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    Lightbulb The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    The Index of the Giant's Comments III
    Version 3.8

    with thanks to Xapi, B.Dandelion, ChristianSt, & theangelJean
    and to Jesse Baruffi and David Lawrence of Geekademia
    and special thanks to Rich Burlew and ThePhantasm


    If you're just tuning in, ThePhantasm has come down with a severe case of "life" and doesn't have time to maintain the Index any longer. He asked me to take over curatorship for him (and got permission from Roland St. Jude for me to start the new thread now, since I can't edit the first post in the other thread) and, well, here we are!


    How to Contribute: Suggest new quotes to be included! Read the guidelines first. Then, when suggesting a new quote, also mention the number of the current comic if possible, as well as a brief summary of what it says. The more helpful information you give, the faster the index can be updated.

    The Index provides easy access to direct statements about the Order of the Stick comic from its author, for the purpose of forum discussion. It is intended as a research aid; its entertainment value as a trivia collection is incidental.
    Spoiler: Index Guidelines (PLEASE READ - Updated 12/16/2014)
    Show
    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.

    Rule A: The quote or 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.

    Rule 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 related to the comic, like Rich's views on Dungeons and Dragons, book publishing, art design, etc. . . so long as 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.

    Rule 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. It is for discussions more than it is for leisurely reading. (rescinded as rule on 12/16/2014)

    Rule 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. The index is not meant to be a complete collection for leisurely reading. It is meant to be an accurate research aid for forum discussions. (reference to rescinded rule removed on 12/16/2014)

    Rule 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. 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.

    Rule F: The index-keeper (Jasdoif) has the job of updating the index in keeping with thread-goer consensus.

    1) | He/She may reorganize the index if deemed necessary, though all reorganizations can be reversed by majority vote.

    2) | He/She 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/She may never fully "reject" a comment's inclusion, however, he/she 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.

    Rule G: Transcripts of Q&As with Rich Burlew may be included, in their entirety, in additional posts to the Index. Rule A applies as normal, but all other Rules may be varied contingent on community acceptance. Quotes can be added to the Index proper from the Q&As. This is not considered redundancy for the purposes of Rule E.



    The inclusion procedure below was proposed and adopted in a more informal fashion than the rules above, but still represents how this community project is expected to be run with regards to including new quotes.

    Participating doesn't require an understanding of this procedure: we discuss the merits of quotes after they're proposed in the usual forum fashion, and the curator will call for nominations or votes at the appropriate time.

    But for those interested in the details:
    • Quotes with a clear consensus to include or exclude after discussion will be included in or excluded from the next update, as appropriate.
    • Quotes the curator deems clearly aligned with the inclusion guidelines will default to be included in the next update without needing extended discussion, but may be voted upon at the time of the update (see below).
    • Quotes without a clear consensus to include/exclude after discussion will default to be included in the next update, but may be voted upon at the time of the update (see below).
    • Updates will happen when there are six quotes ready to be included or if it has been two months since the last update.
    • When an impending update is announced by the curator, and prior to the update being done, people can PM the curator requesting a vote on the particular "default" inclusion quote(s) (the quotes with strong consensus to include do not need to be voted on). Two separate posters must request a vote on a quote for it to occur, otherwise the quote will be included.
    • If a vote is necessary, the curator will call for voting on all quotes set to be voted upon. Discussion, beyond reiterating personal reasons for voting alongside the vote, is discouraged while the vote is going on. Per thread rules, to be included a quote must "win" a majority by at least 2 votes.
    • Only votes called for by the curator are binding.

    Latest Additions
    Haley is Bisexual #972 01/13/2015
    On Why The Giant Writes for Representation
    "To do otherwise would be self-serving cowardice."
    #972 01/13/2015
    On Distasteful Jokes in OOTS
    "I simply have no interest in doing so anymore because I have grown the **** up since then...." Also, there will be no rape scenes and no more spiked tentacle jokes in the comic.
    #935 12/20/2013
    Roy Knowing Redcloak Had An Eyepatch in Girard's Illusion
    O-Chul and Vaarsuvius both told him. It's covering the wrong eye because they didn't specify which eye.
    #886 05/04/2013


    Spoiler: Alignment
    Show

    General Information
    "Lovable" Does Not Mean "Not Evil"
    Case in point, Thog.
    #936 01/11/2014
    Genocide is Always Evil
    See also here.
    #935 12/24/2013
    Alignment and Authorial Intent
    What does Rich mean when he says X character is Y alignment?
    #903 07/23/2013
    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.
    #815 11/18/2011
    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.
    #812 10/25/2011

    D&D Alignment
    Usefulness of the alignment system in D&D games
    A great aid for teaching new inexperienced players how to roleplay.
    #921 09/29/2013
    D&D's Alignment System
    Thoughts on how it could be improved.
    #838 02/18/2012
    On Being Lawful
    Being Lawful in D&D and the OOTS. More here.
    #281 02/15/2006

    Specific Characters
    Evil Characters
    Everyone on Tarquin's Team is Evil
    And Tarquin is kind of like the Elan of their team. See also: here.
    #934 12/08/2013
    Redcloak is Evil #830 01/23/2012
    Tarquin is Lawful Evil #763 12/07/2010
    Belkar is Chaotic Evil #251 12/01/2005
    Nale, Sabine, and Thog are all Evil #142 01/20/2005
    Good Characters
    Haley is Chaotic Good #936 01/12/2014
    Elan is (Still) Chaotic Good
    Elan let Tarquin fall because he was using a different interpretation of Chaotic Good.
    #936 01/11/2014
    Shojo's Chaotic Government
    Shojo's Chaotic government was still good, not evil.
    #891 06/06/2013
    Durkon is Lawful Good #798 07/27/2011
    Neutral Characters
    Who Else is Neutral
    A long list of Neutral characters in the comic. See also here.
    #903 07/22/2013
    Enor & Gannji are True Neutral #812 10/24/2011
    V is True Neutral #801 08/17/2011


    Spoiler: Art
    Show

    General
    Art Colors can Change
    Whether because the Giant doesn't like the old color, or because his system doesn't.
    #942 01/28/2014
    On Changing Font Style
    The failure of the Giant's old computer means the style couldn't stay the same.
    #936 01/04/2014
    Light and Art
    The art style doesn't show lighting and shading, much like how it doesn't show noses.
    #871 02/26/2013
    Speech Bubbles
    Don't overthink them... they are subservient to the story. Malack's bubbles are only black when he "vamps out."
    #870 02/18/2013
    True Subjective View In 843
    V gets cornered.
    #843 03/07/2012
    Why the Strip Titles Aren't Above the Strip
    The titles are "bonus" jokes. Rich prefers not to put them above the strip itself.
    #759 11/20/2010
    Character 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.
    #683 10/06/2009

    Drawing
    The Larger Online Page Size Aids Readability and Showcases New Art
    Also, the font is larger because the online comic page is larger.
    #949 04/17/2014
    The Scenery is Harder to Draw Than the Characters
    Also, the new hands don't take longer to draw.
    #949 04/17/2014
    How the Giant Writes and Draws the Strips
    And an answer to the question - why are certain strips several pages long?
    #896 06/28/2013
    Examples of Rich's Non-Stick-Figure Art Talent
    Rich's mad art skills on showcase. Also more here.
    #848 04/11/2012

    Art & Magic
    Meld Into Stone
    Art trumps rules accuracy here in order to show the warping of the spell effect.
    #859 07/26/2012
    Counterspelling
    The Giant doesn't use different art to differentiate between counterspelling with Dispel Magic and counterspelling with the same spell.
    #830 01/23/2012
    Spell Colors
    The colors come from the spellcaster's choice or personality, and not their alignment or the types of magic.
    #731 06/28/2010
    Invisibility
    Why the art for invisible characters isn't consistent (utility trumps consistency).
    #706 03/15/2010

    Art & Merchandise
    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.
    #816 11/22/2011
    Black and White Books
    They are unlikely to ever be colorized, and were not originally in color. Rich drew them in black and white.
    #781 03/16/2011
    The Oracle's Location on the OOTS Poster
    Don't read too much into it.
    #744 09/05/2010


    Spoiler: D&D Rules and Explanations
    Show

    Accuracy
    Armies and High level characters in D&D
    "The idea that you can walk into any tavern and 2-5 adventurers of high level will be there is literally a joke."
    #919 09/18/2013
    Evolution of D&D Adherence
    The Giant hasn't made explicit statements about feats/items since 2008, OOTS' internal consistency is still maintained, and the Giant has no regrets about using D&D in OOTS.
    #886 05/09/2013
    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."
    #806 09/20/2011
    Rules Accuracy In The Comic
    "If you are looking for moment-to-moment rules accuracy from this comic, you probably should stop reading." For instance, Rich avoids the D&D term "calling" for the sake of non-D&D OOTS readers, who probably would not understand its meaning.
    #801 08/17/2011

    Characters: Items and Stats
    Order of the Stick
    Vampire Durkon Can Cast Spells
    A cleric doesn't have to worship a deity to cast spells.
    #883 04/09/2013
    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.
    #878 03/03/2013
    Durkon Throws Diamond Dust
    Durkon threw diamond dust into the air in 844.
    #844 03/09/2012
    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.
    #806 09/19/2011
    Haley's Boots of Speed
    Yes, she did get them dyed to match her brown/tan garb.
    #793 05/29/2011
    Elan's Rapiers
    He has two. His original, and one from Julio Scoundrel.
    #723 05/13/2010
    OOTS' Stats
    Rich hasn't written them down, and everything is up in the air until they need a specific ability.
    #714 04/10/2010
    A Piece of Straw
    Haley used a piece of straw to get out of the jail cell. Info on Haley's Dexterity, Level, etc.
    #262 01/03/2006
    The Giant on Stats in Earlier Strips
    Elan singing about skill points, Haley having Rapid Shot and Manyshot, Roy and Vaarsuvius' mental ability scores, verbal components in OOTS, and insight about Vaarsuvius' spellcasting.
    #180 05/14/2005
    Elan and Nale are Twins
    So Nale has the same Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution as Elan.
    #65 05/03/2004
    Other Characters/Creatures
    Babies shouldn't be statted
    The inclusion of combat stats for newborns encourages combat with newborns, which shouldn't happen. See also Rich's proposed alternative "stats", here and here.
    #922 10/04/2013
    Malack's Grapple Skills
    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."
    #906 07/30/2013
    Girard's Illusion Runes
    They are a ninth-level spell, not an epic spell.
    #893 06/11/2013
    The Keoghtum's Ointment
    The Keoghtum's Ointment removes deafness because it is extra strength.
    #863 09/12/2012
    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."
    #858 07/23/2012
    Malack's Undead
    Malack reanimates the dead Draketooths into mummies.
    #856 06/20/2012
    The Crimson Mantle
    Spoiler: Start of Darkness
    Show
    Generally it is not known by non-goblins that the mantle is the source of power.
    #826 01/12/2012
    Tsukiko Breaks The Rules
    Tsukiko has too many schools. Rich doesn't make character decisions based on common player trends.
    #800 08/14/2011
    Acid-Born Shark
    Rich created it, and made fun of himself in the comic.
    #785 04/06/2011

