The ORC Alliance Grows

Thursday, January 19, 2023


Open RPG logo over-layed over an image of pathfinder champion Seelah leading a battle


Over the course of the last week, more than 1,500 tabletop RPG publishers, from household names going back to the dawn of the hobby to single proprietors just starting out with their first digital release, have joined together to pledge their support for the development of a universal system-neutral open license that provides a legal “safe harbor” for sharing rules mechanics and encourages innovation and collaboration in the tabletop gaming space.

The alliance is gathered. Work has begun.

It would take too long to list all the companies behind the ORC license effort, but we thought you might be interested to see a few of the organizations already pledged toward this common goal. We are honored to be allied with them, as well as with the equally important participating publishers too numerous to list here. Each is crucial to the effort’s success. The list below is but a representative sample of participating publishers from a huge variety of market segments with a huge variety of perspectives. But we all agree on one thing.

We are all in this together.

  • Alchemy RPG
  • Arcane Minis
  • Atlas Games
  • Autarch
  • Azora Law
  • Black Book Editions
  • Bombshell Miniatures
  • BRW Games
  • Chaosium
  • Cze & Peku
  • Demiplane
  • DMDave
  • The DM Lair
  • Elderbrain
  • EN Publishing
  • Epic Miniatures
  • Evil Genius Games
  • Expeditious Retreat Press
  • Fantasy Grounds
  • Fat Dragon Games
  • Forgotten Adventures
  • Foundry VTT
  • Free RPG Day
  • Frog God Games
  • Gale Force 9
  • Game On Tabletop
  • Giochi Uniti
  • Goodman Games
  • Green Ronin
  • The Griffon’s Saddlebag
  • Iron GM Games
  • Know Direction
  • Kobold Press
  • Lazy Wolf Studios
  • Legendary Games
  • Lone Wolf Development
  • Loot Tavern
  • Louis Porter Jr. Designs
  • Mad Cartographer
  • Minotaur Games
  • Mongoose Publishing
  • MonkeyDM
  • Monte Cook Games
  • MT Black
  • Necromancer Games
  • Nord Games
  • Open Gaming, Inc.
  • Paizo Inc.
  • Paradigm Concepts
  • Pelgrane Press
  • Pinnacle Entertainment Group
  • Raging Swan Press
  • Rogue Games
  • Rogue Genius Games
  • Roll 20
  • Roll for Combat
  • Sly Flourish
  • Tom Cartos
  • Troll Lord Games
  • Ulisses Spiele

You will be hearing a lot more from us in the days to come.

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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One challenge that should be considered that is introduced by this Creative Commons license and potentially exacerbated by the upcoming ORC license is whether and how a publisher can combine material published under different licenses in a new product. There is a large body of gaming material already published under OGL 1.0a and no other license, so it might need to be included for a given product. A 3pp could easily write a 5e derivative product with Creative Commons and not OGL 1.0a. And of course Paizo will eventually be publishing PF2 products with the ORC license and not OGL 1.0a.

So that introduces the challenge of what happens if another publisher wants to use material from the three different products in a single product of his own. There is probably already a solution for combining OGL 1.0a with the Creative Commons license now used by WotC, but it will be up to the team working on the ORC license to figure out how ORC does or does not play with the other two licenses.


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The lich may have backed down, but this is a temporary set back for them.


I‘m wondering about the lack of mention of older editions:
they put 5th edition under CC but not 1st to 4th.
Are those just too irrelevant for WotC now, or is that a sign that 6e is going to resemble some aspect of those more than 5e?

6e going full VTT might be a good opportunity to make the rules so old school (complicated) that P&P is just unfeasible.
Why implement „advantage“ when „+20% success chance“(+4 on d20) is probably easier to program.

Watching 5e played on Youtube…
it looked pretty dumbed down to make playing faster.

When your DM is an IA and the dice are digital, this „dumbing down for fast play“ is not required at all.
6e can be fully digital source code and all 3rd party creators can do is link to CR rated monsters in the D&D-One eco system.
Or pay for the privilege to glimpse at the creation mechanics under NDA and create monsters for their content that they then give to WotC to market for them.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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DropBearHunter wrote:


6e going full VTT might be a good opportunity to make the rules so old school (complicated) that P&P is just unfeasible.
Why implement „advantage“ when „+20% success chance“(+4 on d20) is probably easier to program.

This is not a concern. It's pretty simple to program to generate 2 random numbers and use the larger one.

If you wanted to go old school to take advantage of the processing power and automation computers have you could implement systems where your chance of success was rolled on d1000 and modifiers could be as low as .1%, or have tables upon tables upon tables of modifiers for every bizarre corner case imaginable. Neither are things which I'd want to do in a table top game in person, but a computer could do pretty easily.


DropBearHunter wrote:

I‘m wondering about the lack of mention of older editions:

they put 5th edition under CC but not 1st to 4th.
Are those just too irrelevant for WotC now, or is that a sign that 6e is going to resemble some aspect of those more than 5e?

6e going full VTT might be a good opportunity to make the rules so old school (complicated) that P&P is just unfeasible.
Why implement „advantage“ when „+20% success chance“(+4 on d20) is probably easier to program.

Watching 5e played on Youtube…
it looked pretty dumbed down to make playing faster.

When your DM is an IA and the dice are digital, this „dumbing down for fast play“ is not required at all.
6e can be fully digital source code and all 3rd party creators can do is link to CR rated monsters in the D&D-One eco system.
Or pay for the privilege to glimpse at the creation mechanics under NDA and create monsters for their content that they then give to WotC to market for them.

They would most likely not release the editions already released under OGL 1.0a to be released under CC. Some of the others like the very first D&D edition, don't know.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DropBearHunter wrote:

I‘m wondering about the lack of mention of older editions:

they put 5th edition under CC but not 1st to 4th.
Are those just too irrelevant for WotC now, or is that a sign that 6e is going to resemble some aspect of those more than 5e?

