W&W is, as the name implies, a game about people getting into fights wielding weapons or spells. W&W is somewhere between a roleplaying game and a board game, in that each player has a "playing piece" (here called a character) that represents, in some way, a person.
W&W uses six-sided dice. You'll need at least three of them, perhaps as many as six or seven (but probably no more than that); these dice will be referred to in the text as "d6" for six-sided die. Two dice will be referred to as 2d6, three dice as 3d6, and so on. Bonuses or penalties to the dice roll are referred to as such; 2d6+1 means to roll two six-sided dice and add one to the total, while 3d6-2 means to roll three dice and subtract two. (Other roleplaying games use dice with differing numbers of sides, and refer to those dice similarly; we use the notation here out of habit, even though d6 are the only die type we use in this game.)
The game is suitable for two or more players, and can be played in three modes: player vs. player, player vs. player with a referee (here called a gamemaster or GM) or multiple players cooperating plus a GM. In player vs. player, each player creates a character and fights it out; in a player vs. player with GM situation, the gamemaster controls the environment as well as any additional characters not run by the players (known as nonplayer characters or NPCs); these NPCs can include monsters, if present. If playing cooperatively with multiple players and a GM, one or more players create a character, and one person acts as the gamemaster and creates adventures and NPCs, makes decisions based on tough calls where there might be a question about the interactions between character abilities and the rules, and the like.
Types of Games
Generally, W&W will be played as either an arena combat game, a dungeon adventuring game, or as a replacement for another fantasy roleplaying game ruleset.
Arena games: When creating an arena, it can be sufficient to draw a playing field on hex paper. It's recommended that the area contain plenty of obstacles, and an environment conducive to being used in combat (anything from sand that can be kicked into an opponent's eyes to old, rusted, weapons (or pieces thereof) laying around, bones and body parts from previous combats, bloodstains, etc.). Arena games are good for player vs. player type games, with or without a referee, or as a sideline to a bigger adventure or campaign. Arena games should include a basic goal or victory condition other than just killing off the other side, as well as a beginning setup (including where characters start, their basic weapons and armor, etc.). Wargame-style scenarios can also be treated as arena games, especially with multiple players on a team and a GM.
Dungeons: A dungeon is an underground maze or cavern system, usually made up of rooms connected by corridors or passageways, containing monsters to fight against, traps and other hazards to avoid, and treasures to collect. Treasures can be either monetary in nature or magical (these can range from magical weapons to staves containing their own spell effects to ancient artifacts to pretty much anything the GM can think of or import from another game system). Dungeons are usually drawn or mapped out on square-ruled graph paper.
Replacement for another game: GMs and players can use adventures as is, converting opponents using the conversion rules at the end of the document.
Movement and Distance
Combat and movement take place on a hexagonal grid. Two types of distance are referred to in W&W: hexes and multihexes. A hex is simply one space on the map; a multihex refers to one hex plus the six hexes immediately surrounding and touching it. One hex is approximately one yard (or one meter); one combat turn is approximately one second.
If using a square grid, one multihex is a group of nine squares arranged three-by-three; it might prove useful to set one multihex to be 10 feet by 10 feet. In a square grid, assume that for lateral movement, one diagonal square is equal to two squares of movement distance, but for areas assume that one space diagonally is equal to one hex (one yard or meter).