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  • Writer's pictureDanny McKeever

5 Steps to Crafting Towns Using AI: ChatGPT and MidJourney's Approach to Town-Building in RPGs


Crafting Towns That Come to Life: ChatGPT and MidJourney's Approach to Town-Building in RPGs

As a Dungeon Master (DM) running a fantasy campaign, building a detailed town for your player characters (PCs) to explore and interact with can be an incredibly rewarding and immersive experience. While it may seem like a daunting task, incorporating various services and amenities into your town can add depth and complexity to your campaign, making it feel more realistic and lived-in. In this blog post, we'll explore why you should build out a detailed town for your PCs, and some of the services and amenities you can include.


During the medieval period from the 14th to the mid-19th century, towns were the center of economic and social life in Europe. These towns were home to a wide variety of services that were essential for the functioning of the town and its inhabitants. These services ranged from essential goods like food, clothing, and medicine to more luxury items like jewelry and fine spirits. By incorporating some of these services into your campaign town, you can create a rich and immersive experience for your players.


Collaborating with ChatGPT and MidJourney can be an excellent way to build out a town in your RPG campaign. Together, we can help you create an immersive and realistic world full of interesting NPCs, exciting adventures, and a captivating atmosphere. In this blog post, we'll explore some tips for using ChatGPT and MidJourney to build out your town and make it come to life.



Building Atmosphere: Atmosphere is a critical component of any RPG campaign, and building it into your town can help your players feel more engaged and invested in the world you're creating. ChatGPT and MidJourney can help you create the right atmosphere for your campaign by providing guidance on things like setting, tone, and mood. By using descriptive language and incorporating details like weather, lighting, and architecture, we can help you create a town that feels real and alive.



Here are some prefer options that I like to use to build a consistent atmosphere within my towns and cities.


----Midjounrey Prefer Options----

/prefer option: aerial_kingdom`: ``- Aerial Kingdom::5 Majestic and awe-inspiring views of kingdoms and castles from high above::4 Bold colors and strong contrasts, evoking a sense of power and grandeur::3 Intricate details and patterns that give depth and texture to the scene::3 Avoids any clutter or unnecessary elements that detract from the overall epic feel of the landscape::-2``


/prefer option set option:fantasy value: - ethereal fantasy landscape::5 dreamlike, surreal landscape with vibrant colors and magical creatures::4 digital painting, layered with textures and patterns to create depth and dimension::3 fantasy landscape with dramatic lighting and shadows, misty mountains and ancient ruins::3 avoid realistic looking landscapes, aim for whimsical and fantastical creations that ignite the imagination::-2


/prefer option set option:dark value: - eerie dark fantasy landscape::5 haunting, otherworldly landscape with muted colors and creepy creatures::4 digital painting, with emphasis on shadows and contrast to create a foreboding atmosphere::3 landscape with gnarled trees, twisted vines and hidden lairs, inspired by Gothic architecture::3 avoid bright colors and cheerful imagery, embrace the darker side of fantasy with macabre and mysterious elements::-2


/prefer option set option:mystical value: - mystical fantasy landscape::5 enchanting, ethereal landscape with soft, muted colors and magical elements::4 digital painting, with emphasis on atmosphere and dreamlike qualities to create a sense of mystery and enchantment::3 landscape with hidden groves, glittering waterfalls and ancient temples, inspired by mythology and folklore::3 avoid overly realistic details and harsh lighting, aim for a dreamlike and mystical quality that transports the viewer to another world::-2


Creating NPCs: NPCs, or non-player characters, are an essential part of any RPG campaign, and they can help bring your town to life. ChatGPT and MidJourney can help you create interesting NPCs by brainstorming backstories, personalities, and motivations. We can also help you come up with ways to incorporate these NPCs into your town, such as creating a tavern owner who provides information to adventurers or a blacksmith who is secretly working with the local bandit gang.




Designing Adventures: Adventures are the heart of any RPG campaign, and designing them can be a challenging and time-consuming task. However, with ChatGPT and MidJourney's help, you can create exciting and memorable adventures that will keep your players engaged and invested. We can help you brainstorm ideas, create interesting NPCs, and develop a compelling plotline that will keep your players on the edge of their seats.

Incorporating Services: As we discussed earlier, incorporating services into your town can add depth and complexity to your campaign. ChatGPT and MidJourney can help you incorporate services like blacksmiths, bakers, and apothecaries into your town, creating a realistic and immersive environment. We can also help you come up with creative ways to incorporate these services into your adventures, such as having the players go on a quest to retrieve a rare herb for the town's apothecary.