6e going full VTT might be a good opportunity to make the rules so old school (complicated) that P&P is just unfeasible.
Why implement „advantage“ when „+20% success chance“(+4 on d20) is probably easier to program.

Watching 5e played on Youtube…
it looked pretty dumbed down to make playing faster.

When your DM is an IA and the dice are digital, this „dumbing down for fast play“ is not required at all.
6e can be fully digital source code and all 3rd party creators can do is link to CR rated monsters in the D&D-One eco system.
Or pay for the privilege to glimpse at the creation mechanics under NDA and create monsters for their content that they then give to WotC to market for them.

The DM as an AI isn't going to be a real thing for a long time. Not as more than a gimmick. Or unless they're really just making scripted video games.

And for the VTT if you go too far with it, it's not just 3rd party creators who can't do much, but GMs can't really do anything but run official adventures with no changes or improvising.


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thejeff wrote:

I mean, if their supposed evil plan is to do really well because they've got a really great product that appeals to people and they can dominate without interfering with other creators, then I don't really have a problem with that.

Except that they are still, you know, WotC, who did that thing that one time. So I for one have a problem with it. My point was that yes, a “great” “product” will likely eventuate, and it will attract new customers/ grow the player base. All giving money, time, interest and clout to WotC who I don’t think can be good for gaming given their: executive staff, owners and the stated aims of both.


David knott 242 wrote:

One challenge that should be considered that is introduced by this Creative Commons license and potentially exacerbated by the upcoming ORC license is whether and how a publisher can combine material published under different licenses in a new product. There is a large body of gaming material already published under OGL 1.0a and no other license, so it might need to be included for a given product. A 3pp could easily write a 5e derivative product with Creative Commons and not OGL 1.0a. And of course Paizo will eventually be publishing PF2 products with the ORC license and not OGL 1.0a.

So that introduces the challenge of what happens if another publisher wants to use material from the three different products in a single product of his own. There is probably already a solution for combining OGL 1.0a with the Creative Commons license now used by WotC, but it will be up to the team working on the ORC license to figure out how ORC does or does not play with the other two licenses.

Well, that creates problems of its own.


thejeff wrote:

]The DM as an AI isn't going to be a real thing for a long time. Not as more than a gimmick. Or unless they're really just making scripted video games.

And for the VTT if you go too far with it, it's not just 3rd party creators who can't do much, but GMs can't really do anything but run official adventures with no changes or improvising.

From what I was seeing, it sounds like the "AI GM" might be mistaking an ability to solo-play pre-made modules. Basically like you said, a scripted video game version of the module. And good point about it being too closed would eliminate GM's ability to do anything else.


Don't expect an AI GM to need to be too strict. I'm currently in preproduction on a game that will have a very flexible ability to run modules. The flexibility achievable just by me alone is high. I can't imagine what a big studio could achieve if they actually tried. BTW, if you want to see such a game made faster and better, I'm always looking for help.


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GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Don't expect an AI GM to need to be too strict. I'm currently in preproduction on a game that will have a very flexible ability to run modules. The flexibility achievable just by me alone is high. I can't imagine what a big studio could achieve if they actually tried. BTW, if you want to see such a game made faster and better, I'm always looking for help.

I played a scenario once where we concentrated so hard on one little detail from the briefing that we got to 4 hours without even hitting the first scripted encounter, with the GM making stuff up on the fly and the players enjoying themselves immensely.

It's going to be a while before machine learning can duplicate that.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is a photo I took of our game last night. Our GM (who is a player in the game I run) puts in massive effort for his games, and we players are highly appreciative of his efforts. No VTT or AI will ever be able to replace this experience for me.


Andy Brown wrote:
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Don't expect an AI GM to need to be too strict. I'm currently in preproduction on a game that will have a very flexible ability to run modules. The flexibility achievable just by me alone is high. I can't imagine what a big studio could achieve if they actually tried. BTW, if you want to see such a game made faster and better, I'm always looking for help.

I played a scenario once where we concentrated so hard on one little detail from the briefing that we got to 4 hours without even hitting the first scripted encounter, with the GM making stuff up on the fly and the players enjoying themselves immensely.

It's going to be a while before machine learning can duplicate that.

No doubt about that at all. I'm just saying that the possibilities for AI GMing are not as limited as implied by others both here and elsewhere. Not by a longshot.

Silver Crusade

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Fumarole wrote:
This is a photo I took of our game last night. Our GM (who is a player in the game I run) puts in massive effort for his games, and we players are highly appreciative of his efforts. No VTT or AI will ever be able to replace this experience for me.

Actually, the part of your GM which is them getting really cool miniatures and lots of evocative scenery is likely to be EXACTLY the kind of thing that a really good VTT or AI will be able to do.

Note, I'm most certainly NOT saying that is all your GM does. But it is what the photo you posted shows. And what the photo shows WILL be done better by a really good VTT in the future (at least for people with a high bandwidth connection).

Heck, the demos of WOTCs upcoming engine are already pretty impressive for that kind of thing.


Fumarole wrote:
This is a photo I took of our game last night. Our GM (who is a player in the game I run) puts in massive effort for his games, and we players are highly appreciative of his efforts. No VTT or AI will ever be able to replace this experience for me.

that’s impressive

it also is „one sample“ which makes for a poor statistic ;-)

AI DM doesn‘t need to be THAT good
just slightly less good than the average DM
who can now also play.


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pauljathome wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
This is a photo I took of our game last night. Our GM (who is a player in the game I run) puts in massive effort for his games, and we players are highly appreciative of his efforts. No VTT or AI will ever be able to replace this experience for me.

