Thread "Rules" (Please Read!):
These rules were decided by forum vote. They specify what sorts of comments are suitable for inclusion in the Index and what sorts are not. This thread is run by its caretaker in accordance with forumgoer consensus.
a) The quote / comment must still be accessible online.
- 1. This includes the use of the internet wayback machine and other methods of accessing comments that may not still exist in the archive.
- 2. This does not include second-hand sources, like "I remember Rich said this, but the thread does not exist anymore." Even if you are 100% certain Rich said that, if the quote is not demonstrable or provable it cannot be included.
- 3. This does not include Rich's commentary in books or in any medium that cannot be legally accessed for free.
b) The Index is for collecting only quotes that have to do with the Order of the Stick comic or other fiction works by Rich Burlew.
- 1. This excludes non-comic-related opinions, statements, etc. from Rich. So if he says "I like Italian food" or something like that, it is not to be included.
- 2. This may include information tangentially related to the comic, like Rich's views on Dungeons and Dragons, book publishing, art design, etc. These quotes are still within the sphere of comic-related discussion. Uncertainty should be decided by thread poster consensus.
- 3. This excludes GiTP forum rules, updates, or general information. That is for the admins and mods to publicize and spread word about, not this index.
c) The index is a forum tool, meant primarily to provide easy access to direct statements from the author for the purpose of forum discussion. Thus, while the index may be fun to read through on a whim, this is not its primary purpose or focus - it is a research aid more than it is a trivia collection.
d) If two quotes seem to contradict each other, only the quote that illustrates Rich's most recent and current opinion or position will be included. This is because of rule c).
e) Quotes that contain redundant information need not be included. This reduces clutter. The quote should only be included if it provides new information or clarity, or if it expounds upon information included in a prior comment.
f) The index-keeper (ThePhantasm) has the job of updating the index in keeping with thread-goer consensus.
- 1. He may reorganize the index if deemed necessary, though all reorganizations can be reversed by majority vote.
- 2. He may immediately add a comment to the index without any vote, discussion, or consensus required if the comment obviously is in accordance with these agreed rules.
- 3. He may never fully "reject" a comment's inclusion, however, he may postpone its inclusion until further discussion (and, if the divide in opinion appears even, a vote) decides the matter.
- 4. If a comment's inclusion is uncertain, a vote requires a clear majority. If there is a tie the comment will not be included. The majority must have at least 2 more votes than the minority. Remember, the purpose of the discussions and votes are to reach some measure of consensus, not division.
Note: As of 3/20/12 all entries have been updated with not only the date of the comment, but the last posted comic at the time of the comment. This is simply to provide context and does not imply any shifts in opinions or decisions by Rich. Unless Rich specifically indicates that he has changed his mind or intention on something, arguments to that effect are purely speculative.
For Those Who Missed Out on Kickstarter: The swag, sans patches, will be very likely available again at some point.
