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 Boosted, skill, your pool increases by 1 point after getting the information or benefit at hand.

How do you ever deplete that Investigate Skill? For now I just scatter 2-points spent now and then. Was this the intention?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, there is no concept of a boosted skill in Trail of Cthulhu. As far as I can tell, there is no such thing in Esoterrorists either, so I'm not sure it's actually part of the full Gumshoe system. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jakob
    Jan 24, 2013 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not in Mutant City Blues, either. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Feb 10, 2013 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems to be a Lorefinder exclusive. \$\endgroup\$
    – Extrakun
    Feb 13, 2013 at 16:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking for an authoritative source only? or would a reasoned approach based on rules and discussions elsewhere possibly satisfy? \$\endgroup\$
    – user2102
    Mar 19, 2013 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess a house rule is good too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Extrakun
    Mar 21, 2013 at 1:50

1 Answer 1


The theory behind a Boost is that it's something that's so integral to the character that it can't be depleted. Note the phrasing on Boost: "your pool increases by 1 after getting the information." If you have an investigation skill at 1, you can investigate for 1-cost clues all you want since your skill will always be returning to 1 after your search. At least in Ashen Stars it also means that people with a Boost can safely increase the cost of a core clue in a scene from 0 points 1 one with less fears about losing access their main investigation skill down the road.

Generally speaking though, since you can never run a boosted skill to zero, I wouldn't worry too much about running their Investigation skill down to zero. Instead, I'd give them opportunities to spend more points out of their Boosted skill in order to find out secondary things related to the mystery.


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