I'm preparing to run a game of Leverage. It will be my first time running Leverage, but not my first time running a Cortex-Plus game as I've run some Marvel Heroic Roleplaying too.

The problem is, I'm going to be running this game with only 2 players. The typical team for Leverage is 5 PCs, each PC filling the primary roles of the game and show:

Hitter, Hacker, Grifter, Thief, and Mastermind.

One of my players is willing to play 2 characters, one is not. I would prefer that each player get to concentrate on a single character. So each player can have a primary and secondary role - Hitter / Grifter for example. That covers 4 roles.

I wondered if anyone had any advice on how to manage this situation? Should I have an NPC Mastermind? A Hitter? What role is best sacrificed in this situation?

I would note that I have all of the Leverage material that I know to be available, including the two expansion books and the 10 smaller guides. I have looked quite a bit at the One-on-One Leverage book for guidance, but was hoping actual players might have actual experience with the problem.


1 Answer 1


I would say that it is perfectly possible to run a game without all of the roles filled. While they represent all of the typical roles in a heist, you don't necessarily need to have them all.

The Hitter and the Mastermind tend to come into their own when things go wrong, so I can see those being a bit easier to do without. That said, I think that you should just let the players run with whatever concepts work best. All you are really doing is providing them with the mark and some handles they can work with, so they'll naturally gravitate towards a plan that fits their strengths.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have actual experience with this, Fortinbras? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 30, 2013 at 13:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I haven't personally run the game with a smaller group, but I've played the game fairly extensively. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fortinbras
    Jan 20, 2014 at 13:27

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