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ZEITGEIST Questions regarding non-combat encounters (Spoilers)



I'll be running Zeitgeist in a few weeks. I have a few questions about running the non-combat encounters. In the first book, the party begins with an encounter which, if successful, will lead to the identification of troubemaking Dockers. Regarding goal completion, how much is a DM supposed to disclose? Does one disclose the:
(1) the overarching goal (e.g., canvass the crowd), driven by the narrative,
(2) specific tactics (e.g., mingle with the crowd, recruit the cops)
(3) skill checks useful for completing the goal and/or complete specific tactics

It's really up to your GMing style and what you think your players need to get into the groove of investigating. I figured most groups are used to dungeon delving, so if they need some prompting about what are some ways to engage with a mystery, don't be stingy. But if they take to it readily, no need to over emphasize mechanics over roleplaying.


I ran this for a group consisting of 4 new players and 1 player that had played D&D before, so it was important for me to be very explicit about the types of things they could attempt and which skills would be helpful in those tasks. BUT, i was also sure to let them know that they could attempt things that weren't on the list!

That first encounter really sets the stage for the kinds of things the Constables will be up to in the campaign, which is as much investigation as it is fighting (maybe more?).

But, as RangerWickett said, once the players hit their "investigative stride" i no longer felt the need to be so explicit.