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Microsoft Visio Standard 2013 (1PC/1User) [Download]
Microsoft Visio Standard 2013 (1PC/1User) [Download]
Price: $259.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Visio - Ole reliable., March 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been using Visio for years at work, needed a decent design tool at home. Wasn't interested in spending the time to learn a new "CAD" interface, so I ordered Visio download. Decent interface once you learn where all of the controls are located. Lots of stencils online to support your drawings, exports to CAD formats. Glad I chose Visio instead of spinning wheels with other programs. Plus, you get full MS office compatibility.

Note: I downloaded the 1PC/1User version. I had no problems getting directed to MS to register/download the Visio software after the receipt email was sent to me from Amazon (needs to be registered with MS before you download). Working like a champ overall.

Now.. I'm off to finish designing that pinewood derby car! :)

Dungeon Board Game
Dungeon Board Game
Price: $23.94
11 used & new from $17.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Optional Rules for the classic D&D DUNGEON crawler, February 5, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dungeon Board Game (Toy)
Great intro to the world of fantasy RPG for the young ones. However, for the slightly older crowd, I have developed these additional rules.

Below are optional my rules for the classic DUNGEON board game. My thinking here was that the original game back in the 70’s was probably good for 8+ year olds, but 21st century 8+ years might find the old game mechanics a bit too simplistic. The rules I created add just a bit more mechanics that better represent the flavor of D&D (visually and mechanically), show off class abilities for the Fighter and Cleric, and introduces the use of multi-dimensional dice that D&D is so well known. There is also a smidgen of decision making and risks on the players side, versus simply rolling dice. I would say these optional rules might suit the age group 7 - 9 years of age better (with the original rules appropriate for the 5 -6 year olds w/ mom and dads help), and provide a better bridge to the classic D&D starter boxed set for the 10 years and up crowd.

What you will need for the optional rules:

- Two different colored 12-sided dice (one represents the player attack, the other the “Dungeon Master” monster attack). We use black for players, red for monsters.
- One 4-sided die for checking saving throws on extra hits for the Fighter, and healing for the Cleric.
- One six sided die for saving throw checks for finding secret doors and losing turns.
- Miniature plastic figures representing each player (just like real D&D and found at games shops), versus the junky cardboard pieces that come with the game. The cardboard class pieces will now be used instead to declare a class at the beginning of the game, and kept near the player to remind everyone what class they chose. The 3D miniatures are actually used for moving around the board during play. The presentation looks much nicer, and closer to the real D&D dungeon crawl experience.
- About six colored glass gem playing pieces (available at game shops) to represent critical-hit rewards that are explained below.
- An Optional-option: A large scale dragon miniature (6” or 8” in scale), and a 20-sided die for the attack roll for the chance to become a DRAGON SLAYER.

The game is basically played with the normal rules, except the 12 sided dice are used for the attacks, and the 4 and 6 sided dice are used for saving throw checks. The intention here is to start bringing the flavor of a real Dungeons & Dragons game to the Dungeon game board. And lets the kids know that you can use more than just ‘monopoly dice’ and cardboard characters to play a game.

The original game provides special abilities for the wizard (casting spells) and the rogue (bonus to finding secret doors), but does not offer anything other than victory gold adjustments for the Fighter and Cleric. This is where the 4-sided die comes into play. Again, showing a use for multi-sided dice.
- Fighter: One each combat turn, combat starts as normal, however, with the ‘first’ player miss, the fighter class gets to roll one 4-sided die. If the result is a one (1), he immediately gets a chance at second attack. If this second attack misses, then the monster performs his attack roll and plays out normally. This represents the fact that the fighter is a specialized class, and is quite capable of sometimes sneaking in a second attack. The special roll is done only once per combat turn.

- Cleric: Combat starts as normal, however, in the event of a player miss and a successful monster hit, the cleric rolls a 4-sided die to try to cast a healing spell on herself. If the result of the throw is a 1 or 2, the monster hit is disregarded, and the cleric gets to try and hit the monster a second time (with the 12-sided attack die). If she misses the second time, the monster then tries to hit again. This time however, the Cleric will suffer the results of a successful monster hit without the ability to heal. Only one special roll attempt on a turn is permitted.

- Critical Hits. What’s a D&D game without critical hits? Boring!! The critical hit mechanic in Dungeon is performed by scoring a “12” on a 12-sided die attack role. If a critical hit lands, the creature instantly dies (as usual), but the player also gains a Critical Hit gem reward. This gem is worth 1000GP, and is kept by the player who earned it at all times. The gem is never dropped from being hit by a monster as with the treasure cards, so the player never loses this jewel during gameplay as she would the treasure cards.

The Critical Hit gem also has a special use. If during the gameplay a player is forced to drop all of her treasure cards, the player may opt to cast a spell by trading in the gem, keeping her treasure cards, and getting the chance of striking the monster a second time in order to save her skin. This presents an interesting choice to the player, and if timed properly, could allow them to quickly win the game towards the end of the game. If the player chooses not to trade in the gem, the player keeps it, and the 1000GP value is applied to their gold total as the game progresses. Again, the gem is never lost during play, and can only be traded in the event a player loses all of her treasure.

The last optional rule is to place a large dragon miniature close to the game board during play (this looks really cool). The winner of the game gets to make a choice. They can either choose to keep the treasures they found in the dungeon and live happily ever after, or.. they can try their hand at defeating the dragon using the 20-sided die, earning untold riches and game, and be known forever more as a “Dragon Slayer”. This presents a risk-it-all choice to the young player and huge chest thumping if successful.

