A ChatGPT prompt for solo roleplaying Dungeons & Dragons

Here’s an overview of the prompt I’m currently using to play D&D with ChatGPT:

In my mind, I’ve got as new talk that evaluates several of the AIs out there based on how well they can play Dungeons and Dragons. After using ChatGPT for about a year, I have first hand experience that makes all the hype - good and negative - seems a lot less amazing. ChatGPT is practical, it’s quick, fun, and even creative. But, it’s not perfect at being a D&D dungeon master right out of the box. It takes a lot of work, adapting, and work on the player’s part. This feels like a good test case to learn and experiment with what exactly all this AI stuff can do in all domains, business or fun.

While it’s a game, Dungeons and Dragons has extensive rules, almost endless lore and commentary on the Internet, and an open ended nature that means you can do anything. To work well, it requires strict adherence to a lengthy set of rules, but a lot of judgement in how they’re applied and interpreted. And, at the same time success at Dungeons and Dragons requires a lot imagination, creativity, and, well, making shit up.

That’s just like business strategy, marketing, product development, maybe therapy, law, and most things that are high-value activities. I mean, what do us humans do except try to predict what is going to happen next and predict what should happen next, or, predict what we want to happen next?

Put another way, I think if I can get ChatGPT to play a dungeon master well, I can probably get it to do other human-creative things well.

Furthermore, there’s a lot of these generative AI things out there. How would you rate them? Usually you take the same problem/task, come up with some criteria for grading the thing’s performance, and then run that test across all the options. That’s the second part that I want to do: come up with a way of rating and judging the performance of each AI setup. In this case, when it comes to being a dungeon master.

If I come up with a few criteria and test cases (like, an adventure to play on each), I can evaluate ChatGPT versus Bard versus a Tanzu OSS stack versus Bing/CoPilot versus Claude (whenever it’s available in the EU) versus Watsonx, etc. & what have you.

We’ll see! This could also just be an elaborate excuse to play D&D instead of organizing my desk drawers.

The, uh, “analysis” of my prompt above is based on a session I did live today which you can also watch if you’re into seeing it all happen step by step. It ends right as combat starts with some goblins, which I’ll have to pick-up next time. In that livestream recording, you can see the tool-chain and technique I use for solo playing with ChatGPT, along with some commentary on the project.

If you want to check out the prompt more, it’s in the description of the video.

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DevOpsDays LA, March 15th, “We Fear Change” talk; KubeCon EU, March 19th. Executive dinner in Dallas, March 31st.


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