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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.

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And the second Mystery Prize is...

Posted by Rich Burlew (Creator)
1 like

Sorry for the late update, but there were no words that could adequately describe the Mystery Prize as well as this image can:

You see, when I was first plotting the details of the current storyline in The Order of the Stick, one idea I briefly considered was making the entire Western Continent into pastiche of an existing desert-war-gladiators-psionic setting. I tossed the idea almost immediately, but it stuck in my mind that there were a lot of good jokes in that idea, even if it conflicted pretty directly with some key facts about the OOTS world (for example, it was already established that there were Western Gods loosely based on the Babylonian deities). So now, I'll get a chance to shake some of those jokes out in a short story showing how OOTS would be different if it was set in the world of DIM SUN. When it's done, I'll tack it onto the end of the Julio Scoundrél story that I revealed earlier and email the PDF to all backers at the $10 or higher level. (Note: Character designs are subject to change, if I come up with a better idea.)

Not much else to update today, so here's the chart:

There definitely won't be an update on Sunday, even if we cross the dashed line. So the next update will be Monday sometime, probably around noon here (5:00 pm UTC). Thanks not only for the support, but for the continued interest in the pledge drive itself. 

--Rich Burlew

EDIT AFTER THE EMAIL WENT OUT: I had mentioned in the last update that only book orders would get the next Mystery Prize, but that's not going to be the case. This will be going to everyone. I had previously had a different idea that ended up not being economically feasible, so I swapped it out for a concept I had this morning for Mystery Prize #3 instead. So prize #3 remains a mystery, even to me.

New Goals and Non-Book Stuff

Posted by Rich Burlew (Creator)

Another day, another two goals shattered. Ho hum. Just a day in the life of having the best fans in the entire world. Seriously, you guys, we actually accelerated the rate of funding over the last 24 hours compared to the 48 before that. That defies all common sense.

So that means that Paladin Blues is funded for a full print run, and we're onward to the final (reprint) frontier. If we get to reprint Don't Split the Party, we will have every OOTS book in print at the same time for the first time since...ever. No, really, we've never had all 7 books in print at the same time before. Just think, people who have never heard of OOTS now will be able to walk into their local gaming store a year from now and buy the entire run in one purchase (well, except for Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales, which is an Ookoodook-and-this-pledge-drive exclusive book). And that's thanks to you.

Now, looking at the chart, you'll see I've added several goals. The lines for Don't Split the Party are in place, showing at what level of funding I'll put them up for rewards and then how much it will cost to print, minimum and full-size. Same as we did with Paladin Blues, really. But I think more enticing are the two purple lines. If we get to the magic number of $222,222, Mystery Prize #2 will be added to almost every order (and the lowest pledges will be able to increase slightly to get it, too). And Mystery Prize #3...Mystery Prize #3 is so mysterious, even *I* don't know what it is yet! But hey, at that point, who knows what sort of crazy things I might be willing to commit to? Haley sure doesn't:

Speaking of which, I've added a new premium reward for people who don't want (or need) any of the books. For a pledge of $240, you can get a complete set of every ornament that we've put out in the "snowfall" series, from the first in 2004 to this past year's 2011 edition. That's eight different ceramic ornaments that are no longer available in our regular shop. And more than that, I'll sign the back of each of them with a permanent marker, and probably doodle a stick figure or something. You can also add a signed copy of every book to the same package for another $262, if you want, or we can work out a partial package if you already have some of them. Don't worry, they'll ship in a separate box to protect the ornaments. That's a lot of signing, though, so I'm only putting 15 of these packages up.

