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A stupid question


Pheres

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I have a stupid question to ask to Chaosium team, and especially Jeff Richard:

According to Canne's Jeff's interview, a huge RPG game materials will be produce by Chaosium... But for us, standard rpg players, it will be very hard to play all the stuff in one single life! So do your team planned to make a new job: professional rpg gamers that can play all your stuff and get monthly income from just playing? :) Thanks to all of you Chaosium!

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43 minutes ago, Pheres said:

I have a stupid question to ask to Chaosium team, and especially Jeff Richard:

According to Canne's Jeff's interview, a huge RPG game materials will be produce by Chaosium... But for us, standard rpg players, it will be very hard to play all the stuff in one single life! So do your team planned to make a new job: professional rpg gamers that can play all your stuff and get monthly income from just playing? :) Thanks to all of you Chaosium!

Hell, that ain’t stupid, I want a pay check as well :)

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... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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6 hours ago, Pheres said:

professional rpg gamers that can play all your stuff and get monthly income from just playing? :)

I believe that's called "being on the cast of Critical Role" :D  But joking aside, it's mindblowing to think about it, but we do live in a world where professional RPGers exist. Not only actual play YouTubers like Critical Role, but also professional GMs who rent their services by running games at customers' home parties.

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2 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I believe that's called "being on the cast of Critical Role" :D  But joking aside, it's mindblowing to think about it, but we do live in a world where professional RPGers exist. Not only actual play YouTubers like Critical Role, but also professional GMs who rent their services by running games at customers' home parties.

Indeed.

Sometimes I think democracy is losing ground and the economy is worsening for common people in the last 40 years or so. But I wonder, is it natural negative bias?
And then you got this kind of information... 
But ha, well.. there always were professional entertainers, the profession simply just diversified, using new media! :) 

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I don't think I'd enjoy playing a game where the GM was payed. They're not there for the same reason I am. Kind of like a prostitute. Not that gaming with someone is like sex, but it's not like watching actors in a play/movie either. There is some level of 'We are doing this together' that I'd miss.

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1 hour ago, Simlasa said:

I don't think I'd enjoy playing a game where the GM was payed. They're not there for the same reason I am. Kind of like a prostitute.

I empathize with your position, but that pretty much applies to everything that people do for money. The gas station attendant, the paramedic, the policeman, the lifeguard. They are all getting a paycheck for what they do. 

Quote

Not that gaming with someone is like sex, but it's not like watching actors in a play/movie either. There is some level of 'We are doing this together' that I'd miss.

Yeah, especially as roleplaying is a form of social interaction among friends. It's like renting a friend. 

But, I've been to conventions where strangers play and in some of them the GM are paid (not much) to run. And the GMs do the lion's share of the work in most RPG groups.

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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There are groups where nobody feels "up to" GM'ing.

They cannot muster the GM prep-time... or they take a look at the 5e DMG and nope on out from GM'ing... or whatever.

There are groups where everyone wants to be a player, to have that player-experience, and/or none of them want to be in the quasi-isolated / quasi-adversarial GM's role.

etc ...

And, as noted, gaming conventions are VERY popular, and those GM's are in exactly that "stranger" role, and often get paid something; often no more than Comp-Con (attend the Con for free), but sometimes other stuff too.

Paid GMs are, I think, mostly for the well-to-do crowd of players.  It isn't necessarily all that different from having a "traditional family meal" event (such as Thanksgiving is in the USA) catered; or for hikers hiring a guide (vs "just going hiking") for a couple of similar-ish examples.

Edited by g33k
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There used to be a company in my city called Sir Unicorn Enterprises that not only organized LARPs but would do a dinner theatre like experience in one’s home or a local mansion or a local restaurant for Murder Mysteries in costume with actors. I am not sure I would want to condemn professionals (be they actors, working women a poster called prostututes who have enough problems as is, or Game Masters for hire). 