    Combat Scenes
    Xykon vs Dorukan
    There would be no dramatic function to drawing out the fight. "If it helps, think of that page as a montage scene rather than a direct moment-to-moment narrative."
    #960 08/18/2014
    Realistic Injuries?
    Unbelievable things will happen in a crazy fantasy story.
    #930 11/13/2013
    Disintegrate is useful #918 09/12/2013
    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?
    #876 03/02/2013
    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."
    #873 02/28/2013
    Roy's Arena Fight With Thog
    Roy's strategy to taunt a dungeon-crashing Thog into breaking the pillars.
    #808 10/06/2011
    Zz'Ditri's Break Enchantment
    Rich didn't read the casting time while making the strip.
    #804 09/07/2011
    Miko's Fight
    How Miko defeated the OOTS off-panel and captured them.
    #251 11/30/2005

    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2015-02-04 at 09:41 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Join Date
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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Spoiler: Story, Plot, and Characters
    Show

    Note: for character stats and items, see the D&D rules section.
    General Information
    Protection from Law is Illegal in Many Places #969 12/01/2014
    There is Only One Way that Vampirism Works
    And nothing that happens with vampires can be assumed to work for other undead. Also, knowledge of how vampirization works is rare, even among clerics.
    #949 04/18/2014
    Vampires Have Free Will #949 04/18/2014
    There will be seven books (from the main online comic) #910 08/15/2013
    Dragon Continuity
    The Dragon Magazine strips and Gygax magazine strips exist in a separate continuity from the OOTS strips.
    #863 11/25/2012
    Some Thoughts on Visuals and Story
    People get invested in the story, not the art, of a comic.
    #838 02/18/2012
    More Prequels?
    The total number of planned prequel stories is "pretty much fixed."
    #804 09/01/2011
    Not everything needs a backstory
    Not everything needs a backstory, or even has an interesting one worth telling.
    #729 06/23/2010

    Character Development and Backstory
    The Order of the Stick
    Haley is Bisexual #972 01/13/2015
    Belkar Turned Down the Gnome Merchant in #969
    "Whether or not it would be immoral for Belkar to go on the date is...less important than how Belkar feels about going on the date." Also discusses Haley's morals.
    #969 12/01/2014
    Haley's Decision to Stop Using Gendered Insults
    It's growth of her character. She's been trying to be a better person since being with Elan.
    #959 07/31/2014
    Why V Didn't Kill Laurin
    Character growth: V is learning not to kill "from a purely consequentialist viewpoint."
    #935 12/20/2013
    Belkar and Bloodfeast
    Belkar's concerns about 'Bloodfeast' were part of his character development, not an effort to make V look bad.
    #932 11/20/2013
    The Dream Runes
    Elan's victory as character development. Also, Nale was the only LG member affected by the runes.
    #893 06/11/2013
    V is a Vegetarian #891 06/03/2013
    What Belkar Saw
    What Belkar saw while affected by the dream runes.
    #890 05/25/2013
    V's Children
    The Giant made them adopted to leave open the possibility that V/Inkyrius are gay or lesbian.
    #882 04/09/2013
    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.
    #882 04/07/2013
    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.
    #872 02/26/2013
    Parental Problems
    Parents are in the story only to introduce conflict. That fathers are included and mothers are absent for the human characters is simply a coincidence.
    #815 11/18/2011
    Vector Legion
    Malack Chose to Worship Nergal
    And "shaman" is a descriptive term, not a non-cleric class.
    #949 04/19/2014
    Tarquin's Adventuring Party is Named "Vector Legion" #945 02/17/2014
    Drama and Breaking a Character
    "Drama is all about taking characters and pushing them until they break, one way or the other. If a character can't be broken, then they have no place as a main character in a story." More here.
    #934 12/08/2013
    Malack is not Paranoid #906 07/30/2013
    Other Characters
    Hel Has No Living Worshippers
    "That means literally not one single living person, ever." We'll find out why someday.
    #962 09/11/2014
    On Julio rescuing Tarquin's Brides-to-be
    Julio rescued the potential brides from Tarquin before their weddings, not after.
    Spoiler: Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tails
    Show
    Virginia is one of the rescued brides-to-be.
    #932 11/21/2013
    Kubota and Hinjo
    Why Kubota still wanted to kill Hinjo after the other nobles had given up.
    #891 06/09/2013
    The Azurite Nobles and Hinjo
    The nobles thought they could save their own skins from Xykon with Hinjo out of the way.
    #891 06/06/2013
    Scrying in the Desert
    It was Zz'ditri who scryed on the Order after they found Girard's illusion.
    #870 02/18/2013
    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.
    #863 12/18/2012
    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.
    #815 11/18/2011
    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.
    #801 08/21/2011

    The Gates and their History
    About Girard's Double Bluff
    About Girard's double bluff to protect the Gate.
    #895 06/21/2013
    Soon's Castle
    Soon built the castle, but did not build Azure City.
    #804 09/01/2011
    Soon's Gem and Gate
    Details about Soon's rift and how it is protected. The gate/rift could not be moved. You can shift a gate to another plane, but not another place on this plane.
    #801 08/21/2011

    Familicide
    Familicide
    How Familicide works. More here.
    #879 03/07/2012

    Calendars, Dates, Maps
    Death of Old Age in OOTS
    "Eugene literally died of old age. When a person reaches a certain age, the gods roll dice to see what his or her maximum lifespan is going to be, and when the person hits 12:01 on that birthday, they keel over dead from no apparent cause."
    #933 12/06/2013
    Map of the Western Continent
    It is constantly changing.
    #746 09/12/2010
    OOTS Age Range
    Intended to be early to mid 20s. Durkon is the "dwarf equivalent" of this age range, in his 50s.
    #732 07/02/2010
    Chronology & 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.
    #725 05/26/2010

    Culture and Religion
    Elven Government and Political Relations with the Outside World
    Why did the elves help Azure City yet not try to stop Tarquin's tyranny? More here
    #915 08/29/2013
    Class Systems and Careers
    Also, FYI, Durkon isn't "white."
    #882 04/08/2013
    Nergal and Undeath
    Nergal is not against undeath. Malack just doesn't like using the undead as canon fodder.
    #870 02/21/2013
    The Rise of the Dark One
    Spoiler: Start of Darkness
    Show
    The other gods lost their one shot to gang up on him and kill him. The Dark One has since been building his power.
    #864 01/04/2013
    Religions and Deities in OOTS World
    Background details on who worships whom, and on Thor, Hel, and the Twelve Gods.
    #848 04/11/2012
    SoD Paladins & Miko's Fall
    Spoiler: Start of Darkness
    Show
    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.
    #706 03/15/2010
    On Evil Characters and Resurrection
    Evil characters are not discouraged / prohibited from raising the dead in OOTSverse.
    Spoiler: Start of Darkness
    Show
    Right-Eye's family wasn't raised because Redcloak doesn't control Team Evil's finances to pay for resurrection, Xykon does.
    #566 06/15/2008

    Reading Too Much Into It
    Earth isn't in the Rift
    "Earth will never show up."
    #945 02/15/2014
    On Blackwing, Rifts, and Memory #944 02/10/2014
    Is Thog Mentally Handicapped?
    No, he is not. See also here (on why a mentally handicapped character will not be portrayed)
    #935 12/30/2013
    Martin
    Rich hasn't read George R. R. Martin.
    #913 08/22/2013
    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.
    #875 03/01/2013
    Malack's Vampirism and LGBT
    Malack's condition is not an allegory for LGBT.
    #875 03/01/2013
    Orrin Draketooth's Daughter
    She's not Haley.
    #816 11/21/2011
    Belkar's Jokes
    Belkar making a joke about something does not make it so.
    #786 04/11/2011
    Current Politics
    There are no references to current politics in the strip beyond those which readers invent themselves.
    #732 07/02/2010
    TV Tropes
    Rich is aware it exists. No, he doesn't use it for ideas or reference it in any way in the comic.
    #705 03/04/2010
    Pratchett
    Rich hasn't read Pratchett.
    #687 10/26/2009
    Hidden Meanings
    Not everything in the comic has one.
    #667 06/02/2009


    Spoiler: Writing
    Show

    Storytelling Mistakes?
    OOTS is Not Still in Girard's Illusion
    "If you don't like the story since then, then you just don't like the story."
    #942 01/28/2014
    Malack is Ash
    Vampires take their gear with them when they assume gaseous form, but not when they're destroyed.
    #906 07/28/2013
    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.
    #882 04/07/2013
    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."
    #876 03/02/2013
    True Resurrection
    True Resurrection as a narrative-wrecking device, and an answer to the age-old "why didn't x character do y?" question.
    #862 09/07/2012
    A Missed Opportunity in 602?
    Why Hilgya was not the Cleric of Loki working for the Thieves' Guild.
    #860 08/18/2012
    The Gods Created Creatures After The World Was Created
    Is this a contradiction? No. There is no Gaia hypothesis in OOTS world.
    #845 03/20/2012
    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."
    #826 01/10/2012
    Surprises Are Not Deus Ex Machinas
    More here.
    #806 09/19/2011
    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.
    #650 05/02/2009
    Typo in 597?
    Nope. It is a joke.
    #597 09/30/2008

    Plot Holes
    On the (Un)importance of Random NPCs
    Minor characters should not be expected to resolve critical plot elements. Regardless of what those plot elements may mean for their future.
    #968 11/21/2014
    Why Didn't Malack Prepare Word of Recall?
    Further explanation here and here (with a few remarks on plot holes in general).
    #906 07/29/2013
    Did Durkon Lie?
    No, the Giant forgot that Durkon said he didn't prepare "Detect Magic."
    #894 06/19/2013
    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."
    #893 06/11/2013
    Roy Knowing Redcloak Had An Eyepatch in Girard's Illusion
    O-Chul and Vaarsuvius both told him. It's covering the wrong eye because they didn't specify which eye.
    #886 05/04/2013
    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.
    #866 01/26/2013
    The Giant Addresses Supposed Inconsistencies, Part 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.
    #816 11/30/2011
    The Giant Addresses Supposed Inconsistencies, Part 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.
    #816 11/29/2011

