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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    In those cases you're pure audience. In a tabletop game I wouldn't accept being pure audience as a player, actually if I played with a DM that put on a show that I can't meaningfully interact with I'd feel like that is a waste of my time.
    I wouldn't mind chipping in some money for books and whatever but not for the DM's time, if the DM isn't DMing on the same terms that I'm playing then it's going to be a deeply weird experience for me.
    I've gone to choirs where you pay to be a member and sing, and the choir director is paid, even though I'm not pure audience. You can play sports with your friends, or you can join a league and pay to play games. I can go to a board game cafe and pay to play games with my friends. There are a lot of activities you can do for free, or you can pay someone to organize for you.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    To respond to the last post first - because the players don't have to do anything besides show up and have fun. The DM, on the other hand, has extensive prep work.

    I am DMing (IRL) for the first time, and I would not be surprised if my prep time is equal to my time spent at the table at my FLGS. My game is only once every three weeks, so I am able to handle that easily, and am currently prepped with about the next 7 sessions worth of materials. It's a 5e dungeoncrawl following a specific Castlevania game, so they aren't just going to kick off and abandon the plot for some random other city or being salt merchants or whatever. My prep includes little printed (paper) flat tokens for enemies.
    One of the more experienced players (21, but the one who we all look to when a rules question comes up) says I'm the most "hyper-prepared" DM he's seen. I think I would be stressed if I had to do it every week; I can prepare more because I can predict more of what's going to happen. If I had to make a bunch of "may not be used" material, it'd be harder.


    In my area (small town, low budgets for most players), a paid DM would not work out. Online? It seems to, since Cham is doing it. I have seen a couple of articles in the dinosaur media about professional DMs out in California, where wages are high and real estate is even higher, and there's more money being flung around amongst the upper class of tech guys. I think I recall seeing a fee of $500 per session or something like that... but he had lots of accessories, including I think true 3-D battlemaps with trees, etc. It can be done as a profession or a part-time gig in the right market.

    I have no ethical or moral problems with someone being paid to DM. Either they are worth the money to the players, or they aren't. I think anyone playing can figure out pretty quickly "Hey, I could do this!" The people who have the disposable income to drop on D&D regularly, especially at the higher price points, are also the ones who probably say "I don't have time to do all the prep work, I just want to chill and play." For them, finding a DM (who they don't know) lets them and their group of friends hang out, be awesome, and spend time together without one of them putting in 3d4 hours of prep time every week.
    Last edited by J-H; 2019-09-17 at 11:39 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    I don't think there's any sort of fundamental problem with paying a GM or being paid to GM. It can be a lot of work, and it can take a lot of time, and if you want fancy terrain and stuff that's expensive. It seems along the lines of my situations, though slightly different: I am GMing two campaigns, one at each of two different gaming spaces, and everyone pays for a seat (though the one place doesn't charge GMs, so I don't pay there). Since I actively wanted to game with new people and my wife and I didn't feel super-comfortable inviting strangers into my home, it seems a pretty fair deal to me.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    But the idea of having a long-term campaign with a group and still remain strangers is so hard to understand. Sure, my gaming group may not be my closest friends, but after the first few months I definitely had enough of a connection there that it wouldn't be the same to ditch them to play with a bunch of total strangers.
    What you are describing is exactly the same level of connection I have with my clients. It happens basically on auto-pilot whenever reasonably friendly people talk to each other regularly for any reason at all, regardless of whether or not money is changing hands. Do you know the name of their spouse or children? Do you know where they work? Do you have regular interactions with them unrelated to the game? If not, then my relationship with my clients is every bit as friendly as your relationship with your GM. If you call your GM your friend despite having no interaction with them outside of the game, then by that standard I am friends with all of my clients. People I don't like, I don't work with.

    Actually, I explained it pretty well.
    If this is true, you can quote the explanation. Let's see it.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    What you are describing is exactly the same level of connection I have with my clients. It happens basically on auto-pilot whenever reasonably friendly people talk to each other regularly for any reason at all, regardless of whether or not money is changing hands. Do you know the name of their spouse or children? Do you know where they work? Do you have regular interactions with them unrelated to the game? If not, then my relationship with my clients is every bit as friendly as your relationship with your GM. If you call your GM your friend despite having no interaction with them outside of the game, then by that standard I am friends with all of my clients. People I don't like, I don't work with.



