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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Mermaid's Revenge Table Top Game

At a gaming convention, Save Against Fear, a few weeks ago, I got to share the latest update of my game, Mermaid's Revenge. A few people pointed out that I didn't have a detailed explanation of my game available on my website. So I'm hoping to remedy that.
Jump to: Background + Idea & Story Tie-In + Rules + Buy your copy!

This is the logo I chose for the game.
This image was created by Ellen Avigliano, who created the amazing images for my
Mermaid book covers and all the art for the Mermaid and Friends Coloring Book

Mermaid's Revenge (Background)

My son (a cool teenager) and I developed this game to accompany my book series. Josh is my expert on all things Magic, D&D, tabletop and role-playing. I enjoy more classical games. And of course, I wanted something that was easy to learn and hard to master. There is a little more luck in the current version of Mermaid's Revenge than strategy, and I'm still working on that.

I originally wanted an app or a download, print, assemble and play game. This was based on amounts my son was asking me to shell out for the table top games he was playing. At $60 per box game, I realized I wanted something much more affordable to play - available to anyone with an email address. But I did want something for the idea. So the first version of Mermaid's Revenge was a $5 download. Versions in my store range from $10-$20 -- but I need to change that to $10 in person and $15 if I'm mailing out the game with dice and movers (use movers and dice from games you already own - that's my advice!).

However, my target market is 4th-8th graders. Many of them have school emails, but not ones that can make purchases or communicate with people without school accounts. If I was going to sell to them, I needed to have a version of the game I could put in their hands.

A year later, I updated my merchandising plan for events and made a version of the game that was much smaller - the current version of the game fits in a pouch in the palms of open hands.

The ducks enjoy playing Mermaid's Revenge!
Ducks and mermaid scale cloth are not included with the Mermaid's Revenge game.

Mermaid's Revenge (Idea & Story Tie In)

Mermaid's Revenge is a game where the players are Lost Boys (gender neutral term) searching for treasure they can take to the final port. Mermaids are in the waters the boys travel, looking for Pirates to take revenge on. Sometimes the Mermaids can't tell Lost Boys from Pirates. If players can prove they are Lost Boys (by rolls of the dice), Mermaids may even help them get treasure.

Optional game play encourages the Lost Boys to visit Ireland for a +3 token. This token ensures that a Lost Boy won't be mistaken for a Pirate.

Optional game play also encourages Lost Boy Battles. Lost Boy Battles can happen when a Lost Boy has found treasure, then shares a space with another Lost Boy.

The ducks enjoy Mermaid's Revenge!

Mermaid's Revenge (Rules)

Welcome to
Mermaid’s Revenge!!
Created by Phyl and josh Campbell

In this game, Lost Boys[1] must find three treasures and take them to the port marked Network.
Lost Boys can find treasure at any spot marked X. Pirates[2] steal from other Lost Boys with treasure.
Mermaids help Lost Boys, but also look for pirates so they can take their revenge!
Can they tell which is which?

Game Set Up
Place Xs on empty blue spaces.
More Xs may make a shorter/easier game, fewer Xs may make a longer/more challenging game.
(Draw Xs on spaces to create a permanent game board.)
Place the +3 tokens on the board where Ireland is. (See Optional Play)

Game Play
Lost Boys roll 1d6 which determine their starting ports. If two people roll the same number, the older player rolls again – youngest player wins the port. The lowest port goes first.
On their turn, Lost Boys roll 1d6 and advance NO MORE that many spaces towards any X (or Ireland).
At each X, Lost Boys draw a card which might be:
treasure – collect 3 to win the game
mermaid help – follow the card
Mermaid’s Revenge – keep reading, get ready to roll!
Mermaid’s Revenge Card
Players who draw Revenge Cards must roll 1d6
1 –Mermaids say, “lose a treasure and return to your port, pirate!”
2 –Mermaids say, “return to your port, pirate!” (but keep treasure)
3 – Mermaids say “Hmmm.” Nothing good or bad happens. The player’s turn ends.
4 –Mermaids allow the Lost Boy to advance one space in any direction.
5 –Mermaids allow the Lost Boy to draw another card.
6 –Mermaids allow the Lost Boy to draw cards until they find treasure!

Lost Boy Battles
When two ships land in the same space,
the Lost Boys will battle the Pirates!
Each player rolls one d6 die.
The player who rolls the lowest number will get knocked back to their starting port for repairs.
In addition, if the high roller rolled a 6, they steal a treasure from the low roller.
If the low roller has no treasure, too bad!
If the low roller rolled a 1, they lose ONE treasure to the discard pile.
Lost treasures do not go to high rollers unless they rolled 6.

Optional Play
Help Mandy’s family! Players may travel to Ireland to help Mandy’s family.
Players who help Mandy’s family earn a +3 token which is used during Mermaid’s Revenge.

[1] Lost Boys is a gender-neutral term in this game. Mandy is a Lost Boy even though she is a girl.
  Anyone of any gender is a Lost Boy for this game – unless they are a pirate!!
[2] Pirates are any Lost Boys who steal treasures instead of finding them or getting them from the Mermaids.
Here is a basic set up of the Mermaid's Revenge Game.
The map is an 8.5x11 sheet, the rules fit on two sides of a half sheet of 8.5 x 11.
These and the other parts fit into a small see-through pouch that measures 4"x 6".

Thursday, September 26, 2019


Updated the homepage of my website on the advice of my new SCORE mentor. I'm grateful for her suggestion. So now it starts:

 "Every great book starts out with a great story. You don't always know where it's going. Sometimes it ends on a cliffhanger. If it's done well, you get the sense that the story isn't really over when you reach the last page. You imagine the characters going on about their lives, living on in a world that we can only imagine."

