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New players need a guiding hand, how do you tell your players everything they need to know without telling them /everything/?

Content of the article: "New players need a guiding hand, how do you tell your players everything they need to know without telling them /everything/?"

As a new DM, im still learning about what to tell my players and what to let them discover. So far I've been failing at this I feel, as we're 15 sessions in to a psuedo-hexcrawl and my players have no direction or motivation what so ever. I'm gonna be changing things up now, using the skeleton of the hexcrawl I have created, I'm creating a narrative that they can follow through.

My question is, where is the line with how much you tell the players about whats going on, and how do you tell them?

So far I've been mostly giving them cryptic clues or hints at things the whole game, and they have picked up on none of it. Do I just outright tell them whats going on? How do I make that natural?

Scenario for context: They all come from the kingdom to the south that is segregated from the rest of the world, and have set off on an adventure to explore the unknown wilds. They have no connections where the campaign takes place, the kingdom isn't part of it.

Their first quest they agreed to take a man into the wilds to a magic user he needed to see, he disguised himself as a peasant, so they did not know he was the king. He died, and thus released the queen who had been infected with vampirism. The queen is now gaining power.

Meanwhile various people are prophsising about her return, and the high elves are also making moves now. The high elves used to be part of the kingdom, but sacrificed themselves (mentally) the last time the vamps were an issue, and segregated themselves in the north of the wilds. They've gone a bit loopy.

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The queen wants to take over the world, the elves want to stop her at all costs, but in their misguided plans will kill lots of people and also make it eternal day time.

The PCs know none of this history.

The PCs got themselves into some debt and so have been tasked with going dungeon diving and recovering an artefact for a thief guy. This is my jumping off point into the story.

The dungeon will be a tomb to the old Kings (vamps) and i could give some history/context here. The item is a sword. When they re-emerge from the dungeon, there will be two groups fighting. The queens goons and the elves goons. Another chance for explanation.

The overall adventure will involve recovering various artefacts from around the wilds, which will all be in different situations. Making choices about which to go after next as other parties are pursuing the items as well, and making choices of who to help, if anyone.

What should I tell my players and how do I do it in character?

Source: reddit.com

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