Monthly Archives: August 2017

Roleplaying Game Review – Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition by Pinnacle Entertainment Group

Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition is a pen & paper roleplaying system developed by the guys over at Great White Games – Pinnacle Entertainment Group.Savage Worlds, from the very first page, is designed to be easy to run, easy to play, and easy to enjoy. It takes most of the bookkeeping out of the mix and allows the game master and his or her group to be creative without bogging them down in too much detail. However, if detail is what you like in your game, it’s in there as well. It’s very scalable.A brief overview of Savage Worlds’ game mechanics:Character attributes are represented by a die type. For example, strength would be a d8, so that if you needed to perform a function using your strength, you roll a d8 and check the result. Skills are also represented by a die type and are linked to an attribute.There are no hit points to speak of; characters have wound levels so that if you are hit and take damage, that number is checked against your vigor and any modifiers that apply to see if you receive a wound. This makes combat move extremely quick and there is little or no down time for waiting players during a battle.

Along with skills, players have edges and hindrances which are physical or mental traits which balance out the character and give it a beginning personality.Character creation is easy, with enough choices to make it interesting but not too much to make it confusing. The emphasis is on playability, pure and simple. Each player is given points with which to purchase attribute scores which will be represented by die types: d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12. Players then choose skills, edges and hindrances, starting equipment, and then round out their characters’ personalities to begin play.The explorer’s edition gives rules and stats for running a game in just about any genre imaginable. After reading through the material once, I took my son through a practice scenario with him battling a few villains with guns and swords. Our short session went really well and I was running the combats without thumbing through the book during every encounter.Initiative is done with a deck of standard playing cards with the Jokers left in as “Wild Cards”. Starting with the Ace down to the Deuce, action is resolved in order. The Jokers act as Wild Cards, allowing that player to go whenever they want during the round. Jokers also give some bonuses to rolls as well.Also included in the mechanics of the game are something called “Bennies”. Bennies are handed out at the beginning of a game session and can be used to re-roll an attribute or skill test, and can also be used to soak up some damage in case a character takes a hard hit during combat. Bennies are also given out to the characters during a session for creative roleplaying, overcoming major obstacles, or even just entertaining the game group with a memorable moment during play.

There are many world settings for Savage Worlds that are already commercially available and more are being created all the time.I have about 30 years of roleplaying experience having started during the summer of 1978. The Savage Worlds system is just about the best roleplaying system I’ve come across in all those years. It allows everyone at the table to concentrate on the gaming experience without worrying about which chart to look at or if they remembered to bring their calculator to role up a new character.I highly recommend Savage Worlds to anybody that wants to experience roleplaying that not only plays well, but is full of “Fast!!, Furious!!, Fun!!”Savage Worlds Explorer’s Edition 2nd Printing

Online Dating World – Explore With Caution

No doubt online dating services have become the simplest and a convenient means to get a companion. However like normal dating, dating individuals online is often difficult as the person you’re dealing with is an individual you may haven’t met yet, and you’re simply unsure if he is sincere about his identification and thoughts.This barrier is usually fixed by understanding the individual prior to meeting him in person. The online world has made it quite simple for the people to get acquainted with online dating, hence you’ll be able to chat, exchange e-mails or have telephone interactions by means of Skype as well as other messengers that enable speech calling. Listening to someone’s voice is vital in understanding a man or woman. It can help you decide if this particular person has good motives or otherwise. Following several hours of communicating and e-mail, you need to reinforce the bond by conversing to one another on the phone. Bear in mind that you will be considering this person for your personal romantic relationship.

After talking to one another on the telephone, your next online dating stage should be to meet this individual in person. Obviously you will need to put a face on the thoughts as well as voice you are interacting with regularly around free online dating sites. Getting together with someone personally will assist you to in confirming his wishes by considering his body gestures, among the additional factors.Prior to meeting this individual in person, ensure that you have obtained sufficient primary data, not only for very own basic safety, also for making discussion. This can be an important measure in building a personal connection with an individual you met by means of free online dating websites. However, make certain you are likely to meet this person in a safe environment. The need for this is certainly quite obvious and cannot be emphasized enough. Exercise extreme care and meet this particular person in the daytime and also at a public location. Meeting up for a meal in the family restaurant or having espresso in a cafe are fantastic tips with regards to starting your very first meeting. It will ensure your security just in case this person turns out to be some kind of a creep.As you met him by way of online dating, you can not be certain yet if it is a really good person. Ensure that this person provides you with the details about the basic information of his life, for instance job and civil position. The good news is, a lot of people from these sites are respectable people who might be trustworthy with things like that. They will tell you if they’re previously married, divorced or have children. A lot of them are trustworthy about the things they’re doing as a living. Look out for individuals who greatly exaggerate personal information or people who appear shady and attempt to conceal information like their employment and location.

