Since I get an annoying "authentication failed" when trying to connect to my beloved chatrooms (do I need to repeat which ones? ), I'm writing this journal to suggest some tutorials I would have tried at the beginning if I knew they existed back then. (I'm not sure this is grammatically correct )
In the sense that there are no extra plugin to add and beginners can follow them quite easily (with a basic knowledge of Apophysis).
Oh, well, it's not that I've been making fractals for eons (I started in January 2012), but take this as an opinion.
To begin with, the tutorial I followed to make my first fractal:
is the Bipolar tutorial by Loony-Lucy.
I should make another bipolar fractal with this technique and see where I can get.
1) Painting a fractal, Part 1 by ChaosFissure
This is really simple, but you can reach great effects! With this tutorial, you can make some sort of starscape, sky, clouds and whatsoever.
The only variation involved is Linear, and that's amazing, isn't it?
(you can add some extra effects with other plugins, but it's not strictly necessary)
2) Julian Set Outline Tutorial by ineedfire
This is for Apophysis 2.08, but it works perfectly even on Apophysis7x.15C (because the bipolar plugin is default in this version, didn't try with previous versions!).
And that's the only difficulty, since there are some features that are differently placed or named in these two versions. Other than that, I found it simple enough!
3) Built-in Creativity by guagapunyaimel
Only built-in aka default variations!!! I mean, wow! This tells us that you don't need extra super outstanding plugins to make a very good looking and cool fractal! You can do that even with the minimum!
Obviously, you have to make the fractal yours with variations, tranforms, camera settings and so on, but I think these three are a good starting point.