Dungeon Master or Game Master for Hire
As The Almighty Geek, I have been playing various types of role-playing games for twenty-three years. I have been a Dungeon Master (or Game Master) for twenty-two of those years. I will not bore you with the list of role-playing games I have played or run for others. I very rarely use pre-generated campaigns or adventures, instead preferring to generate my own worlds, non-player characters, histology, backgrounds, etc. I have mastered the skill of “thinking on the fly”, always prepared for an “out of the box” response that my players may come up with. I can work with campaigns varying from “Hack-n-Slash” to storyline. I am disabled and as a result, unemployed. It is a known fact that there are many gamers in the world but few Dungeon Masters/Game Masters. I love gaming. I LOVE being a Dungeon Master and I WANT to do it professionally. Let me tell you why.
Time: Being a “great” DM/GM takes time. It involves development, preparation, mapping, keeping track of characters, magic items, non-player characters, etc. This time is often spent outside of meetings/sessions, which may be as often as once or twice a week, with the gaming group. A well prepared DM/GM can spend hours a day creating encounters, working on the future of the characters, the campaign, or the arch-nemesis, responding to e-mails, and players’ inquiries or phone calls. Then there’s the game sessions themselves; these can last anywhere from a few hours to twelve or more hours. The DM/GM can find himself dealing/managing groups ranging in size from one to eight or more players. The more players who participate, the more work is involved. In some cases a well prepared DM/GM can find himself working forty plus hours a week on a current campaign, as well as future ones.
Expenditures: Being a “great” DM/GM requires being prepared. In terms of role-playing this can mean additional expenditures than those put out by a player. A player needs a Player’s Handbook, a pencil/pen, a piece of paper or two, and some dice. Crafty players will buy one PHB to share amongst the group or use the DM’s (Cheap jerks!). A DM/GM needs not only his/her own PHB, but a Dungeon Master’s Guide, a Monster’s Manual, and any other resource book the gamers would like access too. Each book can cost fifteen to forty dollars each, and this is for just one gaming system. There are hundreds of gaming systems out there and a “great” DM/GM is versatile. I own books for 12 separate gaming systems and several editions to older RPG’s.
Let’s talk about stationery. A “great” DM/GM has more stationery supplies then your local Office Depot. I always have extra paper, graph paper, pens, pencils (see the “cheap jerks: comment above), index cards, a pencil sharpener, rulers, a compass, hole punch, file folders, printed character sheets, and so on. Unless you’re robbing the supply closet at work you are not getting these things for free.
Where are you playing? In most cases you can meet at your local gaming store at no cost to anyone in the group. However, you have lurkers, other gamers making noise, and a plethora of other distractions there. You are also limited to the store’s business hours. The “great” DM/GM will offer up his home to have a quiet place to game. You sit on my furniture (wear and tear), use my electricity and water (sure bring your own bottled water or pop) but you better flush the toilet, and that brings up my triple quilted toilet paper.
In my case, I pay for a video conferencing server which will support up to six individuals at a time. There is not currently any free video conferencing software that will support five or more simultaneous connections. The server I use can range in price from $19.95 a month, for the ad supported version, to $39.95 a month for uninterrupted use. Internet connections, web cams, headsets, lap top or PC – these are all some of the things that cost me money and allow me to facilitate a game. The list goes on depending on play style or playing across the country.
I am The Almighty Geek; I am worth a few dollars an hour. Because it’s a job I love, I will work for less then minimum wage, say $5 - $6 an hour. I can play anytime and as often as you like. I am versatile, prepared, eloquent, and charismatic. If you already have a “great” DM/GM, consider yourself lucky and show your appreciation. Offer to pay for his/her meals, toss a few dollars into a PayPal account so he/she can buy gaming resources on Amazon, or hit a gaming store and buy a gaming resource for your DM/GM. There is more going on behind the DM/GM screen than you may be aware of, so take care of your DM/GM. They are, after all, there for your enjoyment. Show them some love or better yet, fork over some cash.