Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fans disappointed: AI art Controversy

The fantasy computer role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR) initially released the game in 1974. Wizards of the Coast (now a subsidiary of Hasbro) has been publishing it since 1997. 

In D&D, players create characters and control them in a collaborative story led by a Dungeon Master (DM). The DM describes the environment and the challenges that the characters face, and the players decide how their characters will respond. The game uses dice to resolve actions, such as combat and skill checks.

D&D is known for its creativity and imagination. Players can create any kind of character they want, from a mighty warrior to a cunning thief. They can explore any kind of world they can imagine, from a dark dungeon to a sprawling city. And they can face any kind of challenge they can think of, from a fearsome dragon to a deadly puzzle.

If you have never played the game, you might have seen it on the show The Big-Bang Theory. Remember, where Sheldon and the gang usually play that game or talk about it?

AI used for character design

Now the controversy is related to the Dungeons & Dragons’ newest bookBigby Presents: Glory of the Giants!. It has come to light that one of the artists working on this project used AI for “certain details or polish and editing”. He had posted it on X (earlier known as Twitter) and confirmed that he made use of AI for certain details. The post was later removed but the screenshots remain.

Read on How to turn yourself into an AI character

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fans disappointed: AI art Controversy
Left: Final work on the book. Right: Initial sketches

According to the official D&D Twitter account “DnD Beyond”, they were not “aware of the artist’s choice to use AI in the creation process” for the book. According to the statement, the organization is currently rewriting its artist standards and refining its procedure “to make clear that artists must refrain from using AI art generation as part of their creation process for developing D&D art.”

Source: X

According to a tweet from the artist Ilya | SuperRare, they will revise the illustrations.

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fans disappointed: AI art Controversy

Fans have concerns that the answer might not be sufficient, though. The debate seems rather inevitable as more and more artists begin to incorporate AI into some aspects of their work (in this instance, the artist modified some of their own illustrations rather than starting from scratch using AI). A rule prohibiting the use of AI in the future will only be effective if the publisher will check for it going forward if the usage of AI was overlooked this time.

The definition of “reworked” in this context is unknown at this time. Let’s wait and watch how Bigbys Presents: Glory of the Giants! performs when it comes out on August 15.

Follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

Read on Beginners Guide to AI art