Also, you ought to know that some people in online dating will stretch out the reality a little bit just to ensure that you may like them. They can say that their likings are similar to yours whereas the reality can be, they don’t actually give a damn about your preferred balladeer. Make use of your intuition in regards to knowing individuals from online dating.

Planning Your Vacation with Walt Disney World Explorer Second Edition

As we all know, it is extremely difficult to get away from the hustle and bustle of work since we need the paycheck in order to make ends meet. This is especially true if we have kids. However, it is also important for us parents as well as our children to have quality time off from work or from school. But having a family vacation can also be a difficult task since a lot of planning and preparation are needed in order to have your break as perfect as it can be. Sometimes, family outings might turn out to be a disaster if poor planning was done for it. We should always make sure that we are familiar with what is in store for us as we take on our much needed vacation time. The Explorer Second Edition can help you and your kids know what to expect on your well-deserved time off.

What Walt Disney World Explorer is All About?Walt Disney World Explorer Second Edition is a software application which was released by Disney Interactive as a follow up to their highly successful Walt Disney World Explorer which was released in 1996. This application, which is usually in a CD-ROM, contains virtual tours of all Disney parks such as the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney Studios in Florida. The difference between the second edition and the first Walt Disney World Explorer is the addition of the virtual tours through Disney?s Animal Kingdom, Disney?s Coronado Springs Resort, and other parks and rides that were added since 1996. The software also contains different quizzes that would test our knowledge of the various rides that are found inside the magical world of Disney.Why We Need Disney World Explorer Second Edition?Whenever we take a vacation, it is important for us parents to be familiar already with the place or places that we will go to. The proper planning of activities and itinerary would ensure that our kids would have a lot of fun-filled activities to do during the vacation. By having the Walt Disney World Explorer Second Edition, we can already familiarize ourselves with the various activities that each Disney Park would offer. We can already have an idea in advance about the details of every ride, attraction, show, and hotel rates. For those of us that want to have a closer bond with our spouses, this Second Edition also tells us about the nightspots available in the

Disney Park that we are planning to go to.Walt Disney World Explorer Second Edition is also a good tool to use to make our kids be excited in the upcoming family vacation. Our kids will also enjoy this software because of the games and the narrated stories that are included in it. As a final idea, we parents could also use this software as an incentive to make our kids do homework and chores. Wink, wink.

Advances in Accessible Travel Allows More to Travel The World – Explore and Enjoy It!

The world is now more accessible than ever before. Twenty percent (62 million) of the U.S. population has some form of disability, and the number of these individuals is increasing daily. Many of these people feel traveling is out of their reach and only a dream. These people need to, want to, and can travel and it is getting easier everyday. If you’re part of that twenty percent or know someone who is, know this, a world of travel awaits you, your dreams can come true!Many Travel agencies and agents are making an effort to help individuals who have special needs. Some are even becoming Certified Accessible Travel Advocates a new certification issued by the Special Needs Group (SNG), the leading global provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry.This committed to learning about unique needs of Accessible Travel of travel. They receive specialized training & knowledge about how to help those individuals with disabilities enjoy a wonderful, hassle-free and memorable trip.Not all countries have things such as the American With Disabilities Act so many agents are constantly compiling destinations, resorts, excursions,and ships that we know can handle special needs travelers. Agencies are also partnering different companies to be able to provide specialized medical equipment to clients. From Oxygen to wheel chairs, Power Chairs, scooters, even hospital beds can be arranged to be in your room or cruise ship cabin. There are even wheelchairs than can be easily be used on snow or sand and even go into the ocean or a pool. Specialized service can also be arranged including Dialysis.If you have been dreaming of traveling, whether it is a dream vacation, or a trip to see family or friends and thought it wasn’t possible know that might not be true anymore. Contact a travel professional that knows about accessible travel and stop dreaming and start packing.