    Writing Process and Story Development
    On Swirly Eyes and Continuity from Comedy #968 11/20/2014
    Why the Hobgoblin Army Was Homogenous
    "I didn't really want the audience to weep for the hobgoblin dead, though, so I made them all interchangeable."
    #946 03/02/2014
    A Battle with the Linear Guild was Cut from Book Five
    See also here and here.
    #945 02/17/2014
    The Giant Would have Split Book Five's Arc to Make It Easier to Print
    "But there are too many threads that go through both to split now."
    #945 02/17/2014
    The Plot Has Been Rearranged and Expanded More Than It Has Changed #945 02/17/2014
    The Story is Still (Sort Of) Evolving
    "I'm trying to wrap up more than I add, but if there weren't room to add I would get bored before the end."
    #945 02/17/2014
    Characters as Plot Devices
    Both Redcloak and Malack had humble beginnings that developed into something more.
    #906 07/28/2013
    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. This strip is included as a bonus in book 5 (Blood Runs in the Family).
    #906 07/28/2013
    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.
    #906 07/28/2013
    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.
    #904 07/25/2013
    On Writing Female Characters
    The difficulties and fan reactions.
    #883 04/09/2013
    Worldbuilding vs. Foreshadowing
    "Say hello to your boss for me."
    #801 08/18/2011
    V'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.
    #793 05/29/2011
    Dungeon of Dorukan History
    Originally, Dorukan was not even necessarily a person.
    #196 06/20/2005
    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.
    #86 07/12/2004

    Real World Intent
    On Why The Giant Writes for Representation
    "To do otherwise would be self-serving cowardice."
    #972 01/13/2015
    Authorship and Responsibility
    "Every aspect of the comic is under my direct control, so the only person who should be judged regarding the appropriateness of the language is me...." Also see this.
    #959 07/27/2014
    The Importance Of Messages in Stories
    "The author should not leave out his or her message so as not to disrupt the delicate story." More here: "The story is a tool for getting my ideas across, nothing more." (Also, Hinjo is color-blind.)
    #959 07/25/2014
    The Giant Applauding 5E D&D's Acknowledgement of Diversity
    Specifically, how the core rules take into account gender, gender identity, and sexuality; as referred to the article here.
    #958 07/24/2014
    On Distasteful Jokes in OOTS
    "I simply have no interest in doing so anymore because I have grown the **** up since then...." Also, there will be no rape scenes and no more spiked tentacle jokes in the comic.
    #935 12/20/2013
    Tarquin's Internal and External Evil
    About the message that the Giant developed Tarquin's character in part to convey.
    #934 12/08/2013
    On the story taking a more moral stance
    Two reasons from the author.
    #931 11/19/2013
    Stereotypes and Characters
    More thoughts on stereotypes, including race, weight, and vocation.
    #931 11/19/2013
    Slut-shaming in OOTS
    Rich apologizes for Haley's slut-shaming in the comic, and gives further thoughts.
    #931 11/18/2013
    Challenging Storytelling Conventions
    "[There are] people who need to have their strict views on storytelling challenged. Much like Tarquin does."
    #930 11/13/2013
    Art Should Challenge Preconceptions #891 06/07/2013
    LGBT Characters
    Why there aren't more in the comic. Also see this, and what the Giant is doing about it.
    #882 04/08/2013
    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).
    #835 02/14/2012
    The Purpose of Fiction
    "Fantasy literature is ONLY worthwhile for what it can tell us about the real world; everything else is petty escapism." See also here.
    #835 02/14/2012

    Character Naming
    Azurite Names
    Why O-Chul isn't Oh Chul.
    #879 03/10/2013
    Tarquin's Name
    Named after a Roman King, not the Grand Moff.
    #749 10/11/2010
    Malack's Name
    Not based off of Darth Malak. Originally was going to be named Malachi.
    #749 10/10/2010

    The Story as a D&D Spoof
    The OOTS World is a Humorously-Thin D&D Setting
    "...the generic vanilla world I'm using in OOTS fits for a comedic satire of the fantasy genre."
    #949 04/21/2014
    On Children, Souls and Afterlives
    Also, D&D cosmology makes no sense. More here (also, there is no "overgod" in the OotS cosmology).
    #946 03/19/2014
    D&D Spoofing
    The Giant on the comic's shift in focus from D&D gag-a-day jokes to a story that might appeal to a broader fanbase. More here.
    #829 01/22/2012


    Spoiler: Supporting the Strip
    Show

    Supporting the Strip
    The Giant Doesn't Know How the Kickstarter Stories Will Be In Print Yet
    "One book or dispersed?" "...no idea yet."
    #945 02/17/2014
    How to financially support the Giant
    Rich does not accept direct donations. Buying merchandise is preferred.
    #918 09/14/2013
    An OOTS "Munchkin" Board Game?
    No current plans for one.
    #897 07/06/2013
    An OOTS Computer Game?
    No current plans for one. See here for more.
    #892 06/10/2013
    The Kickstarter Cameo
    It hasn't happened yet. "When it happens, I will almost certainly mention it in the News."
    #869 02/14/2013
    For Those Who Missed Out on Kickstarter
    The swag, sans patches, will be very likely available again at some point.
    #870 02/24/2012
    eBooks
    Digital PDFs are currently not in the works, as Rich prefers to sell physical books. He has said he'll "consider it when (he's) finished all the Kickstarter stories," however.
    #786 04/11/2011
    Top Webcomics
    Do not vote for OOTS on Top Webcomics.
    #724 05/19/2010


    Spoiler: Spoilers from Book/PDF Content
    Show

    Spoiler: START OF DARKNESS SPOILERS
    Show

    Start of Darkness
    How Xykon Broke Out
    How Xykon broke out (with some insight into The Giant's writing process). On Xykon and Redcloak's escape from Lirian, see also this post.
    #862 09/07/2012
    Redcloak's Little Sister
    She was not irredeemably evil, and certainly did not deserve execution.
    #835 02/14/2012


    Spoiler: SNIPS, SNAILS, & DRAGON TAILS SPOILERS
    Show

    Snips, Snails and Dragon Tails
    Dragon Magazine Alternate Panel
    What didn't show up in Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tails.
    #799 08/03/2011


    Spoiler: KICKSTARTER PDF SPOILERS
    Show

    Kickstarter Bonus PDFs
    Cornered For Donations
    "Nervous" and "Afraid" look pretty much the same, which helped with the misdirection at the start of Belkar's story.
    #871 02/25/2013
    Fire Threat
    Belkar did not actually burn the town down on his first adventure.
    #870 02/23/2012






    Spoiler: Thread History
    Show

    Index Threads
    The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge
    Curated by Jasdoif.
    #946 03/09/2014
    The Index Reloaded --- (Index of the Giant's Comments II)
    Curated by ThePhantasm.
    #928 11/08/2013
    Index of the Giant's Comments
    Curated by ThePhantasm.
    #812 10/25/2011

    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2015-02-04 at 09:42 PM.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Spoiler: Geekademia Interview Table of Contents
    Show

    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.
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2014-03-31 at 08:14 AM.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge



    Spoiler: Part 1: Kickstarter and the Fans
    Show
    1A: Introduction

    Jesse - Hello, this is Geekademia on the Non-Productive Network, my name is Jesse Baruffi...

    David - I'm David Lawrence.

    Jesse - ...and we're here with another special guest, Rich Burlew, the author and artist of the Order of the Stick! Hello Rich!

    Rich - Hey, how's it going?

    1B: OOTS Kickstarter Project

    Jesse - Pretty good. So, the reason... I think the reason we were able to get you on today is the fact that you're going through a very large donation drive at the moment on the website Kickstarter.

    Rich - Yes. Yes, I am.

    Jesse - So, to anyone who might not know about this, why don't you tell us a little bit about it?

    Rich - Alright, well. For a while I've published my own books, of the Order of the Stick, and because I'm a small one person company, I ran out, essentially, of all the existing books, which isn't just a problem for selling those books, but also for selling any future books, because people like to have things in whole sets, so I was worried about what would happen when I put out my next book if my entire back catalog was unavailable.

    So I had heard about Kickstarter, I had followed some projects and I thought "Well, I'll put up a little Kickstarter and we'll try to get..." I get people bugging me all the time to... not bugging, you know... asking all the time when the next reprint would be of one of my books in particular, War and XPs, which is the biggest, fattest, most expensive book to print so far. So I was like... and I absolutely did not have the money for it.

    And so I thought "Well, I'll put up a Kickstarter for it, and if it goes well, I get to reprint the book, and if it doesn't go well, I'll have something to say next time somebody asks me [why] isn't War and XPs in print". And I thought that was worth it right there. So I set up this Kickstarter project drive and it's... pretty good so far. We got it funded enough to reprint that book in about... 36 hours I'd say, and it's gone on from there to funding the reprinting of every single book that I have - six - the ones that are regularly in print, and it's been pretty amazing. I had no idea that I'd get this sort of response from my readers. Yeah, it's been a ride, to say the least.

    1C: OOTS Fandom & the GiTP Forums

    Jesse - As someone who goes on the forums on your website from time to time, it seems you've got some extremely devoted fans.

    Rich - Yes, that would be an extremely charitable description. No, it's wonderful, I love my fans, I do have fans that are very dedicated, often more dedicated than I am. You know, they're dedicated to some of the minutiae about the comic that has never crossed my mind, and... but that's great, I mean, I'm happy that they can get that enjoyment from it, even though I don't want to even worry about it. . . [crosstalk] . . .like the number of character appearances or who has the most number of kills in the comic, you know. Good for them. . . [unintelligible]

    Jesse - Yeah, you've got bigger things to worry about, like what happens in the story. . .

    Rich - Story, yeah.

    1D: The OOTS Soundtrack Thread & OOTS Animated

    Jesse - One thing I noticed recently on the forum that I thought was kinda interesting is the fact that people have started to. . . sort of making a soundtrack to the series. . .

    Rich - I saw the thread title, but I haven't been. . . I haven't been on the forums as much as I should since this started, been having to put up an update almost every single day for the past two weeks, so I haven't actually caught exactly what's going on there, but it's an interesting idea, I mean, I know that Homestuck does similar sorts of things with the fans creating soundtracks and he actually uses them in his animation, which I don't think is gonna happen for the Stick, but it's still a great idea to be able to have something to listen to... I don't know, it's an interesting idea.

    1E: OOTS & Social Networking

    Jesse - One thing that I really wanted to ask you about, 'cause I think this is kinda fascinating... I've noticed most people in the webcomics... I guess, field? . . . are. . . basically kinda throw themselves on every social networking site there is, whether it's like Facebook or Twitter or Tumbler or any of that stuff.

