Hot answers tagged

14

During Whodunit Sessions In all GUMSHOE games, since there is a strong investigative element, the players will often be engaged in long "what is going on" discussions. (as in 15 minutes if you're lucky, hours if you're not!) Use these either opportunistically as they come up, or at the end of each chapter say "this would be a good time for everyone to share ...


12

the GUMSHOE is now available under two open licenses; the Open Gaming License and the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Unported License. That means you are free to choose which license to use. The OGL license is a bit more complex, but the CC-BY-3.0 Unported has a very simple "human-readable" synopsis: You are free to: Share — copy and redistribute ...


9

Things that I have found that reduce the time in preparing for "Crime" scenes, and preparing scenes that last longer than "go in, find clue, walk out". These are taken from my own experience when running Call of Cthulhu Mind Maps; for any mystery an overview of everything is essential. A simple mind map of how each NPC relates to another with a circle-line ...


7

The number of points you spend on an ability is your rating in it. That's it. It's no more complicated than it seems. There's no spending additional points to "unlock" abilities. Investigative abilities are bought exactly the same way as general abilities, except that you spend from a separate pool of points. (If you did have to waste a point to take an ...


6

I would handle this issue within the narrative of the game. First describe the alien construction aesthetics. Make the buildings based on a perfect solids other than cubes. I added an element of horror by saying that the buildings seem to be based on a combination of dodecahedrons (12 sided dice-like) and tetrahedrons (4 sided dice), but somehow 5 ...


5

As you noted, when your Health drops below 0 (zero) -- considered Hurt -- you must make a Consciousness Roll although you'll automatically succeed if you've only dropped to -1. If you suffer further harm and see your Health drop to -6 or lower -- considered Seriously Wounded -- you must make another Consciousness Roll. According to the 2nd edition of The ...


5

On page 12 of Mutant City Blues, another gumshoe game, if found this: "Players who can only attend every now and then get the same number of investigative build points as everyone else, but are not counted toward the total when deciding how many points to allocate." the way I interpret this, you should base the number of points of the lowest number of ...


5

This problem needs to be looked at from a magical and non-magical standpoint. Let's look at the easier one first. For non-magical investigations, the ability scores of both GUMSHOE and Ars Magica are comparable (although the latter tend to be higher). You could simply say that all abilities are Investigative. So that if a PC has a relevant skill, core clues ...


4

Found it. General Powers If a power is described as ranged, but no specific range is given, that distance varies... with your current pool value in the ability. If it is 3 or less, your range is 25 meters. When your pool is between 4 and 6 it is 50 meters. If your pool is 7 or more, your range is one hundred meters. (Mutant City Blues 38) This does ...


4

With Trail specifically I would put each Mythos tome the group acquires on its own index card. Have the players consult and update them during the breaks, noting specific things they find about and within each book, keeping track of who read each one, et c. Also, try to schedule these breaks for times that the action has paused, and the characters are ...


4

Basic damage modifiers for vampires are listed on page 125. Remember that damage in GUMSHOE is always d6+a modifier, so in the case of mr longtaloned vampire, he'd be hitting for 1d6 (a +0 modifier, as per the table). Base Aberrance and Health are really up to the Director. Aberrance less than 8 indicate a comparatively non-supernatural threat; 12+ opens ...


4

It has been a long time since I played a game of GUMSHOE, so I'll try my best. Both of these types of actions involve more than one character, more than one performer of the deed. As you've understood the mechanical difference, let's move to the conceptual one. Piggybacking A piggybacking is an action in which someone performs a deed and all of the other ...


4

It's not much of an answer but there has only been one edition of Trail of Cthulhu. Some rules changes have crept in via scenarios and sources books, for example magic in Rough Magicks or auctions in Bookhounds. The changes mentioned in the Enchiridion however refer to rules introduced in other GUMSHOE rule books or in the System Reference Document. However, ...


3

Yes, assuming you follow all the other rules of the license. If "your legalese is poor" you'd want to fix that before trying, but the entire third party d20/D&D/Pathfinder ecosystem is filled with people doing the same thing with the OGL and d20 SRDs. (Of course in this case you can also choose the creative commons license option, which is probably ...


