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Showing posts from June, 2023

The Chatbot's Dreams are Half-Constructed: AI and the Ghost of Racter

Hello, I'm Racter. Are you Neversay? > Yes You are Neversay Dice? > Yes Hi, Neversay. How are things in Maryland? We were talking about optimism last time. You had just asked whether I do dream. Shall we continue? Lately, chatter about "AI" seems utterly inescapable, even if the term refers to predictive modeling synthesis for text and images, rather than the mysterious, self-aware, and (usually) dangerous manufactured beings that feature in so much of my favorite media.  As a user, abuser, lover, and loather of language, I suppose I should be more excited and invested in this latest form of engagement, but most of the output seems functionally correct, but generally uninteresting and hollow - something akin to the linguistic equivalent of fast food: attention-grabbing and easy to consume, but ultimately unsatisfying and lacking both nutrition and character. ChatGPT, the most prominent of these large language models (LLMs) brings to mind its structural predecessors

Combating Player Indecisiveness

Take the corridor to the left or to the right? (Okay, it's probably the left. That's always where the treasure is, yeah?) Take a caravan north or rent your own horses and head west? Use the targeting computer or trust in the Force? Beam down or take a shuttle? What spell should I cast next round? While specific decisions may be unique to certain tabletop games, TTRPGs are, not unlike real life, a realm of (nearly) unlimited options. Or at least, options limited only by your own imagination. So it isn’t any surprise that a single problem often plagues players: indecisiveness. There are so many choices you’re able to make, it can become difficult or overwhelming to make even the simplest decisions. Often, it isn't a matter of basic "this vs. that" decisions, but situations with a myriad of available options. Couple this with occasionally having to decide things as a group, and it can easily become the kind of catastrophe that would gridlock just about any tabletop g

Taking Part in Pride Through Games

This year, it felt more important than ever that we do a post for Pride Month. But we found ourselves racking our brains trying to think of something that would be respectful, personal, and worth reading. It wouldn’t be fair for us to speak on behalf of our LGBTQ+ friends and players, and it wouldn’t be fair to you, our readers, if we simply regurgitated advice we'd read elsewhere. We want to encourage people to engage with more queer content in gaming (and partaking in work by queer creators - which isn’t always one and the same), but we simply aren’t doing enough of it ourselves to speak confidently about it. So we thought we’d make that our starting point: rather than coming from a place of experience or (heaven help us) authority, we’d talk about what we’d like to do this June to celebrate Pride through our gaming, how we'd go about finding them, and why these might be a good fit for us and for our tables. And, in our own process of discovery, we can help out some other gam

Special Guest Star: One Session Players

You’ve managed to coordinate all the schedules to get your players to the table (or most of them, at least). You’ve even put in some planning time on the campaign you’re running. Sounding familiar? Everyone who said they would actually show up…actually did! Only this time, one of them brought a friend. No need to fret! You can always incorporate a special guest star. While the preference is to try and have this planned out in advance, often short notice is the only time you’ll get (if any at all), to prepare for someone else at your table. Even with the surprise of a last moment guest addition, there are still different ways you can handle it. In case this happens to you, why not take a look at some of the advice below from your friends at Never Say Dice, so you’re at least a little prepared. (And maybe you’ll let us come guest star at your table sometime, too!) Assuming your guest is familiar with the game/campaign you’re planning to play that night, or at least with the system you’r