TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes A-C}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes D-F}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes G-I}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes J-L}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes M-O}} | '''Tropes P-R''' | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes S-U}} | TheOrderOfTheStick/{{Tropes V-Z}}
!!!''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' provides examples of the following tropes:


* PaintItBlack: This happens at least four times in the comic. [[spoiler:Vaarsuvius, Miko, and Durkon]] each receive one of these, while [[HeroicComedicSociopath Belkar]] gets [[ an inversion]] when given a temporary Wisdom boost. The title of the strip which has [[spoiler:Vaarsuvius']] transformation actually references the song/trope title as well, as [[spoiler:V's robe]] is, in fact, painted black.
* PaletteSwap: Tarquin and most of his companions, [[ as seen]] [[ in some]] [[ flashbacks]]. They change their colors according to the current nation they're "advising" (plus greying hair as they grow older), but keep the same design of clothes and/or armors.
* ThePardon: Tarquin offers Roy one. Roy manages to get him to pardon Belkar, [[spoiler:Haley's father]] Ian, and Ian's brother-in-law Geoff as well. Ian thinks it's a trick, though.
* ParodyMagicSpell: The Franchise/HarryPotter parody character uses "Stopus Badguyus!" when trying to repel Thog.
* PassingNotesInClass: Haley combines this with ArrowGram as a gag [[ during the Azure city battle,]] the arrow hitting a hobgoblin mook about to attack Elan. Said arrow has a cute romantic note on notebook paper. Hinjo plays up the role of the exasperated teacher who takes the note and requests to see Elan after class, er, battle.
* PassThePopcorn:
** In [[ "Beats Pay-Per-View"]], the Monster in the Darkness is eating popcorn while watching some educational dwarf porn.
** Later, the [=MitD=] has again some popcorn [[ while Miko and Redcloak fight.]]
** Also, in the earlier strip [[ "A Piece of His Mind"]]:
--->'''Belkar:''' Do you think I have time to get popcorn??
** [[ While the three fiends watch Vaarsuvius fight a dragon,]] one of them actually eats popcorn.
* PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny: People's Democratic Dictatorship.
* PercussivePickpocket: Some kids try to pull this on Durkon in [[ "Too Slow"]].
* PetTheDog:
** Belkar may happily kill people at the drop of a hat, but he sure does like that little cat.
** Tsukiko seems to get a rather twisted, if still tragic, one of these starting from #700. She comes to [[ILoveTheDead identify more with the dead she commands than with the living she's still a part of]], coming to believe that HumansAreTheRealMonsters and that the undead, as the opposite to the living, must therefore be nice. [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter Poor deluded soul...]]
** Even though Tarquin is a mighty warlord, he's still willing to dedicate a day to bonding with his estranged son. Except that [[ every place]] they went to [[KickTheDog reminded the reader of how terrible a person]] he is.
** When we see Xykon pet the dog, he presents it as a slap in the face to Redcloak, although it's entirely possible he really did think Jirix had at least earned a Raise Dead spell.
* PhlebotinumAnalogy:
-->'''Lord Shojo:''' As the gods pulled on the last few strands, the new world formed in the same planar space as the Snarl, shunting it into a tiny demiplane from which it could not free itself. The gods had been clever and built their planet to exist in multiple coterminous dimensions, thus blocking the only vibrational frequencies the Snarl could have used to escape from its cell.\\
'''Haley:''' Huh?\\
'''Vaarsuvius:''' He means our world is merely the padlock on the jailhouse door of reality.
* PieInTheFace: [[ Redcloak barters ten minutes of Xykon's attention]] to discuss strategy with this old gag, [[spoiler:spicing it up by having acid-spitting beetles in the banana cream pie to fit better with the lich's tastes]].
-->'''Redcloak:''' Don't go anywhere, I've still got a coconut custard that has "siege engine disposition" written all over it.
* PietaPlagiarism: [[spoiler:Therkla's death.]]
* PinballProjectile: Lucky shot variant [[ during the Battle of Azure City]]; subverted in that the poisoned arrow doesn't hit anybody.
* PinnedToTheWall: Used in [[ "Shock and Awwwwww"]]. To stop him from falling, Haley pins Roy to the wall of an earthquake-created chasm by shooting an arrow ''[[GroinAttack into his groin]]''. [[spoiler:Roy's probably happy he's already dead for that.]]
