Up a Level, Down a Level
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 12
Date published 12 November 2003
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An argument about the word "level".

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Roy (thinking): At last! The stairs down!
Haley (thinking): Oooh! That Goblin Cleric was worth 1000 XP!

Panel 2

Roy: Time to go down a level!
Haley: Time to go up a level! (in unison)

Panel 3

Roy: Up a level? But we already did that.
Haley: Sure, now we do it again.
Roy: Why, what's up a level?
Haley: More sneak attack!

Panel 4

Roy: What?? We'll get sneak attacked if we go up a level??
Haley: No silly, just me.
Roy: You want to go up a level so you can get sneak attacked?
Haley: Naturally.

Panel 5

Roy: No way. That's too dangerous. We should go down a level instead.
Haley: Down a level? Wouldn't you need like a vampire or something for that?
Roy: Huh?

Panel 6

Haley: Anyway, what do we get if we go DOWN a level?
Roy: Tougher monsters!
Haley: You want to go down a level AND face tougher monsters?
Roy: Of course.

Panel 7

Haley: Wouldn't it make more sense to go UP a level before facing tougher monsters?
Roy: No, we already finished that level. We should go down.

Panel 8

Haley: Up!
Roy: Down!
Haley: Up!
Roy: Down!
Vaarsuvius: Aha! A new spell level!
Roy: L-E-V-E-L.
Vaarsuvius: Huh?

Panel 9

Roy: I spelled "level".
Vaarsuvius: But you're a fighter, you can't learn spell levels.

Panel 10

Roy: Can't spell? Is that another "Fighters are dumb" crack? That's it, we're going down a level.
Haley: Up a level!
Vaarsuvius: But if we go down a level, I will lose my spell level.
Roy: L-E-V-E-L.
Vaarsuvius: HUH???
Belkar sits on the panel frame, extending outside the page, breaking the 4th wall.
Belkar: How much crap do we have to go through on a daily basis because no-one at TSR looked up "level" in the thesaurus?

D&D Context Edit

  • Character levels in standard D&D range between 1 and 20. Spells are divided into levels between 1 and 9, with casters having access to different numbers of spell slots of each level based on their character level. As a wizard, Vaarsuvius gets access to a new spell level every odd character level (spell level 1, 2, 3 at character levels 1, 3, 5 respectively, and so on). Since, according to The Giant, the Order was level 8-9 at the start of the story, and this is only comic #12, it is possible that V has advanced to level 9 here, unlocking spell level 5.

Trivia Edit

  • The dungeon level/character level/spell level joke continues as a running gag throughout the comic.

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