I'm the typical fa/tg/uy I guess. Been into hobby since late 90s. Played d&d quite a lot but jumped to other system around mid 2000s. Kickstarter and decline of d&d in 4th edition really created a mini renaissance and a surged interest. But 5th edition d&d blow off proportions, I blame criticalrole/strangerthings for this. But 5e dnd was truly the eternal september for the hobby. The gap between someone who started the hobby in 1986 vs 2006 is lower than someone who started the hobby at 2012 vs someone who started it in post 5e craze say 2016 and beyond.
5e really brought a lot of newbies who wanted to play the game but was quite afraid on trying. Previously you got into games often through other veterans, even in 2000s (d20 craze), where you could be introduced through video games or lotr movies, you would eventually had to interact with local gaming clubs, online rpg communities where veterans introduced newbies into hobby. I think this barried was lifted with 5e. You had too many newbies and not enough veterans. Plus podcasts, streaming, Critical Role etc crated very very high expectations, I think this is a recent, post social media age phenomenon but no one wants to be "embarrassed" or make mistakes or learn as they go, everyone wants to have the perfect experience.
This is what grognards like myself(yes I started to call myself one, get sick and tired of boomers who gatekeep, if you have 20+ years you are a grognard) did not understand. "Why would you pay for a dm, just have someone in the group dm for you lul". They fail to understand the new age where people are very very very afraid of trying/learning things as they go/making mistakes. They rather pay 10 to 30 dollars to have an experienced DM.
And this is the market I'm capitalizing on, insecure newbies who are willing to pay for DM's.
I noticed this market when I was trying to have games on roll20, my traveller/call of cthulhu/pendragon games were not getting any applications at all, even my wod games were getting 2-3 applications a week. But I noticed how fast even the shittiest d&d games were filled, often times with dozen or more application. What was far more interesting was that even paid games were getting tons of applications. So I bit the bullet, created a lost mines of phandelver game with 5$ paypal entry fee and I shit you not I got 17 applications in two days, had to refund a lot of people because I didn't calculate there would be this many people, already they were sending me the money lel. I made $30 bucks in 3 hours running the game for 6 people.
After the first game I started to take things seriously, I mean really seriously. I wanted to treat this as a proper business. Created a US based LLC, created a seperate paypal business account. Was mindful of taxes. Bought roll20 premium, bough the modules. Started to study them extensively, created a proper plan of running things smoothly (so I didn't had to prepare 3-4 hours every time some newb wanted to play a module) and it took off. Nowadays as I said I can make 400-500 usd easily post tax. And I think I can make more if I do full time but 500$ is more than enough for me. And I absolutely hate d&d so less is better.>What are some good and bad experiences you've had doing this?
D&D in itself is a bad experience for me, But I bite my tongue and endure. I really despise the combat focused level based system but this is what market wants so I give them that. I was also a big TSR nerd back then so people get surprised when I talk about the nature of Planes or name the Dwarvish pantheon from memory.>What kinds of players do you prefer to work with?
Anyone who want to play something other than d&d, hell I would dm for free but again no one is interested in them, so oh well.
I also get some assholes who say they want a refund but have the audacity to try to join into 2nd session, and they call me an asshole when I refuse to let them in, you want out? fine dont come back.