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  1. TabletopMayhem's Avatar
    I was once paid to run a weekly game. At first it felt strange and odd to be paid for something I would have done for free. The people I was playing with insisted on paying for the game. I did have an initial worry that if I was too hard on them during the game that they would not want to play any longer. That was quickly dispelled the first time I killed one of the characters in what should have been a mundane battle with a mid-boss fight. They loved it and the player rolled a new character. I was no more lenient in the gameplay than I would have been in a "free" game. Any paid GM should hold a session 0 like any other game and outline this guidance and establish their expectations versus the group's. In the end if they want easy mode, then they get what they paid. I don't believe most people feel that way.
    Here is the key thing. I would have never become friends with this group playing online. They were all friends looking for an experience in playing this game. I was the facilitator of the game, and they were paying me to remain committed to providing original content and running the game. In the end it was a pure business transaction. We all had fun and I pocketed some extra money.
    In the end, I see nothing wrong with my time, which is the only commodity we have to barter with, being paid for.
    I currently run a "free" game with people I'll probably never become true friends with, but we have fun together. In the end I see no difference between running a free game and getting paid to run a game with strangers on the internet. The analogy that you wouldn't pay to play a game is a bit flawed as I'm sure many of us have spent money to rent a table or played games at a shop and bought something while we are there. It is not unheard to reward the people who sponsor games. The paid GM is just a more direct way to get that result.
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