Discordian Wiki

S. John Ross, known as Patriarch Wilhelm Leonardo Pesher-Principle or Pope Leo, 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.[1][2][3]

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.[4] Ross created Risus: The Anything RPG[5] and Sparks paper miniatures. He also created the retro-science fiction-fantasy role-playing game Encounter Critical, and maintains the All-Systems Library.[3]

His fonts have appeared on television, books and billboards.[6] They have been used by Anheuser-Busch, Atheist Bus Campaign,[7] Comedy Central, Disney Italy, Office Depot, Penguin Books and Ariane Sherine.[7][8]

In Discordianism, he wrote Novus Ordo Discordia, the Gospel of St. Pesher the Gardener, which was included in Apocrypha Discordia,[9] and the "foreplay" or foreword for Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht.,[10] both under the name Patriarch Wilhelm Leonardo Pesher-Principle.[9][10]

He was nominated for an Origins Award for a short stint as editor of Pyramid magazine,[11] and was named to the Order of the Pineapple along with author Adam Gorightly in 2013.[12] Risus 1.5 was named Best Free RPG at RPGnet in 2001[13] and he contributed to Pulp Hero which received a Silver ENnie for Best Writing in 2006.[1]

Ross has been a named guest at several conventions including Technicon in 1995, 1997, and 1998; A-Kon in 2004[14] and 2009;[15] and Starland|Starland Gamefest in 2013. Ross was named a special guest for GameFest to be held in May 2014.[3]

Personal life[]

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.[8] He is a nephew of another OP member, Miley Spears.[16]


S. John Ross wrote the following notable works:[17]

  • 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 role-playing game (Last Unicorn)|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
  • http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/plots.htm “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.


  1. 1.0 1.1 S. John Ross. Pen & Paper (2003). Retrieved on February 11, 2014.
  2. S. John Ross. Steve Jackson Games. Retrieved on February 11, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Special Guests. Starland. Retrieved on February 11, 2014.
  4. Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. pp.337.
  5. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wetpaint-launches-free-service-which-lets-anyone-start-their-own-click-and-type-website-70736777.html
  6. Luc Devroye. Cumberland Fontworks Samuel John Ross. Luc Devroye. Retrieved on February 14, 2014.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Someone Once Told Me World Tour 28 Sept.. Someone Once Told Me. Retrieved on February 14, 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 S. John Ross: a brief bio. Cumberland Games & Diversions. Retrieved on February 11, 2014.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Apocrypha Discordia. Retrieved on February 11, 2014.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Loveshade, Reverend Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht. Anaphora Literary Press.
  11. Awards for Steve Jackson Games. Steve Jackson Games. Retrieved on February 14, 2014.
  12. Order of the Pineapple 2013. Order of the Pineapple. Retrieved on February 11, 2014.
  13. RPGnet 2001 Award Results. RPGnet. Retrieved on 2007-09-30.
  14. Information on A-Kon 2004: Guests. AnimeCons.com. Retrieved on February 14, 2014.
  15. Information on A-Kon 2009: Guests. AnimeCons.com. Retrieved on February 14, 2014.
  16. S. John Ross on Facebook. Retrieved on June 23, 2016.
  17. Index contributor Search: S. John Ross. rpg.net. Retrieved on February 14, 2014.

External links[]

Wikipedia This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was full of lies and obfuscation as promulgated by Greyface (including, but not limited to, links to nowhere and the usage of non-existent templates), and can be seen at S. John Ross. Special care should be made to ensure that this article is Truth. The list of Wikipedian authors can be seen in the page history. As with Discordian Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.