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Subject: Leverage characters rss

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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Played the PNP of this a few times now and enjoy it. A light but thematic co-op in the neighborhood of Flash Point or Forbidden Island. Looking forward to the hard copy.

I noticed a couple of comments on KS asking about some kind of Leverage expansion. I doubt they could get the actual license (or who knows, maybe they can... there was a Leverage RPG made), but regardless, I went ahead and threw together some ideas. I think that the BBC's Hustle (no doubt an influence for Leverage) is a better show, but I did like Leverage, and think that the Leverage group dynamic and characters will work better with the Burgle Bros. system. Hustle was more about the roping and multi-tiered planning, and though I love the characters of Mickey Bricks and Danny Blue, I can't really think of a good way to represent them in this system. (Not ruling a Hustle variant out yet, though.)

So anyway, here's what I have. Just theoretical for now, though I'll try to play test sometime soon. My hunch is that altogether it's overpowered, but I did try to add some negative balances, and the game has been hard to win (barely won once in three tries), so a little handicap might not be bad. Of course, some characters could just be represented with existing roles (e.g., Hacker, Mastermind), but I really like to come up with original ideas, if possible. Whatever is a better fit, thematically, is fine with me, though.

NATE (The Brains)
Nate starts with the Sophie item. Nate has a number of actions equal to the number on the guard die of his current floor. Nate cannot perform Cracking actions, and must be the last one to exit the building.

ITEM: Sophie (The Grifter)
When any Event card is drawn, draw two and choose one, discarding the other.
Discard Sophie to do one of the following:
(1) move a Guard up to three spaces
(2) cancel all alarms on one floor

Hardison (The Hacker)
Hardison starts with the Virus item. During setup, turn the Computer tiles face-up before shuffling the Floor tiles. While in a Computer room, Hardison may spend two actions to draw the top 3 Patrol cards on his floor and rearrange them.

Parker (The Thief)
Parker starts with 4 Stealth tokens. Once a turn, Parker may re-roll all dice used for one Cracking action.

Eliot (The Hitter)
When Eliot loses one of his Stealth tokens, the Guard ends its movement and the Guard die is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 2/3/4), but 2/3/4 cards are then discarded from the Patrol deck.
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Tim Fowers
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Really clever stuff here - mechanically and thematically. Perfect for PNP because you can take images from the show.
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Damon Sledd
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Leverage was one of the first things I thought about when I saw the KickStarter for this... more specifically, the episode where Nate decides to escape a prison. The episode had guards, motion sensors, thermal sensors, and even a helicopter on the roof (sort of).

I'm not sure I'd agree with some of these card abilities, but still a good concept to get behind.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Friendly_Mugger wrote:
I'm not sure I'd agree with some of these card abilities, but still a good concept to get behind.


Well, what are your thoughts? I tried them out once today and it was fun, though I felt like Eliot needs something more or something different. And I think I'll add that Parker needs only 2 actions for deadbolt rooms, or something similar.
 
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Damon Sledd
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Grudunza wrote:
Friendly_Mugger wrote:
I'm not sure I'd agree with some of these card abilities, but still a good concept to get behind.


Well, what are your thoughts?


- I might not make Nate a playable character. But fret not as his influence would be shown through event cards (with titles like "Forget plan B or C. We're on Plan G." and "They're onto us!")

- That would mean Sophie is a playable character. I would make her special ability something like "If Sophie ends her turn on a room tile with a guard, she may choose to remove one alarm token on the same floor. If no alarm tokens are present, she peeks at the top card of the patrol deck, and may choose to play that card. She still loses a Stealth Mask.

I realize this creates a double edged sword as it moves the patrol deck faster, but it can also prevent the guard from heading toward an ally.

- Hardison would not start off with the virus, nor would the computer rooms be seen. The virus would be nice if anyone can get it (flash drives are amazing things). With that said, his abilities would be a bit similar to the Hacker, except instead of adding hack tokens from any other room on the floor, he can add twice the amount of hack tokens for an action. Also, the virus tool is twice as effective if Hardison uses it.

- I agree that Eliot is tricky, and I kind of liked what you had for him. You are right in that he needs something else, so I think he should have the ability to permanently disable deadbolt rooms once he enters them.

- Parker cracking safes is a perfect ability for her. I would give her one other ability: Parker can spend 1 action less for Laser and Deadbolt tiles.

- If that's kind of bad, I have another idea for Parker's other ability: "If another player character is on a tile directly one floor up or one floor down from Parker's current tile, she may spend 2 actions to enter that tile."

That's the great thing about Leverage, though. There are several ways to interpret the characters into a game like this.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I like your ideas for Eliot and Parker, especially the second one, though instead of that, specifically, maybe something like any room on the outside edge of a floor is considered to be stairs for her? As if she is rapelling to get to different floors. Or maybe the same as yours, but either she or the other player can switch floors as long as she spends the 2 actions. She was often having someone else tag along while she zip-lined and such, usually to their terror.