* PirateGirl: Given the choice between pirate and ninja, Haley declares this suited her better.
* {{Pixellation}}:
** Humorously used to hide the genitals of naked characters (mostly Elan). [[DontExplainTheJoke Because, you know, stick figures...]]
** Used in a flashback in one of the prequel books. Eugene casts an illusion spell, which pixilates the frame. His teacher Fyron decides it's time to teach him about image resolution.
* PlaceboEurekaMoment: Expecting his father's ghost to turn up and haunt him again, [[ Roy talks to him anyway]], and comes to a realisation about his treatment of Elan.
* PlanningWithProps: [[ The Azure City war council]] is planning the battle by using prepainting plastic figurines. Problem is, they have trouble finding the adequate ones, so they improvised.
-->'''General Chang:''' No, sir, the bugbears are the hobgoblins. The hobgoblins are the zombies.
* PlayingWithATrope: [[UpToEleven Hoooooo boy.]]
* PleaseSelectNewCityName:
** After nearly one year of occupation by the hobgoblins, Azure City is renamed Gobbotopia City.
** Names of towns and countries change regularly in the volatile Western Continent. For example, Bleedingham (capital of the Empire of Blood) was formerly known as [[spoiler:Terrorburg (capital of Tyrinaria)]].
* [[PleaseSubscribeToOurChannel Please Vote for Our Comic]]: The [[ incentive comics]] to encourage people to vote for them on Buzzcomics.
* PlotArmor: Being based on RPG rules, more plot-important characters tend to be higher-level and therefore tougher. Then-nameless RedShirt Daigo actually manages to overcome a fatal injury simply by [[NominalImportance revealing his name]].
* PointThatSomewhereElse: During Elan's first encounter with Tarquin, the latter bends Elan's rapier away from his face with the tip of a finger.
* PokemonSpeak: [[ "TEEVO!"]]
* PokeThePoodle: In the Dragon Magazine comics, The Temple of the Shrouded Overlord believe that the Ancient Overlord will bring about a thousand year reign of darkness. To honor this despicable plan, they make a big deal out of forcibly extinguishing street lamps.
-->'''Goblin Priest:''' The eternal night begins NOW!
* PolarOppositeTwins: Elan and Nale.
* PoliteVillainsRudeHeroes: [[ Malack versus Durkon]] -- at least that's how Malack seems to see it. Really, his attempts to find a "compromise" are selfish at best, and Durkon is infuriated by his assumption of the moral high ground when the dwarf had just caught him in the act of [[spoiler:trying to turn his teammate into a vampire]].
* PoorCommunicationKills:
** Literally. If Celia had explained that magic was required to break her talisman and summon her, [[spoiler:Roy's death]] could have been avoided altogether. She assumed everyone could shoot lightning from their fingers.
** Lampshaded (of course) and {{defied|Trope}} in a later strip, where Elan specifically tells Haley the whole story about Therkla, despite the fact that bardic tradition demands he "withhold it all so that at some later point, you can accidentally learn an incomplete version and jump to all the wrong conclusions, thus leading to entertaining dramatic conflict later in our relationship."
** Girard Draketooth concealed the location of his gate from everybody and told them it was at a random spot in the desert, as explained in [[ this strip]]. It really bites him in the butt when he failed to foresee that people who weren't Soon Kim might go looking for the Gate.
** In [[ "Cold Blooded"]], it's [[spoiler:almost literal]].
** Vaarsuvius had a lot of opportunities to talk to Roy about the things he/she did and learned while Roy was [[spoiler:dead]]. The [[spoiler:planet inside the rift]], for example, or [[spoiler:Vaarsuvius' debt to the fiends]]. Either might have prevented the situation in [[ "Two Paths"]].
* PornStash:
** ''Draconic'' [[ porn stash]].
** Also, [[spoiler:Elan's Mother]], of all people, keeps a dozen pictures of [[spoiler:Julio Scoundrél]] in the drawer by the bed and tried to hide them from her son.
* PottyEmergency: [[ "The Most Important Quest"]].
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: One or two of Tarquin's magic items.