    If this is true, you can quote the explanation. Let's see it.
    While I agree with you that there is nothing wrong on charging money for GMing, that bit of "people don't know their GM's wife, work or life" is absolutely alien to me. Personally if I have thought of someone as a friend, I have known them as a friend is bound to know another.

    Now, my experience might have been different to others, or might be the most regular case.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Friv View Post
    I've gone to choirs where you pay to be a member and sing, and the choir director is paid, even though I'm not pure audience. You can play sports with your friends, or you can join a league and pay to play games. I can go to a board game cafe and pay to play games with my friends. There are a lot of activities you can do for free, or you can pay someone to organize for you.
    that's different; there you pay for organization. you pay to rent the place, the equipment. you don't pay someone to play with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    What you are describing is exactly the same level of connection I have with my clients. It happens basically on auto-pilot whenever reasonably friendly people talk to each other regularly for any reason at all, regardless of whether or not money is changing hands. Do you know the name of their spouse or children? Do you know where they work? Do you have regular interactions with them unrelated to the game? If not, then my relationship with my clients is every bit as friendly as your relationship with your GM. If you call your GM your friend despite having no interaction with them outside of the game, then by that standard I am friends with all of my clients. People I don't like, I don't work with.
    none of them is married (we're between 20 and 30) so I can't say about spouses; but I know how many brothers and sisters they have, though I''ve never met them. I know what lectures they are attending at university. With one of them I don't have interactions outside of d&d.

    Regardless of specifics, having a friendly aquaintaince with one's customers is not full friendship, but it's much closer to it than being total strangers, which you seem to imply when saying that most people don't know their groups. And regardless of knowing details of one's life, there is a huge differene between a guy who you're paying to sit down and play with you and a guy who's doing it in his own free time. it's a matter of perception.

    By the way, I envy that you can choose your customers. As a high school teacher, I cannot choose my students, and I'd gladly ditch a good half of them if I could.

    If this is true, you can quote the explanation. Let's see it.
    It was actually a big garbled; I put the points in my second post, but not in a very coherent way because i wasn't addressing that thing specifically
    Spoiler: spoiler for brevity, because it's a tangent and mostly personal
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    Spoiler: for brevity
    Show
    I don't think it's inherently wrong, but it is deeply weird.

    I do worry a bit about what it may say about society; in the past, people performed fun activities together. nowadays we are moving more and more towards people paying professionals to perform fun activities with them. And no matter that the professional will certainly perform better than an amateur, it's rarely a worthy gain for the loss of personal connection. plus, if you have to pay people to get them to play with you, it defeats the whole purpose of the concept of "game".

    But what you say actually reassures me, because it's people with no experience looking for a professional to teach them. this, I can totally understand. It would have been much more strange if old players with established groups regularly resorted to this.
    Paying for a gaming partner, I cannot understand. Paying for a teacher, I totally do

    {Scrubbed post, scrubbed quote}
    {Scrubbed}

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    Paying for a GM seems like paying people to be your friend. Deeply sad.
    Now, it has been established that this is not an accurate representation, because many gamers are not friends with the people they play with. Which is something outside my concept of roleplaying gaming (I can understand it for sports; I play basket with some people, and I'm not friend with them nor am I likley to become, because playing basket doesn't require talking to each other. But I woould become if I were to enter into a team and do things somewhat seriously).

    I learned with this thread that many people don't have the same concept of rpg that I have. and with that perspective - knowing that perspective even exist and is not confined to a few toxic players - paying a professional DM makes plenty of sense. I still wouldn't do it, because while I now know a different point of view, I keep mine. I play in a group, if we stay together we'll become friends, and if I have to pay somebody to become my friends, it defies the whole thing. I stick to this perspective of mine, even though now I understand and accept that others are doing it differently.

