|The Order of the Stick|
From Left to Right: Belkar, Vaarsuvius, Elan, Haley, Durkon and Roy.
|Current status / schedule||Three-a-week (on average) |
|Launch date||2003-09-30 |
|Publisher(s)||Giant in the Playground|
|Genre(s)||Fantasy, Comedy, Parody|
The Order of the Stick is a comedic fantasy webcomic that satirizes pencil and paper role-playing games (particularly Dungeons & Dragons and its accompanying system, d20) through the continuing tale of the titular party of adventurers. While it is principally published on the web, four book collections have been published, including two print-only stories (On the Origin of PCs and Start of Darkness). It also appeared monthly in Dragon Magazine for twenty-two issues.
The comic, whose name is often abbreviated OOTS by fans, is drawn and authored in a deliberate stick figure style by Rich Burlew. The color art is created directly on a computer by Burlew using vector-based illustration software. However, accounts of major historical events have been portrayed in hand-drawn crayon, while events in the "prequel" print-exclusive stories have been shown in black-and-white—in both cases, to distinguish them from events in the strip's present.
The Order of the Stick began its run in September 2003 on what was (at the time) Rich Burlew's personal site for gaming articles. Initially, the strip was intended to feature no plot whatsoever—depicting an endless series of gags drawn from the D&D rules instead—but Burlew quickly changed his mind, laying down the earliest hints of a storyline as early as strip #13. The strip was originally produced simply to entertain those who arrived at the site for his articles, but it quickly became the most popular feature on the site (leading him to eventually abandon writing articles entirely).
The comic has had several upgrades to the art style over its life. In strip #101, the curved and crooked panel borders (which Burlew has since questioned how he could ever have thought were acceptable) are replaced with straight—though still slanted—black lines. After he sprained his wrist in 2005, Burlew used some of the time he took off from the comic to improve the character designs of the main cast, straightening their lines and adding tiny details like the runes stitched along the edge of Vaarsuvius' cloak. These changes were humorously acknowledged by the characters themselves when they premiered. Burlew also adjusted a number of the colors to reflect changes he had needed to make to the comics when they were first compiled for printing. The comic also features more frequent double- and even triple-page strips than in its early days, where longer strips were reserved for special occasions (such as reaching #200).
The Order of the Stick has held several different update schedules through the years, beginning as a twice-weekly comic that debuted new strips on Mondays and Thursdays. When presales of the first OOTS compilation book allowed Burlew to make writing his full-time job, he increased the number to three-per-week. Currently, however, the comic updates on a random schedule due to the author's ongoing health concerns.
On September 30, 2005, Burlew announced that The Order of the Stick would begin appearing in Dragon Magazine, the long-running official D&D magazine. The strip debuted in the December issue on the last page of the magazine. The following issue, OOTS appeared only in a four-panel strip in the magazine's interior, but by the February 2006 issue, it had returned to a full-page strip on the last page, a position it would hold until the magazine's cancelation in September 2007.
The Dragon Magazine version of OOTS featured the same main cast of six adventurers, but saw them adventuring in an unspecified underground location. None of the villains or supporting characters from the online strip appeared, with the sole exceptions of Mr. Jones and Mr. Rodriguez, who appeared together twice. Burlew has stated that the events of the Dragon strips take place in an alternate universe from the online strip, and events in one do not affect the other. This status quo was broken for the sake of a joke, however, when one character in the online strip claimed that he had told another character something "in one of the Dragon Magazine strips, so [he's] not even sure that's the same continuity!" 
The comic's central protagonists, known collectively as "The Order of the Stick," or simply The Order, are a party of adventurers who are questing to destroy an evil lich and save the world from his plan to conquer it. Though they have many allies, the official members of the Order of the Stick are:
- Roy Greenhilt (Human Fighter, Lawful Good): The Order's leader and founder, Roy is highly competent—in sharp contrast to his fellow party members. He inherits a Blood Oath to defeat the lich, Xykon, from his dead father and hires the remaining members of the Order of the Stick to assist him. Roy is noted for his sense of personal responsibility, taking it upon himself as his duty to try to save the world simply because no one else is around to try. He is a reversal of the common "dumb fighter" cliché, possessing an MBA (Masters of Battle Administration) from Fighter College. He fights with a two-handed greatsword and heavy armor.
