Ultimate Gumeshoe Generic

If I was going to make my own Gumshoe generic toolkit, what would I assemble? e.g.,

- Superpowers - Chapter XXX Superpowers System from Mutant City Blues
- Magic - Chapter XXX from Rough Magics
- Cool Combat - that Suppliment for Night's Black Agents Gary can't remember
- SciFi - something from ashen stars




  • I don't think they should simply copy & paste chapters from their existing products into a new book. If they do that, I won't be buying as I already own all that content. What they should do is take the mechanisms they've come up with over the years (i.e. chase rules, ship combat, heat, conspyramids, building a vampire, stitches, modular upgrades) and generalize them. They should explain why they were created the way they were and give examples of other things they could be used for.

    One example, ship combat in Ashen Stars is about posing individual roles against each other in effort to attain opposing goals. What else could this be used for? Court room drama? Music competition? Computer hacking teams?

    Another example, Building a Vampire in NBA is a great way to change up things from campaign to campaign. How about a way to do that with Mythos monsters or Outer Dark entities or any kind of high-powered enemy for your own unique setting? They don't need to be broken down by genre. If they are generalized, they can all fit in one large list.

    Another example, Stitches in TimeWatch are a meant to keep players involved and provide another currency to keep things exciting and maintain focus on the action. How can this be applied to other settings and still maintain the setting's theme and balance?
  • I like John Pott's idea for a generalized approach to the Gumshoe sub-systems.  Take the mechanics, see what they are simulating, and see where else they can be applied.  I'd buy that.  It's similar to how thriller chases were expanded in Double Tap to Thriller Hacking, Thriller Infiltration, etc.  

    But what I'd really like to see for a generic Gumshoe is a reduction in all the special rules resulting in a distilled product that is easier to run and play.  "Spirit Gumshoe", perhaps (distilled--get it?) or simply Gumshoe Lite.  Take the player facing intentions and language in the text and make that a reality in practice.  No more opposition spends, no more GM rolling to hit, no more GM rolling for a vampire's mental attack, or GM rolling to see if the Vampire even gets to make a mental attack in the first place.  I've experimented with this type of player facing mechanics and I was happy with it; it needs work but it is getting there.  

    I ran a game of NBA at Dexcon with just five stats:  Investigate, Agent, Preparedness, Network, and Well-Being.  Each pool works a little differently, although mostly similar to their namesakes in Gumshoe--except Well-Being.  Points can be spent from Well-Being after a roll to make up the difference between success and failure, and Well-Being is the only pool that applies when dealing with the supernatural (i.e. Stability).  The players can choose to fail by not spending Well-Being, in which case the character gains experience and is subject to bad things happening in accord with the in-game situation.  What I like about this method is that it aligns General type skills with the same mindset as Investigative skills--the characters aren't going to fail (unless the player allows it). It's not perfect...but I'll keep working at it!

  • I know that I am currently looking at the rules/suggestions around building a Vampire Conspiracy as the starting point for building an "Ocean's 11" style heist game: Gather your intel about your target, then go rob it.

    For stripped-down to its essence goodness, have you checked out the SRD?
  • @Richard

    I was actually tossing around some ideas similar to yours about a heist game. Want to collaborate on that?
  • @Mel I would love to see a more complete draft of your "lite" rules
  • JKahrs said:

    @Mel I would love to see a more complete draft of your "lite" rules

    I'll share what I have.  Let me take a look and clean it up a bit.  
  • I've posted my NBA variant at the Internet Archive, here.  It's definitely a work in progress!  I've tried out the rules in a game at Dexcon, which my brother, Bill, and I discuss at our podcast, Virtual Play episode 76.  They worked ok mechanically, but I think my setup of the adventure detracted from the "super-agent" feel I was going for.   I'll be happy to hear any feedback! 
  • thanks I will give them a read through

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