It depends on how often you play and how long your sessions are. My game has been thirty six sessions so far, each lasting anywhere from four to six hours long. The PCs are currently at the end of book three (one or maybe two sessions left for this book). Book one was sessions 1-8, and book two was sessions 9-20, so it seems each subsequent book takes a bit longer to play through than the previous book. I figure it'll be about eighty to ninety sessions before we finish book six.
So if you play once a week at this rate it will take anywhere from one and a half to close to two years.
The main determiner in how long it takes in-game is how much downtime you give the PC's in between volumes. I'm about to embark on Volume 5 with my party and so far it's been like a couple weeks to a month to resolve the issues found in each volume, plus a month or two between volumes to build up the keep and do other downtime stuff. In my game in particular the PC's decided to found a trade guild, so I wanted to give them room to grow it. All in all, probably a year or two in-game by the time all is said and done.
Yep, I know, just asing for experiences..
Background is that our alchemist died and now they want to resurrect him. But as resurrection being an uncommon ritual, I don't want it easily be available in Breachhill. They went to the Schelyn temple. There the priests have created a magic device, which can transport them to the River of Souls, where they have to find the soul of their friend, and then makle their way to Pharasmas palace, to negotiate. Pharasma will ultimately decide, that she will bring back him to life, but he has to do something for her. But I want that also be very limited, like the "you have 10 years but then come to hell" deals from supernatural. I thought that 1 year would be appropriate, so it could be, that they complete the AP in that time, but also could be, that his time will come and the player has to roll a new character.
That would be the case I prefer, that both could be. Bad would be, if it definitely will take longer to complete the AP, because even without much downtime it will definitely take longer than a year, and worst case would be, if there is definitely no way, that this 1 year mark would be relevant at all, because even with extended downtimes the AP will never take a year to complete
If your group takes a consistent month of downtime between books and doesn't ever slow down you're looking at maybe nine months in-game? Five months of downtime, each adventure averaging maybe two or three weeks.
My group takes a bit longer, 5-8 weeks of downtime (they like to retrain and develop the citadel) and sometimes a mid-chapter week to craft and retrain. Under two years should be an easy timeframe for any table, but it very well could take more than one.
Oh, I completely misread that, I gave real time and not game time. For my game, the Call for Heroes was on 5th Lamashan, 4719 and the current date is 26th Abadius, 4720. So more than three months have passed for the PCs. We are at about the halfway point of the AP (bookwise at least), and I'd say my group doesn't do very much downtime since the upgrade of the citadel is happening in the background, handled by NPCs.
Okay, thank you all. We just finishes the session, where our alchemist were given his extra time from Pharasma to finish his business in the world of the living and set it to 1 year. So as I know my group, this should be enough to complete the AP (I don't expect mch downtime..) but IF they decide to surprise me it could lead to an interesting moment, where time runs out for him and he ultimately has to face his trial before Pharasma.
Group (and especially the alchemists player) had a blast how I substituted the simple and boring "pay us 300 gp and we resurrect your pal" by a short sidequest to the boneyard to negotiate with Pharasma herself. Intimidating level 9000 for our level 4 party :D