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In short, I have 2 players that had stolen some valued items that were crafty in how they would avoid leaving a trail (changing clothes, altering directions via water). Im happy to reward their thorough plan to escape with keeping the gear, but plan to have a secret order track and arrest them to drive a key plot point in the arc.

However nearing the end of a gaming session, I had agents of the secret order confront them to end the session on a tense cliffhanger.. except I have jumped the gun (they wouldnt have the info needed yet to find them, chronologically as the players were discussing and figuring out how their escape had ultimately failed).

Could I get some suggestions on how I can massage this back into a fair and believable story, or have I failed as a DM?..

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closed as unclear what you're asking by mxyzplk Sep 3 '18 at 5:52

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour! To offer advice on handling this situation the site needs more details. A brief outline of the PCs' plan (and if it went down flawlessly) and a description of the secret order (and the resources available to it) would be a good start. Thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Sep 3 '18 at 7:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ What system are you using? Does it have magic, is technology. These effect possible answers \$\endgroup\$ – Garret Gang Sep 3 '18 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ As Garret says, system and genre can inform an answer. But can you clarify exactly what you hope to correct? Is it that the agents found the heroes at all? Too soon? \$\endgroup\$ – Longspeak Sep 3 '18 at 20:51