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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.

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Good News, Everybody!

After two updates of bad news, things are starting to come together. The final shipment of books is arriving in Houston later today, so that all six titles being reprinted will be ready to go. But more importantly, we now have notepads! The new company I picked was able to put a rush on the order and turn them around in a week, which was pretty amazing. They arrived on some very heavy pallets Wednesday evening, though I don't have a photo this time. Sorry. If I get one sent to me, I'll tweet it.

What that means is that if you have a package that a.) doesn't have Sticky Shticks, and b.) doesn't require me to sign it or draw a crayon picture or anything, then your package is ready to be packed and shipped starting today. They won't ALL go out today, mind you; there are probably 5000 or more packages that fall into that category! But the Ookoodook staff will be working overtime to get them all out the door as soon as possible.

In other good news, you probably all have the monster mini file by now, or A Monster for Every Season, as I'm calling it. Look at the previous update for current download links. I still have to finish the line art file, but the main color version is done and read to go. Some of you have asked why I'm doing a black-and-white version when people can just print with the color turned off, so let me show you. 


Above is the Green Dragon (Large) miniature image, in color on the left and line art on the right. Not only does the right version save ink (even more ink than just a greyscale version of the color image would), but it allows you to grab your crayons or colored pencils or whatever and color it any way you want. Who needs to wait for me to draw a red dragon? Just color this one in red!

Anyway, time for the Workometer. Stuff is starting to fill up.

Five Things I Did Since the Last Update:

  • Went and added like 60 more monsters to the monster list I was working on, because I am crazy and like to make things harder.
  • Reviewed playtest reports for Sticky Shticks.
  • Learned that sometimes, a service that advertises itself as "unlimited" really means "unlimited in one specific way that we can afford, but totally limited in these three other ways that would cost us money and that we will not give you a straight answer about when you call to ask ahead of time."
  • Made a lot of phone calls to notepad printers until I found one that could do it fast, on recycled paper, for a non-ridiculous price. 
  • Set up a very tiny photo shoot for the instructions (and cover) for A Monster for Every Season. Also began a glamorous career as a hand model taping an orc chieftain together.
That's it for now, I'll be back when I have something new to report. Thanks, and thanks for all the kind compliments about the monster minis. I really liked drawing them, so I'm looking forward to the next set already. I just have to do like 500 things before then.

--Rich Burlew

New download links for AMFES files

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DOWNLOAD: A Monster for Every Season: Spring 2012 (Color Only)

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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).

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.