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TSR Companies & Freelancers Distance Themselves From The New TSR

The new TSR (which I refer to as TSR3 to avoid confusion) has doubled down on its stance--which has been widely condemned online--via an ongoing series of tweets and replies from its TSR Games, Giantlands, and Dungeon Hobby Museum social media accounts (possibly operated by Justin LaNasa) in an astonishing PR campaign which makes the original interview which sparked off the controversy look mild in comparison. Various entities are moving to distance themselves from the company and its activities, including TSR2, the company founded in 2011 by Jayson Elliot, which has now declared that it will not be using the name TSR any longer. Other companies including Gen Con and freelancers such as Jeff Dee have also made statements.

For reference -- TSR1 is the (no longer existing) company which launched D&D in 1974, TSR2 is the company founded by Jayson Elliot in 2011 to create Gygax Magazine and which currently publishes the Top Secret RPG, and TSR3 is the newly launched company.



Catch up on my previous coverage of this story:


TSR3's social media accounts initially sought to distance the company from Ernie Gygax's statements, but within a few hours had reversed course and doubled down on his stance. Note that there have been dozens of social media posts from the company over the last few days, and still continuing as I type this, and I don't intend to share them all here.

(Thanks to Daniel Fox for sharing screenshots below via Twitter).

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TSR2 -- "Update to our earlier tweet - we will NOT be licensing anything from the new company claiming rights to the TSR logos. We are not working with them in any fashion."

Gen Con -- "Gen Con is not associated with TSR Games and we don't support their recent statements. While the foundation of Gen Con is tied with the history of TTRPGs, our goal is to build off the good, acknowledge the bad, and work toward a present free from racism, misogyny, and homophobia."

Gen Con has also indicated that they do not intend to allow TSR3 at the convention.

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GAMA (the Game Manufacturers Association) -- "We’re aware of the appalling statements published by TSR Games and their founder - GAMA does not condone nor agree with any part of it. We pride ourselves on supporting and promoting inclusivity always. Our motto is “A game at every table, a table for everyone”. Transphobia, racism, and sexism will not be tolerated. That means that TSR is not welcome at Origins Game Fair, GAMA Expo or any event affiliated with our organization."

Jeff Dee -- "There is a rumor going around that I am part of this new TSR company. That is not accurate. I have done some work for them as a freelance artist. That’s how I make my living, and spreading the misinformation that I’m now employed full-time by one particular client could stop other clients from approaching me and hurt my business. So, please do not spread that rumor. If I ever become a full-time employee anywhere again, I will announce that myself. Thanks. UPDATE: After investigating reports about statements made by representatives of this new TSR, I have determined that I can no longer do business with them in good conscience. I've returned their downpayment on the next piece of art I was scheduled to do for them. And yeah, I could sure use some new commissions to make up for this big hit on my cashflow"

Jim Ward, an original TSR alumnus and who wrote Giantlands, TSR3's flagship product -- "At the present time I know little or nothing about the relaunch of TSR. Right now I don't see how anyone could pick up where the old company left off. Yes it's a name with some logos, that is all I know."

Luke Gygax -- "FYI- I am not involved with any TSR company nor is Gary Con nor anyone else in my family outside of Ernie. Full stop. That is all ... I have reasons for distancing myself. The way TSR treats people online in their public exchanges is rude. The museum is a for profit business and was asking for donations. Using names of people to promote without their knowledge. Going out of the way to talk gender/woke stuff ... Also basically jacking the TSR logo from Jayson Elliot. The bombastic press releases and claims to old IP. Making a quick nostalgia money grab based on my fathers name and not much else. So I’m making it clear I don’t like this style and I have ZERO to do with TSR"

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TSR3 responds to Luke Gygax

Tim Kask, an original TSR alumnus who worked at the company until 1980, spoke at length on this topic in a YouTube video (below). I've transcribed some bits, but he says a whole load more (ellipses represent sections I have not included, for reasons of brevity), so check out the video for the whole thing.

"There has been bandied about in social media over the last several days several claims about what's going on in Lake Geneva right now. Ernie Gygax made a most egregious mistake in an interview he did on a podcast. He basically waved his bare ass in front of everybody that's concerned about pronouns, and woke, and all that right now in the industry and thumbed his nose at them. The transcript of his podcasts are there for everyone to read. That they were men, and they didn't give a sh*t, and la la la.

But right there they alienated three quarters of the gaming industry. Probably more than that, I don't believe that there's a quarter of the gaming industry that still are the neanderthals that he would make us out to be.

That's another thing. This whole thing has brought the OSR (the old school revival) into serious disrepute. Now there are some little Karens going on some of the social media and painting with the same brush all of us that were there back then based on the stupid ass sh*t that Ernie just said. No. We weren't all like that. And we aren't all like that now. He's a troll, a troglodyte, a neanderthal, if he really means that. It's a foolish person that doesn't wet his finger once in a while and feel the wind shift.

