This list is way biggerer than I expected, but I got a lot of help and it has blossomed. You may need to be familiar with *some* Neverwinter jargon. I recommend a touch of time in game... follow the quest paths, get to maybe level 8 and then come back. You won't damage your character. If things go well, come back a few times as you gain experience and things that made no sense early on will hopefully have more meaning. Good luck. If you feel something is missing or confusing, I'd be delighted to clarify.
This guide is meant to provide useful tips that aren't obvious to new players. It's one person's opinion. There are many ways of doing the Neverwinter Adventuring bidness. The dream is to provide enough info that when a reader hits a familiar topic they go "Oh, yah, I remember getting screwed by that." or "I wish I knew that a while ago" or "This guy's an idiot... but let me think about that, anyway."
I'm not intending to post "the obvious", my apologies if you feel that I have. Unless it's something that I've screwed up, or against which I've seen many people bang their heads, in the name of brevity, I'm leaving it out. [ed: Brevity. HAH. Wrong Thread.]
Want a *quick* rundown on the classes? Redditor cacktusjack made a great summary right here.
PC - Need in-game help? Use the unofficial chat channel, type "/channel_join NW_Newbie"
PC - There is a chat channel dedicated to players who don't use exploits or cheats. Join via "/channel_join NW_Legit_Community"
Only use scrolls to identify gear (and sell it) to the point where you can get your first mount for 5gp. (If you pay Zen for a mount, then there is no reason to hoard gold by identifying and selling gear.)
After that, don't ID anything green your characters can't use. Exception: Refinement of Artifact Gear begins at level 60.
Understand how trade-able an item is before you get it.
"BoP" = Bind on Pickup. As soon as your character touches it, it's staying with them until you sell (not trade), use, salvage, or discard it.
"BoE" = Bind on Equip. Trade-able. Anything on the Auction House is BoE. You can get it, pass it between your characters or resell it, up to when your character wears or uses some aspect of it.
"BtA" = Bind to Account. You can't put it on the Auction House, but you can move it between your characters.
Also - The Devs have goofed a few times during special events by mislabeling BoP companions as BoE. People have been "burnt." Before you spend hours grinding for a companion, take a few seconds to search the interwebs for related news.
Don't skip the quests in Blacklake District or Neverdeath Graveyard, they give you free bags.
You can also get a bag from the Benign Order of the Third Eye mini-campaign.
Dragon Cult 20-slot bags have often been a better buy on the AH than the Bags of Holding from the Zen Store.
Bags you buy are NOT transferable between your characters, and they may bind immediately, and without warning, if you have an open bag slot.
The bag from the Dragonborn pack can be claimed on all characters.
Do not buy a Bag of Holes.
An item is Recommended when it has a gold glow around the icon in your inventory.
Equipment that is "Recommended" is not always better. The game uses a simple sum of statistics and it fails to include key aspects in the calculation.
Shiny purple enticing lockboxes drop during battles and may have prizes inside. You may purchase keys to open them (usually about 125 Zen (~50 kAD) per key/lockbox). I can't speak to how good the lockbox loot is. I can say that it is perfectly OK to discard the lockboxes, if you choose not to buy the Zen keys. I have one slot in my bag dedicated to them. Eventually, when the game offers a new style, I discard the old pile. Some lockboxes have become quite valuable when held long enough for them to become rare.
Do not buy Zen or Astral Diamonds through 3rd party dealers. You will be permanently banned.
Don't use Astral Diamonds to buy from the in-game vendors if you haven't first compared prices on the Auction House. If an item is on the AH, it is probably cheaper than the game's built-in vendors like the "Wondrous Bazaar."
Don't buy anything in AD that you can buy in Gold. Gold is usually only valuable at the beginning of the game, the most exciting things will be bought with Zen or Astral Diamonds. At level 70, you will probably have more Gold than you know how to spend.
The seals from Bounty Hunters in each zone are not valuable, they get you equipment that would be good for a character who hasn't completed the tasks needed to earn the equipment. (Seals of the Elements and Seals of the Protector are exceptions).
Send Gold to your other characters using the Bank in Protector's Enclave. Open your Bank window. At the bottom of the pop-up, there are fields to deposit and withdraw Gold.
Pass Astral Diamonds between characters using the Astral Diamond Exchange. On the character with AD, create an offer to Buy Zen at a price of 50 AD each. Then, with the "Listings" tab, cancel the offer. On the needy character, in the "Buy Zen" tab, click the "Withdraw" button.
You don't have to do any of the team dungeons or skirmishes as you level, though you may miss a title. Some of the gear you win is good respective to the level.