The Order of the Stick (OOTS) is a comedic webcomic that satirizes tabletop role-playing games and medieval fantasy. The comic is written and drawn by Rich Burlew, who illustrates the comic in a stick-figure style.
Taking place in a magical world that loosely operates by the rules of the 3.5 edition of the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), the comic follows the sometimes farcical exploits of six adventurers as they strive to save the world from an evil lich sorcerer.
Much of the comic’s humour stems from the characters’ awareness of the game rules that affect their lives or from having anachronistic knowledge of modern culture. This in turn is often used by the author to parody various aspects of role-playing games and fantasy fiction. While primarily comedic in nature, The Order of the Stick features a continuing storyline serialized in one- to four-page episodes, with over 900 such episodes released so far.
Although it is principally distributed online through the website Giant in the Playground, seven book collections have been published, including several print-only stories (On the Origin of PCs and Start of Darkness). An alternate version of the strip appeared monthly in Dragon Magazine for 22 issues; these strips, among others, are collected in Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales.