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How long does it take to play through an Adventure Path


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

I just wanted to toss out a quick question

Assuming a group of one DM and 4-6 players (I'm assuming the group fluctuates a little in size), and assuming they meet once a week, and assuming they get to game maybe 10 months out of the year. I’m leaving out two months for the holidays, and scheduling problems.

How long do you guess it would take a gaming group to play through and adventure path? I mean in real time not campaign time. How long to get through Rise of the Rune Lords? How long to get through Curse of the Crimson Throne? How long to get through the Kingmaker adventure path? Others?

Has anyone had the luxury to get through the Rise of the Rune lords entirely? Any others?

Thanks


Second Darkness took our group about 18 months of meeting every week for 4-5 hours. We generally had between 4-7 players at any one time. Does that help?

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds

We've been playing Rise of the Runelords since August of 2008. We're half way through the fifth book and play every other sunday for about 6 hours per session. I'm hoping to be done by summer.

There is a thread in the RotRL messageboards that asked this same question. Answers ranged from "3 months" to "still playing after 3 years." The average number of sessions seemed to be in the low 40's. I suspect it has to do with the level of detail you want to put into your game, and what kind of players you have (heavy role playing vs. heavy dungeon crawlers). Of course, if you're playing for 8 hours every week, you're going to get through it a bunch faster.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Legacy of Fire & Curse of the Crimson Throne both took about a year with 6 players, gaming weekly, for about 3-4 hours. The final book or two tend to get streamlined a bit when I run them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It took us 13 months to finish Legacy of Fire, which added up to about 200h of gameplay (spoilers for Legacy of Fire). We were planning on having weekly sessions but that turned into 36 sessions of 95-6 hours over these 13 months.

We have now started Kingmaker and, from the more open format of this campaign, I expect it to take longer.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

This is very much a "how long is a piece of string?" question as it depends very much on your group, play style and a host of intangibles. My gorup is looking on for taking 36 or so sessions to finish Council of Thieves, or about 110hrs.


It is a significant question though as the Adventure Paths come out faster than most (it would seem) could hope to keep up with them.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds

I found that thread for you: Lots of information on how long to play Rise of the Runelords.

There are similar threads in other AP messageboard areas.

Wolf Munroe wrote:
It is a significant question though as the Adventure Paths come out faster than most (it would seem) could hope to keep up with them.

True. And Paizo has stated that they do this deliberately. Not everyone likes everything that Paizo publishes. I know, it's weird, but it's true. As popular as Kingmaker was, there were a lot of people who couldn't stand the "sandbox" concept. They were eagerly awaiting Serpent's Skull. Now that Carrion Crown is right around the corner, there are a lot of people looking forward to resurrecting the Ravenloft feel of old that this path seems to promise. By doing two APs per year, Paizo is able to cater to as many customers as possible. And who can say they're not doing an awesome job?

On a different note, however, there are a lot of people who seem to be able to devour APs at an incredible rate, and are actually *ahead* of the publication speed. To me, that's mind-boggling.

[Edit] Sorry, fixed the url.


Yes. I think the assumption of Paizo is that a chapter takes 4 sessions of 6 hours to finish, which would mean that a chapter can be done in a month. We also played Savage Tide and finished it in 44 sessions over 21 months. We also played Shackled City for 3.5 - 4 years and stopped playing on 10th chapter.

In theory, it's a good assumption. In practice... not so much. For example, I'm DMing LoF atm and we finished 3 chapters in 13 sessions, but we started playing in june.

Due to RL obligations (curse them) and schelduing issues, our group tends to play once in 2 weeks on average. But, for some people it's not the only campaign, so I think it evens out.

And you don't really have to play EVERY campaign... We'll skip Serpent's Skull and Jade Regent. It's just too bad that we didn't discover paizo's APs earlier because we'd really like to play Rise and Curse, but the APs just keep coming out and we'd rather play them.


By the time that we finish (almost!) Legacy of Fire, it will be about 45 session of 3 hours each.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

Thank you all. yes how long is a piece of string. So i think the rough average seems to be around a year and a half.

This makes sense in many of the campaigns i have played in over the past few years, they have often taken about a year to get thourgh, and in that time we would work our characters from 1st to 12 level.

I enjoy the adventure paths for the read. I don't expect to ever be able to play all of them. but they look nice on my bookshelf, and i can mine them for ideas.

thanks for your responses

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Drogon wrote:

On a different note, however, there are a lot of people who seem to be able to devour APs at an incredible rate, and are actually *ahead* of the publication speed. To me, that's mind-boggling.

