It's a common lament from many a Centrist American on a Fox News diet these days: "No one wants to narrate an epic fantasy journey into the heart of dungeon to find gold and adventure anymore!"
Or, as HellGate NYC explains:
D&D can be overwhelming to any new player; this is especially true for a DM, who needs to know all the rules, adjudicate them, create or manage the story, plan logistics for their group, and cater the experience to what each player wants. The amount of effort involved makes it inaccessible for new players and difficult for experienced ones to sustain long-term.
All of which has conspired to make it harder to find people to actually run the spiking number of campaigns. "I think a lot of DMs just want to sit back and let other people run a game," one Dungeon Master on hiatus from running campaigns told me. "There's a DM shortage in the tabletop community like there's a top shortage in the LGBTQ community."
The shortage has made it difficult for many players to find games, especially ones that are high quality and in-person. On websites like Lex and Reddit, posts of players in the city looking for DMs outnumber the opposite significantly, with the latter consistently getting more traction.
Perhaps the issue might be the labor conditions down at the dwarven tavern, where there are frequent fights breaking out all over the place? Alas, too many Dungeon Masters are gig workers, with no protections from goblin attacks, let alone from the stress and emotional fallout of trying to wrangle your friend group for a game and watching your buddy's heartbreak as they roll a 1 to block the wizard's energy blast.
It's Not Just You: NYC Has a Serious Dungeon Master Shortage [Henry Solotaroff-Webber / HellGate NYC]
Image: Public Domain via PxHere