Aaaaa! The 9-year 3.5 game is in five hours and I don't have a "b plot" or two additional clues for the "a plot".
I'm not railroading so much as trying to lay down some track in multiple directions the players might proceed in. I'm also nudging towards the end of the campaign, tying up loose ends instead of creating more, so straight-up improv is much, much harder at this stage. There is surprisingly little advice written on this subject - ending long games satisfyingly is hard.
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