A while back I made characters with people who have never played the game before and I was reminded of the confusion surrounding the fact that you have an attribute score and a modifier derived from that score. That experience gave me this idea that evolved into a really simple story-gamey version of D&D. This is simpler than Red Box Hack or Dungeon World (at least based on my minimal knowledge of those games) and maybe closer to the original game rules. What the DM does in the game described below is pretty much the same as a DM in DnD.
1. players roll 3d6 in order for D&D abilities. (Low is Good)
2. roll 3d6 and the single best (highest) die roll is your HP.
3. roll those three dice again, one at a time once on each of these tables:
You are a...
1: Noble of House __________
2: Veteran of the ___________ War
3: Librarian from the City of ____________
4: Worshiper of ____________
5: Criminal who pulled the __________ Heist
6: Fey of the ___________ Woods
Who carries a...
1: Big Axe
3: Knife... and more knives
4: Brutal Mace
5: Bow and arrows
6: Sword and shield
And who tends to be...
2: Bon vivant or grump
3: A hero or a leader
4: A coward
6: A sneaky schemer
Here's how it would work.
Any time you would roll dice in a regular game of DnD instead the Player rolls 3D6, or 2D6 if the DM says its really hard. The DM says what ability is being rolled against (S, I, W, D, Con, or Cha) rolling over that ability means success.
The items don't add dice, instead they let you accomplish things you couldn't otherwise. With an axe you might be able to chop down a door, with a bow you can hit somebody from across a room, what's a crystal let you do... etc.
The last die rolled above is like XP. At the end of the game the DM writes down in order who generally acted the most in character. The Player then gets that many bonus dice to add to any action or actions in the future that they want. The DM can also give out Dice to PC's who act in line with their character in a way that is generally detrimental to the party. For example, when the coward runs away, that PC could get a bonus dice to use later.
This isn't my ideal DnD, but I think something like this could be a great way to play with people who have never played an RPG before, and in that context, could be fun.