    * It also goes the other way; when I am asked to give chess lessons, I loathe to ask money, because I want to teach chess to people, and asking for money means I wouldn't do it, it would mean that chess is not my hobby but my job. it still puts a strain in my time, so I ask for some money, but I try to keep the price symbolic. I know, I'd suck as a businessman. but that's how I feel. If paying someone means that you appreciate what he's doing for you, getting paying means you don't appreciate what you're doing for them.
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-09-19 at 04:27 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    I've just about always done pay to play. Really, it's no diffrent then any other hobby where one person does the bulk of the work.

    First, it does cut down on flaky players. Have players pay to play, and you only get good players that want to play the game.

    Second, and the big one, is that is covers game materials.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    I dunno, I think it's weird that people pay other people to train or walk their dogs. Why do you have a pet if not for the value of conducting these bonding activities yourself?

    As for paying to play, I have to laugh. What other activity is as low cost as imaginative play? Specific to D&D, the system is free. When it comes down to it, a group could experience entire expansive campaigns for literally nothing more than the cost of a single set of dice, pencil, and notepad, wholly inventing every scenario for themselves without a single penny paid to any publisher or service provider. Free-to-play video games can't even boast that - you've at least got to pay for electricity.

    That said, it seems terribly naive to deny the possibility that there are players who are interested in having these experiences that, owing to myriad reasons ranging from unwieldy career obligations to severe social ineptitude, have no available playmates, and are willing and of the means to afford a hack to bypass the norms of gathering friends for a game. There are also a lot of folks who have been conditioned by the online gaming model who, when comparing the monthly cost of a world and play with rigid limits against the table fee to game with live participants and truly open-ended events, might consider it a bargain.

    Also, having been a compensated playtester, I can attest that there is merit to the idea of paying your players, but that it is ultimately dependant on the principles of supply and demand. For RPG's, there are vastly more players looking for a game master than GMs in search of players.

    People should be more aware and considerate of the value of their time.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    {Scrubbed post, scrubbed quote}.
    {Scrubbed}


    And intellectual enjoyment is something that can be and usually is paid for. See books and movies.


    I don't see anything morally wrong with paying people to play DnD, but I do think it is a bit sad that people have to do it. Unlike simpler boardgames, pen&paper does have a storytelling element that profits from skill, but I still see the social element as a main reason for why it is more fun than, say, reading a book or playing a computer rpg.
    Last edited by flat_footed; 2019-09-30 at 10:54 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by flat_footed; 2019-09-30 at 10:54 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post

    {Scrubbed post, scrubbed quote}
    Well, you absoutely lost me, {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by flat_footed; 2019-09-30 at 10:54 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    {Scrubbed post, scrubbed quote}
    Cut out a lot just to make your quote not fill a whole page of my response.

    THe problem with your very aggressive and combative response is that you are simultaneously berating him for assuming to know how everyone else plays the game, while insisting that your experience IS indicative of how everyone else plays the game.

    You imply (or rather I infer) that the bulk of your experience is playing with people who pay you to DM games. Great. That in no way equates to "this is how most D&D players" experience the game.

    I would suggest that, based on pure count, there are likely far more casual at-home gamers who play largely or exclusively with friends. People they would also hang out with outside the game, perhaps go to movies, go to each other kids' bar mitzvahs, help each other move, than people like you for whom gaming is like... competitive sport where they play games largely or exclusively with other hardcore, non-casual gamers who only interact with their fellow players in the confines of the one thing.

    In addition, I would suggest that, even for some non-casual gamers who do things like join games online or at game shops, many of them are looking for friendship beyond just the game and would happily become friends with their fellow gamers if they could. That there may be a large number of friendships who started as "game-friends" and became more.

    That doesn't make your way wrong, or their way right. There's nothing wrong with you turning your craft into a business model. But your experience of what level of friendship exists between gamers is based on... you know.... you turning it into a business relationship. I don't think there's any evidence that your experience is the norm, or there wouldn't be someone asking if you even exist.
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-09-19 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Cleanup, Aisle D&D
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  13. - Top - End - #43
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Chamhasnoroom, you seem to think that there is really no social aspect to tabletop gaming beyond the extremely superficial. Perhaps that is true. Perhaps those of us that think tabletop is, or at least can be, an incredibly deep interaction with other players are just being silly or are a strange outlier in the gaming world.

