Jarodemo
 member, 873 posts
 My hovercraft
 is full of eels
Sun 18 Oct 2020
at 13:53
Would you pay a GM?
Okay, random question that is purely hypothetical, Iím not planning a new business venture...!

Gaming is, for most of us, an amateur hobby. We play for free in our own time as and when we can. As such we often see games start but burn out as the GM simply doesnít have the time to commit to running it effectively. So...

Would you pay for a GM to run a game for you, either F2F, line online (e.g. via Discord) or by PBM?

If yes what expectations would you have? What sort of fees would you expect?
bigbadron
 moderator, 15957 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sun 18 Oct 2020
at 14:08
Would you pay a GM?
In reply to Jarodemo (msg # 1):

Nope.

You might find this thread interesting: link to a message in this forum
MrKinister
 member, 89 posts
Sun 18 Oct 2020
at 15:09
Would you pay a GM?
I would, especially for games that are very hard to find GMs for like M&M.

I offered once, at some other (undisclosed) site, but unfortunately there were no takers.

As for fees, I suppose that depends. I think if I am going to be paying a person to run, I would want them to get compensated fairly well so they feel they can put the energy and work into a good game. I'd say $20 - $30 a person, so that a GM running a four hour session with four people can turn in a $20 to $30 hour earnings. Better if there's more players, or it just runs for three hours.

I could afford that once a week. I would see it as a "Hey, this is awesome" tip. =)

And if the GM had enough groups to play the same scenario once a week, say three or four, it might turn out be a nice side gig. But I don't think they should quit their day jobs.
pawndream
 member, 180 posts
Sun 18 Oct 2020
at 16:34
Re: Would you pay a GM?
Jarodemo:
Okay, random question that is purely hypothetical, Iím not planning a new business venture...!

Gaming is, for most of us, an amateur hobby. We play for free in our own time as and when we can. As such we often see games start but burn out as the GM simply doesnít have the time to commit to running it effectively. So...

Would you pay for a GM to run a game for you, either F2F, line online (e.g. via Discord) or by PBM?

If yes what expectations would you have? What sort of fees would you expect?


Yes. I have paid-to-play once and the experience was okay.

My main motivations were I had just moved to a new city, didn't know anyone, and wanted to meet other gamers. The FLGS where the GM hosted their games was/is billed as a premium gaming experience: interior resembles a medieval castle's hall, rock walls, timber beams, long tables and benches, weapons/armors on the wall, etc. with private gaming rooms with all the bells and whistles (whiteboards, miniatures, game mats, terrain, Syrinscape sound, comfortable chairs, wooden gaming tables, small refrigerator, etc.). Neat experience and was worth the ticket price, which in my case was $10, but the game wasn't something I wanted to continue long term (homebrew GM who seemed more enamored with world-building and voice acting NPCs than he was in facilitating a fun/engaging story).

The Professional GM and Pay-to-play model is actually quite common now and the going rate ranges from $10-$20 per player, per 4-hour session.

As to whether I would pay to play again, sure.

My expectations for Professional GMs: GM either comes prepared to run a fun/engaging session and/or is gifted with the ability to run fun/engaging games through pure improvisation. That's it.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:56, Sun 18 Oct.

donsr
 member, 2081 posts
Sun 18 Oct 2020
at 16:36
Would you pay a GM?
 big no here... i am in games with  DMs  who just left...some GMs  , don't care  are  the table setting is  done.

 and? if you start paying, you start expecting  things..and  the whole thing goes  down hill
facemaker329
 member, 7262 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sun 18 Oct 2020
at 16:51
Would you pay a GM?
Playing is only a narrow slice of why I game.  It is, for me, as much about social interaction (yes, even in a PBP environment) as it is about playing a character and exercising my imagination.

As such, I couldn't give a clear yes-or-no answer to this question.  The right GM with the right group?  Maybe.  But my enjoyment of the game is as much about the other players as it is the GM...I have joined games by GMs whose games I had earlier enjoyed...but the lack of chemistry within the group killed my interest in the game.  So, since the GM can in no way guarantee that I will have a satisfactory gaming experience, I'd be reluctant to pay them to run a game.

Now, in a different scenario...if a GM running a game that I'm in and enjoying fell on hard times and needed a little help, financially, I'd be happy to give what I could.  But that would be a case of giving money to help a friend, rather than paying someone to offer a service.
praguepride
 member, 1704 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sun 18 Oct 2020
at 21:57
Would you pay a GM?
A friend of mine became a paid GM. The party would each pitch in $5-10 to help compensate for things like minis/paints/scenery etc. About half the party were friends prior to the game and the other half were randos recruited from message boards/game stores. From what I heard the party got along just fine but it really stressed the GM out.

He would spend hours crafting this or that because he felt obligated to make it worth the while and because it was a custom home-brew campaign it was all on him to craft each upcoming scenario. I ended up getting drafted to assist him because he couldn't keep up with the workload on top of everything else. He ended up dropping out of a couple games he was playing in because this game became a huge time sink for him and he was only making like $40 a week from it...

