So much of an RPG takes place in your head. You’ve got a backstory, a few personality traits, and maybe a silly voice, but most of the time that’s all you’ve got. The only physical artifact of this mad, beautiful otherworld is a few scribbled notes on a laser printed character sheet. That’s what it was always like for me, anyway. Or at least it was until I met my artist.

I’m a words guy, and before I started gaming with Laurel I never put much thought into what my characters looked like. I might throw out a few general descriptors. He’s tall. He wears a wizard’s hat. He’s…I dunno. Tall I guess. But then one night, sitting around the gaming table, she sketched the party. Suddenly I was full of opinions. My guy looked too young. He was too thin. His wizard’s staff didn’t have that token we got from the Crypt of the Everflame, and OMG how could you forget to put that in? Suddenly this character concept was an actual person with a real face, and that was something I’d never experience before. It made this purely hypothetical figure concrete in a way I didn’t know was possible. It made the imaginary real, and that may be the closest thing to magic I’ve ever encountered.

If you’ve never commissioned an artist to draw your character, I suggest you give it a try. It’s more interesting gamer bling than yet another dice bag, and it’s more affordable than you might think. If you like the look of Laurel’s stuff (shameless plug alert) we can definitely talk shop, but I’d encourage you all to hit the Artist’s Alley at your local game con or shop around on Deviant Art. Looking your character in the face is a pretty cool experience, and you owe it to yourself to try at least once.