    I began playing over 30 years ago while in school. This was with friends. You know, we knew where each other lived, knew each other's parents, etc. That sort of thing continued through college, and then when I was working, I met people, we became friends and played together. We would visit each other's houses, met each other's relatives, went on road trips together, etc. One member of that period of gaming periodically had us meeting and playing at her grandmother's house because her grandmother didn't have a lot of visitors and enjoyed company, even if we were there just as a place to meet, play games, and eat pizza. Gradually time marches on, I have a family of my own and am running games at a youth center. Now I sometimes am running games with parents playing with their children, introducing them to tabletop gaming while those not interested play CoD in the corner. I know these people, know where they work, how their marriage is doing, know some (definitely not all) of the struggles their children are going through. I attended weddings of some of the youth as they grew. Now... I am out in a very rural part of the US, and have ventured into playing via virtual table top. I knew none of the people before playing and running games with them, but I know what they do for a living, the names of their spouse, children. We actually speak in voice chat outside the game. You know, like friends do. This is not a business transaction, it is something very much different.

    Again, maybe this is strange, but the only distance that has been inserted in my gaming is the normal (as far as I can tell) constraints that happen to adults. We all have our lives to lead, obligations to meet, but we can still get to know one another and get to be friends who can have a wonderful time in a shared fantasy world. If you don't wish to have that sort of connection with people in your games, that is fine. Just don't wish what you seem to see as normal on us, or tell us we are delusional.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    An example of some of the weirder objections:

    "I can't imagine having a GM who isn't my friend!"

    The majority of D&D players cannot name their GM's spouse, any of their children, do not know what their GM does for a living, and never interact with their GM except during the game and in game-related conversations in between games, usually carried out online or in text. You are not friends with your GM. You were never friends with your GM. This was always a service provider/client relationship.
    This is strongly untrue for me and, I suspect, the majority of D&D players.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    The majority of D&D players cannot name their GM's spouse, any of their children, do not know what their GM does for a living, and never interact with their GM except during the game and in game-related conversations in between games, usually carried out online or in text. You are not friends with your GM. You were never friends with your GM. This was always a service provider/client relationship. People object that someone you only meet with to play D&D and know basically nothing about otherwise is still your friend because you have fun together, and sure, you could expand the definition that far, but by that definition I am friends with every single one of my clients.
    This is an extraordinarily weird flex.

    The vast majority of D&D groups start as friends, and then start playing D&D. This has always been true. Very few groups are made of people who never see each other outside of game, and even fewer are made up of people who never saw each other outside of game before they started gaming.

    This has been true for me in every city that I've lived in - I get invited to a game because I am friends with an existing player, or because I'm friends with the GM. I then get to know the people at the game both in-play and through post-game events. People talk about their lives and their problems.

    I'm not friends with every person that I've gamed with - some of them are friends of my friends who were brought to a game in the same way. I might see them at a birthday party from time to time, but we don't really hang out. But that's the exception more than the rule.
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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    What's actually happening is that GMing is hard and most people don't want to do it, and even those who do tend to burn out after a couple of weeks
    Really? I prefer DMing to playing myself. In the last group I was in, at least 4 out of the 7 of us DM'd at one time or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    The majority of D&D players cannot name their GM's spouse, any of their children, do not know what their GM does for a living, and never interact with their GM except during the game and in game-related conversations in between games, usually carried out online or in text. You are not friends with your GM. You were never friends with your GM. This was always a service provider/client relationship.
    I can't speak for everyone else, but everyone I've DM'd for has been my friend, and while I have played with other DMs who weren't my friend, I could certainly tell you if they had a spouse or children (they didn't) and what they did for a living. I could understand the kind of relationship you describe in online-only games, but it does seem weird to me in face-to-face ones.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    What I said was that most D&D players cannot name their GM's spouse, children, occupation, and do not have regular conversations with them that aren't directly game-related. This fits in pretty comfortably with what you've told me about how much you know the people in your own group. I don't know why you associate the level of knowledge you have about your own D&D group with being "total strangers," but it's definitely got nothing to do with anything I wrote.
    wut

    Maybe in your experience, but to my experience and knowledge that is not true. My impression is that most D&D groups consist of friends who got into the hobby together.

