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Thread: Professional DM

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Professional DM

    Would you be willing to hire a DM to run games for you so you didn't have to.
    I have thought about this sometimes and thought it would be nice to have a someone run a game for me.
    This gave me the thought that it might be possible to be a traveling DM and make money off of it.
    So how many people would pay a DM to run a game?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar5 View Post
    Would you be willing to hire a DM to run games for you so you didn't have to.
    I have thought about this sometimes and thought it would be nice to have a someone run a game for me.
    This gave me the thought that it might be possible to be a traveling DM and make money off of it.
    So how many people would pay a DM to run a game?
    It has an "It would be cool if..." quality to it, but the practicalities don't seem to be there. I just can't see paying a total stranger for that.

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    Default Re: Professional DM

    An interesting idea. However, if you were paying someone to DM for you, they'd either be obligated to make the game exactly what you wanted, or you'd be paying for a campaign you might not actually enjoy.
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    I wouldn't pay anyone to DM for me; I know plenty of capable DMs in my neighborhood, myself included.

    I could, I suppose, be persuaded to DM for people I don't know if they would pay me.
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    Default Re: Professional DM

    I have two RP groups, one with 5 players and one with 8, so we're not usually short of someone to GM/DM for us. Its a nice thought to know someone else will assume responsibility for running games for me, but I doubt I'd ever pay anyone to do it.

    And even when I'm not playing sessions face to face, I've been part of a PbP community for over 6 years (Rpol.net), so I can almost always find someone to run a game for me if I can't get what I need elsewhere.
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    Default Re: Professional DM

    Most DMs I know are professional. They're just paid in pizza.

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    I like being the DM, and I'm poor, so "no."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    I like being the DM, and I'm poor, so "no."
    QFT

    To me that would be akin to paying someone to play chess with you. Granted, people do make money that way (the hustlers in washinton square park for example) but I don't think that it would work for D&D.
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    One of my friends was paid to run a game at a kid's birthday party- the father was a long-time player and wanted to give the young'ns at least one dice-rolling experience before they sank back into WoW.

    For a professional, more long-term gig, I'm not sure. If it was a regular thing between DM and customers, might it not eventually come to wanting to play, but not wanting to pay for the supposed-to-be-between-friends experience? As a *starter* sort of thing, I could see that, teaching the game and starting off a campaign- but also, I wonder if Wizards might not get lawyer-y over it...

    No, on thinking on it, I don't think they could- it'd essentially be leasing someone's privately owned books plus their instruction time.

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    For me, gaming is a highly social activity. Paying someone to DM would be like paying someone to hang out with me for an afternoon. It could be fun, but it's also going to have an awkward quality about it. So...not gonna happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles Invictus View Post
    For me, gaming is a highly social activity. Paying someone to DM would be like paying someone to hang out with me for an afternoon. It could be fun, but it's also going to have an awkward quality about it. So...not gonna happen.
    Exactly how I feel about it. A lot of games are supposed to be social and fun activities. That's why I don't play in tournament for M:tG or other such games, I just want to have fun. Unfortunately, wizard's thinks that all games should be tournament-based that's why they canceled dreamblade and why so many others have failed as well.

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    if I were wealthy I might offer to pay someone like Gary Gygax, Rich Burlew, Ed Greenwood or Keith Baker to run a game for me. But no I wouldn't pay just anyone
    Last edited by ALOR; 2007-12-14 at 04:11 PM.
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    i dunno, in my experience, there are good DMs and bad DMs, and i think i would have to know someone before i would let someone DM a game i'm playing. not even to make sure they're a good DM, just to be able to het along with the person who was DMing badly

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar5 View Post
    Would you be willing to hire a DM to run games for you so you didn't have to.
    I have thought about this sometimes and thought it would be nice to have a someone run a game for me.
    This gave me the thought that it might be possible to be a traveling DM and make money off of it.
    So how many people would pay a DM to run a game?
    By Pay do you mean sacrificing a six pack of cheap beer (or soda) and a pizza to the deity known as 'Dungeon Master'?

    If that is a case, that happens pretty often...if you mean actual cash...no. Just no.

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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Professional DM

    DM: "Your last swing misses, and since you didn't block his retreat route, he rushes to the secret door, triggers the latch to open it, and escapes from the battle! He laughs menacingly at you as he leaves, saying 'You'll not save the princess now, and I'll release the Kraken upon the city. You should not have let me live.'"

    Player sits there, lips pursed, looking mildly irritated, but also mildly disapproving. He idly picks up the envelope that holds the DM's paycheck, and oh-so-subtly glances over to the open fireplace.

    DM: "Uh, but, as the villain pauses to give his parting monologue, he fails to notice the the hinges to the door sticking. He turns to leave, but is delayed further as he fights with the door. If you charge him now, you might reach him before he can complete his escape."

    Player, pushing the point, continues to idly stare at the open fire, while flicking the envelope back and forth from hand to hand, as if testing out the aerodynamics of a short toss.

    DM: "Uh... The villain lets out a cry of frustration, as the door has stuck and will not open for him! He turns towards you, giving you a snarl and a vicious glare, and he draws his sword and charges."

    Player looks up expectantly, with a look that says 'Aren't you forgetting something?'

