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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Feb 2009

    Default Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    I regained some of my sanity on the subway ride to Café 28. I regained the rest while waiting there for nobody.

    I'm pulling the plug on Caravan of Blades. My business plan from beginning to the near end was never going to work. My new business plan might have worked but it's too risky and would require more time than I can afford.

    There were too many problems going in and I knew it. I still went forward like an idiot. I am an idiot.

    When my father was alive, he was the one always taking care of things. Ever since I dropped out of a chemistry major I'd been kind of wandering lost, not knowing what to do with my life. I was also afraid of responsibility. When my father died several months ago, I got hit with the responsibilties of life pretty hard. In hindsight I think it was my fear of something I never really had to deal with that precipitated the whole mess of this debacle.

    There are a lot of things that would be needed to make paid GMing work.

    -credentials
    -a website made just for the campaign
    -video footage of my "methods"
    -ads that make $ whenever a hit is made on the site
    -a campaign design that didn't need too much work to maintain
    -ads in the papers or magazines
    -a financial safety net
    -sessions that can be cancelled easily

    There's certainly more.

    I think I was desperate not to face the harsh reality of my father's absence, and the pressure it puts on me to be a breadwinner.

    A pay-for-play campaign is a risky venture if you don't already have a stable financial situation. Gming for hire probably requires knowing the right people.

    It was an epic crash and burn but I think I'll be okay now. There are jobs I'm going to go look at to tide things over.

    I went a little nuts at the end. I'll leave the funny stuff up on the ff d20 website while I take down the business stuff.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    I feel bad for you that it didn't work out, don't feel to bad for taking a shot and failing, it happens.
    Well anyway, the best of luck with whatever your going to do now.
    Schrödinger cat? Schrödinger wizard? Schrödinger monk?
    What's next? Schrödinger equation? HΨ=EΨ? Seriously WTF?


    The best summary of this board I've seen so far:
    Quote Originally Posted by Frigs View Post
    Giantitp: The only place you can turn a discussion on D&D Economics into an argument about toxic potatoes.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Might I suggest finding a local RPG gamer's hangout? I know there's one near where I live called the "Dragon's Lair" where people go for DnD tournaments and stuff. Surely a place like that may have advice for somebody such as yourself - maybe even a job opening.
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverClawShift View Post
    Wizard: Ug. God. Allright. What do you want us to do?
    Me: Burn for me.
    Wizard: ...what?
    Me: I activate the fire ability. "BURN FOR ME!!!!!!"
    Lycanthrope avatar by me!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NPCMook's Avatar

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Or you could write for WotC, or Goodman Games, or anyone else who is looking for people with the will to design stuff

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Colmarr's Avatar

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Sorry to hear it didn't work out, CC.
    Kudos and thanks to Mortugg for the awesome custom avatar!

    Colmarr's Blog: The Astral Sea.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Wystrell's Avatar

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    You know, if the Anti-Paid-GM Contingent knew you had a better reason for asking for money, they probably wouldn't have spoken so loudly. Greater Internet &^%$wad Theory and all that...

    But, I think you're sort of on the right track. Instead of having people come to you, which is (as you've found) an unsteady source of income, why not go to the people? Advertise yourself as a GM that makes house calls - what type of house call is really up to you. Some ideas:

    -A bunch of would-be D&D nerds are totally lost when it comes to the game. They want you to teach them how because nobody else knows how it's done. They're willing to feed you. Maybe they're even willing to pay you.

    -Some guy is having his Somethingth birthday party and his friends are trying to think up the best way to suprise him. A professionally designed one-shot campaign? Classy, geeky, hilariously good fun. You could still advertise this as the leadership training idea, or bachelor's parties, kids parties, weddings (although I don't really know how to do that), the list goes on...

    -A mother of three is having trouble getting her youngest son to learn math. She's wary of the idea of violence, but you tell her that it's (a) tamer than what he'd see in a video game or on TV, or that (b) you'll tailor it so that he's only getting in social situations. It's a little less about being a GM and a little bit more of being a professional tutor, but I think any kid would be more willing to learn to add if his life depended on it.

    I've always been really interested in the possibilities of the last one. It's perfect - adding, subtracting, multiplication (crits), graphing (if you want to get complicated and make them figure out the exact distance travelled from one square to the next), probability, platonic solids...