    For my groups, I know all of them very well (I know where they live, where they work, about their spouses and children and pets), one of the groups even grew up together playing D&D as they got into it during the school years. I hang out with several of the people I play RPGs with outside of the gaming sessions, by going to watch movies or other activities, and hey most of them we have New Years-parties with (which is usually a relaxed affair with boardgames and just hanging out).


    Not berating those who pay to play, but for me it just seems very... odd. Mostly because I have a bit of social anxiety so meeting new people is always difficult, and the added strangeness of paying them to entertain me would make me feel uncomfortable ("if this is their job I feel like I have to be nice and like it even if I don't", "be proper and professional, no relaxation or weird jokes").

    In my playgroups, the cost of things have just been spread out over time. We usually play in our home, so we often supply people with some refreshments or snacks (anything from baked goods to fruit and veggie-snacks), and we also have most of the books. When one of my groups were playing the newest APs from Pathfinder (Strange Aeons and War For The Crown), we all chipped in for a subscription for the GM, but that was considered to be more of a group-expense than "paying the GM for his services". Sometimes one of the regular GMs have gotten RPG books as birthday or christmas presents. For our weekly games, one of the players who always need to borrow dice and books brings wine and beer to share with everyone.

    So we kinda pay eachother for having fun through food, drink, and the occassional gaming supplements?
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  18. - Top - End - #48
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Well, you absoutely lost me, {Scrubbed post, scrubbed quote}.
    No, I'm not. I'm stating my suspicion that when he says "I know what university lectures they're attending," what he really means is "I have learned of a small handful of specific university lectures through incidental conversation." That is, what he's saying is technically true, but is phrased so as to imply greater involvement in their lives than he actually has. This fits in with being asked if he knows the names of his group's family members and subsequent response that he knows the number of his group's siblings.

    You imply (or rather I infer) that the bulk of your experience is playing with people who pay you to DM games.
    You infer incorrectly. I GM'd for free for nearly a decade before doing anything professionally. Because, y'know, obviously you have to have experience with something before you can start doing it professionally. I have run for and played in the Adventurer's League, at game shops, through university gaming clubs, and online through Roll20. Until relatively recently, I never charged for my services. In exactly zero of these settings was it typical for more than two people to show up already being friends, and people rarely bothered interacting with one another outside of the game. Without some kind of pan-gaming census it is impossible to know whether there is a hidden super-majority of players who had pre-existing friendships who all transitioned to playing the game, let alone how many wound up as friends beyond the game after they began playing, but that's exactly the kind of thing that tends to get drowned out by a boom in popularity during the internet age. The idea that the method of gaming that requires at least three of someone's friends to share an interest that didn't have anything to do with why they're friends would be more common than one that simply requires punching "how do I play D&D online" into Google is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence.

    Once upon a time, if someone was playing Twilight Imperium, odds were good that they were either playing through a university board game group or with a group of friends they knew outside the game. Then Tabletop Simulator happened, and now it is far more convenient to play with strangers (in this case, since you only need the group for one night, actual, total strangers), which means everyone who used to wish they had friends to play with is actually playing, and playing online. You can see this sea change in the community if you look for the right posts. You can hear people talking about it on Twilight Imperium-related podcasts. It became possible to play with strangers, and the shift towards that was strongly felt immediately. For RPGs, that transition began seven years ago and we are now very deep into it.

    With the exception of Biggus, everyone protesting that getting groups of friends together to play is the norm have join dates or self-proclaimed veterancy that precludes them from having joined the hobby after internet platforms rose to prominence. The majority of D&D players started playing less than five years ago, getting into the hobby because of Critical Role and Stranger Things, They got started in the era when, if your friends didn't want to play D&D, that didn't mean you would never be able to play D&D. That meant you would Google "how to play D&D online" and be signed up for a game within twenty minutes. These people are very common.

    The easiest way to play is the most common way to play. Convenience wins over virtually every other consideration.

