Friday, October 19, 2007

Order of the Stick knocks one out of the park

I have to say that The Order of the Stick has really grown far beyond its genre position as a role-playing-game webcomic. This episode proves it. I think you don't need to know much about the comic's backstory to get this one, and I hope that if you read it, it'll motivate you to go back to the beginning and read this one from the get-go.

Using D&D conventions, the author is able to riff on the afterlife -- an afterlife where one might be called back to regular corporeality by a resurrection spell at any time. So he's able to have a character converse with his dead parents. He's been doing that for several episodes. It's good stuff.

The two-minute version of The Order of the Stick? It's about a group of sword- and spell-wielding adventurers in a four-color version of a Dungeons and Dragons world...people for whom the rules of spell-casting and game combat are the physics of life. Its characters mock stereotypes while trying to save the world and cope with the widely varying personalities of their team. It's damn funny in each instance, but it also builds up over time.

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