Actually, the part of your GM which is them getting really cool miniatures and lots of evocative scenery is likely to be EXACTLY the kind of thing that a really good VTT or AI will be able to do.

Note, I'm most certainly NOT saying that is all your GM does. But it is what the photo you posted shows. And what the photo shows WILL be done better by a really good VTT in the future (at least for people with a high bandwidth connection).

Heck, the demos of WOTCs upcoming engine are already pretty impressive for that kind of thing.

Agreed. The very best games I've ever played in have not had all the perfect cool minis and evocative scenery.

Some had none at all, others just sketched maps and vaguely appropriate tokens. Some also didn't even have fight scenes (or those weren't the memorable parts.)

One of the things I'd be worried about with this new VTT is how easy it would be to fall back to plain 2D maps, if you're playing something that doesn't have a prebuilt 3D set piece for you. It's a lot easier to drop in a map image and lay a grid on it, than to build a 3d mockup of an area. And then you're likely limited to the components the tool has available.


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thejeff wrote:

...

One of the things I'd be worried about with this new VTT is how easy it would be to fall back to plain 2D maps, if you're playing something that doesn't have a prebuilt 3D set piece for you. It's a lot easier to drop in a map image and lay a grid on it, than to build a 3d mockup of an area. And then you're likely limited to the components the tool has available.

Not if done right. It'd be pretty easy to make tools that could quickly build up 3d rooms. Or it could be done horribly.

Good tools would practically build the dungeon around your mouse.

Just from two minutes of thought I can figure out that you can have scale based tools. You can start by selecting environment such as forest, desert ruins, caverns, moldy dungeon, etc.

Next tool, draw a few lines which generate a basic set of rooms based on the lines. Then select entire areas to raise or lower (stairs handled automagically). Outside areas could just jump straight to height and greebles and major set pieces.

Next you can scale down and start adjusting specific rooms, add columns, alters, and other major set pieces.

Next, greeble brushes that a few quick selections and you can just paint swathes if your map and have appropriate greebles place themselves for atmosphere.

Retain full capacity for handling every small thing if you really want to, but just the above would let you build a map roughly similar to a sketch you might draw in about 5 minutes. You could then focus any additional time on specific details if you wanted.

Heck, it'd be quick enough to put a map together at the table during play once you get familiar with it.

If I did it, I'd even make it so the GM could be building on the dungeon just ahead of the players if desired.

Liberty's Edge

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Forgive me, long post, but one intended to help clear up actual misconceptions that I think are leading not only to folks missing the point here but ALSO essentially spreading misinformation based on badly worded tweets and an explanation that is grounded in additional info that has come to light.

One thing that I think a LOT of the folks are missing here in the AI GM talk is that the context surrounding it was muddled to the point that DND Shorts even retracted the "leak" and took heat for it while providing additional info afterward that was vetted and clarified far better so let me explain.

The whole AI GM thing from what I have heard, and what I personally do actually believe, is that the discussion around it and talk internally about it in the leak was something like hyperbole when what they were ACTUALLY discussing was far different than what springs to mind when you read a headline that reads "WIZARDS WANTS TO REPLACE YOU WITH AN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AS THE GM!" which, admittedly, if far more likely to solicit a reaction.

AI or possibly just even programmed automation that was being talked about was INSTEAD speaking on the subject of implementing assistive help that is automatically resolved for the kind of mundane tasks that a GM normally has to handle at a game such as resolving hits versus AC, Saving Throws, what is visible behind a door, handling "fog of war," if an entryway is locked when checked, what is inside of the chest and so forth. In many ways, this is very VERY much NOTHING like what is being discussed at all but in most ways should instead be looked at much like a software-driven "Co-GM/DM" (BAH, I'm just going to stick with GM, who cares if it's DnD or not *grumpy old man noises*) who facilitates all of the boring, rote, predictable, and guaranteed sort of functions of the system on the behalf of the GM while that GM is instead free to handle EVERYTHING ELSE that is important, subject to improvisation, GM calls, narration, and so forth. I'm talking about things like "I push the door open, what happens?" in a module that is already either premade or created by the GM with specified parameters. There is absolutely NO REASON for the game to stop in order to for the GM to "resolve" the door opening if there doesn't need to be a long or drawn-out explanation, revelation, description, or other such heavy-work if all that should happen is that the GM says "the door opens, you see a hallway in front of you" and then proceeds to spend 10-120 seconds updating the Fog of war lines.

Now, THIS kind of thing that those WotC employees were referring to as AI GMs is NOTHING like what has been discussed here and in most other online spaces and in the context of a VTT... I think it's, frankly, a FREAKING GREAT IDEA, not something that should be pushed back against. It also helps explains why DnD Beyond immediately was able to fire back with their confirmed Twitter Account that AI GMs aren't a thing they're working on because... well, that idea is misleading, and even IF the thing the leaks went onto explain that they ARE working on leverage AI in any way it doesn't represent the core thesis of the idea that the whole fanbase has actually been rallying against.

Feel free to continue as you were but I wanted to make sure that SOMEONE here chimed in with the actual and real context behind the whole subject that sparked the debate in the first place.


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The clarification is great, but frankly such an AI is only useful for a set style of play and notably when the GM doesn't need to adjust or adapt things. Frankly, I'm disappointed at any player that doesn't need me to adjudicate such things regularly. Even attacks should be getting +2/-2 depending on player description and even the mundane checks are likewise.

Further, it's not uncommon for me to make changes on the fly from inspiration based on what the players do, often with impact on rolls,

Lastly, mechanics are communication about the world, not a game unto themselves. This kind of AI assistance seems like it would only help with checks that I'd rarely ask for.


thejeff wrote:
DropBearHunter wrote:

I‘m wondering about the lack of mention of older editions:

they put 5th edition under CC but not 1st to 4th.
Are those just too irrelevant for WotC now, or is that a sign that 6e is going to resemble some aspect of those more than 5e?