    People they would also hang out with outside the game, perhaps go to movies, go to each other kids' bar mitzvahs, help each other move, than people like you for whom gaming is like... competitive sport where they play games largely or exclusively with other hardcore, non-casual gamers who only interact with their fellow players in the confines of the one thing.
    Again with the baseless assumptions. The casual players are the overwhelming majority of my clientele. Hardcore groups are generally the ones who form in-person groups out of their existing friends. Casual groups are the ones who play online. Online is easy and convenient, there's hundreds of games recruiting at all times so it is very easy to find one that fits your schedule, whatever your schedule is. Wringing a game out of your existing group of friends requires coordinating schedules between at least three or four people to find a 3+ hour block of time and will probably require that people shuffle things around in their schedule, and the cost of physical dice, minis, and maps is higher than digital equivalents (which are usually free!), and it requires that your friends be interested in D&D in the first place, which is typically only true of people whose interest in the hobby is big enough for that to be an immediate point of connection between people who would otherwise be strangers. Online play has a far lower barrier to entry. Casual players are online players.

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-09-19 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Cleanup, Aisle D&D

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    Very long post
    I will agree with you that D&D has gotten a big (positive) mainstream attention now thanks to shows like Big Bang Theory and particularly Stranger Things, and according to Wizards, 5th edition has sold better than any other previously published edition. New players getting into D&D has never been easier than it is today due to the shift in popular culture and mainstream media where nerdy things have now become the big success (Marvel movies, Game of Thrones and other fantasy shows, Stranger Things, etc).

    However, internet presence is just scratching the surface of the RPG community. The majority of people who play roleplaying games are not posting on forums, streaming, or recording game sessions for podcasts. It is nearly next to impossible to get actual numbers on how many people play roleplaying games and what the trends are surrounding that (the number of people playing online, the number playing at the table, the current age groups, and so on), which you acknowledge in your own post before contradicting yourself. All of us here can only offer anecdotal evidence. One of the things that also make it difficult to determine numbers of players (and the trends) is things like illegal PDF-sharing, as well as the fact that one sold book could be used potentially by a group of people (so one sale does not equal one playing customer)*.

    I would honestly love to see numbers and statistics around RPGs, but I don't think I will ever live to see it, sadly.



    *= this is also why RPGs are not usually a lucrative business for publishers and stores, as it's rare that a group that plays together will each purchase their separate copies of a rulebook. And outside of main handbooks for players, the chances of sales are even lower. Older D&D had tons of setting stuff published (especially things like boxed sets and Gazeetters), but they were even worse in sales as they were considered to be "only for the DM" by many.
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  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    It is nearly next to impossible to get actual numbers on how many people play roleplaying games and what the trends are surrounding that (the number of people playing online, the number playing at the table, the current age groups, and so on), which you acknowledge in your own post before contradicting yourself.
    If I have contradicted myself, you can produce quotes demonstrating it. I am going to register an advance prediction that what quotes you provide are going to amount to "technically this is a contradiction if you ignore everything else in the post and assume that each individual statement is meant to be taken completely literally, regardless of context."

    All of us here can only offer anecdotal evidence.
    As in, as evidence we have personally gathered? Sure. But data gathered by larger entities also exists, and very clearly indicates that the majority of D&D players right now have started playing in the last couple of years. Because the data is incomplete, people are inevitably going to insist that the uncollected data secretly supports the opposite conclusion to the data we have, but this is nonsense. All data is incomplete, all knowledge is based on our current understanding, and either you accept that we have to draw conclusions based on the data we have or else you don't have join the conversation at all. The data we have is that the majority of D&D players started playing recently. Given that, you would expect them to be playing through the most convenient and cheapest option, and that means playing online. "I always played with friends in person" is not a counterargument to that when you started playing in the 80s when the internet was a glimmer in Al Gore's eye. "I've got a hunch" is not a counterargument to anything.

