Daily Illuminator

May 17, 2023: Experimenting With AI


I recently read Dave McKean's Prompt: Conversations With AI and found myself inspired. AI tools are powerful, inaccurate, and ethically questionable, but we cannot deny that they're here to stay unless something dramatic happens. I had toyed with AI software a little, but it was McKean's work that led me to take a much closer look at the tools and how they could possibly be used in gaming.

After several tests, I think that AI text generators can trigger some ideas, and maybe provide the gamemaster with some snippets of text to use in a session, but the AI systems are a long way from replacing talented game designers. 

I ran several experiments, and Steve thought it might be fun to share the results with you. Here are two prompts and the responses from the AI.

Prompt - A fairly simple idea. Let's see how the AI handles crafting a rumor for an RPG.

Please give me a 132 word tabletop fantasy roleplaying game rumor regarding an ogre, an apple pie, and a lost dog.


Rumor has it that deep in the forest, there is an ogre who has developed a taste for apple pie. It is said that he will stop at nothing to get his hands on a freshly baked pie, and he has been known to terrorize nearby villages in his quest for the perfect dessert. Some even claim that he has kidnapped a local baker and forced them to make pie after pie until he finds one that satisfies his cravings.

However, there is more to this story than just an ogre and a pie. It is said that the ogre has also taken in a lost dog as his companion, and that he treats the pup with surprising tenderness. Some say that the dog is the key to defeating the ogre, as he will do anything to protect his furry friend.

Will your adventurers be able to outsmart the ogre and rescue the baker's lost dog? Only time will tell . . .

Prompt - This time around, a two-step process. I found an AI image (located here) and then wrote a prompt inspired by that image.

Write a 100 word fantasy roleplaying game encounter where the party is lost in a giant hedge maze and has to find their way out before sunrise. Why? When dawn comes, anyone trapped within the maze is eaten by the plants.


As the moon rises high above the hedge maze, the party finds themselves hopelessly lost. Time is running out, as the legend goes that when the sun rises, the plants within the maze will come to life and consume any who are trapped inside. The twisting paths and towering walls seem to change with each turn, making it impossible to navigate. With the clock ticking down, the party must rely on their wits and teamwork to find the exit before it's too late. Will they be able to escape the deadly maze and see the light of day once more, or will they become another meal for the ravenous plants?

The tools aren't perfect, but they're definitely worth your time if you need a quick idea or two before the next session starts.

-- Phil Reed

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