Geek Culture, Writing and Other Junk from Writer C. A. Wilke
Halloween, Movies and My New Favorite DnD Tool

Halloween, Movies and My New Favorite DnD Tool

Today I’ll talk about our incredible Halloween decorations, a couple movies I saw and a new-to-me DnD tool that I may be a little addicted to.

Welp, it happened again. Remember how before, one line above, I said something about “incredible” Halloween decorations? Yeah, that was sarcasm. We didn’t decorate for Halloween. It’s not intentional. It just kind of…happened. I could probably make some excuses. Like how we’ve done a lot in the garage, part of which was piling a bunch of shit against all the stored decorations, making it difficult to get them out. Or…Maybe it’s because we have a lot going on. Or this… or that… 

In the end, it doesn’t matter. We still didn’t decorate.

At least, not outside. We have some stuff inside. Not that that stuff is specifically Halloween. Or at least, it’s not specifically put OUT for Halloween. To clarify, my house is a haven for skulls and kinda creepy stuff. Coming in the front door, we have flower-skull art prints along with floating hands. On our dining room table, a skull (aptly named Horatio) holds our salt and pepper shakers. And THAT sits atop a black table runner with stitched skulls.

There’s more too, but I think you get the idea. 

Also, I could say that it’s my wife’s strange obsession, but really it’s ours. I love it.

Speaking of scary stuff…


The other day we watched a horror movie that left me… Well, let me explain. 

There's Something Wrong With The Children Movie PosterThere’s Something Wrong with the Children.

That’s the movie. Aside from the slightly awkwardly long title, this movie has some quirks. A quick summary of the premise. Two old-friend couples go on a vacation to a cabin somewhere in the remote woods. One of the couples has two kids. After a hike, there’s something weird with the kids. Or at least one of the adults thinks so. There’s some suspense and misdirection about which is the reality for a little while. Then all Hell breaks loose and people die. And then, some people UNdie. And, of course, there’s more dying.

Not many real jump scares that I can remember. It’s also not particularly gory. There’s blood, just not gore, per se. It’s a nice mix of suspense and creepy shit. Which is good. 

What I didn’t think was good though, was the random interjection of mid 80s movie suspense-sound effects. Sort of like the “bwahhhhhhhhhhhhh” that was often used for some kind of reveal or when the bad guy suddenly appears behind the next victim. Only in this movie, they just kind of happen, as I said, randomly. If I remember right, one of them even happens just as someone is walking away from a potentially dangerous situation. You expect something to happen because of the sound effect, but nothing does. 

Overall, the movie was pretty good. And it would have been better if I didn’t feel like there was an 80s horror obsessed person in the editing booth trying to add a bit more to make it “totally rad.”

I also saw Tropic Thunder for the first time. Yes, I know. I should have seen it AGES ago. I will punish myself for this failing later. If you haven’t guessed by my reaction here, Yeah…It’s a fantastic movie. Probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. I’m not normally a Ben Stiller fan, but this was great. Might be his best, IMHO. I won’t get into a lot of details. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. If you HAVEN’T seen it, then stop reading this and go watch it now.

Just kidding. Finish reading and THEN go watch it. It’s great. 

Game Night

We finally got to have our next DND session and I got to use, what I think is, a fantastic new tool.’s MapTool. I’ve been fiddling with it for a few weeks, but was finally able to integrate it into the game during our current dungeon crawl. And let me tell you, it’s SO much better than trying to thumb through the adventure module page by page. 

MapTool by RPToolsMapTool is a free, open-source virtual tabletop program. It’s specifically designed for remote play via the Internet. I think, however, that it’s still super useful for local play as well. Here is one example of what I see. With this, I can simply use a map and put the location info, player script and any other details in a popup. This is FAR easier than having to go through a module or, gods forbid with a homebrew campaign, dig through my notes.

And I hope to take it even further. Using the remote tool part of the program, I think I can use it with a small projector to create a dynamic map on a white board on the table for miniatures. 

OH! One other DND thing… I did happen to see that the next major rulebook release from Wizards for DND is the Book of Many Things, which comes complete with a real Deck of Many Things. Back when the wife and I used to play regularly, this was one of our favorite items (second only to Ioun Stones). We loved the randomness of not knowing if you were going to get a boon or a bane. And now, with it being an even bigger item, coming with the book as well, and additional rules and guides for how to use it in a campaign beyond just the randomized pseudo-wish magical items, I’m super excited for it. I did also see that it is delayed, so there is that.


Also, I haven’t had a chance to really do more writing yet. But I’m getting there. Once my next project is in a really good place I’ll be back into it.

And finally, last week I ended my post with a tiny teaser update. Well, I have another one for you. This little guy.A weird taco.

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