Tabletop is going big this week! It’s TTRPG news with StartPlaying, and we have a real variety of stories this week. First the inevitable has happened, as official Dungeons & Dragons products get tied up in the AI art trend. But there’s good news, too, as the ENnies celebrate another batch of TTRPG greatness. Finally, Baldur’s Gate 3 finally got its full launch and leveled up the art of video game patch notes. Let’s get into it!

AI Art Caught In D&D Book Bigby Presents: Glory Of The Giants

It seems we can’t go a few weeks in 2023 without a big controversy involving Wizards of the Coast and its handling of D&D. This week, a reddit user caught what they believed was AI-generated art in the digital version of the upcoming Bigby Presents: Glory Of The Giants. The telltale signs of vague or illogical design aspects of certain giant characters had many quickly convinced, and a social media storm brewed. 

The accusations were aimed squarely at WotC, as many Twitter (still not calling it X) users are constantly wary of D&D and its parent companies due to recent controversies. However, closer investigation by outlets like Gizmodo reveal that it was artist Ilya Shkipin. The artist, who shows public support for AI and NFTs, is credited on the book and has admitted to using AI. Shkipin claimed that AI was used “to generate certain details or polish” already existing art that he created by hand. 

As for its part, WotC put out a statement saying that it had no knowledge that the pieces incorporated AI. This does make some sense as the typical WotC process would’ve had the art submitted last year, when people were not as knowledgeable about AI art. The company said that Shkipin has worked on D&D since 2014 so he will not be let go, but has been asked to refrain from using AI art in future projects. WotC will also revise its artist guidelines to make it clear that AI art generation is not allowed at any stage of the creation process. 

ENnie Winners Celebrate Solid Reporting And Very Different Ideas

via: Magpie Games

The ENnie Awards took place at Gen Con this weekend, with fan votes celebrating the best in tabletop writing, art, rules, and more. One big winner was Free League publishing, which saw its Vaesen Mythic Britain & Ireland book take home Product of the year. Free League’s Blade Runner and Ruins of Symbaroum also won for layout, cartography, and monsters. Avatar Legends also took home an award for its rules. And in a very well-deserved victory, Linda Codega of i09 got Best Online Content for all their work in breaking news about the D&D OGL saga. See the full list of winners here.

Play Avatar Legends With A Pro GM!

Baldur’s Gate 3 Goes Big, But Maybe Too Big

via: Larian Studios

The highly-anticipated Baldur’s Gate 3 launched last weekend and has been surpassing expectations. Steam player numbers are huge and reviews are praising with some talk of game of the year. Yet what’s most shocking might just be how graphic the content goes, in a purely visual sense. Players were shocked to boot up the character creator and find multiple options for genitalia. Even more surprising is a recent update that fixed an issue of “Penises C and D no longer clip through some Githyanki clothing.” Shoutout to Githyanki underwear enthusiasts. 

And that odd little nugget brings this week to a close. Even if tabletop D&D struggles to navigate the digital future, video game D&D seems to be doing just fine. And congrats to all the ENnie winners on a much deserved award! 

Aug 10, 2023
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