I'll begin by saying that I feel my level of expertise matters here, and so I have about a year worth of experience as a programmer in the C# language and most of the .NET framework as a whole, but have scarcely worked with databases at all throughout my career so far. Can't exactly say why. Either way, I'm a bit of a beginner, although SQL/LINQ I am capable of working with once I have this question resolved. Moving on...
At home, I am developing a single-player (so only one person needs to access it) turn-based RPG in XNA. I have a lot of the logic done and the time has come for me to begin building a database for it.
THE REQUIREMENTS: There will be both dynamically written data not included with the program (such as the location in the world at which a player saved his game, that he may load in the same place) and read data that needs to be capable of being distributed easily with the program (such as a table containing stats of every monster).
THE DESIRED BUT OPTIONAL PERKS: Beyond these absolute requirements, ease of use is a second priority I want to focus on. My amatuer nature doesn't want me digging around on ground I am too unfamiliar with.
MY ATTEMPTS AT RESEARCH: I understand Access to be a simple-to-use (though oft frowned upon) choice that could work based on needing only one user to access the database at a time. SQL Server could also work, but I understand it to be more difficult to use based on my needs. And in both cases, I am not sure if there are complications associated with the distrubution of pre-loaded data with the programs. In this case, I think I should use an XML file to hold the data I want the game to come with, but I am not sure. Amidst all of this, I have also considered creating the .dbml right there in Visual Studio because it seems the simplest, but same issue: I don't know the limitations of capability and distribution.
I have tried to outline what I know and what I need to accomplish, as well as some of the options I have attempted to research, but ultimately, my knowledge has holes in it I can't find the answers to and I can't form a conclusive answer. Thus, I ask you kind people, based on the above, what is my best option for how to start building my game's database?