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Order of the Stick
March 2, 2006 6:12 AM   Subscribe

The Order Of The Stick is a great "hifi-lofi" webcomic from Rich Burlew about the meta-adventures of an adventuring party in the D&D world. Lots of inside humor to go along with broad appeal. It's been running for over 2 years, so there are close to 300 episodes to rummage through.
posted by mkultra (43 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm stunned that this hasn't been posted before. Stunned.

Anyway, yes, if you've ever dipped a toe into Dungeons & Dragons or any of many similar games, OOTS is great fun. Hell, it's great fun anyway.
posted by Gator at 6:36 AM on March 2, 2006


The two books are both excellent as well.

'On the Origin of the PCs' is particularly well done, and gives the necessary backstory that is missing in the strip.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 6:48 AM on March 2, 2006


The closest I've come to the D&D world is a little Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, and I still loved this comic.
Of course, I replaced all my BG characters' voices with lines from Black Adder, so I may lack a certain reverence for the genre.
posted by mojohand at 6:49 AM on March 2, 2006


I'm stunned that this hasn't been posted before. Stunned.

Yeah, me too, considering how good it is and how long it's been around...
posted by mkultra at 6:52 AM on March 2, 2006


Hell, it's great fun anyway.

No it's not.

It might be one of those 'funny because it's true' things, but as a non-D&D player, the first six episodes didn't even raise a smile for me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:57 AM on March 2, 2006


Wow, the one comic I saw (the one linked too) was pretty lame. The art sucks too.
posted by delmoi at 7:03 AM on March 2, 2006


I've never played D&D and I still think that it is hilarious
posted by closetgeekshow at 7:53 AM on March 2, 2006


Why didn't I post this?
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:54 AM on March 2, 2006


Wow, the one comic I saw (the one linked too) was pretty lame. The art sucks too.

So, how's your webcomic coming?
posted by mkultra at 8:05 AM on March 2, 2006


Right, one shouldn't criticise unless one can improve upon what one is criticising. This is why all movie reviewers should be herded into camps and then lined up in front of lime-filled pits.

(I'd never seen the strip before and find it quite funny. "A ghast? Turn undead!" "Ah, my eyes!")
posted by solid-one-love at 8:12 AM on March 2, 2006


This is one of the WebComics I follow regularly, it's a riot. Sure some people aren't going to get it, that's just the way it is. As for the art sucking, well some people are never going to accept certain choices, it's stlyized and fits the mood.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:16 AM on March 2, 2006


im a huge fan of this comic. if you arent into D&D the jokes will be lost on you.. and its a storyline comic so reading just one and criticizing it is an insult.. and although im a fan of more complex art the stick people just really works for this comic. i love it.

i think i just assumed it had already been posted here and i missed it somehow.
posted by trishthedish at 8:19 AM on March 2, 2006


Big fan of OOTS. The best one (imho) is his take on the Monty Python cheese shop with polearms.
posted by macmac at 8:22 AM on March 2, 2006


I love OOTS. Great comic, great characters, great art. The storyline has been a tad sluggish lately, but it's still on the top of my list.
posted by notmydesk at 8:28 AM on March 2, 2006


Right, one shouldn't criticise unless one can improve upon what one is criticising. This is why all movie reviewers should be herded into camps and then lined up in front of lime-filled pits.

I don't recall anyone asking delmoi's opinion. Big difference. Anyway, this kind of thing has been discussed to death in MeTa, so let's just let it drop.
posted by mkultra at 8:31 AM on March 2, 2006


BTW, in response to this: The art sucks too.
posted by mkultra at 8:32 AM on March 2, 2006


From the FAQ on his art style:

Q: How come your art sucks so much? Can’t you draw?