Finally, we did a large mega-poster set in 2010, featuring every character in the OOTS (at the time) on two giant 24 x 36 prints (you can still order the last few here). Adding a rolled up poster to this pledge drive turned out to be too much logistical hassle, though. On the other hand, I've gotten emails from people saying that they love the images but don't have room on their walls for a four foot wide poster set. Weird, I know. So I've just made a deal to print a number of smaller 8 x 10 art prints on high-quality heavyweight paper, exclusively for this pledge drive and suitable for framing (with enough border so that you don't crop the image when you do). Here's what it looks like:

You can get it for a pledge of $25, and I even dropped in a few signed ones for $50. You can add one book to either package, but not more than that; too many books in an envelope will bend it. But don't worry if you want to a bunch of books and the print, because we're including one free for every pledge above $250. All you have to do is increase your pledge (if it isn't there already) and you'll get one slipped in, on the house.

Finally, just to give you guys a heads up, I won't be making an update over the weekend unless we break through another goal. So, I'll probably be making an update over the weekend. But maybe not two! But probably. As always, thanks for keeping this thing going, and I'll see you on the other side of a line.

--Rich Burlew

Blue Line Specials

Posted by Rich Burlew (Creator)

OK, gang, we have just squeaked over the line for No Cure for the Paladin Blues, so reward packages are going up now. I've tried to include a little more flexibility in the packages to allow different combinations, since 90% of my five billion emails about the drive have been about adding this book to that package and so forth. I've also included the highly-demanded "every book in stock" package (called the "Up to the Split" combo), covering all 3 color compilations that will be available at this stage and all three black-and-white books. You can rest assured that if we get up to the level that Don't Split the Party is being reprinted as well, we'll add a package that includes that too, so you can buy the whole series in one fell swoop.

We've also added single-book packages for Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales, Dungeon Crawlin' Fools, and Start of Darkness. Now you can get any book that is currently in stock (or will be reprinted) separately. This does mean that there are way, WAY too many reward packages to scroll through, and for that, I apologize. The real problem is that once a reward goes live, I can't alter it, so it's impossible for me to combine or revise the packages from the beginning of the drive, before we were reprinting OtOoPCs and NCftPB.

I also got the estimate back for Paladin Blues, and the blue lines have been added to the chart. The bottom line represents the minimum print run while the top is the full-size run, just like we did for War and XPs. (Those of you with a canny eye for charts will notice that it appears like it will cost more to print NCftPB than it did WAXP even though WAXP is a longer book, but it only looks that way because I had already saved up about $16,000 toward the reprinting of WAXP when this drive started.) I'm still waiting to hear the final word on Don't Split the Party, but you should expect it to be a significant jump up in total price. Maybe I'll have to come up with a second Mystery Prize to help get us there....hmmm.....

Anyway, announcements on other new prizes will be delayed until tomorrow or later, so without further ado, here's Haley:

As always, thanks for the loyal support, and if I haven't answered your message yet, don't worry: I'm determined to clear out my Inbox before I go to bed tonight.

--Rich Burlew

And the Mystery Prize is...

Posted by Rich Burlew (Creator)

Last year's Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales featured a story in a more action-oriented comic book style about the original Dashing Swordsman, Julio Scoundrél. At the end of that story, I ran a letters page which featured a blurb by Julio himself plugging the fictional "next issue," in which I tried to come up with the most ridiculous, over-the-top plot I could summarize in one paragraph. It went mostly like like this (I deleted one spoiler for the events of that story):

  • NEXT MONTH! It's more thrilling sky pirate action as Virginia and I find ourselves caught between the Flying Submarine of Doctor Obstreperous and the Broomstick Gang of Peculiar Peak! Can I keep those crazy witches off of my ship long enough to unlock the secret of the not-so-good doctor's Possibility Eraser? Can I rescue Virginia when she's taken captive by the cabal's secret benefactor?... And what does all this have to do with the search for the Cosmic Soupcan?? Find out in the next exciting issue of Julio Scoundrél!

Keep in mind I had no idea what any of that stuff meant when I wrote that. But now? Now that you've pledged $120,000 to help me reprint two different Order of the Stick books?

Now I will write that story.

