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Help us reprint the out-of-print The Order of the Stick books to reach new readers (and let existing fans complete their collections).
Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
14,952 backers pledged $1,254,120 to help bring this project to life.

Advanced Delays and Difficulties

On Saturday, I tweeted that this update was going to be delayed until today because I wanted to get an accurate estimate from the printer about when the books were going to arrive in the Houston warehouse. I'm glad I waited, because the answer was not what I would have liked. The latest word is that the coloring books aren't being bound (stapled, really) until Thursday, April 26th, and that they and the first wave of reprints won't be shipping out from the printer until the first week of May. This blows my last hope that these books would have gotten into the mail in the month of April, as was my original plan. I'm not really sure why it's taking longer than normal to run a simple reprint; all I can imagine is that the sheer number of books we're printing at once has bumped us up against the printer's maximum output capacity. They only have so many presses and binding machines, and I think we're using all of them at the same time. Then again, sometimes its very hard to get detailed information out of people who would rather not talk about the subject, so it could be something else entirely.

Anyway, what this means for you is that nothing with a coloring book or a reprint book will start going out the door to customers until the second week of May. Some of you may have addresses that will need to be changed because of this, since this is definitely a delay from what we originally announced. If you need to change your address, message me through the Kickstarter mail system—click the blue "send message" link right under the title of the project while you're logged in. Tell me your new address and I will change it manually in our system and then send you a confirmation. This is unlikely to further delay any of the packages that were already scheduled for later, however; signed books, crayon drawing packages, and any package with the Sticky Shticks expansion should still be delivered within their original timeframes.

I'd also like to personally apologize for the delay. Even though I don't think I could have done my part any faster than I did, I'm sure there's some way I could have pressured the printer for a more accurate time estimate before we began. I should have found it suspicious that no one mentioned any lengthening of the schedule due to the number of books being printed. So for any inconvenience this may cause to you, the backers, I apologize.

In other cheerier news, even after a mix-up with the delivery address for the shipment,  the embroidered patches finally made it to the warehouse last week. If you pledged at the $15 "magnet and a patch" level, then your order has mailed (unless you added Sticky Shticks to it). In fact, I can prove it, because here's a photo of all of them right before they went on an exciting adventure to the post office:

So let's take a look at the Workometer:

As you can see, I've been plugging away at those miniatures since they don't require any writing (meaning that I can still work on them when I'm extremely tired). My hope is that now that the books' arrival date has been set, I can stop spending so much time dealing with various printers and manufacturers and focus on getting some more of these digital rewards finished.

Which reminds me: If you got one of the "Stick It to You" or "Stick It to Your Family" pledges, please try to get me your reference photos in the next few days! I'd like to get started on these since, like the miniatures, they don't need any writing. But right now I have less than half of those that I need. So try to corral your family and take a photo of them this week, if you can. Thanks.

Five Things I've Done Since the Last Update:

  • Spent more time with financial spreadsheets than anyone in the creative field should ever have to spend.
  • Reread Romeo and Juliet with a notebook in hand, writing down ideas as I got them.
  • Tested out a plan for a super-secret bonus reward that will be free for everyone who backed—and is NOT the missing Mystery Prize #9. Think of it as the new Mystery Prize #8.5, and I should be able to announce it by the middle of May.
  • Played high-level phone tag with the people printing the notepads, asking why I didn't already have them. I don't have an answer yet.
  • Drew 22 different orcs, among other monsters, because encounters with just one kind of orc are boring.

Once again, sorry for the delays. I'm working my hardest to get you everything that was promised and I hope that you aren't considering the torches-and-pitchforks model of customer feedback anytime soon.

