Our current adventure has 3 PCs, and the plot has turned very active with simultaneous sub-plots cropping up in multiple locations.
We have the bazaar under attack, with only the city guard and brave commoner defenders.
We have a ranch with the main antagonist being dealt with by a few arcane factions.
We have a mage council with a newly revealed mole working for the main antagonist ready to take out the council members.
We have city officials, workers, and merchants that have been replaced with doppelgangers stirring up trouble throughout the city.
The PCs are busy trying gather the resources they need to contend with the many threats throughout the city, which will not be enough to tackle the problem.
Instead of splitting the party we’re doing it a little differently. We’re breaking this adventure into side-scenes.
Since all these things are happening simultaneously, the players are creating temporary PCs in each side-scene. We’ll spend 1 session on each side-scene. If nothing is resolved, or we run out of time, that’s fine. We’ll incorporate what does happen into the larger story.
The PCs will eventually find out they weren’t alone in this fight. Though, the players will obviously know.
We’ve had our 1st session starting at the bazaar with players playing a guard, a shopkeeper, and a street performer. We had to cut the session short, but it gave the players a good idea about what might be happening throughout the city.
Next session, we’ll be at the ranch, players playing faction members attempting to arrest the main antagonist.