I do prefer the volunteer amateur nature of our hobby, but I also have been known to say, 'chacun a son gout, n’est-ce pas?'

Edited by Bill the barbarian

... remember, with a TARDIS, one is never late for breakfast!

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On 3/1/2020 at 9:02 PM, Atgxtg said:

I empathize with your position, but that pretty much applies to everything that people do for money. The gas station attendant, the paramedic, the policeman, the lifeguard. They are all getting a paycheck for what they do.

True, and I don't reference prostitutes as anything negative... just that sex is an activity I want to share with a person, rather than being serviced... like with a gas station attendant.

Having gone on organized hikes before, paying a hiking guide doesn't seem similar to hiring a GM either.

I wouldn't want to be payed as a GM either, much as I don't like being hired by friends to do things... money changes the relationship.
Also, trying to turn hobbies into cash often seems to lead to loss of joy in the hobby, not for everyone... but it's a familar tale.

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37 minutes ago, Simlasa said:

True, and I don't reference prostitutes as anything negative... just that sex is an activity I want to share with a person, rather than being serviced... like with a gas station attendant.

Having gone on organized hikes before, paying a hiking guide doesn't seem similar to hiring a GM either.

I wouldn't want to be payed as a GM either, much as I don't like being hired by friends to do things... money changes the relationship.
Also, trying to turn hobbies into cash often seems to lead to loss of joy in the hobby, not for everyone... but it's a familar tale.

Fair enough!

But HAVE you ever gone to a 'Con or a "game day" event (such as "Free RPG Day"), where GM's were running for whoever registered, whoever showed up, etc...?  There's also regular "Organized Play" events like "Pathfinder Society" or "D&D Adventurer's League," and of course Chaosium's own "Cult of Chaos."  Strangers GM'ing for you...  It's definitely something that happens.

And apparently, occasionally, the "professional GM" happens too.

 

I think @Lloyd Dupont had an interesting (and valid) point:  there have always been paid entertainers, this is just a new medium...

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20 minutes ago, g33k said:

Fair enough!

But HAVE you ever gone to a 'Con or a "game day" event (such as "Free RPG Day"), where GM's were running for whoever registered, whoever showed up, etc...?

I've played in stores where it was open table... and while it can be fun, it wasn't the same as a consistent table full of friends with a shared game history.

I'm not saying it would be an awful experience, but it's not quite the same... and for my taste, and reasons for playing, it's a lesser choice. Just like playing online games can be fun, but never quite measure up to face-to-face games.

I don't agree with the notion that because 'there have always been payed entertainers' that this is somehow the same thing. Players in a game have a given and take with the GM, much moreso than any audience at a play... or a DJ at a wedding. Maybe it's a modern notion that I haven't connected with... but I don't look to the GM to entertain me during a game, no more than the other Players. When I GM I do NOT think of myself as an 'entertainer' either... or at least no more so than I do when I'm playing.

Maybe I'm just annoyed at people trying to monetize every fucking thing they get involved with...

Edited by Simlasa
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1 hour ago, Simlasa said:

I'm not saying it would be an awful experience, but it's not quite the same... and for my taste, and reasons for playing, it's a lesser choice. Just like playing online games can be fun, but never quite measure up to face-to-face games.

I like this point, it says "the best things in life are free” and there is truth to that. While paying for something can gain one a valuable experience, it’s nothing compared to the joys that simply cannot be bought. Friendship and camaraderie are, of course, beyond price. A baby’s smile and that game that lasts until dawn with everyone nodding off to sleep around a friends’s living room are special and beyond a king’s ransom.

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2 hours ago, Simlasa said:

I wouldn't want to be payed as a GM either, much as I don't like being hired by friends to do things... money changes the relationship.

It can, and I think...

2 hours ago, Simlasa said:


 trying to turn hobbies into cash often seems to lead to loss of joy in the hobby, not for everyone... but it's a familar tale.