    Nothing can ever be proven 100% true beyond all doubt, not even things as seemingly obvious as "the universe physically exists" (what if it's a simulation?). A bad faith actor can claim that literally any amount of evidence is too little to prove them wrong. But obviously, functional human beings operate on limited evidence all the time, and while I'm sure everyone can think of a politically charged example of that failing, most of the time this works fine, and also it is impossible to do anything else, so we kind of have to muddle along with it. Someone saying "we don't have enough evidence to know for sure" is really saying "I refuse to be convinced by any amount of evidence." We have evidence. The evidence clearly indicates that new players are more common than old ones. The evidence clearly indicates that casual players are more common than hardcore ones. Online play is clearly more convenient and accessible than in-person play, and you would expect casual players to play in the most convenient and accessible way. Absent actual evidence to the contrary, there is no reason not to believe that online play is common and that trends amongst online players therefore reflect trends in the hobby in general.
    Last edited by ChamHasNoRoom; 2019-09-18 at 10:43 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    I have run for and played in the Adventurer's League, at game shops, through university gaming clubs, and online through Roll20.

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by flat_footed; 2019-09-30 at 10:53 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    People who expect to get paid to DM, are like people who quit their job to be "Professional Overwatch Players." It's a nice dream, but the odds of pulling it off successfully are one in a million. I don't think there's a gamer alive who hasn't said, at least once in their life, that it would be great to get paid just to play D&D. That being said....

    If you expect me to fork out real money for anything more than my share of pizza and soda, you better well be the Leonardo Da Vinci of the gaming world, and every room/monster/npc description you give better well be a gorram literary masterpiece. You should be able to craft a plot that rivals anything I can watch on TV/Netflix, and you should be more that able to verbalize all of this with the skills of a seasoned broadcast professional/voice actor.

    I've seen "pay to play" DMs at my local game store, and believe me, "Um....so you see 10 goblins" or just reading verbatim from the hardcover, is the best I've seen to date, and I'm not paying for that.
    Last edited by Mutazoia; 2019-09-18 at 09:47 PM.
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    I'm actually an example of the people ChamHasNoRoom's talking about, played with my last group for several years, only broke up because of many of them moving away, and to this day I hardly know a thing about their out of game lives outside of a few tangential things that got mentioned from time to time. Stuff about families and work and other personal things not relating to the game just pretty much never came up in conversation at the table.

  24. - Top - End - #54
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    As in, as evidence we have personally gathered? Sure. But data gathered by larger entities also exists, and very clearly indicates that the majority of D&D players right now have started playing in the last couple of years.
    I don't think that link contains any information to support this statement. It only states how many games there are under a certain game system on Roll20. I don't see any info on the age of the games, nor is there any info on the people playing. How do you know the majority of the people playing in those games started in the last couple years?

  25. - Top - End - #55
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kraynic View Post
    I don't think that link contains any information to support this statement. It only states how many games there are under a certain game system on Roll20. I don't see any info on the age of the games, nor is there any info on the people playing. How do you know the majority of the people playing in those games started in the last couple years?
    If you compare Orr Industry Reports across multiple quarters, the absolute number of games is constantly rising. Combined with statements by Wizards of the Coast, this suggests that the number of players is rising across the board. Alternatively, people are migrating from IRL games to online games. This is considerably less likely, but would obviously be even more straightforward evidence of the online space becoming more common than IRL.

    Their most recent report did not offer absolute numbers at all, and that after about a full year of silence. There's no specific reason given as to why, but my suspicion is that the numbers have peaked and the popularity of tabletop RPGs has begun to recede.
    Last edited by ChamHasNoRoom; 2019-09-18 at 10:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Look, I have no problem believing that there are players that only know each other in the context of gaming, and that is perfectly ok.

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-09-19 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Cleanup, Aisle D&D
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  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    If you compare Orr Industry Reports across multiple quarters, the absolute number of games is constantly rising. Combined with statements by Wizards of the Coast, this suggests that the number of players is rising across the board. Alternatively, people are migrating from IRL games to online games. This is considerably less likely, but would obviously be even more straightforward evidence of the online space becoming more common than IRL.

    Their most recent report did not offer absolute numbers at all, and that after about a full year of silence. There's no specific reason given as to why, but my suspicion is that the numbers have peaked and the popularity of tabletop RPGs has begun to recede.
    Or maybe it has to do with competition from Fantasy Grounds, Foundry VTT, Astral, and whatever other companies are out there.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    Look, I have no problem believing that there are players that only know each other in the context of gaming, and that is perfectly ok.

