Rich Burlew, who draws the webcomic Order of the Stick (OOTS), sometimes goes on break and uses guest strips at filter. On or around 17 August 2005 appeared a guest strip by Rob Balder, "Order of the ASCII", setting OOTS references in the world of NetHack. As OOTS normally draws the characters as stick figures, this guest strip drew them as ASCII.

NetHack players might recognise the following features of the strip:

Unusually, Roy had already identified the wooden harp when Nale grabbed it.

Roy's dog turning into a presumably human @, and a scroll of taming working on a different, also human, @ seem unlikely from a NetHack point of view.

The strip also contains references to OOTS. To understand them, you would need to read some of the previous OOTS strips, but you can consult Comixpedia:Order of the Stick as a reference.

  • The Order of the Stick is an adventuring party led by Roy Greenhilt, so the guest strip gives the name "Roy" to the NetHack player. However, Roy is a Fighter in OOTS but a Ranger in NetHack. (NetHack has no Fighter role.)
  • Roy Greenhilt leads five other party members, so Roy the Ranger obtains five similar pets.
  • The little dog named Nale became a @, took the harp, and started singing like Elan, the bard of OOTS. In OOTS, Nale is actually the name of Elan's evil twin brother, and Nale does not sing.
  • The four other pets resemble the other four party members: the @@ match Haley the human Rogue and Vaarsuvius the elven Mage (Wizard), the h matches Belkar the halfling (hobbit), the h matches Durkon the dwarvish Cleric (a D&D class somewhat like a Healer or Priest).
  • Xykon is a lich and antagonist of OOTS, but only in NetHack does Roy find a scroll of genocide and actually finish Xykon.

As Dudley's dungeon is a webcomic set in NetHack, so Order of the Stick is a webcomic set in Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). Since NetHack and D&D are so similar, setting one OOTS guest strip in NetHack is somewhat effective.

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