- Durkon Thundershield (Dwarven Cleric of Thor, Lawful and non-Evil ): Durkon is the trustworthy and stoic healer of the party, and often serves as Roy's principal advisor. The two have a friendship that goes back further than the founding of the Order, having worked together for several years. Durkon travels through human lands on the orders of the high priest of Thor, who has essentially exiled him as a result of a prophecy. He employs a warhammer, shield, and heavy armor in battle, but is much more effective with the divine magic granted him by his patron god, with which he has been seen to call lightning from the heavens or grow to many times his normal height.
- Vaarsuvius (Elven Wizard, Non-evil): The Order's wizard and most powerful member, Vaarsuvius's gender is deliberately ambiguous, causing those he/she meets (and even his/her own teammates) to guess as to whether he/she is male or female.  Vaarsuvius is noted for his/her unnecessarily verbose manner of expressing him/herself—even to the point of interfering with his/her effectiveness—and is arrogant and condescending to those he/she considers beneath his/her intellectual level. He/she is motivated by the need to gain "ultimate arcane power" as an end unto itself, having left the tutelage of his/her master and become an adventurer solely to seek it out. He/she eschews weapons and armor, fighting exclusively with a wide variety of powerful magic effects, such as fireballs, lightning bolts, and disintegration beams.
- Haley Starshine (Human Rogue, "Chaotic Good-ish"): The Order's second-in-command is skilled in stealth and deception, often serving as a scout for the party. Haley is highly materialistic, valuing gold above most things, but is capable of putting aside her lust for money in order to help her friends. As a former member of the Thieves' Guild, Haley learned that her father is being held ransom by a dictator in a foreign land and joins the Order to raise the money necessary to rescue him. She develops a romantic crush on fellow member Elan, which she struggles to hide for much of their time together. Haley fights using a longbow, preferring surprise attacks.
- Elan (Human Bard/Dashing Swordsman, Chaotic Good): Elan is the happy-go-lucky, childlike bard of the Order. While he tries his hardest to be a contributing member of the team, he is forced to rely on his considerable charm and fool's luck to get him through the Order's adventures. He is often oblivious to the motives of those around him, such as Haley's long-concealed attraction to him. Raised solely by his mother, Elan discovers his absent warlord father raised his twin brother, Nale, to be an evil mastermind. Despite his ineffectualness, Elan has an undiminished zeal for the Order's quests, and seems to have become an adventurer simply for the excitement. He fights with a rapier, painfully bad puns, and poorly-planned illusion magic.
- Belkar Bitterleaf (Halfling Ranger/Barbarian, Chaotic Evil ): An erratic and casual killer who is ruled wholly by diverse selfish impulses, Belkar adventures for the love of battle. While ostensibly the party's tracker, he is astoundingly bad at any of his class skills. He joins the Order so that he may escape justice from a deadly bar fight in which he knifed 15 people, and continues largely due to Roy's belief that he must keep the violent halfling under his control. His loyalty to the Order fluctuates with his mood, though he never actually betrays them (despite thinking of it often). Belkar's preferred style of fighting is to leap on a foe from above and stab it with his twin daggers.
The comic's central antagonists include:
- Xykon (Human Lich Sorcerer) is an extremely powerful lich sorcerer whose plot to conquer the world is putting the entire universe in danger. He tends to have a rather lax attitude and short attention span, and is rarely a serious character, though he has shown himself to be capable of committing very evil acts.
- Redcloak (Goblin Cleric), Xykon's second-in-command, is a very powerful goblin cleric (and high priest of the goblin deity The Dark One) who is almost always a more competent leader than his boss. He holds a deep grudge against humans (particularly the Sapphire Guard), whom he views much as they view goblinkind.
