This article pisses me off. I don’t know if it’s because there’s so many flat-out wrong assumptions baked into the reporting, or if it’s that these same assumptions are so prevalent that they serve to encourage people to pay to have someone run D&D for them.

I don’t begrudge anyone for making a living doing what they love, nor people spending their money where they want. But… this just feels like bullshit to me. It’s monetizing the cult of the DM, and creating a feedback loop for publishers to continue making games that are laborious to facilitate.

Or I’m totally wrong.

This hobby is so weird. Is there any other hobby in which participants are so afraid to actually participate?

http://www.glixel.com/news/meet-the-dd-players-who-make-a-living-running-games-w479506#

100 thoughts on “This article pisses me off. I don’t know if it’s because there’s so many flat-out wrong assumptions baked into the…

  1. I strongly disagree with your assessment. My experience is that people are not afraid to be GMs or game leaders in games that don’t have GMs, but instead have a casual attitude towards their play which means they don’t have the level of investment needed to be an effective aesthetic or mechanical leader of a group. It makes sense to me that someone that wanted a particular experience certainly might pay for it from someone skilled and willing to provide it to them.

    The alternative, of course, is thinking that developing skills in game leadership is worthless.

  2. < ![CDATA[I strongly disagree with your assessment. My experience is that people are not afraid to be GMs or game leaders in games that don’t have GMs, but instead have a casual attitude towards their play which means they don’t have the level of investment needed to be an effective aesthetic or mechanical leader of a group. It makes sense to me that someone that wanted a particular experience certainly might pay for it from someone skilled and willing to provide it to them.
    The alternative, of course, is thinking that developing skills in game leadership is worthless.]]>

  3. Jason Corley I have met more than a few people who were honestly afraid, so I still think that’s valid. But I also get the casual angle.

    But, casual + willing to pay $100/month seems an odd combo to me, I guess.

    Not to mention, how about instead you spend $40 once on a game that doesn’t require one person to put in two hours of prep for every one hour of play?

  4. < ![CDATA[Jason Corley I have met more than a few people who were honestly afraid, so I still think that's valid. But I also get the casual angle. But, casual + willing to pay $100/month seems an odd combo to me, I guess. Not to mention, how about instead you spend $40 once on a game that doesn't require one person to put in two hours of prep for every one hour of play?]]>

  5. Tabletop gaming lives and dies on a gamemaster’s shoulders. Hard as it is to find a circle of friends willing to reserve a bi-weekly evening to crush imaginary troglodyte skulls together, it’s even harder to convince someone to dedicate the necessary time to craft an adventure.

    Not necessarily true. I mean, we all know that, but this is the sort of thing that makes me feel similarly to the way you start your post, Mark. But I’m also used to the presumption that everything is D&D. What’s weird is the writer acknowledges this isn’t necessary right away:

    There have always been shortcuts – RPGs designed without the need for a gamemaster, or pre-written adventure “modules” that do all the heavy lifting – but being a great, dedicated GM can feel like a second job.

    I also don’t understand how those two things are joined by the “but.”

    All that said, I’m glad someone’s making money off playing games.

  6. < ![CDATA[Tabletop gaming lives and dies on a gamemaster’s shoulders. Hard as it is to find a circle of friends willing to reserve a bi-weekly evening to crush imaginary troglodyte skulls together, it’s even harder to convince someone to dedicate the necessary time to craft an adventure.
    Not necessarily true. I mean, we all know that, but this is the sort of thing that makes me feel similarly to the way you start your post, Mark. But I’m also used to the presumption that everything is D&D. What’s weird is the writer acknowledges this isn’t necessary right away:
    There have always been shortcuts – RPGs designed without the need for a gamemaster, or pre-written adventure “modules” that do all the heavy lifting – but being a great, dedicated GM can feel like a second job.
    I also don’t understand how those two things are joined by the “but.”
    All that said, I’m glad someone’s making money off playing games.]]>

  7. People make a full living arranging weddings, when you can go and get married at the courthouse for only a nominal fee. People make a living arranging for bands to play places, and for food to be brought places, and for many, many other event organization duties. I am totally down with paying people to arrange roleplaying events!

