Jeez, I just want to start this post with an apology.
As soon as I'm done, I'm going to put up a poll. I really want honesty - because I've just gotten off the phone with a friend who decided what I needed was a swift, spiritual kick to the head meant to alters my perspective. There was yelling involved.
I ran an online campaign for 5 years. That's evidence of commitment. The campaign included maps, geographical and social details, combat, a continuous character narrative arc and a personal player sandbox agenda. I did it for free.
My friend feels I should be paid for it. I asked, how much would someone pay for that and he said, quote, "Why the fuck don't you ask them?"
My part-time job, which I am leaving for in about two hours, pays be about $1,500 a month. Unlike the job I had when I was running the online campaign, I don't have a desk, I don't have a computer and I have zero free time. Right now I am working, writing, getting a little bit of D&D done and that is about it, since occasionally my partner likes to see me. The only way I would have time for an online campaign would be if I were working even less hours than I am now (about 28/week). This works out to the measly sum of $75 to $100 dollars a day.
I figure I could probably manage two to four parties of 4-5 people each, either scheduled for a given night of the week and run partly on skype, or continously on email throughout the day as I did on the campaign blog. This is a maximum of 20 people. 20 divided into $1,500 is $75 per person per month. Let's further establish that I'm on the hook for at least 6-8 hours a week per party, both in direct playing and in answering questions, solving problems and prep-time.
Or I could cut the number of my shifts, keep working half the time I am now and charge less - but that is more work for the same amount of money.
The real problem, I think - and my friend admitted the issue - is that this is something of an all-or-nothing thing. Right now, because of exhaustion and scheduling, I can't even run one of my live parties; and they get me in person, for free, when we play. I don't know what or how I would run people on line. Perhaps when the book is packed away and done. I can't see it happening now.
I'm just going to ask in a poll, however - and christ on a cracker, I'm sorry as shit for doing this - what people would pay on Patreon to run online in my world. It would at least tell me how many. I remember when I offered this for free about five years ago, it wasn't that many people; but I would never have expected then that people would give me $3,000 in donations, either.
The results to the poll were as follows: