My name is S. John Ross, and the Blue Room is my homepage. If you've wandered here, you probably already know me for my RPG writing, or my maps or fonts or photos or recipes or some other nonsense I enjoy. The Blue Room is the nerve-center for most of that, so just grab a hyperlink and dig in! If you're not entirely sure who I am, or how you got here, I can help you with the first one and if you figure out the second, let me know. Here's a quick guide:
I've been writing and editing material for pen-and-paper roleplaying games (RPGs) for nearly three decades, first in the regular industry, then as an independent. There are articles here from the old days, including tons of GURPS stuff, a quarter-ton of Star Trek stuff, and favorite standalones like The Big List of RPG Plots, Five Elements, Medieval Demographics Made Easy, some CityBook material, and more scattered 'round the Secret Library and elsewhere.
I'm a cook and a Discordian and occasional crossword junkie and there's that parlor game I'm into and that strategy game I made and I keep a FAQ which I update every few months and ... honestly, it's a little exhausting. Over the years, my little corner of the Web has grown to nearly 400 pages and over 1,400 total files (images, ZIP archives, PDFs and more). It's a little unruly, and some parts are better-maintained than others, but that gives it a certain charm, like an old bookshop with nooks and corners and unexpected cats.
Cumberland Games & Diversions
The heart of my current professional and artistic life is Cumberland Games, where I publish Risus: The Anything RPG (my free, ultralite RPG system, with a fantastic global gamer-communty), Encounter Critical (my oddball retro RPG of pure nerdish love), the All-Systems Library (including things like Town and Uresia) and stranger things, like Treasures of a Slaver's Kingdom and Pokéthulhu. I like working with others, too, so there are Writer's Guidelines if you're interested, and check out the Free Stuff of the Moment for the latest freebies and previews and things.
In the early days of Cumberland, I began to make TrueType fonts to meet my very RPG-specific graphics needs. At first, I focused on non-alphabetic projects like HexPaper and Flagstones and Sparks Paper Miniatures, but somewhere along the line I made a couple hundred typefaces, too (and I haven't stopped yet). I showcase some personal favorites at the Cumberland Fontworks. If you're a font-hound, you'll find larger collections of my fonts elsewhere on the Web, on sites like DaFont and Fontspace. For my very latest, see the Free Stuff page.
Social Media & Connectivity
For the latest, read the Blue Room Blog, Rolltop Indigo. If you're an RPG enthusiast, you may be interested in my artwork (fantasy maps) as Temphis on DeviantArt. Long-time visitors might remember the Blue Desk, where I'd post occasional updates (Indigo's precursor). If you like watching people play videogames (while chatting with them!) I stream via Mixer.