In this episode of the Lair of Secrets podcast, we’re talking about generative AI as a tool in gaming! We’re looking at how the overhyped tech can assist game masters and players alike. We provide real-game examples of using ChatGPT prompts both during prep and in game.
Main topic: ChatGPT and Generative AI in RPG Prep
- What do we mean when we talk about AI?
- How does it work?
- Generative AI in Gaming
- Explanation of the role of AI in gaming history, and how generative AI models have changed the game. (This is for video games, however, tools for TTRPGs can be extrapolated)
- Generative AI systems have been utilized in games like Dwarf Fortress and Deep Rock Galactic for procedural level and environment generation
- Ubisoft’s Ghostwriter AI assists scriptwriters in creating varied and engaging NPC dialogues, freeing their time for other core plot elements.
- Generative AI systems are increasingly used in the gaming industry, including in voice synthesis and text-to-speech, but human creativity and judgment remain crucial in the development process
Benefits of using Generative AI in RPGs
- Benefits of Using Generative AI in RPGs
- Enhancing creativity: AI can generate content that is unexpected, creating a sense of novelty and exploration.
- Reducing game master workload: AI can automate aspects of game management, such as NPC interactions and world generation.
- NPC Dialogue Generation
- Example Prompt: “Generate a dialogue for a suspicious tavern owner when players ask about the local rumors.”
- Plot Development
- Example Prompt: “The players have just found a mysterious artifact in an ancient temple. What could be the implications or potential story arcs?”
- World Building
- Example Prompt: “Describe a bustling market in a futuristic cyberpunk city.”
- NPC Character Creation
- Example Prompt: “Create a character profile for a rogue elf with a mysterious past.”
- Scenario Planning
- Example Prompt: “What kind of challenges or obstacles could the players encounter while navigating through a haunted forest?”
- Campaign Backstory Creation
- Example Prompt: “Provide a backstory for a campaign set in a world where magic is considered a crime.”
- Creating Unique Items or Spells
- Example Prompt: “Create a unique magical item for a level 10 wizard.”
- Generating Puzzles or Riddles
- Example Prompt: “Generate a riddle that the players must solve to unlock a hidden door in a crypt.”
- Rules Clarification
- Example Prompt: “What are the rules for casting a spell using a bonus action in D&D 5e?”
- Improvisation Assistance
- Example Prompt: “The players have taken an unexpected turn and decided to ally with the villain. How could this affect the storyline?”
- NPC Dialogue Generation
- Personalization: AI can adapt the game to individual players’ styles and preferences.
- Accessibility: AI can make RPGs more accessible for those who might not have a human game master or a group to play with. (Solo RPG enhancement)
Examples of using ChatGPT in Role-Playing Game Prep
- Examples of things we have done
- Chris’s Dresden Game
- Individual plot paths for players
- Enhanced search and extrapolation as fodder
- Riddles and poems
- Rules crunching
- NO MATH
- David’s steampunk game
- One shot game
- Starting with a description of the setting
- Helped with the title of the setting
- Created character stats for the player characters
- Not perfect, but good enough for a one shot
- Worked with creating character descriptions
- Used those descriptions to create character portraits in Midjourney
- Names – overkill for a name generator
- Descriptions of locations
- Helped with different plot ideas
- Ken’s Elemental Apocalypse game
- Brainstorming fire-themed character ideas for an evil adventuring party.
- When the players decided to find a safe place to hide/recover after a big combat, Ken used ChatGPT to quickly brainstorm a hidden cave protected by a sentient, knowledge-obsessed waterfall.
- Ken’s Cyberpunk RED game
- Create a screamsheet for Cyberpunk RED that includes 5 stories of less than 50 words each. Include the day’s lottery numbers and three day forecast for Night City.
- Chris’s Dresden Game
Challenges with AI and RPGs
- Challenges and Limitations of Generative AI in RPGs
- Unpredictability: AI-generated content can sometimes be nonsensical or inappropriate.
- Lack of understanding and empathy: AI doesn’t truly understand human emotions or the context beyond the data it was trained on.
- Arbitrary (and sometimes transient) limitations. In one thread, ChatGPT said it wasn’t allowed to roll dice. In another, it would not generate 10 insults for tieflings (because it has to respect people regardless of background) … but would happily generate 10 insults for elves.
- Potential to overtake human roles: Discussion on the fear of AI replacing human game masters.
- Ethical considerations: Who is responsible when an AI creates inappropriate or harmful content?
- Other areas where AI is being discussed in reference to RPGs
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Featured Image Meta
A ChatGPT response for generating a screamsheet. Credit: Ken Newquist