Not to stereotype, but unfortunately, of the 3 GMs I know who are practically running the APs in "real-time" they're all generally the single adult, no responsibility, GMs 4 campaigns and plays in 3 types.

Outside those 3, I know of one who is running more than 1 (I believe it's 3) at the same time as well.

To answer the original post though, the Rise of the Runelords campaign I was running hit the start of the 4th AP at 31 sessions (1x a week, for about 4 hours per session). I figure we'd complete it at around 60 sessions, or just over a year.


my group has been playing for 8-9 months now, and we are on the last book of kingmaker, we should be done in 3 weeks

Liberty's Edge

My group meets once a week for roughly 3 hours of gaming. We skip holidays and have occasional family obligations that interfere sufficiently to warrant cancelling.

That being said, we started the Age of Worms campaign in late 2006, and we are currently in the next-to-last adventure: Into The Wormcrawl Fissure.

It's been a long haul, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. :P

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds

VagrantWhisper wrote:
Drogon wrote:

On a different note, however, there are a lot of people who seem to be able to devour APs at an incredible rate, and are actually *ahead* of the publication speed. To me, that's mind-boggling.

Not to stereotype, but unfortunately, of the 3 GMs I know who are practically running the APs in "real-time" they're all generally the single adult, no responsibility, GMs 4 campaigns and plays in 3 types.

Outside those 3, I know of one who is running more than 1 (I believe it's 3) at the same time as well.

Ah, the life...

One can be jealous, can't he?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

My group tries to meet 1/week (except for holidays and occasional conflicts) and actually play for 2-3 since the rest of the 5-6 hour game time is full of chatter. We went through Second Darkness in I believe 1 1/2 - 2 years. Now we're playing Legacy of Fire and we just started the 3rd adventure and we've been playing since summer.


This post has officially scared me away from investing into this game. Who has this kind of time with kids, career and other responsibilities?!


@Draftamike,
If the time required to play through an entire AP scares you, why don't you take a look at the modules or make the separate chapters of an Adventure Path a one-shot? Our group took 18 months to go through Second Darkness, and we are currently in book 5 of Kingmaker which has taken us about 16 months so far. There is no requirement to play through an AP from start to finish.


Draftamike wrote:
This post has officially scared me away from investing into this game. Who has this kind of time with kids, career and other responsibilities?!

Those of us who don't have kids and careers? :D

God bless the twenties.


Draftamike wrote:
This post has officially scared me away from investing into this game. Who has this kind of time with kids, career and other responsibilities?!

I have three kids (granted they are teenagers and almost teen) and a wife. I DM two AP's now, Legacy of Fire and Kingmaker. I am planning to start DMing Red Hand of Doom or possbily War of the Burning Sky. I play currently in three other games as well. It is all about scheduling. I set aside the times of when I play and DM and the family plans to do other things themselves during this time.

To the OP. LoF is about to finish and has taken 18 months from start to finish pretty much following the book as written with the extra set pieces and another one that was wrote by a board member. Kingmaker has take 18 months so far and we just entered book four. This AP is very open ended and I have added a bunch of character background plots, political intrigues and such. There is so much extra material on the boards this AP could take years to finish. I have played RotRL and it took almost two years. I played the last three books of CotCT and that took about a year and the DM said they had been playing for 8 months prior to me starting. Just started Serpent's Skull and Carrion Crown, so can't really say. But like other's have said it depends on the group of players. If they are grind thru the books at breakneck speed then it can be done in 6 months, if they are like the group I play with and RP half and combat the other half with a smackling of chit-chat then I think they tend to take 18 months.


My RL group has took 63 sessions to finish Kingmaker, about 1.5 years. I run a pbp RoRL game that is close to finishing the 2nd module and that has taken 3 years.


We dropped Serpent's Skull after 7 months and were just into the second module.

I've been DMing Carrion Crown for 4 months and we're almost done with the fourth module.

It varies depending on the AP and your gaming group. Some APs just take a long-ass time.


Draftamike wrote:
This post has officially scared me away from investing into this game. Who has this kind of time with kids, career and other responsibilities?!

It was having job and kids that got my wife to start running adventure path adventures. Having the adventure path laid out meant that she did not have to put extra hours of work in to create the world and the adventures. By using adventure paths, she could be sure that there would be a 'next week session', no matter how long we played. We did Rise of the Runelords, and are now working on Carrion Crown. And yes, with various obligations, it looks like about 18 months to two years is how long it takes us to finish a campaign.