To get you started here are a few tips that when your next travel opportunity arises, you are ready to go.Outline your travel needsTake time to evaluate the logistics of your trip in relation to your ability to keep pace. What modes of transportation will you be using? Airplane, motor coach, train, ship, transit vans for ground transfers? Make a list, referring to relevant brochures, your trip organizer or travel agent to make sure you don’t miss anything.Now, make a list of your specific requirements. Be honest: what types of special needs equipment do you depend on at home? What do you use or need (or wish you had!) when shopping, sightseeing locally, dining out or going to the movies, attending concerts, the theater, street fairs or sporting events at home?Can you hear and see clearly without special auditory equipment or visual aides? How far can you walk without a rest break? Are stairs difficult? Can you get in and out of the tub or shower at home without handgrips or other assistance?Travel, whether solo or in a group, is no time for roughing it or trying to “tough it out.” If a wheelchair, scooter or portable oxygen will make your trip easier, place that item on your list. Many people who do not use wheelchairs or walkers at home feel more comfortable using these mobility aides for tour and excursions. In fact, most of Special Needs Group’s wheelchair and scooter rentals are to individuals who only use such aides when traveling.Plan AheadIf you already own a scooter or portable oxygen, it’s important to know the policy and procedures for bringing that equipment onboard all the transport vehicles included in your itinerary, from planes to taxis to ferry boats. Does that transport have a way to stow your scooter or wheelchair? Is oxygen allowed on board? Some airlines prohibit certain types of batteries, such as wet cell batteries, or oxygen cylinders. Airlines operate under strict rules, so there may be packing procedures to follow if they do allow the equipment. Keep in mind, most airlines need at least 48 hours’ notice to make special arrangements, and be prepared to fill out forms.Your Travel professional should be able to help you with this, that is why you are using them, if they can’t find a better professional.Overall, cruise ships are more lenient in allowing oxygen, but some disallow certain types of oxygen. All require that the oxygen be delivered to the ship, and that you have enough for the entire voyage. Oxygen may never be brought aboard in your luggage. Requirements vary, so check your cruise line for proper instructions. Again, documentation and paperwork are required.Whether you are headed for a cruise ship, hotel or all-inclusive resort, double check for wheelchair access at that venue, plus any venues you will be visiting on the trip. Confirm that accessible hotel rooms, resort accommodations or ship staterooms are available for your travel dates. The earlier you book, the better your chances of securing fully accessible accommodations. And early booking increases your chances of securing a ground floor hotel room or cruise stateroom near the elevator, if these issues are important.Check on the access to public rooms, restaurants, bars, toilets, the swimming pool, hot tub, beach area and other amenities. Are there TDD phone devices? How will you get in and out of the shower or bathtub? Are there flashing lights to accommodate hearing? Braille room numbers? Knowing in advance the scope of your needs gives you time to arrange advance rentals of any necessary equipment, scheduled to arrive when you do. Everything from scooters, lifts, ramps, TDD kits and special mattresses, including special needs cribs, is available for rental.Will road travel or car excursions be part of the trip? Many car rental companies have vehicles that are modified for drivers or passengers with mobility limitations. Check ahead to make sure a suitable vehicle will be available for your travel dates. If you will be hiring a car or van, make sure the company is aware of your special needs.

When traveling with a limitation or disability, full travel insurance for medical coverage abroad and trip cancellation insurance are even more important and strongly advised.Ask the Right Questions
When making the final bookings, be sure you ask the right questions, even if the accommodations or cruise stateroom are categorized as “accessible.”
For example, are doorways wide enough for the largest wheelchairs? Do the doors open outwards or into the room?
Are all the public areas of the hotel, resort or ship accessible? Do you need to make special arrangements in the dining room to accommodate the wheelchair or scooter?
Will the bathroom facilities truly fit your needs? Is the bathroom large enough for the wheelchair or scooter? Is there a roll-in shower? Grab-bars?
Are there facilities for companion/assistance animals?
Are there shopping and entertainment facilities close by if you are staying at a hotel or resort?
On shore excursions or tours, does the van have a lift and method for transporting wheelchairs and scooters?Simply stated, don’t take anything for granted. It’s easy to arrange for almost every situation, and the world is wonderfully accessible, once you know what’s needed, what’s available and how to find the necessary equipment.A qualified competent travel professional isn’t hard to find and they are waiting to help you make your accessible travel dreams come true.

Why Isfahan is Half the World – Exploring the Magic of Iran

Iran was once a popular travel destination for Westerners. Many people will be surprised to learn that the travellers who still visit the country, return safely having had a fantastic time.Yes, there have been demonstrations and, at government level hostile words, but the average Iranian that you’ll meet in your travels is warm, open and very friendly. Iran is the birthplace of much of our culture and today still offers some amazing cultural and personal experiences.Yes, you will need a visa but for most nationalities these can be obtained at the airport upon arrival. For those travelling on a UK or USA passport, the requirement is that you must be booked on a group tour or at least have your visa application made via one of the local tour companies. Independent travel by people from non UK/USA countries is possible for the brave.Iran is well served with a bus network and both train and internal air travel is possible. Little English is spoken outside of Tehran and Isfahan, so hiring a guide makes a lot of sense. They are relatively inexpensive. Having said this, taking a group tour also has a lot to offer.Iran is an Islamic country and has a strict dress code that visitors are required to follow. This is particularly difficult for females who are required to have headgear, arms and legs fully covered while in public. For men, long-sleeves and trousers, are required. Westerners are welcome in most cities but care should be exercised in the very conservative religious cities of Qom and Mashhad.Tehran has little to offer except the Grand Bazaar and the amazing Jewellery Museum but this is made up for in the cities of Isfahan (also spelled Esfahan), Shiraz, and Yazd.Shiraz, and Yazd are both worth a day or more and the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis, 70 kilometres from Shiraz is one of world’s most dramatic ruins. Shiraz has wonderful gardens and an interesting mosque tiled with mirrors. Yazd has its winding lanes, wind towers and mud-brick homes. This is the best place to explore the Zoroastrian culture. Check out the impressive three storey high Amir Chakhmaq Complex – with its rows of perfectly proportioned decorated alcoves. If you have the time, the Yazd Water Museum has a most interesting display of the underground water canals called quanats.

