From the Introduction:
While you could construct a narrative and thus tell a story that is planned out very carefully in advance, you could also use random elements, visual cues or clues and construct one through the participation of several people. Fortunes Wheel is a framework for doing that. It exists first and foremost as an aid for playing role playing games (or "RPGs") that are both fully improvised and made up as you go along, or which use various re-created settings. It can also be used to just tell stories or as a way of kick starting creativity and ideas or for resolving actions.
Most RPGs tend to fall back on giving you a set of rules, often fairly complex ones. In Fortunes Wheel the idea is instead to give you a basic system or tool set tied to some core concepts. In it there are suggestions of some methods, but these are not intended to be hard and fast rules, just possible ways of doing something to push the narrative along.
There are a few simple ideas that have some far reaching consequences at the heart of Fortunes Wheel. If you keep these in mind when playing they will help enhance both your enjoyment and understanding of it. Everything is flexible rather than hard and fixed, so if a method to do something feels right, use it, but if not, use something else (the 'rule' of common sense). This is not a rule book, it is an approach with some examples you can use. Before Dungeons and Dragons (the forerunner of most of these RPGs and story games) saw print instead of all the complex dice rolls one method used to resolve conflicts was playing rock, paper, scissors, stone. Sometimes complexity and rules can really help, but they can also get in the way and limit you.