SpoilerV is True Neutral! (08/17/2011; #801)
Durkon is Lawful Good! (07/27/2011; #798)
Belkar is Chaotic Evil! (12/1/2005; #251)
Tarquin is Lawful Evil! (12/7/2010; #763)
Nale, Sabine, and Thog are all Evil! (01/20/2005; #142)
Enor & Gannji are True Neutral! (10/24/2011; #812)
Redcloak is Evil! (01/23/2012; #830)
Who Else is Neutral? A long list of Neutral characters in the comic. See also here. (07/22/2013; #903)
Alignment and Environment: Enor and Gannji were not operating wholly outside the ethical framework of the Empire of Blood. This doesn't change the nature of their acts but does mean that the acts are not as indicative of their overall alignment as some might suppose. (10/25/2011; #812)
Alignment and Authorial Intent: What does Rich mean when he says X character is Y alignment? (07/23/2013; #903)
Elan and Nale's Parentage: How did it affect their alignment? Giant can't fully answer because of events yet to be revealed. Elan spared Nale's life because of Elan's understanding of what it means to be good. (11/18/2011; #815)
D&D, Alignment, and Morality: Rich on the comic's criticism of the way D&D has been played for over three decades. "D&D cannot and should not begin and end at black-and-white, and indeed already doesn't, if everyone would just learn to look at things a little more complexly." See also here (D&D "racism" and alignment) and here (the real world applicability of Redcloak's story). (02/14/2012; #835)
D&D's Alignment System: Thoughts on how it could be improved. (02/18/2012; #838)
On Being Lawful Good in D&D and the OOTS. (02/15/2006; #281)
More on Being Lawful in D&D and the OOTS. (06/03/2013; #891)
Shojo's Chaotic Government was still good, not evil. (06/06/2013; #891)
SpoilerCharacter Appearances & Forum Speculation: Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. For example, just because two persons have similar hairstyles doesn't mean they are related. (10/6/2009; #683)
Examples of Rich's Non-Stick-Figure Art Talent: Rich's mad art skills on showcase. Also more here. (4/11/2012, #848)
Why the Strip Titles Aren't Above the Strip: The titles are "bonus" jokes. Rich prefers not to put them above the strip itself. (11/20/2010; #759)
True Subjective View In #843: V gets cornered. (03/7/2012; #843)
Speech Bubbles: Don't overthink them... they are subservient to the story. Malack's bubbles are only black when he "vamps out." (02/18/2013; #870)
Light and Art: The art style doesn't show lighting and shading, much like how it doesn't show noses. (02/26/2013; #871)
Art Should Challenge Preconceptions (06/07/2013; #891)
How the Giant Writes and Draws the Strips: And an answer to the question - why are certain strips several pages long? (06/28/2013; #896)
Art and Magic:Spoiler
Invisibility: Why the art for invisible characters isn't consistent (utility trumps consistency). (03/15/2010; #706)
Counterspelling: The Giant doesn't use different art to differentiate between counterspelling with Dispel Magic and counterspelling with the same spell. (01/23/2012; #830)
Spell Colors: The colors come from the spellcaster's choice or personality, and not their alignment or the types of magic. (06/28/2010; #731)
Meld Into Stone: Art trumps rules accuracy here in order to show the warping of the spell effect. (07/26/2012, #859)
Art and Merchandise:
SpoilerBlack and White Books: They are unlikely to ever be colorized, and were not originally in color. Rich drew them in black and white. (03/16/2011; #781)
The Oracle's Location on the OOTS Poster: Don't read too much into it. (09/5/2010; #744)
Characters and Merchandise: The presence, absence, position, or style of any character on any piece of merchandise has no bearing on any future (or past) plot points. (11/22/2011; #816)
D&D Rules and Explanations -
Malack's Undead: Malack reanimates the dead Draketooths into mummies. (06/20/2012; #856)
Acid-Born Shark: Rich created it, and made fun of himself in the comic. (04/6/2011; #785)
SpoilerElan's Rapiers: He has 2. His original, and one from Julio Scoundrel. (05/13/2010; #723)
