Transcript Brainwaves Episode 113

This is a transcript of  Brainwaves Episode 113

Direct quotes are in italics.

Oliver Kinne: Welcome to Brainwaves bringing you the best in tabletop gaming news. I’m Oliver Kinne.

Iain McAllister: I’m Iain McAllister 

Jamie Adams: and I’m Jamie Adams, and this is episode 113 of Brainwaves. These are the headlines for the week of the 26th of December 2022. 

Mythic Polynesia conjures up some racism 

GAMA president Goes West 

and tabletop games rake in the cash 

all this and more of this episode of Brainwaves 

Iain: Our first story this cast comes to us from Morgan Davie a friend of mine and one of the writers on the recent a|state Second Edition from Handiwork Games amongst other projects. Morgan recently posted a thread on Twitter detailing the problems around Mythic Polynesia an RPG supplement for the Mithras game system from ‘The Design Mechanic’. This is described on its Drivethru RPG page like this

Jamie:  Mythic Polynesia describes the people and cultures of the great ocean and is a complete guide to role-playing in this vast area of myth and Legend examining the traditions, myths, Gods, spirits and creatures of the great ocean. The Polynesian Islands are brought alive and presented through the Mithras game system the book includes an exhaustive overview of oceanian life, the tribes, their magic and their complex history and politics. A section on staging Polynesian campaigns offers Games Masters copious guidance on creating compelling Mythic Polynesian Adventures at the gaming table. 

Iain: Morgan refers to a thread by another user that Liam guy, @_boganova_ who embarked on a deep dive of the book. That Liam Guy starts the thread by describing the book as

Jamie: one of the more egregiously racist ttrpg books in recent years

Iain: Now I’m not going to dive into all the details of that thread in the time we have here but That Liam Guy doesn’t get long into the book before pointing out some pretty awful takes. For instance on the list of folk who worked on the book he notes that none of those involved are of a Polynesian background. Most notable the artist is European to which he says 

Jamie: Most notable is the artists are European. I highlight this as co-option of our visual culture is very hot water at least in Aotearoa. 

Iain: The thread goes on to detail many of the issues with the book including the changing of some of the language in the book to be easier to read for a western audience and some of the mechanics of the game having racist overtones. 

One of the worst things the book does is perpetrate a myth about the Moriori. These were the Native Polynesian people of the Chatham Islands a small island area off the Southwest coast of Aotearoa. Jamie will quote from a piece we will share on the subject as to the nature of this myth: 

Jamie: According to that story, Moriori arrived  on mainland Aotearoa before Māori but were pushed out to the Chathams by later and more dominant Māori migrants arriving from Polynesia. To add a touch of colour, the mythmakers also described Moriori as red-headed and of Melanesian “stock”.

Iain: This myth was used to later justify the western colonisation of Aotearoa and the surrounding islands with the logic being along the lines of “if the Maori can do this to the Moriori, then we can do it to the Maori.” 

Morgan goes on to point out in his thread that these are very real and harmful myths that are affecting folk today including people he knows. The myth is frequently repeated by white supremacists alongside the idea of the great replacement, which is the right-wing ideology that says white people are being replaced by other races. 

At the time of recording Mythic Polynesia has been out for almost a month and no one from The Design Mechanic has responded to the controversy. We’ve not had a chance to reach out ourselves and as far as we are aware Drivethru RPG has not responded to the controversy and the game is still available to buy on the platform. 

I should also like to point out that we are summarising a news story and this one is quite dense. We encourage you to read thread by Morgan and That Liam Guy and also the piece on the Moriori people that we mentioned earlier in the cast. We’ll put all the links to all those threads and articles in the show notes. 

Firstly I’d like to encourage you to really read up on this because there is some horrible history here and Mythic Polynesia as best I can tell stomps all over it. We could do a whole cast on just the story to be honest. We always feel like we can’t quite do this level of investigation justice in the format we have here. 

Secondly, stop doing this. Diverse voices are good. You need a diverse group of people working on projects like this. You need people from these cultures to help you out and diverse voices make things better. If it’s just Western voices you’ve got on your project then it’s going to have that mindset, that philosophy, that eye on it. There will be people you can get from the Polynesian area to help you out on your project. They will happily do so just reach out. 