From his experience here is my advice:

If you want to have a paid GM it is going to be a part-time job. It isn't a cool hobby you're making some money at, it becomes a part-time job and one that you will likely not be making even minimum wage with.

If you want to use the funds for minis and scenery just talk to the group. I had a GM talk to the group and we all pitched in funds so he could buy some cool expansions for the system. That worked out great because we could each pick some rule set we wanted to focus on for our characters and he got a ton of splat books to work off of.

Unless you're looking for a job, I wouldn't recommend it though.
NowhereMan
 member, 382 posts
Sun 18 Oct 2020
at 23:39
Would you pay a GM?
It used to be my job, years ago. In my case, it was a bit different, as I was being paid by the FNGS that hosted the game rather than the players directly, but it was still a paying gig.

praguepride has the right of it - it was a job. It was a fun job, but it was still a job. The stakes are higher than a regular game , just like working a kitchen as a chef is higher stakes than having your friends over for dinner. That said, it was a nice way to make money, and it gives you a very different view of the game than you have playing with your friends, and my groups since then have really appreciated the professional outlook I developed during that time.

As to whether I would pay a GM, yes! In fact, I have. I think every group has that "dream game" that everyone wants to play in, but someone has to take one for the team and run it. If you hire a GM, you all get what you want, and you get a lot more bang for your buck than a night at the movies.
Heath
 member, 2961 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Mon 19 Oct 2020
at 02:46
Would you pay a GM?
My son wants to do this for some side cash. I think it would work best if they offer a free trial first, like many professional teachers do. If they like what they see, they will pay for it in the future. If not, chalk it up to experience. They can also call it quits at any time.

It just probably needs the right personalities--not too demanding for players, and don't underdeliver for the DM. In some cases, if the DM uses the same modules over and over, he can probably get quite skilled and fast at running it, which would improve the quality of the game.

I think this is one of those "to each his own" situations.
OceanLake
 supporter, 1142 posts
Mon 19 Oct 2020
at 04:06
Would you pay a GM?
I'm thinking it'd work best if the GM were running a very detailed campaign written by a professional writer, or writers. IN that way, the GM would act as stage manager, bookkeeper, and umpire. Al this would require a large player base, each in several locations. Thinking about it, not so likely to happen.
Heath
 member, 2962 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Mon 19 Oct 2020
at 04:09
Would you pay a GM?
And I'm only half joking when I say he could leave out a "tip jar."
Tileira
 member, 523 posts
Mon 19 Oct 2020
at 08:32
Would you pay a GM?
If I was part of a group at a table or venue and our GM asked for cash to cover the booking, or providing food, or because they needed the income, I'd be happy to do it.

If I was going to a venue (game shop or cafe or a public/shared location) and the GM was running published modules, I think I'd be happy to pay into that per session on the door, or per session with a deposit on the first session. I wouldn't want to pay down for the whole module and then find out I don't get on with the group or the GM.

I wouldn't pay to play with a GM running a homebrew, because (a) I don't know him, so I don't know how far off the rails his plot is, and (b) I think that's a lot of stress for someone to run and the risk of burning out or giving up when the group gets too small is higher.

I would probably be ok to pay up to £15 per session, if it was at a booked venue (depending on the group size and venue costs) or £10 for paying a friend at their house. I would expect that unpaid, everyone coming to the game should bring either food for themselves or food to share, so that the GM is responsible for the game and doesn't have to worry about hosting.

Online, I just wouldn't do it. It's too easy for people to flake online and for people to misbehave in ways they might not do in person.
Rincewind
 member, 8 posts
Mon 19 Oct 2020
at 12:21
Would you pay a GM?
I would, as I am already doing so. Paying for a weekend voice game on roll20 & discord. I pay 10 euros every session. With 4 players and 5-6 hours each session, it's not the most profitable work. The money pays for nice maps, tokens as well as the rules which he can share with the other players.

As an added bonus, I have found the game to be one of the most stable I've been involved in. None of the players have up and left us without word and we have played for almost 30 sessions.
praguepride
 member, 1705 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Mon 19 Oct 2020
at 18:36
Re: Would you pay a GM?
Heath:
And I'm only half joking when I say he could leave out a "tip jar."



I wouldn't call them "paid GMs" but for tabletop games there was always the understanding that the players would pay for pizza and beer.

edit: If you want to ride that gap between "paid job" and "free for friends" just offer up a list of things you would LIKE to purchase, a wishlist and just let your players know its there. Similar to patreon or kickstarter providing a reason WHY you need the funds might do a lot towards getting buddies to chip in.

This message was last edited by the user at 18:37, Yesterday.

Heath
 member, 2963 posts
 If my opinion changes,
 The answer is still 42.
Tue 20 Oct 2020
at 00:33
Re: Would you pay a GM?
praguepride:
edit: If you want to ride that gap between "paid job" and "free for friends" just offer up a list of things you would LIKE to purchase, a wishlist and just let your players know its there.

Funny you should say that. As an enterprising 13 year old in the early 80s, I asked for money to pay for the published modules and snacks. I kept the modules and we shared the snacks...until friends' parents didn't want to give them money anymore.