-->'''Elan:''' Yeah right. Like I would use your crazy evil ring that you probably, like, tortured somebody to death or something to give it magic.\\
'''Tarquin:''' Now, that is quite enough, young man. I am frankly offended that you would even suggest I would do such a thing to-- Wait, who do you consider a "somebody"?\\
'''Elan:''' '''Anybody!'''\\
'''Tarquin:''' Fine, fine, I'll keep the ring then.
* ThePowerOfLegacy: O-Chul allows himself to be blamed for the destruction of Soon's gate to prevent further tarnishing of [[spoiler:Miko's legacy]].
* ThePowerOfLove: Elan telling Haley, [[ "I believe in you,"]] provides her with a circumstance bonus on her Open Locks roll sufficient to open a difficult lock, allowing the party to (momentarily) escape the Azure City prison.
* PowerPerversionPotential:
** Haley takes advantage of V's invisibility sphere to grope Elan.
--->'''Haley:''' I have 8 ranks in Use Rope!\\
'''Belkar:''' Kinky.\\
'''Haley:''' Shut up.
** It's heavily implied that Sabine's shapeshifting finds its uses in her relationship with Nale... but then, [[HornyDevils she's a succubus]], it comes with the territory.
* PowersViaPossession: Sort of; the Soul Splice leaves the host in control.
* PragmaticVillainy:
** In ''Start of Darkness'', Xykon refuses to do any villainous scheme involving deflowering virgins. Because it's like giving a guy who doesn't know carpentry a hammer and expecting him to build you a house.
** Belkar, amazingly enough, manages an instance of this, after one of his [[GoodAngelBadAngel shoulder demons]] convinces him that saving Hinjo's life will work out better for him in the long run than letting him be killed by an assassin.
** Tarquin is TheManBehindTheMan and plans on remaining so as long as he's able, and he is ruthless in his goals and means, but is GenreSavvy enough to try and help his son. (Mostly since his goal is to rule like a king, then get immortalized in story form when his son offs him for being a tyrant.) And if Xykon flattens the world... well, [[EvilVersusOblivion there would be nothing left to rule, now would there?]]
** Tarquin's teammates also display this. When he asks them to throw into a fight to kill most of the Order (in order to motivate Elan), they refuse because they don't think satisfying his personal "story" is worth their time, or the lives of the good soldiers he's already throwing away.
* PrecisionFStrike:
** Xykon using "Shit." in ''Start of Darkness''.
** When Haley is stuck speaking in cryptograms, Miko tells her the gods have cursed her for her greed. Her response is a single four letter word and a dirty look. Since she has no other lines in that strip, it's impossible to decode what she said -- could as innocent as "Ouch", or "Darn" -- but it seems likely it was something rather more abrasive.
* PrecursorHeroes: The Order of the Scribble.
* PrehensileTail: Malack [[ uses his to grapple]] (warning: spoilers) during his [[spoiler:fight with Durkon, simultaneously revealing that he's a [[SnakePeople Snake Person]] rather than a {{Lizardfolk}}.]]
* PrematurelyBald:
** Durkon has been bald since he was fifteen years old.
** Eugene Greenhilt lost his hair as a young man, and his son Roy shaved his to "beat genetics to the punch".
* PreMortemOneLiner:
** Elan delivers one to Kubota after the latter killed [[spoiler:Therkla]], though Kubota surrenders before Elan can actually kill him: "You were her captain... now you're going down with her ship."
** Redcloak [[spoiler:gives the Resistance one of these, right before he wipes them out completely]].
** In strip #906, Nale gets one by ''nonchalantly commenting on the weather''. It must be seen to be understood.
--->'''Nale:''' Beautiful day, don't you think? [[spoiler:Not a cloud in the sky.]]
** Tarquin, just like his sons, gets one: "[[spoiler:As you wish, son.]]"
* PressurePlate: A staple of the traps encountered by the Order. Vaarsuvius falls victim to a nasty one in [[ "Lack of Foresight"]].
* {{Pride}}: Vaarsuvius; Daimyo Kubota; Nale to some degree, and a few others.
* PrisonRape: Talked about and implied.
-->'''Thog: [[HulkSpeak thog]] [[BlatantLies too pretty]] for jail.'''
* PronounTrouble: When talking about Vaarsuvius, others intentionally construct sentences to avoid pronouns, or use the nickname "V" in places where one would expect "he" or "she". V does get referred to by various genders, but [[WordOfGod Word of the Giant]] is that that's what the person believes. Taken even further with the brief look at V's mate and children, who refer to V exclusively as "Other Parent" as [[TranslationConvention translated from Elven]].