--Rich Burlew

P.S. Due to the delays with the books, I may send out some of the "Patience" surveys out this week, even though they won't ship for a while. If you've been waiting for them, keep an eye on the inbox associated with your Kickstarter account.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Amy Fiori on May 4, 2012

      Peter, I just meant that according to what Rich told another latecomer, if we didn't get our pictures in by the end of April, he'll do our portraits when he does the Patience drawings -- not that I would be dead last. But I appreciate you letting me know that I'm not the only one who has trouble with deadlines. :)

    2. Missing avatar

      Timothy on May 4, 2012

      @Rich: Quick question in regards to people who are getting $295 reward and other ones similar to that, will we be getting our comic book rewards at the same time as the $222 reward and the games after or will we get both our packages sent out at the same time

    3. Peter S on May 3, 2012

      Amy, you are not guaranteed to be last in line since I know others (ahem looking at self and my family) have been remiss in selecting and sending suitable photos of the family unit as well....But then I have plenty of patience as well. Expect to get them selected shortly however....

    4. Missing avatar

      Amy Fiori on May 2, 2012

      @Rich: I have a Stick It To My Family pledge, and I missed the deadline for the pictures. I should get them in tonight or tomorrow. I know that means my drawing gets done last, with the Patience pledges, but since the drawing is digital, I was wondering: will my package be delayed until the drawing is ready, or will it come as soon as the swag is done? I'm fine with either, but I am curious. Thanks for keeping us updated!

    5. Matthew Walker on May 2, 2012

      @JasonShealy: David A. wasn't being a jerk. He said he expects his stuff, but that the work-o-meter helps his patience. Sounded perfectly reasonable and polite to me.

    6. John Russell on May 1, 2012

      The idea of candelabra pitchforks gives me a mental picture of a horde of people all dressed like Liberace, which gives a whole new meaning to the term "flash mob". Very flash indeed.

    7. Bobby Liu on May 1, 2012

      Oooh are we going to get a torches-and-pitchforks guy in the monster mini?

    8. Rich Burlew Creator on May 1, 2012

      @DavidB: We've sent out just over 2500 orders so far, so almost exactly 1/6th of the customers have gotten their stuff.

    9. Jason Shealy on May 1, 2012

      @David Archambault. C'mon man, don't be a jerk. Rich is busting his tail to get this project done, the last thing he or this community needs is cranky customers with entitled pretense. All of our stuff will get to us when it's done. Rich is providing (as he always has) extraordinary customer service through his updates; let's not make this about how well he's appeasing our patience. Let's support him through the process, and help keep his spirits up with cheerfulness, not financially induced entitlement. Let's make some candelabra pitchfork cosplays for YouTube, that should cheer him up! < /axe grinding >

    10. Julian Tysoe
      on April 30, 2012

      Received my fridge magnet and patch today in London. Thanks Rich!

    11. Céline .S. Sauvé on April 30, 2012

      @Eleanor Camroux Yes! Bonus comic for Book K ;P

    12. David Archambault on April 28, 2012

      What I I figure is that I've put my money in, so it's up to Rich to get my stuff here. The Workometer helps greatly with my patience.

    13. Euodiachloris on April 28, 2012

      @John: Ah, but... think of the comedy! *turns small and red* Other people's pain is funny. ;)
      I'm also going to join my voice to the many: I took a patience pledge 'cos I can wait. Delays are par for the course, so I don't mind. And, I'll happily try to talk sense to people who aren't quite so sanguine about life's little bumps.
      @Rich: I'd rather you took the time to do things well, than rushed yourself to a tizzy and fluffed it. Says she with only a vested interest. Honest. Not worried about you as you at all. ;)

    14. John Russell on April 27, 2012

      Normally I'd be pleased that people were running with the flaming pitchforks but running with pitchforks is a bad idea all around and doubly so for flaming ones. Still, it'll get them to market faster. Maybe I can get Sabine to endorse them? I mean, THERE'S a girl who likes a good hot forking...

    15. Missing avatar

      DavidB on April 27, 2012

      Rich, gives us an estimate, from the 15k shippings, how many have you done already?

    16. Missing avatar

      Eleanor Camroux on April 27, 2012

      Hehe, Rich! You should include a strip where the OOTS discuss flaming pitchforks and pitchforking torchs! :-D Roy could be mad somethings not happening when it's supposed to and say some flip comment about mobbing! And after some convo turns round and sees the others trying different versions cause they thought he was serious!

    17. Missing avatar

      RevChewie on April 27, 2012

      Oh, and for those keeping track, that was mailed to California.