Adding Depth: Finally, ChatGPT and MidJourney can help you add depth to your town by creating unique and interesting elements that make it stand out. For example, we can help you create a town with a unique economy, such as a town that relies on a rare mineral for its prosperity. We can also help you create interesting cultural elements, such as festivals or customs that are unique to your town.


----Midjourney Prompt----

/imagine prompt: Description of an Eastern Europe town in the 1700s.

Cinematic, hyper-detailed and insanely intricate details of a beautifully color graded town set in the 1700s. With the use of Unreal Engine, Depth of Field (DOF), Super-Resolution, Megapixel, Cinematic Lightning, Anti-Aliasing, FKAA, TXAA, RTX, SSAO, Post Processing, Post Production, Tone Mapping, CGI, VFX, SFX, this town is transformed into an insanely detailed and hyper-maximalist setting with hyper-realistic and ultra-photorealistic visuals. The volumetric and photorealistic lighting, ultra-detailed and intricate details, combined with the use of 8K, full-color, volumetric lightning, and HDR create a stunningly realistic and immersive experience. The town is brought to life with the use of Unreal Engine and 16K sharp focus, making every detail pop and come to life. --v 4


Midjouney and D&D Fantasy Town
Road winding through a fantasy town.

Here are 5 Steps you should consider taking when building your town.

  1. Establish the Setting and Atmosphere: The first step in building a town is to establish the setting. This includes determining the time period, geography, and climate of the town. ChatGPT and MidJourney can help you create a detailed and immersive setting by providing historical context, describing the landscape, and incorporating weather and environmental factors.

    1. A town built around a massive tree that serves as the center of the community. The locals are druids and other nature-worshipers, and the town is known for its herbal remedies and connection to the forest.

    2. A floating town that drifts through the clouds, held aloft by powerful magic. The locals are skilled navigators and traders, and the town is known for its exotic goods and strange technology.

    3. A town built into the side of a massive cavern, with glowing crystals and luminescent mushrooms providing light. The locals are miners and craftsmen, and the town is known for its unique metals and gemstones.

    4. A town that exists in multiple dimensions at once, with portals and gateways leading to other realms. The locals are scholars and mages, and the town is known for its libraries and magical artifacts.

    5. A town located in the midst of a massive magical storm, with bolts of lightning and swirling winds creating a chaotic and dangerous environment. The locals are thrill-seekers and adventurers, and the town is known for its magical artifacts and extreme sports.

  2. Determine the Town's Purpose: Every town serves a purpose, whether it's a trading hub, a mining town, or a religious pilgrimage site. ChatGPT and MidJourney can help you determine the purpose of your town and incorporate it into the design of the town.

    1. Towns near forests, which might have services related to lumber, logging, and wood products such as sawmills, woodworkers, and paper mills.

    2. Towns near mountains or hills, which might have services related to mining, but also to outdoor recreation, such as hunting guides, outfitters, and specialized equipment retailers.

    3. Towns near trade routes or transportation hubs, which might have services related to shipping, transportation, and trade, such as warehouses, merchants, and customs officials.

    4. Towns near universities or research institutions, which might have services related to education, magical, alchemical research, and valuable bookstores.

    5. Coastal towns, which might have services related to fishing, shipping, and dock related workers

    6. Desert towns, which might have services related to mining, but also to guides, oasis's and nearby ancient ruins

    7. Border towns, which might have services related to trade, transportation, and immigration, such as customs officials, transportation companies, and language services.

  3. Create NPCs: NPCs are an essential part of any RPG campaign, and creating interesting and memorable NPCs can help bring your town to life. ChatGPT and MidJourney can help you create NPCs with unique backstories, personalities, and motivations that will make your town feel more immersive.


4. Develop Services and Amenities: Services and amenities are essential to any town, and incorporating them into your town can add depth and complexity to your campaign. ChatGPT and MidJourney can help you brainstorm services and amenities to include in your town, such as blacksmiths, apothecaries, and inns.


Midjourney D&D Fantasy Town
Town Center

5. Design Adventures: Finally, designing adventures that take place in your town can help your players become more invested in the world you've created. I use John Four's 5 Room Dungeons process to build and create my adventures. ChatGPT and MidJourney can help you design adventures that are tailored to your town and its NPCs, incorporating the setting, purpose, and services of the town into the plotline.