One of the bits of the thread that I haven’t gone deeply into by That Liam Guy had a bit of back and forth from the main writer on the book who said he didn’t need to do any research. That he was quite happy doing research despite the fact that he perpetrated this myth that has been debunked since I think uh the thread says since the 1920s several times by different academics. 

So yeah it’s just come on please stop.  If you’re going to write about, if you’re going to write about cultures you don’t, you don’t have like academic degrees in and haven’t visited 

Jamie: and immersed yourself in that culture and are aware and are sensitive to that culture 

Oliver: it is so easy to get cultural Consultants on these projects these days. I know it costs a bit of money but if you just do and research using internet search whatever you’re just gonna yeah repeat those myths that have been spread around and we’ve seen so many other projects using cultural consultants in such a great way and creating you know games that are really immersive and you know true to to the culture that they represent or that they’re they’re set in so yes stop doing this. 

Iain: yeah we were just talking about coyote and crew and the last cast the the Native American based RPG has got loads of new American folk working on it artist, writers all sorts and it’s had huge plaudits and won awards and all sorts so this stuff benefits your project why not do it?

Jamie: Now we might sound like we’re disappointed I don’t but I can’t speak for these two I’m fuming. Cut it out. 

Iain: Stop it!

Oliver: Absolutely there is no place for that any longer 

Iain: absolutely not and no excuse for either no people are chomping at the bit to help you out with your projects. You just need to find them and it’s not very hard.

Iain: Anyway Oliver a bit of news from GAMA. 

Oliver: Yes the Game Manufacturers Association announced that GAMA president Frank West has stepped down on the 25th of November 2022 after being in the role for only three months since 18th of August. 

He replaced Grace Collins who was GAMA board’s vice president at the time and had taken over as the interim president from Kyle Primus. Primus had also stepped down earlier this year on 18th of July. Grace Collins will assume the role of interim GAMA board president while the association looks for a new board president. GAMA will hold a special election until 31st of March of next year 2023 to fill the available positions, and members will be sent details about this process, well would have been sent details by now, on the 30th of November 2022.

We reached out to Frank for comment and he said that it was a decision he made himself and most likely came as a shock to the board. In addition he said

Iain: This industry has done a lot for me over the years and I want to make sure I give back to it as much as I can. I want to help others find the success I have and to help spread the hobby to more people and unfortunately I think there are better ways I can use my time to do that than by the position I had in GAMA. It was a friendly departure and I wish them all the best. 

Oliver: yeah so obviously lots of changes of gamma yet again and I don’t think this is the first story um I don’t know whether the cast is covered similar but 

Iain: oh yeah we have 

Oliver: recall other things happening in the past so even when this article alone there’s like four three three or four different names being named leaving and people joining and then leaving again so lots of chopping and changing which is doesn’t it make GAMA look good and there’s been other controversies about representation on the board yeah and all those things so yeah yet another story that isn’t very positive and I think we had great hopes with Frank being on the board as well so that’s shame seeing him leave 

Iain: I mean we spoke to Frank earlier in the year On Stage and he seemed like a really smart guy. He’s got his head screwed on straight, he seems to understand the industry, and yeah I had high hopes for his presidency of GAMA to actually turn it into an organization that really helped people. 

But yeah, I mean reading between the lines a little, and this is total speculation on my part nothing to do with the email I sent to Frank at all, reading between the lines and all it sounds like he’s been frustrated by the structure of GAMA and and some realisation that he couldn’t really do what he wanted to do with that organisation which is a real shame. 

I mean at this point I’m not actually sure what gamma does very much for the gaming industry. Obviously there’s the convention. If you’re listening to this cast and you’ve had a good experience with GAMA helping you out please do let us know because we really really

Oliver: we would love to hear from 

Iain: we’re really interested to know how they’ve helped you out. Because at the moment it just seems to they seem to have elections that is what they do. There’s been a lot of elections in GAMA over the last year so that seems to be their main purpose 

Oliver okay so let’s yeah let’s try and move forward and actually yeah find out what GAMA is trying to achieve and why it’s not achieving it.

