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On the Origin of PCs (The Order of the Stick 0)

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  880 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Like all great stories in the history of the universe, this one begins in a tavern. The Order of the Stick: On the Origin of PCs reveals the secret character backgrounds of your favorite band of webcomic adventurers, the Order of the Stick. Spinning out of the popular online comic (and subsequent book collections), On the Origin of PCs presents 72 pages of all-new, ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Giant in the Playground Games
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Community Reviews

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May 05, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: webcomics
On the Origin of PCs is a prequel story featuring the heroes of the Order of the Stick webcomic. It is the first "print-only" OotS book, featuring material not available on the website.

As with the other print-only collections, this trade is in greyscale due to cost concerns.

On the Origin of PCs is 72 pages long, and features a short tale (or two) about each of the members of the OotS, as well as their formation as a team and first mission together. It's a well done, humorous set of stories, but
Apr 17, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it
I guess you'd have to be already invested in OOTS to appreciate all the prequels, but I am!
Ooh, and I got the Buffy reference, as well as the Iron Chef ref.
And Roy and I seem to have had similar college experiences, um, without the Blood Oath.
And I love it that Elan's special knowledge of stories gets the narrative rolling.
The book's short, but when you're freaking out about losing your cat, and waiting for your gf to come home so she can successfully find him, it's the perfect distraction.
Aug 02, 2015 Tarina rated it it was amazing
First of all, the title is, again, awesome.

Second, I dunno what it is about origin stories, but I simply love them.

Also, I'm currently reading these comics in the best possible way (my friend, another fan of them, gave me the order to read them in: 1, 2, -1, 0, 3, 4, D.)

It's amazing how this story keeps evolving into a better and better high fantasy. It's about a billion times better than anything Patrick Rothfuss would write lol.

Mar 14, 2012 Lissibith rated it really liked it
While this is a fun book, it suffers by comparison to the other volumes. It shows how the Order came together, and is most reminiscent of the first volume of the story proper. The tales are more gag-ish and light, and while a fun read for people who love the OOTSverse, I can't recommend it as a starting off point
Sep 15, 2011 Patricia rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Matt & I read aloud.
I'm a sucker for back stories, so I was happy with this slim volume in the OOTS canon.
Dec 13, 2007 AA rated it it was amazing
OOTS is wonderful, amazingly well thought out, and you don't have to be a hard core gamer to get the jokes.
Nov 18, 2015 April rated it really liked it
So, this was really the first time that I'd delved into any OotS stuff. Occasionally Jarrod has shared some panels with me, but this is the book that really made me fall in love with it. I'm so glad that I decided to give it a try, since in the past I've been "meh" about graphic novels. But I really enjoyed this! I actually laughed out loud at some of the jokes throughout the storyline.

(view spoiler)
Feb 06, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
On the Origins of PCs (terrible pun I know) is the first prequel to the Order of the Stick online comic, which if you haven't read it yet, then please go and read it now. This will all make far more sense if you do.

This book details some of the history to the main characters of OotS, And culminates in Roy putting together the group and setting off to the Redmountain Hills, where the online strips begin. Obviously we're not getting whole childhoods here but there is enough flavour to each charac
Mar 13, 2015 Benjamin rated it really liked it
This is a great addition to the OOTs universe. It was a lot of fun to go back to the early years of our favorite bumbling party of adventurers. This was back before the plot was convoluted, the villains were well known, and the gags well rehearsed, and this story does a good job of going back to its roots. It was fun to revisit the jokes on 3.5 and the old jokes that were worn out in the strip because they were too far from their original occurrence. This is a fun little adventure that only ...more
Sep 22, 2011 Kathryn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: OotS completionists
Shelves: comics
Rich Burlew, author of The Order of the Stick, has, besides his comic strip compilations, also written two companion books. The first, book 0, is called On the Origin of PCs and is about how the various player characters got together to form the Order of the Stick. It gives a little more background on Roy, Haley, and Durkon (including the real reason Durkon was banished), but not much more on Belkar, Elan, or Vaarsuvius. While I enjoyed learning more about the characters, the background informat ...more
Mary Catelli
As you may have deduced from the number, it's a prequel. It's even a proper prequel, best read after the works appearing before it only in the Real World timeline. Burlew alerts you to that in the Introduction. (As opposed to the Preface, provided by Redcloak because he has no role in it.)

