We just played through Leverage and it has me thinking a lot about a lot of different pieces. On balance, we had a ton of fun with it, even with only a passing familiarity with the rules. I’m sure our second play through will be smoother.
As a license-based game, the system captures the feel of the original show amazingly well. You don’t play the original team; instead there’s a very compelling system of generating a few details of your character and having the rest revealed through your first job. I’ve not really thought deeply about the many ways to construct character creation rules, so this was fun to play with. Many of the bits left undefined are textual descriptors, which can be challenging to define without having played the character (as we’ve found with In a Dragon-Guarded Land). Defining them slightly later helps provide inspiration.
Nominally, the rules suggest that these details should be provided via flashback scenes, which is very much in the show’s style. However, we struggled to break out of our pre-conceptions about play needing to be done linearly. A lot of this game’s challenge lies in figuring out what to focus on and what to gloss over and fill in later with a flashback. The thing that’s most interesting about flashbacks in this game is that those scenes can be used for retroactive narrative positioning with no other mechanical effect. In theory, that’s a tool that could be used in any game.