I prefer Nate to be an active character, and I like how he is more background at first (2 actions), but as things get more critical, he has more of a direct effect on things with more actions. But he also has to be the last one out, as he often has some final confrontation or statement to make as their plot is resolving. Sophie is my least favorite character from the show, so not having her as a character is a personal preference, but her specialty was in grifting and acting to be influential to people and situations, so I see that in her card's ability to mitigate events and potentially distract guards.

Hardison's effects, eh, I suppose mine are more of a general hodge-podge of computer-y type things. Certainly he planted viruses, though, so I think that is a fitting item for him to have, though a general ability to hack better than everyone else is also very apt. And him knowing where the computer rooms are addresses the idea that they would usually have some advance prep before doing a job. In my playtest, his ability to rearrange Patrol cards was really fun and useful, though it's a loose thematic fit (he hacks into the camera system or communication system, maybe?). I guess that could represent that he was in charge of their team's earbud comms, so while connected to the camera systems in a computer room he is able to direct everyone better about how the Guard is moving (abstracted by choosing where the Guard goes for the next 3 patrol cards).
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Damon Sledd
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Grudunza wrote:
I think that the BBC's Hustle (no doubt an influence for Leverage) is a better show, but I did like Leverage, and think that the Leverage group dynamic and characters will work better with the Burgle Bros. system.


On this side note, a big influence for Leverage was the A-Team. Leverage is pretty much the personalities of the A-Team + 1. Nate is Hannibal, Sophie is Faceman, Eliot is B.A., Parker is Murdock, and Hardison is the +1. Of course, instead of explosions everywhere, Leverage is a lot more subtle, but the personalities are there.

Getting back on topic, if you don't like Sophie so much, you could switch her out with Tara, though I think her abilities would be a bit different: instead of advancing the patrol deck like my version of Sophie, she'd just outright set a new location for the guard to go, and the guard must go there before advancing the patrol deck.

I like your other idea for Parker only being able to do her ability in perimeter rooms and/or switching with other characters. I might just add the ability of the regular Hacker to Hardison so that he can still wirelessly hack, but he can double hack IN the computer room.
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George Shafer

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Really like all the suggestions in here also a big fan of Leverage. Been going through my favorite episodes since this campaign began and also finally got around to checking out Hustle with Hulu Plus.

Just chipping in my two cents:
If there's going to be a non-player or otherwise outside the building character, I think it has to either be Nate (running things like he does in several episodes; notably The Nigerian Job and The Inside Job which involve breaking into protected buildings) or Hardison (out in the van keeping an eye on things and hacking to make life easier).

...As I started doing this, I realized I was basically coming up with abilities/new rules that could be grafted on to the existing roles in Burgle Bros to make them into the Leverage team of Hacker, Hitter, Grifter, Thief, Mastermind.

For Hardison/Hacker/(upgraded, well... Hacker)
Hardison has the standard Hacker ability to spend an action to put a hack token on any computer on his floor and also starts with the Lucille item card.
Lucille can not be dropped or given to another player.
While Hardison has Lucille, he can spend 2 actions to place a hack token on any computer room.
Discard Lucille to remove up to cancel up to two alarms. (Car crashes take precedence.)

For Eliot/Hitter/(actually, I don't see an equivalent)
This is just a variation on your original ability that's supposed to represent that guard getting knocked out but not before calling for backup.
When Eliot loses a stealth token, place an alarm on his current square, but move the guard to the stairs up to his current floor and the guard ends his move.

For Sophie/Tara/The Grifter/(upgraded Juicer*)
I agree her ability has to have something to do with changing where people go. Maybe one or both of:
- Sophie starts with three alarm tokens. She can spend an action to place an alarm anywhere on her current floor.
- * If Sophie ends her turn on the current guard target square for her floor, replace it with a new target.

For Parker/The Thief/(upgraded Peterman*)
I really like the proposed ability for Parker that's her jumping off of buildings/down stairwells with the rope and/or pulling people up or down, but maybe that could be an item
Jump Rig
Equipped character can spend one action to a non-guard on their current title on the edge of the board down one floor or two actions to move themselves up one floor.
- I like the idea that Parker gets extra rolls on safes, but I also like the simplicity of the Peterman's ability that, whenever she rolls dice, she rolls an extra
- * Parker starts with the Jump Rig item card

For Nate/Mastermind/(upgraded Rook)
Nate's main ability is getting the team where they need to be and helping them out of jams, so the standard Rook's ability, plus, once per round, he can spend an action to move an alarm one space (not through walls)

I also feel like, to really get the feel of the Leverage team, you have to get all five of them involved in some way. The game is designed for four players, so you'd have to set up one character as a sort of NPC. For the Leverage team, this would be the team member outside the building but listening on their earbud. So, whichever character isn't play, set their player card (and any starting gear off to the side) and they'll be the outside man.

The active players can
- spend an action to add a stealth token to the outside man's card
- as a free action, remove two stealth tokens from the outside man to gain an action which can only be used to use one of the outside man's abilities

Actions used to contact the outside man or use the outside man's abilities don't count toward the number of actions the player took when determining if an Event has to be drawn.

Technically, anyone could be the outside man, but, both for the abilities and for following the general flow for the show, it'll probably be the Mastermind, the Hacker, or the Grifter.

Anyway, my two cents.
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