Haley's Boots of Speed: Yes, she did get them dyed to match her brown / tan garb. (05/29/2011; #793)
Durkon Throws Diamond Dust into the air in #844. (03/9/2012; #844)
The Keoghtum's Ointment removes deafness because it is extra strength. (09/12/2012; #863)
Why V Doesn't Have a Staff: There is no narrative purpose for it, and it would just be one more item to keep track of in the art. (03/03/2013; #878)
Character Quirks -
Character Stats -
SpoilerOOTS' Stats: Rich hasn't written them down, and everything is up in the air until they need a specific ability. (04/10/2010; #714)
Tsukiko Breaks The Rules: Tsukiko has too many schools. Rich doesn't make character decisions based on common player trends. (08/14/2011; #800)
Durkon's Mass Death Ward: Rich did not even know Mass Death Ward existed when he wrote the strip. He pegged it at 7th level instead of 8th. (09/19/2011; #806)
Elan and Nale are Twins: So Nale has the same Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution as Elan. (05/3/2004; #65)
A Piece of Straw: Haley used a piece of straw to get out of the jail cell. Info on Haley's Dexterity, Level, etc. (01/3/2006; #262)
Tarquin Doesn't Have Trap Sense: "I don't usually bother making fun of mechanics anymore, but if I do, I'm not that subtle about it." (07/23/2012, #858)
Vampire Durkon Can Cast Spells: A cleric doesn't have to worship a deity to cast spells. (04/09/2013; #883)
Malack's Grapple Skills were a hunting aid, not for optimization / combat. A character's skills have to be looked at in the context of their whole life, not "what I would do in a game." (07/30/2013; #906)
Girard's Illusion Runes are a ninth-level spell, not an epic spell. (06/11/2013; #873)
Combat Scenes and Explanations -
Battle Scenes and D&D Tactics: "My job is to entertain, not to showcase perfect D&D tactics. If you can't be entertained by anything BUT perfect D&D tactics, that's on you." (02/28/2013; #873)
Miko's Fight: How Miko defeated the OOTS off-panel and captured them. (11/30/2005; #251)
Roy's Arena Fight With Thog: Roy's strategy to taunt a dungeon-crashing Thog into breaking the pillars. (10/6/2011; #808)
Zz'Ditri's Break Enchantment: Rich didn't read the casting time while making the strip. (09/7/2011; #800)
Malack and Mass Death Ward: Why did Malack bother checking if Durkon protected himself when he could simply dispel the spell and not care at all? (03/02/2013; #876)
SpoilerRules Accuracy In The Comic: "If you are looking for moment-to-moment rules accuracy from this comic, you probably should stop reading." (08/17/ 2011; #801)
Rules Accuracy In The Comic, II: Case in point: Rich avoids the D&D term "calling" for the sake of non-D&D OOTS readers, who probably would not understand its meaning. (01/10/2012; #826)
Game Balance Doesn't Matter in This Story: "I was communicating the way I expected the audience would perceive it, then I began the process of abolishing that perception." (9/20/2011, #806)
Story / Plot -
General / Uncategorized -
Familicide (03/7/2012; #843): How it works.
Familicide II (06/19/2013; #894): More on how it works.
Some Thoughts on Visuals and Story: People get invested in the story, not the art, of a comic. (02/18/2012; #838)
Scrying in the Desert: It was Zz'ditri who scryed on the Order after they found Girard's illusion. (02/18/2013; #870)
More Prequels? The total number of planned prequel stories is "pretty much fixed." (09/1/2011; #804)
Not everything needs a backstory, or even has an interesting one worth telling. (06/23/2010; #737)
V's Children: The Giant made them adopted to leave open the possibility that V / Inkyrius are gay or lesbian. (04/09/2013; #882)
Dragon Continuity: The Dragon Magazine strips and Gygax magazine strips exist in a separate continuity from the OOTS strips. (11/25/2012; #859)
The Azurite Nobles and Hinjo: The Nobles thought they could save their own skins from Xykon with Hinjo out of the way. (06/06/2013; #891)
