A downloadable Zine

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Seek the empty, the broken and dilapidated; it is closer than you think.

Search for the uncanny, the hidden and wrong; they are unsettling to you.

Observe this spot with your eyes, your hands and breath; let it inside you

Whisper so that only you may hear:

“I wish to see the vast in the dark”

And fall backwards without fear.

You are already there-

The sky is black as night, a tectonic rumbling can be heard overhead; the ruins sprawl out with a fractal madness, their shapes incoherent and puzzling; and a vast sea of colorless sand stretches out into the darkness, broken only by the titanic pillars that disappear impossibly into the lightless sky.

This is The Vast, a liminal realm hidden far away from our own. Always waning and on the verge of collapse, it is host to countless lost souls and alien treasures hidden within its crumbling ruins.

The Vast in the Dark is an exploration setting for the world’s most popular role-playing game and takes place in a crumbling alien wasteland filled with brutalist mega-structure ruins. It includes tools for generating massive areas to explore as well as unique player options and gameplay changes to keep the focus on player choice and ingenuity over dice-rolling and chance.

The Vast in the Dark Contains:

  •  Brutalist Alien flavor: the setting is a lightless wasteland populated by brutalist megastructures. Small societies of and factions have cropped up and settled within the various ruins attempting to survive and remain sane.
  •  No-Prep World Generation: The main goal of this zine is to provide GMs a toolbox to build a massive hexcrawl map, a local area within each hex, and dungeon complexes within those smaller local areas quickly and easily enough that you can do it on the fly (no prep work needed). 
  •  Player Options of The Vast: some feat/perks with flavor, from "Ruinplucker" to "Vacant Amygdala" designed to give "weird tools" for the player to use and exploit.
  •  Navigation, Inventory, and exhaustion system: quick down-and-dirty rules for surviving the wastes and how to run these areas without worrying about micromanagement.
  •  Optional Horror Elements: The Harrowing is a form of ego-decay, a slow erosion of the psyche that befalls all who find themselves trapped within The Vast. Linger too long and you will lose memories, joys, and even the drive to leave. It is only a matter of time before you become one of the Crawl...
  • Soundtrack: A haunting, ambient soundtrack by Donn Stroud, for exploring the blasted wastes and the alien depths...


For physical copies, come visit our online store!


Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this Zine you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Vast in the Dark-digital 3-19.pdf 10 MB
Vast in the Dark - press pages.pdf 60 MB
Location and settlements.pdf 1 MB
VitD Character Sheet.pdf 1 MB


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just got this, is there any way we could get a Spreads version and a Booklet version for pdfs? thanks so much, excited to try it out.


I'd had my eyes on this little game for a while, which seemed like a cousin to the very attractive family of underground and mysterious space exploration games (I'm thinking of Grant Howitt's The Rules of the Deep but also the sublime Veins in the Dark of course), with, indeed, a small system to generate infinite and dark spaces.

This is a game that's all about sketches, but with a system of rules that supports this atmosphere of survival / anxiety: adapted inventory rules, a logic of memories serving as health points, a very nice bestiary...

It makes me want to go underground once again, and that's not just a question of high temperatures.

Oh neet stuff

Hello. I just brought this, was the soundtrack suppose to be included?

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Yep, this was pretty cool.  I was going through the KS and somehow missed there was a soundtrack.  I need to pay more attention.

I was going through this and noticed one small thing on the last stretch goal:

$17K - Printable Paper Minis - All backers get a PDF for printable minis of Characters and monsters for the Vast in the Dark.

I can't honestly find a link to the printable paper minis.  I went and bought the itchio bundle because I like to support developers and I noticed it didn't have it either.  Were these made or forgotten?  It happens sometimes.  I might have to email you directly.

The sense of scale is great here. I love how you build out the hex maps and layer them up; same with the ruins. Can't wait to run this. 


I’ve read and re-read this zine multiple times. Love it. 

I don't know what I was expecting when purchasing, but I'm pretty impressed by the depth of content.  Definitely a standout compared to a lot of zines, especially for the price.  I plan on using it in conjunction with Veins of the Earth for some monolithic, alien, Underdark play :3

Any suggestion for what level D&D characters would be good for a mini campaign through the Vast? 


Adding my name to the list of folks who want this in print again!


Were you ever able to find a distributor did physical copies in the US? Would love to buy one if there are any out there!


Hi, it looks awesome. I +1 POD requests. Keep up the good work!

The location and settlements pdf, if I was looking to print that out would it work fine on regular 8.5 by 11 paper?

Yup! That or A4 paper, if its a little off (because of printer bleed limits) just do "Fit to Page" and it should be fine!



Any updates on a print copy being made available somewhere in the US? Thanks!

Waiting for the physical copies of this to hit US stores, I unfortunately missed this when ZQ3 was on.

I took my time with webstores and now they're all gone. Gotta wait for reprint, if it happens :(

It's looking unlikely,  I'm assuming those responsible have moved on to other newer projects. It's sort of a typical hazard dealing with artsy types. I'd love to be proven wrong. 


Don't forget to check out the soundtrack here: https://donnstroud.bandcamp.com/album/the-vast-in-the-dark-soundtrack


Are there any plans to make a physical version available, ideally in the UK?

Yup! Check out https://www.rookspress.com/ in a bit, we had a snafu with the shipping but i'm sending some more as of now.

Anywhere I can get a physical copy in the US? I got the pdf through kickstarter and now want the book. Thanks!

Working on it... if you know a distributor who might be interested in stocking it let me know!

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Exalted Funeral seems to carry a lot of zines. Here's the email for sales. Given your success I'd think they'd be all over it.



Other distribution options:




Me too :)

Has there been any further developments with purchasing physical copies in the US? Have you considered POD and just putting it up on Lulu or Drivethrurpg?


How do we go about getting our pdf if we bought a physical zine through Kickstarter?


Heyo! There should be a backer-only update with a direct link, otherwise we're planning a mass email with itch.io links

Hi! Has the email gone already? (just worried I missed it, no rush)

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Check out my review of this great zine here: - https://podofblunders.com/2021/04/16/the-vast-in-the-dark/