    18. Missing avatar

      RevChewie on April 27, 2012

      Woohoo! Got my patch and magnet in the mail today! They look great! Thank you for many years of entertainment, Rich. Looking forward to many more.

    19. Missing avatar

      Lain Luigi on April 26, 2012

      @ ahdok
      how could i not think about it before? a huge torch-sized candelabra! That would allow me to attach with 7 torches in one round!
      And the other side of it is a pitchfork!
      So it's a double weapon that allow me to attach with one pitchfork and 7 torches in the same round.
      Now someone should make a cosplay of it and post it on youtube

    20. Missing avatar

      Richard on April 26, 2012

      Thanks for the regular updates!

    21. Missing avatar

      Hayes Beatty on April 26, 2012

      @Rich - Great work, Rich. I know you're far too smart to run yourself completely into the ground doing up the rewards, so I won't remind you to take a break now and then to enjoy life a little. ;) The work you do is amazing, and very much appreciated. I'm looking forward to my bundle of OOTS-ness coming soon, but as Marion De Kleermaeker said, there's only 1 Rich.
      @Elizabeth Helms - Might I suggest discounts if the customer promises to use the pitchfork against the printers first? At their homes, of course, so as not to further complicate Rich's life...

    22. Missing avatar

      Kathryn Lamb on April 25, 2012

      It's okay :) Don't worry about it! Wow, you have done so much, it's incredible!

    23. Ahdok on April 25, 2012

      isn't the pitchforking torch better known as the candelabra?

    24. Missing avatar

      Nicholas on April 25, 2012

      What, no support for Vorpal Pitchforks?

    25. Phil Creswell on April 25, 2012

      Dude, given the colossal amount of work you created for yourself in this process, I'm impressed you've gotten this far.

    26. Céline .S. Sauvé on April 25, 2012

      @Elizabeth Helms: *blinks*
      Now I want one of those if I ever play a Crusader or Paladin :p

    27. Elizabeth Helms on April 25, 2012

      Re: More efficient mob-oriented weaponry
      Our boys in the lab are currently working on a more up-scale model, which is basically a masterwork pitchfork with a permanent 'heat metal' effect on it. Options include the popular 'flaming burst' add-on, as well as 'chill metal' setting for those harder-to-rout heat impervious villains. While the additional cost may deter some, we feel the discerning mob member will find the investment well worth it.

    28. Missing avatar

      Lain Luigi on April 25, 2012

      So much talk about the flaming pitchfork, but have you thought about the pitchforking torch? The two are perfect complements to each other.
      And no, no, no storming the printer's office. That would only cause more delay. We should go to their homes instead.

    29. John Nash III on April 24, 2012

      @John: Why not just duct tape the flaming torch to the center prong? The simplest approach may be the best. All experiments should, of course, be conducted away from civilized society and in the printers' offices (provided doing so doesn't create more delays).

    30. Rich Burlew Creator on April 24, 2012

      @Juliet Lane: Actually, no. Yellow includes the playtesting, green includes the art and text. I can work on the art even when we haven't finalized the rule text.
      @Everyone: I have 103 address changes waiting to be completed now (in addition to the 50-some I did last night) so it will take a while to work through them all.

    31. Ahdok on April 24, 2012

      hmm. Kickstarter says there are 62 comments for this update, but I can only access the last 53... what gives?

    32. Céline .S. Sauvé on April 24, 2012

      Glad I didn't start rereading the books I have on the shelf yet :p

      Thanks for keeping us posted, Giant. I look forward to mid-may (mid-June probably, after Customs and such) when I will have more printed OOTS goodness on the shelf!

    33. Spaulding on April 24, 2012

      Any information is good information. Thanks!

    34. Darren Stevens
      on April 24, 2012

      The one request I would have for Rich, more updates on the monster minis! I loved the picture of the pack mule from the last update, and you say you drew some orcs. Can you at least keep us salivating with a teaser of whatever new monster mini you drew in full color and awesomeness?

