things can be tough when you start out.. (so ill give you some tips, and minor spoilers)
I suggest grabbing monty and Xzar, and sticking to the cobblestone, till you get to the friendly arm.
Use Drain spell, and magic missle wands to disrupt spell casters.. this is hugely key for much of the game.
Grab jaheria and kelid inside, do the quests at the inn.. then finally head south to beregost.. Try to do just the quests in town, anything that sends you outside of town just wait till later. (take the quests if you like and just save them as you can finish a quest when ever you want, outside of very few timed quests)
Try to get 5 heal potions, and a couple potions of antidote on every character.. You will be glad you did.. (well worth spending the money early on these) and head south to naskel.. You can explore the road maps, But be carefull. Using monty at night to explore isnt a bad idea...
Just stick to the what the chapter tells you for 1-2.. explore after that, but i would stick to the maps that are close to the center road.. aka the maps that are only one travel zone from the main road you followed to nashkel the ones 2 maps away (or the distance of 2 maps, aka stuff that is more than a couple hours travel time from your main road are harder and not a bad idea to wait till chap 3, even chap 5 isnt bad to wait for them..
Chapter 3 is the time i would suggest you start picking up new NPC's (unless you really like your party and were able to keep everyone alive till now) The default party of 6 you have is actually pretty decent through the game, especially if you Dual class imoen to a mage at level 6..
if you choose new NPC's this lets you level up to 2-3 and typically the new characters joining you will be a bit higher level.. so you are not starting at level 1 any more..
Leanring to use spells is Key, and ranged weapons are a must..
Good NPC's to get to join you,, Kaigan, Branaween are very helpfull early party additions. check out a list of NPC's that can join you.. Wait to speak with them till you want them to join your party. If you wait till you are higher level, they bump up in level. It is much better to wait, and get them when you need them, vrs talking early and leaving them at an inn..
Saving after any long dialoge, or before you enter buildings is also a good idea..
Post edited March 29, 2013 by JeCy