Welcome to Veins of the Earth manual!


Notes on gameplay

Notes for experienced roguelike players

1. Characters do not heal with the passage of time - they need to actually rest. The hunger does not increase while asleep, but more monsters are generated every time you rest.

2. Early game can be difficult - you will probably die frequently - and character generation is quite detailed. The idea is that every character (even with the same race and classes) should be different from the others. The downside is that it's unfair to get a really nice character and then die quickly.
For this reason, you can quickly load a character you have made earlier when starting a new game.

3. Plan your character build ahead of time. Choosing the right class, feats and skills is the key to success. Before you choose to advance in level (which you must actively initiate, it doesn't happen automatically), you should know what you would like to see. To protect from misclicks, you have to confirm your choices when exiting the advancement screens.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Is the game based on that popular tabletop RPG?
Yes, it is, and we think that this is one of its stronger selling points. The only reason this isn't mentioned more clearly is that the actual names are all trademarks that we can't legally use per the rules of the Open Gaming License.

2. Then why didn't you follow its rules more exactly?
Because that tabletop RPG was only one of many inspirations for the game, and some particular rules needed to be tweaked/changed in the name of playability.

3. Why use T-Engine?
Because it saves time and effort by providing a framework for the basic (and not so basic) things. For instance, all entities (objects/npcs), levels and egos are just data definitions. Even more complex elements have a simple pre-made base (AI, level generation, combat system, UI).

Also, it allows for easy tileset implementation, clean interface and tooltips.

4. Where can I post messages about the game?
The author can be reached on various forums, including, Roguetemple forums and Bay12 forums.

Character generation

The character generation screen is split into three tabs. The first allows you to determine your attributes.


STR is short for Strength. It affects the damage your character deals in combat, as well as his melee attacks.

DEX is short for Dexterity. It represents how well your character can dodge blows in combat, as well as his ranged attacks.

CON is short for Constitution. It affects your character's hitpoints.

INT is short for Intelligence. If you are a mage, it determines how hard it is to withstand your spells.

WIS is short for Wisdom. It affects your character's willpower and clerical powers.

CHA is short for Charisma. It affects your character's interactions with others.

LUC is short for Luck. It influences loot drops.

Required steps


Every player character belongs to one of the humanoid races that live on Theyra. The race affects the following statistics:

  • Attribute modifiers: Each race has a set of modifiers to their attribute scores. For example, dwarves are more hardy then humans, orcs stronger and elves more charismatic. These modifiers stack with all other bonus types, and are permanent and always in effect.
  • Favored class: Every race has a favored class, which grants bonuses to characters who have it as their highest-level class. The bonuses are to hit and to hit points.
  • Special abilities: Some races offer special abilities. They might be always active (such as an elf's ability to enter Reverie instead of sleeping), while others might require activation (a drow's darkness spell).


A character enters play at level one and gains more levels throughout the game. These levels can be distributed among any 3 classes in any amounts the player desires.

Classes grant a wide variety of different abilities as the character advances in level, including bonus feats, skill points and class features. These are described in more detail under each individual class's description.


Alignment affects the classes you can pick and some more esoteric monsters' attitude.

Optional features


A background gives you a bonus feat, which grants you a +2 bonus to two skills.


Any character can pick a deity at start, but is not forced to do so unless their class requires them to have a divine patron. Some classes might both require a divine patron and limit the selection of deities available.

Further info

Once all the basics have been picked and the Next button pressed, the game determines the character's starting equipment and requires any additional selections based on class (a wizard's specialty or a cleric's domains).

A character's starting equipment is defined by her race, class and perks.


HP, or hitpoints, are your life meter. When it falls to 0 or lower, you're dead.

AC means Armor Class. The base number is 10. It can be increased by various means, such as Dexterity bonus, armor, shield or magic.

BAB is short for Base Attack Bonus. This number is added to a d20 roll and your Strength bonus when you make an attack.

HD means Hit Die. It is the die that is rolled to determine the number of your hitpoints per level. In the Veins of the Earth, player characters get full hit points from a die. Monster hitpoints are still rolled, however.

In combat, the opponent's AC is compared to the attacker's roll and all the modifiers (BAB and Strength bonus).

When making a saving throw, a d20 is rolled, the bonus is added and the result is compared with the spell or trap's Difficulty Class. Saving throws use the best one of two stats as a bonus (Strength or Constitution for Fortitude; Dexterity or Intelligence for Reflex; Wisdom or Charisma for Will).

There are three types of saving throws, each one representing avoiding a different danger.

Reflex represents avoiding dangers by moving. For example, it protects you from a grease spell. It uses either Dexterity or Intelligence bonus.

Fortitude is all about resistance. For example, it allows you resist poison or sickness. It uses either Constitution or Strength bonus.

Will saving throw is about your willpower. It helps you resist charm spells or a vampire's gaze, among others. It uses either Wisdom or Charisma bonus.

When using a skill, a d20 roll is made and the stat modifier is added along with your ranks. The max number of ranks you can have in a skill is limited to 4 + 1 per level.

You gain a feat point every three character levels (or every two levels if Pathfinder feats option is on).

You gain an attribute point every four character levels.

The character's abilities are STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA and LUC.


Aboveground races (human, half-elf, elf, half-orc, dwarf) start the game with a torch. Underground races do not need it.

Aboveground races


+1 feat point. +4 skill points at 1st level.


Cha +2. Diplomacy, Listen, Spot and Search +1.

Favored class: Bard


Cha +2. Listen, Spot and Search +1. Darkvision 2.

Favored class: Cleric


Dex +2 Con -2. Listen, Spot and Search +2. Darkvision 3.

Favored class: Ranger


Str +2 Int -2 Cha -2. Darkvision 3.

