OGL WotC: We Are Not Making AI Dungeon Masters

Adding to the recent spate of YouTube-based claims about WotC's plans for Dungeons & Dragons were some additional claims -- (a) that D&D Beyond would have $30 subscription fee; (b) that homebrew content would not be permitted on lower tiers; and (c) that DDB was actively working on AI Dungeon Masters.

Some of this was based on a (long ago debunked) slide from a presentation last year.

WotC has made some clarifications:

Hey, everyone. We’ve seen misinformation popping up, and want to address it directly so we can dispel your concerns.

Rumors of a $30 subscription fee are false.

No one at Wizards is working on AI DMs. We love our human DMs too much. If you’re looking for a DM, we suggest heading to our Discord where DMs and parties are looking for players.

We have designers whose core job it is to compile, analyze, and then act upon your feedback. Your feedback has made the game better over the past decade, and your feedback is central to D&D’s future.

Homebrewing is core to D&D Beyond. It's not going away, and we're not going to charge you for it. Your homebrew is, and always will be, yours. We’ve always been excited to see your creations both on and off D&D Beyond!

There is still no clear statement regarding the Open Gaming License v1.0a, however.
 

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I mean, just because no one is working on it doesn't mean it's not a stupid thing an executive promised the shareholders. Remember "You will be able to use your AI gun on other games?"

People who have no idea how anything works beyond their bank account will say anything to convince other people who have no idea how anything works to put money in their bank account.
Juicero immediately comes to mind.
 

arakasi

Explorer
Yugioh is kids friendly (in the US) and uses more then a little bit of Cthulhu themes and concepts.

Infact, one of the funniest things I ever did to my players was take a season long arc from Yughio GX, mix in an episode of Ducktales and file off the serial numbers and run it as a Cthulhu adventure... the best part is, as the final dark rider was about to appear, one of the players caught it... and blurted out in shock where I got my insperation.

Not as good as my 3e (not 3.5) gummy bear adventure where no one got it until the halfing asked if disguise self would let him pretend to be one of the dukes oger gaurds and everyone laughed at the idea of a small oger... then two them figured it out.
I'm writing a South American CoC adventure based on Encanto.

You really don't want to talk about Bruno....
 

Clint_L

Hero
Technically we have this, in the form of Baldur's gate III, Pillars of Eternity, Pathfinder CRPGs, Solasta, etc.

But a ChatGPT-enabled DM is a long way off, I think.
I'm a teacher. It is causing an absolute tectonic shift in education, and that shift has only begun. Everyone is freaking out because this technology is here, now, and better than I think most folks realize. It could, right now, easily pass all the assessment tasks needed to earn many undergraduate degrees.

And if you work in communications, you had best be looking over your shoulder, especially if you work in any kind of office pool. ChatGPT already can do to a lot of those jobs what robots did to a lot of manufacturing jobs 40, 50 years ago. Humans will still be necessary for that kind of communications grunt work. But a lot fewer of them.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
... why trust anything coming out of Wizbro at this point. It can all be twisted, retracted, updated, or removed.

Said as if you expect significant numbers of folks are actually trusting it, as opposed to taking what they say as food for thought and conjecture, but generally waiting for the proof to be in the pudding.

Constantly shouting "OMG THEY ARE LIARS DON'T TRUST THEM" is getting kind of insulting to our intelligence, to be honest.

I mean, it isn't like any of us have any real decisions to make until they actually put out the new license anyway. We have no trust-based actions to take!
 
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Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
And if you work in communications, you had best be looking over your shoulder, especially if you work in any kind of office pool. ChatGPT already can do to a lot of those jobs what robots did to a lot of manufacturing jobs 40, 50 years ago. Humans will still be necessary for that kind of communications grunt work. But a lot fewer of them.
There are a lot of AI run content mills already. If you read a web page, looking for an answer to something, and it's strangely discursive, repeats itself and sometimes has completely wrong answers alongside clearly correct ones -- and I have run into those a lot over the past six months -- no human ever touched that page.

I'm actually OK with this (other than the garbage responses when I'm looking for answers on something). I don't want or need humans to just retype someone else's news story or recipe for me, any more than I need a human to manually crank out a thousand nearly identical legal documents in a year. Some stuff the AI can have. Those aren't jobs people love now and the machines can have them.

That said, anyone who's doing a repetitive job they hate, just for the cash, machines are definitely coming for those jobs. And even the repetitive tasks in more complex jobs will likely get scooped up, too, which is fine by me. I don't want to have to manually look up data on a page and build a spreadsheet with it just to be able to begin work on my real problem. If I can send an AI agent to pull that data together for me, and rely on it to do so accurately, I'm 100% good with finding other ways to fill my work day.
 



