Behind the Curtain
an epistle on the world of Item Woodworks and its character artisans
By Kyle Lange, The Apprentice
When I was twelve-ish, Dungeons and Dragons opened up a whole slice of imagination in my brain that I never knew existed. It gave me a chance to do everyday collaborative improv, theatre, voice work, you name it. My natural “theatre geek” had a home, because, in D&D, you get to wrap yourself up in a character and their personality and walk around as them for a while. I don’t think the joy of doing that has ever left me.
So instead of hiding my geeky passion, I brought it front and center to another love of mine: the woodshop!
I am Kyle Lange, and I am the creator of Item Woodworks. My name is not on much of what I produce here, but that is a bit by design.
The goal, other than to create heirloom quality work patrons fall in love with, is to create a world to entertain patron and fan alike.
Here is how Item Woodworks ...works:
I design an item I think is useful and whimsical for gamers. I’ve got a few I am designing right now (still in the secret R & D phase). I go from sketching ideas, to scale drawings with a pencil, to 3D modeling on SketchUp, to prototyping in wood, and finally, to building jigs to produce multiple versions so I can pass the time savings onto patrons.
Somewhere in that process, ideas start to bubble in my mind about a character. Who might design a box like this? Where are they from? What is their view of the world? What do they sound like?
So naturally, like any DM, I start working on their voice. High, low, pinched, resonant, growly. Snarky, sweet, creepy, passionate - as long as I can attempt to be funny or inventive. Then I write on the blog here and on Instagram and tell written and spoken stories in their voice. All with the goal of making you, dear reader, want to participate.
My favorite thing to do via my characters is to interact with you! Feel free to make characters of your own, perhaps even ones from my character’s past! Are you the lead singer to Svi’s favorite metal band? Are you Remmen’s childhood friend who can still knock him down a peg? You might be a loremaster with a personal philosophy of gaming very different from Maxime, or maybe you are Norm’s Kobald nemesis?
Then, reach out to “us”. I am a big proponent of the ol’ improv chestnut: “Yes, and…”
Think of Item Woodworks as a meandering interactive roleplaying game or perhaps the longest improv skit ever conceived!
Thanks for playing,