Because of the Kickstarter, I ordered the first edition Low Life and Savage Worlds Deluxe cheap used. (Sorry you don’t get any money from used books, but I’ll put that money back into your new KS, I swear.)
I’m coming into this with a 2e/3e/Pathfinder/4e background.
What should I read first? Should I dive into LL head on (referencing SW as needed), or should I read SW first, and then move into LL?
I wouldn’t read SWD cover to cover, but I would skim it until you got the jist of the system (you can skip things like vehicle combat or equipment if you are just reading it for Low Life) once you have an Idea of the basics, the supplemental Low Life rules will make much more sense. Maccioniath does bring up a good point, and that is the non rules flavor text of all the Low Life books stands well on its own, and you can read that without any history or experience with savage worlds, and still not lose anything.
As above, yeah. I actually did that myself ages ago, and just read the Low Life book before knowing the rules and would occasionally look up some mechanic when it came to mind. What Andy’s doing now with Whole Hole and the new core book by cramming all the crunch in the back of the book makes that even easier.
That said, on the mechanics side: The tagline, “Fast, Furious, and Fun” pretty much says it all.
If I might be so bold, I’d say that the biggest hurdle might be the damage system, as it isn’t an attrition-based, shave down a block of hit points type of deal. It seems to be a very common headscratcher for those new to Savage Worlds (it confused me a bit at first, anyway), but pretty simple even still. Everything else is a breeze.
But you’ll get to that later. For now, get comfy and enjoy the setting, and feel free to ask as many questions as you wish. There’s a good group of friendly and helpful folks here.
I’d pretty much echo what others have said. There are some important things to call out (that will be updated in the new Low life book) that may not be immediately obvious, not the leas tof which is that “Guts” is no longer a default skill for settings; it’s replaced by a Spirit roll except for settings that specifically reference it like Deadlands. It’s up to the GM but, personally, I wouldn’t use Guts as a separate skill in Low Life.