    {scrubbed post, scrubbed quote}.
    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-09-19 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Cleanup, Aisle D&D

  29. - Top - End - #59
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    I didn't ask if you know if they're married. I asked if you know their spouse's name. [snip]

    What I said was that most D&D players cannot name their GM's spouse, children, occupation, and do not have regular conversations with them that aren't directly game-related. This fits in pretty comfortably with what you've told me about how much you know the people in your own group.

    Your fundamental problem here seems to be that you are unable to imagine people being perfectly friendly with each other in a business context,[snip]
    or perhaps I didn't want to go into deep details for both space and personal reasons? Do you want me to write stuff about my friends in an internet forum? I don't know the full bios of their families, but then again, I couldn't do it for my own family, because I am terrible with the whole "remembering names and faces and stuff about their lives" thing. You will probably say that my relationship with my own family is no deeper than the one you have with your customers, go ahead.

    And I was merely describing the situation with those I know less well. Two of my roleplaying buddies, I've been seeing them regularly since I was 8 and they were 25. Two more of them are their children, whom I've seen regularly since they were born. now one is 20, the other is 18. those guys are practically family for me. And before then, 15 years ago my first group was made with my best buddies, with whom I am still best buddy today even if we all moved to different cities.
    and then there's another guy with whom I play chess. ok, no super deep friendship here, basically a gaming buddy, but on different games. incidentally, summer chess tournaments last one week and there is only one game per day, the rest of the day we hang around. So it's still much more than "I just play with this guy".
    And then there are three people whom I've been introduced to as friends of friends. those three are those I was referring to, because I was taking for granted that we all understood that I was close buddy with many of them, and I was talking sspecificallly of those I wasn't close buddy with, to make a point that even with them I am closer than I'd be with customers.
    And I certainly am. My customers are my students, and while I can be friendly with them (the ones who are not misbehaving during my lessons, at least) and I am certainly fond of them, they are a different thing altogether.

    You are taking everything I say and assume the very worst possible out of it. I don't know why you're taking such an aggressive stance with me, especially since I did wrote several times that I accepted your points as referring to a lot of other people - incidentally, I'm not not so sure; if you are that deeply prejudiced in how you take what others are telling you, anything you describe is unreliable.

    You know nothing about me and about any of my groups, yet you come here pretending to know stuff about me that I don't. You are taking some partial answers that only applies to a few special cases and reading it however you like to support your prejudices.
    You also seem unable to tell the difference between being friendly in a working environment, and being friendly because you are intentionally choosing to spend time with those people.

    {Scrubbed}

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    As in, as evidence we have personally gathered? Sure. But data gathered by larger entities also exists, and very clearly indicates that the majority of D&D players right now have started playing in the last couple of years.
    Yes, statistics. Statistics only apply to large numbers and averages. Statistics on the general population do not apply to this forum, because the guy who posts in the gitp forum is not the average gamer. Also, you can't tell someone who they are and how they feel and behave based on their statistical grouping.

    the majority of people in here has been playing d&d ages before it became mainstream, or it was possible to play it on internet. many people here have started playing with their buddies when they were kids, so of course our experience is that of playing with our buddies. many people here wouldn't have conceived playing without our buddies, and some of us (like me, before I opened this thread) were not aware that there are many people who only play on internet with complete strangers.
    So, any argument based on averages and majorities fallls flat here.

    {Scrubbed}. I do hope you are more polite towards your customers.

    And finally-finally, if you are friendly and polite to your customers but you are behaving like that with people that you are interacting with for free, I'd count that as one more reason for never wanting a DM-for-hire.
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-09-19 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Cleanup, Aisle D&D
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  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: Wait, are there people paying to play?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    {Scrubbed post, scrubbed quote}.
    I will agree that this...

    Quote Originally Posted by ChamHasNoRoom View Post
    {Scrubbed post, scrubbed quote}
    {Scrubbed}

    If you think someone is inaccurate/mistaken/wrong about something, great. We can go over the ins and outs of that and make cases for or against. Accuse someone of either lying or being deliberately deceptive and... well I guess great, we can all choose sides and you two can figure out who gets the kids on which holidays, but we're done having a productive conversation.
    Last edited by Ventruenox; 2019-09-19 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Cleanup, Aisle D&D

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