    Again, these are just ideas. Some people might find this kind of gig-like work a little demanding, but if you're doing something wrong you'll either fix it quickly or fall down.

    EDIT: A benefit to doing all this - you could try running a one-shot version of a campaign or a battle before you do it with your own group with all the groups that hire you out, and see how many different ways people respond to the same situation. Then you've seen more potential directions the main campaign can go in, and you can stay a step, or perhaps a couple steps, ahead of your players.
    Last edited by Wystrell; 2009-03-12 at 01:56 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCommando View Post
    There are a lot of things that would be needed to make paid GMing work.

    -credentials
    -a website made just for the campaign
    -video footage of my "methods"
    -ads that make $ whenever a hit is made on the site
    -a campaign design that didn't need too much work to maintain
    -ads in the papers or magazines
    -a financial safety net
    -sessions that can be cancelled easily
    Plans that fail are never fun, sorry to hear all that.

    But I also think you got 2 of the above things seriously wrong, and wich and why i will now tell you:

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCommando View Post
    -a campaign design that didn't need too much work to maintain
    Erm, sorry but that translates into: "Nobody bought my product. I must lower the quality" Works for some goods, but only a few. Highly doubt DMing is one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCommando View Post
    -sessions that can be cancelled easily
    When i read your post yesterday i was already thinking "Oh boy. And my Friends who dont pay draw and quarter me already wheneve i dare to cancel a session on short notice for any other reason than the death of a close family member" (Recalling that one incident now, scrap that. death of a close family member isnt good enough either)

    If i pay you you dont cancel a session. If you can't make it you at least get a replacement. You don't tell somebody to take their money back home and bring it again on another day when you feel more like taking it.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    You have my sympathy, it's awful when you put so much effort into something that doesn't work out.

  9. - Top - End - #9

    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Well, I must say I would've been admired if there were people out there willing to pay, specially with so little preparation and credentials like you yourself said.

    But it isn't the end of the world.

    Just remember, D&D is a hobby, and the only way you can turn it into a profit is by creating and selling new material.

    The bad news is, it's a very competitive market, and only the very best can actually make a living out of it.

    Nice too see you seem to seem to have regained some sanity and realized people wouldn't just flock to your campaigns whitout a lot of pre-work.


    Above everything else, don't let yourself down! Failure is nothing more than preparation for sucess! Keep working hard at what you really want and you'll eventually suceed.
    Of course, that implies you discovering what you really want. Talk with your family and friends about it. It helps a lot, trust me.

    Finally, remember that big projects don't suceed whitout equally big amounts of work behind it.
    Last edited by Oslecamo; 2009-03-12 at 06:45 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Sorry it didn't work out
    Weren't there some people on our forum looking for game developers just recently? I'd look into what they were offering
    check out my metal band: http://www.facebook.com/Dreamslain

    Wash: "Sweetie, we're crooks. If everything were right, we'd be in jail."

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    So this is what's happening now.

    I ended up sleeping for 14 hours straight. My back doesn't shoot up when I turn or twist anymore.

    Since I did title this thread with "Aftermath", I'll follow up a bit with what I'm doing in the aftermath of "Caravan of Blades".

    I'm looking through a book called "How to Find Work in the 21st Century" by Ron McGowan. It's got sample resumés and a CD-ROM.

    I starting job-hunting by googling for waiter jobs in NYC. The first thing I found was this club opening up in Manhattan on the 20th. It's offering part-time work at $12 per hour. I'm going to keep searching today until I've got a good list of possible opportunities.

    I'll also try to find someone to help me get a website up with uploaded videos of demonstrations of my "pro GM storytelling" and other goodies related to RPGs. Maybe I can make a few bucks on the side from website ads from people checking out the site. That is how that works right?

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCommando View Post
    -credentials
    where do you get GMing Credentials?
    the only thing i can think of is running games at conventions
    please excuse my splling, im dysgraic

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    I am not familiar with your circumstances but don't allow yourself to give up on your plans or stop doing what gives you pleasure. Re-start your plans but handle it step by step in manageable chunks. If you give up on yourself it makes things worse.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kyouhen's Avatar

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Here's a thought, forgive me if it's been suggested already. Instead of trying to start up your own business for this, get a store to hire you. Find a gaming shop and ask if they'd let you host your games there. Let people know what day you'll be hosting games and get a few to come. Do that for a while, and when the people at the store see happy customers leaving after your sessions ask them if you'd be able to get a job doing it. They'd pay you to come in on certain nights to handle the games. If you're bringing them more business, they might agree.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NPCMook's Avatar

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCommando View Post
    So this is what's happening now.

