This question already has an answer here:

Can I play D&D 4e without reading the Red Box, as I already have the Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide?


marked as duplicate by wax eagle, Dakeyras, KRyan, LitheOhm, Chuck Dee Jan 16 '14 at 2:01

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


The Red Box isn't required, no. It's just an optional way of getting started with the game by using a smaller set of rules. There was a time when the only books that existed were the PHB, DMG, and MM.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't that be a yes in the first phrase? \$\endgroup\$ – Mala Jan 15 '14 at 21:15
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mala No. It's gramatically correct as a no because of the sentence it's used in. The answer to the question is yes though. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Jan 15 '14 at 21:22
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Shouldn't that be 'grammatically correct'? :) \$\endgroup\$ – Mala Jan 15 '14 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the question was, "Do I need the Red Box to play?" then I could see, "No, the Red Box isn't required." But the question is, "Can I play without the Red Box?" so I would expect, "Yes, the Red Box isn't required." (Although, admittedly, that does feel a little weird to say.) Regardless, the intent of the answer is clear. \$\endgroup\$ – GamerJosh Jan 15 '14 at 22:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ English is funny in this way. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 15 '14 at 23:22

You can most certainly play with out the red box! I don't have a red box but somethings that come in it are nice (like the DM screen). But everything you need is in the 3 core books. I may suggest looking into a copy of the rules compendium as that is the most up to date source on rules. For Example, the DMG has outdated rules for creating Difficulty Checks for traps and non-combat skill encounters that the RC improves upon. And like the RC updating rules from the DMG the Monster Vault updates info about monsters.

My advice is, if you are creative and enjoy writing, just create your own world and make your own story. The DMG, PHB, MM, MV and RC have all the info you need to create a world that is fun and engaging for your players!

  • \$\begingroup\$ The same way DMG has outdated rules, MM was replaced by Monster Vault. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Jan 15 '14 at 23:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good to know! I have the pdf of the Monster Vault, but I have yet to comb through it. With running games, playing in others, writing adventures and reading non-RPG stuff, I haven't had time to read through all the PDFs I own :) Good looking-out though, Now that I know that I'll be using the Monster Vault for my own games! Edited my answer to include this new info \$\endgroup\$ – MC_Hambone Jan 15 '14 at 23:38

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.