Informal Poll: Are Pathfinder Adventures Too Long?


Pathfinder Adventure Path General Discussion


Alternate Title - PF INSTALLMENTS ARE TOO LONG!!!!!

I've always found Dungeon magazine adventures easier to keep up with, even though they're, well, in the wrong edition. Lately, I've started wondering if the length is the issue. Pathfinder installments are a lot longer, and for me, they feel like a lot more to wrap my head around as a GM.

A standard Adventure Path installment in Dungeon magazine would be around half (?) the length, meaning the GM only had to track so much at once. It also feels faster for the players, who get to have the "you beat the chapter!" music play twice as frequently. Personally, it feels better-paced.

What do you think?


6 people marked this as a favorite.

And because I called it a poll, here's the binary answer option.

Favorite this post if your answer is, "I would like PF installments better if they were shorter."


20 people marked this as a favorite.

Favorite this post if your answer is, "I think they are at a good length."


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Favorite this post if your answer is, "I would like them better if they were longer. In fact, why bother with Adventure Paths at all? Just print one big book! Man, I should be running this company."


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Favorite this post if you want to help me rack up my Favorites score. Please, it's for a good cause!

My ego is the cause.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How about "Sorry, you formulated your third option in a way which makes me not agree with it anymore, although the general idea is what I'd support.". Sometimes getting too fancy with your wording works out contrary to your intentions.

Pathfinder AP's were too short, since most of them did not reach level 20. IMO, they could either have cut out the fiction (I don't think I read a single piece in ten years) or should have stopped with the bean-counting and just have people level up at certain points in the adventure to get to level 20 at the end. And, yes, I know that both of these options are disliked by some other people, since some people love the fiction and others are strongly pro-bean counting.


magnuskn wrote:

How about "Sorry, you formulated your third option in a way which makes me not agree with it anymore, although the general idea is what I'd support.". Sometimes getting too fancy with your wording works out contrary to your intentions.

Pathfinder AP's were too short, since most of them did not reach level 20. IMO, they could either have cut out the fiction (I don't think I read a single piece in ten years) or should have stopped with the bean-counting and just have people level up at certain points in the adventure to get to level 20 at the end. And, yes, I know that both of these options are disliked by some other people, since some people love the fiction and others are strongly pro-bean counting.

You don't like adding numbers or reading stuff? Why do you play Pathfinder?

Liberty's Edge

Gimme moar 3 part adventures Paizo! I will give you more money, and my group might actually finish an entire adventure before we move onto something else, the group loses steam, or schedules change/people move!

(>'-')> <('-'<) ^('-')^ v('-')v(>'-')> (^-^)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'd like them to be longer, my players would like them to be shorter. So I've unhelpfully voted twice. :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DominusMegadeus wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

How about "Sorry, you formulated your third option in a way which makes me not agree with it anymore, although the general idea is what I'd support.". Sometimes getting too fancy with your wording works out contrary to your intentions.

Pathfinder AP's were too short, since most of them did not reach level 20. IMO, they could either have cut out the fiction (I don't think I read a single piece in ten years) or should have stopped with the bean-counting and just have people level up at certain points in the adventure to get to level 20 at the end. And, yes, I know that both of these options are disliked by some other people, since some people love the fiction and others are strongly pro-bean counting.

You don't like adding numbers or reading stuff? Why do you play Pathfinder?

I don't like reading short stories, but I love long novel series like Honor Harrington or the Dresden Files. I'm fine with calculating stuff (like extrapolating the treasure of an entire AP and adjusting it for my irregular group or the automatic bonus progression), but I don't like hanging the level advancement of an entire AP on beancounting XP values. Nuance!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I am infamous for adding even more content to Adventure Paths. So I'm the wrong person to ask if I think APs are too long.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hopefully with PF2 statblocks being shorter there will be more space for lore, NPCs and other stuff that's normally clogged up by mile-long high CR stats.


I don't have a problem with the AP issue lengths: shortening them significantly would mean the AP would either only reach maybe 10th level or would take much longer to come out.

I do think there's a place for shorter non-AP adventures. Even the sporadic modules line, in its expanded size is often too big - more like a mini-AP than something that can be used as part of an ongoing campaign.

Really short adventures are great too - things that can be slipped in for a single session adventure. PFS scenarios can fill that role, when you can file off the Pathfinder Society connections easily enough.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

To be fair, I think there's a place for adventures of varying different lengths. Adventure Paths should reach 1st through 20th (or marginally higher so players get to actually PLAY at 20th level). Adventure Path portions should be whatever portion of an adventure path you divide by to get the number of portions. Modules should be of a reasonable size to run over a several sessions, perhaps two to three levels worth, allowing a DM to prep one and run it for a while. One-shots (for instance PFS scenarios) should be single-session, non-leveling adventures.

Best of all worlds.