To fight the dragon: The dragon miniature and the winning player miniature are placed in the center of the game board facing each other. To successfully kill the dragon, the player must score a Critical Hit by rolling a perfect 20 on the 20-sided die. The player only gets a single roll to try and kill the dragon. If a critical hit is made, the player is titled a DRAGON SLAYER. Anything other than a critical hit (scores of 1 - 19), and the player miniature is removed from the board while uttering “.. and he/she was never to be seen or heard from again.”

I think these optional rules for 7 - 9 year olds bring some additional simple rules, and most importantly D&D flavoring to the game and makes the experience a better bridge to the classic boxed Starter Dungeons & Dragons set for the 10 and older group.

Hope you try the rules and let me know what you think or if you have any additions!

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2015 6:11 AM PST

Mountek nGroove Universal CD Slot Mount for Cell Phones and GPS Devices
Mountek nGroove Universal CD Slot Mount for Cell Phones and GPS Devices
Price: $20.99
48 used & new from $10.83

5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality holder, January 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Been using this for couple years, still going strong. It deserves a review. Well built. Can hold the phone higher or lower so it doesn't block car controls. Now using it with an iPhone 6 Plus. Very much recommended.

Ice Princess Large
Ice Princess Large
Offered by Lockeding
Price: $25.67
40 used & new from $21.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Very high quality!, December 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Ice Princess Large (Toy)
Very high quality. I almost bought the Disney dress; this dress is MUCH higher quality. Our 6 yo daughter loves it.

St. Pierre Bocce Championship Series Set
St. Pierre Bocce Championship Series Set
Offered by Wayfair
Price: Click here to see our price
17 used & new from $119.00

5.0 out of 5 stars lots of fun!, August 10, 2014
High quality, lots of fun!

Price: $16.99
65 used & new from $7.98

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A. Real. Fun. Shooter., March 14, 2014
This review is from: Titanfall (Video Game)
TITANFALL does what it does really well. Great gameplay, great graphics on PC. They nailed the feel of the game, and concentrated on a focused game style. I think the fact that they stayed focused and didn't go too broad keeps the basic game pure. Very much recommended.

Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set: Super Mario Bros U & Luigi U
Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set: Super Mario Bros U & Luigi U
Offered by Laptops Choice
Price: $369.00
76 used & new from $254.84

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I thought it would be!, December 31, 2013
I was hesitent to purchase this system because of the initial reviews, but I'm glad I bought the system for Christmas 2013. It's really a very impressive system! My kids, 5 and almost 7, are not totally interested in video games (they like books and hands-on toys), so this might end up a mom and dad system. !! (smirk)

- beautiful graphics
- Nintendo games are awesome (Super Mario 3D World a MUST BUY)
- price is reasonable w/ the bundles (way cheaper than PS4 / XBox One)
- bright future
- Swapforce and Disney Infinity sytsems are available for Wii U.

- the setup is rather slow with the inital OS software upgrades (need patience, expect a few hours to completely setup)
- I'm not 100% sold on the 'game pad' yet. It's cool, but just not sure. If it's used as a TV controller, and used as a stand-alone gamepad, then I guess it's fine. I probably won't use those functions.
- future 3rd party support for Wii U is questionable, but expect cool realeases on the eShop from Indies. Thankfully the 1st party titles are second to none.

Definitely worth picking up.

Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi [Previous Generation]
Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi [Previous Generation]
Price: $139.00

6 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Was shocked at how much I didn't like it., October 28, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is my third Kindle. I really love the Kindle ecosystem, and use the Kindle reader on iPhone, iPad and the Kindle itself.

I was really looking forward to the Paperwhite, but there's not much I like about it.

The interface is clunky and sluggish, the backlit display is poor. The "LED" lighting has the creepy glow from a poorly designed device right out of the 1990's. And the glow is rather hard on the eyes in low-light conditions. And with the glow, it makes fingerprints stand out. The display is NO WHERE NEAR paper white. It looks more like glow-in-the-dark.

The device overall is rather heavy in its compact form.

Nah, this was rushed out the door to grab Christmas business.

I'm going to go with an iPad 'mini' and call it a day. It's way better designed, and far more versitile. I'll just use the Kindle e-reader software on the mini and be good to go. White text on a black background please. Easy on the eyes.

Nice try Amazon, but it's back to the drawing board for you. Better luck next year!!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 28, 2012 4:43 PM PDT

Revell Metal Body Ford 427 SOHC Engine
Revell Metal Body Ford 427 SOHC Engine
Offered by MEGA ToyLand
Price: $39.99
3 used & new from $33.95

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice model, March 24, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very high quality pieces. Nice fit and finish. Great intro to an engine for my boy. I posted a pic in the gallery of our work in progress, and you can see the detail of the carbs, etc.

Very much worth the money and effort.
Comment Comment | Permalink

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning The Official Guide
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning The Official Guide
by Future Press
Edition: Hardcover
25 used & new from $22.50

8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hefty and impressive, February 26, 2012
I think the first reviewer has said it all. This is the most impressive strategy guide I've ever seen (and biggest). 600 pages of highly detailed information and walkthroughs. Thankfully it's a hardcover. The developers deserve kudos. It truly is an encylopedia of information.

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