Oofta

Legend
There are a lot of AI run content mills already. If you read a web page, looking for an answer to something, and it's strangely discursive, repeats itself and sometimes has completely wrong answers alongside clearly correct ones -- and I have run into those a lot over the past six months -- no human ever touched that page.
...

So ... what you're saying is that you could be an AI. Or maybe I'm an AI and don't even know it! :eek:
 

Oofta

Legend
I want to gently push back on this. The more I experiment with Chat GPT, the more it surprises me. I have gotten it to lead me on a step by step adventure where I was intentionally improvising in pretty random ways, and it wasn't fazed. And it's less than two months old. And not optimized for RPGs. I think we should be very cautious in what we assume AI can or can't do right now.

Massive difference between writing a static document and reacting to things in real time. I think AI could do a lot to help a DM, I just don't see it replacing a DM. If we ever get to the point of a true artificial intelligence (i.e. Data from Star Trek) instead of the expert systems that we have now, I will be the first to bow down to our new masters.
 

mangamuscle

Explorer
I mean, it isn't like any of have any real decisions to make until they actually put out the new license anyway. We have no trust-based actions to take!
I could be wrong, but my bet is that they will not release it now in the hope people will completely forget about this (you can't stay angry all the time, it is too damn tiring) and in six months time (take or give a month) they will simply send the biggest or smallest TTRPG 3pp a C&D or better yet, they will go right to the courts.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
So ... what you're saying is that you could be an AI. Or maybe I'm an AI and don't even know it! :eek:
I lot of what I do involves in talking to people outside my company to get information that has not, to date, been written down. So I have a few more years, although I'm sure eventually AI can do that work. (This is among the reasons why I've been making a serious effort to acquire new skills in my field for about 12 years now. Gotta outrun that giant boulder rolling after all of us!)
 

Dire Bare

Legend
There's no money in making a new RPG. Not by Disney standards. The only way I see Disney getting into RPGs in a serious way would be them buying Hasbro to get D&D. Which would not surprise me in the least. It would be bad though - if you think Hasbro has a problem with open content, imagine what Disney would do. There'd be lawyers at your door the first time you home brewed a monster! (Exaggerating. A little. But they have threatened legal action to force pre-schools to stop using Disney murals).
Disney isn't likely to create a new Disney RPG in house . . . but they would totes license the idea to a good partner.

This coming summer, the new Disney TCG is launching, Disney Lorcana. It is very reminiscent of Magic: the Gathering and will be a direct competitor. And seeing how WotC is causing stress in the Magic community as well . . . . .
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Disney isn't likely to create a new Disney RPG in house . . . but they would totes license the idea to a good partner.

This coming summer, the new Disney TCG is launching, Disney Lorcana. It is very reminiscent of Magic: the Gathering and will be a direct competitor. And seeing how WotC is causing stress in the Magic community as well . . . . .
Yeah, they've got outside partners producing their existing tabletop board games, most notably Ravensburger. It's easy to imagine them wanting to find a comparable RPG partner in the ttrpg space.

I think it would be very hard for any of the medium-sized RPG companies to say no to a giant bag of money fresh from Scrooge McDuck's vaults.

Given just how many Ravensburger games are out there now (it seems like a quarter of the board games in my local Target now), this feels more like a "when" and less like an "if."
 


Oofta

Legend
I lot of what I do involves in talking to people outside my company to get information that has not, to date, been written down. So I have a few more years, although I'm sure eventually AI can do that work. (This is among the reasons why I've been making a serious effort to acquire new skills in my field for about 12 years now. Gotta outrun that giant boulder rolling after all of us!)

Yeah, it may well be disruptive in ways we don't expect. Just like Excel was back in the day as an extremely basic example. We take it for granted now, just plug in numbers and out pops our calculations, but all that bookkeeping and tracking used to take monumental effort.

I don't know what impact AI will have, but AI can't think on it's own. It can crunch numbers, solve problems like predicting the shape of practically every protein. It's amazing. But it has to be directed, corrected and transformed into useful information. Our search engines are going to change and instead of pointing to articles, the AI may well give us the answer. But, and this is a big but, someone still has to write the article so that the AI can parse it out and regurgitate it. There's a lot of promise with AI, but there are also a lot of flaws.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Yeah, it may well be disruptive in ways we don't expect. Just like Excel was back in the day as an extremely basic example. We take it for granted now, just plug in numbers and out pops our calculations, but all that bookkeeping and tracking used to take monumental effort.
Travel agents also used to be a super-common job in the U.S. Now, they're all but gone and the ones that remain either offer very specific services that the websites cannot or cater to an old and tech-phobic audience.

I remember watching the conversation about Lotus-1-2-3 go from "this software could never replace traditional bookkeepers" to suddenly there being a lot fewer bookkeepers around. Lots of industries have been hollowed out this way, in ways we don't even recognize.
 


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