    Rich - And you're saying I'm a backwards Luddite hermit.

    Jesse - Well, yes, but I mean it as a compliment.

    Rich - I had to download Skype in order to have this conversation.

    Jesse - I certainly don't mean that as an insult. It seems to me that it's something we here at Geekademia don't even use a lot of that stuff. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to have a Facebook page for the podcast. But I was just wondering if that was a conscious decision on your part or is that something you're just too busy for.

    Rich - Yeah, it's pretty much a conscious decision, I mean, I am a technologically backwards Luddite, that makes it easy . . . but second, I think, if I want people to see my content, I want them to sort of come to my website, instead of maintaining different websites at 15 different social networks. I don't want to have to worry about whether my Facebook page is updated in addition to my website. And some of these I'm just a late arrival to, in the sense that there is an Order of the Stick website that somebody created, a fan created, and it's been out there and everybody's linked to it, and everyone liked it in their profiles or whatever and I don't have control of that, so rather than there being two competing Facebook pages I just sort of let that live it's own life as a fan created thing and I'll concentrate on my own website.

    I will probably get dragged into Twitter very soon [N.B. As of 3/15/2012 Rich has a Twitter account for OOTS. -ThePhantasm] but, ah, not yet, haven't crossed that threshold yet, and every thing else, either I'm oblivious to it or I just haven't had the time to learn and figure out whether it works for me.

    Jesse - Ok.

    Rich - I think I'm also a little bit older than a lot of the other webcomic - I mean, I'm not OLD old, I'm 37, but I think a lot of the webcomic creators out there are college or just there after, and therefore are a lot more 'up' on these technologies than I am. And I use a Mac, which is not always up to speed up until very recently with the iPad explosion coming and such.

    Jesse - Gotcha. Well that makes sense and I'm only a little bit younger than you, but yeah, I kinda feel similarly. If I was going to do something creative, I'd focus on that instead of the endless, like, updating of other things, personally.

    Rich - Yeah, I have enough trouble keeping my own website updated, so it seems like I would just be adding more work on myself. And I had a fairly large audience before Facebook became "the" thing that everybody had to be on. I started this in 2003, I don't know exactly when Facebook started peaking, but I know that I already had a substantial audience by that point, so I don't know that I saw right away what the benefit would be, and now that I do, it looks like somebody already did a page for me, so. . . I let it be.



    Spoiler: Part 2: The Comic & Role-Playing Games
    Show
    2A: On Whether Rich Has Time For Role-Playing

    Jesse - Order of the Stick is of course a huge gaming comic so I was wondering if you still had time to do any role-playing these days?

    Rich - No, no, I haven't in a while. The last role-playing I did was when I was working on... when I was gonna do Snips, Snails an Dragon Tales, the limited book with the Dragon Magazine strips, I did some 4th Edition role-playing to be sure I knew sort of what I was talking about, which I probably didn't but I can pretend better, and that was over a year ago now.

    It just doesn't work, you know, it hasn't really worked out that way, that I had as much time for that as I used to, sort of fallen by the wayside, but not in a way that I'll never go back to it, just in a time way. I think you get busy at a certain point in your life, with your work and your family and your such and such, and whether or not you have time for it is sort of random, sort of up in the air. I mean, I still get a lot of that sort of fix from thinking about it, talking about it and such like that.

    But in a certain point, I was always the DM when I played, and at a certain point it just feels like I'm taking that much time to craft a complex story, maybe I should just write it down and someone would pay me for it. I guess that's possibly maybe a little bit of it, because I'm now sort of essentially a professional fantasy writer, that I can't really bring myself to put the same amount of effort I did when I was in college and such and it was the focus of my creative attention.

    2B: Will There Ever Be an OOTS World Created for a Gaming System?

    Jesse - And along those lines, I realize that doing it at this point would probably be a mountain of effort and give too much away, but I've seen people on the forums asking if some day there would actually be an Order of the Stick world created for any sort of gaming system. Do you think you would do that if you had the time and opportunity?

    Rich - Let me tell you, I started working on that a few years ago, and what happened is, I got about 20 or 30 pages in, and WotC announced 4th Edition. And I didn't know what was gonna happen with it, I didn't know whether I was gonna want to make it for that, I didn't know if making it on 3rd Edition would still be possible with the game license, would they find a way to revoke that, it was all up in the air, everything was sort of chaos and I had no idea what was gonna happen. . . so I put it aside, and then have never gone back to it since, really.

    It wasn't compatible at all with 4th Edition, so therefore that wasn't going to work, and I don't know, I didn't know whether I would ever really have the direct audience that I thought it should so I think I just sort of let it lie fallow after that.

    I cannibalized parts of it, the document I started working on. . . I think the last compilation I put out, Don't Split the Party had some black and white cartoons that were from that project, and I know the map that I did in the back of one of them for Azure City was actually of the Azure City country description, so you know, pieces of it have been seen here and there ever since.

    But another problem was that I'd done a write up for Elan's Dashing Swordsman class, and since then I had at least three things I've put into the comic, you know. . . here's this joke about this class that has this ridiculous cliched hero abilities. . . and if I put out that class, I can't really do that any more. Can I then say "Oh, it has this ability too?" 'cause I've already taken people's money to say "This is the class that it is!." So I think it's easier to leave things vague and up in the air and just use them when I want to as humor rather than as concrete game rules.


    Spoiler: Part 3: The Comic's Storyline, Part I
    Show
    3A: The "Darkness" of the Storyline

    Jesse - As far as the storyline of the OotS goes, one thing that has definitely happened as time goes on is that, despite continuing to be funny and continuing to be a humor comic on some level, there have been some much darker elements introduced.

    Rich - Yes.

    Jesse - So what made you decide to take that shift and still remain with the same characters and story?

    Rich - I don't know, I think I've always had a draw to that shock reveal. Not shock for the sake of shocking, but that dramatic sudden moment when something happens in the story you absolutely did not see coming and perhaps as an either darker or more impactful moment that you ever thought was possible in a work, in the work you were seeing.

    I used to do that as a DM, I used to set up situations where the players thought one thing was happening the entire time, they walk in the door and see a scene that threw all their preconceptions on the ground and stomped down on them. I think I really enjoy that, I think it creates powerful moments in the story, and sometimes that means doing something dark, sometimes that means taking your comedy villain who is bored and having him slaughter a room full of Paladins with a bouncy ball. You know, because it's so perverse, and it's such a violation of their honor and law mindset, where they're these noble Paladins who will defend to the last man, and they just get destroyed like that. The goal is sort of, not offend, but bother the reader. . . it should bother them. You should look at Xykon and say "He's a horrible monster." He can still crack a funny joke, but you shouldn't be sympathetic to him, and if you are, I don't know if I necessarily I want to know about it, because that's a little scary.

    And that was one of the problems with SoD, "here's the story of Xykon," but I'm not going to make him even slightly sympathetic, if anything, you're going to think worse of him by the time you're done with this. So, I think I have an affection for writing the villains, because of that ability to sort of make your jaw drop, you know, heroes can't really do that without. . . you know it's going to be. . . no one's gonna gasp when they do something specially heroic or kind. And I really don't want my heroes to be dark, with the exception of Belkar, but that's another story.

    I don't want Roy to suddenly do something out of character or shocking, the closest thing I got to that was I had Haley kill off the assassin that had been harassing her, and that was still pretty surprising, and I think a lot of people didn't see it coming, but I also sort of goofed there in the sense that I cut the scene that made it more obvious that Crystal was still actively trying to kill Haley, truce or no truce, so that was something I fixed in the book. . . but it's still, it was a fairly surprising, but again, like I said, I still have to go darker to be surprising like that, so, I think that's where it comes from really.

    Jesse - Ok.

    3B: On Behind-The-Scenes Story Commentary In Interviews & Books

    Rich - You see I'm just as wordy in my interviews as I am in the comic, it all flows naturally from me.

    Jesse - Believe me, we'll have you on as long as you want to stay, if you want to just talk for twenty minutes, that's awesome. I will take one bit of fanboyish break from the interview. . . when we started this podcast, I had a couple of people who were sort of my long shot goals of people to get on the show, and you were towards the top of people I didn't think I'd get but I was gonna try anyway. So I thought you might want to know that. Again, we don't mind to listen to you talk.

    Rich - Honestly, I was excited at the chance to talk about something other than Kickstarter, because I've done a bunch of interviews and they're all about Kickstarter, sometimes to the point of not even mentioning what my comic is about. They say there's no such thing as bad publicity, but at a certain point you want people to find out, I mean, the people who already know what my comic is about, already know what my comic is about, so they don't need to get the spiel but I like being able to talk about it, actually about my comic and not how much money I can raise.

    Jesse - Sure. As someone who writes as well, not professionally unfortunately, I know it is sort of fun to be able to talk about the creative process, because it one of those things the readers never see, they don't know what's going on in your head while you're doing it.

    Rich - Sure, that's why I do the commentary in the books, they're sort of what I would think to talk about, that's not always what someone who is reading would think to talk about or want to know about, so they're not always exactly what people are looking for in terms of behind the scenes.

    3C: What Is The Comic About?

    Jesse - Ok, I think David wants to ask you a couple of questions. I've been crowding the mic so I'll let him ask a couple of things. . .

    David - So, you mentioned nobody asks you what your comic is about... what is your comic about?

    Rich - My comic is a comedy adventure fantasy comic. It's about a group of adventurers, heroes or warriors (whatever you want to call them) called the Order of the Stick, as they go about their adventures with minimal competence or knowledge of what they are doing, and eventually sort of stumble into a plan by an undead sorcerer to conquer the world, essentially, and they're out to stop him and conquer their personal problems at the same time. Hopefully not in that order, so they get their personal problems taken care of before the final battle. And it's a comedy.

    3D: On The Comic & D&D Rules

    Specially in the early parts it has a lot of role-playing games... the whole thing is sort of within the framework of Dungeons and Dragons. The early strips made many explicit references to this, specially for jokes. The later strips just use it as the framework of the world, in terms of deciding what kinds of spells can a sorcerer cast, what kinds of spells can a cleric cast, etc. etc. I don't really worry about "oh, this character doesn't have enough hit bonus to... you know, let me roll the dice", if the story needs him to hit, he hits, if the story needs him to miss, he misses.

    There's a certain segment of my fans who think that's grossly unfair. Not that they necessarily believe I should roll the dice, but they believe that the percentages should be accurately represented, so that if somebody swings their sword at someone 20 times, they should hit a number of times equal to their, you know, relative attack bonus blah blah blah. That doesn't happen, that's not something I worry about.