Iain: absolutely yeah

Jamie tabletop games are raking in the money at Kickstarter 

Jamie: Crowdfunding company Kickstarter announced that the publicly funded projects on its platform have reached a total value of 7 billion dollars since the platform launched in 2009, whilst tabletop games accounted for more than 20% of this amount. Tabletop games which includes board games RPGs card games and miniatures, along with accessories account for around 1.57 billion dollars of the platform’s lifetime total, and make up over 50% of the game category which also includes video games and related entertainment. 

Over 36000 tabletop game projects were launched on Kickstarter and roughly 23500 of those successfully funded which represents a success rate of about 65% and contrasts pretty well against the reported 40% site-wide average. 

Kickstarter mentions a number of games that helped in its success including Cascadia Flat Out Games’ most recent board game which had 9 000 backers who pledged 272 856 dollars towards the project. Projects with the most funds and most backers include the Gloomhaven sequel Frosthaven and a reprinting of Kingdom Death Monster and Zombicide. 

We have talked about Kickstarter and indeed any crowdfunding campaigns just endlessly it’s usually at least once every two or three episodes we’ve talked about it. Of course it’s doing a lot you know it’s got now got more no there’s about enough you know one dollar for every human being that’s on the planet. 

Oliver: yeah 

Iain: yeah there we go that’s a lot of crowdfunding. 

I do wonder if like, if the amount that tabletop games made for Kickstarter in the last year or so, how it compares to previous years because we’ve got now we’ve got Gamefound we’ve got Backerkit uh got any other Rivals around at the moment no those are the main two.

Jamie: Gamefound and Backerkit are the ones that are specifically designed but there has been like Indiegogo has had some tabletop games

Oliver: yeah there’s various crowdfunding campaigns but those are focusing on on the board game or tabletop game industry specifically and we obviously heard that tabletop games as a whole you know as an industry is doing really well this year so yeah obviously Kickstarter doing well and pointing that out in its stats is no surprise really but as you say just be nice to see what the trend is and whether other crowdfunding campaigns are gaining ground. 

I mean Gamefound just working very hard to get some customers off kickstarter Backerkit is obviously doing well as well so yeah be nice to hear how they’ll compare and how it’s changing over time 

Iain: yeah I guess it will shake out in a year or so because Backerkit only very recently launched with a very big slate of companies behind it including Cephalofair with their one of their games I think they did the gloomhaven Miniatures through Backerkit. So yeah some very big companies there. 

Iain: That’s enough headlines I think let’s move on to the rest of the news

Oliver: Dungeons and Dragons the popular fantasy tabletop role-playing game, is trying to move beyond the term race and replace it with something else. In a press release published on the website DnD Beyond the company recognizes that race 

Iain:is a problematic term that has had prejudiced links between real world people and the fancy peoples of DnD worlds” 

Oliver: Since the fifth edition of DnD released in 2014 the company has actively reduced the usage of the term so it only applies to the game mechanic. In 2020 the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything tried to further decrease the usage of the term “Race” by introducing an alternative to character creation. 

The lore of the people throughout the DnD Multiverse has also evolved and the company has been more proactive in removing past prejudices stereotypes and unconscious biases. As its replacement Dungeons and Dragons wants to use the term species in the upcoming One DnD. Playtest materials for this next generation of DnD will contain the new term which was chosen in close coordination with multiple external cultural consultants. Playtesters will be asked to provide feedback on the new term and the company generally wants to foster positive and open dialogue. 

Now I wonder whether species versus race is going to make a huge difference. Obviously race racism you know that is very closely related, species there’s no speciesism as such, so well so maybe in people’s minds that is a step forward. To be honest just replacing one word with another I don’t know whether that’s going to change the culture of the community and and the sort of yeah um racism and other transphobia and everything else I think we’ve heard happening in in the community whether that’s going to improve just by replacing a term whether the company should do more what what do you guys think? 

Iain: I mean I think it’s good they’ve reached out to cultural consultants on this, they say they have so lets believe them for that and I do think like a big company trying to do this kind of thing, trying to like actually change its culture that that ebbs out the ways it ripples out the way and it encourages different folk into the hobby which like hopefully push out some horrible racists that are in there and like with that would like say oh this is fine it doesn’t matter to me but. Yeah I I hope there are some good changes here and I hope they stick to their guns on it. 

