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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.

Tales of Unfulfillment

The coloring books arrived on Friday, and they are fantastic. I'm so excited about them; they look well-made and everyone who has gotten a peek inside so far has been very complimentary, so I'm hoping you all enjoy them. Especially those of you who actually intend to color in them, since they're made for that. Here's a picture:

We also have word that the first shipment of book reprints will arrive this Thursday, featuring On the Origin of PCs and No Cure for the Paladin Blues, plus some of the reprints of books that were in stock. The final shipment, with War and XPs and Don't Split the Party, should be here next week at some point. Apparently, to try to get me as many books as possible at once, the printer concentrated on the thinner books first—which would have been awesome, if 2 out of the 3 thinnest reprint books weren't in-stock already (Start of Darkness and Dungeon Crawlin' Fools). Oh well, it's my fault for not telling them otherwise.

But that brings us now to the notepads. Oh, the notepads. I was originally going to go into a great deal of detail about what's been going on, but I realized that I don't want to bore you. So here's the short version: They haven't delivered the notepads. There's no ETA on when they will deliver the notepads, even though their original estimated production time has passed three times over. There's been no explanation whatsoever for why it's taking so long. And now, for the last week, they've stopped returning my emails and phone calls. As a result, I've decided to pursue a refund through other channels and will be taking the business to another company. But that does mean starting from scratch, unfortunately.

In order to keep people's packages moving out the door now that the coloring books are here, we are going to be shipping some packages without notepads. When we get them in from the new company, we'll stick them in a First Class envelope and mail them along separately, at my expense. Packages we are going to start shipping this week with notepad I.O.U.'s in them are:

  • $24 two-coloring book package
  • $25 8x10 art print package (if no books were added OR only books that were in stock were added).
  • $29 Start of Darkness package (in stock)
  • $35 Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales package (in stock)
  • $37 Dungeon Crawlin' Fools package (in stock)
  • IF the customer did not add Sticky Shticks (which isn't ready either), AND
  • IF the customer is in the USA (because it's too expensive to send the notepads separately overseas).

That's still going to be over a thousand packages. Hopefully, by the time those have gone out the door, I'll have more information about when I'll have notepads in my hands and everyone else will get theirs in their box or envelope.

OK, with that out of the way, here's the Workometer for this week. You'll notice I've knocked the notepads back down, since I'm back to Square One (or Circle One, I suppose):

As you can see I'm almost done with the first installment of the Monster Minis. Right now, 95% of the color art is done; I then still need to copy and convert the monsters to black-and-white versions, as well as gather them into a printable document and write up some instructions on how to assemble and use them. With a little luck, I'll be sending this out before next Monday.

Which of course raises the question of how it is going to be distributed. When it's ready to download, I am going to create a "backer-only" update here on Kickstarter, which will, as the name implies, only be readable by those of you who backed the project. In that update, there will be links to download the color and black-and-white versions of the document. So that means you will definitely want to watch this space (either your email or the website) to get your Monster Minis.

Five Things I've Done Since Last Update:

  • Drew 17 druids; I'm still working on the rangers.
  • Sent out all of the "Patience" surveys to backers. As of right now, all shipping surveys have gone out to backers; if you don't have yours, try logging into Kickstarter and see if there's an orange bar at the top of your screen asking you to answer it.
  • Literally yelled on someone's voice mail. 
  • Twice.
  • Paid the final Really Big Check™ to my regular book printer, who, while not always getting everything done quite on time, has at least never actively dodged my phone calls when they were running late.

That's it for the weekly tale of woe. Next time I talk to you, I should be delivering like 175 stick figure monsters (and adventurers) to your inbox.

--Rich Burlew

P.S. A few people seem to have been confused about surveys, thinking that I sent out more than one for some reason. Every backer should have gotten one—and only one—survey. It's just that some people didn't get theirs until this past week. So if you filled one out, you're golden.
P.P.S. New OOTS probably sometime today (Monday, May 7th).


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    1. Missing avatar

      Ben Krupa on

      Wish these came out sooner, our group just fought some of these, but we're coming up on an orc camp next session, so I got some work to do. Thanks Rich for all the hard work.

    2. Missing avatar

      Lain Luigi on

      there was some talk about torches and pitchfork in one of the older updates. we came up with a lot of new ideas like flaming pitchforks, pointy torches, double weapons with one pitchfork and one torch extremity, torch-sized candelabra to use multiple torches at the same time...
      Now, if I had a lot of free time, some mechanical spare parts and tinkering skill, I would try to design an automatic mechanism to put on a pitchfork meant to spray gasoline on the points, complete with an ignition mechanism and a gasoline reservoir.

    3. Missing avatar

      Illicent on

      I'm down with flaming pitchforks any day of the week ;-) However, it brings to mind the question: Since metal doesn't burn too well, how will we keep them aflame?

