I see that you are wondering how to become a professional dungeon master! I have great news for you. In 2022, it is now easier to become a professional dungeon master than ever before.
In our 2021 version on how to become a professional dungeon master, we talked about in-person vs online DMs and how to pave your own way with and without a hosting site. The game has changed, and while those two are still both valid options, using a hosting platform is the easiest way to become a professional dungeon master in the new year.
This article will talk about what has changed since 2021 and why you should now, more so than ever, consider using a hosting platform to start your professional dungeon master career.
Your 1# Hosting Platform
Of all the ways out there on how to become a professional dungeon master, the easiest way to successfully achieve this is to use a hosting platform. The number one hosting platform out there is Startplaying.games (SPG). This is the hosting platform that I personally use, and it has made over a million dollars in revenue in the last year. This site advertises your games for you and showcases new accounts more than ever before.
With SPG pushing new accounts to the forefront, you will be able to get players far more easily. In fact, if you start a new campaign, you are very likely to get new players since your game is more likely to be advertised. Players are also more likely to want to start with something new rather than join an ongoing campaign.
This hosting platform will take a 10% cut from whatever you decide to charge. But in all honesty, the advertising, player base, and other benefits that they provide are more than worth it. There is almost no better way to get started as a professional dungeon master in 2022. But there are some important things that you need to know.
How to Gain Traction
After a year using SPG, I have learned some important tips that will help jumpstart your professional dungeon master career. These 5 tips are as follows:
- Do one-shots for reviews.
- Run games during prime time.
- Advertise your own games
- Ask for help.
- Know your worth.
Do One-Shots for Reviews
Remember how SPG advertises newly made games in the forefront? One-shots are always newly advertised and are generally free-to-play. You can have players pay for one-shots of course, but these one-shots are much harder to fill. The reason why you should consider doing a few free one-shots is that you need reviews.
The more reviews you have, the higher your priority will be on SPG. This isn’t as overtly prominent as it used to be, but it is a big factor. You cannot sleep on this if you wish to have higher priority on SPG, and thus be a successful professional dungeon master.
Run Games During Prime Time
When using SPG, you can’t post a game that starts in the wee morning hours and expect it to fill up. There is a prime time to run games. According to SPG’s own research, the best times for games range between 4-6 pm, Pacific Standard Time (UTC -8).
This specifically applies to the weekdays. If you are running games on the weekends, the prime times are far more flexible.
Advertise Your Own Games
You need to know when to advertise on your own. The amount of advertising by SPG will not always fill your slots, and there is a higher ratio of dungeon masters to players. Having more dungeon masters on the platform means you need to advertise in different places to get your games filled.
When advertising, you need to be careful. Not everyone is open to the idea of professional dungeon masters, and it is best to not burn bridges with potential future clients. Find Discord chat rooms, Reddit groups, and other places that allow for personal advertising. To get you started, here is a great subreddit to advertise in.
Ask for Help
If you are ever confused or need help with something, the SPG Discord chat room is a wonderful place to ask questions. With so many dungeon masters out there, you are assured to get help with anything that comes up. For example, perhaps you aren’t getting clients and you aren’t sure why. Just ask the group and likely someone will have some insightful guidance including how to make your games seem more appealing.
There will be many unforeseen hurdles in becoming a professional dungeon master. This is why I recommend that you form a community with your players. They are surprisingly resourceful, and will tell you about things that you would not have known on your own. Constructive feedback is a vital way to grow, and fostering friendships with them will only bring good results.
Know Your Worth
In our 2021 article on how to become a professional dungeon master we talked a lot about pricing and salary. For the most part, things haven’t drastically changed in the last year. You will not get rich as a professional dungeon master in 2022, but there are ways to make this a viable full-time career option.
First, know your worth and don’t sell yourself short. Currently the average pricing for quality professional dungeon masters is between $20-30 per player for a 3-hour session. If you price your campaigns too low initially, you will have a difficult time upping your prices later on. Players might jump ship when you raise prices, which can make things difficult.
If you are doing this as a side job, then this might not be as much of an issue. But if you intend to make this your full-time job, you will need to charge more. As a full-time professional, you are spending a lot of time working on your games and improving your craft, aiming to give your players memorable, professional-quality sessions. If your sessions go above and beyond, you will certainly be worth the higher price tag.
Lastly, you can always do something on the side to complement your work as a professional dungeon master. No, I am not talking about getting another job. I am talking about writing a blog, creating a YouTube channel, making products, or anything else that you can think of within the D&D realm. These side gigs will give you an extra source of income, get your name out there, and help grow your D&D business.
In 2022, the path to becoming a professional dungeon master is easier than ever before. With SPG rising in popularity, making its algorithm more favorable towards newer dungeon masters, not to mention the increasing acceptance of professional dungeon masters as part of the D&D community, doing this as a full-time job is definitely possible.
This being said, it will still be difficult. It is up to you to make sure you are advertising yourself, bettering your craft, and filling your games. A steady paycheck isn’t a guarantee right off the bat. You will need to get reviews, advertise, adapt, and constantly improve.
These are some important tips that I have learned after working with SPG for over a year as a professional dungeon master. If I can do it, so can you!
I hope that this article has helped you figure out how to become a professional dungeon master in 2022.
This has been Wizo, and keep rolling!
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