Behind The Screen: Professional GMing is a Thing?!

I want to start off first by thanking Crymson Pleasure for pointing this out to me. I’d also like to thank my wife for insisting, for years now, that I should look into this career.

Since the beginning of May I’ve become a paid Game Master. I set up games through a site called StartPlaying.Games that Crymson told me about. SPG handles the scheduling, the payouts, and offers much support by way of an active Discord server. They also take 10%, which in reality is not that bad when you can set your own prices and quotas for filling seats.

Whether we have the rapid rise in popularity of D&D to thank, or our quarantining fan-base resorting to online gaming, being paid to run games is rather easy.

You start by creating a template for a game which you then submit for approval. The template consists of some artwork, the hook for the game, as well as the tags and system you’ll be using. Once it’s approved you can list it publicly and set the time and date of the first session

Once a player requests a seat at your table and you approve it, they will see more details that you’ll have posted in a section called Prep Materials. This is a good place for links to your Discord, the VTT service you’ll be using, or in my case the campaign I’ve created on D&D Beyond.

Aside from using a homebrew campaign that was readily available in my own headspace, I chose to set the parameters of the game for 4 to 6 players, at $15 a seat per session. The nice thing is that you can then lower the cost per session as circumstances dictate. In this instance I decided that the session 0 would be free, so I can easily go in and lower the cost to 0 for that session, and once the subsequent sessions are scheduled I can raise it back up to the original booking price.

The payments are collected when the session starts unless a player chooses to skip the session giving a 24 hour notice through the player panel on the site. When all was said and done for the evening I was able to request a view of my account which showed the pending payouts for the evening. A few days later I was able to request the payout be sent to my bank account.

The idea of getting paid to GM a game was almost sacrilegious to me, leaving a bad taste in my mouth at the mere thought of it, but now that I’ve done it I don’t understand what I was concerned with.

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