Um, holy crap. I had no idea professional DMing -- which was still the subject of flame wars and mockery only a few years ago -- was now this profitable.
Well, I guess I know what I'll be doing if I get laid off in the next round.Bethany Dillingham has been playing Dungeons & Dragons since the early ‘90s, but she was having a hard time trying to find a new game in 2018 when she hopped on the virtual tabletop platform Roll20. She found there were so many people trying to get into games that she couldn’t get a slot. Then she saw the section for pay to play games, hosted by professional Dungeon Masters (DMs), that typically cost between $5 and $25 per session.
“I played a game and thought ‘I can do that,’” she said. “It’s a good side hustle.”
Dillingham was working as a bartender at an Olive Garden in Goldsboro, NC at the time, and that side hustle quickly turned into her main job. Now she runs about eight to 10 games a week, charging six to seven people $15 each for four hours of 5th edition D&D.
“I think that being a storyteller is an art form,” she said. “It’s the same as a guy playing a guitar at a concert, or a painter. If you’re telling a good enough story that people are going to want to come back to, then they’ll pay for it.”