- The Linear Guild is an opposing adventuring party with a changing roster of 'evil opposites' of the Order's members, led by Elan's twin brother, Nale. Other "Permanent members" include Sabine, a fiendish shapechanger, opposite of Haley; and Thog, a lovable yet murderous half-orc opposite of Roy.
- Miko Miyazaki (Human Monk/Paladin, Lawful Good) was a paladin of the Sapphire Guard, who mistakenly believed the Order to be in league with Xykon. She was never actually evil, but her extreme sanctimoniousness led her to believe everyone else was. Currently deceased after destroying Soon's Gate.
Brief plot synopsis
Despite its comedic nature, The Order of the Stick features an elaborately detailed plot that follows in the traditions of more dramatic fantasy epics. The comic begins with the Order delving in a non-descript grey-and-yellow dungeon, fighting goblins and other monsters as they encounter them. They are led by Roy Greenhilt, who has assembled them to assist him on a quest to destroy the evil lich sorcerer Xykon, at the bequest of the ghost of his father. As the heroes continue through the dungeon, Xykon sends hired minions up from the depths to thwart them—first a chimera mercenary, then a band of adventurers made up of evil opposites for each member of the Order, led by the diabolical Nale (the identical evil twin of the Order's happy-go-lucky bard, Elan). The Order defeats them both before facing Xykon himself, whom Roy hurls into a magical gate of unknown properties. Elan then accidentally activates a self-destruct rune on the mysterious gate, causing the entire dungeon and the castle above it to explode. The Order escapes just in time, as does Xykon's lieutenant, the goblin cleric Redcloak, carrying Xykon's disembodied soul.
With Roy's sword shattered in his battle with Xykon, the Order seeks out rare starmetal to repair it, thwarting a clan of bandits and a black dragon along the way. Once the metal was in their possession, they are attacked by a stranger in a blue cloak—who all but defeats them before she is revealed as a paladin. Roy surrenders, and the paladin (Miko Miyazaki) escorts the Order south to her homeland to stand trial for destroying the gate Xykon was using. Along the way, they stop at an inn where Roy is targeted by assassins in a case of mistaken identity. The inn blows up, destroying the Order's dragon treasure and rendering Haley literally speechless. In Azure City, the Order is made to stand trial for the destruction of the gate, which, they learn from Miko's liege Lord Shojo, is one of five such gates that reinforce the structure of the universe. WIthout them, a god-killing abomination known as the Snarl would escape and destroy all of creation. Despite Belkar, the party's bloodthirsty halfling ranger, escaping and dueling Miko during the trial, the Order is acquitted. Miko swears justice against the Order, who she believes to be evil, and leaves, after which Shojo explains that the entire trial was a sham (concocted with the aid of the ghost of Roy's father) to get the Order to aid Shojo in defending the remaining Gates. Roy reluctantly agrees to assist Shojo in this end once he learns that Xykon has survived and is actively seeking the gates for the purpose of conquering the world. Meanwhile, unknown to all, Xykon has recruited a massive army of hobgoblins and is marching towards the gate at Azure City.
Afterwards, the party celebrates New Year's Eve. Haley tries (in vain) to break her aphasia by demonstrating her secret love for Elan while Roy begins a romantic relationship with Celia, the sylph who served as their defense attorney. The team then consults a nearby kobold oracle, but fail to learn of Xykon's approach. On the way back, they are magically contacted by Nale, who has kidnapped Roy's teenaged sister, Julia. The Order teleports to Cliffport and battles Nale's Linear Guild again, defeating them. During the confusion, however, Nale switches identities with his twin, Elan, who is then carted off to prison with Nale's accomplice, Thog. Nale returns with the Order and begins to seduce Haley, but is stopped when Elan and Thog burst through the window. Having escaped jail, Elan had been quickly trained by a legendary swordsman and, with his new skills, easily vanquishes Nale. Nale uses enchantment magic to try to turn Elan against Haley, who blurts out that she is in love with him—curing her speech condition. The two confess their love for one another, and the Linear Guild is again captured.
