Dungeons & Dragons Goes Human-Only: AI Art Use Restricted by Publisher

Wizards of the Coast, renowned publisher of the popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), recently found itself in the midst of a controversy involving the use of AI artwork in its upcoming book. California-based artist and musician, Ilya Shkipin, a previous collaborator, came under scrutiny for employing AI technology to create illustrations for the forthcoming D&D sourcebook titled “Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants!”. Here’s what you need to know.


  • Wizards of the Coast banned AI-generated art in D&D after discovering an artist used AI to enhance their work. The company updated guidelines to prohibit AI art.
  • The use of AI in art has sparked debate. Some artists like Greg Rutkowski oppose AI art over concerns about style plagiarism and authenticity.
  • Despite popularity of AI art in NFTs, Wizards avoids NFTs and tightens artist guidelines. These address concerns about integrity of D&D’s creative universe.

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) AI Art

Dungeons & Dragons: What The AI Art Ban Really Means…

Shkipin, who holds a BFA in Illustration from the Academy of Art in San Francisco and is also a singer and bass player in an indie-rock band called The Laytcomers. He defends his use of AI technology, stating that AI was only employed to enhance certain details or assist in the editing process. Rather than generating the entire artwork from scratch.

Upon discovering the use of AI-generated art, Wizards of the Coast swiftly addressed the matter on Twitter. They  state they were not aware of the artist’s AI usage. They subsequently reached out to Shkipin and reached an understanding that would apply to all future contributors. The company confirmed that Shkipin would not be allowed to use AI for their work moving forward. Furthermore, the publisher introduced updated guidelines prohibiting artists from incorporating AI art generation in the development of D&D art.

The use of AI in the creative process has become a topic of debate in the artistic community. As AI-generated artwork gains popularity, questions arise about its cultural and commercial implications, including concerns related to plagiarism and copyright infringement. Greg Rutkowski, an acclaimed artist known for his work in D&D, has been vocal about his opposition to AI-generated art, pointing out that his unique style has been emulated by AI models like Stable Diffusion.

Is The Future Bleak For AI/Generative Artists?

Despite the prevalence of generative art within the NFT space, Wizards of the Coast has previously ruled out using NFT technology, even though its parent company, Hasbro, has offered NFTs in the past. Earlier this year, the company faced criticism for changes to its D&D-related game license that impacted creators making derivative works. Following backlash from the community, D&D ultimately scrapped the changes and adopted a creative commons license for its intellectual property.

While AI technology offers innovative possibilities in the art world, its integration raises important questions. These center around authenticity, artistic ownership, and the boundaries between human creativity and artificial intelligence. Wizards of the Coast’s decision to tighten artist guidelines is a clear attempt to address these concerns. They also maintain the integrity of the artistic process in the context of D&D’s imaginative universe. As the release of “Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants!” approaches, the controversy surrounding AI-generated art serves as a reminder of the ongoing tension between traditional artistic practices and emerging technologies.

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