So Sliding scale of Role-Playing vs Roll-Playing + amount of OoC chit-chat?!.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Draftamike wrote:
This post has officially scared me away from investing into this game. Who has this kind of time with kids, career and other responsibilities?!

Slow and steady man. I run LoF twice a month for 4 hours on a Tuesday after work. It's been 18 months and we're just up to book 4.

Everyone's fine with the pace, and its given us plenty of time for life and other commitments.


It took us a year to finish Council of Thieves.

The first four parts were run by another member of our group, who took the "As Written" method of running the game, so each part took us at least a couple of months of (sometimes) hard slog. The fourth installment in that series was, frankly, ridiculous. Without giving away any spoilers, a sudden emergency arises and the characters are expected to battle their way through a weird dungeon that taxed our characters so extremely, we had to flee the dungeon over and over for healing and rest. By the time we finally solved the problem, the city-wide "emergency" had been going on for over a week! Which, of course, strained credulity. Where was the military in this fascist state? Where were all the 16th-level characters out there who would be attracted to this problem like flies to a dung heap? One or two days I could see, but reducing a time-sensitive emergency to a dungeon crawl really lost a lot of cred with me.

Then the DM told me he was burned out and I offered to take over. The very first thing I did was streamline part 5 so that it could be completed in about five sessions. Part 5 includes another dungeon-crawl-that-shouldn't-be. Without giving away anything, I changed it so that there was an active conflict that the characters had just barely missed, leaving death and destruction throughout the complex. I took out most of the minor, pointless encounters and sped them through the complex. Then they caught up with the conflict and got involved in a three-way battle. This was way more interesting than the slog.

The 6th part was so abysmal, I asked the group's permission to scrap it and rewrite it from scratch. I told them it sends the characters all over the city to put out little "fires" instead of tackling the conflict head-on, and that each of these little problems was a game session, and that there were 30 OF THEM. That's 30 game sessions just in that part, which is -- what -- the better part of a year?!?

Anyway, in my opinion (and I know there are people who will disagree with this), a year or more for an adventure path is TOO LONG. Maybe it's my A.D.D., but I don't want to slog through something more than a few months unless it is damned interesting, and even then I'm ready for it to end after about a year.


pachristian wrote:
Draftamike wrote:
This post has officially scared me away from investing into this game. Who has this kind of time with kids, career and other responsibilities?!
It was having job and kids that got my wife to start running adventure path adventures. Having the adventure path laid out meant that she did not have to put extra hours of work in to create the world and the adventures. By using adventure paths, she could be sure that there would be a 'next week session', no matter how long we played. We did Rise of the Runelords, and are now working on Carrion Crown. And yes, with various obligations, it looks like about 18 months to two years is how long it takes us to finish a campaign.

What he said. We got my wife to take up DMing again with Shackled City, lo these many years ago. "But you won't have to work too hard, it's already in the can."

We didn't expect it to go 4+ years per AP, but that's life. We're playing Savage Tide on Saturday, still with the monthly sessions.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

We're actually running 2 APs simultaneously with 2 different DMs.
We play every Sunday for approx 6 hours (give or take). Switching APs from book to book (so play thru book 1 in one, then book 1 in the other).

Started KM in Nov10 (so about 15 months ago) and just finished book 3
Started SS in Apr11 (so about 10 months ago) and about 1/4 thru book 3

NOTE: I *highly* recommend this switching back and forth. It's worked great for us. Gives each DM a few months break to get to play and prep the next book as the other DM plays through his AP. Also if a DM can't make it to a session for some reason, the other can take over early for a bit if needed.


My group has been playing Curse of the Crimson Throne since early last January and game every Tuesday for about 5 hours or so but also use a messageboard to set up lengthy roleplays that would eat up entire sessions so we can get on with the story. We're about halfway through book 6 right now.

Without the messageboard, I'm certain we'd be around mid book 5 with the amount of sessions played.

By contrast, we started playing Council of Thieves around 4 months ago and we're 3/4 of the way through book 3 with a similar weekly setup except on Wednesdays. However, I should mention that we haven't really gotten a good session in since the holidays for this one, so I would guess if we followed our usual formula we'd be well into book 4 by now.

Grand Lodge

43 sessions over 14 months with 4-6 players on medium Progression with for a modified (lengthened) Serpents Skull. Groups mostly newbies, not all are reliable. Averages out at around 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours of play time per session per 1-2 weeks, not counting the current 2 month hiatus. Hard to schedule sessions when we all have jobs and other commitments. As a result only halfway through chapter 2, at just under level 6. We use Hero Lab and D20 pro to streamline things and allow people to play despite the distances, but it's hard going...