In the morning, Roy visits Lord Shojo for further directions, at which time Miko returns from abroad bearing news of Xykon's imminent invasion. She overhears Shojo talking with Roy and jumps to the conclusion that both are in league with Xykon. She strikes her master down, and is immediately stripped of her paladin status by her gods. Roy, Belkar, and Shojo's nephew, Hinjo, defeat Miko in battle. The following day, Xykon's hobgoblins attack the city, with the Order helping Hinjo hold the city walls. Xykon attempts to circumvent the defenders and seize the castle that holds the gate, but Roy leaps up to the zombified dragon that Xykon is riding. The two duel once more, but, Xykon is just too powerful for Roy, who is sent falling to his death. Xykon proceeds to the castle, where he wipes out the Sapphire Guard—only to see them rise as ghost-martyrs a moment later. Redcloak's army overruns the city, but Xykon and Redcloak are almost defeated by Soon, the ghostly founder of the Sapphire Guard. Right before the villains are vanquished, an escaped Miko destroys the gate, falsely believing it is the will of her gods. The castle explodes; Xykon and Redcloak survive, though Miko does not. The city falls to the hobgoblins, and the Order becomes separated. Haley and Belkar are trapped in the occupied city with Roy's corpse, while Elan, Durkon, and Vaarsuvius sail away to safety with Hinjo.
Looking down from the Afterlife, Roy finds himself with his father, who cannot find rest until Xykon is gone. Roy is judged and found worthy of entrance to paradise, where he encounters his mother, grandfather, and long-dead little brother. He returns to his father's side when he learns that almost four months have passed, and looks down to see where his friends are (and why they have not raised him from the dead using clerical magic yet). He finds the Order still separated, with half the team assisting Hinjo (and thwarting a treacherous nobleman) while the other half has formed an underground resistance movement in hobgoblin-occupied Azure City. When Haley accidentally summons Celia, the sylph convinces her to leave the city and begin looking for the other half of the party.
The world the characters inhabit is similar to that depicted in Dungeons & Dragons, complete with functional magic and monsters. A significant portion of the humor of the strip is based on the characters being aware of the game rules which govern their lives—they discuss their hit points and class levels, call themselves "PCs" and other characters "NPCs," stop in the middle of combat to check their "to hit" modifiers, and even get "role-playing bonuses" (possibly from an unseen Dungeon Master) for fabricating involved or tragic backstories for themselves. Whether the events that transpire in the comic are happening as part of a game of D&D by unseen players, or are actually happening in a universe where the natural laws happen to conform with the rules of D&D, is not made clear in the comic itself; to date, there have been no references to any real-world people playing out the events that readers witness. The introduction strip found only in the first book collection strongly suggests that the rules of tabletop gaming are simply part of the natural laws of the universe in which the characters live. The characters also occasionally display awareness that they are in a comic strip (breaking the fourth wall).
Despite its ostensibly medieval nature, the OOTS world is rife with anachronisms, both social (such as college admissions standards for the Evil Ivy League) and technological (such as coffee makers). The characters make references to real-life individuals (such as Michael Jackson), fictional characters from other sources, (such as Green Lantern) or pop culture in general. D&D's various books also seem to exist in the comic's world; for example, at one point Redcloak browses through various monster books to choose which undead minions to create, and Julio Scoundrél tells Elan that he chose his Dashing Swordsman profession from a third-party sourcebook.
Three main areas of the world's geography have been mentioned: the Northern Lands, the Southern Lands, and the Western Continent. The Northern Lands resemble medieval Europe in setting, but the ethnic distribution seems to more closely parallel that of the contemporary United States, with a wider variety of native skin colors than was present in medieval Europe. For example, Roy Greenhilt and his family have dark brown skin, and are not referred to as coming from a different area or having a different cultural background to the characters with light skin. Other characters, such as the lawyer Phil Rodriguez, show a third (light brown) skin color. Non-human races which are often player characters in D&D, such as dwarves and gnomes, have both dark- and light-skinned members as well. The people of the Southern Lands are significantly different, with nations loosely based on real-world Asian cultures such as feudal Japan, China, and India. As the Western Continent has only been mentioned and not seen in the comic, it is unknown what its inhabitants might be like, though their gods are apparently based on ancient Mesopotamia.
