Before You Start
Rebirth of the Night introduces very new and different concepts than vanilla and other modpacks. While you may have many questions about many different topics. Always check JEI first. When you open your inventory, use the search bar in the bottom right to find your item. Press R to find the recipe for the item or press I to find what items can be crafted with the item.
How to get Basic Tools and Gear (Rotn 3.0)
In this version of Rotn, punching trees will not give you wood. To get wood and start the progression stages, you must make a crude axe with a plant fiber, stick and rock. Then, you have the abillity to mine wood. But hold up, you can't seem to craft a wooden pickaxe? To mine stone, a player needs to make a stone pickaxe out of three flint instead of three stone. Once they make the stone pickaxe, a player has the ability with his stone pickaxe to get stone tools, gear and advance in Rotn.
The First Day - Making a base
You have about 20 minutes to prepare before the first night approaches. Before then, you must always be on the lookout for good base locations. Remember, mobs will breach your base if it's not in a good location. You should create an initial wall around your base that's at least 10 or so blocks away from the base. Make sure you put torches on the inside, too. When night approaches, steer clear of the walls and stay close to the center.
Another option is to create an underground base. If you dig far enough down, mobs won't sense you in your base. Just be careful for caves that may be near your base, as the mobs may dig through your walls.
If you choose to live on a mountain or hill, be careful of harpies, who spawn on mountains and other high places.
It is recommended you don't put torches around the entrance of your base until you have enough gear to fight, as zombies investigate light sources, and will alert other zombies if they notice something suspicious. For example, the entrance to an underground base from the surface should not have torches. Another thing to possibly pay attention to is how much noise you are making. Placing blocks and mining will cause nearby mobs to investigate the area. However, this usually isn't a big deal unless you're detonating TNT, or a creeper explodes.
If you've done any of these options, you should be safe for your first night.
You can then start looking at options to expand your settlement.