I can imagine with more dedicated and experianced players, a larger time slot (like the 6 hour marathons of days gone by), and a GM who didn't favor role-play and world building over hack and slash (my bad) I estimate we'd be halfway through chapter 3 by now. But as long as we're all enjoying ourselves who cares right?

Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group is running Rise of the Runelords. We've had 26 sessions so far, and are not quite half-way through "Skinsaw Murders" (Book 2). At this rate, we'll be at this campaign for at least another year-and-a-half or more.

We play weekly, with each session having about 3 hours of actual gaming. I've added about six sessions' worth of planned homebrew content (so far), and there were two sessions in which the party went on an unplanned wild goose chase, forcing me to flex my improvisation muscles.

My players are all very experienced RPGers, mostly in their late 30s & early 40s, with many years of 3.5 under our belts. We've been playing together as a group for about a decade. This is our first PFRPG campaign, and the first time I've taken the GM reins with this group, so we did have a bit of a slow start. Most of my players are also more interested in the role-playing side than the combat side of gaming, so we spend a lot of time interacting with NPCs. Your miles may vary.

--Hal


Thanks all, sounds like it actually is possible...I really appreciate the candid openness on all your parts.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My group just finished Legacy of Fire and it took 31 sessions played roughly once a month, with each session going 4-6 hours.


we have 2-3 on the go at once (play once per week, 4 hour sessions)

KM, session 42, and just starting mod 5
SeSk, session, 17 starting mod 3
CC, session 8, starting mod 2


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We ussually get through a book per four sessions but we play like 7 to 9 hour sessions

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

My group just finished Serpent's Skull book 1 in 20 sessions of 4 hours. So that would translate to 80 hours for a book. We play once every 2 weeks. We expect the entire campaign to take about 4 years.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
silverhair2008 wrote:

@Draftamike,

If the time required to play through an entire AP scares you, why don't you take a look at the modules or make the separate chapters of an Adventure Path a one-shot? Our group took 18 months to go through Second Darkness, and we are currently in book 5 of Kingmaker which has taken us about 16 months so far. There is no requirement to play through an AP from start to finish.

Yes! The first book of Kingmaker makes an excellent extended module.

Scarab Sages Star Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My group played 16 hours across 2 days for a monthly session and would go through 1 book per session (give or take).

So Rise and Curse took us 6 months of these sessions, or 96 hours.

We're now playing 8-10 hour sessions per month, and they are 2/3's done the 4th module of Kingmaker. We should be half way through the 5th after March, and done by May.


I'm a slowpoke in that I'm just coming to the end of Rise of the Runelords at about 4 years, about 150 sessions.

It's my own fault. I level by GM fiat and I never met a sidequest or tangent that I didn't like.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Running Legacy of Fire took me over a year. The number of sessions we had is pretty skewed---this was during college, mostly during breaks, so we pulled 5-10 hour runs a lot of the time, and went from weekly sessions to 1-3 times per month---but I'd estimate we spent around two months per module. The first three books took 10-12 sessions each; four and five took around 15-20 each (sandbox demi-plane and mega-dungeon); they breezed through the last module in two nights.

Currently running Serpent's Skull; six players, 4.5 hour weekly sessions, slow track with some additional content. We've been playing since mid-September, with a lengthy holiday vacation, and are about to start the third module. By my count, it's been 15 sessions so far.

Had some friends running Runelords and Kingmaker; both of those took over a year to get to around module 4 (I forgot where they ended up stopping in both cases). They were also running extended sessions weekly. And Kingmaker had several false starts. Meanwhile, my ex-roommate took about six months to get through the fourth book of Crimson Throne; knowing him, it was weekly or biweekly for ~4 hours per session.

It also depends on how fast you go though things, whether your group gets into extended roleplaying, if you add extra encounter areas or expand the Path as written, how long your sessions are, how often you play, which specific Path you're running (expect Kingmaker or Serpent's Skull to last quite a while from their sandbox nature), etc...


+ The sliding scale of RollPlaying vs RolePlaying, for both players and DM/GM.

+ Out of Character chat

+ Non game related chat

+ game/rules/campaign questions chat

+ Number of Players/PCs and NPCs

+ Sidequests, sidetracking, etc

+/- number of sessions / lenght(sp?) of sessions

+/- etc...

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