  8. < ![CDATA[People make a full living arranging weddings, when you can go and get married at the courthouse for only a nominal fee. People make a living arranging for bands to play places, and for food to be brought places, and for many, many other event organization duties. I am totally down with paying people to arrange roleplaying events!]]>

  9. Scathing! — “Is there any other hobby in which participants are so afraid to actually participate?”

    Do you think this applies to players as much to GMs? And is it fear or laziness (or both)?

  10. < ![CDATA[Scathing! -- "Is there any other hobby in which participants are so afraid to actually participate?" Do you think this applies to players as much to GMs? And is it fear or laziness (or both)?]]>

  11. I think it’s easy to get stuck in paradigmatic thinking here, rather than dealing with the multiple things on the ground.

    Like, it’s easy to say “Oh, you can just get around that problem, play Fiasco or Sorcerer or [new indie hotness].”

    But that assumes a lot of things. Like, it assumes that the experience of playing D&D with a GM like this is the same as playing Fiasco with whoever you happen to have to hand who is willing to try Fiasco.

    Which, I think most people can agree, it is not. Fiasco and D&D may be in the same hobby, but playing the games is not the same experience. And playing Fiasco with a table full of dedicated, experienced players (some of whom GM games too) is different than a table of mostly newbs trying to make it through a game.

    (And I’m not saying better/worse. I am saying different.)

    So when I see articles like this what I see is someone saying, “I want this specific experience. That experience involves being run through an adventure by someone with X, Y, and Z skills. I cannot, for various reasons, get that from my current friends group or social circles. Thus I am willing to pay for this specific experience, because the time/money tradeoff is worth it for me.”

    Which makes total sense.

    Of course, this article is not so great about delving into those assumptions, or why this play style is what is being paid for, or why folks are now paying for what used to be a community based activity largely based around groups who would not have had enough money to pay for it.

    All of which are interesting questions, and possible missed opportunities. But I don’t think they get answered just by saying “well, play something other than D&D” as that misses the whole issue of why people are playing and what they want.

    Frankly, the whole issue of monetization troubles me, personally, far, far more than the issue of “which nerd game are we going to define as the default RPG.” Especially when we get to quotes like this one, which is just fascinating.

    “Williams tells me that The Strategist’s campaigns are partnered experiences – an open communication between players and gamemasters. It’s the sort of customer awareness necessary when role-playing becomes a service. The interests and proclivities of the narrator takes a back seat to the dreams of the characters. “One of the things I’ve found that people really enjoy is the open communication,” he says. “I’ve used one of my groups as almost market research – asking them how much they’d be willing to pay, what they want to do next, if they want this to be monthly or long-term. I’ve even had players approach me and say ‘hey what if I had this crazy thing happen in the plot’ and then the other players aren’t even privy to that. I’m getting to think that it’s better to be a collaborative thing.””

    Like… okay. So there’s a lot of game theory stuff we could say here. But as a culture studies geek, I’m fascinated by the statement that this kind of awareness is necessary when it becomes a service. Meaning “a paid service.” Why does money mandate communication in a way, for the average reader/player/GM, that community and friendship do not? What kind of exchange of power are we assuming happens when we trade dollars vs when we engage together?

    Because man, there’s a whole bunch of transitory community vs. consumer rights stuff that’s buried here. Like a land mine.

