RPG Creation During Quarantine

Inspiration in Isolation

Just before Mother’s Day, I contracted COVID, leading to a period of isolation, remote work, and plenty of downtime at my computer. Despite dealing with a foggy brain, I was inspired to create an RPG game that fits my style of gaming.

Engaging with AI

To validate my game ideas, I turned to ChatGPT. At first, the AI was presumptive, slightly skeptical, and a tad snarky. However, as I clarified the system and addressed its objections with well-thought-out solutions, I found myself appreciating the game system more and more. The AI, in its way, seemed to warm up to the concept too. In less than a week, I had completed the basic structure of my game, and coincidentally, a five-day treatment of Paxlovid successfully rid me of COVID symptoms and provided me with multiple negative test results.

The Virus and Refining

Yet, five days later, the virus made a comeback, sending me back into isolation. While this setback was not completely unexpected, it did afford me the time to further refine and clarify the game. By the third week, which coincided with the anniversary of my initial COVID symptoms, I was once again free of the virus. Now, aside from catching up with my clients, I’m on the hunt for the perfect voice for the game rules. I suspect finding it will become easier once I’ve settled on a specific setting.

Status and Future Plans

As of now, the game rules span 17 pages in a Google Doc and are complemented by a meticulously hyperlinked 64-page appendix, as well as a 4-page introductory adventure. I plan to playtest the game with a few friends. The decision to publish it remains uncertain, but either way, this project has been a source of immense enjoyment for me.


Sorry to hear that you were ill, but glad that you have recovered. I hope you suffer no lasting ill effects. What a fantastic use of your down time, though! That sounds really fun working on designing a new game system. I would love to hear more details as to the parameters you gave ChatGPT and the decisions you made about the system. I hope you have a lot of fun play testing it.

GPT-3.5 & 4

Getting ChatGPT (3.5 & 4) to work with you requires prompting, a lot of prompting. So much prompting that it takes multiple simultaneous chat sessions, because the AI can only remember a limited amount of the conversation. I try not to muddy up my conversations. To continue long conversations, you have to summarize, compile, condense, paraphrase, or simply repeat the ideas into a new chat session. I had multiple notepad documents open to help me copy and paste back and forth.

To start off, I knew what I was looking for, but I had to get ChatGPT up to speed and “thinking” about the topic. The first prompt was just to get the AI started with the idea and helped me recognize how my system could be perceived based on the AI’s feedback…


My first prompt: I have an idea for a role playing game. [gave simple examples of various games systems.] I would like to create an RPG that is [described the details of what I had in mind]:

In return GPT-4 gave me a list of general RPG design ideas with very standard tropes. A nice start, but I needed to tweak the ideas to line up with what I was thinking and correct a few assumptions.

I kept up this prompting until I could consistently get a proper response from GPT-4. Once I had the basics on how character creation worked, I needed a generic D&D character to convert.

New Chat Prompt 3.5

My next prompt: Create a 1st level D&D character named Fidget.

Again, I had to post lots of prompts to get the final product. The AI started with an average rogue, a couple skills, and then got lazy and said “etc.” Perhaps I should have prompted “create a complete D&D character”.

AIs Forget

Before the AI starts to forget, I ask GPT-4 to summarize what we had so far. I pasted the summary (with a few corrections) into a new Chat thread to continue the conversation.

New Chat Prompt 4

Then I pasted Fidget and my new rules into a new Chat thread with the prompt: Let see how well this works. Convert the following D&D character to this new system: [Fidget character sheet]

Once again, I had to coax the AI to finish the conversion. It also showed me holes in the text that I needed to fill in and clarify.

A Thousand Characters

Once the rules get beyond 1000 characters, you have to use a special multi-prompt method to keep the AI from muddying the conversation. I found this one online somewhere. Not sure it really works well after 5 pages of text, given the limited memory of GPT-4.

New Chat Prompt to “simulate uploading a document”

Prompt: `Act like a document/text loader until you load and remember content of the next text/s or document/s.

There might be multiple files, each file is marked by name in the format ### DOCUMENT NAME.

I will send you them by chunks. Each chunk start will be noted as [START CHUNK x/TOTAL],

and end of this chunk will be noted as [END CHUNK x/TOTAL],

where x is number of current chunk and TOTAL is number of all chunks I will send you.

I will send you multiple messages with chunks, for each message just reply OK: [CHUNK x/TOTAL], don’t reply anything else, don’t explain the text!

Let’s begin:



A bunch of text from the document goes here… about a 1000 characters, because you can’t post too much at once or you get an error. bla-bla-bla


Reply with OK: [CHUNK x/TOTAL], don’t reply anything else, don’t explain the text!`

That sounds like it took an incredible amount of patience. I certainly have had mine tried when just using chatGPT 3.5 to list spells or feats within certain parameters. Having to constantly remind it to stay on track has often made it much less useful, for sure. But kudos to you for figuring out that chunk system. And thank you for sharing your process. That was cool to read.