    But yeah, it's essentially a fantasy adventure quest story, of a warrior out to avenge his father against a sorcerer, and the sorcerer happens to be trying to conquer the world at the same time. That's a nutshell. And it's stick figures, that needs to be said. If you're picturing that in the most elaborate fantasy artwork, that's not what we're talking about. They're basically really simplistic colorful block characters going about this.

    3E: Creating the Character Wall Poster

    Jesse - You can't see this, but behind us in the studio is the big double poster of all the characters.

    Rich - Hah! That took forever.

    Jesse - I can tell.

    Rich - What's funny is I had worked on it, and then had to put it aside, and when I got back to it I had introduced like 4 new characters that had to go on. I had to find room for Tarquin and Malack and Kil-Kil over in the corner of the villains poster, and I put Captain Malack's helmet on... not Malack, Tarquin's helmet on. He was still new enough that I thought people who weren't caught up to the story, I didn't want them to see who he was before. . . you know some people only read the books. . . yeah, so, did that at the last minute.

    3F: On Fanart & Whether Roy Wears Pants

    David - It's funny, I just saw some fanart for Order of the Stick, but it was drawn like Frank Frazetta.

    Rich - [Laughs] Yes.

    David - Super detailed, very. . .

    Rich - Yeah, what I always find interesting is the choices they make for the parts of the characters that are really not be able to tell what's going on because they're sticks. I've seen fanart that was really realistic of Roy fighting except for some reason he had no pants, like he had one armor piece over his torso but his legs were bare. That's why I think at one point I had Haley make a crack about how she's wearing long pants but you can't tell because she's a stick figure. Because I wanted to put a stop of that, I wanted no more pantless Roy. That's a whole other direction that I'm sure is out there on the Internet, but I don't need to see it.

    David - Well, that kills my next question. . .

    Rich - [Laughs]

    3G: Putting an End to the Crack Pairings Thread

    David - Once again, on the forum for a while, there was a whole section of people. . .

    Rich - Oh, yeah. We had to slay that once people started crossing some lines. Once they crossed the Elan - Nale incest line, we had to put a stop to that. . .

    David - As well you should.

    Rich - Yeah, exactly.

    David - There are some weird people there. . .


    Spoiler: Part 4: Modern Fantasy & D&D
    Show
    4A: On Keeping Fantasy New and Interesting

    David - There's a question though: can Fantasy be taken seriously anymore?

    Rich - You mean in the sense that a lot of it is recycled? A lot of it is the same sort of material all over again? I think so. I think there's definitely something to say with fantasy still. Order of the Stick is in many ways sort of a critique I guess, a spoof of a lot of fantasy cliches, but once you see the cliches, you dodge them. I mean, there's plenty of fantasy writers who don't do the same old "warriors on a quest" thing, which I'm doing but by way of sort of turning it on it's head. I think there's plenty of room in fantasy for unique stories.

    I think the number one thing people can do to make their fantasy something new and interesting is to not marry it to the same old medieval sort of time period for no apparent reason. I mean, if magic exists in a world, why can't it exist in a different historical setting. I think there's still plenty to say, and I think there's still plenty for me to make fun of, so, you know, hopefully that will keep going on both sides.

    4B: TVTropes & Lazy Criticism

    David - Question: We have talked about TVTropes, even mentioned the name. . .

    Rich - [Laughs] Sorry, what was the question?

    David - The thing is, they have sort of these shorthands, like he's the "Chosen One," he'll save us from "the Dragon" or "the Evil Wizard."

    Rich - Yeah, like the next thing that happens would have to be the thing that happens 'cause this thing happened because the trope said so.

    David - Yes. I mean, do you think it's possible just to divorce completely. . . to walk away and do something else?

    Rich - It's hard. There was a point in time a few years back when I felt like every time I put out a strip the number one response to it was "Oh, he's just doing this trope", "he's just doing that trope", you know, and put a link to it, "see, he's just not original at all". And I don't know whether that just became less popular as a way of sort of pigeonholing things, or whether I've actually broken enough of them now that nobody assumes they know what's gonna happen next. But one way or another that doesn't seem to happen as much anymore.

    People try to sort of guess what I'm gonna do, and I hopefully kick it in the shins and run away laughing. But I think there's a danger of over simplification of literature, of becoming so wrapped up in these compartments that put every element of the story that you sort of miss the story. It's sort of like a lazy criticism. Criticism in the classic sense of actually doing a critical piece, not in a complaining way. It lets you churn out an analysis of a work without putting much thought into it. I think it's fun to point to the website and see the different ways different works do the same sort of cliches, not in a bad sense, but I do think there's a danger in taking them too seriously as the 'be all, end all' of literary criticism.

    D - Yes, indeed. I have read a lot of fantasy, and it's always like "here's the Chosen One, here's the Local, here's the obviously evil sorcerer who betrays everyone. . ."

    Rich - Yeah, exactly. I think fantasy is more prone to that than almost any other genre. And that's partly because there have been a few titans of the genre who sort of formed everything that was to come after.

    And also honestly because of Dungeons and Dragons. I think people playing D&D has reinforced certain stereotypes in their mind [unintelligible] RPGs that follow the same tropes and all of these sort of things, has reinforced this sort of monolithic fantasy from which few authors deviate and, well, so. . . but there's a lot of the same old same old out there too. So I think fantasy gets probably a lot more of those, those tropes listed, than almost any other genre.

    You know, Science Fiction, I'm a huge SF fan, SF is, every story you read is esentially a completely different setting, I'm sure, Space Opera stuff tends to be a lot of the same, whatever, but you can just go off and do something wildly different and still be Science Fiction, and I think less people do that with Fantasy these days.

    4C: Public Perception of D&D

    David - You mentioned the impact of Dungeons and Dragons. There was a huge backlash against D&D. . .

    Rich - Yeah, sure.

    David - Do you think we're likely to see something like that again?

    Rich - I don't think so. I mean, there's certainly always going to be people who are still going to say the same charges against it, you know, that are still gonna say the things that weren't true then, and still aren't. But I don't think it's wildly circulating. I think because it was new then, people didn't know what was going on, didn't know what this thing was, and then they got a lot of misinformation from various sources, and the media picked it up and ran with it as a media scare. And now it's old news. It's been around for thirty and some odd years, you don't get articles in the media about Dungeons and Dragons making people sacrifice goats [interference] . . . "Dungeons and Dragons is coming out with a new edition, because D&D owner Hasbro has released this information in this press conference, blah blah blah."

    So I think that's not gonna resurface. I mean just the fact that it's owned by Hasbro now gives it a legitimacy that I think it probably didn't have back in the day, when it was owned by a bunch of guys in Wisconsin [interference] gives it a "Oh, obviously it has to be OK, it is owned by the company that does Mr. Potato Head." And I don't think it's in Hasbro's interest to let those kind of stories exist.

    When you're a big corporation, you kinda get that power in the sense that if they're going to do a story about Dungeons and Dragons, they're going to immediately walk up to your Hasbro or WotC and ask for a quote, and then their sort of media team will take care of it from there. But I think the days of mass hysteria scare about D&D are behind us at this point.

    Jesse - I think there are bigger scapegoats now as well.

    Rich - Yeah, absolutely, there's the Internet and all of it's glory. Playing D&D seems downright quaint now, you can find people who are in their 50s who've been playing D&D for 30 years, it's not. . . you know, in detriment of the hobby, but it's not something that all teenagers are flocking to these days. When you're 13 you're like "Hey, let's go play D&D tonight!" You have to get those kids into the hobby in a way that isn't really happening right now. I'd say as long as it's not threatening tomorrow's children I think it'll stay on the right side of the public opinion.

    4D: Jack Chick & Tom Hanks

    David - Speaking of threatening children, what we do on the show... are you familiar with the Jack Chick comic Dark Dungeons?

    Rich - I am, vaguely, passingly familiar, as much as any long time D&D player could be.

    David - We might have to do a show on Jack Chick.

    Rich - I like to think of my comic as a sort of tribute to the great comic that had come before. Could I have done a Dungeons and Dragons themed comic if not, like I said, if not, if the giants of the genre had not put forth that independent comic creation of lore?

    Jesse - Dark Dungeons was a very interesting book. I would say it's not even close to the craziest thing Jack Chick has ever done.

    Rich - Yeah, not top ten really.

    David - No. But the thing I love about his. . .

    Rich - [unintelligible] it wasn't as crazy, he's gone really off the [unintelligible] then, then it probably wouldn't have been taken seriously until this day.

    David - Well, according to Dark Dungeons, apparently the sourcebook is an actual spell book, from which you can actually, literally just call up the devil and say "hey."

    Rich - Spells, yeah, exactly. I've certainly heard that. All I can say is I think the copies I've been using must be defective in some way, either there's a misprint or a page missing because I've been playing the game since I was 11 or 12 and I've yet to actually cast a magic spell, deeply disappointed at that.

    David - How about Mazes and Monsters?

    Rich - Oh yeah. Tom Hanks has a lot to answer for.

    David - Yes he does.

    Rich - [unintelligible]

    Jesse - He unleashed Forrest Gump upon the world, he has to pay for that. Now we get into Dave's axe grind.

    Rich - Personal media vendetta should actually be the title of this podcast.

    David - He knows what he did.

    Jesse - Where gonna try to get him on the show for a reconciliation. They're gonna hug each other on the air.

    Rich - Or just volleyball with him.


    Spoiler: Part 5: The Comic's Storyline, Part II
    Show
    5A: Rich's Favorite Characters to Write Jokes For

    Jesse - Back into the Order of the Stick a little bit as far as the characters, to talk a little about the characters. I have my theories on this, but I'm wondering if you have a personal favorite character as far as writing.

    Rich - It depends on whether you mean. Writing the jokes or writing the personality and internal conflicts? Jokes is easy: Belkar, with Elan a close second. You've got your sort of. . . either your violence jokes or your bad person gets their comeuppance jokes with Belkar, and then Elan has your dumb jokes, has your silliness, has your kinda child-like comedy, and I like writing both of those.

    5B: Rich's Favorite Characters to Write Drama / Character Struggles For

    As far as writing a personal sort of inner thoughts on your life, whatever, things (sic) I really like writing Haley a lot. She's got issues, I think she's probably got the most legitimate issues of the people in the Order, and that makes her interesting to write. It's interesting how she's going to react, based on her upbringing and sort of what she's been through in her life to this situation or that situation.

    I think that makes it more. . . to you, Elan's pretty straightforward, you know what he's gonna do. You may not know in the sense that it's something completely random and off the wall and pull out a hand puppet and start worshiping it, but you know he's gonna do something weird and silly and ultimately harmless, because he's a good person, and nothing bad is gonna happen to him as a result.