  12. < ![CDATA[I think it's easy to get stuck in paradigmatic thinking here, rather than dealing with the multiple things on the ground. Like, it's easy to say "Oh, you can just get around that problem, play Fiasco or Sorcerer or [new indie hotness]." But that assumes a lot of things. Like, it assumes that the experience of playing D&D with a GM like this is the same as playing Fiasco with whoever you happen to have to hand who is willing to try Fiasco. Which, I think most people can agree, it is not. Fiasco and D&D may be in the same hobby, but playing the games is not the same experience. And playing Fiasco with a table full of dedicated, experienced players (some of whom GM games too) is different than a table of mostly newbs trying to make it through a game. (And I'm not saying better/worse. I am saying different.) So when I see articles like this what I see is someone saying, "I want this specific experience. That experience involves being run through an adventure by someone with X, Y, and Z skills. I cannot, for various reasons, get that from my current friends group or social circles. Thus I am willing to pay for this specific experience, because the time/money tradeoff is worth it for me." Which makes total sense. Of course, this article is not so great about delving into those assumptions, or why this play style is what is being paid for, or why folks are now paying for what used to be a community based activity largely based around groups who would not have had enough money to pay for it. All of which are interesting questions, and possible missed opportunities. But I don't think they get answered just by saying "well, play something other than D&D" as that misses the whole issue of why people are playing and what they want. Frankly, the whole issue of monetization troubles me, personally, far, far more than the issue of "which nerd game are we going to define as the default RPG." Especially when we get to quotes like this one, which is just fascinating. "Williams tells me that The Strategist’s campaigns are partnered experiences – an open communication between players and gamemasters. It’s the sort of customer awareness necessary when role-playing becomes a service. The interests and proclivities of the narrator takes a back seat to the dreams of the characters. “One of the things I’ve found that people really enjoy is the open communication,” he says. “I’ve used one of my groups as almost market research – asking them how much they’d be willing to pay, what they want to do next, if they want this to be monthly or long-term. I’ve even had players approach me and say ‘hey what if I had this crazy thing happen in the plot’ and then the other players aren’t even privy to that. I’m getting to think that it’s better to be a collaborative thing.”" Like... okay. So there's a lot of game theory stuff we could say here. But as a culture studies geek, I'm fascinated by the statement that this kind of awareness is necessary when it becomes a service. Meaning "a paid service." Why does money mandate communication in a way, for the average reader/player/GM, that community and friendship do not? What kind of exchange of power are we assuming happens when we trade dollars vs when we engage together? Because man, there's a whole bunch of transitory community vs. consumer rights stuff that's buried here. Like a land mine.]]>

  13. Mark Delsing The DM arranges a D&D game in most senses of the term “arrange” – they plan the activity, they think about what parts of it would be fun for which participants, they put together the physical and non-physical components necessary for it to be fun, etc.

  14. < ![CDATA[Mark Delsing The DM arranges a D&D game in most senses of the term "arrange" - they plan the activity, they think about what parts of it would be fun for which participants, they put together the physical and non-physical components necessary for it to be fun, etc.]]>

  15. Brand Robins There so much wonderfulness in your comment that I don’t know where to begin.

    I get that Pathfinder is different from Fiasco, and that you can’t just slot one in for another. I also get that PF is one of many games where the associated accessories can become a huge part of enjoyable play: miniatures, terrain, props, background music, commissioned character illustrations, etc. And all of that stuff involves a huge amount of effort, maybe well worth paying for if you don’t want to do it yourself.

    So, yeah, from that perspective I can see the attraction of just paying someone to provide it all, and then sitting back and letting them do all the work. It’s the kind of roleplaying Geek & Sundry is heavily marketing to a lot of people.

    But the monetization stuff you’re talking about is, I think, a facet of what’s bothering me. Again, it’s the body of assumptions that the article makes in portraying these for-hire guys as the natural end-point of tabletop RPG’ing.

    Ditto that paying for it means, of course, you avoid sadistic GMs, unsatisfying character death, badly-written scenarios, etc. Not willing to pay? Guess your hobby experience is gonna suck, dude!

    And there’s a whole gig economy, late-capitalism aspect where apparently you’re either someone who can afford to pay $100/month for “great roleplaying,” or else you’re the guy who has to hawk his Patreon and run games four fourteen different groups in order to spend quality time with your hobby, much less earn a living.

