Today marks the 1-year anniversary of the launch of the Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite platforms. Although I don't contribute to those any longer, I had some significant initial success with them. You much success? Let me break it down for you at the 1-year mark.

As a threshold matter, I have separate DriveThruRPG accounts for Run Amok Games (as a publisher) and as Ron Lundeen (as a content contributor). Everything for the Infinite program is under the latter, so that's what I'm talking about today.

A year ago, when I first learned the Pathfinder Infinite program was coming, I did...well, nothing. I was a Paizo employee at the time, and I knew the program was being concepted. I was an internal voice advocating for allowing Paizo employee participation in that program, which was not a certain thing at the time. But because I didn't want to have an appearance of impropriety or acting on advance knowledge, I didn't put any time into learning the evolving specifics of the program (apart from whether or not I'd be able to participate) or what products I might want to do for it. I waited until the group of people called the "Infinite Masters," the expected supercontributors to the site, received information about the program launch before I did anything. Paizo employees were among these Infinite Masters, but we were far outnumbered by outside-of-the-company people, so I thought it was fair of me to start when they did.

So the first *actual* thing I did for Pathfinder Infinite was to go look at DM's Guild.

I knew that Pathfinder Infinite was modeled after that program for Dungeons & Dragons, which had been running for years, and I wanted to see what types of things were big, successful sellers on DM's Guild. The same kinds of things might be a success on Pathfinder Infinite. I noticed the following things were among the biggest sellers.

1) New classes
2) DM guides to expand existing D&D adventures with side quests, extra monsters, and so on
3) Books about monsters--specifically, a collection of books that expanded upon monsters in the Monster Manual, presenting them in different types and at different levels

Making new classes in Pathfinder Second Edition is really, really tricky. I wasn't sure I wanted to commit the time to that endeavor. But the other two things were right up my alley--adventures and monsters! I resolved to make those my first two products for Pathfinder Infinite.

The Abomination Vaults GM's Guide
I was already quite deep into Abomination Vaults in my day job at Paizo, having developed the three-volume adventure path and its hardcover compilation (at the time, I was also working through its update to 5E D&D, but that hadn't been announced yet). It's the AP I knew best at that time. I knew it was really popular (and I loved reading forum activity about it), and I knew it would get a double bump in popularity with the initial 3-volume AP and again with the hardcover compilation. I was also independently working hard on my Kickstarter, The Skaldwood Blight--which isn't a tangent, bear with me here. My work on The Skaldwood Blight showed me something important: buyers of Pathfinder products really like having the stat blocks included right in the adventure. Paizo makes liberal use of reference to Bestiaries in their adventures (including throughout the Abomination Vaults Adventure Path), but that proved unpopular for The Skaldwood Blight. It's particularly unpopular when you make the GM do a bit of on-the-fly math, such as requriing GMs to build a weak froghemoth or an elite golem. There are lots of weak and elite critters in Abomination Vaults.

I thought putting together all the stats for the Abomination Vaults monsters and hazards would be a pretty useful thing. I'd arrange them by dungeon level and be completely comprehensive. Anyone could do that; it was mostly just looking up stats and copying them into a Word document, then applying some formatting (oh, so much formatting). Adventure supplement products on DM's Guild included more than stats, though; they included new factions, side quests, and lots of other things. So even though I was well past 100 page of stats alone, I wrote up some wandering factions and a couple of side adventures, too. I pulled from some maps I had in older products so the side adventures looked nice.

My final piece for that GM's guide--and the one that I've heard the most positive feedback about--was a checklist of all the official side quests presented in the AP. This was something I'd found really, really useful when running this campaign for my home group. Those side quests are all set apart in subheaders in the adventure text, so it was as easy as searching the adventures for the words "side quest" and then jotting everything down in a table.

I worked hard to make The Abomination Vaults GM's Guide available right at the start of the Pathfinder Infinite program. In the first few days, it was one of only a handful of products available, and it sold really, really well. In fact, it's continued to sell well. I'm a little surprised that no one else has taken this model and created a GM's Guide for one of the other APs, too. It's just a matter of compiling the stats, throwing in a few other tools that you think might be useful, and putting it up for sale. One thing I felt I couldn't do as a Paizo employee--but which others certainly could do--is criticize where the AP lagged or needed more work. Something along the lines of "Variant Mayor Encounter" where the author admits, "hey, the encounter with the mayor in Book 5 just doesn't work well as presented for reasons X and Y, here is a rewrite of that encounter that works better."

