Hello, hopefully you're reading this before you start playing the game, as Shintolin is not very beginner friendly. Not to mention the endless factional warfare.While it is most important to when you first start playing to understand the mechanics it is imperative that you understand the political situation among the factions and have an idea of which one you would like to be a member of. Do not fret if you've already spawned a character belonging to a town though, you may change your allegiance.
If you have already spawned your character look for that 0/12 thing, that records how "full" you are, if you have not spawned your character yet don't worry it's easy to find and not important for you to see to understand it. There are various foods that can be found in the game, each time you "use" one on yourself(eat it) you gain +1 to your hunger thing, so if your hunger was 0/12 and you ate an onion it would become 1/12. There are three hunger ticks per irl day(the day may reset before yours does, time zones and all that) each of them will subtract 1 from your hunger thing, if you reach 0/12 hunger every subsequent hunger tick will damage your health and temporarily decrease your max health(eating raises it, the max possible is 50). It is relatively simple to get three food a day in any circumstances, so don't worry much about it.
When your health is 0 you are dazed, when dazed you only gain 1 ap an hour and cannot do many of the things you could otherwise do(attacking, building, etc). However it is not as simple as just getting your health up from 0 to become undazed, as you cannot be healed while dazed, to become undazed a poultice or tea must be used on you by an undazed player. When revived via tea or poultice your health will be low and unless whoever revived you also heals you, you may easily become dazed again, this leads to the occasional frustrating moment of logging on to find that you have been dazed revived and then dazed once more. You can of course daze other players by repeatedly attacking them.
You may make your own settlement in this game, it is not recommended though if you do not have a large number of players backing you as doing it by yourself or with a small group takes much work and has been known to cause some players to become attached to their settlement and throw a bitchfest when someone decides that they want to destroy it. This game is meant to be played in a group, it is heavily recommended that you join an existing one unless you are from a online community that has the numbers to create their own defensible settlement.
When picking a group you should take into account how you want to play, some groups are more war like than others, a good place to learn a bit about settlements before you even start playing the game is by going to the rankings page and then follow the links to each settlement's homepage, it is important to note though that some settlement's descriptions can be misleading and it may be a good idea to go on the forums and read some of the recent bickering in which the groups will tend to exhibit their general philosophy.
You can have three characters in shintolin, they should never get near each other, move to the spots where the others used to be or attack the same people. Really, they should stay really far away at all times.
The morality of attacking people Edit
For some reason there are many crazy people in this game who take it very personally when you attack them or their settlement, they will throw a bitchfest. It's best to either ignore them or laugh at them.
Really, do not feel bad about attacking people, this is a game. That said going around attacking everyone will get you a reputation and if you don't have friends you may start having a hard time finding a rev.