  16. < ![CDATA[Brand Robins There so much wonderfulness in your comment that I don't know where to begin. I get that Pathfinder is different from Fiasco, and that you can’t just slot one in for another. I also get that PF is one of many games where the associated accessories can become a huge part of enjoyable play: miniatures, terrain, props, background music, commissioned character illustrations, etc. And all of that stuff involves a huge amount of effort, maybe well worth paying for if you don’t want to do it yourself.
    So, yeah, from that perspective I can see the attraction of just paying someone to provide it all, and then sitting back and letting them do all the work. It’s the kind of roleplaying Geek & Sundry is heavily marketing to a lot of people.
    But the monetization stuff you’re talking about is, I think, a facet of what’s bothering me. Again, it’s the body of assumptions that the article makes in portraying these for-hire guys as the natural end-point of tabletop RPG’ing.
    Ditto that paying for it means, of course, you avoid sadistic GMs, unsatisfying character death, badly-written scenarios, etc. Not willing to pay? Guess your hobby experience is gonna suck, dude!
    And there’s a whole gig economy, late-capitalism aspect where apparently you’re either someone who can afford to pay $100/month for “great roleplaying,” or else you’re the guy who has to hawk his Patreon and run games four fourteen different groups in order to spend quality time with your hobby, much less earn a living.]]>

  17. Jason Corley I think that is often, but not always true.

    Also, let’s make the point that this whole concept assumes that players bring absolutely nothing to the gaming experience. The GM’s time and effort is worth money, theirs is not.

  18. < ![CDATA[Jason Corley I think that is often, but not always true. Also, let's make the point that this whole concept assumes that players bring absolutely nothing to the gaming experience. The GM’s time and effort is worth money, theirs is not.]]>

  19. Tim Koppang I have encountered many people who are literally afraid to try GM’ing. “Why don’t you run something?” “Oh, I could never do that.”

    That, or people who, when asked to make any sort of creative contribution to what’s happening at the table, completely turtle up. They don’t even want to try for fear of “failure.”

    There’s a host of hobby cultural bullshit behind this, and I feel like the viewpoint espoused in this article in just reinforcement of it all. “GM’ing is hard!” “But what if My Story™ isn’t perfect?!?!”

    Or even what Brand is getting at: “Oh, you’re gonna pay me? I guess I won’t treat you like shit, then.” Because treating the GM like God and the players like shit is the default, right?

  20. < ![CDATA[Tim Koppang I have encountered many people who are literally afraid to try GM'ing. "Why don't you run something?" "Oh, I could never do that." That, or people who, when asked to make any sort of creative contribution to what's happening at the table, completely turtle up. They don't even want to try for fear of “failure.”
    There’s a host of hobby cultural bullshit behind this, and I feel like the viewpoint espoused in this article in just reinforcement of it all. “GM’ing is hard!” “But what if My Story™ isn’t perfect?!?!”
    Or even what Brand is getting at: “Oh, you’re gonna pay me? I guess I won’t treat you like shit, then.” Because treating the GM like God and the players like shit is the default, right?]]>

  21. Mark Delsing I don’t agree, I think if you’re a good, vivid, energetic player, it makes perfect sense that someone might pay for you to play in their group! It’s certainly as valid as this particular setup.

  22. < ![CDATA[Mark Delsing I don't agree, I think if you're a good, vivid, energetic player, it makes perfect sense that someone might pay for you to play in their group! It's certainly as valid as this particular setup.]]>

  23. Jason Corley Has that ever actually happened, though? The “DM for hire” idea has been rattling around the hobby for a long time, but “Player for hire”? That doesn’t seem to exist in this article’s universe.

  24. < ![CDATA[Jason Corley Has that ever actually happened, though? The "DM for hire" idea has been rattling around the hobby for a long time, but "Player for hire"? That doesn't seem to exist in this article's universe.]]>

  25. I wonder how much Wheaton, eat al make for their show, or how much Switch folks running games make. Because that’s in the same cloud of concepts for me. Heck, I make (a very, very small amount of) money from people interested in listening to me play.

