I played Dungeons and Dragons in my teen years until my late 20s.
I remain kind of a purist: I tend to think that the pre-packaged adventures are somehow cheating.
So, when I found out that people are making a living selling their services as Dungeon Masters, I felt like throwing my radio out the window:
Dungeons & Dragons is not the same game it was 40 years ago. And not just because rule updates have made the game less fussy and easier to play. The game, which kicked off the role-playing genre in the 1970s, is actually popular.
Role-playing games like D&D are different from traditional board games. Instead of a fixed set of objectives, D&D is modular. It lets players create their own adventurers and solve quests created by another player — the dungeon master. That person is responsible for coming up with the story, acting out nonplayer characters and running behind-the-scenes mechanics.
And with 40 million D&D players, there’s a growing need for dungeon masters, or DMs. Some voice actors and playwrights are turning to D&D as a source of income. High-end DMs charge up to $500 per session, according to Mary Pilon, who wrote about professional dungeon masters for Bloomberg Businessweek.
My childhood (OK, adolescence) is destroyed.