Read the rest at . You won't need a subscription. ;)

In other news, I created/updated my brochure for the Women's Expo, where I'll be sharing a table with my new friends at CHI (pronounced CHEE, like Tai Chi). That's going to be Oct 5&6.

And I've been working on better ways to mass produce (well, 10 at a time, instead of one at a time) Mermaid's Revenge: the game for demo at Save Against Fear in Harrisburg. That's going to be October 11-13 at Harrisburg Mall. 

I'd love for you to come out and play the game with my son and me. There is a fee to get in, but I believe the fee also entitles you to other cool stuff. Plus, you just need to come out. 

I'm doing other things. Probably doing too much, but just trying to keep going strong through the commitments I have made. I'm learning a lot. I hope you are, too. ###

This was me in Maryland at the DCBA Hafla.

Phyl Campbell is author, mother, dreamer, and Dr. Pepper addict. Currently, she is loving shenanigans of all sorts.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2019 Events where Phyl Campbell Can be Found

Look. I'm not Waldo. I look terrible in stripes -- ask me about racist laundry one day though, because there's a story there -- but really what I mean is that for a hermit, I'm relatively easy to find. Once I decided I needed to get out and do events in 2019 so I'd know what to attend and what to pass over in 2020 when all three Mermaid's Revenge series books are available, there was no end to the ways I could spend my weekends in the hot hot sun.

A few events took pity on me and moved events indoors. I have much gratitude for these event organizers. So much gratitude.

But without further ado:

Groups and Events
Rustic Cup Critique Group Leader, alternating Saturdays by invitation only -- but everyone can and should go to Rustic Cup and get a coffee shake or something. Seriously. Kris Kelley is the bomb diggity, making brews like a wiccan warlock.
2nd Saturdays @ Sonnewald Aug, SeptNov1516 Lefever Lane, Spring Grove, PA
I'm trying out lots of different kids' activities at this event, since I can expect to see the same kids monthly and don't want them bored. Come play!!

Equality Fest Vendor, August 4, Penn Park, 100 W College Ave, York, PA

NC Mer-Mania 2019,
August 16-18, Double Tree, Greensboro, NC

DCBA Hafla Event, Vendor and Performer, September 15
Delta Hotels Marriott, 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, MD
I got to attend the DCBA Convention earlier in the summer and connected with many amazing performers and friendly fellow vendors. I'm looking forward to the reunion. 

Vegfest Vendor, September 
21, Cousler Park, 1060 Church Road, York PA
I have not turned Vegan on anyone -- ask me about Vegan Sandwichmaker, there's a story there, too. But it's a kid event and my Mer are vegan when not attacking men. So it's all good.

Save Against Fear Demonstrator, Mermaid's Revenge Game, Oct 11-13, Harrisburg Mall, Harrisburg, PA
I'm going to be doing this event with my son. 

HOPE Holiday Gift Expo, October 19, New Freedom Community CTR,150 E Main, New Freedom, PA
HOPE is a special group that wants to kick cancer's ass, so definitely come spend some time here.

CHI FEST, October 27, Details TBD.
This event is going to have epic levels of WOO surrounded by levels of skepticism about WOO. 

Shippensburg B
ook Festival, November 3, The Thought Lot, 37 E Garfield St, Shippensburg, PA

Shippensburg Creators and Makers Pop Up Market
November 17, The Thought Lot

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Honesty Makes My Head Hurt

Wow. I am not a newbie, but this article kind of makes my head hurt. JA, its author, is not wrong. There are series I have stuck with because they started well or I was told just get through the first one or two and then it picks up. Of course, I pick up so many books secondhand because I contribute to the creation of so many books - my own and my authors'.

The thing is, a person still has to be discovered, talked about, and passed around the first time. The first book in the series. The first series in the repertoire. If you don't support your local author, they'll think they need to try something else to get your support, and won't write the next book in the series (they always have a sequel in their heads. They know what their characters are doing after THE END. Trust me.) because they think you're not interested. They want to please you. But when you give your support to authors who literally admit that they could turn out shit and outsell the great American novel these days, you're not helping. When you support your friend because they're your friend but you don't read what they write and you have NO IDEA how bad it is, you aren't helping. If you want better, then you need to help be part of that. It's possible, but it's hard work.

Phyl Campbell is Author, Mother, Dreamer, and Dr. Pepper Addict. And you can bet she's procrastinating on writing what she's actually supposed to be writing -- RIGHT NOW.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

So much news!

I keep forgetting I can do this. 

So much news!! 

Writing continues on Mermaid #2. A critique group member described my work as "historical fantasy," and I rather like that genre designation.

Working on edits to Ian's FIFTH book, also two books of poetry and an educational memoir. I'm still helping out with a space opera, which is becoming a trilogy, critiquing with my group on alternating Saturdays, and my be picking up an art-related ghost-writing project.

Tons of snow. And now the wind is blowing so hard outside that I feel my brain matter struggling to remain between my ears!!

There are new publishers in the mix, and I've lost one FB group and picked up three more. Trying to impart wisdom and receive it, too. 

Drop a line and let me know what occupies YOUR time!!

Phyl Campbell is Author, Mother, Dreamer, and Dr. Pepper addict. Right now, she's in over her head.                    

Other articles of interest:
Finding Pink Elephants
A Muse Meant
Quick and Dirty Publishing Guide     

Check out her author page on Amazon.