Throughout the production of a series, a lot goes on behind the scenes in regards to planning and design, which often go through multiple stages before resulting in the final version that is seen on screen. Some concepts and ideas can have an effect on the show and characters, and unexpected occurrences during production can also lead to changes and additions to the plans for the show.
- His name bears similarity to that of his character allusion.
- He puffs cigars, much like Lampwick is seen doing on Pleasure Island in the Disney movie.
- His first name, Roman, calls to mind the capital city of Italy: the country in which The Adventures of Pinocchio was written and where the story is set.
- His bowler hat is similar in appearance to the one worn by Lampwick/Candlewick in the 1940 Disney film. He also has a similar hair color and hair style.
- His appearance is heavily based on that of the character Alexander DeLarge in the 1971 British film A Clockwork Orange, which is based on the novel of the same name.
- His appearance also has similarities to that of Lampwick in Disney's adaptation of Pinocchio.
Roman Torchwick's emblem is a jack-o-lantern face. It appears on two of his possessions:
- Around the end of his cane, Melodic Cudgel.
- His lighter.
According to The World of RWBY: The Official Companion, Roman was initially going to be just a little kid. As the show developed, he was made more intimidating and was aged up to be an adult.
Roman's early concept art features three distinct appearances, none of which are the final version seen in the show.
In the first concept, he has pale orange curly hair and a gold tooth. He wears a white coat with gold buttons and strings that is partially open from the middle to the bottom. Under the coat is a black shirt and wide gray-brown pants that close off partway down the calf. On his feet, he wears long, dull green socks and a pair of red high-top shoes that are wide open at the top. He carries a brown messenger bag. His accessories are a black hat that has either a black feather on it or red fabric around it, a red and white striped scarf with strips of fabric hanging from the ends and a pair of brown gloves with belted straps around the wrists.
In the second concept, he has long, straight, dark reddish-pink hair. He wears a white coat with gold buttons and strings that is partially open from the middle to the bottom. Under the coat is a black shirt and wide, dark, dull purple pants that close off partway down the calf. On his feet, he wears long, dull purple-gray socks and a pair of purple high-top shoes that are wide at the top. His accessories are a black hat, a white and pale green striped scarf with strips of fabric hanging from the ends and a pair of long, dark purple gloves with belted straps around the arms.
In the third concept, he has orange hair that is tied back in a short ponytail. His long bangs sweep to his right, covering his right eye. He wears a pale green open coat with red lining and gold buttons. Under the coat is a dark, dull green shirt and a pair of wide, dull brown pants that close off just below the knee. On his feet, he wears long, off-white socks and a pair of low-top brown shoes. His accessories are a black hat, black suspenders that hang from his pants and a pair of short, dark gray gloves.
- Originally, Roman was only going to appear in Volume 1. However, Monty Oum, Miles Luna, and Kerry Shawcross grew to love his character and how Gray G. Haddock voiced him, and they decided to keep him around for a while longer.
- In the original Volume 1 Opening storyboard, Roman is shown for a moment when the screen turns dark, smoke swirls into a central point, and that point turns into a lit cigar that illuminates the screen to reveal his face.