The GUMSHOE System is a role-playing game system created by Robin Laws, designed for running investigative scenarios.

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Piggybacking and cooperative rolls - when to use them?

I understand the mechanical difference between piggybacking and rolling cooperatively. However, I am struggling conceptually to see where one would apply and the other wouldn't. What are the ...
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Mutant City Blues Example Characters

I am running Mutant City Blues for the first time, and have never played or run a Gumshoe based game before. I am providing pre-generated characters for the players, and have come up with attributes ...
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Range of Blast powers

A number of the powers available to players in Mutant City Blues are designated as Blast powers, and can be used as ranged attacks. However, I can't find where it explains exactly what the range of ...
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Gumshoe investigative ability pool sizes

I'm trying to get my head around how the gumshoe system works, and although most of it is relatively straightforward, there was one thing I'm not absolutely certain on. A player spends points to gain ...
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Trail of Cthulhu Combat Question

Sorry if it seems like a stupid question but I'm genuinely confused. On Page 62 of the core rule book it says: Once the fight has begun, if a combatant wishes to do something else besides ...
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Tips for combining Gumshoe/Lorefinder with improv/Lazy GMing?

The Gumshoe/Lorefinder systems break an adventure into core scenes, with a core clue in each scene leading to the next. I am under the impression that the GM will have to plan each scene. This gives ...
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How can I adapt elements of the Gumshoe investigation system to Ars Magica?

Many of my games feature a heavy investigation influence. Gumshoe, being designed for investigation, provides a way of finding clues and manipulating clues that provides for a far more enjoyable ...
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How do you use investigation skills in Gumshoe?

I picked up Esoterrorists for a quick off-the-cuff one shot and it was a nice change for everyone from the usual boot-door-kill-monster-grab-treasure thing we usually play. What confused me, however, ...
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Gumshoe/Lorefinder - how do you deplete a Boost?

I don't have access to Trail of Cthulhu, so I don't have the full Gumshoe system on my hand, so I can only refer to Lorefinder. If a character, according to LoreFinder When spending from a ...
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Reducing Preparation time for Gumshoe GMs

As a new player in a game of Mutant City Blues, it has struck me that the GM has a very large workload when prepping the investigation scenes if there is to be any real interaction with that scene for ...
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How do you handle skill use and spends in GUMSHOE?

I ran a playtest of Pathshoe (a new Pathfinder + GUMSHOE hybrid from Pelgrane Press) for my gaming group last weekend. I have several of the other GUMSHOE games (Mutant City Blues, Esoterrorists, Fear ...
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Sources of Stability - What's the real rule?

In Fear Itself, you have to select a Source of Stability for every 3 points you invest in the Stability trait. Sources may be personality traits, activities, or people. The rules state: You may ...
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I'm running a demo Esoterrorists game later this week; what resources do I need to prepare?

This weekend, I'm running my first game (and a demo) of Esoterrorists. What resources do I need in order to prepare? Potential resources include: A really effective demo scenario that is engaging ...
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774 views

How can I encourage zombie investigation?

This weekend, I ran a zombie scenario for GUMSHOE (Trail, as it happens, although the question isn't specific to that). I've run this scenario twice. Being GUMSHOE, it is an investigation scenario, ...
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1answer
180 views

What Investigative advice is in Mutant City Blues but not elsewhere?

What Investigative rules and advice is in Mutant City Blues but not elsewhere in GUMSHOE games?
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How can I adapt Gumshoe for a charity game?

At IndieCon, a local convention, we're going to run games for charity. I'd like to adapt GUMSHOE as a charity game. That is, I'd like people to be able to pay money for specific game-mechanical ...
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4answers
271 views

Making Sanity/Stability rules for gods more interesting

In Trail of Cthulhu, the rules for seeing a Great Old One or Outer God work as follows. Make a Stability roll, then take additional Stability and Sanity loss, using the table on p.86. This is ...
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How can I use this in a one-shot for The Esoterrorists?

Ehud Netzer, the Israeli archaeologist credited with discovering the tomb of the biblical King Herod, has died after falling during a dig. What spin can make this a great adventure for The ...
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How can I make GUMSHOE combats more dynamic?

In GUMSHOE what can be done to make the combats more dynamic, more exciting?
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How can I use a Conspiracy X Influence system in GUMSHOE?

One of Conspiracy X's greatest innovations was influence and pulling strings to represent the important and influential “day jobs” players come from. These day jobs range from the FBI, to the DEA, to ...
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How to represent Tradecraft in GUMSHOE?

How can you represent good tradecraft in GUMSHOE-based games, such as Esoterrorists? That is, the techniques used in espionage, the topics or techniques (dead drops, for example).
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166 views

What Investigative Skills for Trail of Cthulhu at time of Sun King?

For a Trail of Cthulhu scenario set during the reign of the Sun King in France (1643 to 1715) what Investigative skills would I keep, remove and add?
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What is the best way to use extended contests in Gumshoe?

I need a good, solid mechanic for extended contests in GUMSHOE. An ideal one would work for a wide variety of situations, such as chases and cat-and-mouse games.
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How can I make a Mi-Go city seem dangerous?

Last week, in our Trail of Cthulhu campaign, the Investigators found a Mi-Go city. They needed to go in, to rescue someone trapped inside. However, my description of the city fell rather flat. ...
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How should I handle hallucinogens in Trail of Cthulhu?

I have an adventure that involves consuming native entheogens in order to see and combat the Evil Badness From Beyond Time. The Investigators who do will be tripping balls, and I'm not sure how to ...
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How can I graft Wilderness of Mirrors onto Gumshoe?

Or specifically, how can I adapt Wilderness of Mirrors Mission Planning/Obtaining Information/complication/Trust system onto the resource management/clue finding Gumshoe system.
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Building a sense of desperation

For a GUMSHOE game I want to build up the suspense through the more subtle, but very effective, buildup of a sense of desperation. This is a medical drama and the characters will be in quarantine. I’m ...
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Preventing player passivity in GUMSHOE?

I really like the game worlds of the various GUMSHOE games I have (Fear Itself, Esoterrorists, Mutant City Blues) but haven't run it yet. My big concern is that I've seen the "ablative skill system" ...
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What is an appropriate list of Medical Investigation Skills for GUMSHOE?

I’m currently working on a one-shot for Gumsheos that will be very medically focused where the characters are quarantined in a medical facility and trying to identify a “super plague” of occult ...