I started playing this a few days ago. I'm still learning the ropes but it's surprisingly simple to get the hang of if you have a good tutorial. First time I booted up I was like 'Fuck this, what the hell?', but I actually picked it up in no time and given 15 minutes the game really isn't so daunting. Plus it works fine on my stone age work PC!
I've been using this tutorial:
The Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress – Part 1: “WTF?” After Action Reporter
It's for an older build of the game, which is linked in the article, but it's a good starting point as it has the tutorial map with it and also a graphics pack or something to make everything clearer, it's not all ASCII