They have backed down on this kind of thing before Wizards have had problems over the last year or so with saying that they were going to bring culturing consultants and then kind of later revealing that they hadn’t really done as much as they should have so it’s where they follow through on this and actually stick their guns on it I think it really matters here I hope they do because I think that would be good. 

Oliver: Iain there’s another announcement from Wizards 

Iain: Yes indeed sticking with Dungeons and Dragons for this next piece. The Open Gaming Licence (OGL) has been a major part of the growth of Dungeons and Dragons since the launch of fifth edition. 

This licence allows creators and companies outside of Wizards of the Coast to use the Dungeons & Dragons system to make their own products. The Open Gaming Licence is nothing new to Dungeons and Dragons: it started with Third Edition and it’s been present in every edition since. 

Many have been wondering how One DnD the forthcoming edition of the game, though Wizards would prefer we didn’t use the word edition whatever, will handle the OGL especially with Wizards of the Coast making noises about wanting to monetize Dungeons and Dragons more as we reported in our last cast. 

Those questions have been partially answered in a new post on the DnD Beyond website entitled “OGLs SRDs and One DND”. The SRD is the Systems Resource Document that details the mechanisms of the current edition of Dungeons and Dragons. 

The article assures everyone that One DnD will include an SRD and be covered by an Open Gaming Licence. This is partly due to the backwards compatibility the new edition will have with 5th edition. A new version of the OGL which will be version 1.1 will be released by Wizards in early 2023. They say they’re doing this because 

Oliver: The OGL needs an update to ensure that it keeps doing what it was intended to do allow the DnD community’s independent creators to build and play and grow the game we all love, without allowing things like third parties to Mint DnD NFTs and large businesses to exploit our intellectual property.

Iain: The new OGL will make it specific that it only covers printed and ePub material and that other output like video games, fiction books etc will be covered by bespoke agreements with Wizards. 

The post goes on to say that they will be offering different terms to the different types of content creators as Wizards sees them. They identify three different types in the document. 

Those making sharealike content i.e. don’t charge for the product. Little will change to those creators.

If you’re selling content you’ll need to report OGL related Revenue annually if you make over fifty thousand dollars and include a creator product badge on your work. 

The biggest change however is their new royalty system for the really big earners 

Oliver: for the fewer than 20 creators worldwide to make more than $750,000 in income in a year we will add royalties starting in 2024 so even for the creators making significant money selling DnD supplements and games, no royalties will be due for 2023 and all revenue below $750,000 in future years will be royalty free. 

Iain: It’s a little unclear from this post if the 50k and the 750k figures here are before or after expenses. 

The company finishes the piece by saying: 

Oliver: Bottom line the OGL is not going away. You will still be able to create new DnD content publish it anywhere and game with your friends and follow us in all the ways that make this game and communities great. The thousands of creators publishing across Kickstarter, DMs Guild, and more are a critical part of the DnD experience and we will continue to support and encourage them to do that through One DnD and beyond.”

Iain: Now before we get into like discussing this I think it’s worth noting that the OGL for fifth edition didn’t actually get released until January the 12th 2016 and Fifth Edition itself was released on September the 30th 2014. There are a lot of people out there expecting the new OGL to release at the same time as the current as the forthcoming rule set and that wasn’t the case for Fifth Edition. I mean that said there are a lot more folk relying on fifth edition for their income than there were at the transition of fourth to fifth 

Now there’s been a lot of

How do I put this? 

There’s been a lot of like wailing and gnashing of teeth out there on Twitter that I’ve seen from a lot of creatives in the role-playing game community and at the moment I don’t see a huge amount to be concerned about. If you’re making like fifty thousand dollars plus or seven hundred fifty thousand dollars plus in a year. Well done. That’s still a lot of money you’re making. 

