Recently I discovered the NightCafe Studio AI and have been like a kid in the candy shop ever since:
Using AI Art in RPGs
But goofy fun aside does this tech have any real use for GMs? I think it does. Not only am I featuring AI Art as a key visual component of my new RPG Under a Hostile Sun but I am finding use for it in my Starfinder games. I have introduced NPCs like Janet Skull Crusher, a Vesk Scientist:
And Dusty a Technomancer and Galactic Hazardous Waste expert, a Ysoki:
It is true that little details of AI art can be off (like the bonus arms Dusty haz in this picture). You can choose to tell your players to see the visual aids more thematically than literally, or you can adopt those details into the canon itself. Like Dusty here mutated after a Haz-Waste spill and now has a few extra limbs.
Certain uses are less dependent on exact details – fantasic scenery or cityscapes for example:
Certain art styles that deliberately downplay details can also limit the images accidentally looking frightening:
So here are some ways to have AI art benefit your game:
- Create fantasic or surreal landscapes, planets or alternate dimensions
- Generate Lovecraftian monsters or mutants
- Create thematic (but not literal) depictions of NPCs and locations
- Use AI to provide a model and then draw a more perfect version yourself
- Generate an AI image and than tokenize it for a tabletop – when doing this you can zoom in on a portion of the image that came out well for the token.
- Play AI Mad libs where each player provides a different word to make a surreal prompt
- Use the AI to generate a Deck of Many Things.
Under a Hostile Sun
I am working on a game called Under a Hostile Sun.
Acid in the atmosphre. Magma beneath your feet. And in the alien sky, the oppresive heat of a hostile sun. This is a game about space travel – but not glamorous space travel like Star Trek. Planetary travel that is more like the horrors the first explorers faced when they were alone at sea in a storm or in a new land under famine.
Making it all the worse is that the political atmosphre is somehow even more acidic than the atmosphere. Is the planet getting worse due to natural causes? Or is something sinister afoot?
You will face long odds. The void of space was not meant for Man. These planets are not “Mother” like Earth – you are under a Hostile Sun.Under a Hostile Sun
The goals for this game are:
- Create a rules-light RPG that still forces players to make meaningful choices
- To feature an intense, brutal and life-threatening premise that is not combat-based
- Honor the contributions of real past explorers
- Feature Risk vs Reward as a key component to scenarios
- Have a currency system to gamify resource management and allow for bartering, bribing and potion making
- Have adorable aliens creaturs to tame and befriend
- Allow for both high-dice throwing and minimal dice throwing game play in a single session
- Create a non-s-xua1ized game
- Contain compelling (not demonizing or comical) depictions of traditional religion and life (RPGs seem to leave faith out of their alleged desire for diversity)
I will be using this site to make a digital-version of the rules for playtesting before writing the Core Rulebook which I hope to be about 100 pages.
Let me know what you think!
And one last image:
St. Michael, pray for us.