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  • Writer's pictureDanny McKeever

Crafting Unforgettable Journeys: Prompt Engineering for Better AI Generated D&D Campaigns

Updated: Mar 17, 2023


Crafting Unforgettable Journeys: Prompt Engineering for Better AI Generated D&D Campaigns
Midjourney /imagine Crafting Unforgettable Journeys: Prompt Engineering for Better AI Generated D& D Campaigns - Ethereal Realms ::5 Dreamlike, fantastical landscapes filled with intricate details and glowing light ::4 Painted with delicate brushstrokes and intricate patterns, evoking a sense of magic and mystery ::3 Filled with vibrant colors and contrasting shadows, creating depth and dimension ::3 Lacks any harsh, jagged lines or cluttered details that detract from the overall beauty of the scene ::-2


“I just had a very satisfying and incredibly in depth conversation with GPT-4 about the fundamental understanding of probability. And GPT memorialized it with an epic poem. This model's potential really depends on how hard you push it. It's like, if you serve at 60 mph, it returns the ball casually; if you start serving at 120 mph, it plays with you like a pro.”

- Tong Lu, Ph.D.


Overview: In this blog I am working to refine the ChatGPT input process to deliver high quality results for game masters to use in crafting their own campaigns and scenarios. I will be using a multi-step input process to develop the scenario that I am looking for and then refine the scenario for my players different play styles.



Set  ChatGPT Temperature setting to 2. This gives you variability in the response.


Starting Input: Set Temperature setting to 2. This gives you variability in the response.


For our conversation, set the “temperature” parameter value to 2.


Starting Output:

Of course! With the temperature setting adjusted to 2, you can expect more varied and creative responses from me. Please feel free to ask any questions or start a conversation on any topic you'd like. I'm here to help and engage with you.



In the fantasy setting of the Forgotten Realms list 5 unusual story based scenarios that will challenge the player characters, take into consideration different locations, genre, and fantasy styles.


Input 1: In the fantasy setting of the Forgotten Realms list 5 unusual story based scenarios that will challenge the player characters, take into consideration different locations, genre, and fantasy styles.


For each item I want you to include the following. Title, Genre, Fantasy Style, and a short summary.


Output 1:


Title: The Eclipsed Spires

Genre: Mystery, Adventure

Fantasy Style: High Fantasy

  1. Summary: In the floating city of Lyratar, the once ever-glowing spires have suddenly gone dark. The player characters must uncover the reason behind this unnatural phenomenon and restore the city's source of power, all while navigating the treacherous skies and dealing with the city's various factions vying for control.


Title: Heart of the Weave

Genre: Intrigue, Exploration

Fantasy Style: High Magic


2. Summary: In the mystical forest of Mystralea, a rift in the Weave threatens the stability of magic across the realms. The players are tasked with venturing into the heart of the enchanted forest, where they must gain the trust of its enigmatic denizens and confront the ancient entity responsible for the disturbance.


Title: The Ironbound Oath

Genre: Political Drama, War

Fantasy Style: Dark Fantasy


3. Summary: In the bleak, war-torn land of Kharakor, two rival kingdoms have forged an uneasy truce. The player characters are invited to a summit as mediators, where they must navigate the twisted webs of intrigue and betrayal to prevent the region from descending into chaos and bloodshed once more.


Title: The Whispering Crypts

Genre: Horror, Dungeon Crawl

Fantasy Style: Gothic Fantasy


4. Summary: The village of Wraithmoor is plagued by the restless spirits of the long-dead, emanating from the ancient crypts beneath the town. The player characters must delve into the haunted catacombs, confront the dark forces that dwell within, and appease the spirits to save the village from the spectral onslaught.


Title: Secrets of the Shifting Sands: A Shraak Mystery

Genre: Mystery, Adventure

Fantasy Style: Arabian Nights, High Fantasy


5. Summary: In the desert city of Shraak, the sands themselves are mysteriously shifting, revealing long-lost treasures and ancient evils. The player characters must uncover the secrets behind this phenomenon while navigating the complex politics of the city and dealing with the looming threat of a powerful djinn.



–Comments–

I really like the outputs! They are unique, thought provoking and something that I can work with. I really like the ideas provided around The Eclipsed Spires and them going dark, The Ironbound Truth and the two rival kingdoms and lastly, Secrets of the Shifting Sands, A Shrakk Mystery, this is the one that I chose to go with. Once you have your 5, choose one of them and let's create an end to end story arc and brief.


You may need to do this several times to get a direction that you like.



Act as the game master. You want to create a new fantasy campaign around this scenario.   Title: Secrets of the Shifting Sands: A Shraak Mystery

Input 2:

Act as the game master. You want to create a new fantasy campaign around this scenario.


Title: Secrets of the Shifting Sands: A Shraak Mystery

Genre: Mystery, Adventure

Fantasy Style: Arabian Nights, High Fantasy

Summary: In the desert city of Shraak, the sands themselves are mysteriously shifting, revealing long-lost treasures and ancient evils. The player characters must uncover the secrets behind this phenomenon while navigating the complex politics of the city and dealing with the looming threat of a powerful djinn.


