Replication Crisis
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 1164
Date published 21 May 2019
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Belkar attempts to replicate Durkon's emotional-coup trick with Gontor.

Cast Edit


Panel 1

Roy, Belkar, and Elan are at the worm's position.
Roy: We need to clear a path for Durkon and the others to get inside that chamber.
Elan: Yeah, so they can foil your evil squirm!
Giant Death Worm: Huh?

Panel 2

Roy: Elan, save the puns where you're kind of reaching for later rounds of combat! Start with the low hanging fruit.
Elan: Oh, like a worm-ridden apple joke?
Roy: I guess. Sure.

Panel 3

Gontor pulls out a scroll.
Gontor: Where did all those extra dwarves come from?
Gontor: Ugh, it doesn't matter. I have a scroll for them, too.

Panel 4

Belkar swipes at Gontor's hands—"fizzle!"
Gontor: Horrid Wil—OWWW!''
Belkar: "Horrid Willow?" Wow, you're not pulling any punches against Durkon, are you?

Panel 5

Gontor: You little toad, that was my only scroll of that spell!
Belkar: Oh hey, I remember you. Front Door Guy. I watched you get White Wolfed.
Belkar: FYI, any body part you stick out of that force field belongs to me, no takebacks.

Panel 6

Gontor: I was also told you're the one who dared to break free and kill my master.
Belkar: The long-term prognosis of people who throw off me a mountain is not what'd you call "high percentage."

Panel 7

Belkar: But news you can use for O.G. You: Turns out you can overthrow the vampire spirit by emotioning at him super-hard.
Belkar: My buddy Durkon did it and he has all the personal magnetism of a loaf of rye bread.
Belkar taps his head with the flat of his dagger—"tap tap"

Panel 8

Belkar: So, you that.
Belkar: Feel at him.

Panel 9


Panel 10

Gontor's expression sours.

Panel 11

Gontor: I have spells to cast in here.
Belkar: Dude, are you even trying to have a climatic emotional catharsis?!?

Panel 12

Giant Death Worm: Hey, feelings are tricky things. You can't—
Belkar: Did I ask you, Giant Death Worm?
Belkar: I was obviously talking to the miniature version of himself that's tied up in his own head!
Roy: Can we just have a regular battle for once? How's that for an idea?
Elan: I'm lukeworm on it!

D&D ContextEdit

  • Horrid Wilting is an 8th level spell for sorcerers/wizards and clerics of the Water Domain, but in this case Gontor attempts to cast it from a scroll.
  • Elan uses puns to allow him to use his Charisma for attack rolls thanks to his Dashing Swordsman prestige class.


  • The title is a pun on the ongoing replication crisis in the social and biological sciences. It is particularly apt because the crisis is most acute in the field of psychology, and the effect that Belkar fails to replicate is Durkon's psychological catharsis versus his vampire spirit.
  • Belkar's line in Panel 4 regarding his interruption of Gontor's spell refers to the running gag that dwarves have an irrational fear of trees.
  • Belkar's line in Panel 5 about Gontor getting "White Wolfed", by which he means turned into a vampire, is a reference to White Wolf Publishing who created the influential Vampire: The Masquerade rpg, first released in 1991. The name White Wolf was itself a reference to one of the nicknames of Michael Moorcock's character Elric of Melniboné.
  • Belkar gives the nightcrawler his name in this comic.

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