As befits a world based on a role-playing game, some player characters have a lot of backstory; others have none. Belkar of course has none; explaining why he turned into the little sociopath would keep him fro
Dec 21, 2015 Horus rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
If you play D&D and don't know The Order of the Stick, you are missing out. This particular comic collection is not part of Burlew's online strip and specifically addresses the origins of the party. Some we've already received either hints of or more details online, others were new information. Some of the origins are hugely funny, as one would come to expect from portions of this comic . I do think that this collection might not make much sense to those who haven't read the online comic or ...more
Jul 29, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it
Burlew's skill at characterization are what makes his Webcomic engaging, and the same is true with this prequel book. Each of the protagonists have traits that everyone can relate to, making it easy to root for the Order (even Belkar, because, yes, we've all had homicidal thoughts before). It was fun seeing the events that brought the Order together, though even Burlew tells us in his foreword that nothing here is essential to understanding and enjoying the ongoing Webcomic. I can attest to ...more
Aug 29, 2007 Underwater rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Order of the Stick
This is a print comic that serves as a prequel to a webcomic. Recommending this book, as I would do to almost anyone, is meaningless without recommending the comic itself, which can be found at The first comic is here:

Personally, Order of the Stick is one of my favorite webcomics, and if you like that then you're going to like this book. If you don't like it, you're not going to like this book--but you're also not going to buy this book, so
Jun 11, 2012 Drucilla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
So I have to admit...I didn't like these origin stories as much as the origin stories in Start of Darkness, but they do stay true to the spirit of the comic. There were no shocking reveals, but it was very interesting to see the start of certain relationships and their first encounter together was a hoot! I recommend reading the online comic before this compliation. There's nothing super spoiler-y, but the online comic may have less of an impact if you know the roots of the characters before han ...more
May 26, 2009 Nancy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Rich Burlew writes an enjoyable D&D-themed comic called "Order of the Stick" (you can find the archive here). This book is new material about how the characters in the comic started their adventuring party, as well as a little personal history for each character. Really quite fun, but really, at 70 picture-filled pages, I'm not sure I'll count it at the end of the year.
Ryk Stanton
Jan 07, 2015 Ryk Stanton rated it really liked it
If you've ever played Dungeons & Dragons, you probably already know about Order of the Stick. It's a hoot! I liked this book (of strips which were not available on the Internet - new stuff) and had a few laugh-out-loud moments. I recommend it to all gamers!

However, if you have never played DnD, then you won't understand most of the humor ... so don't bother.
Sep 13, 2013 Rust rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy
OOTS è uno dei migliori fumetti online che mi sia capitato di leggere, di sicuro il migliore incentrato su D&D. Solo in parte parodia, ha una grande trama, grandi personaggi, grandi trovate. Questo volume è un prequel incentrato sui singoli protagonisti, e narra di come le loro vite si siano incrociate per formare il gruppo. Qualche chiarimento, parecchie risate!
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
The first prequel book (second chronologically) of the Order of the Stick online comic, this book has the background of the PCs. It's rather tame, relative to the primary strip and the other prequel (detailing the background of the villains). A nice, quick read for fans of the series, but not really worth much beyond that.
Doc Opp
Jul 25, 2007 Doc Opp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comiccartoon
If you're not an Order of the Stick fan, then this will be a total waste of your time. If you ARE an OOTS fan, then this is a must read - its a prequel on the origins of OOTS and, like most OOTS, has some sidesplitting humor for gaming insiders.

Start of Darkness is the prequel for the villains, and is also pretty good, but not as funny as Origin of PCs.
Apr 28, 2009 Danielle rated it really liked it
Started to really enjoy the series with this one, read after The Order of the Stick Volume 1 Dungeon Crawlin' Fools. He seems to be getting funnier and more confident, and the snapshots of the characters are great fun. Especially, dare I say, thog.
Stewart Tame
Apr 23, 2014 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it
Fun! This was my first experience reading any Order of the Stick material. The writing is top-notch, lots of fun inside jokes for D&D fans. The artwork isn't quite as crude as it first appears. Getting stick figures to look this good is no easy task. I will definitely be reading more OOTS in the future.
Oct 03, 2013 Erik rated it really liked it
Pretty great. Not The Order of the Stick Volume -1: Start of Darkness great, but pretty great.
Matthew Paluch
Jun 16, 2014 Matthew Paluch rated it really liked it
While it can be said Volume -1 had spoilers (but i loved it any way), I enjoyed this volume skightly less, but still badly wish I had read it just before starting into the web series with Order of the Stick #1. Its fantastically recent and relevant to the start of the series.
Sep 05, 2012 Colin rated it it was amazing
The first of the "prequel" graphic novels detailing the origins of the "PCs" of the Order of the Stick. A must-read for fans of OOTS, but I wouldn't read it until after you've read the first couple of volumes - given that it is a prequel, it helps to know WHAT it is foreshadowing!
Dec 28, 2012 RogueHireling rated it really liked it
Maybe a bit heavy on the history for me, but still really fun read. And look Haily has a soul!!!!
Jul 14, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it
Great fun, best suited to those who are already enjoying the online comic. Provides the back stories of the protagonists in the online strip.
Jul 18, 2013 Regan rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best action sires and it is amazing! Everyone should try to read the order of the stick!!!!!!
Brian Rogers
Jan 12, 2015 Brian Rogers rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Hardly an essential piece of OotS lore, this slender volume is the first sign that Burlew had larger plans for the strip but doesn't show any where near the grace and depth of the later books.
Shannon Appelcline
Not quite as good as the others, but the decision to print it black & white is where the volume really falls down comparatively. Still, a fun read.
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