    And you know Belkar's gonna do the opposite, he'll take the most awful, irredeeming sort of path that he can find and get away with.

    But you don't know what Haley's gonna do in a situation. She wants to be a good person, but she wasn't raised that way, she was raised to be a thief. And so she sort of has to struggle with being a hero, what comes easily to, well, it comes pretty easily to Roy. He'll snap at people, he'll be sort of verbally abusive, but he's not gonna... he's never attempted to do the wrong thing, really.

    Jesse - There was the one time, but...

    Rich - Yeah. Exactly, and that was a big point of development for him. But really, since then, that was within the first 150 or 160 strips, so for the majority of the comic's lifetime he's been pretty clear on what he should be doing.

    5C: Vaarsuvius' Moral Conflict

    Jesse - It seems like Vaarsuvius has become a character with a lot of internal moral conflict recently as well.

    Rich - That's true, that is correct, and that was a conscious sort of effort on my part, because I felt like Vaarsuvius had been underutilized. . . by the end of the War and XPs book I felt like Vaarsuvius was sort of. . . "and then we have an elf!" Which is a problem I still have with Durkon but I have plans to address as well.

    And so I think I crafted almost all of Don't Split the Party around "let's [unintelligible] a better arc". . . some of it I had planned already, some of it I already knew that when I did the first. . . spoiler by the way, if anyone hasn't read this. . . when I did the first small black dragon, that I was gonna have the older one come back and be a villain in some point that would attack Vaarsuvius for what he or she had done. But the sort of sell your soul angle was a little more recent, and more of an attempt to really get at what Vaarsuvius issues were in life. So that sort of dovetailed nicely into one story that I'm really happy with.

    5D: The Storyline & the D&D Alignment System

    Jesse - That brings - the whole idea of the Black Dragon and the demons - brings up another thing, which is the idea that you seem to play a lot with: the idea of Evil, like, there's a huge variety of villainous characters with motivations all across the spectrum from, you know, and in some ways it seems like the comic tries to deconstruct that. In other ways it plays it straight. . .

    Rich - More like, I think both are valid, you know what I mean? Both are ways of looking at the problem, and I think again ,getting back to the history of fantasy literature, I think there are an awful lot of cardboard cutout tackling [unintelligible] villainy out there, and that's a choice to make when you're writing your story, and I sort of want to have it both ways, I want to be able to have villainy villains, and at the same time, not writing a character that doesn't make sense, not writing a character that doesn't have a motivation to what they're doing.

    And I think there's a lot of debate among my fans, because they're not necessarily used to seeing that from fantasy villains, especially when it comes to Black Dragons, undead sorcerers, and Goblins who are out to destroy the Gods. You expect those sort of characters to be very straightforward, and I try to make it a little more complex than that, which, I was thinking, readers, in this [unintelligible] open up alternate interpretations, people would swear that 'cause Redcloak thinks what he's doing is the best for the Goblin people, that Redcloak is in fact the good guy, that he is the hero of the story. And that's... an interesting viewpoint. And I'm glad that I provoked that. I'm glad that I wrote a character that is layered enough that some people would say he's absolutely in the right, but yeah, I really like turning it upside down and not assuming that because it's a Dragon it has no emotions. I think D&D appeals to people who are much more Math & Science oriented, that. . . I can sort of surprise them more by delving into the emotional side of things, and they don't see that coming, if they're D&D fans. And people who are generally fiction fans just enjoy it on it's own merits.

    Jesse - So, it comes out to not being as simple as the nine simple moral codes that D&D ascribes to.

    Rich - Yeah, and I think one of the themes of Order of the Stick is there's this guide alignment system in D&D where it places every single person in one of these nine moral codes, and for the entire history of the game, that I've played it, people have been complaining that that's overly simplistic. "Oh, it's more complicated than that." And it absolutely is more complicated than that, but they're also doing it wrong. They think because they have this alignment they have to act this way, this one specific given way, and I think each one of those categories is so wide open to interpretation.

    And that was a lot of what Miko Misayaki was about, was that she's lawful good, but she's a complete bitch, you wouldn't want to spend time with her at all. And I think that was sort of the flip side of the sympathetic villain: the unsympathetic hero. Or at least good guy. So yeah, I definitely like to subvert expectations in that specific way, because I think the alignment system gets a bad rap from people who aren't trying to make it work, and say "that's overly simplistic."

    Jesse: Yeah, I certainly enjoy the alignments for the same reason that you do. I agree that it doesn't have to be super simple. I don't know if you've done this, but have you ever sat around talking about characters in stories and what their alignments were, or your friends for that matter?

    Rich: Yeah, back in the day. We used to. . . it's usually a good way to try to explain to new players of D&D how it works, you pick the sort of archetypical characters. But one of the problems with that is that those characters will be associated forever in that mind with what that alignment is. And I also think there's some naming flaws with the alignment. I think by calling one of the alignments "lawful" they've created thirty years of people thinking it means you have to obey every last "keep off the grass" sort of law. And that's not really what it's supposed to mean, it's supposed to mean sort of an ordered way of thinking, having a personal code, having a set of tenets that is greater than yourself.

    Jesse: I think that may come from Elric, and Michael Moorcock having the whole. . .

    Rich: It absolutely comes from Elric. He did Law and Chaos, those were his two. And you know, he didn't have to worry about a billion people trying to interpret what he meant by that, he just needed to present it in the context of his stories. So no negative to him for doing so, but I think it was adopted and has been argued and debated ever since by people playing the game.

    5E: On Keeping Plot Twists Secret

    Jesse: As someone who works pretty hard at keeping your story twists shocking and such, do you have anyone that you've brainstormed with, or is it just something you keep completely secret until you're ready to do the big reveal?

    Rich: I keep a lot of it internal. I write down notes, I think of things, and sometimes I think of things and change them later. Not deeply, I think my main plot points have been the same since I started really thinking about the plot and sort of sketched out things that would happen, but there are certainly minor details that change at the time I'm writing the scripts. Certainly moment by moment actions can change, twist or whatever in a way if I think of something more interesting at the time that I'm writing it than I did five years ago. Then I go with that, but really the big moments have all been pretty close to how I pictured them a long time ago.

    Sometimes, some of these things are where I would be, I would write down a note like "and then they go to the desert." And I knew that when they got to the desert, Tarquin would be there, and they would do some desert-ey stuff with him before going back, before finding out what they needed to find and then go back out. But I didn't really get too worried about what happened in his empire until I was starting to plot this story arc, because it didn't really, it affected them personally but it didn't change the plot with Xykon and Redcloak, so I had the sort of freedom to put that on the shelf until I got to it. Now I would think from here we'll sort of flow more from what I just did than it would have previously, sort of work that back in.

    Jesse: The current arc seems to be a lot about family.

    Rich: Sure.

    5F: The Desert Plot Arc & Law vs. Chaos

    Jesse: Actually. . . I've bounced this theory around, but I wanted to ask you if this was something you intended or if it's just my imagination. For the most part, a lot of the conflicts in the book have been about good and evil, but I felt like in the current arc, it's been more about conflicts between law and chaos, would you say that was intentional?

    Rich: Absolutely intentional. I mean, I think good and evil are easily grasped, and I think it's a little less intuitive for people to really understand law and chaos, as they are - if they exist - as concepts. Because here you have Tarquin, for most of the first part of the story, is evil, is just straight up evil. But he loves his son. He cares about family. He likes his empire running orderly. He doesn't just sort of go around slaughtering people for kicks. He has a plan, he has a goal, which he's sort of executing step by step. He's not Xykon. He's not this sort of crazy force of evil. You can almost picture Tarquin existing in the real world.

    So I think yeah, absolutely -- and then Ian, Haley's father Ian, is sort of the opposite. He's a good guy, but he's abrasive, paranoid, a little bit crazy, a little bit off the deep end, not really together because he's sort of so chaotic that he kinda can't detach from that. He can't be not chaotic for a moment and see the way things are really kinda going on around him. So yeah, I think there's definitely that undercurrent.

    Jesse: Yeah. And I noticed sort of the idea of Girard Draketooth and his real hatred of Soon Kim, the two of them being very lawful and very chaotic.

    Rich: Right, exactly. Where you would, I think most people would immediately go "yeah, but-but Soon Kim was a paladin, he wouldn't do something bad," and you have to see that to Girard's point of view, just the sort of organiz-- that a man doesn't create a secret organization of warriors unless he plans to use it for something. You know what I mean, the sort of. . . expecting-the-worst-in-human-nature-at-all-times pessimism that says that if Soon Kim is gonna make this sort of legion of magical warriors and keep them secret from his populace, that clearly he's up to something.

    And there's also, I mean there are certain events that happened in that history between Girard and Soon Kim that have not been revealed that will certainly maybe make him seem a little less paranoid than he does right now, but not not-paranoid. But yeah, there's more there going on with what happened with the Order of the Scribble than has been revealed. But that's all gonna be unwound as the story comes towards its conclusion. There's more to learn, I mean, they had to go find Girard right now, so some pieces will be found then, I'm sure.

    5G: The Possibility of an Order of the Scribble Prequel Book

    Jesse: Do you think you may do a prequel book about the Order of the Scribble someday, or is that not something you're sure about?

    Rich: I wouldn't rule it out, but I don't currently have any plans to and I wouldn't know what I would do with it. I think the main thrust of their story needs to be included in the online strip. You need to know exactly what happened all that time ago that made them so angry at each other in order to understand the main story. So therefore I wouldn't want to shunt it to a side book. When it needs to be told, it needs to be front and center, and then once it's been told, it'll influence what people think about the characters after that.

    So I wouldn't want it to be. . . I had told much of the story, much of the things that Redcloak revealed to Tsukiko in the recent strip about how he was tricking Xykon was already known by people who had read Start of Darkness. But it didn't sort of change what was going to happen next for them to have known it separately. But anything about the Order of the Scribble isn't really like that. It's important in a way that would change things, and therefore it can't be let out of the bag early. But by the same token, I wouldn't object to writing a story of them just fighting Baron Pineapple, or something like that. Certainly wouldn't have any problems with that, but I think the main conflict between them is gonna be in the main comic at some point.

    5H: The Kickstarter Donor's Choice Stories

    Jesse: Okay. Well, speaking of that, I'm gonna take it back to the kickstarter for just one second.

    Rich: Sure.

    Jesse: Which was that several people bought stories about characters that they wanted you to write about. And I know you said for a while those had not been revealed to you yet. Has that come about yet, do you know who those characters are going to be?

