Hi Khana, Welcome to the Boards!
BW has a strongly implied setting, namely, strongly European medieval. It’s easily hackable up to early 1800’s, I think. Particularly if you use Human lifepaths only.
The nonhuman lifepaths are designed to emulate Tolkien’s Middle Earth (and after having played every single Middle-Earth RPG ever made, it’s my opinion that BW gets it closest in feel to the source material)
As for playing with the first 74, try lifting a character off of the Crucible subforum. There’s tons there, and they’ll give you the number mechanics.
You can play with the first 74pages, if you make sure that the intent and consequences are clear when you roll. Want to kill somebody? Ignore armor, weapons and damage rules. You roll your weapon skill in a versus test with your enemy. If you win, the enemy is dead. Period. That was your intent.
The key is in having the opposition declare intents like: capture, disarm, injure, run off, drive back, etc. to avoid every single roll be life or death.
At some point, you can start adding in subsystems. Maybe try Bloody Versus, where weapons, armor, shields, etc influence the rolls. That’ll lead to some injuries. So read the Anatomy of injury chapter then.
It can be a very organic progression, until you eventually incorporate all.
The 3 main conflict subsystems are quite similar in some respects. Try Duel of Wits first. Then Fight! then Range and Cover. No hurry.
My advice is to start with an all human group, no Sorcery, no Faith, no monsters. Some nice fighter-types and build up from there. It takes a while to grokk everything.
If you like podcasts, try Shaun Hayworth’s Fire in the Garden, where he goes in depth into every chapter. http://fireitg.libsyn.com/ or check his YouTube channel for examples of gameplay. Try his Olengrav videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/shayworth/playlists
And this forum is an excellent resource. Ask away!