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Leverage Companion 04: Hollywood Hacking vs. the Real World
 

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Leverage Companion 04: Hollywood Hacking vs. the Real World
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Leverage Companion 04: Hollywood Hacking vs. the Real World
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by David v. H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/12/2020 13:16:09

Very Nice addition to the Leverage RPG and I highly receommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Companion 04: Hollywood Hacking vs. the Real World
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/02/2013 00:00:00

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: You can either get the PDF for $2.99, or you can get the compilation of ALL the Companions in a print or PDF compilation at RPGNow. The Hollywood Hacking Companion mostly covers the artistic license that TV and movies tends to take with Hacking (like people blowing up stoplights by hacking into them, or the antiquated idea that you have to keep someone talking on a phone in order to trace them). It does a pretty good job of straddling the line between "Don't do what they do on TV because it's silly" and "we're just giving you information so someone a bit more knowledgeable than you can't just call your bluff". A handful of Hacking related Talents are included, but they aren't limited entirely to Hackers. One Talent, for instance, is Mastermind-based and allows you to exploit people who are working off of Hollywood Hacking assumptions. Another one is nice, arrogant trick a Hacker can pull out at the last second. Why didn't they do it earlier? Duh, they were dumbing it down for the rest of the crew.

WHAT WORKS: The extra Talents are always fun. The writing is nice and breezy without turning into a technical lecture.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: The Companions are all fairly "niche", with this one being especially so.

CONCLUSION: With the Companions now collected into Companion Volume 2, it's worth reading the material as part of the larger compilation if nothing else. As a standalone PDF? Not the first purchase I would recommend...but the Talents alone make a nice addition to a larger product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Companion 04: Hollywood Hacking vs. the Real World
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/18/2013 11:18:35

I'd better come clean: I am both a senior computer professional (Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society) in real life AND I like playing the Hacker when I get to play Leverage or any other contemporary game with a similar role. This book says all the things I've been saying to GMs and game publishers (and my students) for years!

Hacking in movies or TV shows is nothing like real life. Most people, even the non-computerate, have some inkling of that, but here it is all laid out for you clearly. No whizzy 3D graphics, no fingers typing so fast that they are a blur with never a backspace or an enter key being pressed... probably a very dull-looking command line and rather more careful typing of what looks pretty much like gibberish to the uninitiated. Read this book and you'll find out what's wrong with movie/TV interpretations of the hacker's craft and just enough of what's right for you to sound a bit more convincing during a game.

One thing has been left out, which is a shame because it works so well in a Leverage game as well as in real life: human engineering. The weak link in any security system, computer ones included, is the human beings involved. Finding stuff out through bluff or research (passwords for example) is a lot easier than typing lines of code, and makes for a more entertaining game as well - because you don't have to be the computer geek to do it, so the whole Crew can get involved.

That, or pit a GM who knows about computers against your Hacker... now, it was Spycraft rather than Leverage but in one game the GM came along, plonked a laptop in front of me and said "Hack"... and I did, rather to his amazement!

If you run or play a contemporary or future game where computer hacking takes place, read this book. Most of it will be useful, even if the new Talents are Leverage-specific (nice ones, too!).



Rating:
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