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Pandemonium Post #2 - WOTC Presents: Glory of AI

I had every intention of delving into the intricacies of the OGL crisis, poised to present my perspective. However, it appears that the Wizards of the Coast, in their characteristic fashion, have graciously granted me another spectacle to scrutinize. Just as the announcement of Planescape had started to mend my view of this company, they stumble yet again, an exasperating dance of missteps that demands my scrutiny.


I must admit, dear readers, that I had been cautiously softening my stance toward these pursuers of profit. While their appetite for gold remains unquenched, their products occasionally had quality. Yet, my leniency stood on the precipice, poised to plummet with the unveiling of "Bigby Presents Glory of the Giants."


For those familiar with my quill, my fascination with the Circle of Eight is no secret. Thus, when news of "Bigby Presents Glory of the Giants" wafted to my ears, I found myself exhilarated, eagerly awaiting a book that was going to give me more of what I liked.


Alas, the badgers wept, for the reality that greeted me was a far cry from my hopeful imaginings. An AI-fueled artistic endeavor had rendered an utter travesty, casting a pall over it all. Yet, it is not the flawed creation itself that ignites my rage; it is the baffling manner in which WOTC chose to address this issue. In a bid to appease our collective artistic sensibilities, they proclaimed a parting of ways with the responsible artist.


One cannot help but marvel at their audacity. Even my nine-year-old cousin, would discern the disfigurements marring this artwork. Does WOTC lack the guidance of an art director? Or did they, in their infinite wisdom, beseech another digital tool to conjure their visuals?


My frustration courses through the ink of my quill, for in this realm of dice and daring exploits, the artist's hand is tantamount to a sorcerer's incantation. The visual tapestry woven in a TTRPG book is no mere ornamentation; it is the veritable tool that bridges us with the fantastical landscapes it portrays.


I truly think this issue to be the offspring of some fiscal problem, an endeavor led by one who does not even play Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, the balance sheet might have nodded approvingly, the ledger and market potential in harmonious alignment. But as one cannot sell pop tarts in a michellin star restaurant, neither can the essence of Dungeons & Dragons be conjured through the sterile machinations of AI art.


We need to do something about this. This behaviour, on WoTC’s side, is toxic and it is wounding the hobby. People -mostly experienced players whose been playing this game for more than 10 years- are already leaving the hobby. There won't be another Strangers Things and there won't be another Critical Role for WoTC, the company should open its eyes and stop acting like a hill giant with 7 intelligence.


I have always despised those who merely point out problems without offering solutions. Thus, here is what I deem to be a solution: Engage a prominent figure as the art director for the forthcoming product line, or entrust the artwork of the upcoming releases to an established and well-regarded artist. Collaborate with a renowned comic book artist or an individual whose name will restore trust in your products. Naturally, this approach might entail higher costs, and certainly, it won't yield the same profitability as AI-generated art. Nonetheless, I staunchly believe that this is the sole remedy for our prevailing quality concerns.


And so, my fellow connoisseurs of imagination, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for accompanying me in this realm of contemplation. This week's dialogue may have tested your patience, yet my own reservoir of endurance was thoroughly depleted by this regrettable incident. I implore you to share your voices, for within their harmonious chorus resides the melody of transformation. Let us strive to shepherd this realm toward the radiant horizon, and may our ardor remain unwavering, even amid the tempestuous tides.


Yours sincerely.

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