Now there've been claims in a couple of posts, one of which is by Ernie, about how the stalwarts, the old TSR are flocking to the banner. Bullsh*t....

... There is no one of the creative side of TSR from the early days involved with the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum. No one. Not one creative person. No matter who might be claiming what, they simply do not have the credentials. Being named DiMaggio does not mean you can hit a lot of home runs. Or that you even hit any home runs ....

... Just because you say you're TSR doesn't mean you are."


 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I don't understand how this keeps happening. LeNasa took the time to type all this out. Presumably he proofread it (but...nevermind.) Then he thought, "yep, that's the message I want to send to the world, this is how I want to represent my company" and clicked Send.

He keeps complaining about nosebleeds, but won't stop punching himself in the face.
I especially like his threat to go after Tenkar for "character deformation"

HAHAHAHA!

* deep breath *

AAH HAHAHAHA!

Oh, that's good stuff!
🥲
 



RFB Dan

Podcast host, 6-edition DM, and guy with a pulse.
I don't understand how this keeps happening. LeNasa took the time to type all this out. Presumably he proofread it (but...nevermind.) Then he thought, "yep, that's the message I want to send to the world, this is how I want to represent my company" and clicked Send.

He keeps complaining about nosebleeds, but won't stop punching himself in the face.
It's not often you find someone like ol' Grits; who thinks he's clever because he pewped his pants. His angry word-spewing does raise a question that hasn't been brought up though. He seems to be insinuating that Frank Mentzer is involved in this too? I haven't heard his name brought up in this mess except for once, that Frank spoke out against this 3SR stupidity. Stamp me on the forehead with a "Confused" stamp.
 

Consider the possibility that the plan was:
1) Get TSR trademark
2) Hype up TSR3
3) ???
4) Profit!
Yeha. Threaten OSR community to take down graphics while they themselves use an un-TMed D&D trademark on their site. Threaten Tenkar's Tavern with legal action. Blame WotC for backlash against them, etc.

Biz info/thrust as I now understand it:

1) 1,000-2000 followers
2) Giant Lands on the horizon (and theme park!)
3) Dungeon Hobby Shop tours money
4) Yearly subscription to be DMed by "Legendary DMs) there w/no fee: 1,000/annum
5) Otherwise, scaled prices per gaming session from 50-500 usd depending on the status of the DM (supposedly LaNasa, early on, listed these DMs who had agreed: Jim Ward, Ernie, Mike Carr, Frank Mentzer (and perhaps Jeff Leason) a list that will be wizened after the debacle they are in.
6) TSR Con at the old Horticultural Hall next year, probably a break even event as the Hall over the weekends is $3,800/day and only holds 150 tops.

May have worked if they had stayed the straight and narrow, but even then they would have recvd push back due to the division they orchestrated between the Gygax family members and all of the false claims they are making. They are now foundering with the biggest clue being that they are threatening everyone.

Luke believes they will flame out; I see LaNassa, as forewarned, doubling down.
 


Black Dougal

Footpad
If I could say one thing to LaNasa.

"Get the eff out of our hobby, you troglodyte, take your populist bigoted campaigning elsewhere, and congratulations on your lost political campaign. Go back to designing weapons and losing elections."

If I could say one thing to Ernie

"You speak of being bullied, for many of us D&D was the escape from such bullies, the LGTBQ+ community is a major factor in the history of this game, country, world...stop with the BS, you are now the bully. You have disappointed tons of your fans and gamers appealing to mouth breathers. Also, if it's a religious thing...pick a better religion."
 








@Rob Kuntz
Wait wait wait, back up a bit.
...theme park?!
Yep. They announced a Giant Lands theme park. This is the stuff being fed into Ernie's brain and he's fallen so far so fast for it. Plus, LaNassa has already talked about two oversea's operations, the list must growing by the second! BTW: I learned of both during my call with Ernie but have seen the Theme Park news elsewhere.
 


Yep. They announced a Giant Lands theme park. This is the stuff being fed into Ernie's brain and he's fallen so far so fast for it. Plus, LaNassa has already talked about two oversea's operations, the list must growing by the second! BTW: I learned of both during my call with Ernie but have seen the Theme Park news elsewhere.
They were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should. (also, they can't, and won't)
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
It's not often you find someone like ol' Grits; who thinks he's clever because he pewped his pants. His angry word-spewing does raise a question that hasn't been brought up though. He seems to be insinuating that Frank Mentzer is involved in this too? I haven't heard his name brought up in this mess except for once, that Frank spoke out against this 3SR stupidity. Stamp me on the forehead with a "Confused" stamp.
Tenkar did not insinuate this. He recounted an anecdote about an exchange in the past in which Mentzer expressed his confidence on Tenkar's ability in not violating laws about slander and libel.
 


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