..has some truth to it. Once you are getting paid to do something it becomes work. Something that you have to do as opposed to something you want to do. 

 

I also think there may be another factor at play here that does differniate between a paid GM and other paid activities. Namely that of what is owned to the players. For instance, with most services you can specfiy what you want and the provider will agree to that and try to give you what you ask for - or you can opt to go elsewhere. Thus it is in their best interest to give you what you ask for, even it is ins't always the best thing to do. For instance the clerk at the store will sell you $100 worth of snacks if you are willing to pay for it, a hundred packs of cigarettes, etc.

With gaming, part of the fun of playing is that players do not get everything they ask for. If they did the game would quickly get boring. Instead they get enough of what they ask for to feel a sense of accomplishment and continue playing. A good deal of the fun comes from not getting what they ask for, as it makes a future success much more satisfying. I can't see that working at a store. It's not like they can sell you the TV you wanted the next time you buy a TV.

 

And that's where I can see "Pay for Play" breaking down. What if the GM doesn't give the players what they want (success, magic items, personal retinue, kingdom, etc.)? Better for them to appease the players and take the money rather than run a better game. Especially short term.

 

So maybe you are onto something.

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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8 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

And that's where I can see "Pay for Play" breaking down. What if the GM doesn't give the players what they want (success, magic items, personal retinue, kingdom, etc.)? Better for them to appease the players and take the money rather than run a better game. Especially short term.

Now I actually gave up mountain guiding because it _was_ ruining a perfectly good hobby.

However well a gifted set of amateurs may be however they have trouble stacking up to a professional.  The professionals we're used to in the table top gaming world are the staff of the gaming companies. Often the line editors and main authors, aided by a horde of both professional and amateur artists and writers doing piece work. However out there in the world of LARP players normally do pay to play because set and costume and safety gear cost. Often those events only barely break even.

So. Where's the dividing line? Personally I've never charged for a space at my table (or chatroom). However I can imagine a GM doing so to cover his costs. Lets face it to run a really fantastic RQG or CoC or whatever campaign there's a lot of time/money going into it. The books are increasingly not cheap. We're no longer teenagers saving pocket money (mostly) and the kids are playing fiasco or fortnight or whatever. However buying both rqg/glorantha slipcases and the upcoming cults and campaign books is a fair outlay. Likewise CoC if you want to go from cold and pick up the starter set, 7eCoC and say Masks plus the delux prop set....that is a chunk of change. I can see a GM asking his group to kick in. And from there :- Well if someone if going to make their own proper, lay on food and drink, provide a really top notch game...its a lot of hours and using all your free time to do that is an ask for some of us.

And lets face it GMing for strangers is a real skill set and hard work as well as fun if you're up for it. (Hats of to the Cult of Chaos by the way) 

 

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6 hours ago, Thaz said:

Now I actually gave up mountain guiding because it _was_ ruining a perfectly good hobby.

However well a gifted set of amateurs may be however they have trouble stacking up to a professional.  The professionals we're used to in the table top gaming world are the staff of the gaming companies.

I disagree. The best gamer's I've seen were great gamers and not so good profressionals. Typically people who are good creatively aren't that good at running a business, and vice versa.

6 hours ago, Thaz said:

 

Often the line editors and main authors, aided by a horde of both professional and amateur artists and writers doing piece work. However out there in the world of LARP players normally do pay to play because set and costume and safety gear cost. Often those events only barely break even.

That's different, and seems more like equipment fees and lift tickets. 

6 hours ago, Thaz said:

So. Where's the dividing line?

I doubt there is one, or if there is one, it can be at a different position depending upon the people involved and circumstances. I have been paid to run at conventions, but it was $1 per player and mostly went towards drinks and snacks consumed during play. 

6 hours ago, Thaz said:

Personally I've never charged for a space at my table (or chatroom). However I can imagine a GM doing so to cover his costs. Lets face it to run a really fantastic RQG or CoC or whatever campaign there's a lot of time/money going into it. The books are increasingly not cheap.