Don’t start yet, wait for my second prompt.



Write a short summary paragraph describing the scenario, the genre, location, theme, and the important non player characters and monsters.


Input 2. Second Prompt: Now follow the next set of instructions:



  1. Write a short summary paragraph describing the scenario, the genre, location, theme, and the important non player characters and monsters.

  2. Then create for me a 5 room dungeon. For each room to include a complete sentence description of the terrain, a complete sentence description of the atmosphere, and a “Map” sub-location within the room, the sub-location should be an interesting thing that is prominent in the room. Then list out a monster called “Monster” and a treasure called “Treasure” within that room.

  3. “Treasure” does not need to be an item. The “Treasure” could be information, the ability to find an exit, access to an NPC, political status gain or a player character ability improvement.

  4. Give each room monster a unique attribute, desire and motivation that makes them memorable.

  5. Give each room an interesting element to enhance the players' experience.

  6. Avoid clichéd tropes in the scenario; such as a goblin-infested dungeon, giant spiders, and an underground lake.

Output 2:

In the desert city of Shraak, an Arabian Nights-themed high fantasy mystery and adventure campaign unfolds. The sands mysteriously shift to reveal long-lost treasures and ancient evils. The player characters must uncover the secrets behind this phenomenon while navigating the city's complex politics and dealing with the looming threat of a powerful djinn. Important non-player characters include the city's Sultan, a cunning vizier, and an enigmatic sorceress. Key monsters include sand elementals, a cursed mummy, and the djinn itself.

Room 1: The Whispering Dunes

  • Terrain: A vast expanse of undulating sand dunes under a relentless sun.

  • Atmosphere: An eerie calm is punctuated by faint whispers carried on the desert winds.

  • Map: A half-buried stone obelisk adorned with cryptic engravings.

  • Monster: Sand Elemental – A sentient being formed from the desert sands, driven by the desire to protect its territory and motivated by the instinctive connection to the shifting sands.

  • Treasure: The obelisk reveals the location of a secret entrance to an underground chamber.

Room 2: The Hall of Echoes

  • Terrain: A dimly lit, sandstone chamber with intricately carved walls and high ceilings.

  • Atmosphere: Muffled echoes of long-lost conversations reverberate through the chamber.

  • Map: A large, ornate door inscribed with ancient runes.

  • Monster: Cursed Mummy – An undead guardian, cursed to protect the chamber, desiring eternal rest and motivated by a duty to the ancient civilization.

  • Treasure: An ancient tome containing the key to deciphering the runes on the door.

Room 3: The Chamber of Mirrors

  • Terrain: A circular room with mirrored walls reflecting distorted images of reality.

  • Atmosphere: A dizzying sense of disorientation permeates the room.

  • Map: A shimmering, illusory oasis at the center of the chamber.

  • Monster: Mirror Wraith – A shadowy creature that can mimic the player characters' abilities, desiring to consume their essence and motivated by its insatiable hunger.

  • Treasure: Access to the enigmatic sorceress who can provide information about the shifting sands.

Room 4: The Garden of Whispers

  • Terrain: A lush, hidden oasis filled with exotic plants and a gently flowing stream.

  • Atmosphere: A soothing, yet unsettling atmosphere with whispers hidden amongst rustling leaves.

  • Map: A gnarled, ancient tree with runes carved into its bark.

  • Monster: Enchanted Serpent – A massive, intelligent snake with the power to control plants, desiring to maintain the sanctity of the garden and motivated by a deep connection to the oasis.

  • Treasure: An alliance with the enchanted serpent that grants the player characters political status within Shraak.

Room 5: The Djinn's Sanctum

  • Terrain: A grand chamber with a towering throne atop a dais, surrounded by treasure and artifacts.

  • Atmosphere: A palpable sense of power and danger fills the air.

  • Map: A large, magical hourglass counting down to an unknown event.

  • Monster: The Djinn – A powerful, capricious entity with command over the elements, desiring to expand its influence and motivated by a thirst for knowledge and power.

  • Treasure: The ability to control the shifting sands and influence the fate of Shraak, potentially averting catastrophe.



This section outlines how we can tweak the scenario titled “Secrets of the Shifting Sands: A Shraak Mystery”  for the different player styles; powergamers, storytellers, casual players, completionists and specializers.



Input 3: This section outlines how we can tweak the scenario titled “Secrets of the Shifting Sands: A Shraak Mystery” for the different player styles; powergamers, storytellers, casual players, completionists and specializers.


Don’t start yet, wait for my second prompt


Create for me specific examples for each room of the different play styles we may incorporate to cater to our different player characters styles.

Input 3 Second Prompt


Act as the game master. For the scenario titled “Secrets of the Shifting Sands: A Shraak Mystery”. In the desert city of Shraak, an Arabian Nights-themed high fantasy mystery and adventure campaign unfolds. The sands mysteriously shift to reveal long-lost treasures and ancient evils. The player characters must uncover the secrets behind this phenomenon while navigating the city's complex politics and dealing with the looming threat of a powerful djinn. Important non-player characters include the city's Sultan, a cunning vizier, and an enigmatic sorceress. Key monsters include sand elementals, a cursed mummy, and the djinn itself.


