When spending points from Attribute Pools, each 2 points spent lowers the Difficulty by 1. This is pretty minor as the rules state it is 3 points for the first reduction and 2 points for each further reduction.
To give the player's a bit more room to show off, I am setting Effort to Tier + 2.
I have trouble explaining Difficulty and Target Number, so I've worked up a character sheet that shows that information, so I can simply say "It's Difficuly 5", the player can then look to see that the Target Number is 15. Then I can ask if they want to lower the Difficulty by spending Pool points.
In the back of my head, I keep working on mixing the Cipher system with Earthdawn's Step System. If I work it out, I'll post it.