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In the first session of Curse of the Crimson Throne, my party got all the way to the "Eels End" mission.

They are advancing further than I was really prepared for, as they mostly just go to the next area as soon as they know where it is. They have done no investigation into any of the places and have had very little difficulty wiping the floor with anything they run into.

The Edge of Anarchy (the first part of the adventure) assumes it to have been many days after the kings death before All the World meats happened, but my party cleared that area on the first day.

Why does the module assume it should take them so long? And what do I do so that they have to level up like 3 times in the session?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Zack! Welcome to RPG Stack Exchange. Check out our tour when you can, and when you reach 20 rep points, you'll be able to join us in Role-playing Games Chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 20 '17 at 23:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you be more specific about what exact problem you're experiencing, which you wish answers to solve? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 20 '17 at 23:28
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As a DM who's actually played the adventure, I know what you're talking about.

The adventure path assumes that while the party kills or otherwise incapacitates Gaedren Lamm the King dies. The news spread quickly and there's an uproar against the gold-digger queen.

The PCs leave the town out of sight for three encounters total, and when they come out they're put in front of the accomplished fact.

Luckily, my players started trying to decipher the logbook right there, which kept them out of commission for several hours, but most players will just exit again and yes, that's too quick but with a little suspension of disbelief it can still work.

A brooch is found in the loot for that encounter that players can (and will) identify as belonging to the queen on their own. Once they go to the queen they are immediately admitted (the queen is looking for help in quelling the uproar) and they are immediately sent to the city guard, where the captain immediately tells them to go solve a certain problem with a deserter named Verik.

My party did all this over the course of a few hours.

Meanwhile...

Vimanda acknowledges that the city is in uproar and she tells Verik to defect and to take possession of an abandoned building. Verik manages to have four other men from his company defect as well and the four men manage to spread the voice that they will kill for hire and actually go out at night to do their dirty job.

So, this assumes that the players get there at least one, better if two days later.

well, the answer is that they didn't really plan this well. I have also seen the Creative Director James Jacobs (or some other author, I can't find the thread in the Paizo forums) stating that there's only so much space to explain things in the adventure and that DMs are supposed to adapt the module to the speed of their party.

For leveling up, you just need to wait until they face enough random encounters before giving out the next quest.

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I'm not familiar with the adventure, but I would like to ask you: what does "too fast" mean in the context of a tabletop roleplaying game?

Does it mean too fast within the narrative? Don't worry too much about the players being ahead of the adventure's timeline. You may think things will be less tense if the players ace everything, but the swagger that comes from outperforming the par on a published module is more than enough emotional reward for most parties.

If you're concerned they're moving too quickly and missing out on something, certainly that's nothing to be worried about.

In RPGs, the players are the authors and audience of the adventure. The experience should serve their interests as gamers. As long as everyone's having a good time, there's little argument that anything "wrong" is going on at all. Ask yourself: what is lost in their approach to the adventure, and do they mind missing it?

I submit that most parties who breeze through without gathering additional context or information aren't interested in either, but are strictly concerned with the sense of achievement conveyed by fictional victories. Do you think this applies to your group--or do you think perhaps they want more out of the game and they just don't know how to get it?

In this latter case only, I'd recommend a simple conversation with your group outside of gametime. Ask if they're having fun, if there's anything else they're looking for. Perhaps suggest a few mysteries or questions they haven't explored and suggest something they might have done to learn more about it. If they really do care about getting a more complete experience, this is when it'll dawn on them they can contribute more as players. If they don't care, they'll probably keep doing what they're doing, and that's perfectly fine.

You did mention that they're moving faster than you're "prepared" for. If this is a logistical problem (and not just an expression of surprise), I recommend a more general approach during prep time. Anything that looks like something they won't investigate can probably be skimmed, and as long as you can put together a basic map, you're okay. Alternately, insert your own filler--combats with Bestiary monsters, minor sidequests, other published or amateur adventures that are thematically consistent, etc.

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