[RPG] Rulebook Requirements for Curse of Strahd


Do I need to own both the Dungeon Master's Guide & the Monster Manual in order to run Curse of Strahd?

I currently only have the Player's Handbook and the starter pack.

Best Answer

Large parts of the DMG and MM are now available via the open Systems Reference Document (SRD), which is a free to download 400+ page PDF. There are some sites that have organized this document into a Wiki format which will make it even easier to find the stuff you need.

For example, the Curse of Strahd features a special magic weapon. That weapon is not in the book, but is available in the SRD.


Things like Werewolves and Vampire Spawn are also available in the SRD. Overall you should have all of the required material available via the CoS + the SRD.

As an extra note, digital versions of the maps are available for purchase from the artist, Mike Schley. These maps include "player-friendly" and "grid-free" versions which are a step beyond just "scanning the book". There are also some free B&W maps of the region available for free.

Also note that the a quest covering the first 3 levels of CoS was released for free by Wizards. The Death House can be downloaded as a 12-page PDF. Again, larger maps are available from the source above.

UPDATE: I manually walked through the book to double-check for magic items not in the SRD. Here's a list of what I found:

  • Elixir of Health (available in PotA supplement)
  • Potion of Invulnerability (also available in PotA supplement)
  • Daern's Instant Fortress is available as Instant Fortress in SRD
  • Rod of the Pact Keeper is not available in any open supplement that I can find. If you substitute with a Wand of the War Mage you should satisfy a similar spot in the party without a major change.