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OotS, Arc 1: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools (1-120)
If you are reading this review, you undoubtedly found your way here after many, many references to it elsewhere on the site. If you simply want to ask, "Is the story worth my time?" then the succinct answer is "Yes."

The Order Of The Stick starts off inauspiciously enough, with the misadventures of a Ragtag Bunch Of Misfits as they quest through a dungeon for XP and loot. Fortunately enough, this 120-strip block serves as the perfect hook into the series - it has all the genre-spoofing humor fans have come to expect from it, but without the burden that plot often lays on the newcomer. No fantasy storytelling or D&D convention is safe from Burlew's lampooning.

The first 120 strips also lay the groundwork for what to expect when the main storyline kicks in - the reader meets the titular Order (from the ever-greedy Haley to the astoundingly violent Belkar), the Big Bad Xykon, and other important recurring characters and concepts (such as the story behind the Dungeon of Dorukan and the Gate he kept in his basement). Indeed, from as early as the first 20 strips, one can find evidence of Burlew's planning for the long run. One of Burlew's greatest strengths is the use of Chekhovs Gun and Schrodingers Gun; even the smallest detail may find itself in a future strip - or not.

In short, "Dungeon Crawlin' Fools" (as the corresponding trade paperback is named) is the gateway drug into the Order of the Stick universe. The first few strips are great to pick up and laugh at, and once you're done, you can't help but keep on reading to see where the story will go next.
It should be noted that for pretty much this whole arc the comic is very much a D&D joke comic. Most of the humour (and at least one plot point) is derived from 3.5E game rules. So if you don't at least have minimal knowledge of the game (older editions will do fine) this might not work out so well for you.
comment #34 Darkblade 20th Apr 09
It should also be noted that the style of the story changes dramatically. While the early strips (most of the ones reviewed here) focused on gags with plot being secondary, the strip switched around- plot is now the complete focus. Many gags still exist, though, and they're all hilarious. If you're a D&D geek, this is the funniest thing you'll ever read.
comment #36 Rogue 7 20th Apr 09
Actually, I have no knowledge of D&D whatsoever and I still enjoyed it. The in-jokes are pretty easy to skip over.
comment #118 keyboarder 29th Apr 09
Removed for spam.
comment #263 68.253.178.100 18th May 09 (edited by: Retrosphere)
What they said.
comment #269 JapaneseTeeth 20th May 09
Ditto
comment #312 SalFishFin 29th May 09
Yeah, I managed to like it without any knowledge of D&D.

Also, Chekhovs Gun has an H in it. Chekovs Gun is a joke page.
comment #453 WilliamWideWeb 18th Jun 09
Thanks for the spell check. I've edited the review to use the correct spelling.
comment #459 The Recreator 19th Jun 09
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