To look reasonably professional, a character description for RPGs needs a portrait (there are exceptions, such as minor characters imbedded in a larger work, but I want to mostly work on these things one at a time). That means sourcing artwork. I can’t draw, and I’m not interested in commissioning art for a noncommercial project, so stock art it is.
As it happens, there’s a wide selection of stock art available, targeted at the indie RPG market. I’m going to be starting with Jeff Preston’s 108 Terrible Character Portraits, which is a collection that combines two virtues: skillful artwork, and being already been paid for. The whole thing was a Kickstarter campaign originally titled 60 Terrible Character Portraits For Creative Commons Release. As the inflation in the title suggests, the Kickstarter campaign greatly exceeded its goal, producing proportionately more artwork as it did so.
Being aimed at the commercial reuse market, it comes with nearly the most minimal of licenses, the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. This says you have to credit the creator, provide a link to the license, and that’s basically it.
I heartily approve of the whole project. Should I discover another similar effort in the future, I’ll have to pay it forward.