I'm preparing this game of Shadowrun where I have 3 main metaplots driving the campaign. One of them for instance is Seattle hosting the Olympics. Of course in Shadowrun, what the bad guys want is rarely obvious (unless they are really unorganized and bland). For instance the party might be hired to steal data from Knight Errant to end up being ambushed by well prepared cops and all of this was of course the plan of Mr. Johnson, who's actually working for Knight Errant, to make a diversion for another group of Shadowrunners in a different building (also hired by Mr. Johnson). So dozens of runs like this actually translates to Knight Errant framing metahuman activists for stealing sensitive information and justify more security measures for the Olympics and leading to the arrest of the leader of this activist group etc.
Brilliant! It's all working out after all. Muahaha. I have this big thing going on. But there's no way the players will ever know about it unless I get Mr. Johnson to make a big villain monologue explaining everything to them. How can my players ever know the hidden motivations, the metaplot and what part they actually took in the story without using the villain monologue trope?
Edit: I added the Shadowrun tag because I thought even though my example was specific that system agnostic answers would be acceptable but it's not. Shadowrun is really specific in its setting and tropes. To answerers I want an answer with the following considerations:
- Mr. Johnson is smart. He doesn't keep "receipts" of transactions with shadowrunners or anything that could incriminate him or the organization he works for.
- Mr. Johnson does NOT want anyone to ever see the beauty of his plan. He's not a comic relief evil guy. Mr. Johnson is human, he can make mistakes, but he will not keep written logs of his plans to be found by anyone. Yes the group can be smarter, but I don't intend to let the BBEG do stupid mistakes on purpose
- Since this question is now tagged with Shadowrun I want the answer to fit with minimal (or ideally without) adjustments to the setting.