Welcome to the second edition of The Redbox Hack. What started out as an attempt to boil down the elements of red box D&D I found entertaining has turned into something with a life of it’s own. You don’t have to squint too hard to see some of those original D&D elements here. Classes, levels, and a system that revolves around killing monsters survived the hacking. But there’s a lot of indie-game sensibilities in here too.

The first time I played this thing, I was surprised at how fun it was. I’ve written quite a few games over the years and most of them have been stinkers. Or they took quite a bit of work to convert them from something with a little bit of promise into a fun and playable game.

I’m excited to present you with this updated edition. But I want to tell you that this edition would not have been written if not for the enthusiasm of the folks who have played it. The micro-fanbase of RBH has been a huge motivation for making these improvements. You guys know who you are.

Thank you.


The world is a dangerous place filled with monsters to be slaughtered and treasures to liberate. There are fantastic places to explore and interesting people to meet. You’re always far from home and on the move.

I’ve intentionally left most of the setting color blank, ready for you to fill in. I hint at lots of material in different sections, like Character, Monsters, and Adventures. I prefer a slightly Asian flavored setting with a heaping helping of Heavy Metal strangeness. But that’s just how I like to play it. I want you to bring your own favorite fantasy material to the setting. Be creative. Steal from a variety of sources. Wow your players. Don’t let me chain you down.