Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Tommy's Take on Leverage Companions 1, 2 & 3
Though the show has ended, the game must go on. Margaret Weis Productions extends their support for Leverage with a new line of microsupplements!
Leverage Companion #1: Too Many Chefs
Leverage RPG line was finished...but Margaret Weis Productions comes firing back with a new set of microsupplements! Leverage, by its concept, is very niche protectiony, with PCs specializing in one of five roles. This supplement, in PDF for $2.99, addresses crews that have more than one of a given role...say two Hackers, two Hitters or two Grifters. Options are provided for the duplicated roles to combine their talents...as well as an option for one to swoop in in top of the other and steal their glory. A set of Talents are provided which are designed to build off of these situations, such as a Crew Member who lets themselves get taken captured to give their crewmate an opening. There's even one built around two Masterminds working together. The next session takes it to the extreme: A team consisting entirely one role, and how to diversify your crew of Grifters, Hitters or even Masterminds. An optional rule provides extra drama, having the fallout be worse if someone screws up in their secondary role. Again, new Talents are provided that play into this. Sample crews are provided, giving inspiration for All-Grifter, All-Hacker, All-Hitter, All-Thief and All-Mastermind crews.
WHAT WORKS: Leverage is a great idea if you have five players and they are all happy focusing on separate roles...if not, then you have Too Many Chefs. The options are great, with mechanical support to back up PCs otherwise stepping on each other's toes, rather than making the game more difficult.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: Not a lot, here. These aren't situations that'll come up in every game, and this is a low cost extra that'll fill in those gaps for you if it happens.
CONCLUSION: Really good first Companion, starting the series off right. The most potentially frustrating aspect of Leverage is what to do if you have a "non-standard" group...good to see that MWP recognizes that and is here to help.
Leverage Companion #2: Leverage Noir
WHAT WORKS: A very helpful reworking of Talents, especially necessary for the Hacker. Many of the Talents twist the roles thematically, such as the Hitter becoming a much more violent and...final...crew member than what we normally see from Eliot.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: Less useful overall than the first Companion. The GMing section might could have used some beefing up.
CONCLUSION: A good addition to the Companion line, in a very fitting alternate setting. Leverage certainly had some dark moments over the years, so this wouldn't be uncharted territory for the setting, though the darkness was rarely sustained. Highly recomended if you want a darker twist on your Leverage game.
Leverage Companion #3: The Foil
WHAT WORKS: It's a good concept, the recurring nemesis in the Heist game. Providing mechanical support for a Sterling isn't a bad thing, especially as it makes their constant victories slightly less annoying than if it all came at the hands of an NPC.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: First and foremost? The Ur-Example completely violates the first rule of playing a Foil.
CONCLUSION: Sterling never loses. At best, the Leverage crew manages a win-win situation with him. Additionally, playing a Foil would be a bit of a drag, as the Foil is either not going to be in every Job, or it's a series of back and forth PC fights. I certainly applaud Margaret Weis Productions for providing options...I just don't this one really works.