    4. Missing avatar

      YaVerOt on

      No worries here, Sticky Sticks needs to be done before mine ships; and I I already have a complete set of books, the KS ones are backup copies.

      Now if Sticky Sticks gets done, and the HP pads still are having problems...

    5. Matt Legasher Costello on

      I volunteer for the megaphone idea if the printer is in the Denver Metro! :-) I'd volunteer for the flaming pitchforks too, but I don't think Mr. Burlew would go for it...

    6. John Russell on

      You know what's good for dealing with problematic printers? Flaming pitchforks. I'm just sayin'.

    7. Missing avatar

      kalonZombie on

      @KevinR -- Thanks. Apparently I did fill it out, and I just forgot about it. I have a terrible memory anyway.

    8. KevinR

      @kalonZombie -- many people have asked, and so far every one has been wrong.
      Look carefully at the right side of the screen, at the very bottom of the $139 box. Under "Estimated Delivery" it should say something like the following:
      "Survey sent: 03/01/12 • Your response"
      If you don't see it, send a message to Rich using the link at the top of the screen.
      (I got my $139 survey by March 01, and responded to it.)

    9. Missing avatar

      kalonZombie on

      I actually have yet to receive my survey... or are the ones for $139 backers not sent out yet?

    10. Steve Jensen on

      I just hope the HP pads are ready before GenCon, in August. Plenty of time... :-)

    11. Lisa Chippendale on

      Got my package. Magnet is great, and the stickers are cool enough that I've decided to hoard them and not give them to my kids. But the coloring books.... are awesome. Seriously funny, and very cleverly done. Lots of fun in there for the parents, too. The only downside is that my 6-year-old will probably hate the non-functional maze. Otherwise, superb. Best coloring book I've ever seen.

    12. Missing avatar

      Wolf on

      My first payments to kickstarter went to this and a cheetah saving foundation. So enjoy being as awesome as cheetahs, which is no small feat.

    13. G.M. Palmer on

      Any chance the monster minis will be done, like, tomorrow? I'm running a special quicky campaign over the weekend. Clearly no sweat if they aren't. Can't wait for the coloring books!

    14. Einar Örn Gissurarson on

      Oh goodness. I'm starting to hope now that the printer people start getting their stuff done soon. I actually live abroad but in order to save on shipping fees, I managed to get a friend of mine to agree taking the books over with her when she comes over for a visit. She's due in about a month, which I thought wouldn't be a problem but now that the hit point pads are delaying as well, I'm starting to worry.

    15. Kgw on

      I just write to tell that patch & magnet arrived to my home in Spain. Thank you, Giant.

    16. Missing avatar

      Widdershins on

      I would also like to put my hand up for waiting for one package. I'm an overseas baker, and if rather you kept the money rather than sending two international packages.

    17. Missing avatar

      Hirelena on

      I know I can wait for those notepads! x3 I hope the new printer will work better then the old one.

      Thanks Rich for all your work, esp the updates, its nice to know whats going on.

    18. Jessica Calvert on

      I looked but didn't see anyone ask or answer this....if I overlooked it, I apologize. Will the notepads be offered up on Ookoodook in the future? In the future as in after all packages including patience packages, have been shipped? We really regret not buying those now.

    19. Azimuth on

      I can wait for everything else to ship once the notepad is done. I am patient =)
      Also, any chance of getting access to a pdf version of the coloring book?

    20. Missing avatar

      Robin Tanenbaum on

      As a minion, if they are near Claremont I volunteer.

    21. Daniel Silva on

      i can wait for the notepads. no need for any extra expense rich.

    22. Robert Faulkner on

      You know, it just occurs to me that you have 15,000 minions and you know where we all live.

      If any of us are in the general vicinity of the company making the pads we could go over there with you on speakerphone and let you have a little chat with them :)

      If they happen to be in NYC I volunteer.

    23. Robert Faulkner on

      I'd also like to chime in with the chorus of people telling you not to ship packages without the notepads. This is not a kickstarter project I'm concerned about delivering. It'll come when it comes. I'd much rather you not take on additional expense!

    24. Matthew 'Gospel' Johnstone on

      @Rich I'd like to echo Craig - I'd rather not put you to the extra expense of having to ship my package until the notepads are ready. I'm good to wait. Sorry that the notepad people are, to use your bard's word, "doodyheads."

    25. Missing avatar

      Petkus on

      @Rich, Do we need to start a Kickstarter to help you with postage for the notepads? 'Cause we totally will and will break all records doing so. :D

    26. Hugo on

      @rich: Just to remind you: you are managing a project over a million dollars here. I can't promise you every one of your backers will understand, but it seems rather obvious there would be some potholes along any trip of this magnitude.
      Thanks for putting all this effort in for those who enjoy your work.