Maybe they’ll bring down that ceiling for royalties it’s entirely possible it sounds to me like Wizards are going after folk like, going after is the wrong word, it seems to me like from Wizards the coast are wanting to profit a little bit more from folk like Critical Role who they are intimately involved with but they also would like to see a little bit more money from their actual use of their intellectual property and unfortunately why not because you know capitalism. They want a bit more money from their games. Why not. 

Jamie: We’ve talked about many times before Critical Role is a cultural Juggernaut 

Iain: Absolutely

Jamie: and the Matt Mercer effect is an actual thing 

Iain: yeah 

Jamie: and yes Wizards of the Coast, and their parent company Hasbro, have got a lot of money from people going “I really enjoy critical role I’ll buy the various books that they use I’ll buy books to start playing my own version of DnD” but want to have a bigger slice of the pie in fact why not have almost all the pie? 

Iain: I mean they already make a lot a lot of money from DMs Guild we’ve discussed DM’s Guild um before I mean they make about I think it’s about 50% they make from that from everything that’s sold on there so that they’re not going to get rid of that revenue stream.

Jamie: something something commodity fetishisation 

Oliver: Yeah, I think what’s interesting as well is they don’t mention what that royalty is what the amounts actually would be. They also mix up the terms income and revenue maybe it’s different in the US but over here revenue means basically anything you invoice someone for that’s the money you get so you know if I get fifty thousand dollars that’s my revenue but I might be spending forty thousand dollars in printing books and marketing and whatever so my income then would be only ten thousand dollars so sure there’s a bit of confusion here on the finance side of things and and also if that if they are charging royalties then also going to support those creators because if they’re making money of it does that mean they’re going to sort of start building a closer relationship and supporting them in some ways other than just you know…

Jamie: The cynic in me says no they’re just going to keep taking the money and parasitizing off these people until they wither and die

Iain: Maybe?

Jamie: whether in a business sense or…. moving on in an article posted on 15th of December 2022 editor Monsieur Guillaume announced the death of Tric Trac

Tric Trac is an online board game community featuring reviews, videos, and general discussion among members of the website. This is the third time that Guillaume has announced the end of Tric Trac but this time it actually sounds like it’s final. 

In March 2018 Flat Prod the official owner of Tric Trac was purchased by Plan B games. Tric Trac was then purchased by Asmodee in July 2019 from Plan B both times Guillaume announced the end of Tric Trac. For both times the website continued. 

The latest announcement by Guillaume of Tric Trac’s death lists several reasons why Embracer Group’s purchase of Asmodee means it’s final this time. He cites the departure of original editors Monsieur Phal and Dr Mops, the shutdown of the Tric Trac offices for eight months during the covid-19 pandemic, the cost of Tric Trac’s recent weekly videos which were produced with the help of a Parisian studio and shot on location, the decisions of some Publishers not to work with trick track after its sale to Asmodee, and the fact that Publishers prefer to work with board game influencers directly. 

Now, shutting down sources of news like this is why we keep doing what we do. I say this as three white middle class guys, we need diverse voices and people aware of those things are not all new people and yeah it’s not all expensive Kickstarters it’s not all custom 3D trays. 

Iain: yeah. 

Jamie: We really hope the writers and staff at Tric Trac land on their feet. We need more, we need more of this to remind people that boardgaming is not all this it is it is a luxury Hobby but it’s not all the growth side 

Olive: yeah and let’s not shut down a new service for commercial reasons by the sound of it what’s going on here again reading between the lines you know let’s let’s have have more news let’s have more people report what’s going on from from people who know what they’re talking about. 

Iain: yeah we’re not commercially viable at all so you can’t shut us down, 

Oliver: yeah

Iain: keep Broadcasting 

Jamie: Pirate Radio baby Pirate Radio 

Iain: Absolutely. 

Oliver: Well it sounds like a bit of chaos going on here and I’ve got a story about Chaosium Inc. So, Chaosium Inc, the creator of role-playing games such as Runequest, Call of Cthulhu, King Arthur Pendragon, and Heroquest released a statement about the use of AI art in its games

AI art has recently made the headlines because these software programs use copyrighted artwork as the basis for creating images from text or other problems selected by users of these artificial intelligence applications. AI art software providers claim that the solutions do not infringe on anyone’s copyright and create completely new images. Some AI art applications charge for their use. 

