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Current Policies & Similar Boring Yadda-Yadda


I now sell all gaming material through OBS websites (such as DriveThruRPG and RPGNow), Lulu, and RedBubble, and for any purchases made through these third-party vendors, their policies apply.

I used to sell gaming material directly using PayPal (a method I still use when selling commercial licenses for titles from the Fontworks). For those transactions: all of the personal data in my customer database, including email addresses of customers, remains confidential. Data made available to others (such as sales curves) are always abstracted and contain no information regarding specific customers or specific sales. I don't keep any permanent record of physical mailing addresses, even from orders where those addresses were relevant (they're discarded once used).

I maintain an archive of all my email correspondence, which includes Cumberland orders and customer queries. This archive is private and never shared with any third party.

Cumberland has no privacy policy concerning credit card information because I never have access to your credit card info (all credit card transactions are made through PayPal or third-party vendors like OBS, Lulu and RedBubble, none of whom share sensitive bank data with me, thank heavens). I keep no permanent record of checking account numbers, in the case of orders paid by personal check (but my bank presumably does, when I cash them).

Commercial Mass-Email

Cumberland does not spam. Spam bad. If you recieve spam or a chainletter or something claiming to be from me, it is a forgery created by a spammer, virus, or both (sadly, a common practice ... I somtimes get spam that seems to come from myself).

Cumberland does on occasion offer discounts or announcements through its Mailing Lists, but Mailing List membership must always be initiated deliberately by a customer (you'll never be added to one automatically or anything creepy like that; you have to go and sign up yourself). Cumberland also makes use of the OBS website tools to distribute special discounts and announcements; you can opt-out of those mailings on the OBS sites.

As a matter of personal (not company) policy, I don't forward collections of lame jokes, either, and I consider people who do so irretrievably evil.

Warranty & Finality of Sales

Licenses for Cumberland titles are sold without warranty. All sales are final, and all resulting licenses lifetime and non-transferrable unless explicitly stated otherwise.

I do my best to resolve any tech problems, however, and the few folks who've experienced them will attest that I'll go to considerable lengths to do so. I provide "tech support" as a free courtesy, however, not as an obligation of sale. I also, sadly, lack the expertise to provide any sort of tech support relating to Macintosh or Linux-based operating systems. I also don't provide any support for the use of Cumberland titles beyond the scope of their design, so if you have a keen idea for using my "Apple Butter" font to build a weather-control machine (or some kind of new Risus house-rule) I can't test either of them for you or help out if they don't work as you'd hoped.

File Replacement

If you ever lose your files to a hard drive crash or anything, just email me and I'll be happy to provide fresh download instructions. When requesting file replacements, please try to include all of the following information (or as much of it as you have available):

  • The full name you used when ordering.
  • The date of your order.
  • Your method of ordering (PayPal, by post, at DriveThru, etc).
  • The email address you ordered from (if you ordered online).
  • Any transaction numbers or other identifying numbers associated with the sale.

If I can't find your order in my customer database or email archives, I can't replace the file, so providing this information makes everything go smoothly. It's totally undersandable if you don't have all of it! Just please send what info you can to make the search possible.


Cumberland is a soft-goods company, dealing in licenses for electronic goods (electronic very goods, or, sometimes, electronic greats). Cumberland sells nothing physical. That said, I often make print-on-demand hardcopy available (for select titles) through third-party vendors, for those who prefer those formats. These items are products of the vendors (with contents licensed from Cumberland). Any issues with these hardcopy items should be addressed to the company who sold them to you.

OpenType and TrueType Compatibility

All of my fonts are in OpenType or Windows TrueType formats. I test them at home in recent versions of Windows. My fonts seem almost universally compatible with Macintosh OS X as well, but that's just blind luck (and, presumably, the quality of the Macintosh OS). Earlier versions of the Mac do not support Windows TTF directly (but conversion software is available; use at your own risk).

Customers licensing commercial rights to my typefaces may request, at no extra charge, a copy of the font in Type 1 format.

PDF Compatibility

As a matter of courtesy, I include backwards compatibility with the simpler, faster, smaller reader programs (and, by extension, with some third-party PDF software and for the Macintosh's built-in reader). As new versions of Acrobat roll out, I will always stay at least 3 versions behind in terms of where I target compatibility.

That said, please try the most current version of Acrobat or Reader before requesting PDF-related tech support, since while Adobe tends to make the program fatter and slower and bellsier and whistlier and pushier, it also gets more stable, more reliable, and more tolerant of unusual creative approaches (I specialize in those).