Favored class: Barbarian


Con +2 Cha -2. Darkvision 3.

Favored class: Fighter


Str -2 Con +2. AC +1 attack +1. Listen +2. Darkvision 3.

Favored class: Bard


Str -2 Dex +2 Luc +2. AC +1 attack +1. Climb, Jump, Hide, Move Silently +2. Fort, Ref, Will +1.

Favored class: Rogue


Str +2 Con +2 Int -2 Luc -2. ECL +1. Ref +3. AC +5. Jump, Swim, Balance +4.

Favored class: Druid.

Underground races


Dex +2 Con -2 Int +2 Cha +2 Luc -2. Listen, Spot and Search +2. ECL +2. Darkvision 6.

Favored class: Cleric for females; Rogue for males.


Con +2 Cha -4 Luc -2. Listen and Spot +1. ECL +1. Darkvision 6.

Favored class: Fighter.

Deep gnome

Str -2 Dex +2 Wis +2 Cha -4 Luc -2. Listen +2. AC +4. Fort +2 Ref +2 Will +2. ECL +3. Darkvision 6.

Favored class: Rogue.


Str -4 Dex +4 Int +2 Cha -2. Darkvision 3. Hide +4, Search +2. AC +2, attack +1.

Favored class: Rogue


Str +4 Int -2 Wis +2 Cha -2. Darkvision 3.

Favored class: Barbarian.

Base classes

Base classes




Adventuring skills

Balance [DEX]

Passive [armor penalty]

Cross chasms: To cross a chasm, a character can make a DC 15 check. This test is made before the Jump check.

Bluff [CHA]

Climb [STR]

Concentration [INT]

Diplomacy [CHA]


Calm down humanoid hostiles: To calm down a hostile humanoid, a character has to make a DC 15 check.

Convince a hireling to join you [Passive]: DC 15.

Disable Device [INT]

Decipher Script [INT]

Decipher runes: To know what the runes represent on a weapon/armor piece, a character has to make a DC 15 check.

Escape Artist [DEX]

Heal [WIS]


Resting: If you have ranks in Heal, they will help you heal through the night's rest.

Determine monster health: To know the monster's exact health, the character needs to make a DC 10 Heal check.

Hide [DEX]

Active [armor check penalty]

Hiding: By making a successful opposed check against a creature's Spot, you can vanish completely from his sight. Note that it is still possible for the creature to determine your rough position by using Listen vs Move Silently.

Intimidate [CHA]


If you succeed vs DC 15 + the enemy's Will save bonus, all the enemies in a small range will become shaken.

If you succeed vs a silent DC 25 + Will save bonus check, the enemies will flee instead.

Jump [STR]

Active [armor penalty]

You can jump over a trap or an enemy by making a DC 10 check for the first square, DC 17 for 2 squares away, DC 24 for 3 squares away, DC 30 for four squares away.

Passive [armor penalty]

Cross chasms: To cross a chasm, a character needs to make a DC 30 Jump check.

Listen [WIS]


Hear combat: By making a DC 10 check, you can hear combat going on just outside your sight range.

Hear hiding creatures: By making a successful opposed check against the creature's Move Silently check, you can determine the rough direction the creature is in.

Move Silently [DEX]

Active [armor check penalty]

Hide: By making a successful opposed check against an opponent's Listen check, you can avoid detection.

Open Lock [DEX]

Ride [DEX]


Riding: Characters without this skill cannot ride at all. A mounted character enjoys an increased movement speed (but not attack speed).

Search [INT]


Find traps: If a tile contains a trap, a character will automatically make an attempt to detect it. The DC depends on the trap.

Sense Motive [INT]

Spot [WIS]


Spot hiding: To notice hiding creatures, the character has to make an opposed check vs their Hide.

Swim [STR]

Passive [armor check penalty]

Swimming: To cross water, a check has to be made:

  • shallow water - none
  • water - DC 10
  • deep water - DC 15

If the character fails the check, he or she takes 1d4 damage from drowning in normal water and 2d6 in deep water.

Pickpocket [DEX]


Pick pockets: To pick someone's pockets, you need to make a DC 10 check.

Spellcraft [INT]


Identify a spell: To identify a spell an enemy is casting, the character needs to make a DC 15+spell level check.

Survival [WIS]

Track: To track monsters in a range equal to your vision+2, a character has to make a DC 10 check.

Forage: To keep yourself fed on the world map, a character has to make a DC 15 check.

Tumble [DEX]

Use Magic [INT]

Background skills

You get 2 points per level to use on background skills.

Appraise [INT]


Determine item value: To determine the item's value, the character needs to make an Appraise check, DC depending on the item:

  • common [non-magical and value below 10 silver] DC 12
  • rare [non-magical] DC 20
  • very rare [magical] DC 25

Craft [INT]


Craft an item: To craft an item, a character has to make a check with the DC depending on the item in question, from 10 to 15.

Handle Animal [INT]

Intuition [INT]


Identify items: To identify items, you need to pass an Intuition check.

  • DC 10 - whether the item is cursed/magical
  • DC 15 - if the item is magical, what magic school it belongs to
  • DC 25 - fully identify an item

Knowledge [INT]


Identify a template: To identify a template the monster has, the character needs to make a DC 10+monster CR Knowledge test.

Identify monster type: To identify the monster type, the character needs to make a DC 10 Knowledge test.

Recall information about enemies: To recall information about a monster (its abilities and resistances), a character needs to make a check, DC determining information recalled.

  • DC 15 + monster CR - basic information (type & subtype)
  • DC 20 + monster CR - uncommon information (more specific info)
  • DC 25 + monster CR - specialist information (in-universe snippets)

Rules changes

Rules changes

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