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Wizards promises new guidelines to keep AI art out of DnD

DnD publisher WOTC apologized for including AI art in a recent book, and is updating its guidelines to prevent D&D artists using the the technology in future.

DnD books - A frost giant looking at a man reading a book

Dungeons and Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast has apologized for including AI art in the upcoming DnD book, Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants. In a tweet on Sunday, August 6, it explained that it hadn’t known an artist was using AI for their artwork, and would take steps to prevent this happening in future.

“We are revising our process and updating our artist guidelines to make clear that artists must refrain from using AI art generation as part of their art creation process,” explained the DnD Beyond Twitter account.

This came after Twitter users raised questions about the work of Ilya Shkipin, an artist Wizards says it has worked with since 2014. In since-deleted tweets, Shkipin acknowledged that AI art was used to “generate certain details” and for “polish or editing” of their giant illustrations. Overall, they explain, “Painted elements were enhanced with AI rather than generated from the ground up”.

They’ve since said that after discussions with Wizards of the Coast, the “illustrations are going to be reworked.”

AI art’s place in the tabletop RPG hobby is a topic of much debate. While some see the technology as a tool that could be beneficial if used carefully, a large contingent are adamantly opposed to AI art in all its forms, arguing that it harms artists.

Those in the against camp have fears that companies will be able to avoid paying artists by utilizing AI. Even when this isn’t the case – Shkipin was commissioned for their work like any other artist – many have ethical concerns about the process through which AI art is generated in the first place.

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Responding to fans or their own convictions, many RPG companies, such as Chaosium, Paizo, and now Wizards of the Coast too, have forsworn the use of AI art or written works. But many believe AI art is a “Pandora’s Box that can never be shut”, and say the challenge will be finding a way to live with this new technology that leaves artists in control of the creative process.

Check out our DnD release schedule to find out more about Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants – or try this free adventure to get a taste of the fee-fi-fo-fum action. For more on the subject of AI art, check out our interview with the designer of Gloomhaven, and don’t miss our guides to the best DnD campaigns, and all the DnD classes and DnD races.