Just a question about the length of this AP: Does this game run shorter than other Adventure Paths? We have been playing this since October of 2016, and we just hit Book 4 tonight.
I feel as if the GM may be missing a few things since this is going insanely quick and I worry we are missing quite a few things since this feels kind of rushed.
Mind you, we were allowed to make custom races, and that might be one of the issues.
Every group is different and has its own unique pace. How long and often you game plays a large factor in how quickly you progress through an AP. Another big factor is how focused your group is; do they take a lot of sidetracks and roleplaying a lot, or do they move from encounter to encounter.
If this is your first AP as a group, this just might be your pace. Otherwise, look at what makes this one different from other APs you've played through.
It will vary by group. However, I can say that the group I'm running started at the beginning of November 2016, and they are just now nearing the end of book 2.
There could be many reasons for that. Maybe your group plays for longer periods, or plays more often (We play for 4 hours once a week). Maybe my group just takes longer in fights, or role plays more. Or maybe your Gm is going insanely quick and skipping stuff.
But it doesn't seem much shorter to me than other APs I've played in.
It does seem to go faster than some adventure paths. The suspense of the chase and what not.
Carrion Crown is very similar in that regard.
There's one group I'm aware of that's already starting book six, so. :-)
Our group is very, very slow. Our 16th session will be starting this Sunday and this will be wrapping up Book One. There is a lot of waffling and discussion and they enjoy roleplaying as well (which is great) but oh man. They can't wait to get out of Briarstone.
I feel like my group moves much faster outside of a dungeon-based exploration set up. They get obsessive about exploring everything, but they're still new enough to Pathfinder mechanics and Lovecraft that they are quite cautious.
You could definitely stretch out the AP. There are some spooky/cool locations and taking the time to hang around and really soak them up would probably be pretty fun with the right group. The only problem is the "chase" aspect of the whole AP that somewhat discourages the players from doing that. If I wanted to run this AP again and make it more atmospheric, I would probably have to change that element.
Had one session of Thrushmoor Terror and things seem to be moving at a faster clip, we hit several small scenes to set up the small town and get them established over the course of the night but no combat was had quite yet.
In this session they learned about the fish mutilation, met a new character (new player) who showed them around town, met Elgrior, were denied room and board at the inn, met a few NPCs, and learned the place was pretty insular and rumormongering. They haven't taken much stock in anything supernatural going on. A lot of exposition is taken care of already, and they're VERY excited to go to the Sleepless Agency.
The night and session ended with the new player leading the PCs to the New Chapel where they met up with Winter and some of the Briarstone Survivors, deciding to try and meet up with Omari at the Sleepless Agency in the morning.
Unable to sleep at the inn, they decided to crash there for the night. The new player was hesitant to walk back home alone but refused to be escorted. So on the way she noticed Nemira's ghost appearing and freaked out. She immediately turned around to go back to the church. Nemira cast ghost sound to sound like she was whispering right in her ear. The player ran as fast as she could back to the church.
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Thanks to everyone for providing your numbers here, this has been an informative read about Strange Aeons. Spastic Puma makes a good point above, in that this AP offers a lot in the way of providing atmosphere, and so each group’s completion time may vary significantly. If you’re looking for a breakdown of the session time to completion for a control group of 4 characters with 15-point builds, you can find one in our living PDF of The Strange Aeons Experiment. This was played using the complete rules set and strictly adhering to each author’s intent, though some deviation according to player choices is a normal part of the game. I believe with the exception of PF109 (c. 44 hours), all other parts averaged a little over 60 hours each. As you may have noticed on the blog posts, we are spending a lot of effort on atmosphere, so I’m sure that has something to do with our time to completion being a bit longer. At higher levels, a lot in the way of completion time will depend on how your players handle combat, which can bog down with the plethora of options available to PCs.
Just a word of note in comparison to other APs: We have tracked and documented our completion in the same manner for Giantslayer, though Strange Aeons ended up significantly longer; Giantslayer finished at 292 hours, while Strange Aeons is likely to break 350 in our final marathon.
Thanks again for sharing, everyone!