OSR: the Veinscrawl

Veins of the Earth is an amazing book.

I've attempted to unpack some of the astonishingly dense content into a more digestible and immediately accessible form. I've written a hexcrawl incorporating as much Veins content as I could manage, plus a few more factions, races, and encounters.

Veinscrawl PDF


•Words by me.
•Editing, layout, and magical production values by David Shugars.
•Art by Lungfungus.


•162 hexes.
•Rules for navigating underground.
•Ten fully detailed factions plus additional oddities and treasures.
•Elaborate random encounter tables.
•Many other tables, useful tools, and tips for running games in the Veins.
•The seeds of empires.

The hexcrawl is designed to be a framework, not a set-in-stone document with clearly defined rules and laws. If you mix up the order of a few hexes, don't worry about it. If you decide to add a faction, change an encounter table, or only use a small portion of it, go right ahead. Provided you keep the goals and values of Veins of the Earth in mind, you can improvise freely and nothing terrible will happen. I wrote it for myself, mostly. It shows. Rewrite it for you.

Bonus Content

Greyscale Map
Full Colour Map

Cave Map (with grid)

Cave Map (without grid)
Take a sheet of black construction paper and cut a hole in it. If you need some caves in a hurry (for chases, etc.) use these maps. The circle is the 30' light radius of a lantern.

Veinscrawl Villages 1

Veinscrawl Villages 2

The map is conceptual. Hexes take 6 hours to cross. The entire map could be folded on top of itself or crushed into a ball. It does not describe a flat plane or a uniform area. It describes the relationship between areas.

Not Appearing In This Hexcrawl

For a Different Campaign:
Anglerlich, Antiphoenix, Civilopede. You could add all 3 in easily enough. Define a random route through the hexes; the Civilopede will be there. Add the Aniphoenix to a random encounter table or to a hex. Use the Anglerlich to lure the PCs into the Veins.

I Don't Know How To Run This Encounter (to my satisfaction):

The Egengraü, Gegenscheim, Phantom Hand of Gargas, Tachyon Troll, Knotsmen, Spectre of the Bröcken. Feel free to add them in. The Knotsmen could easily replace the Ghouls in the hexcrawl, or they could be added as a new faction.

Unfolded, the hexcrawl map looks a bit like this.

Notes on the Map

I'm proud of it. It's designed almost like a dungeon. Strip away the hexes and the depths and the map becomes a series of faction-specific "rooms" connected by neutral "hallways". There are high challenge areas, hidden areas, secret doors, and plenty of weird and interesting content to keep players occupied for a very long time.


  1. This is delicious! Thank you!

  2. Why on earth did you put so much effort into this free thing with no patreon or anything, you maniac?

    I've been putting off running the Veins until any two of the following things happen :

    1. Hurst finishes the DCO version 2.
    2. You release this.
    3. My players decide to go down one of the random holes I leave lying around with no specific hook.


    1. Like I said, I wrote it for me. I wanted to run a Veins hexcrawl. One didn't exist. I wrote it.

    2. And may I say, thank you. I’ve been hounding all your sweet posts and mangling them to my own devices, it’s super cool I get to see how you put them all together.

    3. I know. I wasn't being entirely serious. It was meant as a backwards way of praising your work/generosity/etc.

      EVERYONE BUY KIDNAP THE ARCHPRIEST! It's also by Skerples and also excellent.


  3. I'd never heard of Veins of the Earth until today. I opened this document and I still don't really know, but what you've put in here is one of the two most amazing things I've seen this year (the other is Hot Springs Island).

  4. Hey, want to say thanks for publishing your work. I love reading your game reports and have print offs of tons of your stuff.
    You rock Skerples.

  5. I just read this and oh wow! Fantastic work! So very creative that this feels like a wonderful and proper supplement to Veins of the Earth. You captured VotE's style and creative flair and dug even deeper. And while I'm here, I purchased Kidnap the Archpriest for my group to run through soon. Another outstanding module. Keep up the fantastic work!

  6. Amazing work! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  7. Any chance for a POD version from DTR or something?

    1. Unlikely. I don't own the rights to a bunch of the stuff inside.