Sure. But players can and opften do chip in to buy a supplement or gaming mat or some such. It makes sense too as such tings enhance the enjoyment of the game for everyone. That not the same as charging a hourly rate or a fee per session. 

In my own group we are setting up to use a TV for out battlemat and one of the players has already said that everyone should chip in to by the tabletop software I'm going to go with. 

6 hours ago, Thaz said:

And lets face it GMing for strangers is a real skill set and hard work as well as fun if you're up for it. (Hats of to the Cult of Chaos by the way) 

I dunno. I think it's the same skill set require by all GMs (read you players to determine their wishes and expectations, craft entertaining, yet interactive adventures, present the game in a way that said players can understand and enjoy). In some ways gaming with strangers can be more interesting tot he GM, as it will be a change from the standard players and could open up new possibilities. I ran a game for a friend's 9 year daughter, and in many ways she was more fun the GM than her father. She didn't like it when her NPC friend got hurt and started to game smarter to avoid it happening again. I wish my regular group thought like that! 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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On 3/3/2020 at 2:29 PM, Simlasa said:

I've played in stores where it was open table... and while it can be fun, it wasn't the same as a consistent table full of friends with a shared game history.

I'm not saying it would be an awful experience, but it's not quite the same... and for my taste, and reasons for playing, it's a lesser choice. Just like playing online games can be fun, but never quite measure up to face-to-face games.

I don't agree with the notion that because 'there have always been payed entertainers' that this is somehow the same thing. Players in a game have a given and take with the GM, much moreso than any audience at a play... or a DJ at a wedding. Maybe it's a modern notion that I haven't connected with... but I don't look to the GM to entertain me during a game, no more than the other Players. When I GM I do NOT think of myself as an 'entertainer' either... or at least no more so than I do when I'm playing.

Maybe I'm just annoyed at people trying to monetize every fucking thing they get involved with...

<points upthread, to my original entry in-thread>

Sometimes, a group wants to play, but nobody wants to GM... Enter the paid GM.

 

I do agree with you that it's a different (and likely inferior) experience.  But maybe sometimes... it's the only experience available.

 

Also...

Sometimes, having to make a living from something you love can suck they joy out if it.

But sometimes, it can really rock to get paid for doing something you love!

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6 hours ago, g33k said:

I do agree with you that it's a different (and likely inferior) experience.  But maybe sometimes... it's the only experience available.

I don't know if it's an inferior experience, but it's probably a similar experience to sitting at a table at a gaming convention. Maybe slightly better, because you know everybody at the table except the (hired) GM, compared to the gaming convention where you maybe only know the one friend you brought along (if any). I don't think anybody ever looked down on playing at conventions. So you can think about it as paying for a convention ticket, but the convention comes to your house, sort of.

Edited by lordabdul

Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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8 hours ago, g33k said:

I do agree with you that it's a different (and likely inferior) experience.  But maybe sometimes... it's the only experience available.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-07-08/how-to-be-a-professional-dungeons-dragons-master-hosting-games

Or perhaps it might be a better experience. Depending on what you want and how much money is involved. 

I mean seriously the art of what is _possible_ with enough time/money/skill is amazing. But few of us GM's can put the time/money in no matter what our skill levels. Do my players have fun? I certainly hope so. But even being one of three main GM's with another 2-3 back-up folk who are willing to step in and run a few sessions now and then there are times when real life gets in the way. I'm lucky. The Beer with Teeth shared campaign continuum (http://journeyoftheheroes.wikidot.com/) means when life happens I have backup. But how often do I have everything just perfectly right, all the handouts ready, how often am I able to get everything just so?  I think the last time I was really proud of my prep was back in the 90's running RQ3 or CoC and I had plenty of downtime. Oh what I could do with decent funding and time 😄

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