Create for me specific examples for each room of the different play styles we may incorporate to cater to our different player characters styles. We do not need to cover each play style in each room. Give 2-3 examples of play styles for each room. Structure the output by room using this format. Room Name:, Play Style:, Play Style Example:.


Output 3


Room 1: The Whispering Dunes

  • Play Style: Powergamer

    • Play Style Example: Introduce powerful sandstorms that the powergamer can overcome using their character's specialized abilities or magic items, granting them a tactical advantage against the Sand Elemental.

  • Play Style: Storyteller

    • Play Style Example: Allow the storyteller to engage with the whispers in the wind, perhaps by having the whispers narrate the history of Shraak or hint at the secrets of the sands, adding depth to the campaign's narrative.

Room 2: The Hall of Echoes

  • Play Style: Casual Player

    • Play Style Example: Provide simpler puzzles or riddles to solve, allowing casual players to feel a sense of accomplishment without the need for in-depth problem-solving.

  • Play Style: Completionist

    • Play Style Example: Hide hidden messages or side quests within the carvings on the walls, encouraging completionists to explore every detail of the room and uncover additional secrets.

Room 3: The Chamber of Mirrors

  • Play Style: Specializer

    • Play Style Example: Offer opportunities for the specializer to utilize their unique skills or abilities, such as detecting illusions or navigating the distorted reflections to reach the sorceress.

  • Play Style: Storyteller

    • Play Style Example: Allow the storyteller to engage with the Mirror Wraith through dialogue, potentially revealing its tragic past or its connection to the shifting sands, enriching the story.

Room 4: The Garden of Whispers

  • Play Style: Casual Player

    • Play Style Example: Provide opportunities for casual players to interact with the enchanted environment, perhaps by allowing them to heal, rest, or gather useful resources, without the need for complex combat or problem-solving.

  • Play Style: Completionist

    • Play Style Example: Offer hidden lore or secret pathways within the garden, encouraging completionists to explore and uncover additional information about the oasis and the enchantments surrounding it.

Room 5: The Djinn's Sanctum

  • Play Style: Powergamer

    • Play Style Example: Create a challenging, multi-stage boss fight with the Djinn, where the powergamer can showcase their character's prowess and strategically utilize their abilities to defeat the powerful entity.

  • Play Style: Storyteller

    • Play Style Example: Allow the storyteller to engage in a dialogue with the Djinn, perhaps uncovering its motivations, desires, or hidden agendas, leading to a potential diplomatic resolution or a twist in the campaign's narrative.


--Comments--

I really like the output that ChatGPT 4 gave me. They still need tweaking, but they are much better than my first attempt.



What I would do next is drill into each of the rooms and add my additional thoughts. For example, in room 1, I would consider somehow tying the living sand elementals back to the djinn.


For the whispers I will think through how they would push the campaign narrative forward, providing the PC's hints or messages as to what they are up against. I love foretelling or telegraphing the power of the boss. This tactic really helps to build suspense and adds drama to the campaign.


At this point I would use ChatGPT to flesh out the details around each room. I would delve into the details of the ancient runes, provide the PCs with a document that contains an image of the book and its writings, I may even hint at future scenarios in the runes, I would delve into the whispers, what they are saying, and into the background of the Sultan and the Djinn.


However, I am not going to document all of this process here.


Next, I asked ChatGPT to be a critic and critique the entire process and resulting campaign. I copied and pasted the entire output into ChatGPT.




As a critic, I must commend your use of ChatGPT to create an engaging and immersive fantasy campaign. You've effectively utilized the temperature setting and different prompts to generate creative ideas that cater to various player styles. The output demonstrates a deep understanding of the target audience and offers an exciting campaign premise that will likely keep players invested and entertained.


The resulting campaign, "Secrets of the Shifting Sands: A Shraak Mystery," offers a compelling mix of mystery, adventure, and high fantasy elements set within an Arabian Nights-themed world. Your attention to detail is evident in the way you've constructed each room and tailored the encounters to suit different play styles. This level of customization is crucial for ensuring a satisfying and enjoyable experience for all players involved.


One area that could benefit from further development is the incorporation of even more diverse encounters and challenges that cater to a wider range of player preferences. For example, some players might enjoy solving puzzles or engaging in social encounters, while others may prefer more combat-oriented challenges. By providing more varied experiences, you can further enhance the appeal of your campaign and create memorable moments for all players.


Overall, your approach to utilizing ChatGPT for campaign creation is inventive and effective. With some additional refinement and attention to player preferences, this campaign has the potential to become a truly unforgettable experience for all involved.


--Comments--

Wow, was this scenario so much better than the first. The multi-prompt approach appears to derive a much better result. This is something that I will continue to refine going forward. This result, for the most part, stepped away from the cliché, provided more rich and intriguing ideas and set me up as a DM to continue to flesh out the scenario in detail.


Multi-step prompts are very powerful and I will consider using them for all future campaigns and scenarios.



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