* ProphecyTwist: After a twist with Belkar's prophecy of "drawing his last breath" was Jossed, we get a new twist for [[ another prophecy]]: [[spoiler:How will Durkon go home? Posthumously. Which [[ being raised as a vampire fulfills.]]]]
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by [[ Elan]], when a dinosaur intervenes at the right time to prevent the grisly death of two of their rivals, while chomping several unnamed guards.
-->'''Elan:''' Hooray, the people whose names we know are saved!
* PsychoStrings: Parodied in [[ "Mean Girls"]].
* PteroSoarer: A pteranodon is big and strong enough to be used as flying mount by a man in armor. Standard for the genre, really.
* PuffOfLogic:
** An example occurs at the end of [[ "Q & A"]], when Elan realizes that the horses (and Belkar's dog) they are riding aren't really there.
** Attempted by Vaarsuvius in [[ "Immaterial Components"]], when the wizard uses his/her Common Sense (caps included) to aid in the Banishment of an enormous devil which is in clear violation of the SquareCubeLaw. Doesn't work.
* {{Pun}}:
** Elan's prestige class ''depends'' on puns for power. Naturally, the ones he comes up with later in battle fall into the incredibly lame variety.
** [[ Strip #418]] is just full of them.
** [[ "... This is a cart of gophers, isn't it?"]]
** [[ "Protecting my brain still constitutes self-defense."]]
** [[ They had]] ''[[ theurge]]'' [[ for a snack!]]
* PunBasedTitle: Four of the six books published so far. ''On the Origin of [=PCs=]'' (Charles Darwin's ''On the Origin of Species''), ''Start of Darkness'' (Joseph Conrad's ''Literature/HeartOfDarkness''), ''No Cure for the Paladin Blues'' (the song, "Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues") and ''War and [=XPs=]'' (Leo Tolstoy's ''Literature/WarAndPeace'').
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
** '''[[ YOU! BROKE! MY! SWORD!!]]'''
** [[ Thor. Smiled. Upon. Ye.]]
* PyrrhicVictory: [[ "Took a Level in Sauceror"]] [[spoiler:"Plane Shift!"]]

* QuirkyMinibossSquad:
** The Linear Guild, who are also {{Evil Counterpart}}s.
** The three Xykon decoys fulfill this role during the battle of Azure City.
* QuitYourWhining: [[ Belkar says this to Roy]] while [[spoiler:Roy is seriously considering retreating after Durkon is vampirized by Malack.]]

* RainbowPimpGear: DefiedTrope. There is a RunningGag early on that Haley is in possession of a powerful pair of magical Boots of Speed, but refuses to wear them because they're lime green. Later on she gets a tailor to dye them to match the rest of her outfit, but they still glow green when their effect is activated.
* RandomTeleportation: When the party gets teleported by a drunk wizard, [[ they end up in a giant bird's nest instead of Azure City.]]
* RavensAndCrows: Blackwing, Vaarsuvius' familiar, is a raven. He is mistaken for a crow (an illusory one at that) on at least one occasion.
* ReachingBetweenTheLines: Not only can Tiamat call you [[MultipleHeadCase on five different lines at once]], you also have to worry about [[BreathWeapon fire, lightning, gas, cold and acid]] [[ coming out of the receiver]].
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech:
** Roy to Miko, Vaarsuvius to both Miko and Belkar at the same time, Redcloak to Miko, and Hinjo to Miko (she really gets a lot of these, doesn't she?).
** Xykon delivered a particularly nasty one to Vaarsuvius on the nature of true power. In general, this is Xykon's specialty.
** And in #830, [[spoiler:Redcloak to Tsukiko]].
** In #881, we get [[spoiler:Belkar giving one to Roy]].
** Subverted in #500. Roy's about to launch into one towards his father, when he suddenly has an epiphany and decides that his father isn't worth it, since if everything he's been through hasn't made him want to be a better man then a few insults from Roy won't do it.
** In #906 Nale gives a brutal one while [[spoiler:killing Malack]].
* RebelLeader:
** The paladin Thanh is "nominated" to lead the resistance in [[spoiler:Azure City]]. The position originally belonged to Haley, until she and Belkar had to leave in order to [[spoiler:resurrect Roy]].
