Roy Greenhilt:The Order of the Stick
The rogue is ambitious and greedy, the ranger is a complete psychopath, the wizard is trigger-happy and never stops talking, and the bard is as dumb as a box of moldy carrots! Durkon Thundershield:
As I recall, ye called me "surly and unpleasant" shortly after ye met me. [...] Maybe all these folks need is a good strong leader like ye ta whip 'em inta shape.
— The Order of the Stick 0: On the Origin of PCs
is a Stick Figure Webcomic
by Rich Burlew set in a world based on Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Edition rules
(an original world, rather than an established setting) centering around the adventures of the eponymous party. The comic is well-loved for its complicated plot (with storylines planned years in advance by Burlew), its well-executed Mood Whiplash
moments, and its own brand of humor, often relying on sarcastic pop culture references.
The main cast consists of:
The comic started off as a gag-a-day strip, often mocking D&D
rules, but things quickly took a turn for the dramatic
: their journey to defeat the evil Xykon entangled them in the lich's plot to harness the power of The Snarl, a sinister reality-eating
... thing formed at the dawn of creation
from literal tangles in the fabric of reality
. Along the way, they butted heads with hordes of monsters
, plot complications, an overzealous paladin
or two, and the Linear Guild, a group of Evil Counterparts
led by Elan's Evil Twin
Of course, even with all that going on, it's still covered with plenty of humor. Also notable is the fact that all
of the main characters and quite a few of the minor characters are extremely Genre Savvy
, not just about the D&D
rules and gameplay mechanics by which their world operates
, but general storytelling tropes as well. This tends to lead to a lot
of Lampshade Hanging
(including, at one point, lampshading the act of lampshading
— with a literal lampshade
).The Order of the Stick
was one of the original reasons for the "Giant in the Playground
" gaming site, which also hosted the first volume of Erfworld
. The GitP forums are almost an unofficial troper forum, thanks in part to the webcomic's distinct appeal to tropers
The webcomic pages have also been sold in hardcopy in the following books:
- Dungeon Crawlin' Fools (1-121)
- No Cure for the Paladin Blues (122-301)
- War and XPs (302-484)
- Don't Split the Party (485-672)
The physical volumes of the main comic also contain extra sideplots and gag-strips as incentives for readers to buy them. As is typical of the comic, these books are referenced in the story
, usually when a character wonders if a particular sideplot will be expanded there.
There are also several print-only books that are tied into the comic:
- On the Origin of PCs (a prequel to Dungeon Crawlin' Fools which focuses on how Roy and Durkon founded the Order of the Stick)
- Start of Darkness (a prequel focusing on Xykon and Redcloak)
- Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales (a collection of strips published in Dragon magazine and about eighty pages of other humorous fluff).
- The Order of the Stick Coloring Book (a Kickstarter-exclusive featuring Elan and Thog in a monochrome lineart adventure waiting to be coloured in)
- The Kickstarter rewards also include a number of exclusive digital comics, mostly focused on minor characters or reimagined settings, which may be collated into a book at some point in the future.
The print-only books are not necessary for following the main plot of the comic. In fact, it's usually lampshaded whenever material from a print-only book is recapped (sometimes with a character checking an actual copy of the book
just to make sure they got everything).
Has multiple character sheets
The Order of the Stick subpages: