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TSR Now it’s WotC’s Turn: WotC Moves Against TSR3

I guess after you provoke somebody enough, they’ll eventually bite back. The company has begun trademark cancellation procedures against the newest TSR.

TSR3 briefly filed for a court declaration on Dec 7th as to their ownership of the TSR trademarks — with an IndieGoGo campaign to fund it — and then voluntarily dismissed it a couple of days later on Dec 9th.

This filing is dated Dec 6th, the day before TSR3 launched its campaign.

In WotC’s response, they cite fraud as one of the causes of action, alleging that TSR3 misled the trademark office in its original application.

Mike Dunford, on Twitter, breaks down the action.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
and I prefer to keep my memories of TSR from when I was a kid as isolated from their nonsense as much as possible.

Yeah, this does not in any way change my feelings for True TSR.

This nuTSR is a spectre, a beast wearing the vestiges of times past and a deceitful changeling.

TSR of old, warts and all, will still be TSR to me. No shenanigans from people who are a decade or more younger than me will change that.

They weren't there.

Well Ernie was, but I believe him to be a puppet on a string, an alibi for the shadow-players.
 

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Yeah, their claims that they're the same TSR ring absolutely hollow. And hopefully, they won't be able to do that anymore soon.

Yeah, this does not in any way change my feelings for True TSR.

This nuTSR is a spectre, a beast wearing the vestiges of times past and a deceitful changeling.

TSR of old, warts and all, will still be TSR to me. No shenanigans from people who are a decade or more younger than me will change that.

They weren't there.

Well Ernie was, but I believe him to be a puppet on a string, an alibi for the shadow-players.

Ah, while I'll take the wisdom of age (or at least, what little I've managed to scavenge!), I fondly remember those days.

You and me both.

Nice. 4AD's catalog is just amazing. People don't seem to talk as much about that record label and its influence anymore, but they should.

The first CD I ever owned was "In the Realm of a Dying Sun." I listened to that so many times. I still include a forest named "the Forest of Veils" in half my campaign worlds.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Yeah, their claims that they're the same TSR ring absolutely hollow. And hopefully, they won't be able to do that anymore soon.
It started when they were still partnered with Dinehart and Giantlands. They were working with Ward and Elmore, who were part of the original TSR, so they tried to milk that for all it was worth. When Dinehart left (taking Ward and Elmore with him), LaNasa didn't change his pitch, and still is trying to say they are the same by association--an association that no longer exists.

The only ties to the original TSR they have left is opening the DHSM in Gygax's house, and still working with Ernie. Tenuous at best, but they are trying really hard to make any connection to the original TSR, because that's key to their entire business plan. Without TSR branding, they are just another indie OSR publisher. Check that, they haven't even published anything. They are wannabes.
 

Well, to my understanding they exaggerated or lied about the original TSR creatives from the start.

LaNasa claimed to an interviewer that Tim Kask was on board, and stated publicly multiple times that they had several such people.

Even Jim Ward and Larry Elmore were work for hire on the Giantlands project, which predated TSR(3)'s existence, and when TSR(3) was first announced, someone asked Jim about TSR(3) and he had no idea it existed. Similar with Jeff Dee, who Justin commissioned in 2020 to do some art for Tots & Tales and apparently was going to be used for some more freelance work, but distanced himself once the PR dumpster fire started this Summer.

The few original TSR creatives they had any connection with were always freelancers, not even aware that TSR(3) was trying to claim to be TSR Reborn until after that marketing strategy was launched. TSR(3) never really had any original TSR folks as part of the company, though they repeatedly claimed so.
 
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Stormonu

Legend
At the end of the day, TSR is as dead to me as Atari, Radio Shack, Toys’R’Us and Sears. They may come back as ghosts of the past, but they’re just bits of undigested beef - with more of a gravy about them than the grave (to butcher a Christmas Carol quote).
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
but distanced himself once the PR dumpster fire started this Summer.
That's putting it mildly lol. He was...pretty adamant about his distaste for LaNasa and crew, refusing to take any money from them. Jeff is a good guy, and put his ethics above profit. I don't want to speak for him, naturally, but I bet part of him wishes he never did work for them in the past, based on what I know of him.
 

That they're even an actual indie OSR publisher is tenuous at best!

I remember thinking that the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum was a cool idea, before I knew what horrible people and grifters the people involved were. Had they stuck to that and kept their mouths shut, I'd probably be planning on visiting it this coming Gary Con. Now it feels like the lair of a bunch of loathsome con artists squatting on a historic site.

It started when they were still partnered with Dinehart and Giantlands. They were working with Ward and Elmore, who were part of the original TSR, so they tried to milk that for all it was worth. When Dinehart left (taking Ward and Elmore with him), LaNasa didn't change his pitch, and still is trying to say they are the same by association--an association that no longer exists.

The only ties to the original TSR they have left is opening the DHSM in Gygax's house, and still working with Ernie. Tenuous at best, but they are trying really hard to make any connection to the original TSR, because that's key to their entire business plan. Without TSR branding, they are just another indie OSR publisher. Check that, they haven't even published anything. They are wannabes.

That's the thing, those companies were great in their time. But you can't bring them back because who we were back then can't be brought back, nor can the world they existed in. As a musician, I was always popping into Radio Shack for some bits and bobs of electronical junk. Atari made some absolutely bangers, but the entire technological landscape has changed so dramatically.* I can go online and get the most obscure electronic components at the click of a button. Videogames have advanced lightyears, technologically and conceptually.