6e going full VTT might be a good opportunity to make the rules so old school (complicated) that P&P is just unfeasible.
Why implement „advantage“ when „+20% success chance“(+4 on d20) is probably easier to program.

Watching 5e played on Youtube…
it looked pretty dumbed down to make playing faster.

When your DM is an IA and the dice are digital, this „dumbing down for fast play“ is not required at all.
6e can be fully digital source code and all 3rd party creators can do is link to CR rated monsters in the D&D-One eco system.
Or pay for the privilege to glimpse at the creation mechanics under NDA and create monsters for their content that they then give to WotC to market for them.

The DM as an AI isn't going to be a real thing for a long time. Not as more than a gimmick. Or unless they're really just making scripted video games.

And for the VTT if you go too far with it, it's not just 3rd party creators who can't do much, but GMs can't really do anything but run official adventures with no changes or improvising.

Basically, AI GM is easy to implement (to a point). AI is basically fancy way of saying conditional logic. At minimum, it would be somethin used to make turn based games like the SSI published D&D games for multiplayer and kind of like what what was done in Baldur's Gate games.

The game mechanics, rules, SRDs, are basically a logic tree. If you follow it to the letter, you can certainly make a conditional logic tree. Roll of dies would be at minimum an Random number generator setup. RNGs can be true random if you employ certain measures, it won't be a PRNG (pseudo random number generator). It won't be quite like rolling the dice but it can be more cheat resistant in some ways. People can cheat with dice by controlling how they roll the dice to steer the odds in their favor even with regular dice not loaded dice (cheat dice). However, different type of cheating would have to be defended against with computerized RPG game play. However, the sophistication of the conditional logic can be fairly impressive for 'automating' game mechanics and eliminating some of the time to do such matters manually.

There are caveats. AI layers can be advance and sophisticated where you can use dice and the system setup can read the dice numbers like OCR scanning the numbers from the photo image of the dice and all. You can also have more sophisticated A.I. where it can analyze what you say (spoken) or write and determine what you want to do but there maybe limits that is different than the free flow nature of human GMs and particular house rules modifying or changing (departuring from strict canonical game rules, mechanics).

There's pros and cons in all this. AI GMs would remove human subjectivity of the rules.... no GM rule bending or changes. So, mechanics would have a more strict interpretation of the "rules by the numbers" logic. Then of course specific interpretations of the rules are set and established and that is how it would be played out... much akin to a tournament where there is a specific interpretation policy of the rules which may differ to how you may play the game in your local game group.

Of course, video games will be more scripted with regards to campaigns but this can be less "scripted" in feel if you allow and build into the mechanics a very wide range of circumstances and outcomes. You will more likely see advancements of computerized assistance in VTTRPG than outright AI GM. If you think of it, it might be AI GM-assistant to help with things like calculations, the mechanical processing of the game mechanics system, and automating stuff that takes more time so the GM focuses more on the game play and such that is not so much the role of the computer.

With virtual dice, the computer can collect and gather the dice rolls for each player's character(s), automate the application of any pluses or negatives according to the game mechanics which itself is very much the stuff computers can do and do efficiently in milliseconds compared to humans which are slow when it comes to mathematics and logic... which is what game mechanics systems are. Let the computer aid TTRPG but not necessarily replace the human part like game story development and such.

That is what we can call a GM AIS (Game Mechanics Artificial Intelligence System) where GM in the acronym doesn't mean Game Master. It would just be a tool that aids the GM and the Players.

That we are there to some degree and continue to advance for say.... VTTRPG / CA-TTRPG (CA being computer assisted)


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It misses the point though, at least for more pure roleplay. A -2 unstable platform penalty isn't really something to add all the time, it's something to add to enhance the feeling of risk and danger, and that doesn't really happen when it's just added in the background automatically.

Frankly, I've always considered the modern playstyles, starting with the community perversion of 3e to be far too computer like as it is. Everything you suggest takes that ten times further.

A lot of the magic that truly separates ttrpgs from videogames will be lost. People will start to see it more as a highly flexible videogame (which will still fall short of my current plans anyway), but because of the association with ttrpgs, the real art of it will once again become a minority as most players won't realize enough of a difference to really separate it out from video games, and actual videogames are just about to really take of in terms of verisimilitude, which will draw away most vttrpg players after a while, bringing non-videogame rpg games down to a smaller niche market.

Of course, that's the most likely outcome if the vttrpg AI GM is generally accepted. If it's done horribly or enough people recognize what popular play has forgotten due to this ogl issue, there might still be a chance for ttrpgs to grow larger than they are now.


GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

It misses the point though, at least for more pure roleplay. A -2 unstable platform penalty isn't really something to add all the time, it's something to add to enhance the feeling of risk and danger, and that doesn't really happen when it's just added in the background automatically.

Frankly, I've always considered the modern playstyles, starting with the community perversion of 3e to be far too computer like as it is. Everything you suggest takes that ten times further.

A lot of the magic that truly separates ttrpgs from videogames will be lost. People will start to see it more as a highly flexible videogame (which will still fall short of my current plans anyway), but because of the association with ttrpgs, the real art of it will once again become a minority as most players won't realize enough of a difference to really separate it out from video games, and actual videogames are just about to really take of in terms of verisimilitude, which will draw away most vttrpg players after a while, bringing non-videogame rpg games down to a smaller niche market.

Of course, that's the most likely outcome if the vttrpg AI GM is generally accepted. If it's done horribly or enough people recognize what popular play has forgotten due to this ogl issue, there might still be a chance for ttrpgs to grow larger than they are now.

