But of course, not every character is a bard, so what do the other characters do with their free time when the bard is creating? Well, we're told the fighter is sharpening weapons and practicing with them, the cleric is praying, the monk is meditating, the druid is passively walking in the woods and feeding squirrels and presumedly, the thief is sleeping and dreaming of money.
None of these things, however, advance the actual character's experience in the game. Fighters don't have to practice with their weapons, do they? I mean, we assume they do, and that this somehow equates to the process of going up a level, with experience numbers passing a certain goal post being seen as a "tipping point" for where all that practice and weapon sharpening raises the fighter from 3rd to 4th level. But then again, suppose a fighter doesn't practice? Suppose a cleric doesn't pray and suppose a druid doesn't care about squirrels?
Some will jump ahead of me here and imagine that I'm proposing a fighter has to say, "I practice" on a regular basis or else they'll drop a level in experience, or fail to level, but NO, that's not of any interest to me. I don't like rules that penalize the players for not role-playing, or that take away skills the players already have ... at least, not for arbitrary nonsense like having to declare their actions. I'd rather go on assuming that fighters practice and druids walk with squirrels. Instead, however, I'd like to bring the Gentle Reader's attention around to a proposal that might be seen as positive.