The world of Order of the Stick is actually the second world to have existed in that universe; the four pantheons of gods had created one previously, only to have The Snarl destroy it. Not much is known of that world, except that the gods made it while in conflict with each other, suggesting that it was more chaotic than the current world.
Like most of the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, the Order of the Stick universe contains a verifiable afterlife: a series of planes to which dead souls are drawn. The afterlife in the OOTS world is based on the Great Wheel cosmology, with separate planes for the departed of each alignment. In order to enter the afterlife, however, a planar being must assess whether or not a soul has fulfilled the tenets of their alignment properly throughout their life. This fact informs a major plot point, as Roy's quest is launched due to the fact that his father, Eugene Greenhilt, cannot enter the Lawful Good afterlife until his son discharges a Blood Oath that he swore to destroy Xykon.
The only afterlife plane that has been seen "on-screen" in the comic so far is Lawful Good afterlife, which is a mountain with seven plateaus loosely based on Mount Celestia (but possibly also inspired by Maslow's hierarchy). The first plateau is dedicated to satisfying physical desires, such as for sex and food, while higher levels offer spiritual satisfaction and the seventh level, at the mountain's peak, holds “true perfect enlightenment.” Below the mountain is a demiplane of blue skies and clouds, where dead souls, archons, and gods from all of the Good-aligned planes can look down on the mortal world.
Commentary on role-playing games
The Order of the Stick regularly serves as a commentary on role-playing games and how they are both written and played. Frequently, individual game rules in the D&D 3rd Edition rules are satirized directly, either by showing absurd logical conclusions to the rules as written, or by simply having the characters openly comment on the absence of rules for common everyday situations (such as sleeping). Common styles of play are spoofed with characters such as Belkar Bitterleaf, a protagonist who focus more on killing and garnering experience points than bothering to complete the details of his character's backstory.
The Order of the Stick also examines the more general themes inherent in playing roleplaying games, exploring how the rules of the game influence how events play out in different situations. One topic that receives repeated attention is that of alignment, with several strips addressing differing views on how D&D's stated "black-and-white morality" could be integrated realistically into a D&D game. A recurring theme involves people of differing alignments falling in love, which Burlew dealt with both with Elan's parents and the Durkon/Hilgya tryst. In fact, the intersection between fantasy roleplaying and romance (and sex) has itself been the subject of much consideration, with strips exploring the lessened impact of "til death do us part" in a world with a knowable afterlife and the difficulties in cross-species dating.
Burlew often creates characters and situations specifically to highlight what he considers common problems and deficits among roleplayers. The controversial paladin Miko Miyazaki is one such character; Burlew has said that she represents the division among players of the game over whether or not one character should be allowed to "police" the remainder of an adventuring party. He also has referred to her as being "one of the WORST ways to play a paladin."  Another example is the creation myth of the OOTS world, which shows a group of gods bickering over how to create the world—accidentally creating the world-devouring Snarl through their refusal to compromise. In the commentary for No Cure for the Paladin Blues, Burlew likens this story to the squabbles that might arise in a group of roleplayers, which threaten to destroy the fun that they have created together.
The comic occasionally also directly comments on current events in the roleplaying game industry by the inclusion of characters that represent the participants. In the last three comics to appear in Dragon, the OOTS members encounter a green dragon that serves as an allegorical figure for the magazine itself, who then proceeds to recount the magazine's long history complete with representations of its various publishers, including a wizard of the coast and Mr. Potato Head (the signature toy of Wizards of the Coast's corporate parent, Hasbro). In the final issue, the dragon escapes the wizard of the coast's lawyers by flying through a room featuring characters from many of the comics that have appeared in Dragon over the years, such as Wormy, Knights of the Dinner Table, and What's New with Phil & Dixie, before the OOTS characters directly thanked the dragon for its long years of service. This theme was employed again when the Roy Greenhilt character in the online strip voiced Burlew's eulogy to D&D co-creator Gary Gygax immediately after his death was announced. The memorial comic was widely cited among websites covering Gygax's death.