Chaosium Inc. has taken the stance against AI art and announced that they are updating their art contract, so that contractors have to vouch that the work is 

Jamie: the product of a human artist who created the piece and that it does not contain unlicensed derivative use of someone else’s work”

Oliver: Chaosium Inc goes on to say that they are

Jamie: “concerned about the ethics of AI art and its impact on the livelihoods of artists, and the ability of artists to maintain control over use of their creations.”

Oliver: The company hopes that U.S courts will soon declare that AI art violates the copyright of artists and that the European Union will pass legislation that effectively prohibits the AI programs to freely use copyrighted work available on the internet. 

In a related news story the U.S Corporate Office, or USCO, maintains its position that AI generated work cannot be copyrighted. Stephen Taylor asked the office to reconsider its original ruling from 2019. In his request Taylor stated that he 

Jamie: was seeking to register this computer-generated work as a work-for-hire to the owners of the Creativity Machine.”

Oliver: A three-person board upheld the USCO’s original decision and confirmed that Taylor’s work

Jamie: “lacks the human authorship necessary to support a copyright claim.” 

Oliver: Now we have another AI story about kickstarter Iain. 

Iain: Yes. Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that we talked about earlier, has also weighed in on the AI art debate. They approached the issue from the angle of protecting creators and specifically the humans behind creative work. In a recent update published on the 21st of December 2022 and titled “Our current thinking on the use of AI generated image software and AI art”. 

Kickstarter says that they 

Jamie: “must consider not only if a work has a straightforward copyright claim but also evaluate situations where it’s not so clear” 

Iain: They go on to say that

Jamie: “where images that are owned or created by others might not be on a Kickstarter project page, but are in the training data that makes the AI software used in the project, without the knowledge, attribution, or consent of creators.”

Iain: Kickstarter will also

Jamie: “consider the intention behind projects, sometimes beyond their purpose as stated on our platform.” 

Iain: and that Kickstarter rules 

“prohibit projects that promote discrimination, bigotry, or intolerance towards marginalized groups, and we often make decisions to protect the health and integrity of Kickstarter.”

The company accepts that AI technology is very new and can see that they don’t have all the answers at the moment but they want to continue the discussion of AI art as it pertains to the crowdfunding platform. 

As part of this new drive Kickstarter suspended funding from a project called Unstable Diffusion which was a new AI art generator, much to the chargrin of the people involved in that project. 

Now this is another one of those articles where we could basically make an entire podcast series about AI art and interview people about it. A lot of people are discussing AI art at the moment and we had Jon Hodgson on recently from Handiwork Games and we, you know I chatted about AI art and he’s got a lot of interesting things to say about AI art and I thoroughly encourage you to check out some of his Facebook posts on that because he’s a much, he’s thought about this a lot basically a lot more than I have and has some really interesting things to say on that. 

The consensus mostly seems to be that these applications are interesting on the academic level but have no place to be used for commercial gain at the moment. We’re seeing similar attempts in other creative areas we’ve seen ChatGPT attempts to become a more powerful chat system that emulates human responses and interactions and we are seeing people create stories with that software as well. 

Uh yeah who knows what who knows what comes next after that.

Oliver: We’ve previously seen um AI make music so obviously a lot of “creativity” happening here um from Ai and other sort of artificial software. As I say I think it’s interesting to see what they come up with, it’s nice to play with but obviously claiming that they can create copyright free artwork or new artwork that can be used in a game maybe even copyrighted by the “Creator” here I just think that that’s obviously ridiculous. 

I mean in Academia if if you quote or if you write something, an article an essay or whatever, you quote your sources so AI art and theories should do the same but of course the software probably can’t because they haven’t got that information so it’s a real mess. 

Jamie: another question is, is let’s just face it the quality of the art because what is being what are these systems using what are they pulling from because I don’t you know this is not you know gospel, but I was reading something recently, I can’t remember where so please don’t jump down my throat and if I’m wrong mia culpa, that AI generated art in some places it’s getting to the point where they are pulling from other AI generated art and the overall quality iteration through iteration is just plummeting. 