Then, perhaps you don't have all mechanics the computer apply automatically with certain ones like you said, like that -2 unstable platform penalty be triggered by the GM at times but the computer can then with it, apply it to the calculation when it's in effect by the GM. So, yes, like you said. Computer can be a tool like a calculator but more useful yet if implemented right for CA-TTRPG (computer assisted - TTRPG), the GM has more latitude of control on those things so they need not always be on. Taking rolls and doing the math work for the players and GM while allowing the degree of control for the GM for a more pure roleplay without the computer compromising it. Can it be done, absolutely. Has it been done effectively, not always.

You do have a fair point regarding how trends in the VTTRPG and AI GM has and/or appears to be heading.

Traditional TTRPG relied more on picturing in the mind and quick & dirty sketches, and maybe sketched of character or just descriptions with reference to various inspiration and appearance of your character. It's easier to make sketches 2d (although with 3d-ish appearance due to artistic skill) than to make a computer 3d model. Video games tend to lack somewhat in that fidelity of customization because it is so much work to program. As a video game developer as well, I am familiar with the challenges. The implementation of computerized assistance would need to take steps back to more traditional manual turn-basing and GM inputs. One benefit to VTTRPG with networking technologies is enabling connectivity of game groups especially as game group members move away due to real life life. So you can engage together remotely together. To maintain that spirit of traditional RPG, we have to strike the right balance of computer assist without it being dumb logic. Computers can't decide really about emotion based decisions like dramatic effect to enhance the feeling of risk and danger. Computers have the ultimate proverbial vulcan deadpan. Those things should be something human GMs can invoke as part of the theater of role-play.


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Dragon Nexus Games wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The DM as an AI isn't going to be a real thing for a long time. Not as more than a gimmick. Or unless they're really just making scripted video games.

And for the VTT if you go too far with it, it's not just 3rd party creators who can't do much, but GMs can't really do anything but run official adventures with no changes or improvising.

Basically, AI GM is easy to implement (to a point). AI is basically fancy way of saying conditional logic. At minimum, it would be somethin used to make turn based games like the SSI published D&D games for multiplayer and kind of like what what was done in Baldur's Gate games.

The game mechanics, rules, SRDs, are basically a logic tree. If you follow it to the letter, you can certainly make a conditional logic tree. Roll of dies would be at minimum an Random number generator setup. RNGs can be true random if you employ certain measures, it won't be a PRNG (pseudo random number generator). It won't be quite like rolling the dice but it can be more cheat resistant in some ways. People can cheat with dice by controlling how they roll the dice to steer the odds in their favor even with regular dice not loaded dice (cheat dice). However, different type of cheating would have to be defended against with computerized RPG game play. However, the sophistication of the conditional logic can be fairly impressive for 'automating' game mechanics and eliminating some of the time to do such matters manually.

There are caveats. AI layers can be advance and sophisticated where you can use dice and the system setup can read the dice numbers like OCR scanning the numbers from the photo image of the dice and all. You can also have more sophisticated A.I. where it can analyze what you say (spoken) or write and determine what you want to do but there maybe limits that is different than the free flow nature of human GMs and particular house rules modifying or changing (departuring from strict canonical game rules, mechanics).

There's pros and cons in all this. AI GMs would remove human subjectivity of the rules.... no GM rule bending or changes. So, mechanics would have a more strict interpretation of the "rules by the numbers" logic. Then of course specific interpretations of the rules are set and established and that is how it would be played out... much akin to a tournament where there is a specific interpretation policy of the rules which may differ to how you may play the game in your local game group.

Of course, video games will be more scripted with regards to campaigns but this can be less "scripted" in feel if you allow and build into the mechanics a very wide range of circumstances and outcomes. You will more likely see advancements of computerized assistance in VTTRPG than outright AI GM. If you think of it, it might be AI GM-assistant to help with things like calculations, the mechanical processing of the game mechanics system, and automating stuff that takes more time so the GM focuses more on the game play and such that is not so much the role of the computer.

With virtual dice, the computer can collect and gather the dice rolls for each player's character(s), automate the application of any pluses or negatives according to the game mechanics which itself is very much the stuff computers can do and do efficiently in milliseconds compared to humans which are slow when it comes to mathematics and logic... which is what game mechanics systems are. Let the computer aid TTRPG but not necessarily replace the human part like game story development and such.

That is what we can call a GM AIS (Game Mechanics Artificial Intelligence System) where GM in the acronym doesn't mean Game Master. It would just be a tool that aids the GM and the Players.

That we are there to some degree and continue to advance for say.... VTTRPG / CA-TTRPG (CA being computer assisted)

Most of this is stuff VTTs already do without it being called AI. Rolling dice, adding modifiers, determining results.

Not all conditional logic is AI. If this is all they're talking about, they don't have anything very interesting and they're basically misusing the term anyway.


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Themetricsystem wrote:

Forgive me, long post, but one intended to help clear up actual misconceptions that I think are leading not only to folks missing the point here but ALSO essentially spreading misinformation based on badly worded tweets and an explanation that is grounded in additional info that has come to light.

One thing that I think a LOT of the folks are missing here in the AI GM talk is that the context surrounding it was muddled to the point that DND Shorts even retracted the "leak" and took heat for it while providing additional info afterward that was vetted and clarified far better so let me explain.

The whole AI GM thing from what I have heard, and what I personally do actually believe, is that the discussion around it and talk internally about it in the leak was something like hyperbole when what they were ACTUALLY discussing was far different than what springs to mind when you read a headline that reads "WIZARDS WANTS TO REPLACE YOU WITH AN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AS THE GM!" which, admittedly, if far more likely to solicit a reaction.