    Rich: Three people have bought them, I've only been contacted by two of them so far. I contacted all of them and have only heard back so far from two of them, they both gave me sort of a spectrum answer of, "I like this character and that character but I wouldn't mind if it was this character." So I haven't nailed down the final list for them. I'm waiting for what the final third person says, because if two of them both pick the same character, then I'm definitely gonna do that one, but otherwise I might pick some of the ones that appeal more to me. So far the ones that have been floated are Therkla, the assassin, the half-orc, the Cliffport police department, do a detective-spoof sort of something like that, and the demon roaches. . . [NB: As of 3/16/2012 the stories are Pre-Order Belkar, Therkla, and the Cliffport Police Department - ThePhantasm] which I've no idea what I would do, but maybe I'll come up with some idea and throw that out there and then some other options beyond that. But then again, it's that I still haven't heard from the third person, so that could be something totally in left field still coming our way.

    Jesse: Cool, cool, cool.

    5I: The Conclusion of the Storyline

    David: I know a lot of webcomics authors say, "well I have a very specific end and that's it." Is Order of the Stick actually gonna have a conclusion, or do you just wanna keep on writing it?

    Rich: No, no. It has a conclusion. I know exactly how it ends. I think every single plotline that I've introduced has a definitive conclusion to it that will be in the main comic. It's not gonna be ignored or just left hanging forever. There's definitely gonna be a final book of the main storyline.

    But that being said, one of the reasons I've been sort of experimenting with some of these side projects is that there's plenty of room for these characters to keep doing stories. I think they're well-defined characters, and I can always go back. That's why I've been doing things like the Stick Tales and. . . which is the characters telling the story of a famous work but using themselves, sort of like what the Muppets used to do. Then things like Julio Scoundrel spinning off sorta into his own crazy land of comic book type of and that kind of stuff will let me create even when I've moved on to what I'm gonna do next in the world, after the Order of the Stick. I can still come back and do an Order of the Stick related project, even though the story, the plot, has reached its proper conclusion and so on. So I guess I'm sort of setting up now for what will happen next.

    5J: How Much Story Is Left To Tell

    Jesse: And I think I've read in interviews or in things you've written that the comic is more than halfway done at this point?

    Rich: Oh yeah, definitely more than. . . well, I say that, but you should take it with a grain of salt because I run long. Things are always longer than I plan them out to be because I always think of things in the middle that need to be addressed, either they're logical concerns or a character moment that needs to happen in order for it to be emotionally realistic. So then there will be an extra strip here, an extra strip there, and it'll add up. So it's definitely more than halfway done in terms of number of books, but the number of strips left, I don't even have a clue what that's gonna end up being. Some people are all "he's gonna plan to end it at strip 1000." Absolutely not. It will go way past strip 1000 because we're already at 833 and we're not done with this book yet, and there's at least two more books left. So yeah. It's to go. If you're not a reader, there's still plenty of time to jump on.


    Spoiler: Part 6: Outro & Ending
    Show

    Jesse: I personally have all the books. No big surprise there considering as I've told you I have the poster on my wall. So I think we're gonna wrap it up, but I just wanna ask you, do you have anything else you'd like to add, or anything you'd like to plug or mention?

    Rich: Kickstarter's still running at http://www.kickstarter.com, you can find it by typing in "Order of the Stick." My website's http://www.GiantITP.com, and so on and so forth.

    Jesse: But I wouldn't ask you to spoil the comic even though I want to be like, "what's gonna happen next?" But I understand that would be unfair.

    Rich: I am proud of you for not asking me either Vaarsuvius' gender, or what the Monster in the Darkness is, or how Belkar's gonna die. Those three questions everyone asks.

    Jesse: Yeah, I figured you keep those things a secret for a reason, and it would be lost if you were to just blab it out. So I tried not to ask those.

    Rich: Two of them are really important and one of them is so not important that it doesn't even need to be answered.

    Jesse: Exactly.

    Rich: I'll let you figure out which ones are which.

    Jesse: Exactly. All right, well then I think that's all the time we have, but I would like to thank Rich Burlew one last time for being on with us.

    Rich: Thank you for having me.

    Jesse: Of course. I'm Jesse Baruffi.

    David: And I'm David Lawrence. And you can reach us at Geekademia@gmail.com.

    Jesse: And go to our website at http://non-productive.com/geekademia. And that's it.

    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2014-03-31 at 08:13 AM.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Twitter Q&As


    Spoiler: @RichBurlew Twitter Q&A - 02/17/2014
    Show
    (original transcription by ChristianSt)

    All these questions were asked and answered after Strip #945.
    There is minimal editing:
    • Capitalized the first letter of each question
    • Removed any Twitter-handles/RT/etc.
    • Bundled conversations to single Q&A points
    • Added "RB" / links to the tweets to mark all of Rich's answers



    "Apparently, I'm answering questions or something? Huh."




    Links to other Q&As/interviews can be found in the OOTS in the Media thread.
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2014-07-14 at 06:14 PM.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    This post has been reserved in case the index outgrows the first five posts.

    PREVIOUS THREADS are now listed in the thread history at the bottom of the main Index posts.
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2014-04-11 at 08:34 PM.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    ...? Why did you make this already? Not only are you not Phantasm, but the old thread is only 38 pages long.
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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    ...? Why did you make this already? Not only are you not Phantasm, but the old thread is only 38 pages long.
    Sigh, I was worried I didn't draw enough attention to the explanatory text in the first post. Let me repeat myself:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    If you're just tuning in, ThePhantasm has come down with a severe case of "life" and doesn't have time to maintain the Index any longer. He asked me to take over curatorship for him (and got permission from Roland St. Jude for me to start the new thread now, since I can't edit the first post in the other thread) and, well, here we are!

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Ah, apologies!
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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    ...? Why did you make this already? Not only are you not Phantasm, but the old thread is only 38 pages long.
    I think you should start reading the OP

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    If you're just tuning in, ThePhantasm has come down with a severe case of "life" and doesn't have time to maintain the Index any longer. He asked me to take over curatorship for him (and got permission from Roland St. Jude for me to start the new thread now, since I can't edit the first post in the other thread) and, well, here we are!
    [And naturally I was ninjaed by Jasdoif - yet I leave this here to highlight it once again]


    First of all: thanks for ThePhantasm to maintaining the Index up until now. You made an incredible job at doing this. I'm kinda sad that you can't continuing doing so.

    If Jasdoif is only half as good at this than you was, this will still be an incredible thread [And I'm not saying this to say Jasdoif will doing a worse thing at curating this, but more to highlight your incredible work. I think that Jasdoif will doing it fine as well.]


    So to make it short:

    Thanks for ThePhantasm for your past commitment to this (your?) project and I really hope that whatever that severe case of "life" is, that it is something positive.

    To Jasdoif: I hope you will an equally solid job at maintaining this than ThePhantasm [And from what I have seen I think you will do. I personally can only say that I wouldn't necessarily want to do it myself.]


    Edit: What thoughts have you(/ThePhantasm?) put in the thread title? I think the Banana reference is kinda funny - but I personally would have gone for a title with a nod for ThePhantasm to highlight his awesome work (unless of course you wanted to do that and ThePhantasm turned that down).
    Last edited by ChristianSt; 2014-03-09 at 05:46 AM.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    Edit: What thoughts have you(/ThePhantasm?) put in the thread title? I think the Banana reference is kinda funny - but I personally would have gone for a title with a nod for ThePhantasm to highlight his awesome work (unless of course you wanted to do that and ThePhantasm turned that down).
    Four things, there.


    One, I was a little bit disappointed when none of the proposed titles at the end of the first thread were used for the second thread, so I was thinking of asking for suggestions around page 45-ish. When the timeline got advanced (I imagine because there were a lot of consensus-approved quotes to add into the Index), I didn't think there was time to do that but I did see some support for that as being in the thread title, so I went with it.

    Two, the combination of "We've left a banana in charge" with me taking over as curator makes "Wait, am I a banana now? " a natural response on my part. That amuses me.

    Three, ThePhantasm has stated on multiple occasions that the Index is a community project, and no desire for it being "ThePhantasm's Organization of the Giant's Comments Thread". I feel that a direct title reference would be inappropriate, either it's in the primary name (perhaps "ThePhantasm's Index of the Giant's Comments") which runs counter to that; or it's in the description and comes off as some kind of memorial, again likely to draw attention in the wrong direction.

    And four,
    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    and special thanks to Rich Burlew and ThePhantasm
    I don't think I'm slacking in highlighting ThePhantasm's important work on/for the Index
    Last edited by Jasdoif; 2014-03-09 at 06:20 AM.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Well, while I did not participate that much on the last thread, I will also join in to say: Thank you, ThePhantasm! From what I saw, you were a great curator of this thread, and I'm sure that will have much success with your life.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    If you're just tuning in, ThePhantasm has come down with a severe case of "life" and doesn't have time to maintain the Index any longer. He asked me to take over curatorship for him (and got permission from Roland St. Jude for me to start the new thread now, since I can't edit the first post in the other thread) and, well, here we are!
    Not another one! When will they find a cure?!?

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Congratulations, Jasdoif, thank you for taking on the role, and I think the title is superb.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    1. Many thanks to ThePhantasm for all his excellent work on this thread previously. He did excellent work, and I hope his plate will be a bit less full soon.

    2. Many thanks to the new maintainer, Jasdoif, who has done some truly incredible work contributing to this thread in the past, and who was really a very natural choice for the new maintainer. I love the new thread title!

    3. I didn't see this added to the new Index, but there seemed to be several comments supporting its addition, so I just wanted to make sure that this doesn't get lost in the thread shuffling:

    The hobgoblin forces are all male and the Azurite forces are gender integrated because Rich wanted the hobgoblins to feel interchangeable and the Azurite forces to feel more progressive and sympathetic.
    Last edited by DaggerPen; 2014-03-09 at 10:14 AM.
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    First, I'm impressed that this topic went so far off topic that it ended up back at The Order of the Stick.
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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Thank you for everything you've done for the index, Phantasm. Thank you for taking it over, Jasdoif the Banana.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Are there any comments from the old Index that had yet to be voted on or anything? I remember there was some debate over the inclusion of a quote about Tsukiko.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Hi everyone,

    Yes, I've given curating duties over to Jasdoif now. I had intended to wait until thread II ran its course, but unfortunately life has gotten too busy for me to maintain the index any longer. It has been a fun little project over the past few years and I'm grateful to the community for pitching in and working together on this in such a friendly and respectful manner. Though the index began as an individual project in my signature, it has now become a community project, and its up to you guys to keep it going. And thank you, Jasdoif, for taking on curating duties!