Iain: that might be true however I, I’ll ask this question, and so something to mull on. So if I am an art student at university like you were talking about academic texts there obviously if you’re writing an academic text you go from your sources absolutely. 

But if I’m an art student I go to an art gallery right and I look at you know I look at Monet’s, I look at paintings I get inspired right by other artists and I draw stuff or paint stuff or whatever yeah 

Oliver: yeah 

Iain: agreed? 

Jamie: yes 

Iain: a lot some of these AI programs they are not like some people seem to think that they’re sort of cutting and pasting stuff together that’s not how, as I understand it and a lot of this is from my understanding from what John Hodgson has written about about this subject, is that they aren’t doing that they’re not cutting and pasting stuff and putting them back together somewhere else. They are learning to they’re basically learning to “look at” art and then produce stuff that looks similar or they’re producing their own thing based on based on what they’re looking at. 

What’s the difference? is my question there. 

Oliver: I mean I had the same sort of thought I mean even artists paint in the style of Monet and they say this is in the style of whatever artist so intentionally copy the style and the way of painting and obviously you get to a point where then have people obviously fraudulently creating paintings that that pass off as original Arts but you know let’s all go there. So you have that same with music you know the the AI that’s where it’s created music isn’t actually copying and pasting pieces of music from somewhere else it’s actually identifying rhythms or um I don’t know tunes and things and creating new pieces of art. 

But it gets to a point where that is fine I think as I say you can create that and it’s quite nice to listen to your Spotify playlists that Spotify chooses your favourite tunes for you using some sort of artificial program but it’s in a different thing passing that off as your piece of art that you created using this tool, and then even worse if you’re then trying to sell that solution whether it’s the AI software you know some of them are subscriptions that you have to pay for or the Artist as I say that creates this new piece of art using AI art technology, passing them off as their own art that is not someone else’s and I think that’s where it gets very yeah very 

Iain: murky 

Oliver: murky and yeah difficult and I don’t think that, that’s where the problem is. 

Iain: I agree I think I think yeah it’s very interesting to like like you said Oliver is very interesting tech. There are a lot of interesting ethical problems around it I don’t think a lot of the sort of pitchforks are out for it are particularly helpful and people like John are trying to have relatively calm conversations about the nature of this stuff and its threat to artists he he he’s thinking about that kind of thing. 

Do go and read John’s pieces we’ll link to his thoughts in the show notes uh and we’ll link to the cancelled Kickstarter as well so you can leave the comments on that as well. 

It’s uh we’re gonna I imagine we’re going to be talking about this throughout 2023 because it’s going to come back uh in the tabletop games industry for sure. How long before we see a board game mostly made with AI? Not long would be my guess but we’ll see what happens.

 yeah it’s a fascinating subject and we could talk about it forever 

Oliver: definitely

Iain: and probably not come to any really solid conclusions uh but yeah it is a fascinating article do come and talk to us about it on our Discord and um yeah and send us your thoughts if you’d like us to read out some thoughts uh some of your thoughts and emails if you’re an artist and you think it’s good or if you’re an artist and you think you’re threatened by this which is totally understandable right into us let us know we’d love to hear from you.

Jamie: We would like to say a big thank you to all our patrons on patreon. You are absolutely wonderful. Thank you for chucking us some morsels from your financial tables.

James Naylor. Thank you so much for giving us some money you are absolutely wonderful folks. If you’ve enjoyed listening to us and you’d like to throw us some money from your virtual table some crumbs and financial crumbs as it were, we have a patreon, we also have a support page if you can go and support us if you’d like us to continue doing what we’re doing.

But also if you like dice. I mean if you really like Dice. And you also like metal well if you go to and use the promo code ROLLWITHBRAINS you will get how much off Iain? 

Iain: 10% discount and we get a 10% cut of what you buy as well 

Jamie: 10% and 10% of that okay that’s fine okay. 

And we also have some merchandise at sir meeple if you look for some meeple and find the giant brain collections we have some lovely t-shirts uh sketches and doodles and lovely stuff I quite like them. 

Iain: They’re good and I actually need to get some for us for next year

We’re not quite done yet. 

