Are you tired of having to GM for your friends all the time because none of them will take a turn in the big chair? Do you want to play as pirates or in the Eberron setting or some other specific campaign concept and can’t find one who will run it? Are you having difficulty finding a GM for non-D&D systems like Rogue Trader, Star Wars, or Vampire: the Masquerade? Do you just want a GM who will see a campaign through instead of ducking out after three sessions again?
If so, I have good news for you! I offer professional GMing services – I will run the system you want, with the adventure you want, with the group you want. I have the bog standard decade’s worth of experience GMing, of course, but I’ve also written a GM’s Guide and there are already three groups consistently paying me to run games for them right now (as of 8/4/2018). These are not personal friends offering me a leg up, but people who were total strangers until I started running paid games for them. Three different groups pay me for weekly games, and I cannot imagine why anyone would continue paying for a game unless they were enjoying it.
One of the biggest benefits of a professional GM is reliability. For the entire time I’ve been running professionally, I have only ever had to cancel two sessions. One was because I received an evacuation notice due to wildfires in the area, and the other was because of my grandmother’s funeral. If you pay for a game, the game will happen.
I have extensive experience with and am confident in my abilities in the following systems:
- D&D 3e (including Pathfinder 1e)
- D&D 5e
- FFG’s Star Wars
- Star Wars: Saga Edition
- FFG’s 40k RPGs
- Apocalypse World (and by extension most hacks – including Dungeon World)
- Vampire: the Masquerade 3e
- After Sundown (an obscure but well-designed WoD fanmade successor)
Pre-existing adventure paths in familiar systems
$15/player, per session
This certainly includes any adventures officially published for both D&D 5e and Pathfinder, the two titans of adventure paths as of the writing, and also includes things like the official adventures released by FFG for their 40k RPGs and just about anything you can find in Dungeon Magazine or the DM’s Guild.
Custom content in familiar systems
$30/player, per session
When making custom content, I can accept any amount of guidance on what content you’d like from none at all to the inclusion of specific NPCs and set pieces in a particular adventure (in fact, if you take it so far as to write out an entire adventure path for me to run for you, not only will I do that, it’s actually cheaper – see above).
$45/player, per session
If you want me to run an obscure system that you aren’t able to find another GM for at all, you do have to subsidize my learning the system, but I’ll do it. Now, God’s honest truth is that you will be paying more money for a worse service. I’ll do my best, but I don’t have the kind of experience here as I do with other systems, so I don’t recommend this unless you really want to play in a certain system and have been unable to find a free GM. Unlike the other systems I’ve mentioned, if you can find a free GM, they’ll probably be just as good at it as I am.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you accept new players?
Very yes. When I worked with the Adventurer’s League, I was one of the only GMs willing to help people create characters, and that practice got me very good at explaining the rules in a way that’s fast and easy to understand. I also didn’t find it particularly aggravating. Those familiar with my blog will know that I’m not super forgiving of major mistakes from professional authors and developers, but that’s not because I’m extremely impatient, that’s because I find it aggravating when people charge money for an inferior product/service (which is also why I strive to be worth paying for), or otherwise hold themselves up as an expert. It’s easy to be patient with people who aren’t trying to portray themselves as exceptionally competent.
And remember, that’s not hypothetical: This was a thing I actually did in the Adventurer’s League, explaining the same basic concepts over and over again to different people, and it wasn’t exciting (except sort of when the tables got really busy, which was less often than not but usually happened for at least a few hours of every convention), but it wasn’t frustrating either. Those people were all new. They didn’t know what’s up, because they just got here, and I was perfectly okay explaining it to them, and the next one, and the next one, sometimes for two or three hours straight, frantically blitzing through the explanation at a crowded table with new players waiting in line, and my thought was never “why can’t these morons figure it out for themselves” or anything like that, it was always “I hope I can get this guy ready to go fast enough to catch that other guy before he gets bored and leaves – I don’t wanna miss a chance to get someone into D&D.” I want more people playing D&D.
How long is a session?
Four hours. Alternatively, we can do two two-hour sessions per payment, or four three-hour sessions for every three payments.
What timezone are you in?
Mountain Time. I am available mainly in the afternoons and evenings, which may not be a good fit for Europeans or those on the other side of the Pacific. Hopefully I will eventually be successful enough to offer a more flexible schedule.
How often do you run?
As often as you want. If you want to buy out every game I run and play five days a week, you can. If you’re only available once a month, that’s fine, too.
How do you accept payment?
Via PayPal and my Patreon. If these are unavailable in your country, contact me and we can hopefully work out an alternative.