  26. < ![CDATA[I wonder how much Wheaton, eat al make for their show, or how much Switch folks running games make. Because that's in the same cloud of concepts for me. Heck, I make (a very, very small amount of) money from people interested in listening to me play.]]>

  27. < ![CDATA[Joe Beason That feels like a different beast to me. They're performers putting on a show for advertisers and subscribers. Felicia Day isn't paying Wheaton to run games for her.]]>

  28. Mark Delsing Okay, but you’re the one saying that their presence in the game has no value, then. I don’t think that’s true. I think people get a lot out of the interactions and consider it a fun part of their convention experience.

  29. < ![CDATA[Mark Delsing Okay, but you’re the one saying that their presence in the game has no value, then. I don’t think that’s true. I think people get a lot out of the interactions and consider it a fun part of their convention experience.]]>

  30. I agree that it is different, but a convention paying for guests of honor (or comping GM badges, now that I think of it) is in the same category. They’re paying for someone to arrange a good time at a RPG table.

  31. < ![CDATA[I agree that it is different, but a convention paying for guests of honor (or comping GM badges, now that I think of it) is in the same category. They're paying for someone to arrange a good time at a RPG table.]]>

  32. Jason Corley Someone should have told a few of the GMs I’ve had at GenCon that they were supposed to provide a “good time.” 😄

    Is it the same category? At a con, I’m paying for the event space, I’m paying to help cover whatever expenses are comped for the GMs (all of them, not just the ones I play with), and I’m paying for access to all of the other attendees. I may also be paying for the organizers themselves to get a little compensation. This is all obvious overhead.

    But paying $100/mo to have some guy run Pathfinder for me over Hangouts?

    Seems different to me. The former is about facilitating community. The latter is somewhere between fleecing rubes and stuffing dollar bills in a g-string.

    To me, at least.

  33. < ![CDATA[Jason Corley Someone should have told a few of the GMs I've had at GenCon that they were supposed to provide a "good time." 😄 Is it the same category? At a con, I'm paying for the event space, I'm paying to help cover whatever expenses are comped for the GMs (all of them, not just the ones I play with), and I'm paying for access to all of the other attendees. I may also be paying for the organizers themselves to get a little compensation. This is all obvious overhead. But paying $100/mo to have some guy run Pathfinder for me over Hangouts?
    Seems different to me. The former is about facilitating community. The latter is somewhere between fleecing rubes and stuffing dollar bills in a g-string.
    To me, at least.]]>

  34. “now we’re just quibbling over the price, madam!” You literally just said that the bulk-pricing experience of GenCon is a gamble in terms of it’s outcome for you. So these people don’t feel like gambling (or, to be fair, going to fucking Indianapolis to be part of an alleged “community”) and they think they can get a better experience this way. Aren’t you just arguing that the expenditure of a convention membership is a bad way to have a good time, not that it isn’t a way?

  35. < ![CDATA["now we're just quibbling over the price, madam!" You literally just said that the bulk-pricing experience of GenCon is a gamble in terms of it's outcome for you. So these people don't feel like gambling (or, to be fair, going to fucking Indianapolis to be part of an alleged “community”) and they think they can get a better experience this way. Aren’t you just arguing that the expenditure of a convention membership is a bad way to have a good time, not that it isn’t a way?]]>

  36. I honestly just reread all of your comments in this thread twice, and I can’t find what your actual dissatisfaction with the article is. The closest guess I’ve got is that it praises the role of DM in a way that categorically values it above that of players, that something about people paying for entertainment rubs you very much the wrong way, and the articles implicit statement that DMing a game really well requires so much time and effort that it’s basically a job.

    Did I get that right?

