July 18, 2024

Carla Bumstead – Professional DM

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About Me

I am 59 years old and live in a rural area in southern Michigan. I’m married and have three grown children. I have two dogs and when I am not playing or running D&D, I like to write, quilt and binge watch TV.
I am semi-retired. I spent most of my career as a journalist for a chain of community newspapers. I currently work as a freelance writer, web publisher and professional DM.

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LET’S ROLL – Image courtesy Duffer Brothers and Carla Bumstead

Let’s Roll!

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Image courtesy the Duffer Brothers and Carla Bumstead

My D&D Experience and Philosophy

For the past several years, I have given myself fully to the wonderful game of Dungeons & Dragons. I am retired and run multiple games each week. I also play in multiple games and have taught at least 100 beginners how to play via my Discord server.

My DM style runs toward the role-play side of things but combat is also part of most sessions. I look to group to guide me in terms of what they find enjoyable. 

II view the rules as a means to the end. The end goal is a collaborative story-telling experience for everyone involved, including both players and DM.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

My rates vary depending on a variety of situations. It is always FREE for me to teach you how to play. Basic rates start at $20 per 3-3.5 hour session.

However, in the case of a campaign, my goal is to solidify a good group of committed players. I don’t charge for session zeros, and I don’t charge for the first few sessions, especially as we wait to build the “ideal” party. I don’t start charging until the group is set and has played together at least a few times. 

How do I pay?

I use Paypal. You just need my email address and to sign up for a free paypal account if you don’t already have one.

What if I don’t like it?

You will always have at least 1 FREE session with me to get a feel for my DM style. If it is a full campaign, you will get two free sessions, including the Session Zero.

When do I pay?

This will vary depending on the type of game I am running. For mini games, I will ask for payment in full after your free sessions are over.

Why do you charge? Many DMs don’t.

I have been DMing long enough to know that committed, responsible players are essential to a successful game. DMing is also very hard work, and requires lots of extra prep time in addition to time spent in game. I provide a quality service that is in high demand. A good DM is hard to find. I am a good DM and deserve to be paid for my work. By asking players to pay, it also ensures commitment and personal investment on the part of all players. 

A typical campaign takes at least 2 hours outside of game time, often more. Ergo, I spend a minimum of 5-6 hours a week working on a game. You get what you pay for. LOL

Are there any group discounts?

Absolutely! If you can get together a group of 3-5 players that can commit to a regular game (weekly or bi-weekly), I would be more than willing to work out a discount.

What about games for special groups or organizations??

I do run games specifically targeted for certain groups. For example, I run a weekly campaign for ASD adults. Typically, special sessions have their own needs and pricing. Just ask me about it.

I’m a beginner. I have no idea if I will like it or not.

Let’s talk. I am willing to teach you how to play in a friendly, supportive environment. However, my efforts will come with some expectations. We can discuss those. Just ask.

Can I learn and play at the same time?

Sure! I am sure we can work out a payment arrangement for a mini-game where I teach you to play while also running a game! Just ask.

What games do you current have available?

See below for a list of games/sessions currently being offered, along with general pricing information.


Prof. Peppercorn’s Arena of Death

This is much less scary than it sounds! It is for BEGINNERS ONLY and will teach players the basics of combat in D&D 5e. It is free. Players will be given pre-set characters. While it will focus on combat, we will do some role playing too! 

This game will run with 3 – 4 players.

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden

This is a full campaign using the WOTC m

This game will run with 3 – 4 players.