Alright, finished the game recently myself so got a wealth of information compared to when I entered!
Not going to go into too much detail, I think part of the fun of games like these is figuring a lot of stuff out. But some stuff is really important to know to be able to function without rage-quitting. (<- Speaking from personal experience)
First things first, basic survival in combat. You start with VERY low health, MANY enemies can kill you in a single swing. Test EACH enemy type. Every enemy type (except humans) only deals an exact amount of damage, and sufficient armor can reduce this damage to 5! If you know how hard an enemy type can hit, you also know how threatening it is to you. Almost all enemies deal Melee damage, so if you focus on getting items that increase melee damage (Leather Armor, Leather Belt, Valentino's Ring and a Harness Amulet which can be bought from Hakon or Jora in the Khorinis marketplace) you will find yourself doing far better against nearly all enemies!
Second, you will, probably without exception, find yourself in melee at some point, so you will want to be able to fight in melee! The most important thing for any character to do initially is to increase One-Handed melee or Two-Handed melee (and I personally recommend One-Handed overall as it's much more responsive and player-friendly) to base 29 and then by 5 Learning Points (in this way you save 4 Learning Points). The reason why this is so important is because your damage, which is calculated by WeaponDamage+Strength, is DIVIDED by 10 if you don't get a critical hit (your critical hit chance is the number next to your One or Two-Handed skill on your character menu).
Third, and this is a bit more esoteric, gather a nice load of gold and donate 50 gold to Daron, in the Khorinis marketplace, repeatedly. He will give you a range of permanent boosts, including a huge amount of health, massively increasing your survivability!
More generalized advice: In the world of Gothic, there are many dangerous foes. Some are simply too dangerous for you to handle when you first come across this. That's okay, you will get FAR more powerful as the game progresses and you get better armor.
If your experience is anything like mine, this should give you a much easier start and allow you to figure things out without getting annihilated quite as much as you would have been.
Post edited April 04, 2015 by bushwhacker2k