Author: Walt Ciechanowski

About The Author

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.

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From Con to Con: 2015 Edition

Hey all! 2015 was another fun year for me; in addition to my usual hanging with Gnomes and working for Cubicle 7 I got to meet a lot of new gamers and a couple of celebrities. I even got to do a little unintentional situational cosplay as the Doctor...

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Colonial Inspiration

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....

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Hot Button: The Moody Player

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...

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From Con to Con (Origins) 2015

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...

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Fair or Foul: Learning the Hard Way?

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...

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Keeping Things in Perspective

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...

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How Inconvenience Shaped My Style

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...

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Hot Button: Mechanical Transparency

During my last session one of my players was trying to pick between two powers to use against a foe and, in the process of debating, asked me what he needed to hit. Without thinking I blurted out the number. I was caught off-guard; normally I don’t share those...

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Even Villains Make Mistakes

Do you let your villains make mistakes? Whenever I design an adventure I often create flawed villains with exploitable weaknesses. This way, I have something for an inquisitive player character to uncover and use against her, or I have a few flawed personality traits that I can work into...

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Standing at the Crossroads

Have you ever found yourself standing at the crossroads? When the latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons arrived I jumped right into gamemastering a new campaign. I decided that rather than play through published materials I’d design my own campaign that revolved around a world-shaking Event and the continuing world-reshaping fallout...

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New Year’s Reflections

New Year’s Day is usually seen as a time of resolutions, where we promise to do some things differently than we have in the past. As gamers, it’s also an opportunity for resolutions. Maybe we’ll finally try the FATE system for the first time, maybe we’ll play more and...

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Tis the Season!

Happy Holidays! Here in America, the holiday season is in full swing. It traditionally starts with the end of Thanksgiving on Black Friday, when many retailers jump-start the shopping season with incredible deals, but it’s been slowly bleeding into Thanksgiving and beyond (several radio stations have been playing Christmas...

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The Host: the Forgotten Leader

I was reading Phil’s article when it occurred to me that there was one “leader” missing in his analysis: the Host. The Host wields a lot of power at the gaming table and she isn’t necessarily the Game Master; heck, she may not even be a player. The Host...

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