New Player Help in Dragon's Dogma. This is a guide to help new players understand the concepts of this large and deep game.
One of the first things you do in the game is create your player character and your pawn. There are no multiple save files on Dragon's Dogma so make sure to put enough effort into your character and pawn for you to feel satisfied with them for at least a good 30 or so hours into the game because you will not get another chance to change them until you start a new game+, or if you have the rift crystals you can purchase the ability to edit your character.
Changing Vocations is possible at the Union Inn in Gran Soren. Once you've purchased a vocation initially you can swap to it for no cost. Don't be hesitant to explore the different vocations early on to give you a chance to develop them fully.
Choosing the Vocations of your Pawns is crucial to a balanced attack. Choose a pawn that compliments your selected vocation, so that you can support each other. If you choose a Fighter, consider making your pawn a Mage and vice versa. Your main pawn is more vital than the support pawns so design them with care! Don't be afraid to revisit the Knowledge Chair at Inns to adjust your main pawns Inclinations to better match your desired playstyle, or purchase Elixirs from Johnathan's Rift Shop which can be used on the go.
At the onset stick to the main roads and daylight travel. The game gets more difficult off the roads and especially when it turns to night. It's a good idea to rest at an inn before heading out to maximize your health and healing in Combat and will start your day fresh in the morning. If you must go out at night, be sure to carry plenty of oil in flasks to keep your Lantern lit, and think about equipping your pawns with lanterns as well. Be sure to explore the areas you visit thoroughly, there is a lot to loot in both the towns and overworld.
Save often. This is an open world game that will only auto save during quest steps. When you're out and exploring in the larger overworld, a simple misstep off a cliff or an unexpected death at the claws of an enemy (and this happens often) can wipe out the last chunk of time and gameplay since your last save. Avoid that dejected feeling of loss by saving whenever you have cleared an encounter.
Encumbrance happens quickly, so try and make it a point to return to Inns regularly to take advantage of Item storage. You can't carry a terribly large amount of items, but gathering a lot is key to powerful gear Enhancement. Storing everything you loot will help you stay lean and when visiting a smith, any Materials needed will be extracted directly from storage, so you don't need to have the items on you. Use your pawns as pack mules as well, if they die all they are holding will automatically go to your storage. Be mindful of giving them Weapons and Armor however, as these items will be considered gifted to their owners. Combining is a great way to cut down on your inventory and craft valuable consumables.
Ferrystones and Portcrystals are extremely useful fast travel methods in the large world of Gransys. In the Dark Arisen version of the game, you start with an Eternal Ferrystone. Place portcrystals in locations that are long journeys on foot from Gran Soren and/or are places you anticipate traveling to often. Portcrystals can be picked up and relocated.
Rotate support pawns as you level up, and favorite the ones you particularly find useful whether they're from The Rift or you've encountered them walking around the world. Being able to quickly find a specific one when you need it will be a helpful time saver. Try to keep your party as balanced as possible between offense, defense and supportive roles.
Don't ignore Notice Board Quests. They are straightforward job Quests that are phrased as "kill certain amount of memories" etc. and are fantastic ways to earn gold doing tasks you would otherwise already be doing.