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On The Origin Of PCs

Updated on March 16, 2013

On the Origin of PCS: A review of the Prequel to OOTS

The first book in the Order of the Stick series - The Order of the Stick, Volume 0: On the Origin of PCs is exactly what it say. The origin stories of the main characters.

The Order of the Stick is the very well known, well loved webcomic that manages to combine humour, Dungeons and Dragons and perspective in a stick-figure webcomic. Highly recommended to anyone, ever, who has even a passing knowledge of RPG games, the injokes only deepen with increased exposure. From dice rolls, to character archetypes (or stereotypes) such as androgynous elves, halfling thieves and moralistic paladins, turn-based gaming, evil goblins, dread undead, terrible puns, betrayal, loyalty and love, this comic satirizes it all. I would buy this for any gamer, comic-book afficionado, Pratchett fan or fantasy reader!

This black and white book is only available in print and well worth reading (also cheaper than the full colour versions). I bought this and the other prequel book Volume -1: Start of Darkness for my brother's Christmas presents last year, and they've been well read... and frequently stolen.

The introduction itself is almost worth buying the book for, with prefaces from the author and from Redcloak the Goblin Cleric (aka mister not appearing in this book). Even better, On the Origin of PCs is printed on 50% recycled paper (approved by the Forest Stewardship Council)

Do You Read Order of the Stick?

OOTS is probably one of the best known fantasy gaming webcomics on the web today - but have you heard of it?

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Never before has a collection of stick figures reduced so many to such helpless laughter.

On The Origin Of PCs - The Prequel to the Order of the Stick

Did you ever want to know...

  • How did Haley leave the employ of the Thieves' Guild?
  • Why was Durkon sent into human lands by the high priest of Thor?
  • Why did Eugene Greenhilt swear revenge on Xykon?
  • What was Roy like in Fighter College?
  • What ever happened to Elan's last employer?
  • What does Belkar really think of the Monk class?
  • Why DO they call themselves the "Order of the Stick"? (No, for real this time.)

The Order of the Stick, Vol. 0: On the Origin of PCs
The Order of the Stick, Vol. 0: On the Origin of PCs

I'm not much of a comic book or manga fan. But the Order of the Stick is different, different, different! I must admit that a reader who has never played D&D might not catch every innuendo, but there are enough laughs for even the most uninitiated. The jokes and twists are hilarious and yet, with each comic, the story moves forward.

Origin of the PCs tells how the player characters (PC's) got their start and formed the infamous Order of the Stick. As Burlew's online strip starts with the party already together, it was fun to go back in time and see the characters before they knew each other. After all, how did a psychotic halfling, dwarven cleric, bumbling bard, androgynous mage, and opportunistic rogue all team up with a college-grad fighter on quest to avenge his father's death? Overall, a very fun read with plenty of chuckles. Now, I'm looking forward to 'Start of Darkness' for a similar look at the 'origin of the NPCs'. How did Xykon become a litch? What is the creature in the darkness? And how long will it take for SOD to reach Amazon, so we can order it here?

Amazon review


Rate it, if you dare... - What do you think of the Origin of PCs?

On a scale of 1-7, what did you REALLY think?

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The Order of the Stick: What Is It About?

How did a dwarf and an elf start working in the same party as a paladin and a thief?

The Diverse Team of Heroes from halfling thief, to hammer-wielding dwarf, to mysterious and androgynous elf, to noble warrrior, ranging from chaotic to lawful, evil to good, is practically a stereotype of its own in role playing games. It makes sense, after all, to have a nice balance of abilites and temperaments - that, and everyone wants to be a different character!

But how much sense does it make in a 'real' world setting? Why would such a conflicting group start working together - much less stay together? Where did the members of the Order of the Stick come from? Why is Roy in charge? (is Roy in charge?) Who named them? What are they really up to? Who stole the colour? Is this all just a flashback?

Rich Burlew's official site - and the homepage of the original Order of the Stick webcomic, which starts up where On the Origin of PCs and its prequel/parallel, Start of Darkness leave off.

Who Are the Order of the Stick?

The party members: Tinker, Tailor, Halfling, Sailor, Paladin, Dwarf, Mage, Thief ...

Roy Greenhilt:Lawful Good.

In charge. An intelligent fighter, honourable, sensible... and on a quest to do with his ancestral sword, his dissapointed father, and the evil lich Xykon.

Durkon Thundershield: Lawful Good

Probably the person who best gets on with Roy, Durkon is a dwarf and a cleric of Thor, far from his homeland.

Belkar Bitterleaf: Chaotic Evil

Originally a halfling Ranger, swiftly advancing up the ranks of Barbarian. Psychotic and murderous are two words that spring to mind.

Alternate name: The SEXY SHOELESS GOD OF WAR!

Elan: Chaotic Good

...the less said about the bard, the better for Roy's sanity, methinks. See the video below for a sampling.

Vaarsuuvius: True Neutral

The (androgynous) high-elf mage who is androgynous. Also power hungry and ambitious. And centuries old (elf). And did we mention noone knows zir gender? Really doesn't get on with Belkar, and the murderous pranking is mutual.

Haley Starshine: Chaotic Good

The thief. She likes gold. Also is skilled with the bow and finding treasure and sneaking... basically the standard rogue character. With red hair. Oh, and she likes gold.

Sword Swinging Paladins

Musical Bards - ...not always so great.

Which to Buy? - The Prequels or the Comic?

The Order of the Stick series is available as the large and shiny colour versions of the webcomic%

Is it better to buy...

Reader Feedback - What Did You Think?

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    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      8 years ago from Iowa

      Very Informative and well built lens on something I've never heard of before. :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Haha Awesome Flynn! Order of the Stick" is Hilarious! It was a great read i also lens rolled yours through my D&D and D&D miniatures pages, and they were soooo well placed with OOTS! (just learned how...remember just started a day or so ago). Thanks again for the comments!


    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 

      9 years ago

      Very interesting, never seen these before... seems a lot like the rudimentary cartoon work from South Park.


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