Wednesday, July 1, 2015

GUMSHOE General Ability Tests

These are the basic rules dealing with General Ability tests in GUMSHOE. Find the GUMSHOE SRD here.


  • Keeper calls for a roll for a particular Ability and sets difficulty. Difficulty is usually secret.
  • The player chooses whether or not to spend points and rolls 1d6 + the number of points spent.
  • Check to see if the player rolled above or equal to the Difficulty.
    • There is no additional effect to succeeding with a high roll.

Sample Ability Tests

  • There is a very low fence, it shouldn't be hard to jump over.
    • Athletics difficulty 2.
  • Stabilizing a seriously hurt person if you're not a doctor.
    • First Aid difficulty 3.
  • The road is in a sorry state due to the heavy rain.
    • Driving difficulty 4.
  • The horse is spooked and just wants to get away, controlling it takes much of your attention.
    • Riding difficulty 5.
  •  The guards are extremely alert, they are not slacking off in their attention whatsoever.
    • Stealth difficulty 6.

Daniel has Athletics 8 and needs to climb a wall. The Keeper describes it as an imposingly ragged cliff with lots of rough outcroppings. The secret difficulty is 6. Daniel decides to spend 3 Athletics points. He rolls a 5 and the total is 8. He gets up the wall without a problem but his Athletics Pool is now down to 5. If he had rolled a 3 he would still have been successful.

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