Author: Walt Ciechanowski


Walt Ciechanowski

About Walt Ciechanowski

Walt’s been a game master ever since he accidentally picked up the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set in 1982. He became a freelance RPG writer in 2005 and is currently the Victoriana Line Developer for Cubicle 7. Walt lives in Springfield, PA with his wife Helena and their three children, Leianna, Stephen, and Zoe.

GMingAdvice012

Given that this was my last weekend before leaving for Gen Con I was looking for something fun to do with my kids on Saturday. My wife suggested the Colonial Plantation, which I’d never been to in spite of it being only about 15-20 minutes away from our house. It was not an event weekend, so I didn’t expect to get much out of it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. With hardly anyone else there, my family had the full attention of the people […]

GMingAdvice04

While proofreading the final draft of Focal Point I re-read a story I presented about a time when I was a less-than-stellar player. I’d allowed an encounter that went bad for me early on hang over the entire session and I’d resisted any attempt to get back on board no matter how hard the GM and other players tried. Not only did it ruin the session, but it cut the heart out of the campaign and it died a session or two later. As a GM, I’ve […]

Gaming Conventions

Hey all! This year I actually attended the entirety of Origins, as opposed to my quick trip last year. In addition to working the booth for Cubicle 7 Entertainment, I attempted to run 5 events. Here are a few things I learned during Origins this year. 1. The Con really starts Friday night. I had the misfortune of thinking that Origins ran an extra day (in reality, only events are open on Wednesday; the Dealer Hall opens on Thursday) and I spent most of Tuesday […]

GMingAdvice03

Here’s my dirty little GMing secret – I burn out quickly. I launch into a new campaign with great enthusiasm, boning up on the period and genre, purchasing all the supplementary material I can get my hands on, crafting a world, and putting an epic campaign into place. My problem is that my enthusiasm only seems to last for three or four months before I start getting antsy for the Next Awesome Campaign. For a weekly game, this isn’t much of a problem and even […]

GMingAdvice05

During my last session of D&D, metagaming reared its ugly head again. My players were attacked by a couple of black dragons, and one of my players briefed the others on what tactics to use and what kind of breath weapon this particular type of dragon had, in spite of this being a low fantasy setting and the character having no idea what a black dragon was. I think it’s fair to say that most GMs wouldn’t appreciate that, and I responded by yanking away the […]

GMingAdvice03

I recently found myself chatting about my RPG glory days when I had little responsibilities and plenty of time to game. Up into high school (I started gaming at 9) it wasn’t unusual for me to play daily. These tended to be short sessions (under 3 hours), and there was a time when, in addition to the after school game I also ran an in-school group through a module during lunch breaks. Even through college, I managed to play regularly. I always had at least […]

GMingAdvice01

Recently my wife posted an article on Facebook about how different parenting was when we were kids and now. I’ve seen several similar articles and sentiments in the past, most of which boiled down to “our parents made us play outside more often.” Such articles reminded me of my early days of gaming, where a group of friends and I would want to play only to find that we had no place to play. Our parents wanted us all out of the house. I began […]