I want to love this game but my suckiness at it really gets in the way. I often find myself doing the dumbest shit and dying quickly. I'm past 50 characters at this point and have only beaten the first boss thus far. I've fought the forest boss but after several minutes of attacking it, its health was only down by a fifth. My runs aren't exactly going great either. My last 5 runs all went rather poorly as I didn't even make it past the first area and only managed to make between 250 - 350 in gold.
@mrcraggle: At a certain point (by which I mean as early as possible), I recommend equipping like 3 Bounty runes, and also fully upgrading the thing in the castle that eventually gives you +50% gold. Then you start just ripping through stat increases at a much better rate, even on runs where you die kinda early. Seriously, once you do this, it will seem inconceivable that you could ever have a run where you only make 250-350 gold.
As far as being terrible at the game, hey man, practice practice practice. You'll get there.
Also, for the forest boss, if you use your non-Bounty rune slots on Vampirism runes, you'll gain back health every time you kill his summons, provided you can kill them quickly enough (1-2 hits) that they don't overwhelm you (that is sort of required for forest boss). Once you can do that, his attack is probably the easiest to avoid of all the bosses, since it's always just a regular cross, and as long as you're on a different elevation than him and not directly under him, you'll always be fine.
But then, I'm sure lots of people think my Bounty/Vampirism rune build is super boring (it is), but it works pretty well at least until you get to New Game Plus. And while we're talking super boring: until you invest heavily in Intelligence and MP (which most new players don't), you're probably not having a fun time with any of the spellcasting classes since they only really work when you have a bigger mana pool to rely on and your spells do good damage. So if you've invested more in the Strength HP side of the skill tree, try to favour Shinobi/Hokage on your next couple runs, at least to help you just murder everything in the castle (and potentially the forest). Hokage gradually becomes less appealing as the game goes on because you upgrade your crit chance significantly (which counts for nothing on Hokage), but +Strength +move speed is a pretty good bonus, as long as you don't turn it into a crutch.