A downloadable game

Buy Now$7.99 USD or more

Now updated to 1E!

Also available at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/363849/Desert-Moon-of-Karth and physical copies from several fine retailers by early September. 

Get notified when the physical copy drops and when I put out new projects by subscribing to Joel's Jazzy RPG Newsletter.

"One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams...”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Desert Moon of Karth is a space western sandbox adventure zine for the Mothership Sci-Fi Horror RPG. 

Karth is a tiny mesa studded moon on the galaxy's edge. The only way down is an antique space elevator to the lawless boomtown of Larstown; a place surrounded by even greater danger and strangeness in the wastes beyond. Survival or salvation is not guaranteed, partner.

Harvest ossified coral corpses to live forever. Become an involuntary organ donor. Dodge ancient orbital defenses. Explore sand blown ruins. Hunt the fearsome sandsquid. Ride camels through the dunes. Drink whisky until you’ve forgotten your own name.

Karth's inspirations include Dune, Firefly, Alien, John Carter of Mars, Cowboy Bebop, The Dark Tower, spaghetti westerns, and modern adventures like Hot Springs Island, A Pound of Flesh, Ultraviolet Grasslands, and Slumbering Ursine Dunes.

You'll find plenty to use for your other sci-fi RPG of choice like Stars Without Number, Traveler, or Starfinder with a touch of back alley stat surgery.

Desert Moon of Karth is a meaty 52 pages, chock full of evocative illustrations and also includes:

  •  10 detailed and dangerous locations to explore including a ship graveyard, camel ranch, organic coral caves, and a decadent shattered spire.
  •  Regional Moon Map and rules for point crawling navigation.
  •  Detailed Larstown map, rumors, NPC’s, prospective jobs, and fine establishments.
  •  4 volatile factions for players to interact with including immortal organ harvesters, tribal park rangers, extinct coral beings, and a colonial boomtown of prospectors.
  •  Evolving encounters based on the day/night cycle (and it’s sometimes night for a week).
  •  Tons of 1d10 tables ranging from creepy prayers, to strange technology, to requested organs, to random drugs.
  •  Rules for sandsquid hunting and a dungeon crawl within one, should you be devoured.
  •  3 detailed dungeon maps, 8 new creatures, the dark secrets of eternal youth and more! 

    Writing: Joel Hines
    Illustrations: Logan Stahl, Francesco Zanieri, Glynn Seal, and Ben Smith.
    Editing: Jarrett Crader (MRC) and Fiona Geist (MRC)
    Layout: Simeon Cogswell
    Development: Ian Yusem

    Man this is like a living breathing planet, I love this little western town. This is adventures within adventures, each page alone seems like it could be an adventure in itself.  Oh it's so beautiful, I just want to play it so bad
    -Alan Gerding, Tuesday Knight Games

    Looks really good! It's very well made, the art is really nice, layout is great, and there's lots of stuff to adventure in here. It gives you tons of material to just travel around this tiny moon.
    - Ben Milton, Questing Beast

    Review  starts at :46 

    If you dig the Soundtrack all purchases on Bandcamp go 100% to the artists Eric Hines, and Kevin Gundlach .
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(30 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
Tagsdesert, Horror, mothership, OSR, Sci-fi, Western


Buy Now$7.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $7.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Desert Moon of Karth File Package.zip 217 MB
Desert Moon of Karth OST - mp3.zip 100 MB
Desert Moon of Karth 1E Digital Spreads.pdf 16 MB

Development log


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

(1 edit)

The map asset for Seahorse Mine on page 23 and the Sandsquid on pages 44 and 45 are rasterized at a lower quality than the other maps are. Can we get a high quality rasterization, or better, vectors for the maps? Thanks for the awesome module!

for some reason, the file package zip keeps showing an error when it opens. Is this problem forming for anyone else?

Hey! Just wanted to point out you might want to update the blurb in the second paragraph. I'm looking at this September 2023 and realized that this may be in reference to September 2021 since I can't find anywhere it's available. Would be less confusing if you specify the year physical copies were being sold by retailers (other than DriveThru), or if you just remove that part.

I bought a physical copy but the retailer didn’t provide a PDF. Does the digital copy include player facing maps, handouts, etc., and if so is it possible to get them with a proof of my purchase?

(3 edits)

Hello! I just ordered Desert Moon of Karth + PDF from Exalted Funeral, as soon as they got it back in stock. Unfortunately, it looks like Exalted Funeral’s digital copies are outdated.

Instead of Desert Moon of Karth 1E Digital.pdf, I got Desert Moon of Karth Digital.pdf. It’s the same with the “Spreads” PDF. I couldn’t find a version number, but the copyright says, “1st Printing. (C) 2021 Joel Hines”.

Do you know if the new batch of Print copies at Exalted Funeral are updated to 1E? And would you please double check if they have the latest digital files?

Thank you!


I've emailed them with the correct files recently and asked them to update to the 1E ones.

Thank you!

Unfortunately, it looks like the update deleted everything but the core PDFs.

The old version was a 217 MB ZIP that came with all sorts of things: an MP3 soundtrack, maps, character sheets, color player location handouts, and the Zine PDFs themselves.

The updated ZIP (3rd Printing) is only 64 MB, and doesn’t even come with characters sheets. :/


I just sent them a message letting them know- will get all the goodies restored

Yay! Thank you!

I bought my copy (phys/dig) from the Tuesday Knight Games website, any word on if/when those files will be updated to 1e? 


Hey I'll be sending the files to them as well within the month!

Awesome, thank you!

Are there plans to update this to 1e?

It's coming this month! 
In the interim just adjust weapon damage numbers down by 1d10 and half the number of health points per Hit and you're 99% perfect.

(1 edit)

Cool, also I recently learned about Abilities Considered Unnatural and was wondering when it will become possible to order the pdf.

Should be before the end of this month for pdf!

Cool ! Is it also planned as a physical version by any chance ?

Yup, will have it at a number of RPG retailers!

Awesome :D

(3 edits) (+1)

I've been preparing this for my group - it's brilliant. Wanted to point out a couple small editing errors I noticed - pg. 28 - Rena is missing the information on her Hits. Pg. 38, the 1d10 Ancient Medical Machines Amongst the Ruins should be a 1d5. Pg. 43, Typo, 'Interior of a Sandquid' instead of Sandsquid. Cheers!

EDIT: A question - pg. 31, the Wigoy's limb pummel - any reason this is written as 1d10+1d10 instead of 2d10?

Thanks for the catches! I'll hop in and get these fixed shortly.
And the limb pummel was meant to represent two attacks of 1d10 each.