Cumberland PDFs are not DRM-restricted and never require any form of activation. Most are password-protected against alteration and extraction (but if you have a need, feel free to email me and you'll find I'm really very laid-back about that kind of thing).

Revisions & Editions

I revise every Cumberland title at need, fixing mistakes and improving the stability and quality of the files. Every file includes a version number (not always apparent, but it's there) extended if necessary to two decimal places in published versions (three decimals for in-house development versions). I announce revisions that affect the primary digit or first decimal-digit via social media or line-related mailing lists. I don't generally announce revisions that affect the second decimal-digit; they're immaterial fixes like typos and rephrasings, or little revisions to document coding, colors and so forth. A change from version 1.2 to 1.3 would rate a social-media announcement, for example, but a change from verson 1.17 to 1.18 would not (and a change from version 1.275 to 1.276 isn't reflected in the published title at all).

Cumberland titles are licensed per-edition, but I'll sometimes offer new editions of such titles as free or discounted upgrades, depending on the difference in content. HexPaper 2.0, for example, is a free upgrade for users of HexPaper 1.x, but HexPaper 3.0 is not a free upgrade due to its massively-altered functionality. Titles offered as discounted upgrades are time-limited offers, announced via social media and elsewhere as appropriate.

Playtest Credit & Comps

All testers are credited by name and recieve a free license for any title they test, in addition to free copies of any earlier titles necessary for the testing process. The only exception is Risus: A Kringle in Time, where (unfortunately) many of the playtesters' names from the early-to-mid 1990s were never recorded. If you're one of Kringle in Time convention gamers, please email me reminding me of your character and I will comp you and revise the credits to include you.

Convention Support

Cumberland provides free support to science fiction/fantasy/horror/anime/gaming conventions in the form of free licenses to be awarded to tournament winners and/or sold in auctions. Certificates and code-numbers are provided in electronic form; the convention is free to print the certificates if they wish.

The amount of support I offer depends on the established size of the convention, and on return perks like advertising space in the program booklet. Conventions granting Cumberland a free full-page program ad get additional support in the form of a free Cumberland e-title for all of their attendees (instructions for claiming it appear in the ad). The only obligation is this: conventions are expected to send me a single copy of the convention booklet for my files. Conventions that cannot provide this simple courtesy will not recieve free support.

Convention Appearances

I'm an experienced convention guest, available to run games, chair panels, organize creative workshops, fold chairs, make the punch, get folks enthused, and otherwise make myself a valuable part of any convention that invites me. My preferred topics for panels are GMing, writing, and game design matters, but I also enjoy discussing industry anecdotes and broader fan-community matters like organizing game clubs and the pitfalls of publishing. I always bring freebies, too (both my own, and stuff from other game companies I'm friendly with). If you can budget transportation and lodging (nothing fancy required, but I'm no longer young enough to accept crash space on the floor), feel free to contact me about my services as a con guest. Cons that bring my wife along with me get preference.

Submissions, Proposals and Portfolios

Cumberland Games accepts proposal submissions for projects related specifically to Risus: The Anything RPG and Uresia: Grave of Heaven. Click here for the writer's guidelines.

I do work with illustrators and other writers from time to time on projects unrelated to the above lines. If you have reason to believe that your writing or art has knocked my socks off and rocked my gaming table, then you meet the basic qualification for someone I'd approach for a Cumberland project. Drop me a line and remind me. If you think your work could knock my socks off and demand to rock my gaming table if only I knew of it, feel free to lead me to your portfolio and/or bibliography, virtual or otherwise. If your work achieves the necessary knocking and rocking, I may contact you at some point.

If you own all rights to an existing game or RPG supplement that might make a good after-market Cumberland edition (such as Lisa Steele's Fief or my own Pokethulhu), or if you own all rights to existing paper-miniatures artwork (fronts and backs required) that might make a good licensed Sparks set (as per the Macho Women with Guns set) feel free to drop me a line and we can discuss it. As above: If it rocks my gaming table, I'm interested. I publish only what I game with ... which leads us to:

Mission Statement

I haven't got one; corporate humbug gives me hives. If I did, though, it would be something about providing gaming material for the home/office printer that I personally enjoy as a GM or player, done to my own standards without marketing influences watering down any stage of the design. Then I'd add something about how cool stick figures are, and probably quote a movie or Homer Simpson or somebody to deflate the stuffiness.

Nah, not Homer Simpson. It would be Bill & Ted, as it always is: Be excellent to each other.

Email any suggestions, questions or requests to sjohn@cumberlandgames.com

Creativity. Unbound.

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