    27. Missing avatar

      Craig Berger on

      If this were a democracy, I would be voting to delay shipping until the notepads can be included, so as to be more monetarily efficient.

    28. Missing avatar

      Brandon Haase on

      Sweet! I'm looking forward to those minis... I am running 2 active campaigns right now (3.5 D&D) and cannot wait to introduce them to the group.

    29. Rich Burlew Creator on

      @Everyone: If you think you don't have your survey, you MUST use the Kickstarter message system to contact me. It is nigh-impossible for me to track down your order from a posted comment. However, note that 100% of the people so far who have told me they don't have their survey yet had, in fact, already filled it out in the first few days after the project ended. So please, check your reward package over there----> for the footnote about the surveys and whether you've filled yours out BEFORE messaging me.

    30. Lydia on

      Depending on when the notebooks come in, I may have changed addresses by then :/ But I don't know yet... Should I wait until I know if/when I'm moving?

    31. Missing avatar


      I'm guessing it is so your ink cartridge doesn't suffer much.

    32. Missing avatar

      Vovix on

      So, about when can we expect the Print Only Special(OOotPCs,SoD,SSDT) to ship/arrive?

    33. Missing avatar

      Dave on

      Like many other posters, I have no problem waiting until the notepads are done so that you don't have to incurr multiple shipping charges. I never expected to receive anything quickly. If I do, great, but if the cost of more than one shipment is too high, fugedabowdit.

    34. Caroline Kramer on

      I'm okay with waiting a little while longer. Unless my package arrives after August, because that means I'm going to have to tell you to change the address, again. (I'm joking, though it would be annoying).

      Why are you making the minis black and white?

    35. Missing avatar

      Peter Chon on

      Rich, I did not receive a backer survey, not did I get a orange bar on the top of my screen when I logged in at Kickstarter. Can you help?

    36. Ross Thompson

      I would also happily wait for the notepads to be ready. Or pay for the extra postage.

      Having said that, I understand wanting to honour your commitments as far as possible, and I can't honestly say I'd be sad to get most of my loot early.

      So whatever you decide is good for me.

    37. Missing avatar

      Jeff Cerminar on

      I am also more than okay waiting a little longer for the notepads, like everyone has been saying, i pledged because i love OoTS and wanted to help you raise money, i dont wanna take any money out of your pocket

    38. Olivier Giguère-Durand on

      Thank you @Steven! Also, it's Olivier, not Oliver ;)

    39. kattehus on

      Boo @supposed-notepad-delivering-company.
      And in extension of that, I just realized that OOTS crayons would be awesome. Pretty please in the future? :)

    40. Rich Burlew Creator on

      @Charlie Roach: Message me privately about it and we'll see about fixing it.

    41. Missing avatar

      Charlie Roch on

      I haven't received a survey :(

    42. Missing avatar

      Edward Woodman on

      I am wondering if Canadian packages will be sent without notepads (to be mailed later) or delayed since we are neither USA or Overseas.

    43. Missing avatar

      ZMiles on

      Mr. Burlew, is there any way those of us who are getting notepads and willing can opt to send you the mailing money? (Maybe a backer-only donation link or somesuch?) While I'm eager to get my notepad, I'm not so eager for you to pay your own money for it -- my reason for donating was to support you and your brilliant comic, and I'd hate for it to turn around and end up costing you.

    44. R.L. Oaks on

      The coloring books look amazing! Will you be offering them in the shop at some point? Now that I've seen them, I regret not pledging for extra copies.

    45. Missing avatar

      Tim on

      Rich, I'm not one of the people that would be getting a notepad sent separately, but if I were, I'd be adding my voice to those asking you to not spend more on postage than strictly necessary.

      I want to say a big thank you for the updates. They're a really great way of letting us know what's going on and why, and further to that, they're fun. No one likes just plain waiting around for something, but you've managed to turn that wait from a negative, to a neutral, to a positive.

    46. Missing avatar

      HerrTog on

      I like to believe I am a patient man. Do not, I REPEAT, do not mail me anything at your own expense. I may not have selected the patience option but I will wait. I don't want to take funds away from you doing fun things lad. Do not mail me anything at your own expense.

    47. Missing avatar

      Mariane Mears on

      Well, thank you Rich, for taking care of the notepads at you're own expense. Not to sound like a jack-ass, but how is Sticky Shticks coming along?

    48. Missing avatar

      . on

      Hi Rich. While I'd love to get my books, I'm certainly patient enough to wait until the notepads are done. No need to swallow the cost for additional postage. Thanks for the updates!

    49. PK Levine


    50. PK Levine

      Guys, it would be a bad idea for Rich to leak the name of the company right now. Even if only a few dozen rapid, jerk fans took it upon themselves to try an enact "retribution" on the printer (which you KNOW would happen), it might hurt Rich's case if he later had to take them to court.

      Now, AFTER everything is settled, on the other hand . . . >:)