The Order of the Stick

While xkcd and Cyanide are self-contained strips, other webcomics have taken taken the route of epic fantasy - literally. My favorite example of such serialized goodness is The Order of the Stick - a.k.a. OOTS.

The Order of the Stick, follows the adventures of a team of warriors who are battling the great evil of Xykon. And while they are on this quest, they are constantly fighting monsters, dealing with silly detours, gaining XP points, leveling up all while making wise-cracks about the nature of role playing games (Dungeons & Dragons in particular).

The OOTS is led by Roy Greenhilt, an uptight warrior with an enormous sense of duty in fulfilling his father's last wish. Much of the comic is dedicated to the growth of Roy as the leader of the rag-tag band. Supporting as second in command is Haley Starshine, who excels as a scout because of her skill in deception.

Belkar Bitterleaf is a dwarfish, selfish, oafish and dangerous halfling. In addition to being extremely bad in his skills, he keeps the rest of the order on its toes by being highly unreliable.

Durkon Thundershield is the healer of the team. And the ponderous, capable dwarf who is just as likely to address ye olde self, as bring down the lightning of Thor.

Elan and Vaarsuvius are the single-word named duo, forming the rest of the team. Elan is a simpleton. Able to infuriate with his puns and songs than actual fighting, while Vaarsuvious is a self-centered, arrogant and condescending gender-ambiguous wizard.

If you like role playing games (RPG), you probably have already heard of this comic. Even if you have not heard of RPGs, the comic more than stands for itself beyond the arcane lingo of skills, checks and levels. Ignore it, and in no time you will start to realize what those terms really mean.

At the time of writing this, there are a total of 743 episodes available. Everything you need for hours of role-playing, comic fun.

August 21, 2010

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