Isfahan is a relatively compact city with most of the main attractions within walking distance. It is indeed impressive and some say that it is the most beautiful city in the world. The main attractions: the Imam Mosque, Ali Qapu Palace, the Sheikh Lotf Alah Mosque and the entrance to the Grand Bazaar, are clustered around the huge Imam (Naghsh-j Jahan) Square. Once a military parade ground, polo field and horse race track, the central area is now a water feature and dozens of shops surround the square.Construction of the Palace started in 1611. It is a fine example of Islamic architecture at its peak. Its splendour comes from the seven-colour mosaic tiles that cover the dome and the beautiful calligraphic inscriptions in various locations. The front portal of the mosque is 27 meters high and it is flanked by two minarets 42 meters tall. Together with the 52 meter high dome, the late afternoon view of the mosque with its tiles glistening in the late afternoon sun, is a scene that you’ll long remember.If you find the exterior impressive, the beauty of the interior will take your breath away. Amazing tiles, plasterwork and more calligraphy together with dramatic patterns adorns the ceiling. Standing under the centre of the dome you can experience the most amazing acoustic properties of the dome’s design.On the left side of the square from the Imam Mosque is the majestic six storey Ali Qapu Palace. Built as a monumental gateway, it also served as the residence of the Shahs.You’ll need a good guidebook to fully understand this building but undoubtedly the highlight is the elevated terrace with its 18 slender columns. The view across the square for the Shah and his guests must have been a wonderful sight. Shah Abbas I and II reigned at the height of Persian culture.On the other side of the square is the smaller Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, sometimes referred to as the Ladies Mosque because it may have been built to serve as a place of worship for the Shah’s harem. Built between 1602 and 1619 during the reign of Shah Abbas I, it is marked different from the Imam Mosque with its pale tones and quiet harmony. The colours change during the day from cream to pink at sunset. The arabesque patterns and floral designs of the exterior panels are remarkable. The portal is an example of the fine stalactite work with a rich concentration of blue and golden motifs. This honey-comb-like plasterwork form little niches bracketed one above the other in geometric patterns, is very pleasing to the eye. Again the interior is superb and the unusual design of the mihab is the finest in Iran.Flash photography is not allowed inside so bring a tripod for your camera.Entrance fees apply to all of the above. A number of companies offer walking tours. Check these out as these may offer good value. Take water and have good walking shoes.The Qeysarieh Portal gate leads off the square directly into the Grand Bazaar. These are best visited in the mornings while trade is the most brisk. The variety, smell, colour and sounds of the bazaar will astound you. The cheerful shop-keepers love to show off their wares. Bargaining is the go. Small items like the one-hair painted miniatures and the hand-printed tablecloths called qalamkar textiles are inexpensive and easy to carry however the shopkeepers will pack and ship larger items. If you use a credit card, check out the charges.

Take a little time out to try one of the rooftop tea houses. Sample the variety of teas while trying out a hubbly bubbly (smoking flavoured tobacco through a water pipe). Explore some of the shops and tea houses that are converted caravanserais. These are a throwback from the old Silk Road when trade was at its height.Other Isfahan attractions include the impressive Jamah Mosque that dates back to 771, the Chehelsotun Palace and the Khaju and Si-o-Se-Pol bridges. Check the bridges out late afternoon or early evening when they are illuminated.Money can be a problem in Iran. Very few ATMs take western cards. The local currency is the Rial but the term tomans is sometimes used. A toman is 10 rials. Always ask or carry USA dollars or Euros instead. The best way of getting local currency is to use the private money change offices (not the black market touts). A conversion chart or calculator helps if you are serious about your shopping.Isfahan has a variety of tourist hotels varying from hostels to the up-market Abbasi Hotel. Shop around for the best prices. This hotel has a variety of different room types and rates. It has a wonderful courtyard setting and worth checking out.So is Isfahan “half the word”? Well, you’ll have to go there for yourself before you can decide.We thought that it was when we passed through on our grand trans-Central Asian journey written up in the book Following Marco Polo’s Silk Road.