*Some of their old games still hold up, granted. Missile Command is about as action-packed as you could ask for, with a bleak narrative that speaks so eloquently to the fears of the era it was created in; I still regularly play it.

At the end of the day, TSR is as dead to me as Atari, Radio Shack, Toys’R’Us and Sears. They may come back as ghosts of the past, but they’re just bits of undigested beef - with more of a gravy about them than the grave (to butcher a Christmas Carol quote).
 

Stormonu

Legend
*Some of their old games still hold up, granted. Missile Command is about as action-packed as you could ask for, with a bleak narrative that speaks so eloquently to the fears of the era it was created in; I still regularly play it.
PAC-man is my game (though I’m not overly good at it) - if an electronic gadget I buy can’t run some version of it, it’s junk to me.

Funnily enough, each one of those places I named above I acquired something D&D related from; The gold boxes from Radio Shack, my 1E PHB/DMG/UA from Toys’R’Us, Intellivision D&D from Sears, and Adventure from Atari, and of course the original TSR…

What do these bums have to offer?
 

darjr

I crit!
Edit to say That’s not entirely fair of me, there ARE a couple things. But no way do I trust em enough to buy anything from them. Nor do I want to put any money in their pockets.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Nice. 4AD's catalog is just amazing. People don't seem to talk as much about that record label and its influence anymore, but they should.

This is a song for Carol
You're into Japanese fast food
And I drop you off with your Japanese lover
And you're going to the beach all day
You're so pretty when you're unfaithful to me
You so pretty when you're unfaithful to me
You're looking like
You've got some sun
Your blistered lips
Have got a kiss
They taste a bit like everyone
Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh
Your bones got a little machine
You're the bone machine
 

Azzy

KMF DM
This is a song for Carol
You're into Japanese fast food
And I drop you off with your Japanese lover
And you're going to the beach all day
You're so pretty when you're unfaithful to me
You so pretty when you're unfaithful to me
You're looking like
You've got some sun
Your blistered lips
Have got a kiss
They taste a bit like everyone
Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh
Your bones got a little machine
You're the bone machine
I see you are a man of taste.
 

thirdkingdom

Adventurer
Publisher
This is a song for Carol
You're into Japanese fast food
And I drop you off with your Japanese lover
And you're going to the beach all day
You're so pretty when you're unfaithful to me
You so pretty when you're unfaithful to me
You're looking like
You've got some sun
Your blistered lips
Have got a kiss
They taste a bit like everyone
Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh
Your bones got a little machine
You're the bone machine

One of my all-time favorite albums.
 

5atbu

Explorer
At this point, I think the gaming community is divided into the following:

- People that actually agree with LaNasa's beliefs and think that this is the second coming of TSR that will bring back "true gaming" by sticking it to WotC. Somehow.

- People that either remember TSR fondly or have gotten curious enough to explore D&D history, but recognize LaNasa as a grifter, NuTSR as having nothing to do with the real TSR that once was, and find his view reprehensible. Or just like watching a good dumpster fire burn.

- People that have no idea about nuTSR, barely know what TSR was, and just like playing D&D.

By far, I think the gaming world mostly consists of the third group.
You forget:

People who remember clearly what a mismanaged sh**show TSR was originally and frankly prefer WOTC.

I say that from authentic lived experience.

Do you think Mr Dunwoody likes goth?
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You forget:

People who remember clearly what a mismanaged sh**show TSR was originally and frankly prefer WOTC.

I say that from authentic lived experience.

Yeah, I'm going to say that this has a fair amount of revisionism in it.

At the time, the collapse of TSR was pretty shocking. It's like the saying about bankruptcy- it happened gradually, then suddenly. But TSR was pumping out products (literally pumping them out) into 1997, when it collapsed and was bought by WoTC. But for most observers, this was shocking ... as in, that card company is busing TSR? The biggest game company? The one with that also has all those books on the shelves that people read?

That said, for those of who remember TSR fondly, it's for a good reason. In fact, pretty much everything 5e does is simply mining the IP of TSR or M:TG. That's it.

So sure, Hasbro has done an amazing job of mining the amazing creative streak of TSR and repackaging it for modern audiences, and also in cross-promoting M:TG and D&D by combining the IP in many ways to leverage more money out of consumers, but given how much of 5e is explicitly premised on regurgitating the past, I'm not sure your comment makes a ton of sense- especially because it denigrates a lot of amazing creatives who produced products from 1974-1997. IMO.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm not sure your comment makes a ton of sense- especially because it denigrates a lot of amazing creatives who produced products from 1974-1997. IMO.

He was talking about business management, and you are talking about creativity.

These have little to do with each other, and your conflating them doesn't make a ton of sense. It most certainly does not denigrate the creative people to say that the folks over in the business office didn't manage things well.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
He was talking about business management, and you are talking about creativity.

You know, I had a whole other part of that post that you didn't quote.

It's almost like I wrote opening responding directly to that, and then there was a transition, and then I moved to a different point.

But if it makes you feel better to takes things out of context to make your point, can't stop you, can I?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You know, I had a whole other part of that post that you didn't quote.

It's almost like I wrote opening responding directly to that, and then there was a transition, and then I moved to a different point.

It is almost like the very first line of your post was a thesis statement that one would naturally interpret the entire post to be relating to.
 

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