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Mermaid Adventures RPG
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Patrick H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/27/2016 21:49:05

The artwork in this fills me with existential dread. The urchinfolk evoke body horror. I can't handle it.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mermaid Adventures RPG
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Crystal M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/07/2016 20:58:55

Mermaid Adventures Written by Eloy Lasanta Art by Melissa Gay Published by Third Eye Games Pip System

Originally posted on Crystal's Review Blog

Mermaid Adventures is a fun and easy underwater adventure game system designed for players of all ages. The book is small enough where young players and players who are new to roleplaying games will find it easy to follow, which is great for recruiting new players into the roleplaying world. I personally love the premise of this game. The genre is very appealing for younger gamers, and the overall system is very easy to bring new players into the gaming world.

The mermaid world is based in Atlantis, which is the underwater home of all of the merfolk. There once was a great war, in which all of the merfolk and surrounding areas were pulled into it. The war ended when the current King and Queen were able to peacefully settle the differences. Atlantis is still ruled by this King and Queen, who work to keep the peace and continue the alliance between all the different merfolk under their protection. Different merfolk have different alliances as well as rivalries, but overall they work to ensure peace throughout their world. Outside of Atlantis is the Dark Water, a creepy and dangerous part of the world. The Top-world is also briefly described, as there are chances for the characters to interact with the part of the world that they hide from.

The denizens of this world are extremely diverse, using features from undersea creatures such as sharks, fish, sting rays and even lobsters. Each of the different merfolk have a very interesting niche to which they fit into within their society. What is very cool is that the merfolk have talents that resemble their real life counterparts in the animal world. Alongside the merfolk are other animals of the seas, some friendly, others not so much. These animals can become friends with merfolk if the merfolk work at building up their relationships with them. Other animals are a danger and only should be approached with extreme caution and weapons.

Character creation for the game is very simple, using 4 steps to finalize a character. What is really neat is that this section there are several randomization charts for helping to create a physical character as well as some goals for the characters. This is a fun way to help new players flesh out their characters in a quick and easy way. Players have a lot of support in building any type of characters they want. As far as rolling mechanics go, there are contested rolls, but the only difference is one player rolls both dice sets. There should be a black set and a white set (or opposing color schemes). The player rolls the appropriate amount of dice for attacking and defending, and goes from there to determining which dice rolls won and lost. There are wound charts for randomizing what happens when a character goes to 0 in an attribute. There is no character death in this system, so this is a wonderful solution to things that happen to the character in a really bad fight.

What I personally liked about this book is that there is a small section in the book specifically for narrators. It sets up how to create an interesting story and also emphases that a narrator has the right to suspend disbelief for telling a story. This is something that narrators can forget, and it is nice to see it in the book. There are also random charts for creating an event or plot to bring characters into the story. This is a fun option to help kick off a game night and get characters involved. There are also pregenerated characters which can be used for non-player characters or for players who want a quick character to play.

At the end of the book there are five adventures that narrators can use for their campaign. The adventures are written in a way where it is easy for young players to be able to play, but the difficulty can scale to meet the needs of older or more experienced players. These scenarios take the players to different parts of the world, including a land based scenario in which the characters are stuck on land, an Olympic style competition, a rescue operation in the dark lands, and a mystery in the great Kings castle. These adventures are a great addition to the book, giving a well rounded resource for players and narrators.

The art in this book really captures the feeling of the game itself. The colorful and lively characters are all captured beautifully in the book, and help the give a visual representation of what the denizens of the sea look like in this setting. The pregenerated characters in the book are also designed by backers of the Kickstarter, which is very cool to see. Having fans of the game involved in the book is very neat, especially for a game written for younger players.

Overall, I am very impressed with Mermaid Adventures. It is a very fun and simple game that is laid out well in an easy to read book. There is both a PDF, which can be found on DriveThruRPG, and a soft cover, which can be found through Third Eye Games. I would recommend this book for any young players or new to gaming players who may not have an experienced player to help them. Parents will also find this book helpful. Teachers who are adventurous will also enjoy aspects of this book for their classrooms!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mermaid Adventures RPG
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/03/2012 23:00:03

WHAT WORKS: The system looks like it would do a find job of handling any type of conflict, not just slugfests, and the charts for stats dropping to 0 are inspired. The amount of Merfolk is similarly impressive, and it would be easy to increase the available Qualities based off of the examples given. The bestiary is also pretty big, and the five adventures cover a broad range of stuff, giving you some good ideas as to the range of the game.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: Despite not being marketed towards girls specifically, Mermaid Adventures has registered exactly zero interest from MY kid, in no small part because of the “Mermaids”.

CONCLUSION: Obviously, I’m a huge fan of Third Eye Games, but I was fairly underwhelmed when I heard the announcement for this game. After reading it, I may put the overall quality of the book ahead of Part-Time Gods and behind API and Wu Xing. The system is simple but has some nice wiggle room, and I’m glad to see it’s living on in another kid-friendly RPG, Camp Myth (which, thematically, may be more up my kid’s speed). Don’t judge the book by its surface…it has some impressive depths to it.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2012/12/tommys-take-on-mermaid-adventures.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mermaid Adventures RPG
Publisher: Third Eye Games
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/28/2012 06:15:25

Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/06/28/tabletop-review-mermaid-adventures/

Mermaid Adventures is a cute little RPG made specifically for bringing young children (and especially young girls) into the tabletop RPG fandom. It came into existence as a Kickstarter campaign. The game was very successful, drawing in nearly two hundred backers and more than doubling its original goal. This allowed Third Eye Games and the game’s creator, Eloy Lasanta, to add four new races and a few more adventures to the game. I wasn’t a backer personally for the game, but I did find it a very cute idea (and god knows we need to really get the younger generation involved in this hobby) so when I was offered a review copy of the game, I leapt at the chance.

