Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > The Gnomes of Zurich > The Industry

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-10-2019, 12:46 PM   #1
copeab
 
copeab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: near Houston
Default The professional Dungeon Master

A somewhat interesting article appeared recently on Bloomberg news about some DM's getting paid up to $500 a session.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...-hosting-games

I remember a letter in an issue of Dragon in the early/mid 90's where a DM said he was considering charging for his services and was not-so-subtley warned thar lawyers would soon be involved.

Interesting to have such a radical shift in one generation.
__________________
A generous and sadistic GM,
Brandon Cope

GURPS 3e stuff: http://copeab.tripod.com
copeab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2019, 02:38 PM   #2
ak_aramis
 
ak_aramis's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Alsea, OR
Default Re: The professional Dungeon Master

My experiences as a paid GM are mixed...

Paid by the store? had a reasonably good time. 3 problem players, only 2 of whom were at my table. One got banned, one got warned about either picking a different table, or accepting that no one else shared his view of events. The third was ejected by the owner for making threats.

Paid directly by players? The one group I ran for (this was early 90's, I was paid around $30 per session) was a totally toxic group of narcissistic jerks, each of whom was trying to out-jerk the others, all while intoxicated on various substances.

Food and petrol: I have run a few one shots where the players filled my tank with petrol and my belly with dinner. Those were more "establish the how to play by example"... and were quite fun.
ak_aramis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2019, 10:04 AM   #3
selenite
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Default Re: The professional Dungeon Master

I've found running games to be a good way to get a free con membership. Even non-gaming-focused cons often have a gaming room and want to list some scheduled events in it.
selenite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2019, 04:42 PM   #4
woodchuck
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: The professional Dungeon Master

I saw these guys on Indeed offering a paid job as a GM for kids. They say they're an educational non-profit.

https://www.thegameacademy.org/
__________________
Sapor similis pullo.
woodchuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2019, 05:36 PM   #5
copeab
 
copeab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: near Houston
Default Re: The professional Dungeon Master

Beyond some food and drink during a session, the only "payment" I ever got for running a game was in the early 90's, a softcover gaming book (BattleTech Rules of War, for a GURPS Space campaign). I don't think I could do it for cash, mainly because of the expectations of paying players.
__________________
A generous and sadistic GM,
Brandon Cope

GURPS 3e stuff: http://copeab.tripod.com
copeab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2019, 02:52 AM   #6
RogerBW
 
RogerBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: The professional Dungeon Master

When I ran games at GenCon in the 1980s and 1990s, the GM got a share of the game ticket price, though it wasn't very much.

Many for-profit conventions will give free memberships if you're running games since that helps to get in more paying customers, though in the UK they're getting more stingy - at Games Expo you have to run so many games for the free ticket that you end up not having any time to do anything except run your games.
RogerBW is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2019, 05:35 AM   #7
Kromm
GURPS Line Editor
 
Kromm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: The professional Dungeon Master

I've read about "professional GMs" before. More important, I've met a few.

For most people who do this, it's a sideline and not a living – a way to defray the cost of rulebooks, minis, dice, and perhaps dedicated gaming furniture, as well as geeky paraphernalia such as books and DVDs, swag, costumes, and replica (or real!) weapons. It's the GM with a room or home filled with stuff to use as props who most often makes this work. Personality, storytelling skills, rules knowledge, etc. matter, too, but less than you might expect. A lot of the time, clients are really paying to visit the "geek cave."

Anybody considering this should look at their investment in stuff: If it's big enough, they might just have an impressive enough space to make this work after a fashion! "Make this work" means earning enough to help pay back some of what they've poured into the money pit, not actually earning a living. :)
__________________
Sean "Dr. Kromm" Punch <kromm@sjgames.com>
GURPS Line Editor, Steve Jackson Games
My LiveJournal [Just GURPS News][Just The Company]
Kromm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2019, 09:16 AM   #8
sjard
Stick in the Mud
 
sjard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Rural Utah
Default Re: The professional Dungeon Master

It seems to have really taken off on the various Virtual TableTop setups. There are people who don't have a local group, who just want to play, usually with minimal wait times.

Quality of the GM doesn't seem to matter all that much.

For comparison, a lot of VTT games can be quite picky about adding players and so people can wait for quite some time before finding a game, and the handful of "Will take anyone who can make it at <insert time/date>." open games tend to fill very rapidly (within minutes, even for games that won't happen for a month or more).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Anybody considering this should look at their investment in stuff
This would seem not to be important for the online games. So I wonder how that compares, but I don't think there will be any sort of data you could just look at for some time, if ever.
__________________
MIB #1457
sjard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2019, 12:33 AM   #9
Christopher R. Rice
 
Christopher R. Rice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Portsmouth, VA, USA
Default Re: The professional Dungeon Master

I've done this for a little over a decade - not so much in the past couple of years - but I was earning quite a bit to run campaigns for high-paid professionals who wanted to be able to blow off steam with their friends without having to do extra work.
__________________
My Twitter
My w23 Stuff
My Blog

Latest GURPS Book: Monster Hunters Power Ups 1
Latest TFT Book: Crown of Eternity

Become a Patron!
Christopher R. Rice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2020, 06:43 PM   #10
Tenex
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: The professional Dungeon Master

Old thread, but I gotta brag about the sweet gig I had in high school back in 1981-3.

This guy started a company to teach classes for park districts that couldn't come up with instructors for classes their community wanted. I was initially hired to teach AD&D to grade school and junior high kids, but ended up teaching tennis, soccer, computers and random craft junk. Best of all, $6 an hour when minimum wage was $3.35 an hour. I only got about 5-10 hours a week. It would never have been enough for an adult to live on, but it was glorious for a 16 year old D&D geek.
Tenex is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.