A: Grumble. Let’s be clear: I choose to draw stick figures because I think they bring the right air of humor to the strip, and because they create a unique style. People often criticize the OOTS style under the assumption that I am incapable of doing “better.” I would argue that there is no “better” or “worse” involved. I use stick figures because the stick figure style is what is right for the comic. If I were doing a serious fantasy epic, I would draw more realistic pictures. Top
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:34 AM on March 2, 2006


Beat me to it, mkultra.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:34 AM on March 2, 2006


He's certainly more in love with the verbiage than with the art. I like OOTS, it's just that if I forget to look for a few weeks, I have a daunting amount of texts, for what is essentially a fantasy funny strip. Kind of reminds me of the Splitting Image comic where characters are struggling to get past all the dialogue and narration.
posted by Navek Rednam at 8:49 AM on March 2, 2006


I was skeptical, but I thought it was quite funny. Almost every strip made me smile and chuckle.
posted by OmieWise at 8:52 AM on March 2, 2006


Wow. This has never been posted before? Seriously? I missed out on a golden opportunity to underwhelm delmoi. :(
posted by jenovus at 8:59 AM on March 2, 2006


OotS is one of my weekly reads too. Reading it is a pretty good Take 20 on a chuckle check.

8 Bit Theatre is of a similar ilk. It follows four Light Warriors as the stab, burn, and likely stab again their way through the plot of Square's Final Fantasy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:03 AM on March 2, 2006


Let me take this opportunity to derail this thread by talking about one of the best web comics ever to be dead: The Parking Lot is Full. There, I did it. It's done.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:06 AM on March 2, 2006


I don't recall anyone asking delmoi's opinion. Big difference.

Huh!? What exactly do you think the comment system is here for?

Your first comment was: Yeah, me too, considering how good it is and how long it's been around...

That's not an opinion?
posted by delmoi at 9:11 AM on March 2, 2006


Well I'm sorry some folks dont like it, cuz I think its a terrific comix and I'm only on #16

"Sweet merciful Gods, my poor useless eyes!"

Then again, I'm a geek since Gygax, sorry... God was a lad.
posted by elendil71 at 9:17 AM on March 2, 2006


The polearm sketch is easily my favorite thing I've read on OOTS.

Usually I'm very "meh" about it. One of my friends is a huge fan and gets annoyed at my lack of being a true fan.

However, that polearm sketch was brilliant.

Let me take this opportunity to derail this thread by talking about one of the best web comics ever to be dead: The Parking Lot is Full. There, I did it. It's done.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:06 AM CST on March 2


Agreed.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:18 AM on March 2, 2006


delmoi, you missed the point here. Given the right background, this strip ranges from 'funny' to 'intensely funny'. Yes, the art is weak... but that's part of the point. They are, after all, the Order of the Stick, not the Order of the Cel-Shaded. :)

If you don't get it, that's okay... you do have to come from a particular background for this to be funny. If you didn't grow up playing D&D, it won't mean much to you. The (few) strips about the mage's familiar, for instance, are screamingly funny if you played the game as a kid, but only mildly amusing if you didn't. You're not the target audience... but trust me, this most emphatically Does Not Suck.

I, too, can't believe it never made the blue before... it is certainly MeFi-worthy. Good catch, mkultra!
posted by Malor at 9:29 AM on March 2, 2006


What exactly do you think the comment system is here for?

Just because you can doesn't always mean you should.

You may think you're being provocative (and I wish, in hindsight, that I hadn't been so in my response), but there's something terribly infantile in your "look at me being contrary" comment.

Some things are just here for our collective enjoyment. Not everything is an invitation to criticism.

If you still can't wrap your brain around that, you're welcome to take it over to MeTa.
posted by mkultra at 9:32 AM on March 2, 2006


Some things are just here for our collective enjoyment. Not everything is an invitation to criticism.

But every post to MeFi is an invitation for criticism. This is a forum for discussion, not unilateral praise.

If you still can't wrap your brain around that, you're welcome to take it over to MeTa.

