Welcome! Thanks in advance for your interest in DMing at Origins 2024 for Baldman Games. Without DMs and helpers like you, shows like this would not exist. I’ve always said that even when you’re DMing, you’re gaming, and that is never a bad way to spend the day. We’ve drummed up some of the best benefits we can to entice you to swap over to the dark side of the DM’s screen.

PLEASE NOTE: The details for this show are different than last year. Please read things completely before filling out your DM application.

Go directly to the signup form

DMing is a great way to give back to your hobby, and we have some really great rewards that make helping out even easier – plus it’s a great way to attend the show and save some serious $$. You can earn a free badge to the show or even a spot in one of our hotel rooms next to the convention center (a huge perk). It’s also a great way to make new friends and immerse yourself in the show community, more than a casual attendee ever could. Our DM pool organizes events most nights of the show to help build camaraderie and let everyone blow off some steam after a long day of gaming. Our judge retention rate is extremely high, so fair warning: once you work for us, you’ll probably come back and do it again next year.

Now for some show terminology:

  • Badge Level: If you DM at Badge Level, you’ve worked enough to earn a free badge to the show. This badge is provided by the Baldman Games staff. You need to have created an account in the Origins registration system before registering with us. You’ll receive an email from me on how to get your free badge.
  • Room Level: If you DM at Room Level, you’ve worked enough to earn a spot in one of our hotel rooms. These rooms are for four nights (Wed. night to Sat. night), and we put three to four (see details below) people in a room.  We do our best though to put you in a room with the roommates you prefer whenever possible. So if you are unsure about staying with strangers your first time, then get a couple buddies to DM with you and we’ll put all of you in a room together. We all win!! Room Level also includes the benefits listed under the Badge Level.
  • Slot: This one confuses a lot of people and is a very old term from the RPGA days. A slot is the same as saying a shift. In the case of Origins 2024, a slot is four hours long. Every event and day is put together using slots so events line-up nicely, start and end at the same time in relation to each other, and help you put together a schedule that fits your needs as easily as possible. The slots are numbered so the first slot on Wednesday at 7pm is called Slot 1. The last slot that runs from 9am to 1pm on Sunday is Slot 11.
  • Slot Zero/Slot 0: So if the first slot is called Slot 1 then what the heck is Slot 0? Slot 0 is any game that runs before the show itself, allowing our DMs to see a game they will later from the player’s perspective. Usually these are done so DMs can prepare to run a better game. Seeing things from a player’s perspective then preparing it is a huge help for some. Sometimes these are also special DM-only events done as rewards for them helping out. Regardless of whether you get to play an event before the show or not, you are always expected to be prepared when the show starts and it is game time.
  • Judges: “Judge” is just a fancy word for “DM.” It is a remnant from a bygone era, but we are so used to saying it that sometimes it slips through. If we say “judge,” we mean “DM or other type of gamemaster.”

Now on to some event specifics:

  • The D&D eXPerience @ Origins: This is our premiere experience event at Origins. Players in this event get a set DM, table, and show exclusive content. This event is run by our established, best-of-the-best DMs. In order to be considered for this, you must be a Level 3 or higher DM in the Herald’s Guild (a.k.a. a “Blue Shirt”). If you are new, this is the event you want to be running someday. The top of the D&D DM mountain. Do a handful of shows for us and knock our socks off, and you too can be part of this awesome group.
  • D&D Adventurers League Event: This is our standard 2-hour or 4-hour event at the show. Perfect for new and experienced DMs. We aim to run in 1.5 hours for a 2-hour game or 3.5 hours for a 4-hour game so you have a little time at the end to gather up your stuff, hit the bathroom or food court really quickly, and get back for your next slot (or if your last slot for the day, run to the Dealer’s Hall).
  • D&D Learn to Play Event: This is our 2-hour (90 minutes of play) fast-play event. It’s still a 4-hour shift of work, but you’ll run the same adventure twice in that time. It is fast-paced and a lot of fun. It makes for a great time and is very popular at the show. It’s an excellent opportunity for newer DMs as preparing one mini-event for repeated play is a lot easier then a 4-hour one.
  • Avalon Hill Boardgames: Spend some time teaching/playing HeroQuest, Risk Strike, Betrayal at the House on the Hill, and Betrayal: Deck of Lost souls with some exciting players.
  • HQ: You will get to know this gang well as the show goes on. These are my minions whose job it is to take care of all the little things going on around you at the show so you don’t have to. Their job is to make sure you have everything you need, so all you need to do is focus on your game and give your players a fantastic time. They are long-time DMs and staff members, most of whom have been doing this 10+ years – and some closer to 30. We usually have a few open spots each year for data entry and reception here. This is great for example if you want to help DM and get a free room but your significant other doesn’t DM. We can put them to work earning a room in another fashion, and you can still share a room together. We have many couples who do this.

