Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

The story of Order of the Stick follows the story of a (not so ordinary) D&D adventure group traversing a lich’s dungeons and combating classic conventions of storytelling and Dungeons and Dragons. Hopefully, they won’t become responsible for the fate of the world…  

Passepartout The Order of the Stick

(This review relates to  a story that’s still ongoing)

I’ve been following this story for over a decade, casually checking the Giant in the Playground website for updates each day. It’s kind of wild how far we’ve come.

Key recommended this web comic to me shortly after we started playing D&D within our group of friends. At first it was little more than a story full of lighthearted (meta) jokes – not all of them good – pertaining to D&D game mechanics and narrative structures, told by simple stick figure art. However, somewhere during the trip, the story became something more. Both plot and characters evolved, till eventually even the stick figure art got more elaborate.  

The Order of the Stick contains a well-crafted plot that somehow even manages to retain the feel of a homebrew D&D campaign. The main characters might seem superficial at first, but each one of them gets an admirably deep arc interwoven with the plot.  The worldbuilding is interesting, borrowing from real-life pantheons and classic fantasy tropes, and then mixed with some fairly original concepts. 

I hesitate to say if the earlier strips of The Order of the Stick have aged well. At least the first hundred pages of the comic badly reflect what the story has grown out to be. That’s not to say these strips are without merit, for even here groundwork is being laid for later parts of the plot. I would say the story starts to pick up around page 250, with the storytelling getting really good from around page 700 and onwards.

Profound knowledge of D&D mechanics isn’t necessary to enjoy this comic. The story contains enough interesting elements to cater to lovers of epic fantasy and/or Sword & Sorcery also.

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