Investigation Based Traits

I’ve recently started my first game of The Pool with a few friends in a tabletop Discord. The setting we all decided on was very mystery focused, with a supernatural influence in the background, and source of many colourful descriptions from people I’ve described the game to. One of my players made a detective kind of character, and it ran fine in the situations it’s been used (a specific example was the character discerning who had recently been in a room by their shoe prints), but I’m wondering if the definition of “conflict resolution” is really wide enough to allow looking for clues and loose ends, especially when the character themselves seems geared towards that, and if the Trait might be better utilised resolving more detective-esque situations; pressing suspects, covering their own evidence, pursuing a trail, and so on.

3 responses to “Investigation Based Traits”

  1. Seems Legit to Me

    I guess my question is: how much of a conflict is the investigation / clue? If the scene is a setpiece and there is a clue to be found that is not easily noticed even by a trained eye, sure why not have that as a conflict? By the same token, just because they have the trait does not mean there are any clues to be found. If a player insists on rolling, the GM can just say "nothing to be found" and leave it at that.

    I guess I veiw conflict resolution as a crossroad; a place that you cannot go further based on the conversation alone, even flavored with the traits. 

  2. What exactly is the question?

    Hi there! Glad to hear you're playing the Pool!

    I'm a little confused on exactly what your question is. You mentioned the scope of conflict resolution, and also mentioned what the proper use of a trait should be, in particular investigation-related traits. 

    If you're wondering whether a player should roll or not in order to obtain a clue, in general, imho, unless there's going to be a clear negative consequence (that leads to a noticeably new Now) from failing the roll, characters should just get whatever clue they need in the context without rolling. Otherwise, play gets bogged down. We discussed this in one of my AP posts, where we played a star trek adventure with the Pool. 

    Regarding what the scope of a particular roll can cover, imho it's up to the GM – you can have a roll cover a whole day's worth of investigation, or just a few minutes' search of one room, up to you. We had a big discussion about this you might enjoy reading in one of the other Pool AP posts. 

    • Hello, here’s the link to

      Hello, here's the link to Manu's older post, Star Trek: The Pool, including our discussion which follows in the comments. I have quite a bit to say there about investigation in role-playing, but I also recommend checking out Monday Lab: Roll to Know, which provides the foundation.

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