AI is likely to be either the best or worst thing to happen to humanity.Stephen Hawking
The Role of ChatGPT in My TTRPG Journey
In this post I’m going to attempt to describe how I use ChatGPT to enhance my solo roleplaying game experiences. Revealing the transformative impact of AI technology on the TTRPG landscape, highlighting how ChatGPT not only improved my gameplay but also revolutionized my approach to game preparation, storytelling, and improvisation.
What is ChatGPT
ChatGPT is a cutting-edge artificial intelligence model developed by OpenAI that uses deep learning to generate human like text based on your prompts give it. It excels in understanding and generating human-like text, and can engage in detailed conversations, answer questions, and even help in creative writing. Think of it like an advanced chatbot with the ability to understand and respond with context and nuance, making it feel more like a conversation with a human than with a machine.
If used effectively, it can be used as a great tool for your TTRPG solo and group sessions.
The Hot Debate
Numerous debates exist around the merits and drawbacks of using AI, particularly in the context of tabletop role-playing games. While some favor its use, others stand firmly against it. My aim here isn’t to engage in that debate, but to share my personal approach and experiences using AI in my own games.
It’s intriguing to observe how Kickstarter has recently established a policy around AI for their creators. Upon reading it, you’ll find that it’s a well-considered policy, primarily aiming at transparency. They want creators to disclose the extent and manner in which they’ve employed AI in their projects. In this post, I plan to do just that – disclose my usage of AI. Hopefully, my insights could prove beneficial to you.
What I will say, is that if and when any of my adventures, sourcebooks, etc. are published I will have ensured that they do not include AI generated art, and more than likely very limited AI text. At that point, I would either work on the artwork myself or hire a human to perform that task for me. AI can be used as a tool, and within this site and my games I use it for inspiration, but it shouldn’t be a complete replacement for people who have made this their livelihood.
Is it live? Or is it Memorex?
You might not be familiar with the phrase “Is it live? Or is it Memorex?” This phrase seeped into popular culture during the early 80s. I bring this up because it poses a similar question to the one I’m raising about this post: Is it original? Or is it an AI’s contribution? Is it authentically me or just a collection of sentences produced by ChatGPT because I perhaps didn’t feel like creating my own content? Or maybe it’s content from ChatGPT that I requested to be reformulated, taking my original thoughts and reshaping them into a more polished, reader-friendly format?
To clear the air, this content is my original thought, reworded with the assistance of ChatGPT.
However not EVERYTHING you read here has been sent through ChatGPT for re-interpretation. This paragraph wasn’t. However, I tend to babble and at times I re-read through what I’ve typed and realize I may have completely lost the reader, and I’ll use it to reword certain portions to help get my point across.
One of greatest mentors in software development told me over 30 years ago “Use the right tool, for the right job“. And it’s something I keep in mind to this very day. And that’s just what I use ChatGPT for. As a tool to assist me, not as a replacement for my own creativity.
This site was established to share information related to my solo roleplaying game experiences, how I solo roleplay and the resources I use. I have many solo roleplaying games I’m starting up, or already playing and I’ve established different chat sessions with ChatGPT to keep track of things. For example, as of today, this is what it looks like:
The above screenshot shows just a few of the various chat sessions I am using within ChatGPT go organize my content.
For starters, I’m currently using ChatGPT Organizer to allow me to group the chats within folders for better organization. For each solo game I have, I structure the title of the chat to something like “RPG-TOB-gamename-SGX” where RPG is obviously Roleplaying Game, TOB is The Old Bard, gamename is replaced by the actual game, and SGX reflects which solo game, 1, 2, 3 etc.
Initiating a new solo game usually begins with me informing ChatGPT with a message like, “I’m launching a new solo experience with the Dune: Adventures in the Imperium Roleplaying Game. This chat will serve as the repository for all information related to this specific gaming journey.” In response, ChatGPT often suggests intriguing ideas related to that specific game, assuming it possesses the knowledge about it.
As I move into the prep work and character development phase, I share relevant information with ChatGPT as it emerges. I also provide contextual data from the core rulebook to aid ChatGPT in better understanding and enhancing the game development process.
A great use is after I create a character, I post into ChatGPT with the meanings of sections on the character sheet. For example, I say “No response needed, but this character has the following values for their Skills.” followed by those skills, and then I put the skill description into ChatGPT. When the character creation is complete, I feed all of that in, along with my initial concept and background for the character and have it generate a professional description for the character. For example, see this character page: Alessandra Maestoso.
As you can witness from the screenshot above, I fully typed out in this post what I wanted to say but wanted to clean it up a bit, so I asked ChatGPT to do that for me. I do that quite a bit.
As for a specific game, after I’ve created my characters etc. A great example of further use from ChatGPT can be evidenced in the session 1 post I have for my solo game of the ALIEN RPG here: Well… that was interesting: ALIEN RPG Solo Game 1 – Havoc Dawn: Session 1 – Prologue.
Specifically in that session, I was rolling on Mythic meaning tables to try to form some context against an Interrupt scene as I was just starting out the game. However nothing was really forming in my mind.
I put the following into ChatGPT in my “RPG-TOB-Alien RPG SG1” chat session:
She finds Rick at his residence. I have two meaning words that describe Rick. Creepy and Start. Give me a description of her finding RIck with these two words.
You can see the response that ChatGPT gave me along with the beginning of my follow up for it:
Generally, I try to NOT use ChatGPT for this, but if I’m stuck, then I’m stuck.
ChatGPT has become a valuable tool in various aspects of my TTRPG journey, from creating intricate narratives and intriguing characters, to providing immersive dialogues and game mastering guidance.
There are countless other ways in which I utilize ChatGPT to enrich my gameplay, but I’ll reserve those insights for a future post. I’m also contemplating producing a video detailing its specific application in character creation and description as illustrated. If that’s something you’d find useful, do let me know!
Balancing a full-time job and family responsibilities with my recently discovered passion can be tricky, but ChatGPT assists me in navigating through these constraints effortlessly, making every moment of my gaming journey enjoyable.