Would you hire a GM to help you develop your campaign or adventures? Personally no, but one enterprising GM, going by the name of DNAphil, thinks people will and has launched a GM Consulting business. For $10 an hour he offers advice, draws up plot outlines, flesh out backgrounds and help design new rules. I’m sure DNAphil is an excellent GM but I really cannot see this as working.
Firstly I doubt the broader economics pans out. How many GMs are there with this much cash in their pockets? The second problem is that what DNAphil is selling are the best bits of GMing. Coming up with ideas and planning gaming sessions, these are the fun parts of being a GM. It is the drudgery tasks, like generating stat blocks or mapping out every last room of the dungeon, that I would be willing to pay someone for. Yet these are the services that DNSphil specifically won’t do.
I wish DNAphill all the best however much I doubt the business model but what he represents is a growing shift in gaming and 6d6 Fireball is part of this.
Pre-internet, an aspiring GM would hope to get the occasional adventure in White Dwarf or Dragon magazines and maybe, just maybe, the shot at writing a module for TSR or GW. That has been very slow to change but there are a growing band of writers and creators who want to earn some money from their hobby. 6d6 Fireball falls into this category. Rob & I are longtime gamers who want to earn some money from it so that we can spend even more time doing what we love. We are doing it by selling fantasy miniatures. Free City’s open design approach involves people making donations (effectively buying memberships) to gain access and influence. DNAPhil is offering consultancy and numerous people like Chatty DM are blogging, picking-up a small income from advertising.
Reading the signs in the chicken entrails, I think a change is coming in gaming. This will not happen overnight but it will significantly change our hobby. The internet effects how information is distributed. That information can be science or music or films or even RPG adventures but somehow the RPG market has not changed that much compared to other businesses. However WotC / Hasbro can see the change coming, hence the huge and bungled effort with D&D Insider.
The history of business and society shows that when change happens, the big, established players are the worst affected. New players in the market, riding the waves of change become dominant. Think about how Google now rules the world, just 10 years after being founded. Or how the upstart Microsoft beat the massive IBM in the battle for the desktop computers. What does this mean for the biggest brand in our business, D&D? That depends on how nibble WotC / Hasbro can be in adapting to the change.
6d6 Fireball plans to be part of the change. In the next couple of months we will be offering a radical new way to produce and publish everything from random encounters to complete rule systems. Best of all, it will be free to use and free to read online.
We cannot say anything more at this time other than Watch This Space!