Length to Complete Each Scenario / Quest?

Pathfinder Society

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Savannah aka KitsuneWarlock

How long has it taken you to complete any (or all) of the PFS games you've played since Pathfinder 2 was released? I see lots of GMs asking for adventures on social media based on how long it takes to complete, and in my personal experience I've seen certain scenarios and quests run much longer than others...and I'm curious if "it's just me", since I only have 2 lodges worth of data and I'm always the GM.

Answers will be published in a separate sheet that will be linked in the description of this survey.


Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

My impression so far is that they're pretty much the same length as PFS1, that is, you can run faster or slower depending on whether you're in a hurry or taking it easy.

Escaping the Grave ran relatively short for me I think both because it's straightforward, but also because in-game time pressure also tends to focus the players.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Haven't played Mosquito Witch. Currently playing Revolution on the Riverside. Played Origin of the Open Road during a 4 hour Convention slot. The rest I've done via PbP:

09 days (Quest: Sandstone Secret)
09 days (Quest: Unforgiving Fire)
07 days (Quest: Grehunde's Gorget)

09 days (Scenario: Absalom Initiation)
13 days (Scenario: Escaping the Grave)
13 days (Scenario: Bandits of Immenwood)
10 days (Scenario: Trailblazers' Bounty)
15 days (Scenario: Lost on the Spirit Road)
08 days (Scenario: Flooded King's Court)

Assuming table time operates at the same ratio, it looks like Lost on the Spirit Road ran the longest.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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You have a fast-running PBP group!

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

We are a good mix (usually it's been Rogue, Rogue, Druid, Barbarian, Sorcerer and either Wizard or Cleric).

But mostly our GM just kicks ass ^_^

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Savannah aka KitsuneWarlock

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mT75uvADTX_v204in4WxaqmBch6rfGku80H H1cStMUo/edit?usp=sharing

I updated the doc. Interesting results so far.

Quests range between 00:45 and 2:05. Scenarios range between 3:18 and 4:15.

This means it's possible to run a quest and a scenario in less time than a scenario. Of course without significantly more data this is wildly inaccurate. Groups vary from lodge to lodge and night to night.


Most scenarios took under 4 hours when I was playing. When we did all 4 quests in a row last week, that took about 4.5 hours due to additional breaks to change over maps. In general I was getting home earlier on nights when we played PFS2 than on PFS1 nights.

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Anecdotally, the general impression shared by players at my venue (RealAlchemy, above, being one of them) is that PFS2 scenarios generally run faster than PFS1 scenarios. This is borne out by observing that our PFS2 tables typically finish before the PFS1 tables do.

Differences in runtime between PFS2 scenarios are obscured by the larger differences between tables. I have observed the same PFS2 scenario being run by 2 different GMs for different groups take 5 hours and 2.5 hours respectively.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

So does anyone want to speculate on why they seem to go faster?

Dark Archive 4/5

Probably because 1) system just plays faster in general* 2) crits are more common now. 3) in case of same scenario with lot of time variation, it might be because 2 hour group skipped combat with right skills.

*This one is kinda hard to explain, but there are tons of small things that speed up the game little bit that makes big difference in four hours. I know from running roll20 games that even the physical act of picking up dice, rolling it, leaning to see numbers and then calculating and stating it aloud takes surprisingly lot of time because its done over and over again, so roll20 games where digital dice rolls it fast and you see results right away speeds up game a ton.

In terms of 2e, that applies to stuff like abilities that target Save DC instead of telling the other player what to roll in response to what you are doing. There is also that some players are slow to calculate or have bad memory regarding multiple numbers (I'm one of players who are like "Umm my level 1 spell DC was 16, so my level 2 spell DC was 17, so uh yeah DC was 17!"), so things like streamlining DC to be same regardless of spell level also speeds things up overall in small ways.

That said I doubt anyone would know how much time that actually saves, but I'd say it saves enough time overall that games are more unlikely to stretch over 4 hours.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dustin Knight wrote:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mT75uvADTX_v204in4WxaqmBch6rfGku80H H1cStMUo/edit?usp=sharing

I updated the doc. Interesting results so far.

Linky no worky. Did you turn on sharing?

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

GreatGraySkwid wrote:
Dustin Knight wrote:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mT75uvADTX_v204in4WxaqmBch6rfGku80H H1cStMUo/edit?usp=sharing

I updated the doc. Interesting results so far.

Linky no worky. Did you turn on sharing?

There's a rogue whitespace.


Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
So does anyone want to speculate on why they seem to go faster?