Boosted Bestiary
The other product I wanted to do wasn't ready to go right away. In fact, it almost didn't go off at all, and that's because of bad scoping on my part. I had a lot of experience creating higher or lower level versions of monsters for The Skaldwood Blight, and here on this blog. The monster design tools in the Gamemastery Guide work really well for this. I had initially thought about taking every monster in the Pathfinder Bestiary at levels 0 through 20. That was way too much and would probably have been dull no matter how useful it was. Then I thought to exclude monsters that sort of self-level themselves (like dragons and elementals), but that was still too much. Eventually I decided to skip levels, presenting monsters at 3-level intervals, since by applying the weak and elite adjustments, a GM could make any level of monster in between. It was also fun to throw on some thematic abilities to make the monsters feel like their new levels (an ultra powerful chimera with deific abilities, for example). Coming up with names was especially fun. 

Yet it was really slow going. A friend helped me automate a lot of the work, but it was a much bigger project than I realized even at the tighter scope. I kept at it, though, working on it around AP freelance and family vacations and such. There was no way it was going to be ready for the launch of the program in October of 2021, but I figured I'd get it out when I got it out, probably early in 2022.

I soon realized it would be way too big for a single product. So I broke it up. I wasn't going to break it up alphabetically (A through B monsters in one product, C through E monsters in another, and so on) or even by creature type (plants in one product, fey in another, and so on). I instead wanted to break it up by theme. One product would be "Tooth and Claw" that had a lot of animals but also humanoids like gnolls and catfolk. Another would be From Beyond with weird monsters like shoggoths and shining children, and so on. I could just keep coming out with these as I completed them, without feeling like I was tied to a specific number of them or product line (but there were, I believe, 7 products in my initial planning).

Then I ran out of time.

When I accepted the job at Wizards of the Coast, I agreed that I wouldn't produce any more content on platforms like Pathfinder Infinite. I'd been working through "Boosted Bestiary: Tooth and Claw" and "Boosted Bestiary: From Beyond" but I wasn't done with either of them. In the course of a very busy week, I mashed together everything I had ready, polished up a couple of other monsters to give some variety, and dropping in art available for Pathfinder Infinite users. I called that product simply the "Boosted Bestiary" and, as far as most people know, that's all there was ever going to be to it: just some Bestiary monsters presented at different levels. But there was going to be a lot more. And if you note that the product has a lot more monsters that start with As and Bs, and that a large percentage are "brute monsters" or "weird monsters," you can see where this plan stopped.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Adventures
I also had three full Adventure Paths for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. I'd originally published these under the Pathfinder Community Use Policy, but I disliked (and still dislike) some changes to that policy, so I shuttered that site and took them down. Pathfinder Infinite was a good place to put them, so I reworked the title pages for each (to include appropriate logos and disclaimers for the Infinite site) and put them up there. That took me all of about 15 minutes to update, so it wasn't a lot of time investment and if I got a single sale, that would be nice. With that game sunsetting, though, I didn't expect much. But even those dozen-plus sales are nice to see!

One-Year Results
In the past year, I've made $2,255.95 from Pathfinder Infinite. I've been very happy with this program and this opportunity. It's helped a lot to be part of sale bundles, like those Dustin Knight spearheads. Here are the specific product numbers:

Title, Units Sold, Net, Royalty Rate, Your Royalties
Abomination Vaults GMs Guide, 785, $3,254.05, 50%, $1,629.66
Boosted Bestiary, 403, $2,301.68, 25%*, $575.01
Bloodlust Corsairs, 17, $35.54, 50%, $17.77
God Callers of Sarkoris, 15, $36.00, 50%. $18.00
Shield of Rannick, 14, $31.01, 50%, $15.51
* I have a royalty sharing arrangement here with anonymous contributors.

It's worth noting that my royalties report also includes, for the same 1-year time period, over $500 from Adventurer's League products I wrote back in 2016. Those are still selling!

I encourage you to look into Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite!