How to Become a D&D Dungeon Master (and Get Paid!)
Tell me a story.
How about a tale of dragons and wizards? Add a miniature giant space hamster and sprinkle on some halflings.
Nevermind, scratch the last part. Let’s go with velociraptor-riding halflings!
If you can combine all these elements into a story then kudos to you. You might have what it takes to become a professional Dungeon Master (DM).
But why would people pay you to DM a game? The answer is because you have a unique skill and there’s a demand for it.
Think about how the first comedian got a paying gig. They probably had the same doubts as you do now.
“People would pay me to tell jokes? Isn’t that crazy?”
You may have started DMing Dungeons and Dragons as a hobby. Now you can make a living off of it.
But it’s not enough to just have a passion for it. Here are some tips on how to be a dungeon master who also gets paid.
How to Be a Dungeon Master Step One: Master Your Craft
No, we don’t mean having an encyclopedic knowledge of DnD. You don’t need to know the stats of the most obscure creature in the Monster Manual. Although it helps to know your stuff when faced with a rules-lawyering player.
But more important than knowledge of the Player’s Handbook or different source books is how you craft the story. You’re the master blacksmith who hammers the story into shape.
As you know, a DnD session is unlike any other traditional game. While the rules are there to provide structure, you and your players are not bound by them.
DnD is the ultimate open-world RPG. And it’s up to you to let the players enjoy every inch of it.
This is the part where it gets tricky. Your players have certain expectations about the game that may clash with how you want to tell the story.
You want them to feel powerful in the game. But you can’t just hand out legendary artifacts or epic spells left and right.
Finding that balance is the key to being a good DM. You have to know how to settle an argument. You have your DM duties for sure, but you also want everyone to have a good time.
It’s what they paid you to do. And it’s what will make them come back for more.
Step Two: Cast Greater Shout
Greater shout is, of course, an eight-level wizard spell that deals sonic damage to your enemies. But instead of dealing damage, use the spell to get the word out…
…that you’re a damn good DM and you’re available (for the right price).
Start with your friendly local store first. Store owners know that a well-run DnD session attracts customers like bees to honey. Ask if you can get compensation for bringing business to the store, either monetary or gaming resources.
Then you can hand out your business card to people spectating on the game. You can later expand your operation to gaming and comic book conventions.
Of course, in this era, it’s insane not to include social media platforms if you want to advertise yourself. You can stream a game on Twitch or Youtube to showcase your skills.
Roll the Dice
Now that you know how to be a dungeon master at a professional level, you just need to roll the dice. Like any adventure, the start will be full of excitement and doubt. But just stay with it and you’ll slay the dragon at the end and get the treasure.
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