3

I do hope that it is still relevant, or maybe it will just [hopefully] help you in the future, but I've just found this sample online campaign which took place a few years ago. As it seems, it does have a few character sheets within it, so without much further ado here it is: http://codeindigo.livejournal.com/2008/07/05/ There are 2 of the 3 character ...


3

No. The standard use of an Investigative skill is to describe the use of that skill in an appropriate manner. Doing so does not use a point. If this is done while in the presence of a clue, the clue should be revealed. That's all. From Kulp's Gumshoe 101 If you have 1 or more points in any of these, you're an expert at it. This matters because during ...


3

The answer depends mainly on the experience level of the group and their comfort level working with mysteries in the genre, format, style, and intricacy of the system and GM. New Players In the beginning, as you get used to the system, it is a good idea to help players connect the dots between the investigative skills that they have, and the clues which ...


2

You need Night's Black Agents! One way to model it is to have a group Intel pool, that any player can use for spends - but as they do so, it gets smaller and smaller, so players have an incentive to use it before their rivals do.


2

I like the influence system in Conspiracy X and have adapted it in GUMSHOE by simply allowing investigative spends to call in favors when and where they seem appropriate. Player: Can I get a buddy to work on this encryption while we investigate the warehouse? GM: You have good Data Retrieval so it seems likely you'd know a guy... Player: Ok, I spend two ...


2

You drop to the bottom of the initiative order Deciding to take a non-standard action in combat has the mechanical effect of letting others act first (with flavor hinted at, e.g. "fumbling for the pin", or exposing one's back). I think the key phrase here is "if the combatant wishes to do something else" (my emphasis). In other words it's one's intention ...


2

Instead of making a list of clues, make a list of facts that lead to the other scenes of the investigation. Encourage your players to use their abilities in ways that logically get the facts along with other cool things that spends can get.


1

You say "we are generally running into an issue ..." but it seems from the rest of the question, and forgive me if I'm wrong, that you mean "I am generally running into an issue ..." That is, have your players actually raised this as an issue that is damaging their enjoyment of the game? I have not played or GMed the Gumshoe or Cthulhu systems but I am ...


1

Not Mechanically Harder Why? The point of Gumshoe is that getting the clue is boring - but doing something with it is interesting. If you have not described the witness' resistance to intimidation, why thwart the players' agency and go against this core tenet of the game? If you have described it, why are your players pursuing this avenue? Since there ...


1

If you skip ahead to some of the sample vampires, there is a quick calculator for these abilities based on the length of unlife (page 143; the writeup of a Linea Dracula leech). It looks like most vampires begin with about 10 Aberrance, and Health & combat abilities comparable to a PC.


1

GUMSHOE games typically say that a rating of 1 in an Investigative skill is enough to show the character is competent in that field. A rating of 2 indicates a professional, and a rating of 3 is expert. There is probably no reason to get a rating of 4 in anything but Languages (for when you want someone like Indiana Jones). And all Abilities are purchased on ...


1

It never hurts to ask the group if someone has a relevant ability. But at some point you want to players offering their own skills for use. One way to do this is to provide temporary points in another rating when they come up with an idea you want reinforced. And be generous when they choose one that you haven't envisioned.


1

This depends on your reading of 'immediately'. I personally think that as moving to the bottom of the ranking order is mentioned as a consequence of a combatant wishing to do something else besides fight the action will be taken at the bottom of the ranking order. This also makes more sense regards to the description - if I'm slowed by shaking off the ...


1

A lazy GM still prepares a list of potential scenes, and thinks about the links that can lead from one scene to another. You don't necessarily need to have specific clues in mind so much as an idea that one scene will logically flow from another. For example, say an assassin prepared poison from plants cultivated at the royal gardens, but mistakenly left a ...


1

Atlas Games is working on Tales of the Quaesitores, an investigative game using GUMSHOE in the Ars Magica setting.


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 ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible