Last night I had dinner with my new neighbours, and discovered that one of them, despite being a pretty solid nerd, had never played a tabletop RPG, and that several of his friends had been bugging him to play some D&D with them. The other guys have all played before, but not in probably a decade or so, and none of them felt confident enough to run a game.
Now, I own D&D4E and also FantasyCraft (which for my money is a VASTLY superior continuation of 3E than Pathfinder) but I'm tending toward running something rules-light, so that the first session doesn't have to be all about teaching, and instead we can just throw together some characters and get adventuring. I also have a sinister motive of getting them into gaming enough that I can make them play Dogs in the Vineyard with me, since that's basically always my objective with a gaming group, so I prefer to start with something that's a little story-gamey, while still being able to say "yeah, this is D&D".
My instinct is to run Red Box Hack, but I'm wondering if that might be too far from the D&D they remember, so I come to you for suggestions.
My objectives, in order:
1) Make sure everyone has fun;
2) Get out of setup and teaching into basic play quickly;
3) Make sure the former D&Ders recognize elements of the game we are playing;
4) Subtly lay the groundwork for story-gaming.
Thanks for any leads.