Words Get in the Way
Order of the Stick comic
Comic no. 384
Date published 1 December 2006
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Nale and Haley go out on a date. The conversation is... one-sided.

Cast Edit

Transcript Edit

Panel 1

Haley (in her head): Jeez, this dress! I look like a dominatrix.
Haley's Self-Loathing: Actually, you look like a sorceress or something.
Haley (in her head): Hey, no need to get cruel.

Panel 2

Nale: Ah, you return from the Ladies' Room.
Nale: Your absence was like a confirmed critical from a keen scythe.

Panel 3

Nale: You look stunning in black, my dearest Haley.
Nale: It's so nice to see you not wearing any of your normal protective gear.

Panel 4

Nale: ...
Nale: I notice you are unusually quiet tonight.
Nale: Do you have no words for a romantic evening such as this?

Panel 5

Haley: Za ybxy acwwdave yd uv adfv adty dg sdhv?
Haley: Uvrxcav Z rxi'y awvxh? Zg ad, zy qxai'y jvtp gciip.

Panel 6

Beat panel. Nate has a panicked look on his face.

Panel 7

Nale (thinking): What the hell? What language was that? Crap, what if she and Elan both took some obscure language like Ignan or Gnoll or something??

Panel 8

Nale (thinking): OK, don't panic, Nale. When in doubt, laugh and nod. Then come up with some sweet talk to keep from having to respond in the same language.

Panel 9

Nale: Ha ha ha ha ha! Yes, too true, too true. Heh heh.

Panel 10

Nale: But, uh, words from any language just get in the way. What can mere sounds tell us that we cannot see by gazing into each other's eyes?
Nale: I say, "Enough words!" Who needs them? Let us have no more words this evening, save for this request:

Panel 11

Nale: Would you care to dance?

Panel 12

They walk off as music plays, "♪♪♪"

Panel 13

The music continues, "♪♪♪"
Nale (thinking): Fantastic. I can't believe I just suggested that we stay silent for the rest of the night.
Haley (thinking): Fantastic! I can't believe he just suggested that we stay silent for the rest of the night!

D&D Context Edit

  • Sorcerers in D&D gain their arcane abilities through natural talents, which may mean a bloodline that includes dragons or demons, thus Haley's offense at the remark that she looks like one.
  • A Critical Hit may occur when a natural "20" is rolled in an attack. The Keen magical property doubles the weapon's threat range, which for a scythe means a 19 also threatens a critical hit (provided it hits the target's AC; a natural 20 is always a hit). It is confirmed by a second attack roll.
  • Medium-sized scythes do 2d4 damage, and feature a 4X critical hit multiplier, the highest possible. A couple other weapon types also have a 4X multiplier, but of all of them, scythes have the highest base damage.

Trivia Edit

  • The translation of Haley's lines are:
    • Panel 5: Is that supposed to be some sort of joke?
    • Panel 5: Because I can't speak? If so, it wasn't very funny.
      • The substitution key is the line itself, starting from both ends of the alphabet to the middle for the key, and working along the line: i.e. Z = I, A = S, Y = T, B = H, etc.
  • Words Get in the Way was a hit single for the Miami Sound Machine, led by Gloria Estefan, from their 1986 English language album, Primitive Love. The song reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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