The Order Of The Stick Tropes A-C Discussion

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07:47:20 PM Sep 2nd 2013

  • Author Tract: Attempted — and failed - in "Calm, Orderly, and Efficient"; the author, a vegetarian, figured Malack's comments about "special chambers" for the efficient killing of humans would make people think about real world slaughterhouses and their killing chambers, which would make them recall Soylent Green, which has the now-notorious plot of humans being used as a food supply. Pretty much nobody got it, instead thinking that the author was referencing Nazi gas chambers instead.

Can a single comment be a "tract"? It's not like the whole comic is a paean to vegetarianism. This was a failure of Does This Remind You of Anything?, where it's already mentioned.
08:07:55 PM Sep 2nd 2013
Beat me too it. Its more like there wasn't any tract intended, but people (myself included) thought there was (specifically evoking Godwin's Law as a way of emphasizing how evil Malack was).

I don't think anything in the comic would indicate that Burlew is a vegetarian or an intent to preach about that- there's lots of occasions where characters eat meat without any moral condemnation.
04:27:35 AM Sep 3rd 2013
Indeed, it even extols the economic utopia of making burgers out of an infinitely-regenerating animal. That's thinking like a carnivore, right there :P
07:25:05 AM Sep 3rd 2013
I was thinking of that example when responding- also wondering why that was presented as humorous/ok whereas Tarquin's similar preference for phoenix liver is a Kick the Dog moment (albeit a humorous one)- probably an issue of motive.

Incidentally, I actually do think there are some things that Burlew is tracty about (i.e. the Alignment system and how some players do it wrong; the problems with the Always Chaotic Evil trope; a criticism of Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards- in the sense that Burlew's magic-users are almost unanimously an arrogant bunch and he repeatedly shows that magical competence doesn't translate to all around competence).
07:44:58 AM Sep 3rd 2013
I still don't think that would be Author Tract; even if it's a common theme of the comic, it's by no stretch the point of it. I think Writer on Board is sufficient to cover those issue (which he certainly has, and takes every advantage to subvert).
02:44:45 AM Sep 4th 2013
^^ Endangered animal? About as endangered as it's possible to be, really...
08:18:17 PM Aug 26th 2013
edited by
So Asshole Victim was deleted because "Asshole Victim is a murder mystery or horror trope. It doesn't apply whenever a victim happens to be an asshole, and certainly doesn't fit here."

The thing is, the trope description isn't clear on that point. It gives those (two entirely different scenarios) as potential uses of the trope, but doesn't really confirm that it's limited to them. I don't want to just revert the example when it's been commented out, so what do other people think about this?

(I can see the murder mystery "everyone wanted him dead" usage being a separate trope, but how is the horror usage different to killing off an unlikeable character in any other genre?)
08:32:34 PM Aug 26th 2013
I didn't read the trope closely enough when I deleted it.

That being said, I don't think Nale would qualify, given Elan's reaction and the extent to which Tarquin is presented in a negative light/Nale comes across as rather (sym)pathetic in the end.
04:25:14 AM Aug 27th 2013
This trope is the subject of a lot of misuse. Its too wide description is certainly part of the problem. It really should go through the Trope Repair Shop first before specific examples are tackled.
07:48:22 AM Sep 3rd 2013
edited by
I don't think it qualifies because it was Nale being punished as a direct result of his actions. It's more like Laser-Guided Karma, honestly.

If a monster came out of nowhere and killed Nale as part of the Worf Effect, it would've counted. But in this case, Tarquin exacted revenge on the man who killed his best friend. Just doesn't fit the spirit of the trope (which is largely "someone has to die. May as well make it the asshole").