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Leverage Roleplaying Game
 
$14.99
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
10 5
4 3
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Leverage Roleplaying Game
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Leverage Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Samuel K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/14/2014 00:14:24
As a huge fan of the show, I originally bought this thinking only to plunder it for setting info and adventure ideas to use with a different system. Since then, I've become intrigued by the Cortex Plus system, and have been plotting to run it out of the book. In preparing to do so, I've come to find that the core rules, while solid, are often unclear, and perhaps not as complete as I would like, even as a fan of rules-light games. I eventually bought the Firefly RPG, which also runs on the Cortex Plus Action system, but a more, shall we say, evolved version of it, and plundered it for a few things, and now feel as though I have a solid set of rules under which to run Leverage.
Rules aside, the rest of the content of the book is fantastic. The random Job (i.e., adventure) generator is a thing of beauty, and all the Fixer (i.e., GM) advice is worth the price of the book alone. Even if you aren't interested in the Cortex Plus system, the vast majority of the book could still be of great use to you as you develop your own Leverage games using your favorite system (I could see it working very well with Savage Worlds, for example). I've seen some complaints that the episode guides at the end of the book are filler, but I prefer to think of them as adventure seeds and inspiration.
The whole book really comes off as a labor of love. If you're a fan of the show, you'll instantly recognize all the detail and references by writers who are clearly fellow fans. The PDF is fairly cheap too, so you're really getting your money's worth.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Tony K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/07/2013 01:33:41
Weis Productions have an incredibly good Talent. They can create a great RPG from an existing property and have it moulded perfectly to that properties world. Leverage is no exception.

The Leverage system is all about 3 things. The Same three things that define the show and make it stand apart from the others. A Good Caper, A Team of 5 people with specific skills who *get a chance to show off their skills every episode* and Flashbacks being used as a tool to wow the audience, create a good twist and progress the story in exciting ways.

The Book devotes a HUGE section of it's pages to telling the Fixer (the Game master) how to run a good caper. From how to structure the session like a TV 5-part Act, How to create good villains and how to challenge every Team member. A lot of games fall down with weak GM sections, Not this book. I could recommend a GM buy and read this book just for the Fixer section of the book.

Giving each player a Role and letting that role have it's own abilities may sound a bit like using 'Classes' but it isn't. If you make a Hacker he still has to decide which other roles he could perform in a pinch so he might be a Hacker who can fight, a Hacker who can out-think or a Hacker who talk his way through anything. And the best part is that it's the Fixers JOB to give you opportunities to shine, and sometimes the opportunity to do things other then what your best at!

Flashbacks are the most unique part of the system, because they allow players to almost re-write the session. Normal if a player forgot to grab the security codes to get inside the building he would have to convince the GM 'Well obviously I would have thought to do that' - Not in Leverage. Instead the Player creates a Flashback scene where he DID grab the security codes, and the Fixer might ask for a roll or create a complication as a result. Flashbacks mean the Fixer doesn't need to worry to much about accidental Barring the PC's way when he creates a cleaver obstacle, because a creative player can add resources using a flashback!

My only criticisms is that the game is /A specific to one contemporary genre, so it's not to easy to use for other games. B/ A little light on the rules side. However if you DO want to tailor the game to another setting look at other Weis games (especially the core Cortex rules) for an easy solution. As for the light rules, that just depends on what your players like, For me and my gamers.....it's pretty perfect.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Wendy M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/11/2013 09:28:29
I rave about this game every chance I get. I'm getting ready to run a game at a large event, as well as starting up my second campaign season. Starting out as an expert in your field, rather than a level 1 fighter with a crappy sword has a lot of appeal. The rules are easy for players to pick up and complex enough to give the Fixer (GM) many opportunities to challenge the players.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Hero A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/19/2013 14:28:42
To get things straight off my chest, I'm a huge fan of Leverage the TV show, and a hardened RPGer. However I'm not much of a fan of the Cortex system, I have The Cortex main rules and the Serenity game but really I think the Savage World system is better. This game has changed my view of the Cortex system, all the stuff I never really liked has been stripped away and we have a lean, mean system that reflects the TV show very well.
The system has been modded to perfectly emulate the concept of a crew pulling heists. Plot Points which I never thought were covered in enough detail in previous games, get more detail and involve the players more.
Attributes range from d4 (bad) to d12 (amazing), as do the five skills (yes five skills! Leverage breaks a crew into 5 specialists and the game follows suit). Everything is kept lean yet there is still plenty of dice rolling to stop your hands from getting bored.
MW have also produced plenty of supplements to expand characters and also provide much needed campaigns to get a Gm started, all I of which I can recommend.
My advice, get your players to watch a few episodes first, let then them go rob some bad guys.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/14/2012 20:40:36
I discovered the 'Leverage' television show through the roleplaying game and as a matter of due diligence thought I should watch a few episode to understand the context, mood and feel of the game. Now, after digesting four seasons, it's time to come back to the RPG. In many cases, it is impossible to fully appreciate an RPG based on an intellectual property with only one of the two creative outputs - and 'Leverage' is no exception. I think that without an appreciation for the television show, you'll find it very difficult to grapple with some of the storytelling tools presented.

From the outset, I had high hopes for the game. I own 'Serenity' and 'Smallville' and have taken enthusiastically to not only the Cortex system, but the underlying philosophy of MWP's game design. Their games are designed to be played as a team, co-operatively, with fun being explicitly the responsibility of everyone at the table. Players are encouraged to identify when scenes allow others to shine, and to help everyone at the table achieve their full potential. 'Leverage' mentions in the character creation section that should players chose to create characters in isolation, the game will feel more like a group of 'prison inmates' than a team game; and I couldn't agree more.

Anyone familiar with Cortex will have few surprises along the way - although it leans more to the simplicity of 'Serenity' than the more complex 'Smallville'. Players select one character archetype - Mastermind, Grifter, Hitter, Thief or Hacker (each archetype embodied on the screen each week) and then assigning dice types to each to determine priority. There are the usual Assets, Distinctions, Talents and the like which round out the character and it does appear to be quite simple to design and make a character. However, as there isn't a static list of traits (with the exception of Distinctions) players are encouraged to design descriptive traits for their character.

The balance comes in with the sidebar explaining that all traits should have a negative and positive side - and the other players and the Fixer (the name given to the GM) should determine if they are unbalanced or too broad. For example, in the TV show Nate (the resident Mastermind) has the trait 'Drunk'. Whilst this does have very negative connotations, it does mean that Nate could use the trait to assist in the roll to impersonate a drunk, or even name exotic alcoholic beverages. On the flipside, the Fixer could use it as a temptation to derail Nate whilst on a job.

Plot Points are included here too, and make for an interesting interplay between Fixer and players - essentially giving characters a kick-back when something bad is invoked against them, and then being able to be spent on certain perks during the game. Character advancement is relatively simple, with characters spending 'Jobs' (ie, one story) to purchase advances. Conversely, a character can simple leave the log of Jobs on their character sheet. By doing so, they can call into play experiences from previous jobs to give them either a boosted roll, or an attempted one, if they have an relevant experience. For example, if a character needed to ski down a mountain slope during one Job, they could recall the experience in a later Job to either give them an extra dice in the roll, or (if they don;t have a relevant skill) invoke it to get a roll.

Running this game will require a good working knowledge of the structure of an episode of the television show, as I mentioned before. The players and the Fixer are expected, during the game, to look for Flashback Scenes that can be used to wrap up the Job, or progress it. An example might be a scene where a character rifles through the Marks' desk drawer, and finds a gun and some paperwork. They might photocopy the paperwork whilst playing the scene, but during a Flashback Scene state that they also emptied the gun of bullets. When the Mark is waving his pistol at the team, the player announces the Flashback Scene to frame the action of pulling the six rounds out of the jacket pocket as a frustrated Mark tries to fire an empty gun. I would imagine that this aspect of the game will take a little time before it is run smoothly by all at the table. The main piece of advice that I'd give here is that the mechanic is present to advance the story and make for some really cool scenes - it is not designed as a carte blanche 'auto-win' and should be never used as such.

Overall, I loved the game and look forward to putting together my first Job. As my group have the knack of turning any game into one about teams, this will suit them perfectly. There is plenty of advice for the aspiring Fixer (being a Shadowrun fan, I'm looking forward to actually being called a Fixer), including a wide range of random tables for generating Marks' attributes, motivations and the reason for the Job. I have since noticed that MWP have produced an introductory module ('The Quickstart Job' at $1.99) and I'll definitely be investing in it to give me an example Job before I start to design my own. Given the pricing of 'The Quickstart Job' I'd consider it a no-brainer.

This leads me to my only gripe and that is the lack of the near-ubiquitous 'module in the back of the book' that we see with most core rulebooks. MWP did an excellent job of including one in the recent 'Marvel Superheroes RPG' which set the tone well, and helped to introduce players and GMs alike to the game. 'Leverage' would have benefited from this too.

The writing style is very light, is conversational in tone and does a great job in explaining all of the concepts on the first pass. All of the art is taken from the television show, and is used quite sensibly - it is always apparent why a particular still was used on a given page. I've printed out my PDF copy, and on greyscale it was not a great drain on my ink cartridge.

Despite the lack of intro module, I'll still give this five stars. From the group approach to making characters, the high-end narrative style of the game, and the fact that it forces all characters into the limelight at least once per Job makes this a winner. I can imagine in the near future that my group will be enjoying a 'Leverage' marathon on our DVDs, followed by a really fun game. I can't wait to see what more this product line has in store, and this type of product constantly reaffirms MWP as a high-quality publisher of gaming titles.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/08/2012 21:17:05
While heist stories really aren't my thing, I wanted to see what Cortex Plus could do on the action side of things.

The game is solid. Each character is based on a combination of Traits (think Abilities in typical fantasy games) and Roles (how good they are at the different jobs in the team). This is a little too much like classes for my tastes, but it works here and they have some great discussion on how a character fits into a team with different mixes of Roles.

There are two things about this game that really shine, to me. The first is the Recruitment Job. It takes place at the end of character creation and is meant to help build the characters, who have been individuals until this point, into a working team. Each character gets a moment to shine and all the other players get to witness that.

The second part is the Experience system. I absolutely love the way it's done, here. Each job gets a title and that title is listed on the "Record". During game sessions, a player can make a Callback to a specific job, having a quick flashback to a lesson learned and then explains how that lesson helps them get out of the predicament in which they find themselves. And it gives a bonus! And you can spend these jobs for permanent increases to your character! This is actually my favorite part of the system.

If you like Heist stories, I suggest you give this game a shot. It's solid and looks like it really supports what a Heist is about.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/08/2011 20:56:08
Ok, Leverage is basically a mix of spy-fiction and crime-drama (from the criminal's perspective), basically Robin Hood in a modern setting.

The Cortex system works with a mix of simplicity and complexity. The dice rolls and rules are simple and fun, though the character creation takes longer than I'd like, and if someone's gone from the group or joins the group later you'd better have a pre-made character or a lot of time (and maybe cell phones, though most people already have those).

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/10/2010 15:46:20
The Good: It's Leverage. Like, almost to a "T"...and if Smallville was too "indie" for you, this one is a bit more traditional.

The Bad: A couple of wonky and borderline contradictory spots in the writing. The lack of index is going to suck on the print product, but isn't a huge issue for the PDF.

For a full review, please visit: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2010/11/tommys-take-o-
n-leverage-roleplaying.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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