I pitched [editor James Sutter] “Jirel of Joiry crossed with Unforgiven.” I wasn’t planning to lift the character or the plot, but I hoped to evoke a similar feel… I’d never written anything with orcs or dwarves, and while I’d scripted an evil sorcerer or two, they’d never been Pathfinder magic users. Writing deals in a lot of archetypes, and fantasy gaming fiction tends to wear those archetypes proudly on its sleeves — the elven archer, the surly half-orc, the mysterious wizard. I embraced those archetypes and tweaked them, as any gamer would when designing a character for play. I planned out scenes that would put the characters in conflict so I could get a better handle on who they were and what was important to them.
I started writing within a day or two of getting my outline approved, and pretty quickly I realized that I needed to stat out my main characters. I’ve been gaming regularly with a variety of systems since I was about 9, but in all that time, I’d never rolled up story characters prior to writing about them… I kept the rule book handy so that my spell descriptions would match, as closely as possible, the spiffy descriptions drafted by the Paizo maestros.