Pay to Play?

edited February 2010 in Story Games
The down economy has spawned a wonder:
www.gamer4rent.com

Think he'll have much success?

Comments

  • I'm being paid to GM a game at the moment...though nothing as exorbitant as the offerings shown so far.

    I was asked to run a game by a local Martial Arts dojo (some experienced gamers from way back, some new players who'd done some online stuff but wanted to know more about the tabletop game, and some who had vaguely heard of the idea of D&D/roleplaying from their dojo companions), I accepted.

    They enjoyed the entertainment provided and offered to pay me to come back and do it on a regular basis. I'll admit that it made me feel a bit guilty at first, and I never ask for the money, it's just offered at the end of a session to help pay for photocopied hand-outs and my petrol costs to get there.

    It's about $20 for a session of 4 hours (certainly nothing to earn a living from), It basically works out as just under dollar per player per hour.

    The group want me to come back and run them a second session each week...tempting, but I've got too many other things on my plate at the moment.
  • He does singles nights. I think that's wonderful. Form an orderly queue.

    Graham
  • Posted By: GrahamHe does singles nights. I think that's wonderful. Form an orderly queue.
    I noticed that one as well. Talk about a way to hit the demographic where it hurts.

    -Ash
  • A similar service in NYC

    * You may remember this guy from the epic rpg.net thread where he started his professional GMing business as a way to not lose the family house.
  • Posted By: BWAA similar service in NYC
    I gamed with him once. Absolute shit GM.

    Matt
  • Jeff and I got paid to GM at a Bachelor Party a few years ago. It was a lot of fun. We went out to a nice dinner in NYC and then bought some equipment for the podcast with the money.

    I ran PTA and Dogs and I think he ran Cold City.

    Good times.

    Sure, gaming in a thong was a little uncomfortable but the money was good and after a while, you forget about the pasties.
  • I put up a hosted D&D party for up to 8 people as an item in our school's charity auction last year. It went for close to $200. One guy's friends bought it for his 40th birthday party. They never called to redeem to party, though.
  • Posted By: JuddSure, gaming in a thong was a little uncomfortable but the money was good and after a while, you forget about the pasties.
    The mind boggles.
  • Posted By: BWAPosted By: JuddSure, gaming in a thong was a little uncomfortable but the money was good and after a while, you forget about the pasties.
    The mind boggles.

    As soon as I mentioned that it was for a Bachelor Party, I knew the stripper jokes were en route, so I decided to take that first step.

    I make the bad jokes so you do not have to.
  • * You may remember this guy from the epic rpg.net thread where he started his professional GMing business as a way to not lose the family house.
    Here's all the threads, if anyone's curious. It's not so much a discussion of the general idea as that one guy's rather quirky GM methodology and terrible misconceptions about New York gamer demographics, job-hunting, and finances.

    I do remember some mentions of other people attempting this from those threads. In particular, some D&D vacation thing -- "Epic Vacations", I believe. You go to Hawaii for a week and play a campaign there while hanging out and doing other Hawaii-vacation stuff.

    -- Alex
  • Epic Vacations was cancelled, but the people behind it are now doing a "how to make a living in the gaming industry" seminar course thingie.
  • edited February 2010
    Posted By: AlexHere's all the threads, if anyone's curious. It's not so much a discussion of the general idea as that one guy's rather quirky GM methodology and terrible misconceptions about New York gamer demographics, job-hunting, and finances.
    Man, that first 'Caravan of Blades' thread was awesome. The crazy was cranked up so high, yet with none of the usual troll-y, flame-y lack of originality you might expect. I just re-read a chunk of it.
  • Here's one that's pay-for-prep rather than pay-for-play:
    http://www.dnaphil.com/gm-consulting/

    -- Alex
  • edited February 2010
    Posted By: BryantEpic Vacations was cancelled, but the people behind it are now doing a "how to make a living in the gaming industry" seminar course thingie.
    Someone else must see the irony...
  • I still don't think I'd pay for a GM, but I am currently those kind of prices for a babysittter so we can play in peace for an afternoon. So the price scheme doesn't seem so out of wack to me anymore.
  • There are gamer cruises that happen periodically. Seem pretty popular. Gamer Adventures
  • I think he may get a bit of business hosting birthday parties for kids.
  • Posted By: Keith FyansPosted By: BryantEpic Vacations was cancelled, but the people behind it are now doing a "how to make a living in the gaming industry" seminar course thingie.
    Someone else must see the irony...

    Oh, he's doing ok. Summary earnings reports here. He's pulling in about a thousand bucks a month, give or take on any given month. Not time to quit his day job, but not entirely unsuccessful either.
  • So he tried to make a living in the gaming industry, failed, now runs a seminar on making a living in the game industry, and appears to be having some success... My head hurts.
  • I think it's more that one method didn't work out, but he has a lot of ventures. I'm a bit skeptical of the whole idea of selling the seminar, mind you.
  • Posted By: DeliveratorI gamed with him once. Absolute shit GM.
    Was this standard "this is my story" stuff or something more insidious?
  • Posted By: Daniel H.Posted By: DeliveratorI gamed with him once. Absolute shit GM.
    Was this standard "this is my story" stuff or something more insidious?

    Is this the Johnny Tek fellow?

    I was just reading through some of his forum threads on his site, and saw stuff like:

    * He plans to wear a mask while GMing, so as to make himself appear separate and distant from the players, cold, foreign and unemotional. (Keep in mind his pitch was to run games for strangers in a public cafe. I can see so many ways that can go wrong...

    and, to prove his knowledge and experience, he posted a full CV/resume of his gaming experience and exploits, which included nuggets like:

    Originally Posted by Captain_Commando
    age 23-26 - spent a lot of time at local Barnes and Nobles reading various RPG books like Mutants and Masterminds, the Complete supplements, and Vampire the Masquerade
    I can't see how this could go wrong, can you?

    Matt, I'd love to hear how you met the guy and gamed with him, and what he's like.
  • Posted By: Jason MorningstarPreviously.
    I was wondering how long it would take for that to come up. Second post, not bad.

    That sort of thing is common in Oakland and the East Bay, but it's usually set up as a summer camp or afterschool program for middle-schoolers.
  • Elliot - are you still in business as a professional GM? How is it going?
  • It was through RPGA Living Greyhawk, always a dubious prospect, but...

    Can you say, "held the booklet in front of his face while reading the block text"?

    Can you say, "doesn't enunciate clearly anyway"?

    Can you say, "doesn't understand even the basics of group dynamics, like having people introduce themselves"?

    Lots of other weird stuff too, like always saying the full name, race and class of each character when it was that person's turn. "Now Daloo the Halfling Ranger goes." Over and over again. And again.

    The bad thing that happened which makes the experience stand out in my mind was when another pc started torturing an npc for information (and it was clear that Johnny was going to give it to him if he succeeded in an intimidate roll, which was my real problem in hindsight). I asked him to stop, broke game, talked about how it made me uncomfortable and was inappropriate, etc. I got kind of angry and intimidating, honestly, the way I can, and I can imagine even an experienced DM not knowing how to handle me in that situation. Except, what he did say was that such problems need to be handled in-fiction through your character, rather than talking about them at the table level. At that point he lost me forever, though I did finish out the session.

    Matt
  • edited February 2010
    Posted By: DeliveratorExcept, what he did say was that such problems need to be handled in-fiction through your character, rather than talking about them at the table level. At that point he lost me forever, though I did finish out the session.
    Thanks for posting, Matt. That would have been the death blow for me, too.
  • Yikes!

    Thanks.
  • Posted By: John PowellElliot - are you still in business as a professional GM? How is it going?
    No, but I'm seriously thinking of starting that up again - and explicity doing it either as an afterschool program or as a 'How To Run Better Games With Examples' set of seminars. Just not sure how I'd market that...
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