Pricing Structure Variations as of 20171208

by Hawke Robinson published 2017/12/08 20:05:00 GMT-8, last modified 2021-01-22T22:44:06-08:00
From a G+ conversation, worth noting here for future reference, since it covers a lot on the topic.

For most of the community programs, we either do it for free on the RPG Research non-profit company side, or the community organization pays RPG Research an agreed upon contractual rate, the participants don't pay us directly, they may be paying the organization and pass a portion through to us as per our contract.These are more community special needs research focused programs.

For the RPG Therapeutics LLC for-profit company, everything is a billable professional service, and handled pretty much the same as IT training contracts (for example). These are more professional therapeutic RPG services and professional RPG training programs.

In the past I have had great success with pay-by-group when it is for an organization where the employer/organization pays the same flat rate regardless of the number of attendees, and we usually have a contract agreement stating sessions will be on a consistent schedule. This makes it up to the employer to send their people to us. This easily incentivizes the employer to try to keep us at maximum capacity (get the most people participating for the most bang for their buck), but it guarantees a predictable revenue stream on our end for the duration of the contract. Whether there is only one (or no) attendees, or 6. The hard work is on the front end getting them convinced of our value proposition, but once they get it, they do most of the work for us as far as finding people to fill the seats.

I have not found this to work as well, and certainly not at the same rates, in open-community settings unless there is some sort of centralized facilitator or group leader.

It has worked okay with existing groups looking for a GM, if they have one in their group that talks all the others into "pitching in".

For the pay-by-group, for example with tabletop RPG (we do LARP and CRPG as well, with different pricing structures due to different economies of scale), with only myself being utilized, I calculate a minimum $120/hr for online sessions, with a typical session 3-4 hours ($360/$480 per session give/take prep time inclusion, that only costs the employer $60-$80 a session if they send 6 employees, that is only a weekly few hours of about $15-20/hr expense for the employer).

If we are utilizing other junior staff (Player Archetype Specialist, RPG Facilitator, assistant GM, etc.), then I usually calculate adding them at around $20-60/hr depending on the role.

My rate is around $200/hr for local onsite, and $300/hr + expenses for more distant locations. Most organizations consider this "a steal" on a per employee cost basis when delivered to groups. At least the ones that "get" the value-add of their organization staff participating in RPGs.

For individuals it is a much tougher sell for either hourly for my time (so better to hand them off to someone more junior that is 1/3-1/2 the cost), and the pain threshold varies by cost-of-living-to-wages-location. In more rural areas, good luck getting $15-25/hr per player. In slightly larger more affluent metropolitan areas like Seattle and Portland, it is much easier to get people willing to pay $20-$50/hr per person for pure entertainment, non-therapeutic/non-educational, programs, since the price of a 90-180 minute movie ticket is now around $20+ food per person. For educational, many will tolerate around 2-3x the base rate. For therapeutic, some will tolerate 3-5x the base rate.

Of course, as always, your mileage will vary, but I hope you find these additional data points helpful.

Happy Gaming!

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