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Hi incode_erin and welcome to the RH community.
I have to admit to being a little confused by what you type. Are you producing HTML Help as "What's This" help can only work with this output type. You seem to have tried setting the mapid options but what is confusing is your phrase that these "only control the starting number for HTML file map-ids." What do you mean by this?
The project that I have is set up for both text only (context-sensitive) help and HTML help.
....but you are producing a CHM file (using the Microsoft HTML Help single source layout) right? Also your CSH is provided by a "?" in your application dialog that you can use to drag over a field to display the help topic. You are not using the F1 key from the application.
If so, your options can be setup to start from a specified number and should work - it certainly does with me and a simple What's This Help test project. Try creating a new project, set the CSH options to start from (say) 100, adding a single topic and then add the What's This help. See if the mapids start from 100 and report back.