You first.
posted by solid-one-love at 9:46 AM on March 2, 2006


I likee. Especially the 3.0-->3.5 bit. *Pop!*
posted by bardic at 9:55 AM on March 2, 2006


I stumbled across the OOTS by way of another webcomic I read (Penny Arcade, perhaps) and I've been hooked on it since. Lots of the early comics are jokes about and involving the D&D rules, but plenty of the later ones expand to other sorts of humor (either that or I've become unable to tell the two apart anymore).

I really like what Rich (the comic's author) has done with one of the characters in recent strips: one character has become unable to speak in Common (English) and all her speech is seemingly random letters. If you take the time to "decode" it (or read the forums, where other people have already done it), there is actually meaning behind it, though Rich has said that it isn't important to the story, just a "bonus" for the people who take the time.
posted by Godbert at 10:00 AM on March 2, 2006


As additional praise for the comic, I just bought into the new D&D Online game. It's my first experience playing D&D of any kind in close to ten years. It's uncanny how much of the strip mirrors my experience playing online, even just over the few hours I've played.

It's a fun little strip.

Is it just me, or have the number of quality webcomcs just skyrocketed in the last year or so? There's just way too much out there for me to even hope to think about trying to catch up with the new-ish strips I've found and enjoyed.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:07 AM on March 2, 2006


Like 'The Parking Lot is Full' there is another wonderful (and wonderfully offensive) college comic strip that lives on only online.

I give you Space Moose.

I really, really, wish someone would start writing it again.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:33 AM on March 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Eh. I enjoyed the first few panels, but when I jumped to the most recent ones, it's way too many tiny little panels and far too many words.
posted by davejay at 10:35 AM on March 2, 2006


My D&D experience is limited, and I still love OOTS. My favourite strip: "Let's go down a level! Let's go up a level!"
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:36 AM on March 2, 2006


being a gaming nerd, i think its one of the best comics out there.

also more on the art "sucking" side, rich graduated with a degree in illistration (fine art maybe?) from pratt, and very much chooses to draw the comic the way he does.

also, if you still play D&D, the rest of his site is pretty interesting as well, though sorely lacking in updates. which in turn is supposed to be rectified very soon when the site gets a full redesign and starts having weekly columns.
posted by teishu at 10:41 AM on March 2, 2006


Space Moose! I haven't thought about that in a long time. What ever happened to Thrasher, anyway? Did the feminists finally come for him en masse?
posted by Gator at 10:45 AM on March 2, 2006


I don't know. Adam has pretty much vanished. His article on Wikipedia is practically non-existent and Google is a blank outside of Space Moose links.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:28 AM on March 2, 2006


I found OOTS around the same time I found Boy on a Stick and Slither.

They're both great.
posted by unsupervised at 11:29 AM on March 2, 2006


My D&D experience was 25 years ago, but I found this very funny.

solid-one-love, I have had the same impression. I wish there were more webcomic feedsso I could keep up with them more easily.

Pallas Athena, that strip was a standout for me as well. Very clever.
posted by brain_drain at 12:53 PM on March 2, 2006


I just bought the first big collected book of OotS: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools. Great stuff.

Burlew actually does a remarkably good job with the art. It's incredibly expressive, and he does some things that are really quite inventive, as well as things that would only work with stick figures.

My first favorite among stick figures is still Matt Feazell's Cynicalman, though.
posted by jiawen at 1:43 PM on March 2, 2006


Of course, I replaced all my BG characters' voices with lines from Black Adder, so I may lack a certain reverence for the genre.

Far from it, mojohand. Bizarre accents and random silliness are part of the experience. There's just something about a bunch of adults sitting around and pretending to be elves and whatnot that makes it really hard to take yourself too seriously...
posted by Amanojaku at 4:53 PM on March 2, 2006


I replaced all my BG characters' voices with lines from Black Adder

You wouldn't recognize a Flaming Fist if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Flaming Fists Are Here Again."
posted by Gator at 5:09 PM on March 2, 2006


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