Guidelines for Game Masters

We love our Game Masters!

All of our GMs are generous volunteers who have chosen to invest their time and talents into the Academy community. Are you interested in joining their ranks? Review these GM guidelines to get started.

If you're an approved GM who's looking to add a new game to the calendar, head over to our scheduling page.

Requirements for New GMs

  • You must have GM experience. Running a game for a table of strangers is daunting, even for experienced GMs. We want new GMs to love the craft, so we encourage them to start by running games for friends and family.
  • You must have played in an RPG campaign at the Academy. We want to get to know you, and we want you to get to know our community!
  • You must run a one-shot at the Academy. For extra support, an Academy staff member will play in your first game to make sure it runs smoothly and to help cheer you on! Coordinate with us to schedule a game when a staff member is available to sit in.
When you've reviewed these guidelines and are ready to GM at the Academy, visit us and chat with a staff member about how to get started.

    Code of Conduct

    We view our GMs as partners in our role as community stewards. As such, we ask that every GM agrees to the following:

    I recognize that the Academy's most important goal is creating community. I will be welcoming, positive, and respectful to everyone who walks through the door or sits down at my table, regardless of experience level, race, gender/gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, or ability. As a GM, I understand that I will be a leader of the community, so I will be champion of these ideals—in my actions, in the content of my games, and in guiding the behavior of the players of my table.

    Submitting Campaigns

    To schedule a campaign, review the steps here. We encourage new-to-the-Academy GMs to work with us on their first campaign submission if they need help navigating the process.

    During your campaign, you'll be responsible for communicating any schedule changes or cancellations to your players. Be sure to gather their contact information and/or let them know how you'll get in touch.

    Safety Tools

    Because the Academy is a public space shared by people from diverse backgrounds, it's important to remember that players may have different boundaries—and that they may have trouble voicing these boundaries at a table full of strangers. As such, we ask that our GMs adopt a few basic safety rules and tools.

    • The content of all campaigns at the Academy should be PG-13, regardless of the age of the players at the table.
    • If your campaign will feature mature or sensitive themes, be sure to mark them on your campaign submission form. A content warning will be provided to players at sign up.
    • We will provide x-cards that allow players to indicate their discomfort at the table. If a player uses the x-card, and you're confident that you know why they're uncomfortable, move on from the relevant content. If you don’t know why, you can skip ahead or "fade to black" to move things along, or pull the player aside for clarification. No judgement, no justification needed—just communication about how you can tell the story in a way that works for everyone.

    More than anything, be kind. If a player isn't having fun, pause or redirect the action. Communicate with them. Take care of your players, and respect what they want (and don't want) out of the game.

    Table Fees

    Players will pay a $5/session table fee to play in your campaigns, all of which will be donated to you as store credit. After the first session fee (which we will collect at sign-up), you will be responsible for reminding your players to purchase their ticket at the start of each session. Credit given for each session will be based on tickets sold.


    • Our players love D&D 5E campaigns with high interaction and role-playing, but you're welcome to run any game that you'd like.
    • Getting to know the community is the best way to get players interested in your campaigns.
    • Use table tents for players—and you!—to communicate their name, preferred pronouns, and any character details (name/class) that should be readily available. We have extras on hand for you!
    • GMs are welcome to use the Academy's terrain, minis, and battlemats for in-store campaigns.



    Thank you for your interest in GMing at the Academy. We couldn't do it without you! If you have questions about any of these guidelines, an Academy staff member is always available to help.