** In the Empire of Blood arc, HeroOfAnotherStory Amun-Zora plays this role. A large part of Elan's character development involves him realising that it can't be him (whatever [[ArchnemesisDad traditional storytelling tropes might demand]]), because the Order's existing quest to stop Xykon and SaveTheWorld is more important than defeating his small-fry EvilOverlord father.
* RecapEpisode: Elan creates one for strip #864 because everyone might need a refresher after a 3-month hiatus.
* RecursiveReality: Possibly. Inside the [[spoiler:rift, there is a planet. What is on the planet is unknown. Common theories are that it's the original world supposedly destroyed by the Snarl, it's the Snarl itself, it's a new planet created by the Snarl, and many other theories.]] In the fourth book's commentary, Rich Burlew {{Josse|d}}s the idea that it's our Earth.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath:
** Subverted with [[spoiler:Miko]].
** Played tragically straight with [[spoiler:Therkla]].
* RedShirt: Played with, subverted, lampshaded, and played straight, sometimes within mere strips of one another. Redcloak, as hinted by his name, was originally supposed to be one, before being more heavily developed.
* RedShirtArmy: Azure City's army, and most of the Sapphire Guard. Except for members whose names are known.
* ReferenceOverdosed
* ReflexiveResponse: Haley gets to play with [[spoiler:Tarquin's [[ArrowCatch arrow-catching reflexes]] by firing two arrows toward his head while he's hanging on the railing of the ''Mechane''. He does snatch both out of instinct, but doing so makes him lose his grip on the side of the ship.]]
* ReforgedBlade: The hereditary Greenhilt Sword, which got broken by Xykon during their first confrontation. Reforged with [[MeteoricIron Starmetal]], it's now a Plus Five Sword, with extra bonuses and neat glowy effects against Undead.
* ReforgedIntoAMinion:
** Subverted, as a [[{{Jossed}} jab at fan speculation]], with [[spoiler:Miko]]. Tsukiko gives a monologue about her intent to do this with the next body she finds... and then changes her mind when the first one she finds is [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe in two pieces]].
** [[spoiler:Malack attempted to turn Belkar into a vampire, but he was saved by a timely intervention from Durkon. Malack then proceeded to turn Durkon into a vampire instead; however, after Malack's destruction [[FanNickname "Durkula"]] rejoins the Order.]]
* RefugeInAudacity: With the help of a Potion of Glibness (which adds 30 points to her already substantial Bluff skill), Haley basically [[CompellingVoice uses lying to bend reality according to her will]].
-->'''Haley:''' You don't see us.\\
'''Guard 1:''' Huh, must be a trick of the light.\\
'''Haley:''' You don't work here anymore.\\
'''Guard 2:''' ''Crap!'' How am I gonna pay my mortgage?!\\
'''Haley:''' You are actually a yellow-footed rock wallaby.\\
'''Guard 3:''' Screw this guard stuff, then. I'm gonna go find a wizard to polymorph me back.
* RememberedICouldFly: Belkar [[ picks a good moment to remember he has the Animal Empathy skill]].
* RememberedTooLate: Roy asked the Oracle a question, and then [[ realizes his question was poorly worded]], and worse, that he will forget even that the question was poorly worded, due to a memory spell on the oracle's home.
* RememberTheNewGuy: An inversion. [[ When Vaarsuvius' raven begins accompanying the Order on their missions regularly, V tries to explain to the group that the raven has been there all along, but only "appeared" when he was needed.]] The others, not remembering the few occasions when the bird has helped, don't believe V. This an inversion because, instead of the characters remembering someone the audience has never met, the characters don't remember someone the audience has full knowledge of.
* ResignationsNotAccepted: The Greysky City Thieves' Guild doesn't take kindly to Haley quitting.
* LaResistance: Best called just that, since they argue over the name. Which is a moot point, now that [[spoiler:Redcloak's wiped them out]].
* ResurrectionSickness: Standard for ''D&D'', being raised from the dead costs a level, as mentioned by the Oracle. Roy also experience some trouble walking right after his own resurrection, his first attempt resulting in a {{faceplant}}, since he'd lost the habit of using his legs to move on the Material Plane.
* {{Retirony}}:
** Happens to an as-of-that-point-unnamed sylph in [[ "See, They're Flying, Because It's an Air Sigil"]], though she comes back.
** Also happens at one point in Cliffport. Right as the CPPD chief is complaining he's getting too old for this, Nale comes along and kills him before he finishes his sentence.
** Lampshaded when Elan warns O-Chul not to announce that he's retiring tomorrow.
* RetroactiveWish: Haley in [[ "Hey, It Was Worth a Shot"]].
* RevengeByProxy: Months after the party kills a young evil black dragon, the dragon's mother hunts down and subdues one of them. [[spoiler:But rather than killing Vaarsuvius, she expresses her intention to take it out on V's children, instead:]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Mother Dragon:''' After I am done speaking, I am going to teleport directly there, and then I will eat them alive. Slowly. Feet-first. I will then bind their souls to me with two necromantic scrolls that I acquired for this purpose. And I will disappear. I will leave this plane of existence, and you will never find me. I tell you all of this because it is not enough for me to simply kill you. You have taken my baby from me. I demand that you suffer the full measure of pain that I feel. As a parent, I am sure you understand.]]
* ReversePsychology:
** Xykon uses it early in the comic, [[ to lure the adventurers into touching Dorukan's Gate]]. And it works.
--->'''Xykon:''' See? Never bet against the gullibility of the good guys, Redcloack.\\
'''Redcloak:''' I had no idea you had put so many skill ranks in Reverse Psychology.\\
'''[=MitD=]:''' [[RunningGag Wait, what gate?]]
** Roy manages to convince his father to help [[ scrying the mortal realm from the afterlife]]... by refusing to beg him or even to get angry about his unwillingness. Eugene even calls it "reverse psychology" at one point... but he still falls for it. It's unintentional on Roy's part; he really no longer wanted his dad's help at that point. It's absolutely brilliant, too. Only a minute or two after Eugene tells Roy to screw off and go back the mountain to cry to his mother, he's scrying for him.
--->'''Eugene Greenhilt:''' Listen to me, young man, you will stand there and watch as I scry for you and like it, because I am your father!\\
'''Roy Greenhilt:''' You do know that doesn't make any sense, right?
* ReviveKillsZombie: As per ''D&D'' rules, "Heal" and related spells damage undead creatures, while "Inflict wounds" and related spells heal them.
* RidingIntoTheSunset: Toward the end of Book 5, [[spoiler:the ''Mechane'', carrying the Order of the Stick, is shown flying into the sunset]].
* RightBehindMe:
-->'''Vaarsuvius:''' She is, naturally, directly behind me.\\
'''Miko:''' Naturally.
* RightHandCat: Mr. Scruffy to Lord Shojo. And later, to Belkar.
* RightMakesMight: Hilariously lampshaded and subverted when Belkar attacks [[spoiler:Malack]] and is certain he will win because "guys spouting corny lines like 'I have someone worth fighting for' always win for some reason", or something to that effect. [[spoiler:Malack proceeds to incapacitate him with no effort.]]
* RightPlaceRightTimeWrongReason: When Vaarsuvius asks the Oracle how to obtain "ultimate arcane power", this is the answer given almost word-for-word. [[spoiler:V sells a timeshare on his/her soul to three fiends in exchange for a temporary epic-level power boost. Although the stated motive was to save his/her family, V later admits that the only reason (s)he did it was because (s)he didn't want to ask anyone for help, and suffers (and will yet suffer) the consequences. The prophecy is fulfilled exactly as given]].
* RingOfPower:
** Vaarsuvius' Ring of Wizardry;
** Belkar's Ring of Jumping +20;
** Tarquin's Rings of Regeneration and True Seeing;
** Tsukiko has a ring protecting her from energy drains, an obvious safeguard for one dealing regularly with wights. [[spoiler:It doesn't save her, though]].
* TheRival: Crystal the Assassin for Haley. She's clearly [[ not the smartest pickle in the jar]], but dramatic conventions demand that Crystal at least matched to Haley's experience level -- [[GenreSavvy and they both know it]].
-->'''Haley:''' ...she's a personal rival. She's ALWAYS gonna be the same level as I am when we meet, if not higher.\\
(''cutaway panel; Crystal is playing cards when a "DING!" appears overhead'')\\
'''Crystal:''' [[ Sweet! Starshine gained another level!]]
