There have been many, many attempts at blending role-playing games and strategy games. Until recently, almost all fell foul of the fundamental mismatch between playing co-operatively in the imagination and competing on a board.
The latest iteration is Pathfinder: the Adventure Card Game. Based on the famous role-playing game of the same name it may be the purest distillation of the adventure game concept yet. It’s smart, simple and packed with potential variety. But for all the benefits it boasts it trips on perhaps the most basic hurdle in game design: it just isn’t terribly interesting to play.