Delighted to announce that Vaults of Vaarn Issue 3 is now available for download and purchase.

Find the free PDF at!

Buy the premium printed zine from my Big Cartel store! Soon to be available from other zine retailers!

Also available, only on my Big Cartel: a cassette tape containing 30 mins of original Vaarn-inspired music by Out On Our Own! We only made a few of these, so get them while you can!

Finally: for those who want a POD Lulu copy of #3, follow this link!

18 thoughts on “VAULTS OF VAARN #3 RELEASE”

  1. I posted awhile ago, but it didn’t show, so I thought I’d post again (disregard duplicates). I ordered the POD from Lulu and looked through the pdf…absolutely awesome, will be digesting this for days. Some serious nods to Frank Herbert in there. Thanks again and have you thought about making some groovy shirts or buttons?


    1. Hello! I have to approve new commenters before their posts will appear; it’s to stop spambots from ruining the blog for everyone else.

      I’m glad you like the zine! I am actively pursuing other forms of physical merchandise like prints, stickers, and t-shirts. I just need a few days to sit down and look at exactly what my options are, what kind of designs would be good, etc. There will definitely be Vaarn merchandise appearing this year.


      1. That sounds great, I’ll be keeping an eye on your site here for updates. Our group has been using the random tables for all sorts of unrelated things, in character creation, campaign generation and during the game…this new volume will be a real treasure in that regard.


  2. Good to know, this issue is kind of a ‘booster pack’ for the tables from #1, in some ways it retreads old ground but I wanted to make sure the region generator was thorough. I will make very certain blog readers are aware of any forays into merchandising.


  3. Lovely release, especially love that you have named all the titans for us not familiar with the source material!

    One question though. In VoV#1 p4. it says that a day’s ration of food and water takes 1 item slot. while VoV#3 p14 states that 5 days’ rations fill a single item slot. I was wondering if this mirrors how you do things at your home table? One ration per slot seems more realistic but I was wondering if travel times of the region generator or other playtesting made you reconsider them for VoV#3?

    Anyway, loving the content and looking forward to what is coming next, you are on an absolute roll with this!


    1. Hello! This is something I went back and forth on, the rules and procedures in the zines do usually reflect whatever I’m using at that time.

      Five rations per slot is how I’ve ended up playing at my own table, but I think it’s partly a matter of preference. One ration per inventory slot is incredibly punitive in terms of slot economy and my players aren’t as into playing the survival mechanics as I am in writing them lol. I suppose you could see one ration per slot as hardcore mode?


      1. Fair enough, I think there’s often quite a disconnect between survival mechanics that seem cool to the referee and that that players enjoy. For my group I just ended up having them find an Iron Mule (that I ruled to havel 20 item slots) quite early on. It is now a named pseudo-character.

        If there is ever a big Vaarnish “codex” release having these as part of normal and “dune-like” modes seems like a good idea. But I suspect there’s still a bunch of regional zines to look forward to.


      2. Ha that’s really cool about the Iron Mule, I’m always interested (and slightly amazed) to hear how the zines get used in actual play.

        It’s a difficult balance because I do think resource management and sparse water supplies can create really interesting narrative situations, but lots of players aren’t into logistics and just want the combat / NPC conversations etc. So it’s hard to know how much to track, and my style as a GM isn’t super rigid and disciplinarian.

        There are plans in the works for something more substantial in hardback form that will be the ‘big’ Vaarn book, as there’s been quite a good response to the setting. So rules questions like this are something I’m actively working on at the moment. The regional zines are going to continue as well, although it’s likely to be 2022 before #4 releases (!)


      3. As much as I love to see new stuff for Vaarn a gap in new zines might be a blessing in disguise to play through the stuff that is already out there!

        If I can take this chance to make suggestions for updated Vaarn core I felt that VoV#1 was a little too ambiguous in two places:

        1. Step 5 of character generation. For one the Vault raiding tables are not named as such or I could not see it. My second source of confusion was that determining starting armour was unclear since it refers to “both Vault raiding tables” and I can see 3 if I include the armour table. In the end since armour takes item slots I just let my players pick.

        2. There was no suggested initiative system that I could find. Again, another minor gripe.

        These gripes are super minor and essentially non-issues for people into the whole OSR and ttrpg zine scene but might be worth taking a look at for a hardback Vaarn book (that I am very much looking forward to now that it’s on the horizon).


      4. Thank you for the feedback, this is really useful. If you notice other rules queries or ambiguities do let me know, it’s helpful for the re-editing process I’m doing now.

        1. This is an error, the ‘vault raiding tables’ are referring to the two Gear tables on page 21, the names were changed during editing and I never caught it. Thanks, this is something that will be fixed for the hardback.

        2. I did not include an initiative system as it seemed to me that everyone has one they use for OSR games already and I didn’t have anything innovative to add. That said, I use simple side-based initiative in my own games and the hardback rules will include a note about this. We’re aiming for an audience beyond people who are already immersed in the blogs and homebrew scene so it’s definitely good to catch these ambiguities and omissions now.

        I don’t have concrete info on the hardback release yet but I’m hoping it will arrive at the end of 2021. It will mostly be collected and remastered content from the first three issues, but I am doing new art and some new adventure-site material specifically for the book.


  4. Since you have a vision for a series of zines, would you consider offering folks a chance to subscribe to them?


    1. That isn’t something that had occurred to me but I could look into it for sure. They aren’t going to release on a regular schedule which makes the subscription model a little less of a good fit, but I have been considering doing something with Patreon so subscribers to that would be guaranteed to get the zines as they release? Will have a think.


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