AI or possibly just even programmed automation that was being talked about was INSTEAD speaking on the subject of implementing assistive help that is automatically resolved for the kind of mundane tasks that a GM normally has to handle at a game such as resolving hits versus AC, Saving Throws, what is visible behind a door, handling "fog of war," if an entryway is locked when checked, what is inside of the chest and so forth. In many ways, this is very VERY much NOTHING like what is being discussed at all but in most ways should instead be looked at much like a software-driven "Co-GM/DM" (BAH, I'm just going to stick with GM, who cares if it's DnD or not *grumpy old man noises*) who facilitates all of the boring, rote, predictable, and guaranteed sort of functions of the system on the behalf of the GM while that GM is instead free to handle EVERYTHING ELSE that is important, subject to improvisation, GM calls, narration, and so forth. I'm talking about things like "I push the door open, what happens?" in a module that is already either premade or created by the GM with specified parameters. There is absolutely NO REASON for the game to stop in order to for the GM to "resolve" the door opening if there doesn't need to be a long or drawn-out explanation, revelation, description, or other such heavy-work if all that should happen is that the GM says "the door opens, you see a hallway in front of you" and then proceeds to spend 10-120 seconds updating the Fog of war lines.

Now, THIS kind of thing that those WotC employees were referring to as AI GMs is NOTHING like what has been discussed here and in most other online spaces and in the context of a VTT... I think it's, frankly, a FREAKING GREAT IDEA, not something that should be pushed back against. It also helps explains why DnD Beyond immediately was able to fire back with their confirmed Twitter Account that AI GMs aren't a thing they're working on because... well, that idea is misleading, and even IF the thing the leaks went onto explain that they ARE working on leverage AI in any way it doesn't represent the core thesis of the idea that the whole fanbase has actually been rallying against.

Feel free to continue as you were but I wanted to make sure that SOMEONE here chimed in with the actual and real context behind the whole subject that sparked the debate in the first place.

Have you used some of the existing VTTs? Cause a lot of this seems pretty standard already. Not a "great idea", just what's expected from the platform these days. Vision rules based Fog of War for example is definitely available on Foundry. Might still be on the paid tier on Roll 20, not sure. It's there though.


Yeah, auto fog of war is a premium feature on Roll20, but they have it.

It's too much of a PITA to set up IMO though, I just do it manually anyway.


thejeff wrote:
Dragon Nexus Games wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The DM as an AI isn't going to be a real thing for a long time. Not as more than a gimmick. Or unless they're really just making scripted video games.

And for the VTT if you go too far with it, it's not just 3rd party creators who can't do much, but GMs can't really do anything but run official adventures with no changes or improvising.

Basically, AI GM is easy to implement (to a point). AI is basically fancy way of saying conditional logic. At minimum, it would be somethin used to make turn based games like the SSI published D&D games for multiplayer and kind of like what what was done in Baldur's Gate games.

The game mechanics, rules, SRDs, are basically a logic tree. If you follow it to the letter, you can certainly make a conditional logic tree. Roll of dies would be at minimum an Random number generator setup. RNGs can be true random if you employ certain measures, it won't be a PRNG (pseudo random number generator). It won't be quite like rolling the dice but it can be more cheat resistant in some ways. People can cheat with dice by controlling how they roll the dice to steer the odds in their favor even with regular dice not loaded dice (cheat dice). However, different type of cheating would have to be defended against with computerized RPG game play. However, the sophistication of the conditional logic can be fairly impressive for 'automating' game mechanics and eliminating some of the time to do such matters manually.

There are caveats. AI layers can be advance and sophisticated where you can use dice and the system setup can read the dice numbers like OCR scanning the numbers from the photo image of the dice and all. You can also have more sophisticated A.I. where it can analyze what you say (spoken) or write and determine what you want to do but there maybe limits that is different than the free flow nature of human GMs and particular house rules modifying or changing (departuring from strict canonical game rules,

...

AI is a term that can mean a lot of things and in practice, conditional logic is part of the umbrella of A.I. because even logic is part of intelligence which we try to simulate with computers then there's "machine learning" and simulation of associative memory borrowing from advancements of concepts used relational databases to simulate certain behaviors of human brain such as patterns and virtual "neural" networks to words analysis with association to other words in a definition tree.... like the good ol' ELIZA and contemporary application... Alexa.

Conditional logic is fundamentals to how any artificial intelligence works because with out it, it won't happen. Essential for any computer to under go the turing test and also an essential part of and computer language to be turing complete. Conditional logic is part of Combinational logic and is the building blocks of FSMs (finite state machines) which ultimately the core of many game logic. Which is in itself a basic for what handles game mechanics in video game which is fundamentally not all that different to game mechanics of ttrpg, board games, and other games. A computer can never really be feeling emotions but it can also be an argument whether humans actually have emotions or its an extremely sophisticated interplay of sophisticated combinational logic and extensive finite state logic. Today's computers have much faster cpus and much larger memory capacity to handle more sophistication in logic. Humans have been theorized as "biochemical andriods with a biological-chemical based computer we call the brain" of a sophistication that are in some ways far beyond our digital computers but our digital computers are far faster doing math because it doesn't have the overhead of our "operating system".

A.I. actually ranges from the mundane stuff that isn't promoted and portrayed in sci-fi as much which often is the sky high imagination of what A.I. could be in the near future.

What is actually part of A.I. research in the world of A.I. is not the "fantastical" stuff of hollywood depiction. A.I. is about simulating intelligence with our computers. What is "intelligence"? not to be confused with what is life or sentient. Computers are already "intelligence" even if it is low IQ or limited. However, your typical computers re not sentient. A.I. we use have not possessed the qualities sentience and similar sophistication of intelligence in the form that compares to the qualities and nature of human type sentient life. Our concept of life and sentient tends to be very myopic.