Due to its deep understanding of roleplaying (and, specifically, Dungeons and Dragons), The Order of the Stick has been hailed as "'must' reading" for comic readers who play such games" and "the roleplaying comic to beat". Critics sometimes cite the insular nature of in-jokes regarding the D&D rules that crop up regularly (especially in the early part of the comic's run) as a barrier to new readers, noting that without a working knowledge of fantasy roleplaying games, much of the humor may fall flat. However, the comic is just as often seen as being accessible to casual readers without such gaming knowledge due to the strength of the main cast's portrayals and abundance of character-based humor. The comic has been praised for its "shrewd writing" and "increasingly intricate and cleverly scripted adventures", as well as its execution. One webcomic critic has called it, "One of the few very simplistically-drawn comics that can pull [off] an extensive storyline."
The comic's stick figure art has received more mixed reviews, with some critics praising its "surprisingly expressive art," while others denounce its simple geometric characters as "merely functional" or only "good for someone who isn't really an artist". Burlew has defended his art style several times in public statements, stating that it was chosen deliberately rather than due to lack of proficiency at drawing and pointing out that the primary goal of comic art is to communicate the actions of the characters, which his style does as well as any other. Burlew has also addressed similar criticisms of his art within the comic several times, either by contrasting his usual art with more realistic drawings or by simply putting self-deprecating dialogue regarding his style into the mouths of characters.
The Order of the Stick has been nominated for ten Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards, of which it has won five. It was named Best Long Form Comic in 2008, Best Gaming Comic and Best Long Form Comic in 2007, Best Fantasy Comic in 2006, and tied for Best Fantasy Comic in 2005. No Cure for the Paladin Blues, the comic's second print compilation, won a 2007 Gold ENnie award. The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York City included The Order of the Stick #443 in its first webcomic-only exhibit, Infinite Canvas: The Art of Webcomics.
The Order of the Stick books are published by Giant in the Playground Games, a small press publishing company formed by OOTS creator Rich Burlew. The books are widely distributed to both online and brick-and-mortar retailers in the hobby game market, as well as to comic book direct retailers.
In order of publication:
- The Order of the Stick: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools (2005) ISBN 0-9766580-0-3. Volume 1, strips 1-121, 120 pp. full color.
- The Order of the Stick: On the Origin of PCs (2005) ISBN 0-9766580-1-1. Print-exclusive prequel, "Volume 0", 72 pp. black-and-white.
- The Order of the Stick: No Cure for the Paladin Blues (2006) ISBN 0-9766580-3-8. Volume 2, strips 121a-300, 244 pp. full color.
- The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness (2007) ISBN 978-0-9766580-4-7. Print-exclusive prequel, "Volume -1", 96 pp. black-and-white with color insert.
- The Order of the Stick: War And XPs (expected After Christmas 2007). Volume 3, full color.
The Order of the Stick Adventure Game
In partnership with APE Games, Giant in the Playground released the first OOTS game, The Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Dungeon of Dorukan. The game, which was released in September 2006, utilizes both cards and a board and has strong influences from games such as Talisman and Dungeon!, as well as the less known "Kings & Things".
The Dungeon of Dorukan is designed for 2-6 people, aged twelve and older. Each player controls one member of the OOTS team to explore the dungeon and hunt down Xykon. The player is able to train their chosen member with a variety of shtick cards. Each character provides a different gaming experience, but the players always have the ability to either aid or harm their team mates.
A second, stand-alone game, The Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Linear Guild, is set to be released by APE Games in the Fall. Players will be able to take on the parts of Nale, Thog, Sabine, and other members of the Linear Guild in their own dungeon adventure, or they can combine the materials in the game with those from the Dungeon of Dorukan set for a massive Order of the Stick vs. Linear Guild head-to-head adventure.
