A day with few real distractions, I manged to make some progress. I was stuck during my efforts to 3d render a head, so I shifted goals and instead used my time to craft a simple, 3d treasure chest. It's enough of a staple that it would eventually be needed in my project, and with few enough details. However, having not built one up before, I found myself taking the better part of the day figuring out how to get it looking the way I wanted it to. Now, I do intend to modify it further in the future (I haven't made an animation of it opening), but to start everything out, I'm going for functionality before I worry if everything's pretty enough.
In addition to creating a treasure chest, I've begun compiling a list of items I'll potentially want to render in 3d besides the characters. Once I design a baseline human I can do quick modifications and proliferate for generic NPCs and humanoid enemies, or custom modification to represent specific characters. Either way, I feel my time learning 3d is best spent on simpler applications first. You're mileage may vary.
As far as heads go, two issues were frustating me: figuring out how I wanted to sculpt a chin, and figuring out how to put together an eye. Painting the eye on a sphere didn't seem to work for me, and I've yet to figure out how to bind 2 separate objects (I came up with a work-around for separating components from objects). I did, however, realize that I could use extruded edges to shore up the gaps between the eyeball and the eye socket. Amazing how difficult it can be to discover the obvious.