  37. < ![CDATA[I honestly just reread all of your comments in this thread twice, and I can't find what your actual dissatisfaction with the article is. The closest guess I've got is that it praises the role of DM in a way that categorically values it above that of players, that something about people paying for entertainment rubs you very much the wrong way, and the articles implicit statement that DMing a game really well requires so much time and effort that it's basically a job. Did I get that right?]]>

  38. I don’t quite have a handle on the DM/GM-for-hire, I’m still researching. I did take a look at the DawnForgeCast patreon and I don’t have a problem with what’s on offer there…it feels much different than what the article lays out, and to be honest, that article has some funky baggage but that could just be me (and Mark Delsing!) I can begin to see the appeal. I might put dollars on the table for a routine, well run game I was interested in with folks that were engaging to play with – and it might come out to what I spent to attend GenCon.YMMV.

    patreon.com – DawnforgedCast is creating Tabletop RPG Tutorials and Elite Gaming Experiences | Patreon

  39. < ![CDATA[I don't quite have a handle on the DM/GM-for-hire, I'm still researching. I did take a look at the DawnForgeCast patreon and I don't have a problem with what's on offer there...it feels much different than what the article lays out, and to be honest, that article has some funky baggage but that could just be me (and Mark Delsing!) I can begin to see the appeal. I might put dollars on the table for a routine, well run game I was interested in with folks that were engaging to play with - and it might come out to what I spent to attend GenCon.YMMV. patreon.com – DawnforgedCast is creating Tabletop RPG Tutorials and Elite Gaming Experiences | Patreon]]>

  40. Jason Corley Right, because my aside about GenCon applies to all conventions ever. No, that doesn’t follow.

    And I’ve watched some videos linked to in the article, and those players aren’t gambling any less than they are at GenCon. Yikes.

    I mean, I understand what you’re getting at. In both examples, people are paying money for an experience. I just see bigger differences.

  41. < ![CDATA[Jason Corley Right, because my aside about GenCon applies to all conventions ever. No, that doesn’t follow.
    And I’ve watched some videos linked to in the article, and those players aren’t gambling any less than they are at GenCon. Yikes.
    I mean, I understand what you’re getting at. In both examples, people are paying money for an experience. I just see bigger differences.]]>

  42. < ![CDATA[J Stein I have no issue with "people paying for entertainment". That's a really reductionist reading of what I'm saying. Otherwise, you're basically reading me right.]]>

  43. Mark Delsing​ you asked if there were other hobbies in which “participants we’re afraid to actually participate”. Doesn’t this mean people afraid to try to publish their short story, or to put some song they wrote on the internet? Doesn’t this include people with ideas but a fear of failure, so they never try? It feels exactly apt to me. “I’ll never be able to DM a game! It’s so hard. I’m embarrassed. What if I suck? What if I get tongue tied? What if…..”

  44. < ![CDATA[Mark Delsing​ you asked if there were other hobbies in which "participants we're afraid to actually participate". Doesn't this mean people afraid to try to publish their short story, or to put some song they wrote on the internet? Doesn't this include people with ideas but a fear of failure, so they never try? It feels exactly apt to me. "I'll never be able to DM a game! It's so hard. I'm embarrassed. What if I suck? What if I get tongue tied? What if....."]]>

  45. Aaron Griffin But music is an art form, and is able to be enjoyed without being a musician. It has an audience. You’d have to talking about a musician who is afraid to play their instrument, or play with other people, to be equivalent.

  46. < ![CDATA[Aaron Griffin But music is an art form, and is able to be enjoyed without being a musician. It has an audience. You’d have to talking about a musician who is afraid to play their instrument, or play with other people, to be equivalent.]]>

  47. Sure, ok. I know a few musicians afraid to play for others. Fear of failure and all that.

    But all this presupposes that roleplaying isn’t an art form that spectators can enjoy. Watching roleplaying on Twitch and YouTube is a legit industry these days. The RollPlay folks make a killing.

    So imagine people sitting there watching a cool game they like on YouTube and thinking “I wish I could do that, but I’m probably not good enough!” In the music world, you’d seek out a tutor, right?