Mermaid Adventures contains everything a group of players needs to play the game. The book’s rules are fairly simple, which is a plus for any game geared towards single-digit players, and there is a lot of advice for parents on how to run the game and even help their kids make characters if the point based system is too much for them. You will need a lot of dice though – at least ten of one colour and ten of another (the game suggests black and white), so expect World of Darkness size rolls, especially if you get to have a long running campaign. Rolls are basically contested. A character rolls their die pool, trying to get 4s, 5s, and 6s. Each of those is a success. Depending on the difficulty of the task at hand, they will also have to roll one or more black dice. If the successes on the white dice are greater than the black dice, the character succeeds. If there are more successes on the black dice, the character fails. A tie means a partial success. That’s really all there is to actually rolling in the game. It’s extremely simple and the rolls can be applied to anything from combat to putting together a puzzle. Kids will figure out the rules in no time and really be able to run through the game the same way long time tabletop vets have their favorite core rulebook memorized.

There are eight types of playable merfolk: Eelfolk, Fishfolk, Jellyfolk, Lobsterfolk, Octofolk, Rayfolk, Sharkfolk, and Urchinfolk. Like any RPG, each race has their own strengths and weaknesses although I suspect most kids will gravitate towards fishfolk since that’s what is primarily thought of when they hear the word “mermaid.” I can’t see too many people wanting to be sea urchins or jellyfish. I am glad to see a wide variety of sea creatures as it gives little children, who are prone to gender roles, a chance to play a game where they can be a tough rugged shark or a beautiful fishy princess like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. It’s telling that the biggest question Eloy got from the children who playtested the game was, “Do we have to play as girls?” due to the fact since time immemorial, merfolk have almost always been cast as female to the point of it being part of the unconscious collective.

There are only four attributes for kids to keep track of: Body, Mind, Charm (Charisma), and Luck. Attributes for PCs start with five assigned points based on their starting race. For example, a fishfolk has the following starting stats: Body 1, Mind 1, Charm 2, and Luck 1. Then the player gets five extra points to put into stats however they want, with a maximum of five. So a Fish folk could look like anything from Body 5, Mind 1, Charm 3, and Luck 1 to Body 2, Mind 3, Charm 3, Luck 2. There’s a lot of room for flexability which ensures a kid can have whatever type of character they want, from bookworm shark to an extremely strong Jellyfolk. Each starting race also has a free Quality to help it when rolling dice. A Fishfolk gains the free Quality of “Adventurous,” which lets it get an extra white die to roll when discovering something new while an Octofolk gains the Quality Tentacles, which gives them an extra die when trying to accomplish something quickly and yet correctly. Finally, the player then gets to pick a total of four other Qualities from a massive list of thirty regular and ten magic based Qualities. Magic Qualities can be taken freely, but you can never have more Magical Qualities than you do Luck. That’s all there is to character creation. Again, everything is simple, streamlined, and very easy for kids to learn.

The game contains several pages of NPC stats. You can use some of these as pregenerated characters and others as allies or enemies. There are also stat blocks for various aquatic life forms, both mundane and fantastical in nature.

The book ends with five full adventures for kids to play. It’s probably best that a parent acts as the Keeper (DM/GM/Etc) at first, but once kids know the rules pretty well, they can take turns running an adventure instead. The first adventure is “The Rescue” and has the merfolk trying to save the crew and passengers of a sinking ship, all while keeping their existence a secret. “The Queen’s Pearl” has the players finding well…the Queen’s missing pearl. “Undersea Olympics” has characters competing in several sports and is a nice example of how to do an adventure where characters aren’t fighting anything. It’s just good clean sports & fun. “Lost in Dark Tunnels” is the most mature adventure, giving the PCs the mission of trying to find a lost child. “Being Human” has the players wake up on a beach one morning, all magically transformed into humans. The merfolk must figure out how this happened (and why) and how to change back to their real forms. This last adventure is very open ended and should allow the Keeper to start coming up with a series of adventures to play off this one. It’s a nice selection of easy adventures that younger gamers will quickly learn the ins and outs of the system by playing through.

The art of Mermaid Adventures might be its weakest areas. It’s very cartoony and colourful, which I think kids will appreciate. However, because it’s not the typical art found in RPGs, I can see some adults brushing it aside as amateurish or cheesy. Of course, they are not the target audience in much the same way Archie Comics aren’t really written with a 40 year old male in mind. Although I’m not a child, nor do I have/want any of my own, this is definitely the sort of art that would have appealed to me as a young kid, but also something I’d have brushed off as “lame” when in my teens and fully into D&D, Call of Cthulhu, and other RPGs like that. As an adult now I think my feelings towards the art lie somewhere in the middle. Perhaps either quaint or charming would be proper descriptors.

All in all, Mermaid Adventures is a really cute rules lite system that I think a lot of small children can really have fun with. It’s not really something I can see older gamers or even tweens playing a lot of, as they’ll probably want something a little deeper. Still, it’s a wonderful little game to introduce children to the world of tabletop gaming, even if they don’t stick with it for too long. Do you know a budding young gamer who likes your tabletop miniatures but has no idea what you are doing with all those dice and words like “initiative” or phrases like “free action”? Then you might want to consider starting them off with Mermaid Adventures. As it’s only a ten dollar PDF, it won’t break the bank and it just might be the gateway towards your child developing a lifelong love of rolling dice, casting spells, and earning experience.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 1 to 4 (of 4 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
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