The type of A.I. we would use or need, would not necessarily be sentient or sophisticated enough to reliably detect and determine our emotive feelings and use of dramatic effect theory artfully... well... for quite some times. We will probably delegate to computer as a too for what it does best that would be of effective usefulness to us in TTRPG --- depending on how well we can make use of the computer and software to our benefit.


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Dragon Nexus Games wrote:
AI is a term that can mean a lot of things and in practice, conditional logic is part of the umbrella of A.I. because even logic is part of intelligence which we try to simulate with computers then there's "machine learning" and simulation of associative memory borrowing from advancements of concepts used relational databases to simulate certain behaviors of human brain such as patterns and virtual "neural" networks to words analysis with association to other words in a definition tree.... like the good ol' ELIZA and contemporary application... Alexa.

As a programmer I object to the use of AI to cover any and all conditional logic. Programming and AI are not the same thing.

Actually defining AI is a complicated question in itself, but it certainly doesn't reduce to "uses conditional logic". AI can certainly used conditional logic, as nearly all programming does.

Liberty's Edge

The original meaning of Intelligence in AI, before romanticism grabbed the words, is not INT. It is the I in CIA.


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The Raven Black wrote:
The original meaning of Intelligence in AI, before romanticism grabbed the words, is not INT. It is the I in CIA.

Actually, Intelligence as a word predates CIA. CIA goes back to 1947. Intelligence in artificial intelligence was an extension of science theories and understandings as it began to be employed into computer science with major early leader in artificial intelligence and computer science and logic, and programming.... Alan Turing. Science based theories of intelligence based on the common definition of the word intelligence and build their hypothesis and observation on what is intelligence. Naturally, we have been largely myopic but science community and even AI research is looking more broadly than human intelligence and the diverse range of applications of artificial intelligence.

If we are not basing our interpretation of intelligence only from the human model, but observe intelligence of creatures in nature. Like even the simple ants, bees, etc. have a different model of intelligence like the 'hive intelligence'. There is surprising application that model of intelligence useful for swarm flight of many drones.

You can see, intelligence is a word derived from Latin that basically means possessing the ability to understand, comprehend, perceive. Intelligence has been used for applications like espionage, information gathering,... work of CIA, and the OSI before it for some time like "we need to get intelligence on what the King of England's plan for stopping our revolution. So intelligence being a synonym for understanding or comprehension. In other words, "wrapping our head or mind" around a subject matter. This meaning is derived from the original meaning as it was in Latin when the word was imported and adapted into English language form.

This would take us to the era of the Roman Empire in the area of modern day Britain, Wales, and perhaps parts of Scotland.

Artificial Intelligence research is both the broader academic study and the application. The first application of Artificial Intelligence was certain for stuff like OSI and CIA because of a clear and present need and application for an aspect of AI. Other aspects less relevent to their needs was less useful until breakthroughs were made to take what was still academic and theoretical into a useful application.


The Raven Black wrote:
The original meaning of Intelligence in AI, before romanticism grabbed the words, is not INT. It is the I in CIA.

Thats a fascinating thought.

Thanks!


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Steve Geddes wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
The original meaning of Intelligence in AI, before romanticism grabbed the words, is not INT. It is the I in CIA.

Thats a fascinating thought.

Thanks!

Yes but its more a coincidence of timing and easy fruits of AI academia to find a real-world application.


Dragon Nexus Games wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
The original meaning of Intelligence in AI, before romanticism grabbed the words, is not INT. It is the I in CIA.

Thats a fascinating thought.

Thanks!

Yes but its more a coincidence of timing and easy fruits of AI academia to find a real-world application.

I have a degree in philosoohy including a fair chunk of cognitive science.

Im of the view that artificial intelligence is impossible, in principle.

I can get behind an alternate meaning suggested by The Raven Black's comment though.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Dragon Nexus Games wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
The original meaning of Intelligence in AI, before romanticism grabbed the words, is not INT. It is the I in CIA.

Thats a fascinating thought.

Thanks!

Yes but its more a coincidence of timing and easy fruits of AI academia to find a real-world application.

I have a degree in philosoohy including a fair chunk of cognitive science.

Im of the view that artificial intelligence is impossible, in principle.

I can get behind an alternate meaning suggested by The Raven Black's comment though.

As for philosophy, whether possible or not is irrelevent. It was part of the researching and theory. If we look at it from today's lens, it may be different. I believe the illusion of intelligence and emotion is conceivable but it doesn't mean it is. Then again, are we not our own illusion of emotive intelligence? Are we not a fancy android race that reproduces because we are based on chemicals and what we call "biological"? These are all theories. Beliefs is irrelevant. Fact is to be determined. The theories can make one think about their preconceptions.


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Since I missed the start of the big brouhaha (my computer died - again - at the start of January and it took several weeks to resuscitate it) and therefore lost the chance to post on the original ORC announcement thread before it was locked, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Paizo on leading the ORC charge. Whether or not WotC/Hasbro end up killing the OGL at some point, this contretemps shows that the wider industry does need a better option.

Therefore: thank you Paizo - and everyone else in the 3PP world who has followed them! :)

(The message above is meant in all sincerity despite my TTRPG of choice still being PF1/PF Classic.)

Wayfinders

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Will the ORC alliance grow by 1 more?
Ryan Dancey Predicts WoTC Will Join Paizo's ORC Alliance.

Ryan Dancey .


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Driftbourne wrote:

Will the ORC alliance grow by 1 more?

Ryan Dancey Predicts WoTC Will Join Paizo's ORC Alliance.

WotC is a pragmatic company. If they do, they can sell a lot of product. If they don't, then they will not sell a lot of product. I'm sure Ryan Dancey's prediction holds a lot of truth to it.


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Yeah, not a fan of that idea. If they want to use the license after the fact, great, but if they want into the development effort for it, it'll do nothing but undermine trust in the idea.