  48. < ![CDATA[Sure, ok. I know a few musicians afraid to play for others. Fear of failure and all that. But all this presupposes that roleplaying isn’t an art form that spectators can enjoy. Watching roleplaying on Twitch and YouTube is a legit industry these days. The RollPlay folks make a killing.
    So imagine people sitting there watching a cool game they like on YouTube and thinking “I wish I could do that, but I’m probably not good enough!” In the music world, you’d seek out a tutor, right?]]>

  49. I have been musician who had some fear of playing of others; I got over it, but I understand it. But is the analog playing in front a crowd, playing with your buddies to jam, or playing by yourself? Or being afraid to even pick up your instrument?

    RPGs as art form is another thread, but yeah, RPG-as-spectator-sport has definitely become a thing — at least certain kinds of RPG play have. Still, that’s again the difference between being a music fan and a musician, which are operate hobbies.

    And I get the idea of a tutor. A lot what the DawnforgeCast guy does is tutorial and advice videos (that’s his Patreon). But you work with a tutor so that you can eventually do the thing in which you are being tutored, no? Like, you work with a tutor to teach you to play guitar, not to play guitar so you don’t have to, right?

  50. < ![CDATA[I have been musician who had some fear of playing of others; I got over it, but I understand it. But is the analog playing in front a crowd, playing with your buddies to jam, or playing by yourself? Or being afraid to even pick up your instrument? RPGs as art form is another thread, but yeah, RPG-as-spectator-sport has definitely become a thing — at least certain kinds of RPG play have. Still, that's again the difference between being a music fan and a musician, which are operate hobbies. And I get the idea of a tutor. A lot what the DawnforgeCast guy does is tutorial and advice videos (that's his Patreon). But you work with a tutor so that you can eventually do the thing in which you are being tutored, no? Like, you work with a tutor to teach you to play guitar, not to play guitar so you don't have to, right?]]>

  51. Jason Corley Is paying for a Tinder account and paying for sex the same thing, in your estimation?

    Would you pay some guy from the NBA or the local college team to play with your after-work pick-up team?

  52. < ![CDATA[Jason Corley Is paying for a Tinder account and paying for sex the same thing, in your estimation? Would you pay some guy from the NBA or the local college team to play with your after-work pick-up team?]]>

  53. Mark Delsing If someone knows an NBA player and the dude is willing I definitely would be down with scrimmaging/practicing with the guy and paying his freight. This is in fact the whole premise of an entire class of fundraisers where you pay to play a round of golf with a golf celebrity.

  54. < ![CDATA[Mark Delsing If someone knows an NBA player and the dude is willing I definitely would be down with scrimmaging/practicing with the guy and paying his freight. This is in fact the whole premise of an entire class of fundraisers where you pay to play a round of golf with a golf celebrity.]]>

  55. I think that the old “The GM brings everything to the game, the player are there just to be entertained or they even risk ruining the game if you give them too much indipendence” thing is so toxic, so damaging to the real people relationships and communication, that to partecipate in in it, yes, you should be paid.

    i certainly would not play the GM in one of these tables for free.

    But I would not be “playing”. That is not playing. It’s entertainment. i am there to make people think that they are cool and clever by making the monster stupid enough for them and fudging the rolls to make them win.

  56. < ![CDATA[I think that the old "The GM brings everything to the game, the player are there just to be entertained or they even risk ruining the game if you give them too much indipendence" thing is so toxic, so damaging to the real people relationships and communication, that to partecipate in in it, yes, you should be paid. i certainly would not play the GM in one of these tables for free. But I would not be "playing". That is not playing. It's entertainment. i am there to make people think that they are cool and clever by making the monster stupid enough for them and fudging the rolls to make them win.]]>

  57. Having a bunch of players who think they have to hire a professional to be their DM because it’s too hard, is a lot like having a DM who thinks he needs to buy an adventure module to run a game because making his own is too hard.

    Or for that matter, it’s a lot like a group who think they have to play a game with an official world background and metaplot, because making up their own world is too hard.

    Given that, it seems like a logical extension of the “I need to pay someone for it, it’s too hard” progression that led mainstream gaming from the old minimal 1970s roleplaying games through the modules of the 80s and the metaplot of the 90s and so on and so forth up till today.