How long will it be? Don't know. What will happen in it? Haven't a clue. What's a Cosmic Soupcan? Darned if I know. But I'm doing it anyway, because you deserve it and I like the challenge of it. I'll write it, draw it in the "enhanced stick figure" style of the previous Julio story, and deliver it to every backer of $10 or more via PDF, either at the same time as the O-Chul story or in a separate download a few weeks later (depending on how long it takes to finish). And that's on top of the three "bonus stories" I'll be writing thanks to the backers who pledged $1250 in order to choose a character that they'd like to see more of. (No word yet on who will star in those, but I'll let you know when I know.) How's that for value?

There is one piece of bad news since yesterday. While I don't yet have the final total needed for No Cure for the Paladin Blues, I discovered I had made a math error in my "ballpark" estimation that renders the $140,000 goal for putting it into the rewards too low. The final cost of that book is likely to be higher than I originally thought, which means I can't risk putting them "on sale" in the rewards until we've reached a little bit more than that. As a result, I need to shift the blue dotted line up to $150,000. This won't actually change whatever the printer tells me the actual cost will be (i.e. the eventual blue solid line), it's just a cautionary move on my part to avoid promising a bunch of rewards and then failing to reach the higher print cost total. If we blow through it like we have been every day so far, it will mean nothing in retrospect. In fact, I challenge you all to make me feel silly for even worrying about it by breaking through the new goal like Thog through a stadium column.

Finally, I've been getting a lot of requests from people who already own all the books to add more rewards that don't include books at all, so they can pitch in, too, as well as more high-end "premium" rewards. I just wanted to say that I have heard you and you should expect something tomorrow or Friday, depending on some pricing and testing I need to conduct. OK, now here's Haley (and Elan):

We all are, Elan. We all are. 

As always, thanks for the insane support you guys have shown through all this, and I'll see you back here around this time tomorrow. I have to go work on this comic I do sometimes.

--Rich Burlew

P.S. I'll be adding some signed Start of Darkness copies to the rewards in about 15 minutes.

I Need to Learn to Make Charts Faster

Posted by Rich Burlew (Creator)

Because I began writing this update and adding new rewards when we had just sailed past the line to add On the Origin of PCs to this pledge drive, and now, as I write this, we are only a few hundred dollars away from the second line to definitely have them printed. So yes, we are reprinting On the Origin of PCs too, it's happening!

As a result, I've added a slew of new reward options that include that book, including solo copies, multiple copies, combos with War and XPs, and combos with Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales. One piece of good news is that because OtOoPCs is so much thinner than WAXP, one copy of each still fits in an envelope, which will cut down on everyone's shipping costs if they buy the twofer.

"But wait!" you ask, "What now? Surely we have climbed every mountain at this point. There can be no more goals!" And you would be wrong, because I've got two more right here. Now, I still don't have the confirmed printer's estimate on how much printing No Cure for the Paladin Blues will cost, but this is going to be the fourth printing so I can ballpark it while I wait to hear back. What I've done, therefore, is set the blue dashed line at $140,000 even. If we pass that line, I'll put Paladin Blues into the reward mix, allowing you to order freshly printed copies, signed copies, and an increasingly complex set of possible combos with the other books. 

Which brings us to the purple line on the chart below: The Mystery Prize. If we reach $120,000 total, I will announce an extra reward that will be given to every single backer at the $10 level or higher. You won't need to do anything extra to get it, it will just be tacked on as my way of saying thank you to all you crazy fans who are pushing this thing to the limit and beyond. Now here's Haley with today's chart before I get all choked up:

(Note: I've recalculated the chart to only have a dot at noon each day, since it's only been like 12 hours since the last chart.)

I will see you all tomorrow, when I firmly expect to be announcing the Mystery Prize already and who knows, maybe adding in the new books. I've given up trying to guess what happens next at this point. Thanks again for all your support.

--Rich Burlew

P.S. The signed copies sell out almost immediately every time I put up more, so if you want one, GRAB IT NOW.
P.P.S. I have about 40 messages in my Inbox, I will start answering them now.