Chronicles of a Paid Professional Dungeon Master

The year is almost over, and as I look back on all that I have experienced in 2018, I admit that I haven’t really been as proactive as I should be with updating this blog lately. There have been several good reasons for this, chief among which being work. One job that I took for work was a part time gig at a game store. Here, for 3-4 hours a week, I get the privilege of running games of Dungeons and Dragons and effectively getting paid to play the game!

Perhaps it is best to establish some context for how I came to take the job…

For a long time when I was in middle school I was interested in getting into Dungeons and Dragons. The allure of fantasy roleplaying, of becoming a different person, a character that could go on adventures with others in search of excitement was what drew me to the concept of the game in the first place. However I ultimately was never quite able to find people with whom I could have played with. That is, not until I was able to find role playing groups in college through the school’s board game club. This became my first foray into D&D, and it was here that I was able to appreciate the freedom that the game able to provide. I was hooked – for a few hours a day I was able to assume the role of a fictional character, as a part of a group of heroes, and take part in an ongoing, epic fantasy adventure with other players. From there I ended up with roommates the following year who were also interested in D&D and other tabletop roleplaying games. It was also around this time that I first began to run campaigns and it was there that I was able to experience an even greater creative freedom running the game than I had by simply playing the game. There, I was able to cradftweek after week for my players alongside having to write essays for my classes. This experience was the pinnacle of my still young D&D “career” – one where I enjoyed running the game more than simply being a player.

Fast forward to last summer. I was looking for a second job because I was desperate to pay bills for art school and needed the money. As I searched frantically for different places to work, I saw that a game store I liked in my city had openings for employees to work as dungeon masters for an after-school program for children. Deciding there was no harm in trying, I sent an application without expecting to hear back much. I did hear back however, and after a job interview I learned that I would not in fact get the job. Content with having applied, I went on with my job search and assumed I would never hear from the store again, and that this was the end of that journey…

…Or was it? Several months later, I was contacted by the game store again. They needed more staff dungeon masters for the store to help run games of D&D, and the store reached out to me to offer me a position (they had kept my resume on file the whole time) I immediately accepted the offer without hesitation and that Wednesday, I was set to begin my career as a Paid Professional Dungeon Master.

Since then, I have had the pleasure of running games for players from all sorts of backgrounds who are, for the most part, experiencing roleplaying for the first time. I have had players provide me with all sorts of funny or epic stories. Players have surprised me by punching basilisks, crashing elven weddings, seducing dragons, and much more. As I get closer to starting art school, I look forward to seeing what adventures (both on the tabletop and in real-life) are in store for me in 2019.

Author: duzel

Just a guy with a blog, writing about things that I feel like writing about.

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