YMMV, but for the groups I've played in and run the biggest areas where time seems to be saved is in the amount of time combats take. I've noticed that where in PF1 a combat was pretty consistently 1+ hours of play per major combat, the same combat scene in PF2 tends to take about half the time (we've been averaging about 30-45 minutes for a major combat). Anecdotally I attribute this to several of the same factors CorvusMask mentioned above re: quicker tracking of options and abilities on the player side; it just takes less time to execute your spells/abilities and resolve your turns when all your spells/abilities are using the same DCs. I think that kind of carries over to all of the proficiency-based vectors like skills and attack rolls since you generally know even before you check your sheet about what your bonus is.

Any adventure with a lot of roleplay opportunities is going to throw a wrench in calculations since roleplay is so dependent on the players. If you assume a given interaction is going to equate to e.g. 30 minutes of roleplay, there are going to be some groups that spend 5 minutes on it and another group that spends a full hour and some change. That was true in PF1 as well but (and again, YMMV) I think the class structure of PF2 separating out skill feats from other options means that you have a lot more characters with social tools thanks to feats like Charming Liar, Courtly Graces, Dubious Knowledge, Quick Coercion, etc. My experience has been that more players at the table generally feel equipped to participate in social interactions than in PF1, which can mean that either the group has more tools to bring to bear and the situation resolves more quickly, or since more players are participating the scene ends up expanding and taking more table time than a similar scene would have previously.

The goal is of course for quests to take an hour and scenarios to take 4 hours. The length of time it takes to complete an adventure is something the team and I are keeping an eye on going forward but at this point in the game's early life we're seeing spreads for quests that cover 45 minutes to 2 hours and spreads for scenarios that seem to cover 2.5 to 6 hours so we're not really at that point yet where we're looking at making significant changes to the formula. Making adventures longer is going to hurt the tables where they're currently going over the mark and making them shorter is going to be less satisfying for the groups who are already finishing significantly under. I expect that as people get more familiar with PF2 what we'll see is those extremes start growing closer together. Once they've kind of normalized a bit to where we have less variation in play time between groups and communities, we should have a clearer picture of what we can do on the development side to address games going over or under.

Sovereign Court 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Georgia—Savannah aka KitsuneWarlock

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Michael Sayre hit the nail on the head. Combat is so much smoother in 2e and that helps a great deal. The unified DC chart also makes running these scenarios significantly more easy, given the core rules has a sort of rough guideline on what players should roll when they go off the rails a little and you need a skill check the scenario didn't account for.

(If a moderator wants to edit the link to my results into my first post I'd appreciate it. I'm so not used to forums where you can't edit your posts after a while.)

Grand Lodge 4/5

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I've ran 36 scenarios and am partway through Fall of Plaguestone with one group right now. The length of time involved in running a scenario is directly proportionate to the knowledge of the rules by myself and the players. The majority of my sessions have been where I've been teaching players the game. Just like with PF1, my knowledge of the rules grows with each session I run. I've gotten more comfortable with the basic rules and am expanding my knowledge of them every time I run a game.

This shortens game times, but that is also dependent on teaching newer players the rules during sessions. Also, since I am an instructor by trade, I tend to spend a bit more time than most in educating players on the rules to help them learn. Still, I have seen the length of my sessions getting shorter as we grow in our familiarity with the system. My experiences run over Gen Con, Cog Con, two monthly events, online PFS2 via Roll20, and a few other spots here and there.

The combat is outstanding. The players love it. It flows quite rapidly. I refer to it as tactical chess. The wild card for session length is that of role play. When the players get into it heavily, no one is concerned about game length. They enjoy their session and we all have a memorable experience.

A major factor for us is also the number of players at the table. I have had to limit table size at one venue due to the time window we have available to us. We have to make two sessions fit into an eight-hour window. We cannot run over that window. Five players at a table runs well whereas six or seven always cause us to run into time problems.

So that sums up my experiences with length of time for sessions which I input into the survey. I'm exceedingly pleased with the game and am enjoying running the sessions immensely regardless of time.

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For what it's worth, here is my small sample size:

Live: 1-01, 1-02, and 1-06 have all pushed the 4 hour limit we generally have had at the game store or conventions. I think 1-01 might have been 3h45m and we got the stinkeye from the game store staff at 4h05m for 1-06.

PbP: 1-03 has run from October 2 and is still ongoing (69 days and counting).

I think there are simply fewer combats in PFS2. Alternatively, the people I've played with are more adept at avoiding unnecessary combat / less eager to murderhobo.


I haven't got a lot of data, but I also have the impression that PF2 runs quicker. However, there's one factor that might play a role to skew out perception so far: All the PF2 scenarios have been low-level, which generally take less time than a higher-level scenario (as might still be run for PF1).

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