    Actually it’s one step short. The logical progression actually goes past “we’ll hire the DM” and instead goes to “we’ll watch somebody else playing on livestream or youtube” which is totally a thing.

    At least in this case there are players taking part instead of watching other players play!

    In fact, if you flip your point of view and assume that these people started with watching livestreamed games, and decided they wanted to move up to taking part, maybe this is a push back in the right direction. They’re not willing to just watch, they want to be the players. Maybe next they’ll be like “hey, I want to try that GMing thing,” and then “hey, I want to try that adventure building thing” and then “hey I want to try that world building thing” and then “hey, I want to try game design.”

    And they’ll have finally clawed their way back to the ’70s (or the ’00s if you count the Forge wave of RPGs).

  58. < ![CDATA[Having a bunch of players who think they have to hire a professional to be their DM because it's too hard, is a lot like having a DM who thinks he needs to buy an adventure module to run a game because making his own is too hard. Or for that matter, it's a lot like a group who think they have to play a game with an official world background and metaplot, because making up their own world is too hard. Given that, it seems like a logical extension of the "I need to pay someone for it, it's too hard" progression that led mainstream gaming from the old minimal 1970s roleplaying games through the modules of the 80s and the metaplot of the 90s and so on and so forth up till today. Actually it's one step short. The logical progression actually goes past "we'll hire the DM" and instead goes to "we'll watch somebody else playing on livestream or youtube" which is totally a thing. At least in this case there are players taking part instead of watching other players play! In fact, if you flip your point of view and assume that these people started with watching livestreamed games, and decided they wanted to move up to taking part, maybe this is a push back in the right direction. They’re not willing to just watch, they want to be the players. Maybe next they’ll be like “hey, I want to try that GMing thing,” and then “hey, I want to try that adventure building thing” and then “hey I want to try that world building thing” and then “hey, I want to try game design.”
    And they’ll have finally clawed their way back to the ’70s (or the ’00s if you count the Forge wave of RPGs).]]>

  59. Probably this is just one more entirely valid way to enjoy a thing we all enjoy, that will lead some to find our ways, and some to find other ways, and for some will be totally satisfying and complete.

    I don’t think we have much to worry about.

  60. < ![CDATA[Probably this is just one more entirely valid way to enjoy a thing we all enjoy, that will lead some to find our ways, and some to find other ways, and for some will be totally satisfying and complete. I don't think we have much to worry about.]]>

  61. Moreno R. Ah, fighting the war of 2005. Listen maaan, get with the times (lights hash cigarette, snaps fingers). Apocalypse World made everyone love GM fiat again. If you don’t get with the beat, you’re gonna REALLY miss out next year when someone makes everyone love metaplot again.

    Mark Delsing The mode of play advanced in this article (a DM doing the bulk lifting of arranging an entertaining experience for non-DM players) has always been, for every second the hobby has existed, by far the supermajority of all play and products ever produced. We’ll be okay.

  62. < ![CDATA[Moreno R. Ah, fighting the war of 2005. Listen maaan, get with the times (lights hash cigarette, snaps fingers). Apocalypse World made everyone love GM fiat again. If you don't get with the beat, you're gonna REALLY miss out next year when someone makes everyone love metaplot again. Mark Delsing The mode of play advanced in this article (a DM doing the bulk lifting of arranging an entertaining experience for non-DM players) has always been, for every second the hobby has existed, by far the supermajority of all play and products ever produced. We'll be okay.]]>

  63. < ![CDATA[Jason Corley a DM doing the bulk lifting of arranging an entertaining experience for non-DM players
    Sure. There’s more than that going on in the article, though.]]>

  64. Ahh, well. A news article or any media presentation that totally misapprehends reality and gets everything relevant wrong is the normal mode of life for a lawyer. You’ll get used to it.

  65. < ![CDATA[Ahh, well. A news article or any media presentation that totally misapprehends reality and gets everything relevant wrong is the normal mode of life for a lawyer. You'll get used to it.]]>