S. John Ross (game designer)
|S. John Ross (game designer)|
|Born||Samuel John Ross, Jr.
July 15, 1971
Cumberland, Maryland, United States
|Occupation||Writer, game designer, graphic artist|
|Genre||Discordianism, Role-playing games, fantasy, wargames|
Samuel John Ross, Jr., known as S. John Ross, is a game writer, game designer, graphic artist, and the creator and owner of Cumberland Games & Diversions. He is best known as an early self-publisher of role playing games with Risus, and was guest of honor at several conventions.
S. John Ross began writing professionally in 1990, and has also served stints as an editor and done graphic production work. He has written role-playing material for Avalon Hill, Flying Buffalo, Guardians of Order, Last Unicorn Games, Steve Jackson Games, TSR, West End Games, White Wolf, and Wizards of the Coast in addition to his own company, Cumberland Games & Diversions. He is one of gaming's first electronic publishers.
Ross' well-received Uresia: Grave of Heaven (2003) was an original setting published for the Big Eyes, Small Mouth role-playing game; it was reminiscent of Swords & Sorcery anime. Ross created Risus: The Anything RPG and Sparks paper miniatures. He also created the retro-science fiction-fantasy role-playing game Encounter Critical, and maintains the All-Systems Library. His fonts have appeared on television, books, billboards, and other places. They have been used by Anheuser-Busch, Atheist Bus Campaign, Comedy Central, Disney Italy, Office Depot, Penguin Books, Ariane Sherine and others.
In Discordianism, he wrote Novus Ordo Discordia, the Gospel of St. Pesher the Gardener, which was included in Apocrypha Discordia, and the "foreplay" or foreword for Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht., both under the name Patriarch Wilhelm Leonardo Pesher-Principle.
He was nominated for an Origins Award for a short stint as editor of Pyramid magazine, and was named to the Order of the Pineapple along with author Adam Gorightly in 2013. Risus 1.5 was named Best Free RPG at RPGnet in 2001 and he contributed to Pulp Hero which received a Silver ENnie for Best Writing in 2006. In February 2014, he was being considered to be one of four kings honoring "Famous Game Designers" in a successful Kickstarter campaign created by Rick Loomis of Flying Buffalo.
Ross has been a named guest at several conventions including Technicon in 1995, 1997, and 1998; A-Kon in 2004 and 2009;, and Starland Gamefest in 2013. Ross was named a special guest for GameFest to be held in May 2014.
S. John Ross was born as Samuel John Ross, Jr., in Cumberland, Maryland on July 15, 1971. He is the son of Sam and Donna Ross. While he lived in various parts of the United States and in Japan, as of early 2014 he lived in Denver, Colorado, with his wife Sandra Ross.
S. John Ross wrote the following notable works:
- GURPS Russia and GURPS Warehouse 23 for Steve Jackson Games (also, co-authored GURPS Grimoire and GURPS Black Ops)
- Among the Clans: The Andorians and the Star Trek Narrator's Toolkit for Last Unicorn Games
- Uresia: Grave of Heaven for Guardians of Order
- Encounter Critical, originally published as hoax purportedly designed in the 70s.
- Risus: The Anything RPG and Points in Space for Cumberland Games & Diversions
- The Pokethulhu Adventure Game for Squishy Brain Games
- “The Big List of RPG Plots”
He was editor and developer of The Silicon Valley Tarot, and the 2nd Edition of Murphy's Rules.
Ross is the owner and creator of Cumberland Games and Diversions, a web-based electronic publishing company specializing in game-related documents and TrueType fonts.
- "S. John Ross". Pen & Paper. 2003. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "S. John Ross". Steve Jackson Games. Retrieved Feb 11, 2014.
- "Special Guests". Starland. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 337. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- Luc Devroye. "Cumberland Fontworks [Samuel John Ross]". Luc Devroye. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- Ko Maruyama. "Writing With Fire #2: Questions and Halloween Fire". Digital Producer. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- "Someone Once Told Me World Tour 28 Sept.". Someone Once Told Me. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- "S. John Ross: a brief bio". Cumberland Games & Diversions. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "Apocrypha Discordia". Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Loveshade, Reverend (2012). Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht. Anaphora Literary Press. ISBN 978-1937536183.
- "Awards for Steve Jackson Games". Steve Jackson Games. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- "Order of the Pineapple 2013". Order of the Pineapple. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "RPGnet 2001 Award Results". RPGnet. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- "Famous Game Designer Playing Cards 2014". Kickstarter.com and Flying Buffalo. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "The History of Technicon". Technicon. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- "Information on A-Kon 2004: Guests". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- "Information on A-Kon 2009: Guests". AnimeCons.com. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
- Starfest GameFest guest profile
- "Index contributor Search: S. John Ross". rpg.net. Retrieved February 14, 2014.