Kubota and Hinjo: Why Kubota still wanted to kill Hinjo after the other nobles had given up. (06/09/2013; #891)
The Dream Runes: Elan's victory as character development. Also, Nale was the only LG member affected by the runes. (06/11/2013; #893)
What Belkar Saw while affected by the Dream Runes. (05/25/2013; #890)
About Girard's Double Bluff to protect the Gate. (06/21/2013; #895)
Calendars and Dates:
SpoilerChronology & Timeline: Anything that states a numbered, dated year references the Northern calendar. The Oracle uses the Southern calendar. Further details on timeframe of Belkar's death prophecy included. Some time references in the strip (like the deva's chart) should not be taken too literally. (05/26/2010; #725)
OOTS Age Range: Intended to be early to mid 20s. Durkon is the "dwarf equivalent" of this age range, in his 50s. (07/2/2010; #732)
Culture and Geography:
SpoilerReligions and Deities in OOTS World: Background details on who worships whom, and on Thor, Hel, and the Twelve Gods. (4/11/2012, #848)
Nergal and Undeath: Nergal is not against undeath. Malack just doesn't like using the undead as canon fodder. (02/21/2013; #870)
Map of the Western Continent: It is constantly changing. (09/12/2010; #746)
Class Systems and Careers: And also, FYI, Durkon isn't "white." (04/08/2013; #882)
Prequels (SPOILER ALERT) -
SpoilerSoD Paladins & Miko's Fall: Only the crayon pages are narrative by Redcloak. Not every event is necessarily "seen." Certain scenes are largely shown from Redcloak's perspective. Details of why the paladins who killed Redcloak's people may or may not have fallen, why it doesn't matter, and how showing it would have cheapened the effect of Miko's fall later. (03/15/2010; #706)
The Rise of the Dark One: The other gods lost their one shot to gang up on him and kill him. The Dark One has since been building his power. (01/04/2013; #864)
Right-Eye's Family: They weren't raised because Redcloak doesn't control Team Evil's finances to pay for resurrection, Xykon does. Evil characters are not discouraged / prohibited from raising the dead in OOTSverse. (06/15/2008; #566)
How Xykon Broke Out (with some insight into The Giant's writing process). (09/07/2012; #862) On Xykon and Redcloak's escape from Lirian, see also this post.
Dragon Magazine Alternate Panel: What didn't show up in Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tails. (08/3/2011; #799)
The Crimson Mantle: Generally it is not known by non-goblins that the mantle is the source of power. (01/12/2012; #826)
Redcloak's Little Sister was not irredeemably evil, and certainly did not deserve execution. (02/14/2012; #835)
Kickstarter Bonus PDFs (SPOILER ALERT)
Reading Too Much Into It -
Hidden Meanings: Not everything in the comic has one. (06/2/2009; #667)
Current Politics: There are no references to current politics in the strip beyond those which readers invent themselves. (07/2/2010; #732)
Belkar's Jokes: Belkar making a joke about something does not make it so. (04/11/2011; #786)
TV Tropes: Rich is aware it exists. No, he doesn't use it for ideas or reference it in any way in the comic. (03/4/2010; #705)
Pratchett: Rich hasn't read Pratchett. (10/26/2009; #687)
Orrin Draketooth's Daughter: She's not Haley. (11/21/2011; #811)
Malack's Chamber Plans: This was intended to use the imagery of factory farming, not the Holocaust. Malack plans to create a vampire ruling class. (03/01/2013; #875)
Malacks Vampirism and LGBT: Malack's condition is not an allegory for LGBT. (03/01/2013; #875)
Soon's Gate Backstory and Explanation
Storytelling Mistakes? -
SpoilerSurprises Are Not Deus Ex Machinas (09/19/2011; #806)
No Purpose? "As a general rule of thumb, no one should say the sentence, 'There's no (or no other) possible narrative purpose for Rich to have done X!' until the story is completed. Because there's always a narrative purpose, you just haven't thought of what it is." (01/10/2012; #826)
A Missed Opportunity in #602? Why Hilgya was not the Cleric of Loki working for the Thieves' Guild.
