Count Fosco wrote:
How long do people find the full adventure takes? Can it be done in 4 hours?
Yes, it can be done in four hours. How long it takes depends upon the participants, and the time slot. In my home game, we are pretty leisurely, but this was still playtested within a single four-hour session.
At what point do the players start to realize....
That depends upon the players. For players familiar with Lovecraft, the moment you say whipporwhils and piney woods, the jig is up. Players tend to be suspicious anyway. I have been thinking of doing a reverse-Grinder, where it really is what it seems, but the players don't figure that out until they have butchered a bunch of innocent folks.
Does that ever change their motivation? Do they ever want to pack up and leave?
Sure does change their motivation! But the lure of that 10 XP to level up, and the lure of adventure is strong, young Jedi. That said, in a con game (which I assume you are considering based on your "4 hour slot"), what is the point of leaving? And in campaign play, just leaving also has its consequences - the Curwens round up their stock, and no one wants to believe what you have to say....basically, you turn yourself into the outcast protagonist of many an HPL story. And then Junior Curwen grows up a bit, which turns into a new 0-level funnel of the judge's devising. And perhaps Papa comes back as well......Use the implications in the adventure to have fun. Some ideas:
(1) The essential salts/damned things: The Curwens rob some graves to gain essential knowledge of something from the dead.
(2) The Cult of Sliggeth: The Hungering One's followers move into the village outskirts and set up a small temple.
(3) Night of the Living Stock: A second break-out occurs, and this time it is the more dangerous version of the Very Large Men. Does the village survive until the morning?
(4) Happy Father's Day: Junior Curwen's daddy comes back, and as he has not limited himself to degenerate folk, a village posse has to scour the woods for an invisible monster.
(5) The Yuggoth Connection: The Curwens gain a commission to sell brains to the Mi-Go. Those folks who broke into the house that one time should just about fit the bill.