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thejeff wrote:
Yeah, not a fan of that idea. If they want to use the license after the fact, great, but if they want into the development effort for it, it'll do nothing but undermine trust in the idea.

I absolutely wholeheartedly agree with this.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
thejeff wrote:
Yeah, not a fan of that idea. If they want to use the license after the fact, great, but if they want into the development effort for it, it'll do nothing but undermine trust in the idea.

Remember that WotC's ideas won't get into the license unless there is a consensus in support of them -- and any idea that gives WotC a privileged position or indeed mentions them specifically at all is an obvious non-starter.

The "worst" they could do would be to suggest protection for some type of product that only they are currently working on -- but in doing so, they would give a lot of other companies the idea to start working on something similar of their own, as they would gain the same protection for their versions.


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David knott 242 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Yeah, not a fan of that idea. If they want to use the license after the fact, great, but if they want into the development effort for it, it'll do nothing but undermine trust in the idea.

Remember that WotC's ideas won't get into the license unless there is a consensus in support of them -- and any idea that gives WotC a privileged position or indeed mentions them specifically at all is an obvious non-starter.

The "worst" they could do would be to suggest protection for some type of product that only they are currently working on -- but in doing so, they would give a lot of other companies the idea to start working on something similar of their own, as they would gain the same protection for their versions.

What is true on a thoughtful practical level is often not the same as what's true on an emotional level. And the sad truth is, the vast majority of people will be swayed far more by the emotional level than the practical level.

Heck, economics class is introduced with how the classic view of economics is useful but based on the false premise of people making rational buying decisions and we were told to keep that in mind as we went through the courses.


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If WotC are involved lawsuits are less likely.

This is an industry issue.


Steve Geddes wrote:

If WotC are involved lawsuits are less likely.

This is an industry issue.

WotC is a business. That is why we had the OGL thing last month. The only thing that sparked the ORC was what they intended. Wizards, like I said, is pragmatic. They need to sell their products.

What Paizo realized that there was a threat to their business model (the OGL thing Wizards tried to pull). So we got the announcement of the ORC. And with a lot of other companies joining the ORC alliance, Wizards has seen where the wind was blowing.

And it wasn't blowing in their direction.

Dark Archive

EltonJ wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

If WotC are involved lawsuits are less likely.

This is an industry issue.

WotC is a business. That is why we had the OGL thing last month. The only thing that sparked the ORC was what they intended. Wizards, like I said, is pragmatic. They need to sell their products.

What Paizo realized that there was a threat to their business model (the OGL thing Wizards tried to pull). So we got the announcement of the ORC. And with a lot of other companies joining the ORC alliance, Wizards has seen where the wind was blowing.

And it wasn't blowing in their direction.

Well Wizards done messed up when they released their "engine" to D&D under the OGL in 2000. I mean they went with the GSL later to try to recify their mistake and went back to OGL now with the SRD being under CC-BY I think Paizo has to be even more competitive and release under CC-BY as well otherwise people will stick to the more free-er license


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allenwrench wrote:
EltonJ wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

If WotC are involved lawsuits are less likely.

This is an industry issue.

WotC is a business. That is why we had the OGL thing last month. The only thing that sparked the ORC was what they intended. Wizards, like I said, is pragmatic. They need to sell their products.

What Paizo realized that there was a threat to their business model (the OGL thing Wizards tried to pull). So we got the announcement of the ORC. And with a lot of other companies joining the ORC alliance, Wizards has seen where the wind was blowing.

And it wasn't blowing in their direction.

Well Wizards done messed up when they released their "engine" to D&D under the OGL in 2000. I mean they went with the GSL later to try to recify their mistake and went back to OGL now with the SRD being under CC-BY I think Paizo has to be even more competitive and release under CC-BY as well otherwise people will stick to the more free-er license

The OGL was not a mistake. The mistake was in thinking the OGL was a mistake.

Wayfinders

allenwrench wrote:
EltonJ wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

If WotC are involved lawsuits are less likely.

This is an industry issue.

WotC is a business. That is why we had the OGL thing last month. The only thing that sparked the ORC was what they intended. Wizards, like I said, is pragmatic. They need to sell their products.

What Paizo realized that there was a threat to their business model (the OGL thing Wizards tried to pull). So we got the announcement of the ORC. And with a lot of other companies joining the ORC alliance, Wizards has seen where the wind was blowing.

And it wasn't blowing in their direction.

Well Wizards done messed up when they released their "engine" to D&D under the OGL in 2000. I mean they went with the GSL later to try to recify their mistake and went back to OGL now with the SRD being under CC-BY I think Paizo has to be even more competitive and release under CC-BY as well otherwise people will stick to the more free-er license

WotC rushing to CC might have been a big mistake. In doing so WotC accidentally included names of several creatures and gods that under OGL0.1a were protected under separate identity licenses, the CC is not set up to allow protection in a separate identity license, from what I've heard. Watch the full Ryan Dancey Discusses the Stunning OGL Outcome Where We Go From Here | Roll For Combat video.


Here is a link to the Ryan Dancey Discusses the Stunning OGL Outcome Where We Go From Here | Roll For Combat video.

Liberty's Edge

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So is there any news? I signed up to receive updates but I have not gotten a single one. I have heard about the discord, but have not seen an invite or anything.

Liberty's Edge

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Anything yet? Still no Discord invite.

Paizo Employee President

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Noven wrote:
Anything yet? Still no Discord invite.

Apologies for the delay. You should receive an invite today or tomorrow when the campaign catches up with new sign-ups.

-Jim

Liberty's Edge

Jim Butler wrote:
Noven wrote:
Anything yet? Still no Discord invite.

Apologies for the delay. You should receive an invite today or tomorrow when the campaign catches up with new sign-ups.

-Jim

Awesome thanks.

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