Typo in #597? Nope. It is a joke. (09/30/2008; #597)
True Resurrection as a narrative-wrecking device, and an answer to the age-old "why didn't x character do y?" question. (9/07/2012; #862)
Racism and Sex in OOTS: Rich answers two separate concerns: One, whether there is some correlation between skin color and promiscuity, and two, whether there is too much promiscuity among the women portrayed in the comic. The short answer to both is no. (05/2/2009; #650)
The Gods Created Creatures After The World Was Created: Is this a contradiction? No. There is no Gaia hypothesis in OOTS world. (3/20/2012, #845)
On Plots and Boredom: "If one does not care about the protagonists or antagonists and is not emotionally invested in their struggles, and all one cares about is the resolution of the MacGuffin chase, then you will almost certainly be bored with a lot of the material I'm producing." (03/02/2013; #876)
On Character Importance and Leadership Skills: The Giant doesn't feel a character suffers for not having "leadership skills," and won't force someone's development just to give them said skills.(04/07/2013; #882)
SpoilerGiant's Response I: Including - why Haley was surprised that Miko was killed, info on Nale's self-delusion and ego, how the rift got so close to Xykon's Tower (it grew), and what is and isn't a plot hole. (11/29/2011; #816)
Giant's Response II: A character thinking one thing instead of another thing is not a mistake, it just is. The rift grew according to Redcloak's predictions, but he was measuring the actual hole, not the cracks. (11/30/2011; #816)
Why Destroy Tsukiko's Remains if Redcloak was just going to tell Xykon he killed her? One reason is so that Xykon would be unable to Speak With Dead on Tsukiko... or Raise Dead. (01/26/2013; #866)
Why Didn't Girard Prepare a Better Trap Against Undead? "There is a big jump from knowing that illusions don't affect undead to being able to do anything about it—or expecting every defense to affect every possible creature type." (06/11/2013; #893)
Did Durkon Lie? No, the Giant forgot that Durkon said he didn't prepare "Detect Magic." (06/19/2013; #894)
Why Didn't Malack Prepare Word of Recall? Further explanation here and here (with a few remarks on plot holes in general). (07/29/2013; #906)
Writing Process and Story Development
SpoilerV's Gender History: Why Rich made V's gender ambiguous and what discussions about it were like in the early days. Roy's 'V-man' comment is not necessarily indicative of V's true gender. (05/29/2011; #793)
Dungeon of Dorukan History: Originally, Dorukan was not even necessarily a person. (06/20/2005; #196)
Durkon Becomes a Vampire: Originally, Durkon was going to become a vampire in the dungeon of Dorukan. This plot element has been developing for some time and even predates Xykon himself. (07/28/2013; #906)
Characters as Plot Devices: Both Redcloak and Malack had humble beginnings that developed into something more. (07/28/2013; #906)
On Writing Female Characters: The difficulties and fan reactions. (04/09/2013; #883)
The Dwarven god Thor: OOTS Thor is not based off of D&D Thor. Until referenced in the comic, the Nordic legends / mythology does not exist in OOTSverse. (07/12/2004; #86)
LGBT Characters: Why there aren't more in the comic. (04/08/2013; #882) (Also see this.)
Nale's Wand: Its function in the story. Also, a brief side-note about why Xykon showed up at Girard's gate a few seconds too late. (07/25/2013; #904)
The Girard's Gate Plotline: Tarquin and the LG are the main adversaries of this book; Team Evil was never going to battle the OOTS at Girard's Gate. (07/28/2013; #906)
Character Development / Backstory:
SpoilerParental Problems: Background info on the parents of various characters like Elan and Haley, including character / plot development history. (11/18/2011; #815)
Miko and Shojo: Shojo was the "tape" that held Miko's character together for so long. He was responsible for much in Miko that was good / positive. (11/18/2011; #815)
Miko's Popularity: Miko's story was not "cut short" because of fan opinions - it was precisely the length intended. Rich does not make storytelling decisions based on finances. (12/18/2012 #863)
Durkon and Malack's Breakup: Durkon reacts not only to Malack's vampirism, but to his alliance with the Linear Guild. He knows that Malack does not know Belkar isn't innocent. (02/26/2013; #872)
V's Splices: There won't be a prequel book about them, and Rich hasn't developed a backstory for them. Just 3 evil souls. (08/21/2011; #801)
Worldbuilding vs. Foreshadowing: "Say hello to your boss for me." (08/18/2011; #801)
Haley's Leadership: A greedy self-centered rogue becomes leader. Belkar and Haley are the only one's who questioned her leadership skills during the Azure City Resistance. (04/07/2013; #882)
The Story as a D&D Spoof:
Geekademia Interview Table of Contents
Part 1: Kickstarter and the Fans
- 1A: Introduction
- 1B: OOTS Kickstarter Project
- 1C: OOTS Fandom & GiTP Forums
- 1D: OOTS Soundtrack Thread & OOTS Animated
- 1E: OOTS & Social Networking
Part 2: The Comic and Role-Playing Games
- 2A: On Whether Rich Has Time For Role-Playing
- 2B: Will There Ever Be an OOTS World Created for a Gaming System?
