THat's a great way to describe it. I'm stealing that (Situations instead of stories)
Thanks The idea started to take form after I had played two different published city investigation adventures: Sing For Your Supper (from "Plundered Vaults" WFRPv2) and Winds Of Change (from "Winds Of Magic" WFRPv3)
Sing For Your Supper is a perfect example of a "story". Which is the downfall of a LOT of investigative adventures. It leads you by the nose from location to location until the end. Add to this, if the players ask NPCs some unexpected questions or do not exactly follow the path laid out by the adventure, it all collapses and the GM has to improvise like crazy to figure out what would happen. In addition, the adventure ends with a deus ex machina of a group of NPCs approaching the party and informing them of who dunnit. Probably because the chances of the players solving the mystery is so small that it needs to just push the party to the right spot for the final scene.
Winds Of Change on the other hand, is a good example of a "situation". It takes an area of a city and gives you information and NPCs for each point of interest in the area. Each point of interest contains several clues to the mystery. There are clues all over the place, because the writer has understood that the players will not find all the clues or understand what all the clues mean. In addition, the adversary in the adventure keeps advancing his plans until they are completed completely independantly of what the players are doing. And the later the players manage to solve the mystery, the worse the situation is at the end. If they do not solve the mystery at all, there are even notes about that.
In Sing For Your Supper, the GM has to constantly make sure the players find all the clues. While in Winds Of Change, he can just let them muddle around as much as they like and just come up with funny stuff as reactions to what they do. He knows that even if they are completely incapable of solving the mystery, the players will probably still have a good time and the adventure will have a clear conclusion when time runs out.
Edited by Ralzar, 06 January 2014 - 07:02 AM.