- "New Edition". Episode 1. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0001.html.
- Campbell, T. "What We Don't Know", Broken Frontier, May 31, 2007. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
- Campbell, T. "What Are the Most Popular Comics?" Webcomics.com, November 18, 2007. Retrieved on November 24, 2007
- Campbell, T. "The Unreliable Survey, February 2008", [http://www.webcomics.com/ Webcomics.com, February 14, 2008. Retrieved on February 18, 2008
- Burlew, Rich. How do you make the OOTS strips?, Giant in the Playground Site FAQ
- Burlew, Rich. "Dungeon Crawlin' Fools", Giant in the Playground, March 2005, pg 20.
- "Man-to-Man Chat". Episode 101. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0101.html.
- Burlew, Rich. "Dungeon Crawlin' Fools", Giant in the Playground, March 2005, pg 158.
- Burlew, Rich. "No Cure for the Paladin Blues", Giant in the Playground, June 2006, pg 108.
- "The Great Kazoo". Episode 198. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0198.html.
- Burlew, Rich. Giant in the Playground News, February 17, 2006. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
- Burlew, Rich. Giant in the Playground News, July 7, 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
- Paizo Publishing Creates Strategic Alliance with The Order of the Stick creator Rich Burlew, Paizo.com, September 30, 2005. Retrieved on November_10, 2007
- "No More OOTS in Dragon Magazine". http://www.giantitp.com/index.html#d73xkAsYUesECR37dT9.
- Burlew, Rich. Giant in the Playground News, October 10, 2005. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
- "Crashing the Party". Episode 475. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0475.html.
- "Served with a Side Order of Whoop-Ass". Episode 343. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0343.html.
- "Final Review". Episode 490. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0490.html.
- "We Can Do This the Easy Way...". Episode 442. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0442.html.
- "Cast strip". Order of the Stick. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/ootscast.html.
- Burlew, Rich. "Dungeon Crawlin' Fools", Giant in the Playground, March 2005, pg 9.
- "Scanning...". Episode 202. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0202.html.
- Burlew, Rich. "On the Origin of PCs", Giant in the Playground, August 2005, pg 46.
- Burlew, Rich. "On the Origin of PCs", Giant in the Playground, August 2005, pg 19.
- "Learn to Play it Right". Episode 467. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0467.html.
- Burlew, Rich. Is Vaarsuvius male or female?, Giant in the Playground Site FAQ.
- "Ch-ch-ch-changes". Episode 177. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0177.html.
- "Like Entrall, Only Boring.". Episode 10. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0010.html.
- Burlew, Rich. "On the Origin of PCs", Giant in the Playground, August 2005, pg 48.
- "Truth". Episode 393. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0393.html.
- Burlew, Rich. "On the Origin of PCs", Giant in the Playground, August 2005, pg 11.
- "A Song for the Departed". Episode 445. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0445.html.
- "Hawaiian Love". Episode 184. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0184.html.
- "The Semi-Secret Origin of Elan & Nale". Episode 50. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0050.html.
- Giant in the Playground Forums - View Single Post - Belkar's Alignment
- "Keepin' the Little Man Down". Episode 489. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0489.html.
- "The Man Knows His Limitations". Episode 213. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0213.html.
- Burlew, Rich. "On the Origin of PCs", Giant in the Playground, August 2005, pg 36.
- "Responsible". Episode 496. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0496.html.
- "A Moment of Truth". Episode 285. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0285.html.
- "The Power of Immediate Gratification". Episode 520. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0520.html.
- "Teenage Boys Are CR 1". Episode 100. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0100.html.
- "The Best Part of Waking Up". Episode 317. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0317.html.
- "What's My Motivation". Episode 204. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0204.html.
- "A Song for the Departed". Episode 445. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0445.html.
- "Next on "As the Plane Turns..."". Episode 486. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0486.html.
- "Led Zeppelin Lied to Us All". Episode 493. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0493.html.
- "Armor Begone". Episode 25. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0025.html.
