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Vaults of Vaarn #1

Suggested Price $2.00

The sun is dying and the wreckage of countless eons litters the parched wastes of Vaarn, the desolate country that common folk call the blue ruin. It is said that these sky-coloured sands hide the graves of the Autarchs; have swallowed the buried arcologies in which the true seed of humankind was preserved through the Great Collapse; conceal forgotten crypts of memory, decaying crystalline lattices of ancient ego-engines upon which the dusk-blue dunes encroach without pity. From the New Hegemony to the south come drifters and dreamers, desecraters of the tech-tombs that lie sunken beneath the azure wastes. Light-years overhead, aurum-hulled craft ply their tender routes between the spheres, and miles below a pilgrim’s feet, strange wombs are kindled once more with life undreamed of.

These are the hinterlands, where humanity’s great works have fallen to everlasting decay, where machine and animal and fungus think to crown themselves our equal. The phthalo-sands, where newbeasts hunt proudly with boots upon their hind paws and chromepriests chant unending binary devotions to their nameless synthetic god. Only the desperate or the mad would seek to make a life here, to roam the blue desert in search of the secret VAULTS OF VAARN.


Vaults of Vaarn is a 48-page tabletop RPG zine, which presents setting information, a full game system, and character creation procedure for adventures in Vaarn, a vast blue desert that lies at the very end of time. The game is built on the chassis of Knave by Ben Milton, with lightweight rules, speedy character generation, and gameplay that emphasises creativity and problem-solving on the part of players and referee. 

Issue #1 Includes: 

  • Full rules for play, based on the light, easy-to-learn Knave system.
  • Five player ancestries with detailed character generation tables. Play as a haughty true-kin, a mutated cacogen, a mechanical synth, a feral newbeast, or a fungal mycomorph.
  • Twisted mutations, psychic gifts, and cybernetic implants to further augment your character.
  • 120 Exotica, the strange and valuable far-future relics that can be discovered in the vaults beneath Vaarn.
  • A bestiary of 28 ferocious science-fantasy monsters that lurk in the blue wastes.
  • Nine pages of content generation tables that allow a referee to spark ideas for their own vision of Vaarn. Generate desert ruins, NPCs, trading caravans, nomadic clans, arcology domes, esoteric drugs, forgotten gods, and more. 

Fully illustrated throughout with evocative black and white line-art. 

What Others Have Said 

'A cool setting with a lot of opportunity to pull from both your favorite standard fantasy resources and science fiction compendiums in order to build out a wild mash-up world ... I really like the simple package, a semi-minimalism that succeeds in springing my mind to creative action. That is why we play these games, right? To be sprung, flung, inspired, stimulated all while having some good social fun.' - Perplexing Ruins

'The setting is wild, it feels like the author took Numenera, Gamma World and Dune and got them drunk, put them in a big vapourwave-themed hotel room and let them go at  it.' - Pod Of Blunders

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Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
BRady N March 17, 2023 1:58 pm UTC
My table had a blast playing this system, laughing from the start of the character creation.
Dopplegun was hilarious to use. One player had great time using his "telekinesis" gift in many situations (but kept trying to ritually cannibalize enemies for more gifts)
Would recommend if you enjoy Knave or want an outlandish zany post apocalyptic setting.
Customer avatar
Carl H June 23, 2022 9:01 pm UTC
I really like this, reminds me alot of caves of qud.
Will there be more than 3 issues?
Customer avatar
David P September 15, 2021 10:09 pm UTC
You got a shoutout from Dan Sell, so you got a purchase from me.
Customer avatar
Leo H September 26, 2021 11:44 am UTC
Oh neat thank you, where did he mention it?
Customer avatar
Mitchell H January 05, 2021 11:16 pm UTC
I love this so much and can't wait to run it! Anxiously awaiting issue #2 or anything else you put out in this style.
Customer avatar
Leo H January 17, 2021 9:11 am UTC
Thanks man, #2 is out now and I'm uploading to drivethru today
Customer avatar
Chad K August 30, 2021 9:24 pm UTC
Will all 3 be avail in print?
Customer avatar
Leo H September 26, 2021 11:43 am UTC
Yeah I don't offer them through DTRPG but if you go to and click the Zines tab you'll find links to the physical issues, #1 and 2 are a bit hard to find in print now but Igloo Tree in the UK stock them still.
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File Last Updated:
June 29, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on October 08, 2020.
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