    I actually must bow out of this community as well. I'll probably pop back in at some point, maybe when the strip is reaching its end, but until that time comes I can't really say. We'll see.

    Its been fun!

    ThePhantasm
    Last edited by ThePhantasm; 2014-03-09 at 10:26 AM.
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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    It's been an honor, Phantasm. Take care of yourself.
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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePhantasm View Post
    Hi everyone,
    [...]

    I actually must bow out of this community as well. I'll probably pop back in at some point, maybe when the strip is reaching its end, but until that time comes I can't really say. We'll see.

    Its been fun!

    ThePhantasm
    I'm sorry to hear that, you'll be missed around here. And thanks Jasdoif for taking over.
    Regarding the thread's title, I think we should include the awesome banana drawing in the first page so people will know why we left a banana in charge
    maybe in post # 4 or 5?

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    It's been scrubbed from the previous thread, presumably due to standard restrictions on using the Giant's art, so I wouldn't recommend it. I was hoping he might make an exception for somethng so awesome but oh well. (To be fair to him, the mods tend to take the forum rules extremely seriously and so no one may have asked for an exception.)

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Thanks for everything you've done, ThePhantasm. And thanks to Jasdoif for taking over. The new title is just superb.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    When I saw the new thread title, all I could think of was this

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    Awesome Avvy by Sizlord!

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Toper View Post
    It's been scrubbed from the previous thread, presumably due to standard restrictions on using the Giant's art, so I wouldn't recommend it. I was hoping he might make an exception for somethng so awesome but oh well. (To be fair to him, the mods tend to take the forum rules extremely seriously and so no one may have asked for an exception.)
    I can say with some certainty (through vague insider info I almost certainly shouldn't go into) that if there was any sort of reasonable chance that it could have been an okay exception... well, it would have been asked about, at least.

    I just can't help but find it pretty funny that this thread is being named for something that wasn't allowed to be made in the first place and that we probably can't discuss in too much detail.
    Last edited by The Linker; 2014-03-09 at 04:14 PM.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by The Linker View Post
    I just can't help but find it pretty funny that this thread is being named for something that wasn't allowed to be made in the first place and that we probably can't discuss in too much detail.
    That makes it even more of an insider's joke

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by DaggerPen View Post
    I didn't see this added to the new Index, but there seemed to be several comments supporting its addition, so I just wanted to make sure that this doesn't get lost in the thread shuffling:

    The hobgoblin forces are all male and the Azurite forces are gender integrated because Rich wanted the hobgoblins to feel interchangeable and the Azurite forces to feel more progressive and sympathetic.
    Yes, thank you. That particular quote was proposed relatively recently (a week ago) and didn't get much attention in the old thread, so I didn't think it needed to be grouped in with the others I went ahead and included. Barring the emergence of strong opposition, it'll be the first entry in the "update every six quotes or two months" cycle we didn't have a chance to start using in the last thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
    Are there any comments from the old Index that had yet to be voted on or anything? I remember there was some debate over the inclusion of a quote about Tsukiko.
    Aside from the one DaggerPen mentioned....Do you mean this quote about Tsukiko? I'm not sure the discussion is actually over, but consensus was about 2-to-1 against its inclusion, and the debate had shifted towards precisely how the thread guidelines applied to the particular quote.

    Also, I don't recall getting a clear answer on why a transcript of the Twitter Q&A session needed to be included in its entirety. I don't know whether that's because people forgot about it, figured including select quotes in the Index proper was sufficient (we now have six such entries in the Index, one of which includes two "see also" links), or something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Linker View Post
    I just can't help but find it pretty funny that this thread is being named for something that wasn't allowed to be made in the first place and that we probably can't discuss in too much detail.
    Maybe we need a more...distinct...rendition of the concept.




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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Aside from the one DaggerPen mentioned....Do you mean this quote about Tsukiko? I'm not sure the discussion is actually over, but consensus was about 2-to-1 against its inclusion, and the debate had shifted towards precisely how the thread guidelines applied to the particular quote.
    Correct. Also, I think that shift in the debate indicates all the points in favor of inclusion have been made, and failed to sway the majority opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Also, I don't recall getting a clear answer on why a transcript of the Twitter Q&A session needed to be included in its entirety. I don't know whether that's because people forgot about it, figured including select quotes in the Index proper was sufficient (we now have six such entries in the Index, one of which includes two "see also" links), or something else.
    The way you've included the key quotes is fine. Count me against the inclusion of the whole transcript.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    I, for one, welcome our new Jasdoif overlord.
    Please write all sarcasm in blue text. All metaphors should be marked in red text and for any split infinitives, please use green. Thank you.

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Also, I don't recall getting a clear answer on why a transcript of the Twitter Q&A session needed to be included in its entirety. I don't know whether that's because people forgot about it, figured including select quotes in the Index proper was sufficient (we now have six such entries in the Index, one of which includes two "see also" links), or something else.
    Actually I wanted to bring that up soonish (but wanted to wait a bit on it until this thread transition has cooled off a bit). But since you asked, I'm going to start now.

    There wasn't a clear consensus, but If I read the comments right, there were a bit more support in favor of "including all" than in favor of "not including all" (though some of those posts imo are a bit vague. Some for example just say that oppyu's listing/post should be included. But since this list was incomplete, I can't really tell whether they say "I want a Twitter list somewhere" or "I want only those posts and nothing more".)

    I personally don't see any reason to treat the Twitter Q&A in any other way than the Geekademia Interview. I would include a complete transcript in the OP (I personally would do it after the Geekademia Interview, but from a "number of post used"-metric the best place for it would probably in the post with the Geekademia ToC). I think it is good to add individual quotes to the regular Index, too. In fact I think I would do so with some parts of the Geekademia Interview, too - if only there existed a good way to link to them. [I don't have a good example at hands, but I know I have quoted multiple times from the Geekademia Interview in the past.]

    The other logical choice would imo to get rid of the Geekademia Interview, too. But I don't think that is good idea. Sure it can be argued that it (and the Twitter Q&A) is outside of the thread focus, but unless this gets out of hands or there is enough to warrant an own dedicated thread, I think it is best to include it here. I think the central question is whether we should add such Q&A thingies here in complete or not. And for now I would say yes.

    (There is also the possibility of a semi-compromise to include only a link to a post containing the Twitter Q&A. But then I don't see why we shouldn't do the exact same for the Geekademia interview. But in both cases I think it is fine to included it proper.)

    Spoiler: @RichBurlew Twitter Q&A
    Show

    All of those question where asked and answered after Strip #945.
    There is minimal editing:
    • Capitalizing the first letter of each question
    • Removing any Twitter-handles/RT/etc.
    • Bundled conversations to single Q&A points
    • Adding "RB" / links to the tweets to mark all of Rich's answers



    "Apparently, I'm answering questions or something? Huh."



    Spoiler: Past posts on whether to include the Twitter Q&A
    Show

    This is a summary of the discussion in the old thread, on pages 33/34, before it died off (other quotes getting focus, table changes, bananas going rampant, etc...)

    I have only included one post per poster and have it reduced to the most central statement. I hope I didn't missed something. The quotes are in chronological order.

    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    All of it should go in, whether it is obviously joking comments or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    I would just link to oppyu's post in one of the opening posts and call it a day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jasdoif View Post
    Seeing as non-OOTS-related things shouldn't be included per rule B, I don't think that's necessary.
    Quote Originally Posted by RMS Oceanic View Post
    I am in favour of having that summary just compiled in a single post as it has been. A similar thing should happen if Rich ever does an AMA on Reddit or similar.
    Quote Originally Posted by ti'esar View Post
    I also think oppyu's post is a good way of listing the relevant information on its own.
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    While it would be nice to have some(?) in the regular Index, I think the best would be a complete transcript, like we have it for the Geekademia Interview.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    I agree with Jasdoif on this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flame of Anor View Post
    I support including all (or nearly all) of these in the appropriate sections.
    Quote Originally Posted by NerdyKris View Post
    I agree it should be both. We include the transcript in full since it is a massive OOTS Q&A, but also put a few of the important things in the index.
    Quote Originally Posted by orrion View Post
    Of those, I'd include the plot, the evolution, Vector Legion, printing the stories, and possibly Durkon as a thrall and the extra battle/split (because the question of why this book is so big is a reasonable one).

    The rest don't really tell us much.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tragak View Post
    OK, archiving non-OOTS comments was sketchy enough, but Twitter? This is getting stalkery.
    Quote Originally Posted by DaggerPen View Post
    I say include only relevant comments in the main section, but include a link to the transcript of all the OOTS-related ones, even the jokes. They're fun enough to read and it's not any less useful than the google search.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThatNickGuy View Post
    Not really. It's a public account and he was specifically answering questions thrown at him.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePhantasm View Post
    Its the official twitter account for the Order of the Stick. He doesn't use it for personal updates, mostly just for site / strip updates. So no, it isn't stalkery... the Twitter account was specifically made to communicate information about the strip and about the Kickstarter project.

    From what I see there are more people saying to include it than not to include and a much larger group I can't really tell what option they would prefer, with some people mentioning the idea of linking. (The last two posts I only included because they are a direct answer on Tragak's "This is getting stalkery". I can't really read any opinion on this topic out of them.)

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    Default Re: The Index of the Giant's Comments III - We've Left a Banana In Charge

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    I personally don't see any reason to treat the Twitter Q&A in any other way than the Geekademia Interview.
    I've always thought it was a little strange that the Geekademia Interview was hosted here. I decided to check the first Index thread, and I discovered why:

    The Geekademia transcription was done (on page 10) before the rules vote was even started (on page 12).

    The establishment of the rules in the interim is a significant enough difference that I think the two should be considered independently. So, what about the Twitter Q&A warrants it being included here in its entirety?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    I would include a complete transcript in the OP (I personally would do it after the Geekademia Interview, but from a "number of post used"-metric the best place for it would probably in the post with the Geekademia ToC).
    I reserved an extra post (compared to the last thread) specifically in case we decided to include the Twitter Q&A in one. So if we do decide to include it, it'll go after the Geekademia transcript.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristianSt View Post
    The other logical choice would imo to get rid of the Geekademia Interview, too. But I don't think that is good idea.
    Me either, unless the transcription becomes available elsewhere. (The optimal scenario I can think of, is if the transcript was on the Geekademia site and included anchor tags so the Index could have entries link directly to individual sections; but that's well outside the scope of this thread)

    Anyway, the way I see is that the Index has some resistance to change: we add entries to the Index with a reason to add them, and we remove entries from the Index with a reason to remove them. That the Geekademia transcript doesn't seem to meet the guidelines that didn't exist at the time it was put in...doesn't strike me as a valid reason to take it out.

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