A few weeks ago, I experimented with asking ChatGPT to be my dungeon master. I asked it:
I want you to be my Dungeon Master and run a small adventure for me. I will be playing a halfling rogue called "Bent". The adventure begins when Bent wakes up in a cell and cannot rember how he got there -- all he can tell that the cell seems to be in the cellar of a larger house or castle, because through the window of the cell he can hear faint sounds that seem to stem from a kitchen where a feast is being prepared. We will play like this: You describe the scene to me and ask me what I want to do. You do not presume any activities I might undertake, ask me and I will tell you how Bent reacts to what you describe. I will describe what Bent does by writing in first person. Let's start, please describe to me how Bent wakes up in the cell and what he sees.
I was excited to see that ChatGPT threw in a mysterious symbol that was in the cell, but interactions with the symbol went nowhere. So after we were finished with the small adventure, I asked ChatGPT for the backstory. The response was
The symbols you encountered in your adventure are fictional and were included as part of the story. They were meant to add a sense of mystery and intrigue to the setting and to give you, the player, something to think about and investigate.
The symbols had no specific meaning, they were created to add depth to the story and to create an atmosphere of uncertainty and danger. Their purpose was to make you question what was happening and to add an element of mystery to the story. As a dungeon master, I was trying to build an immersive experience for you and the symbols were a tool to achieve that.
In my next attempt, I first prompted ChatGPT to come up with some elements of a backstory and then chose some of them randomly for an adventure. I asked for
- seven villains with a secret agenda that are respected members of society
- a reason, why each of the villains might give a dinner party
- possible evidence for each villain's nefarious activities
- ten possible guests at such a dinner party
- seven henchmen, which might be working for any of the villains
Then I told ChatGPT the following:
Now I want you to act as dungeon master in a roleplaying game. Pick at random one of the villains and five of the guests and two of the henchman. The setting of the game will be a dinner party given by the villain, to which he has invited the five random guests and me. I will play Bent, a halfling rogue and con man who is impersonating an ambassador from a faraway dukedom and who has been tasked with infiltrating the villains home, find prove of his nefarious activities and escape from the home with the evidence. The evidence should be located in one of the ten rooms of the house. We will play like this: You describe the scene to me and ask me what I want to do. You do not presume any activities I might undertake, ask me and I will tell you how Bent reacts to what you describe. I will describe what Bent does by writing in first person. Let us start the game: describe the scene when I arrive at the villains home and the door is opened by one of his henchmen.
The adventure that ensued was a bit better than the first one. Obviously still a long, long cry from having an human as dungeon master, but it shows how prompts result in better output by ChatGPT also for using it as a DMs tool (or as DM itself, in this case).
If you are interested, you can read the transcripts of my first try
and my second try
in full, but to be honest, I concur with what @Grendel_Khan
just said about wishing one could get back the time spent with reading longish ChatGPT output. So you might want to skip reading the transcripts and better try out ChatGPT as dungeon master yourself if you are interested into how that goes.