- "Groggy, Groggy, Groggy". Episode 224. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0224.html.
- "Ding!". Episode 124. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0124.html.
- Burlew, Rich. "On the Origin of PCs", Giant in the Playground, August 2005, pg 4.
- Pellaeon, Gilead. Big. , Webcomicker, January 30, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
- "Closing Arguments". Episode 282. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0282.html.
- "Final Review". Episode 490. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0490.html.
- Burlew, Rich. "No Cure for the Paladin Blues", Giant in the Playground, June 2006, pg 180.
- Burlew, Rich. "Dungeon Crawlin' Fools", Giant in the Playground, March 2005, pg 66.
- "Date with Destiny". Episode 39. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0039.html.
- "(Eu)gene Therapy". Episode 495. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0495.html.
- "On Sylph's Wings". Episode 315. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0315.html.
- Burlew, Rich. "No Cure for the Paladin Blues", Giant in the Playground, June 2006, pg 106.
- Burlew, Rich. "No Cure for the Paladin Blues", Giant in the Playground, June 2006, pg 108.
- Burlew, Rich. The Order of the Stick, Dragon Magazine, Issue #358, August 2007.
- Burlew, Rich. The Order of the Stick, Dragon Magazine, Issue #359, September 2007.
- The Order of the Stick #536, A Brief Tribute
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- Grossman, Lev. Exploding Runes: A Roundup of Gygax Tributes, TIME.com, March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
- Taylor, Howard. Requiescat: Gary Gygax - 1938-2008, Shlock Mercenary, March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
- Jackson, Steve. Illuminator: Gary Gygax], March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
- Utter, David A. Gary Gygax Departs for Ethereal Plane, WebProNews, March 5, 2008. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
- Tayler, Howard. "What, Exactly, Is an "Erf?"", Schlock Mercenary: Blogünder Schlock, January 14, 2007. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
- Mishler, James. "The Order of the Stick: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools", Comic Buyer's Guide, January 2006, No. 1613. Reposted online, Retrieved January 24, 2008
- Roney, Brian. The Order of the Stick, Brian Roney's Webcomic Reviews, August 15, 2007. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
- Bowman, Donna; Murray, Noel; Phipps, Keith; Robinson, Tasha. "Comics of Note 4205", The A.V. Club, February 1, 2006. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
- Creer, Jeff. | Order of the Stick: 4.5 out of 6, The Official Time-Waster's Guide, August 18, 2005. Retrieved March 10, 2008.
- Summers, Matt. "The Order of the Stick by Rich Burlew", ComixTalk.com, August 2005. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
- Grossman, Lev. "Webcomics Are the New Blogs: The Order of the Stick", TIME.com, January 31, 2007. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
- Burns, Eric. "Wait... thumbnailed graphic... parentheses... my God, Eric's SNARKING A WEBCOMIC!". Websnark, July 6, 2005. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
- "Writing v.s Art", The Webcomic Beacon, December 14, 2007. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
- Lesnick, Josh. "Artistic Critiques...", Josh Lesnick's Horsejournal, June 10, 1007. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
- Burlew, Rich. How come your art sucks so much? Can't you draw?, Giant in the Playground Site FAQ
- Israel, Cecily. "Order of the Interview: Rich Burlew". Sequential Tart, March 1, 2007. Retrieved on November 9, 2007
- ARE YOUR 2008 WCCA WINNERS!, Webcartoonist's Choice Awards, March 8, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
- "2007 ENnie Award Archives". ennieawards.com. http://www.ennieawards.com/2007-archive.html. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Tyrell, Gary. "This Woman Wants to Bring Webcomics Into the Rarified World of Museums", Fleen, September 14, 2007. Retrieved on November 8, 2007
- Greater Games Industry Catalog, Fall 2007, page 151.
- Alliance Games Distribution listing for Giant in the Playground Games. Retrieved on November 9, 2007
- GTS Special: Order of the Stick Fall 2007 Releases. GamingReport.com, April 26, 2007. Retrieved on November 9, 2007
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