What do you get when you combine the rise of nerd culture and the gig economy? Dungeon masters-for-hire, hosting games at $500 a pop

By James P.

Taken from Bloomberg: By Mary Pilon, July 8 2019

But D&D has gained more mainstream followers of late, thanks especially to the
Netflix show Stranger Things, which premiered its third season on July 4, but
also to the racy teen soap Riverdale and the behemoth fantasy book and
television series Game of Thrones. (D.B. Weiss, one of GoT’s creators, says he’s
played D&D “compulsively for years.”) In consequence, professional dungeon
mastering has become a business—and for some, even a career.
You can hire Chulick, for example, to lead an individual beginner campaign,
which will set you back $300 and last up to four hours; for $500, he’ll come to
your office and run a D&D team-building activity. He rents a full studio set up
to stream the games he runs weekly on the gaming platform Twitch, where he has
150 subscribers who each pay $4.99 a month. He also has an email list of 4,200
people and four sponsors who provide detailed custom game pieces, beer, or maps
in exchange for on-air endorsements. For a negotiated fee, he’ll draw up custom
battle maps, consult on purchases of various game accessories, and host bachelor
parties, family gatherings, or kids’ birthdays. At present, he’s booked out
several months and has a waitlist.