Dark Archive

Assuming you play four hour every week, you could still probably complete AP before the year is over...(each of AP I've run has been little over year, but only because we haven't been able to play every week) Yeah, I don't think they are too long :P

Heck, I played in bi weekly Reign of Winter game(and yes, we did EVERYTHING) that lasted 42 sessions. Considering year is 52 weeks, only reason we didn't complete it in single year was that we were playing biweekly :p


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think they're mostly a good length, though I wouldn't mind them being longer. I definitely don't want them shorter...we're in the middle of the first Starfinder AP right now, and it's a fun AP, but man, do I wish it was longer. I like these characters and want to spend more than 3 sessions per book with them, dang it. My partner and I switch off GMing, and at this rate I'm only going to get a 3-month break, haha.

Scarab Sages

I would like them to be longer (there's been some nice content and lore that was cut due to word limits which is unfortunate). However I do feel there's room for shorter i.e. adventures that don't end with the players as Collosi striding the land or demi-gods. I'd like a 1, 2, 3, 4 system msyself. 1 = short adventure to take the players from say lvl 1 to lvl 6 by the end of it. 2 = Mid length adventure series taking them up to lvl 12. 3 = take them up to lvl 18-20 depending on the AP (like our current ones) and 4 = dump the word count you go to lvl 20/mythic 10 and all the content/lore is added even if it takes a dozen modules. The extra length is offset by the shorter length of the 1 and 2 level modules. So you'd get a cylical release cycle of short, medium, long and mythical.

I'd also like to add a request for a coherant canon timeline of the world as a suppliment showing which AP's had the adventurers succeed, which failed, when they occured in relation to each other and how the canon world is currently functioning as opposed to the more generic setting each GM can tailor to suit.


It does seem like there was unfortunate miscommunication here—I consider an "adventure" or "adventure installment" to represent a single chapter of the overall AP. I'm intending to ask if each "chapter" should be shorter (so, "should Burnt Offerings be cut down or split into two chapters?", not "should Rise of the Runelords be shorter overall?").

I think Pathfinder APs are a decent length (though you could certainly argue they should go to 20th level), but that wasn't the question I was intending to ask, maguskn. After all, the Dungeon APs ran straight to 20th level with much shorter individual installments. This isn't about "should the campaigns last longer"—it's about how to pace the longer or shorter campaign chapter-by-chapter.

Sorry for the confusion!


Senko wrote:
I'd also like to add a request for a coherant canon timeline of the world as a suppliment showing which AP's had the adventurers succeed, which failed, when they occured in relation to each other and how the canon world is currently functioning as opposed to the more generic setting each GM can tailor to suit.

Ooh, I did really enjoy how every Dungeon AP tied into the other APs. I get why Paizo doesn't do that (it's a huge pain), but it's such a fun touch. You can play one AP and then immediately start the "next" with a batch of fresh characters.

In Age of Worms, for example, the events of Shackled City are part of the prophecies leading up to the eponymous apocalypse—and there are oblique references throughout to the upcoming Savage Tide AP. Other Dungeon one-shots are also referenced (for instance, certain famous dragons or evil demon trees faced in other adventures are part of the prophecies). It created a feeling that Greyhawk really was a living, breathing setting full of heroes and adventurers each doing their own thing. Pathfinder feels a bit more static, since APs are only canonically taking place while you're playing them (Varisia only deals with an awoken Runelord when the PCs are in Varisia fighting him).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

It does seem like there was unfortunate miscommunication here—I consider an "adventure" or "adventure installment" to represent a single chapter of the overall AP. I'm intending to ask if each "chapter" should be shorter (so, "should Burnt Offerings be cut down or split into two chapters?", not "should Rise of the Runelords be shorter overall?").

I think Pathfinder APs are a decent length (though you could certainly argue they should go to 20th level), but that wasn't the question I was intending to ask, maguskn. After all, the Dungeon APs ran straight to 20th level with much shorter individual installments. This isn't about "should the campaigns last longer"—it's about how to pace the longer or shorter campaign chapter-by-chapter.

Sorry for the confusion!

It should be noted, in 2nd edition ALL Adventure Paths WILL go to 20th level.

In fact, the experience system is specifically designed so they could have every AP go to 20th level.


Not at all. I'd prefer they all went to 20th level. It's so disappointing that so many of the adventure paths never make it past the 15-17th level mark.


I'm happy with the instalments as they are now, and I have no idea whether a biweekly release schedule for chapters half that length would be feasible as a thing generally but it would seem a huge and disruptive change to Paizo's current model, and I am very opposed to that. Monthly installments the length of the Dungeon adventures. which would effectively mean half the content in any given span of time, I would be strongly opposed to.

I think PF2.0 APs going to 20th will be fine, though in my unrealistic perfect world, 2.0 leads to a reworked version of epic and we can have the occasional AP going into those rarefied heights. I could cope with a 3-part AP from time to time if it meant a 9-part AP for the rest of that year.


Narratives generally fall into 3 parts, whether three acts of one story or a trilogy of stories. So, having APs fall into 6 books/chapters is already subdividing more that most narratives already.

If you, as a GM, think there are too many loose threads in a AP book, cut them. If you think subplots are going on too long, start them later or end them earlier.

If you, as a player think that, talk with your group and GM about it. You may not be alone in thinking that.


AP lengths are fine with me since I love progressing into high levels. I would love more stand alone modules especially in places that haven't gotten a lot of attention.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Those already exist outside of the AP line and I'm sure there will be more.

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