When I started in cbt I had no idea how much money was worth, what I should/shouldn't craft, what equips you get from quests, etc. Some times it's important or perhaps annoying. So, I'm putting some tips together to help things go smoothly for you all.
Gear can be obtained through quests, quest weapons are especially good early on (do the smash enemies with objects quests). The crafted crimson rage set is ok and gives quite good STR for what's available, but expends resources you could use on higher gear. Free rage gloves, helmet, and maybe boots can drop from some bosses I think. You can mail stuff to other characters to share equips /crafted quest items Also, pretty sure level difference plays a big role in survivability when taking hits, so if you die fast to a boss that might be part of it.
There's one early weapon you craft with a gnoll chieftain hammer (iirc) that is required for continuing the story on the second boat (weird). It's outclassed quickly by quest weapons, but if you really want to craft a weapon early, that should be the one. You can farm for leather and stuff on the first boat if you want to craft a lot. It can take awhile though. Also, there should be a merchant who sells wood to craft with, so don't worry about that resource.
Don't craft secondary weapons, they waste resources for crafting things you can't buy. They are cheap enough to just buy. I like the spear the best and there are certain optional tasks that require spear kills from time to time.
For usable items, campfires are very helpful for bosses. They make your equipment regen durability very fast, so it's not likely your stuff will break. Almost required for Fiona to spam counter attack vs bosses. You can bring multiple HP potions in different slots, but they have to be different types. I couldn't get one type of HP potion into multiple slots.
You're allowed to repeat missions for skill points, but get -5 skill points per completion until it zeros out (I think, didn't test rigorously). You get skill books from quests and the store (level limited) and read them to learn the skill. Some early skills need to be ranked up in order to learn certain skill books you find. You may want train those early on so you aren't stuck with skill books you can't use. Not that there aren't enough skill points, it just sucks having to run more missions to use new skills (sometimes 5+, depending). The first 3 are rather low level skills. May have missed a few....
Guard Mastery D is needed for Heavy Stander - can't block big hits until you have this
Guard Mastery C is needed for Counter
Combat Mastery D is needed for Smash Mastery
Combat Respiration D is needed for Stamina
Smash Mastery D is needed for a smash attack (iirc, forget specifics)
Battle will D is needed for Flame of Life (wasn't in cbt?)
Defense D is needed for Stone Skin
Shield Mastery 9 is needed for Large shields
Hammer Mastery E,C is needed for Hammer skills (no hammers were in cbt)
Slip Dash Prof. D is needed for Nimble Dash
Critical D is needed for Gliding Fury
Combat Master D is needed for Smash Mastery
Combat Respiration D is needed for Stamina
Defense Mastery D is needed for Stone Skin
Lightning Fury might need Gliding Fury 9 (Rank A + 1) (wasn't in cbt)
I think needs scythe mastery and a little mp regen? (probably not playable on day 1)
Some skills will give you new attacks, etc at rank 9.
AP (skill points)
AP has a cap, if you don't use it you may miss AP from a dungeon. Also the system is weird, you select one skill then you have to fill it with AP to rank it up before you can skill up any other skills. Careful picking something that needs tons of AP. Sucks when you have new skills to learn with a requirement, but can't get the required skill ranked up because you have 200 more AP to get for your current choice.
There's a skill called "Meditation" that gives you AP about once per hour. It might seem like a good idea to pump the skill and lower the time between free APs, but for TONs of AP points (1000+) you will only lower the time by about 7 Minutes (15%). Later dungeons give more AP and it'd probably be better to wait for that. Making multiple characters early and getting the skill will let you have free APs to distribute every day though.
If we can make them in OB, the info suggests we'll have to run a dungeon with only people that are in the guild to get guild xp. Guild levels might only raise the player cap at first.
When you make it to the second boat, be sure to give this a quick look over:
You can choose between normal or hard difficulty on maps. There's not really any difference as far as rewards go, but monsters have MORE hp in normal mode. Some later bosses have HUGE hp bars in normal mode. In hard mode you can't see hp bars, but bosses definitely die faster. In normal mode enemies attack slower and do less damage and you can bring more of your secondary weapon (good for mining). I suggest sticking to hard mode, it's not that bad. Furthermore, you always want to choose an extra challenge when starting a mission, but the challenge that increases difficulty is sometimes better to be done on normal mode.
/edit Starting minor edits for OB changes.