Cthulhu Confidential is very clear that its Challenge Difficulty Table (p53) assumes the game wants to achieve a horror atmosphere (of the dread type as described in Nightmares of Mine). The appendices (Player Characters for Other Mystery Genres, Generic Edges, Generic Problems, pp302-319) offer good support for running Gumshoe One-2-One in other genres, but I've found no mention anywhere in the book about how to tailor difficulty numbers for non-horror games.

How do a challenge's Setback/Hold/Advance target numbers influence the mood and atmosphere of a game, and what rules of thumb can I use to determine the right numbers to evoke other, non-horror, genres?


I basically just take the median of the roll -- 1 dice: 3, 2 dice: 6 -- and work up or down from there, depending on how difficult I want to make it and what is at stake, using the chart in the appendix for how it impacts the player/plot.

So something difficult might be

10 - 12

6 - 9

1 - 5

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Please take a look at the tour, it's a useful introduction to the site. Stack Exchange is a Q&A site, not a traditional discussion forum: it's important to "back it up," so answers should cite experience or other practical support of the concept. Please edit your answer to describe the effect your changes have on the game's mood and atmosphere; what non-horror genre does your modification invoke? \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Mar 29 '18 at 11:07

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