Part 3: The Comic's Storyline, Part I
- 3A: The "Darkness" of the Storyline
- 3B: On Behind-The-Scenes Story Commentary In Interviews and Books
- 3C: What Is The Comic About?
- 3D: On The Comic & D&D Rules
- 3E: Creating the Character Wall Poster
- 3F: On Fanart & Whether Roy Wears Pants
- 3G: Putting an End to the Crack Pairings Thread
Part 4: Modern Fantasy and D&D
- 4A: On Keeping Fantasy New & Interesting
- 4B: TVTropes & Lazy Criticism
- 4C: Public Perception of D&D
- 4D: Jack Chick & Tom Hanks
Part 5:The Comic's Storyline, Part II
- 5A: Rich's Favorite Characters to Write Jokes For
- 5B: Rich's Favorite Characters to Write Drama / Character Struggles For
- 5C: Vaarsuvius' Moral Conflict
- 5D: The Storyline & the D&D Alignment System
- 5E: On Keeping Plot Twists Secret
- 5F: The Desert Plot Arc & Law vs. Chaos
- 5G: The Possibility of an Order of the Scribble Prequel Book
- 5H: The Kickstarter Donor's Choice Stories
- 5I: The Conclusion of the Storyline
- 5J: How Much Story Is Left To Tell
Part 6: Outro and Ending
Special Thanks to Xapi and B.Dandelion for transcribing the interview. Reformatted for the index by ThePhantasm. Original interview by Jesse Baruffi and David Lawrence of Geekademia.
eBooks: Yes, Rich has considered it. Digital PDF's are not in the works. Rich prefers to sell physical copy books. (4/11/2011, #786)
An OOTS Computer Game? No current plans for one. See here for more. (06/10/2013; #892)
An OOTS "Munchkin" Board Game? No current plans for one. (07/06/2013; #897)
Top Webcomics: Do not vote for OOTS on Top Webcomics. (5/19/2010, #724)
1.1.1 - Unlogged Updates from thread's inception to Feb. 29th 2012
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1.2.0 - Added Geekademia Interview [3/15/12]
1.3.0 - Added dates / last-comic-at-the-date-of-the-comment info to all entries in the index. [3/20/12]
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1.4.0 - Added the Thread Rules [4/8/12]
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1.5.0 - Added several new subcategories: "Arts & Merchandise," "Culture and Geography," "Calendars and Dates," and "Rules Accuracy." [07/06/2012]
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1.6.0 - MEGA UPDATE [04/13/13]
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1.7.0 - Links Changed to Post Tags [05/19/2013]
1.8.0 - MEGA UPDATE [07/29/13]
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1.9.0 - MEGA UPDATE [07/31/13]
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. . . to Xapi and B.Dandelion for transcribing the Geekademia interview. Reformatted for the index by ThePhantasm. Original interview by Jesse Baruffi and David Lawrence of Geekademia.
. . . to Jasdoif for adding the date and "most recent comic" info to each summary.
. . . to theangelJean for switching the link tags to "post" tags to save space.