Hello, and welcome to StartPlaying.Games! If you’ve stumbled upon this article, you may have never heard of us before. You might be wondering how you can make money running Dungeons & Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, Vampire, and other TTRPG favorites. Or you might already be a pro Game Master, one who wants to know what SPG can do for you. So let’s make it simple: here are 6 ways StartPlaying helps its Game Masters.
1. We Make Money Easy
GMing is a passion project for many, but it also takes time, patience, skill, and energy. We know that getting paid can often be the most tedious and headache-inducing part of a freelancer’s life. So here at SPG, we give you power over the process. And it seems to be paying off. Since StartPlaying’s launch in September 2020, SPG GMs have earned more than $3 million in revenue.
The first thing to note about GMing for StartPlaying is that it costs nothing upfront. You can create an account and list your games for free. When your scheduled game happens, you get 90% of the booking fees and SPG gets 10%. Compare that to other experience-based websites, and you’ll notice that it’s a very competitive rate. Well known companies like AirBnB Experiences, Fivver, and Outshool take upwards of 30% of your earnings!
Aside from that, the platform gives you plenty of freedom to decide how much you want to charge and how you handle your games. Do you want to test the waters with a $10-per-player one shot? Or are you an experienced pro GM who offers premium services for $50 a seat? SPG lets you choose how much to charge.
Finally, there’s the dragon in the room: taxes. It’s never a fun topic for freelancers, but SPG helps keep it simple by displaying all your transactions on your profile. If you make a certain amount, we will also send you a document that shows your yearly earnings with SPG. It’ll save you a step when preparing taxes, and time is money!
So to summarize:
- StartPlaying GMs have earned more than $3 million in revenue since our launch, and you can join hassle-free!
- No upfront cost to join, and SPG only takes 10% of the booking fee when your game starts.
- You decide how much to charge your players.
- Taxes made easy with a simple, single yearly document.
2. Safety And Support
We know that when money gets involved, people get worried about safety, and we’ve got you covered. Have a player skipping out on paying? Don’t worry! All payments are made through our site, which means we’ll handle any disputes, protecting you and your hard-earned money.
But it’s not just financial safety we’re keeping in mind. In addition to SPGs Code of Conduct, we have a safe and easy-to-use reporting system. This allows our users to quickly report any inappropriate conduct or bad behavior directly to the SPG Team. We handle all reports, keeping the reporter in the loop, so you can be sure that we’re following up and taking action.
Keeping safety in mind, you won’t be required to have strangers at your table. If you do enjoy playing with a wide array of people from around the world, our Instant Book feature gives users a fast track to your games. If you prefer to choose your tables more carefully, you can make use of the request function instead. This allows you to message potential players before they join to see if their playstyle aligns with yours. Whether you like to open your games to the community or hand pick your party, we’ve got you covered.
We believe in supporting our GMs with a wide array of tools. Our FAQs are written by GMs for GMs, so you should be able to find a quick answer on everything from payment to how to list your games. We also have a friendly community of GMs in our Discord channel, where you’ll often find a helping hand and listening ear. For more technical issues, our support team is an email away.
Besides support, our Discord is great for connecting with other GMs and players. You can learn about systems you’ve never played, swap ideas on how to advertise your services, and gain insight from other passionate TTRPG fans. In our community, you’ll find players who are not only excited for the games you run but also the ways we tell stories.
In order to give back to the community, we’ve also been running charity events. We often run these as weeks-long events where GMs have the opportunity to donate their booking fees to several positive organizations. One Pride Month event raised money for True Colors United, another benefited a Veterans group, and we frequently partner with mental health non-profit Take This for a weekend of giveaway streams and charity games. GMs are able to take part in some of these giveaways as well–one event saw a GM win a Gelatinous Cube PC!
4. Professional Development
And that’s not all, SPG GMs get exclusive opportunities that other groups don’t offer. Our GMs have the chance to run corporate games and team events. Recently we’ve run corporate games for Stripe, Discover, Google, and more!
If corporate games aren’t your thing, then how about running games as part of events and partnerships with TTRPG Publishers and Conventions? In the past few months, GMs have run games for Onyx Path, Roll20, Gen Con, with more on the horizon. Those GMs received access to exclusive content, premium features, and free rulebooks from those companies.
We want GMs to improve and develop their skills. With our review system, players can give private and public feedback, allowing you to know how to improve and letting the world know you do great work. When you join our site, you become a member of the SPG community and start building a professional network and rapport within the larger TTRPG community.
With SPG, you also get access to exclusive industry data compiled and analyzed by members of the SPG team. This data will help you get the best turnaround with your professional GMing! This data includes info on what game systems are run the most, what time of day is most popular for running games, why players cancel sessions, etc.
When it comes to actually running your games, our GM Loot program provides you with a set of free tools that spruce up your presentation. Past GM Loot drops have given our storytellers free virtual token packs, a free trial for a flavor text software, and helpful Webinars.
Now if everything above doesn’t convince you, then I think it’s time we talk about how SPG handles one of the infamous TTRPG Killers…
A scary topic isn’t it? Scheduling problems are notorious for canceling sessions, ruining games, and ending campaigns. But with SPG, you get all the tools you need to manage your sessions in one place. There's our built-in calendar for scheduling games, email reminders for your players, and a chat system so all your players literally get the message. In addition, you can schedule an entire campaign out ahead of time, letting interested players know exactly what to expect. Of course, sometimes life hits hard and a session needs to be adjusted, and SPG allows GMs to easily reschedule or cancel their session without any questions or issues.
By cutting out a lot of the hassle that comes with scheduling, SPG lets you focus on the most important parts of your games; the storytelling and the player experience.
SPG is one of the most flexible and adaptable systems when it comes to running your games online. With over 200 TTRPGs listed, GMs are able to list games in whatever system their heart desires.
With the previously mentioned scheduling system, you’re the master of your own schedule. SPG never tells you when or how often you need to run a session. Most GMs on the site have day jobs and run games on the side. Our site is also virtual tabletop agnostic, meaning you can run your games on any tabletop that works for you!