich (2006). "Roll Over". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#359). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0359.html. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  25. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Idiot Box". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#415). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0415.html. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  26. ^ Burlew, Rich (2005). "What's My Motivation?". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#204). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0204.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  27. ^ Burlew, On the Origin of PCs, p. 11.
  28. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "A Song for the Departed". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#445). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0445.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  29. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Their Concierge Service is Heavenly". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#487). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0487.html. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  30. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Led Zeppelin Lied to Us All". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#493). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0493.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  31. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "Next on "As the Plane Turns"..". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#486). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0486.html. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  32. ^ Burlew, Rich (2007). "The Three Xykons". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#431). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0431.html. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  33. ^ Burlew, Rich (2006). "In a Class All His Own". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#390). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0390.html. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  34. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Dragon359_group.3Dn; see Help:Cite errors/Cite error references no text
  35. ^ Burlew, Rich (2006). "C.P.P.D. Blue". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#339). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0339.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  36. ^ Burlew, Rich (2005). "No Offense, Aaron". The Order of the Stick (GiantITP.com) (#229). http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0229.html. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 

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