In recent years, there’s been an interesting trend in games that are playable “just for the story.” I don’t remember seeing an option to play a “basically no challenge” version of a game until the last few years, and mostly, they seem to come from the adventure and roleplaying genres, where story is pretty big.

Games without challenge are hardly anything new, but the option to complete a game without accepting the basic challenge that tends to come packaged with most games is. This is probably linked to the rise of casual and social gaming, blah blah blah, blah FaceBook, blah blah. That aside, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.

For instance, one of the primary reasons why I’ve heard of players either avoiding Dungeons & Dragons or “just not getting into it” is because either they didn’t know anyone who played, it was too complicated, or “they just weren’t good at it.” Now hearing talk of Fifth Edition, D&D isn’t going to get any easier any time soon.

Unless you’re looking at computer- and console-based games like the Elder Scrolls or the Final Fantasy series, roleplaying games aren’t really the sort of thing you can play on your own and get better at. And even if you count those titles, there are barriers to entry, like, well, a computer or console gaming system.

Beyond that, there’s the challenge. There’s usually a lot of math involved in roleplaying games, and Dungeons & Dragons is another big reason for this. Even a series like The Sims, which is arguably a less violent Roguelike, is full of numbers, gauges and bars, and more numbers. Not to mention the system requirements…

Perhaps the saddest reason I’ve ever heard for someone not playing a roleplaying game (or any game, really), is they don’t “get it,” or “I’m just not very good at it.” I’m sure there are a lot of reasons behind the most obvious ones presented, but I think there’s call for a genuine “beginner’s” roleplaying game.

“Not getting it” might be the more difficult of the two to address, but I’m sure there’s a way to make roleplaying as easy as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. Perhaps a way to have one book follow another, allowing the reader to keep choices they made in a previous title, and “pick up where they left off.” Who knows?