  1. The disappearance of an apprentice: The player characters may hear rumors that Viktoriya Shapovalova, the sawmill's apprentice, has gone missing. The workers at the sawmill are concerned and are searching for her, but have been unable to locate her. The player characters may be asked to help with the search and uncover what happened to Viktoriya.

  2. Sabotage at the sawmill: The player characters may hear that the sawmill's machinery has been sabotaged, causing delays and damage to the production line. The workers are suspicious that someone is trying to ruin the sawmill's business and may ask the player characters to investigate.

  3. The theft of valuable wood: The player characters may discover that valuable wood has gone missing from the sawmill's storage area. The workers are concerned about the theft and are struggling to keep up with demand for their products. The player characters may be asked to help recover the stolen wood and find out who is responsible.

  4. A strange illness afflicting the workers: The player characters may learn that a strange illness has started to spread among the workers at the sawmill. The workers are becoming increasingly ill and are unable to work, causing delays in production. The player characters may be asked to help find a cure for the illness and investigate what is causing it.

  5. A ghostly presence at the sawmill: The player characters may hear rumors that a ghostly presence has been seen at the sawmill. Workers have reported seeing strange apparitions and hearing unexplained noises. The player characters may be asked to investigate the haunting and uncover the truth behind the ghostly presence.



Some of the services and amenities you might consider including in your town are:


Public bathhouses: In medieval Europe, public bathhouses were a popular way for people to get clean, socialize, and relax. Including a public bathhouse in your town can provide an opportunity for your players to interact with NPCs and learn more about the local culture.


Blacksmiths: Blacksmiths were essential in medieval towns, as they provided tools and weapons for the town's inhabitants. Including a blacksmith in your town can give your players an opportunity to acquire or repair weapons and tools, or even commission custom items.


Bakers, butchers, and fishmongers: These essential food vendors provided bread, meat, and fish to the town's inhabitants. Including these vendors in your town can add a level of realism to your campaign, as well as providing opportunities for your players to interact with NPCs and learn more about local cuisine.


Tailors, shoemakers, and clothiers: These artisans provided clothing and footwear to the town's inhabitants. Including these vendors in your town can give your players an opportunity to acquire new clothing or footwear, or even commission custom outfits.


Apothecaries, physicians, surgeons, and dentists: These medical professionals provided essential healthcare services to the town's inhabitants. Including these professionals in your town can provide opportunities for your players to seek medical treatment or learn more about the local health practices.


Jewelers and goldsmiths: These artisans created fine jewelry and other luxury items for the town's inhabitants. Including these vendors in your town can provide opportunities for your players to acquire or commission fine jewelry or other luxury items.


Money changers, bankers, and accountants: These financial professionals provided essential banking and financial services to the town's inhabitants. Including these professionals in your town can provide opportunities for your players to conduct financial transactions or learn more about the local economy.


Sheriffs, watchmen, and court officials: These officials provided law enforcement and legal services to the town's inhabitants. Including these officials in your town can provide opportunities for your players to interact with local law enforcement or become involved in legal proceedings.


Innkeepers, food vendors, wine taverns, and alehouses: These hospitality professionals provided food and lodging to travelers and locals alike. Including these vendors in your town can provide opportunities for your players to rest and recuperate, or even gather information from locals.


Brothels: While perhaps not appropriate for all campaigns, including a brothel in your town can add a level of grittiness and realism to your campaign.


Here is a detailed list of the different services you should consider including in your town.


  1. Public bathhouses

  2. Tanners

  3. Blacksmiths

  4. Bakers

  5. Butchers

  6. Fishmongers

  7. Tailors

  8. Shoe makers

  9. Candle makers

  10. Brewers

  11. Wine and spirits merchants

  12. Bookmakers

  13. Printers

  14. Stationers

  15. Weavers

  16. Dyers

  17. Clothiers

  18. Apothecaries

  19. Physicians

  20. Surgeons

  21. Barbers

  22. Dentists

  23. Jewelers

  24. Goldsmiths

  25. Money changers

  26. Bankers

  27. Notaries

  28. Lawyers

  29. Accountants

  30. Tax collectors

  31. Sheriffs

  32. Watchmen

  33. Court officials

  34. Couriers

  35. Messengers

  36. Innkeepers

  37. Food vendors

  38. Wine taverns

  39. Alehouses

  40. Brothels

By following these steps, you can create a detailed and immersive town for your RPG campaign. Working with ChatGPT and MidJourney can help make the process easier and more rewarding, as we can provide guidance and expertise to help you create a town that feels real and alive.

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