How many hours to run (KotS) adventure?

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I know this might be a "How many letters in a word" question, but with the H1-3 adventures intended to follow each other (with few if any adventures inbetween books from what I can see) and a month between H2 and H3 (and two months between H1 and H2), how long do you think each adventure will take to complete?

I was considering running the three adventures in June with a weekly session of 3 hours. If it takes 18 hours to complete one of the books then that will be perfect. However if it takes significantly less time, then I think I'd have better wait until August.
Well I ran part of the 1st module saturday night. We got thru 2 wilderness encounters and the city of winterhaven. We started at 8 and stopped at midnight. I'd say a more organized game could get maybe 4 encounters in the 1st session with 3 hours time. My players had never looked at 4E before we sat down to play. I'd say at least 3 sessions to get thru the whole module maybe as many as 5.
I'd say at least 3 sessions to get thru the whole module maybe as many as 5.

That could make it possible to begin when the 3 core books are released. I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts and experiences though.
That could make it possible to begin when the 3 core books are released. I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts and experiences though.

This is my plan. Start the campaign after the books are out, probably end up chewing up the entire first session just making characters and all that, which means I should already have Thunderspire by the time we finish Keep.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

From my experience with the DDXP demos and fan-created adventures, it takes a group of 4 PCs about an hour an encounter to get through it. Of course, we're all at the early stages of 4e and playing with characters that we're not very familiar with, so I anticipate it will go faster very soon.

We're planning on start KotS as soon as it comes out. The plan is that everyone will play one of the pregen characters to get a feel for the rules and a race and class we haven't seen before (dragonborn and rogue). Once the core books come out, we'll create our own characters and continue on with the adventure as if those had been the characters all along. One of my players who usually doesn't like playing fighters is already excited about the fighter abilities and may even create one of his own fighter once the books are out.

But, I also have the fear that we'll cruise through H1 too fast and H2 won't be out yet. But, I'm hoping that one of my group will decide to run his own campaign and we can just switch off every once and a while.
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But, I also have the fear that we'll cruise through H1 too fast and H2 won't be out yet. But, I'm hoping that one of my group will decide to run his own campaign and we can just switch off every once and a while.

That brings up another question. Is H1 actually written to level up characters all the way to the point they can do H2? (I think H1 is for level 1 to 3 characters, while H2 is for level 4-6 characters.)

I've been guessing that H1 isn't quite enough to get level 1 characters all the way through level 3, so I'm thinking I'll probably have to add a filler adventure or two between H1 and H2 to cover the level gap. But that's just a guess; I haven't seen H1 yet. If anybody has some insight on that feel free to reply.
There should be enough exp in H1 to get characters to at least level 3. It may take them to level 4. But, nonetheless, at the end of H1, I'll just tell my players to add enough exp to get them to level 4 so we'll all be on the same page at the start of H2. Unless it's not out yet, in which case, we'll run a few filler encounters.
There should be enough exp in H1 to get characters to at least level 3. It may take them to level 4.

How many encounters are there in KotS? Because this excerpt suggests that (on average) 10 encounters will advance you one level. Assuming 20 encounters (based on above posts) I'd say it could only bring you up to level 3.5 rather then straight to level 4, which is good news for me That gives me 5 encounters (or 1 session) to insert between KotS and Thunderspire
It'll get you into level 3, but you'll need a small filler adventure (3-6 encounters) to push your group up to level 4.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

Obviously it really depends on how long your sessions last. I have been playing this for about two and a half months off and on with one 2 hour session per week (and many missed weeks).

Levels 1-10 should take about 6 months on average so I guess this should take 2 months playing once a week for a few hours each time or 2-3 weeks with a 8 hour session per week.
Wow, thanks a lot ScottR and LFK! That's exactly the sort of information I was looking for Now I don't have to worry about running KotS when I get it.