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Low Prep-Time Pathfinder Adventures for Time-Strapped GMs

2011 November 15
by Stan Shinn

I’m also strapped for time so I like to use commercially published adventures that will actually save me time compared to writing my own adventures. From the adventures I’ve read and from posts on Paizo’s forums I’ve come up with a stab at how long Paizo’s different adventures take, compared to how many pages you have to read and digest in order to run those adventures. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Pathfinder Society Scenarios — 14 Pages for 4 Hours Play (3.5 pages per hour of gaming)
  • Pathfinder Adventure Path (e.g. Rise of the Runelords) — 90 pages for 40 hours of play (2.25 pages per hour of gaming)
  • Pathfinder Module (e.g. Crypt of the Everflame) — 29 pages for 20 hours of gaming (1.45 pages per hour of gaming)

I’m sure people’s mileage may vary in terms of how long a game takes to run.  For example, not all PFS scenarios are created equal. Some are straightforward mini-dungeons that require almost no preparation, and others involve more investigation additional prep work since simple combat is not the only factor.

Based on the above though, it seems that Pathfinder Modules seem be the lowest prep time adventures to run. My experience is that when there is lots of text (e.g. Society Scenarios or AP) I may read it, but if a few weeks pass before I run the adventure, I forget a lot, and text-heavy adventures require re-reading or highlighting which can be very time consuming.

 


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