Do the prices proposed by paid GMs influence your choice to play a game of theirs?

Title is kinda self-explanatory, really. Do the prices proposed by paid GMs influence your choice to play a game of theirs? Would you be more willing to play in a 5$ session than a 10$ or 15$ one? I mean, the answer is probably yes, but how much does the price weigh in your choice?

There are a lot of factors. But the threshold starts with am I willing to pay you and are you charging per session or per hour. How many players are there and what benefits do I get for the amount charged. A lot of the time on other forums, like Roll20, money prevents the people who don’t commit from joining.

But money is a driving factor. Especially, since I can just GM for free.

Then I’m guessing you think one could draw more attention with a cheaper game? Because I’ve heard conflicting opinions.

The people saying that higher is more encouraging look at the $$ as a gate-keeper to clear out others who aren’t serious about showing up and playing.

In general, $ gets more eyeballs than $$$. The question is does the price-point bring you the client you want. When someone pays $$$, there is more expectation & entitlement. When someone pays 0, they just in and out whenever they want.

All I will say on this is that, as an inexperienced player/gm, I paid someone to play thinking that if I was paying for a game at $20 a session, then the GM must be very good. Sad to say, I was gravely disappointed and didn’t even play the final session. RPGs are supposed to be fun and entertaining. So, the cost of the game I think is completely irrelevant unless the GM can back up their pricing with a long line of happy PCs.

Completely understandable, those were my thoughts initially. And I must say, my first absolute games were at $5 (starting out and lack of self-confidence I guess), but seeing higher-priced GMs with a comparable skill made me realize that it’s probably mostly about marketing.

As I have not yet paid a GM I would say Yes!

I see the price as both what I get and how the GM thoughts of how the game is played.
A higher price I would expect more investment from the GM in assets and stuff.
But a high price as well tells me the GM is just doing this for money and not for wanting to GM.
Sure a good GM could have a high price tag just because they have limited time to GM and price is a way to limit demand.
But GMs who advertise a game each day at high price without filling the spots I do avoid. Special if they just GM the same adventure. Then I feel they are not invested in the players but just the money.

If I would pay a GM I would do it to get a GM who invest in the game and the players. If they could motivate why I should pay them 20$ I might do it. But to be fair even if I have a good economy and could pay 20$ each week for a game it would really need to be an outstanding game experience for me to pay that sum. So far I haven’t played with a GM who is better GM than me… Or at least they haven’t had the style I prefer even if they been good.

so i can only really speak to my own experience as a pro dm for a year now with over a decade of prof experience doing very very similar work not as a dm for rpgs but as a larp staff, escape room staff actor nd designer, etc.

when i began i charged $10 per head per game. i did this not only because i wanted more experience, but because i wanted to get more credibility and a customer base. i dm on startplayinggames and your web page keeps track of how many paid games you have ran and each review also says how many paid games that person has played with you.

i would highly suggest that until you have 100+ games run and at least 10 reviews, you should not even consider these things. charge a low amount, get those credits first, and then you can start charging more.

I quickly began to charge more and now i get about three new customers a week at $25-30 per head per game depending on the game.

for reference, an average good escape room ticket costs about $35 for a 2 hour or so session. my games are always 3 hours or slightly more.

Personally, i’m just getting into paid DMing and I am finding it very hard ti charge anyone more than 10 dollars per head per session.

My current Curse of Strahd game which I am just getting ready to play for the third time, is the first game i’m charging for. I couldn’t bring myself to charge more than six dollars per person.

This is a module that I have poured about 3 years of my life into. It’s how I learned Foundry.

But I see some of these games going for 15, 20, sometimes even 30 dollars, for ONE session, and it blows my mind. If I were to charge that much, i’d be worried about a few things,

  • Players paying once, but not being able to continue. Being paid is great, but i’d rather have consistent players.

  • Too much pressure would be put on me as a GM to provide a AAA experience. Something akin to a big time product or video game.

I paid 15 dollars just to see what a game of that quality was like, and while I had fun, and enjoyed myself…

  • One scene for the whole game (a city map)
  • No combat
  • No battlemaps
  • One music track on repeat

Like… the DM was fine and if it was a real table i’d be fine with it. But for 15 dollars I just expected more.

Maybe i’m selling myself short, I don’t know