It’s not been the best of times for a nerd favourite actor Henry Cavill of late. First he left the Witcher TV series seemingly in in anticipation of getting more work as Superman. Then James Gunn new boss of DC Studios said they were going in a different direction and that wasn’t going to happen. But do not fear loyal subjects

Cavill is set to executive produce and star in a TV series being made based on the Warhammer 40 000 Universe. The series is being developed by Amazon. In a statement Cavill said:

Oliver: “I have loved Warhammer since I was a boy, making this moment truly special for me. The opportunity to shepherd this cinematic universe from its inception is quite the honour and the responsibility.” 

Iain: It being early days there are no details in the series at the moment but it’ll be the first time that Warhammer has made its way to the small screen at such a scale. 

Jamie: there was an ultramarines there was an ultramarines film which also had John Hart in it but it wasn’t 

Iain: mostly on YouTube and things like that wasn’t it wasn’t really on a big streaming service that I remember.

Jamie: that’s what I’m saying, there was a film, it was an animated film. It had the voice of John Hurt the great late great John heart but yes this is truly an Intergalactic scale if you pardon the pun. Now if they’re going by I’m gonna do this if they’re gonna go for material that’s already out there my thoughts immediately go to something like The Inquisitor Eisenhorn series or Gaunts Ghosts novels both by Dan Abnett. 

However there’s such a rich mine to see mine to rich seam to mine from that’s the words it’s near the end of the year I’m sorry my brain is going folks.

Iain: I do hope they don’t steer away from the fact that basically everyone in the Imperium is kind of awful, and the Imperium itself is kind of awful. 

Jamie: John Q Guardsman turns out to be the man who meets the emperor and saves the world. Um no just a regular reminder that the Imperium of man and Warhammer 40 000 is a fascist theocracy and that’s putting it mildly and there are no good guys 

Iain: And also meant to be kind of a parody of fascist bureaucracies, kind of forgotten sometimes. No matter how many times Games Workshop say it the Space Marines are not Heroes. 

Oliver: and good news is that the announcement pushed up the um Games Workshop share price about 16% on the day so that’s that’s 

Jamie: What a surprise 

Iain: yeah I mean Games Workshop has done gangbusters over the pandemic and this kind of thing is just where they want to go if they want to grow their sort of like I guess their sort of mainstream appeal and like get get a bit more of that sort of mainstream recognition 

Jamie:  we talked about when Henry Cavill was on The Graham Norton Show and got a bit a ridicule there’s maybe one way to put it but just got a bit kind of oh well 

Iain: bullied is the right way to put it 

Jamie: I think that might be a bit strong I just thought made made fun of when he was talking about Warhammer you can see his passion he had for 40K.

Iain:  yeah and it was lovely to see someone like talk about that kind of thing openly and not not be afraid of saying like yes I like playing toy soldiers I also like putting together like gaming PCs. I mean he he got like huge YouTube followings over over the pandemic like of pictures of like sweaty Henry Cavill putting together his gaming PC. 

Jamie: I mean Terry Crews also built a gaming PC with his son I think yeah and I think if it’s to be if I think the story was Henry Cavill almost um missed the call to say you were Superman because he was playing World of Warcraft at the time. 

Iain: anyway folks we’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes. We’ll be back in 2023 of course so I will put out a date for the first cast once I know what that is because I don’t remember off the top of my head. 

Uh but yes we hope you all have a very good Christmas and a bit of relaxing time off. We’ll be having a little bit of a break from the site and the cast ourselves and uh then we’ll be back to bring you more tabletop gaming news in 2023 . 

Oliver: yeah Merry Christmas Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone 

Jamie: have a great festive period 

Iain: indeed. So as always thank you also very much for listening over the year it’s been a real pleasure bringing you this cast over the last few years and we’ll continue to do so as long as we like doing it.

If you like what you’ve listened to then the best way to help us out is to share the podcast and drop us a review and rating on itunes.  You can also follow us on








Email: [email protected]

Have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year and we’ll see you in 2023. 

Oliver: It was an honor being part of this new series thanks very much for inviting me just wanted to quickly finish that off 

Iain: no worries you’ll be back in 2023 I hope 

Oliver: yeah I’ll see you there 

Whole Cast: bye