For DnD fans, an AI Dungeon Master was, until recently, a far-off nightmare – a dread concept we thought might come to be but never did. Well, someone has come to make our nightmares real. Unsurprisingly, it’s Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook (now Meta) fame. More surprisingly, he’s cast Snoop Dogg in the AI DM role.
At the Meta Connect product summit on September 27, Meta revealed it was introducing ‘Meta AI’ to Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger for US users. Like many existing Artificial Intelligence programs, Meta AI can generate text and images based on user prompts. Along with its main AI software, Meta is also introducing 28 AI ‘characters’ with specific personalities and interests – among which is ‘The Dungeon Master’, who looks exactly like Snoop Dogg.
Zuckerberg gives a live demonstration of DM Dogg’s capabilities at the summit, texting the robot rapper brief roleplaying prompts while the audience looks on. It’s clear from this demonstration that Zuckerberg and The Dungeon Master aren’t playing actual D&D 5e (most likely for legal reasons). Instead the encounter is heavy on generic fantasy descriptions and light on rules.
As the voice of Snoop Dogg commands us to “get Medieval, player”, Zuckerberg asks the audience: “Who hasn’t wanted to play a text adventure game with Snoop Dogg?” If you’ve paid much attention to the D&D community since the DnD OGL controversy, the answer is ‘a lot of people’.
Not long after D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast apologized for attempting to change its Open Gaming Licence, rumors spread that the company planned to introduce AI Dungeon Masters to its digital marketplace, D&DBeyond. A misinformation statement assured us no one at Wizards was working on AI DMs, but not before online criticism could show us exactly how the tabletop RPG community felt about the concept.
See the Dungeon Master demonstration below:
Meta launched its beta AI on the same day it was announced, so Dogg the Dungeon Master is already out in the world asking players “what do you want to do?”. He even has a Facebook page, filled with one thing the tabletop community hates even more than AI DMS – AI art.
For more on AI in D&D, check out the statement Wizards made after the fanbase discovered AI art in an RPG book. We also interviewed a range of TTRPG publishers about AI art and its future in the tabletop industry.