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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...

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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I had the same problem with the algorithm beast on Youtube as well. I watched a few Warhammer lore videos produced by a terrible person without knowing he was a terrible person until I watched a few more of his videos. For a very long while, I kept getting videos of people complaining about SJWs, about how Anita Sarkeesian is ruining gaming, and other pap and I couldn't figure out how to make it stop.
But, but, but…. If you would just provide even MORE personal information to the algorithm, I’m sure it would start providing you with the content you really want. 😀
 

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Black Dougal

Footpad
It's the same playbook, same script. I'm willing to bet that the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum is getting more hits than they had in the months prior. Even if Wizards' comes down with lawyers and utterly crushes them, that will only intensify the narrative that NuTSR is trying to sell. They might not have any product to sell (and may never, other than some cheap t-shirts and cheaper dice), but they're doing a heck of a job selling their ideology.
I'm running some numbers now....

...and survey says. They're bush league I can't provide the latest numbers for last month just yet. Also, their SEO is non-existent and what is there is pretty meh or broken, and it's on shared hosting at GoDaddy. Amateur hour.

tsr1.jpg


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I can provide a June traffic update later down the line.
 

RFB Dan

Podcast host, 6-edition DM, and guy with a pulse.
It funded Sept. 2, 2015 and was slated for delivery the following year (backer #165 here). Ernie's final comment to his backers is dated March 21, 2019:

NO AMOUNT OF OUTSIDE ENERGY WILL SPEED THIS UP
"As of this time the whole project status is waiting for Benoist to complete the writing of the creations we generated together. Then he will pass them on to me and days later we will on video chat finish cleaning the material up. He has no desire to hear or see any comments on the KS page since it fires him up to defend the LATE status instead of working on it at all. He is a finicky artist and will not release parts of anything until it is completed.

He does not have access to the funds and they sit at about 78K now (lots of art and other original business expenses, as well as an expensive worthless accountant to start with). As soon as the project fulfills I will be closing down the LLC and Ben somehow wishes to keep a company somehow, I do not.

I playtested the Marmoreal Tomb on three of the four games I ran at Gary Con XI and I will be running some more games at NTRPG con in June. I don't have the finished level 2 or the level 3 Caves of Chaos although some of the monsters and ideas I generated for them are lots of fun and Mark Allen has a fantastic bit of art on my favorite creature of Chaos.

I don't respond to these statements for the same reason I don't get into blogs and all that. If you want to talk to me about something send me a facebook message: Ernest Gary Gygax Jr"

On Nov. 8, 2019 (the next update) we were informed that Troll Lord Games was taking over the project to push it through to fulfillment.
I guess I'm spoiled, but the last RPG Game Rules Kickstarter I did (PoI's Strange Things Afoot) showed up the month that he promised (PoI Game Studio is literally a one-person outfit). I would have hoped that veterans to the industry would be able to do the same. Or maybe I'm being a snot, I dunno. Either way, I knew that Marmoreal Tomb was a late project, I didn't realize how bad it was.
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
I'm fairly certain it has not. I believe that Gail Gygax is/was in control of that situation, and I donated a bunch as well, so I have that same question.
As far as I could find, there was the initial effort in 2009, then a thread here in 2015 with updated details from Tenker, but all the links to their website and figures are 404 now. so...does that mean Gail took all the $222,000 for herself then? Not sure how that legality works.
 

embee

Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
I guess I'm spoiled, but the last RPG Game Rules Kickstarter I did (PoI's Strange Things Afoot) showed up the month that he promised (PoI Game Studio is literally a one-person outfit). I would have hoped that veterans to the industry would be able to do the same. Or maybe I'm being a snot, I dunno. Either way, I knew that Marmoreal Tomb was a late project, I didn't realize how bad it was.
I'm not a big fan of Kickstarter and had a pretty bad experience towards the beginning. However, when it comes to TTRPGs, I've really been satisfied. MCDM and Necrotic Gnome both delivered exactly what they promised and with plenty of contact and updates. In fact, at this point, the only Kickstarters I'll do are RPGs.

So reading about Marmoreal, seems kind of grifty to me. Ernie's really made a name for himself.
 

Black Dougal

Footpad
I guess I'm spoiled, but the last RPG Game Rules Kickstarter I did (PoI's Strange Things Afoot) showed up the month that he promised (PoI Game Studio is literally a one-person outfit). I would have hoped that veterans to the industry would be able to do the same. Or maybe I'm being a snot, I dunno. Either way, I knew that Marmoreal Tomb was a late project, I didn't realize how bad it was.
The timeline and delivery is bad, but the way they treated folks was worse IMO. Plus the guy working on it was too busy post edgelord memes all day on FB.

Frankly, once troll Lords got us a hold over pdf I didn't even care about looking through it and don't care if I ever get any of it.

I also understand even when it is released it will not be what was promised. A lot of the conversions for other systems was being done by folks like us and many of them moved on.

I get it, Kickstarter can be risky, live and learn and I learned. I do love Monte Cooks products and Kickstarters though, on time and pros. Two ends of the spectrum.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
There is a remarkeable lack of inclusion of any LGBTQIA+ (or any other name for queer people) in that statement. Tha's "funny", as that's the group he and his company most directly targeted this past few days...

Quoted For Truth

I just want to repeat the above point.



At this point of the horrific behavior by Ernie Gygax,

his failure to apologize to trans, to gays, and to women,

evidences that the intent of Ernie Gygax is malicious.
 


Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Man, as someone with Nordic ancestry, I sure am tired of these guys using it to justify white supremacy. It's been going on for about a century now, and I'm over it
I'm also of Nordic ancestry, about 50% in total (a mix of Norwegian and a bit of Swedish ancestry, mostly from my dad's side). Vikings and Nordic Mythology are f*@#ing awesome (and super weird, which makes me like them even more), and it absolutely sucks that white supremacists have managed to commandeer it. (White Supremacists do tend to ruin anything they touch.)
 

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