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Small Publisher Limited License

Revised: September 5, 2019.

Our Small Publisher Limited License offers small publishers, conventions and individuals the opportunity to produce limited run game material for use with any of our game lines. This could include fanzines, convention scenarios, one-off books, or game props or handouts. These can be commercial products, but gross sales revenue should not exceed USD$2000 per annum (year).

Granting licenses and supporting our licensees can be very time consuming on our part. We only grant licenses to use our intellectual property and/or our trademarks to people and projects that we feel have a high degree of likelihood of producing a finished product. We treat all information you provide as confidential.


  1. Small Publisher Limited Licenses are typically issued for a period of three years, from the date of signing the agreement (not the publication date of the product in question).
  2. Gross sales revenue should not exceed USD$2000 per annum. If you anticipate a higher sales revenue, you should apply for a full Commercial License. If you are just looking to share your own content on your website or blog or community, please refer to our Fan Material Policy instead.
  3. Our Small Publisher Limited License is royalty-free, and you are not required to report sales (unless we request it). However, there is an annual licensing fee of $100 (or $200 for the full three year term of the license). The license fee must be paid to activate the license. Under certain circumstances license fees may be discounted or waived, at our discretion.
  4. A separate license is required for each individual product you intend to produce. While you can obtain multiple licenses for multiple products, in general we will not issue you another Small Publisher Limited License until your first product is published. Please do not send us multiple license requests at once.
  5. While you cannot imply or claim that your material is “official”, or endorsed or approved by Chaosium, products produced under the Small Publisher Limited License should say “For Use With [Call of Cthulhu, RuneQuest, etc]”. We have created special "For Use With" logos for use on products produced under the Small Publisher Limited License. These will be provided to you by Chaosium Inc.
  6. You cannot emulate Chaosium or Moon Design Publications “trade dress”, including page templates, art styles or fonts.
  7. The Small Publisher Limited License specifically excludes your use of our copyrighted material including artwork, images, logos, and maps on such consumer items as clothing and apparel, mugs, posters or other wall art, cards, calendars, stickers, phones cases, laptop and tablet sleeves, bags, home decor, stationery items, toys, and other consumer items, except by prior written agreement. If you are unsure about your item, get in contact with us.
  8. Small Publisher Limited Licenses are only available for English language materials.
  9. You can distribute your content through retail channels such as DriveThruRPG, OneBookShelf, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, App Stores, Amazon, Redbubble, Zazzle, etc.
  10. You can charge for access on your website or create “subscriber only” content on Patreon: this counts towards sales revenue.
  11. You cannot crowdfund (e.g. Kickstarter) products covered under the Small Publisher Limited License.
  12. You need to send us one copy of your finished product.

There are further requirements outlined in the formal license document. If you are interested in obtaining a Small Publisher Limited License use the contact form below.

Our usual starting point is asking for a written proposal of what you intend to do. This could be just an email with a bullet list, and any related draft/prototype info you might have (depending on far along in the creation process you are).

The questions you need to be ready to answer are:

  • details about the product (think one minute elevator pitch) and Chaosium rules system used
  • intended audience (fantasy, horror, 1920s, Gaslight, modern, etc.)
  • physical components, if any (rulebook, board, etc.)
  • size of print run and, if you intend to sell it, potential retail price (even a guesstimate)
  • how you intend to market it and distribute/sell your product
  • who is on the production team, and your experience in doing these sorts of projects

We will aim to respond to your license request within 30 days. Please do not make any public announcements until the license agreement is finalized.

Note, we have a number of exclusive license agreements already in place for certain game lines, or types of products, or for products in certain foreign languages. This means it may simply not be possible to grant you the license you want at the present time, even if your proposal has great merit. We may also already have similar projects under consideration or in the works ourselves. It is our discretion whether we grant you a license or not.

Changes to Policy

The terms of the Small Publisher Limited License may change from time to time at the sole discretion of Chaosium Inc. We will advise our Small Publisher Limited Licensees by email of any changes, but it is your obligation to keep up to date with the Policy.

We thank you for your interest in becoming a Chaosium licensee. With hard work, creativity, and attention to detail, together we can create tales of adventures which thousands of game players will appreciate for years to come!