    DM thinks for a moment, then remembers. "The villain, through clenched teeth, barks out at you: 'Fine! You have rescued the princess, who is locked in the third cell down the hallway to your left, concealed by the tapestry, and you have prevented me from releasing the Kracken, who makes his lair in the Swirling Seas of Everdoom (third cave down on your left, concealed by the coral wall)..."

    Players smiles, nodding approvingly.

    DM continues: "....And then the villain looks like he might be ready to surrender...?"

    Player shakes his head, to indicate 'No, not necessary!' He puts the envelope back on the table, and picks up his dice, for clarification.

    DM: "...But then the villain concludes 'But you shall never capture me alive!' Roll initiative everyone, we're in the final battle with the BBEG."


    Battle is over, one player quips: "So next week, can we fight the Kraken?"

    DM: "You're third level."

    Player gives an idle glance back to the envelope on the table.

    DM: "But rumors are the Kraken is small. Yeah, sure, I'll have something ready."

    *~*~*

    Yeah, I see some advantages to paying a professional DM.
    Last edited by Jarawara; 2007-12-14 at 05:57 PM.
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Most DMs I know are professional. They're just paid in pizza.
    paid in so much pizza my wife yells at everyone to cook something themselves.


    Edit: Thats right i'm a gamer AND i'm married!
    Last edited by RandomNPC; 2007-12-14 at 06:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Professional DM

    I have actually heard of a professional, long-term DM. But it was second- or third- hand, and several years ago, so I don't have any details.

    Personally, if a stranger offered money in exchange for DMing, I wouldn't do it. I would have to ask, why can't you find your own DM? Are you such a disruptive player that you have to resort to paying people to run a game for you?

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    Default Re: Professional DM

    I enjoy roleplaying and this hobby a great deal. I also fancy myself a pretty good DM. That said, I almost always would rather be a player.

    But there's ALOT that one could do, in world/setting details, in advanced plot creation and dynamic personalities that are beyond my capabilities while actively running a game. I can imagine what it would be like, but I can't accomplish it myself.

    Thus, if I could find someone who was so exceptionally brilliant, organized and talented that he could make all my 'gaming hopes' come true, I'd pay for it. I'd pay like $8/hour probably, although maybe more if the experience was exceptionally incredible. Mind you, it would have to be my ideal of a game, and the DM would have to be incredibly skilled.

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    Jarawara, you are a master of the written word. That was the most magnificent prose I have read in at least a week.
    "78% of DM's admit to having started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that hasn't yet, stop fibbing."
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    PirateGuy

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    The closest thing I've heard of is a fellow who worked in a library and, as an activity for little ones, ran D&D games. Since it was part of his job, I guess he was sort of a professional DM.
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    ElfPirate

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarawara View Post
    stuff:
    I could imagine a house rule implemented like this, the players have a "pay check to the dm" of 100 dollars, and if something goes wrong, they threaten to not pay the dm enough to fix it. kinda like action points

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    I'm biased cause my DM is what you would refer to as "Hella Awesome".

    But he's going on vacation and we're left without a DM. There's six of us players.

    If I knew a DM could do a good campaign, I'd chip in probably $10 for a good solid 3 hour session of gaming every week. If the rest of my group did, he'd be making $20 an hour *shrug*
    He'd have to be better than any of us at it though

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    It would be nice to get paid to DM, But my scam is to teach people how to play cause no one likes to teach newbs how to play. Anyways I'd do it for a famous celerity DM, but not for a so-so DM. Also if I had to pay-to-play I want to be the best dahm game of D&D I ever played.
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Would professional DMing using a 3rd party's intellectual property (i.e. D&D) be a violation of copyright law? Obviously, amateur DMing is legal but charging for services could be against the law

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    Default Re: Professional DM

    I think it could be an interesting idea, but I don't think it would work for 'standard' DMing. I would expect a 'professional DM' to be a bit more of an entertainer, like a stage magician... and it wouldn't really be for gamers like us, but for people interested in light entertainment.

    Hrm... the main problem is that you can't really DM for enough people at once for it to work. If there was a system by which a DM could manage an entire roomful of people from the stage, maybe... perhaps with assistants? Divide the groups up into parties around each table, an assistant at each table handles DMing for their part of the adventure, and the head DM up on the stage regularly handles 'global' events, covering each turning point in the story in turn?

    The assistants would have their hands full keeping everything synchronized, though... it would really require a different mentality than normal roleplaying. The 'players' would be there to be entertained first, and to interact second, so they'd have to accept (or even expect) that they're mostly going to be led around by the nose and have a story told to them.

    Most of the players would likely not know the system at all. All die-rolls and mechanics would be handled by employees; all players would have prefab characters made for easy usage and minimal bookkeeping. Ground rules to keep things flowing smoothly would be set down at the start (no splitting your party up, no randomly wandering off or going completely off the rails, etc.) But it might actually be worth it, given how different an experience it would be; it could attract a different sort of person into roleplaying.

    The entrance fee could be mitigated by the food you're selling them at the tables, or it could include dinner. The whole thing would be more like a fancy stage show with lots of audience participation than D&D. Still, it's an interesting concept...

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy13a View Post
    Would professional DMing using a 3rd party's intellectual property (i.e. D&D) be a violation of copyright law? Obviously, amateur DMing is legal but charging for services could be against the law
    SRD. You're fine if you stict to that. I suspect that charging to perform a prefab module could have copyright problems, of course, but just using the SRD would be fine.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2007-12-14 at 11:03 PM.

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