* RockPaperScissors: Alluded with two strip titles -- [[ "Paper Beats Rock"]] and [[ "It Does Beat Scissors"]].
* RockyRollCall: [[ "Plotus Interruptus"]]
-->'''Samantha:''' Dad!\\
'''Sam's father:''' Samantha!\\
'''Elan:''' Haley!\\
'''Haley:''' Elan!\\
'''Belkar:''' Hot chick!
* RolePlayingGameVerse: The Stickverse is an original world, but is stated from the start to be based on ''Dungeons & Dragons''.
* RougeAnglesOfSatin:
** In ''On the Origin of [=PCs=]'', Roy comments about Haley's class on her resume (i.e. character sheet) being misspelled as "Rouge".
** Lampshaded/parodied in [[ strip #711]] when Haley, due to a misreading, joins the "Sisterhood of Aton", the local Rouge's Guild.
* RPGMechanicsVerse: With ''D&D'' 3.5 rules, and most of the characters are fully aware of the mechanics -- some more than others, of course.
* RuleOfCool: Durkon needs to destroy a group of trees whose only weakness is sonic damage, so he uses a control weather scroll to summon a thunderstorm which [[ shatters the trees with the noise of the thunderclap.]] Thor thinks this is such an awesome idea that he bends the rules of reality to make sure it works, much to the annoyance of [[ his Planetar assistant.]]
* RuleOfDrama: [[ Beautifully averted]] when Elan decides to be honest with Haley because their relationship is worth more to him than that.
* RuleOfFunny: As a general principle, the series runs on BroadStrokes ''D&D'' rules unless [[RuleOfDrama the story]] or the jokes require otherwise.
** Lampshaded in the title "Don't Question the Color of the Bag"; a joke in the strip has Roy's usually-useless Bag of Tricks unexpectedly materialise a rhinoceros, which lands on top of him. In the game, there are two differently-colored Bags of Tricks, one of which spawns small rodents, and the other larger animals (including rhinos).
** The major characters have no explicitly stated levels, stats or ability sets (other than rare exceptions, like [[ Elan's 18 in Charisma]] or [[ V's 18 in Intelligence]]) because that would restrict the jokes. Their stats can and have been guessed based on their actions in the comic, though.
* RuleOfThree: The Empires of Blood, Sweat and Tears.
* {{Running Gag}}s:
** Banjo;
** Elan's bard songs;
** V's creative application of explosive runes;
** Daigo's last name;
** "MAD!" is V's favorite way to end a rant.
** The fact that no-one seems to know V's true sex. The author goes to ridiculous lengths to keep it hidden. In the arc where the Black Dragon attacks V's family, the children ask V's mate the following question in elvish:
--->'''Elf Child:''' Parent? When is Other Parent coming home?
** People falling on the flumphs. It's subverted, then lampshaded, when [[spoiler:Roy dies from a several-hundred-foot drop]]. It is also parodied in strips [[ #526]], [[ #695]], and most gloriously in [[ #805]].
** Durkon never has the spell the party needs from him prepared when they need it.
** Durkon's fear of trees.
** Thor is always preoccupied with something else when Durkon needs a favor.
** Hobgoblins and gouda.
--->'''Haley:''' --and then Elan and I knock on the front door dressed as wandering cheese sellers.\\
'''Elan:''' Everyone knows hobgoblins can't resist a fine gouda.
** The Monster in the Darkness not knowing about any gates... ever. No matter what.
** "... the whole kobold-head-into-an-object thing is sort of a running gag with me."
** The 25-word limit on Sending spells. Used to hilarious effect in [[ "Brief and to the Point"]].
** Haley and Roy making bets for 10 gp.
** The title of the strip is a definition of a word prominent in the punchline.
** "Get it off! Get it off!" -- thrice:
*** [[ A goblin with Belkar.]]
*** [[ Tsukiko with Mr. Scruffy.]]
*** [[ Sabine with an illusory celestial tree sloth.]]
** Twice already Roy got attacked and shut up with someone yelling at him ''"[[TalkToTheFist STOP TALKING]]"''. [[ First one]] was courtesy of Miko, the [[ second one]] was from Thog.
* RussianReversal: The title for [[ one of the comics]] is "In Azure City, [[JumpingTheShark Shark Jumps You]]!"