    35. Juliet Lane on April 24, 2012

      Did you miss a step on the Sticky Shticks? lol

    36. Missing avatar

      Slayerlord on April 24, 2012

      It's not your fault, we understand. Just keep on trucking on.

    37. Marc Dekker on April 24, 2012

      @John try wrapping Kevlar around the prongs of you pitchfork from just below the points to just above the meeting point of the prongs. Then soak that in lamp oil. Light it and you should have a very good flaming pitchfork. While on fire keep the prongs at least parallel to the ground to prevent the wood of the rod catching fire. If the wood still catches fire you need to increase the distance between the Kevlar and the wood.

      And remember don't try this at home go outside preferable in an open area with no easy combustibles nearby. Maybe i need to try this treatment to my scythe.

    38. Missing avatar

      Peter Cohen on April 24, 2012

      So we now have 4 completed lines and 7 unstarted. There's a fair chance that the gap will be closed by next week's update.
      Also good to see that only one grouch is making negative noises at Rich. As long as we're getting an update every week or two and a few lines on the workometer show changes each time, then anyone with common sense should be satisfied that things are going to happen.

    39. Missing avatar

      theangelJean on April 24, 2012

      For those with colour difficulties:
      New red dots: Crayon Drawings (Individual) and Crayon Drawings (D&D Party). Prep has started!
      New yellow bars: Haleo & Julelan PDF.
      New green bars: OOTS Sticker Sheets, Sticky Schticks, and Monster Minis PDF.
      OOTS Sticker Sheets now also has a purple title, meaning that it is Rich-Complete!
      Nice work, Rich, we're glad for all you've done, and hope you can keep it up and stay well :)

    40. Alessandro Ussia on April 24, 2012

      @John: you win at traditional lynching!

    41. John Russell on April 24, 2012

      I'm using the extra time to perfect my latest invention, the flaming pitchfork. Why juggle a flaming torch and a pitchfork (which usually takes two hands on its own) when you can combine the two and just light the pitchfork? Simples!

      And the longer it takes for Rich to get the books out, the more customers I'll have. Winning!

    42. David on April 24, 2012

      *Pulls out torch and pitchfork*

      I'm OK with it; beyond your control. :P The printers, on the other hand.....

    43. Mercedes (Mandy)
      on April 24, 2012

      Thank you for making it possible for us to get these wonderful books and goodies. Make sure you get some rest & family time as well. I'm happy to wait as well. I can't imagine all the postage work you have to handle, and making sure everything gets sent to the right place etc. eeek over 2000 magnet backers... Hang in there :) and make sure you get some "you" time as well. Everything looks fantastic :)

      I just have to work out how to get a kickstarter patch :) bc I missed the update on it hehe

    44. Cheryl Orosz on April 24, 2012

      I just want to add to the chorus of voices of your backers who are unafraid of delays, especially with this level of communication. Please, please rest or sleep when you are tired. We have seen what your work is like, and we want you well and whole, and not only because generally better results come from rested creative people. Best wishes,

    45. Missing avatar

      Neil Burton on April 24, 2012

      Don't sweat the delays. I'm amazed you're keeping it together given the scale of the project. You are keeping it together right? :)

    46. Das Gaus on April 24, 2012

      The books will show up when they decide to and I will be pleasantly surprised

    47. Marc Holmes on April 24, 2012

      Take it easy I couldn't care if it took six months or even ahead for all the parts to be finished. Just message us time to time with what's going on and I am cool with that. When I invest in kickstater its an investment in a product I can't have now, knowing that from time to time I get an email of what's going on, untill some mythical date in the future when my package will arrive. Also by the way these updates are best because you tell us so much.

    48. Marc Dekker on April 24, 2012

      Even though i don't have a patience package i actually have a lot of patience. The delivery of my book and sticky sticks being late is probably a good thing because now it will not distract me from my thesis writing.

    49. Missing avatar

      Eleanor Camroux on April 24, 2012

      Being such a great communicator's one of your greatest skills Rich! Lol, I don't think anyone will care how long it is when you keep us this well updated as to where and why you are (unlike your printers :-S, know that feeling). Anyways in conclusion keep up the great work and follow Hugo (above) suggestions! :-D