    I ended up sleeping for 14 hours straight. My back doesn't shoot up when I turn or twist anymore.

    Since I did title this thread with "Aftermath", I'll follow up a bit with what I'm doing in the aftermath of "Caravan of Blades".

    I'm looking through a book called "How to Find Work in the 21st Century" by Ron McGowan. It's got sample resumés and a CD-ROM.

    I starting job-hunting by googling for waiter jobs in NYC. The first thing I found was this club opening up in Manhattan on the 20th. It's offering part-time work at $12 per hour. I'm going to keep searching today until I've got a good list of possible opportunities.

    I'll also try to find someone to help me get a website up with uploaded videos of demonstrations of my "pro GM storytelling" and other goodies related to RPGs. Maybe I can make a few bucks on the side from website ads from people checking out the site. That is how that works right?
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/submissions

    http://www.goodman-games.com/goodmangames.html (Half-Way down, Read Submissions)

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Crow's Avatar

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCommando View Post
    So this is what's happening now.

    I ended up sleeping for 14 hours straight. My back doesn't shoot up when I turn or twist anymore.

    Since I did title this thread with "Aftermath", I'll follow up a bit with what I'm doing in the aftermath of "Caravan of Blades".

    I'm looking through a book called "How to Find Work in the 21st Century" by Ron McGowan. It's got sample resumés and a CD-ROM.

    I starting job-hunting by googling for waiter jobs in NYC. The first thing I found was this club opening up in Manhattan on the 20th. It's offering part-time work at $12 per hour. I'm going to keep searching today until I've got a good list of possible opportunities.

    I'll also try to find someone to help me get a website up with uploaded videos of demonstrations of my "pro GM storytelling" and other goodies related to RPGs. Maybe I can make a few bucks on the side from website ads from people checking out the site. That is how that works right?
    The military's always hiring. =)
    Avatar by Aedilred

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    huttj509's Avatar

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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    The military's always hiring. =)

    Doesn't leave much time for trying to start up a new business on the side, tho.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Quote Originally Posted by Wystrell View Post
    You know, if the Anti-Paid-GM Contingent knew you had a better reason for asking for money, they probably wouldn't have spoken so loudly.
    Quite the contrary. Now that CC has truly and honestly analyzed his business plan, including the reasons driving it, he's finally at the point where he can decide if it's a good business decision.

    People should always do this kind of analysis. I'm a lot more sanguine about CC's future now that he has done it.

    Although, honestly, I'd suggest going back to school and finishing a degree is probably the best long-term plan.

  19. - Top - End - #19

    Default Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCommando View Post
    There were too many problems going in and I knew it. I still went forward like an idiot. I am an idiot.
    Don't be too hard on yourself; every innovation in human history sounded crazy before someone actually tried it. If I had the cash, I'd pay a DM. God knows I hardly ever get to play a live game.

    My sympathies for finding a job in NYC, it sucks. If you don't know people, or don't have a really aggressive personality, or if you're in the middle of an economic avalanche...yeah, it sucks.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Post Re: Professional GM Diary: Aftermath and Revelations

    i would never pay a gm, whether he calls himself proffesional or not. what for? rpg is fun when everybody is having fun, both gm and players alike, and gm-ing is not that dofficult... there is absolutely nothing worth paying for, unless you're into this stupid notion that gm-ing is actual work. no it isn't, it's fun. and if it is, playing is work as well and should be paid for as well. when i'm gm'ing, i spend couple of hours preparing. when i'm playing, i spend couple hours preparing.

    the only way to sell your 'mad gming skillz' would be if there were no others gm's around and lots of hungry players, which obviously is not the case, or maybe try kids. it's not 100% ethical from my point of view but an average group of 12yo kids could actually benefit from much older and experienced gm.
    Last edited by zombie; 2009-03-15 at 05:31 AM.
    must... eat... brain...

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