Well, hopefully that was helpful in getting you up to speed on what we are about and how you can help us help you. Now on to the nitty-gritty details that hopefully will now make more sense to you.

For Origins 2024 everything at the show (outside of HQ staff) works on 4-hour shifts. This means the show has 11 slots from start to finish as listed below (all times Eastern Daylight Time):

Jun 19th
Jun 20th
Jun 21st
June 22nd
Jun 23rd
Slot 1
Slot 2
Slot 5
Slot 8
Slot 11
Slot 3
Slot 6
Slot 9
Slot 4
Slot 7
Slot 10

Payment: We pay all of our DMs and HQ staff. You’re doing work – you deserve to get paid. How you get paid and where it goes is a decision left to you for most event types.

  • Paid to DM: For standard 2- and 4-hour adventures, you will be paid per ticketed, seated, and confirmed player at the table per the payment schedule below. Avalon Hill and Fast Play events are based on slots worked, not players seated. This payment will happen approximately 6-8 weeks after the conclusion of the show once Baldman Games is paid by Origins. You will be responsible for your own badge, and accommodations (if required).
    • PLEASE NOTE: You must be eligible to work in the United States for the paid option (I need a valid US Tax ID# for your 1099). This is not something that is negotiable.
  • Payment to Benefits: What you earn at the show will to go towards your badge and hotel. You will not be cut a check at the end of the show (but neither will we hand you an invoice if you don’t make enough to cover everything). A minimum of 4 slots will get you Badge Level, and a minimum of 7 slots will earn you Room Level.

Non-Employee Compensation: Regardless of which benefits option choose above, you are doing work for hire. You are not an employee of Baldman Games LLC or Origins / GAMA at any time. This is why you get to pick when you run, what you are running, etc.

Pay Schedule for Origins 2024:

  • 2-hour Learn to Play / Standard AL event – $4 per ticketed and seated player
  • 4-hour Standard AL event – $8 per ticketed and seated player
  • D&D eXPerience – $10 per ticketed and seated player (per 4-hour play session)
  • Avalon Hill – $30 per slot worked

Please make sure you have read our code of conduct and ask any questions you may have before filling out this application. By submitting it you are agreeing to follow the rules and guidelines contained within them.

Introduction to D&D (1.5 – 2-hour game) – Peril in Pinebrook. You’ll run this twice in a 4-hour slot. 1st and 2nd-level characters.

[NEW!!!] BMG-INT (1.5 – 2-hour game) – You’ll run the same adventure (one of a set of four) twice in a 4-hour slot. 1st through 4th-level characters.

[NEW!!!] Dreams of the Red Wizards: Kindred Spirits (3.5-hour game) – A new DRW storyline set in Rashemen. 5th through 10th-level characters.

The D&D eXPerience – [NEW!!!] Moonshae Isles: Promise of Blossoms (3.5-hour games in four different slots) – A new MOON storyline set after the events of Malefic Delusions, including an opening Interactive (LARP-style) adventure. 1st through 4th-level characters.

Avalon Hill Boardgames (20-30 minute demos) – Show peeps the ropes on Heroquest, Betrayal at House on the Hill, Risk Strike, and Betrayal: Deck of Lost Souls.