How soon does money have to be in to get a seat?
I do not begin doing serious design work until after payment is in. For pre-made content that’s ready to go out of the box, paying the day of the game is fine. For content that requires more effort to prepare, payment should be in at least three days in advance, to give me time to prepare.
Can you run a solo game for me?
Yes, but each game must have at least three seats paid for, even if some of those seats are empty in the actual game. I don’t have much difficulty finding a group of at least three players when I have spots available on my schedule, so any smaller group must be willing to pay proportionately more per person to justify running for them. I’m perfectly happy to run for a group of just one or two people so long as I’m not losing money to do so.
What happens if I can’t make a session?
Any player who cancels:
- 24 hours or more before a session happens – no cost
- Within 24 hours, but before the session starts – half cost, for inconvenience
- No show, no cancellation – Full price
I might not have had to spend the actual time to run the session, but I still had to clear my calendar, and if players get in the habit of canceling late, I may end up clearing my calendar and then having no session to run.
If only one or two players show up and decide they don’t want to keep playing without the others, then the money they spent for the skipped session will instead be used to pay for the next session. There will never be a charge for a game you show up to but which doesn’t actually happen.
Fair’s fair, which means all the same applies in reverse if I cancel a session:
- 24 hours or more before a session happens – the money for the missed session is instead used to pay for the next session
- Within 24 hours, but before the session starts – the next session is half off
- No show, no cancellation – the next session is free
Do you offer refunds?
Not normally. Which mostly means “no.” I make absolutely no promise of any kind of refund that could in any way be construed as a legal obligation. In any case, paid campaigns don’t fall through nearly as often as free ones, so refunds shouldn’t be necessary.
What’s this about Heartbreaker Press?
Heartbreaker Press is a tabletop game company I’ve done some editing work for in the past. They’re currently trying to get a professional GM service started and I will probably be signing on with them when they do. My understanding is that when that happens mostly all that’ll change is that I’ll have a much nicer website to direct you to for payments, but I’m not currently affiliated with Heartbreaker Press (except in that I’ve worked with them in the past) so I can’t speak for them and have no idea what the details of their plans are.
What kind of house rules do you allow?
Whatever you like. If you want me to make decisions about what house rules are and aren’t allowed, I’m happy to do so. I recommend letting me decide house rules if either the group is four or more people or if you strongly dislike math. If the group is four or more people, arguments about which house rules to allow can go on forever unless someone has the authority to end them. If you strongly dislike math, it’s probably better to just let me worry about it for you – you’re paying me to run the game, after all. If you’re a smaller group and/or you like to balance the game yourself, feel free to do so – just let me know what the house rules are and I’ll run them.
An exception is when I’m running my own, non-commissioned content. For things like Petals and Thorns, I control what house rules are available because I want that game to be a very specific experience when I am running it. I want people to be able to compare their experiences playing that game (and others like it) with one another and know that they were playing more or less the same game, and whatever differences arose in the result is because of in-character decisions they made. This does not apply for custom content made specifically for your group, however – for that, you can use whatever house rules you like.
Do you run evil campaigns?
Yes. Honestly, though, being an adventurer already gets you paid plenty, so any given “evil” campaign usually ends up being “save the kingdom while wearing lots of black leather,” while campaigns that actually end up evil are usually the ones with Crusader Kings/Game of Thrones style intrigue when players give up on morals in session three when they realize they’ll inherit a duchy if they assassinate a toddler.
What about really, really dark, messed up stuff?
Nothing you do will shock me. At worst, I may roll eyes if you’re trying way too hard to be edgy or if your understanding of human nature is really naive, but I’ll still run the game for you. Graphic depictions of pedo behavior – even if only in text or voice – leave me on potentially shaky legal grounds, so I can’t be associated with that, but that’s basically the only limitation.
Do you do fetish games?
Yes, although I won’t discuss them on my blog. Fetish games make some clients uncomfortable, so I do not talk about them publicly for the sake of professionalism. I’m not personally averse to talking about fetishes, niche or mainstream. About the only fetish I won’t run are things that are actually illegal (i.e. no pedophilia, no bestiality – furry is fine so long as all parties are sapient). Other than that, I’m perfectly happy to enter your magical realm.
Has anyone ever actually paid you for a fetish game?
Not yet. I’ve received interest, but no one has ever actually sent me money. I’m guessing that people think a monster girls game sounds great while they’re horny, but before they get around to paying for anything they come to their senses and realize just how many dollars $45 is. I’m still open to it, though.
I’m convinced, how do I get in touch?
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, through my Discord channel linked at the top of the page, or contact me through my Patreon.