[generic] Doing this as a job, a part time one admittedly


The Guvnor
Staff member
So... is there a buck or two to be made from running D&D as a paid experience, using AirBnB or something similar?

Would this be a viable retirements top up stream, do we think?
There are some US-based folks who do the paid GM gig. Never met one but it would certainly seem to set a high bar for the quality of the material the GM would have to offer. I suspect that it would have to be pre-written/published scenarios as the amount of time and effort you'd have to put in to prep self-written scenarios would be worth more than you'd make running. Maybe if you could get long weekends out of it and included something for non-gaming spouses/partners to do as well it might pay. The issue is always going to be building a rep for GMing, probably via streaming games via Twitch TV/YouTube to make people aware of your offerings.

I'd say it would have to be aimed at an older demographic as they have the disposable income to spend on things like this but then they are more likely to have a non-gaming partner than not.


The Guvnor
Staff member
I am not sure, every DM/GM I meet is swamped with people in their 20s and 30s desperate to play..
Published scenarios yes.
I was thinking more of AirBNB Experiences to be honest rather than an ongoing campaign
I think they may use staff-members as GMs, but Sheffield's Treehouse board game cafe charges £10 per person for the one-shot RPG sessions they're running this Summer (e.g. https://www.treehousesheffield.com/events/honey-heist-180719) - so some sort of arrangment with a store or cafe might work.

I expect a person could make at least some money offering online games, too. As you say, the demand far outstrips the availability of GMs. That person would just have to be prepared to ignore the loud complaints from people who think that charging money to GM is inappropriate.
Look at some economics to gather information. A BnB charges how much ?(in the Newcastle area), add on minimum wage (c£9 per hour in 2020) for what 6 hours per day of gaming and a variable for materials (paper, ink, bling) divided by the number of players and you'd have to specify a minimum number (probably 4) to make the effort worth it. That would work out to something like (£15-20 plus BnB rates a day per person) to break even, more if you expect to make a profit. However you'd need to factor in advertising/marketing and stuff like that as well as an accountant to do the books to keep HMRC happy.


Rune Priest
I would think that the easy money would be from going the online GM route, as that's just you and a PC. More potential money in the face to face experience, but a lot more to go wrong.

Mind you, seeing how popular the D&D Adventurers League effects are at cons, that's essentially what you taking about, no? But you're proposing a more personal touch, without all those other noisy games going on around you. If you can find the right pitch, there is obviously a big market out there.
There is a guy at Geek Retreat charging like 20 quid per player and regularly has at least 4 players several times a week. So just below minimum wage for the week, sadly.
I had in the past thought about a Bnb (initially autocorrected to BNP and I don't want to type that) for rpgs. Yes I think it could be viable, but probably for a slightly bigger bnb where you could get several unrelated guests in at one time to play in one game. Assuming you live in a normal sized house that may not be possible. If you could only get say 2 guests in would it be the same? Definitely worth considering though. Perhaps discuss with a local hotel that they could advertise this and you provide the dm experience?
The chart of sales of the Starter Set in that article is fascinating. Almost 2.5 times the (North America) sales of it in 2018 than in 2014 when it was released. The Stranger Things and Critical Role effect, I expect!