TSR The Full & Glorious History of NuTSR

Because the Saga of TSR3 has been ongoing for a while, with many landmarks, I thought I'd do a quick timeline for those who haven't had the time (or, frankly, inclination) to keep up with the whole palaver. As multiple entities refer to themselves as TSR, I will use the nomenclature (1), (2) etc. to distinguish them. However, all the companies below simply use the term "TSR". The principle...

Because the Saga of TSR3 has been ongoing for a while, with many landmarks, I thought I'd do a quick timeline for those who haven't had the time (or, frankly, inclination) to keep up with the whole palaver.

As multiple entities refer to themselves as TSR, I will use the nomenclature (1), (2) etc. to distinguish them. However, all the companies below simply use the term "TSR".

The principle people involved with this story are Ernie Gygax (one of Gary Gygax's children), Justin LaNasa (a tattooist, weapon designer, and briefly a politician who refers to himself as Sir Justin LaNasa*), Stephen Dinehart (co-creator of Giantlands with James Ward), and -- later -- Michael K. Hovermale, TSR3's PR officer.

Also linked to TSR3 is the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Much of TSR3’s commercial business appears to be conducted via the museum.

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  • Late June 2021. TSR3 embarks on an astonishing social media campaign where they tell people who don't like Gary Gygax not to play D&D, call a trans person on Twitter 'disgusting', thank the 'woke' because sales are up, insult Luke Gygax, and more. They also block or insult those who question them on Twitter.
  • Late June 2021. Various companies distance themselves from TSR3, including Gen Con, TSR2 (who rebrand themselves Solarian Games), GAMA, and various individuals such as Luke Gygax, Tim Kask, Jeff Dee, and more. TSR3 responds to being banned from Gen Con by claiming that they created the convention.
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  • June 30th 2021. TSR3 blames the widespread pushback it is getting on WotC, accusing it of mounting a coordinated assault on them. In the same tweets they claim that they created the TTRPG business. Ernie Gygax and Stephen Dinehart then deactivate their Twitter accounts. Months later it transpires that this is the date they received a C&D from WotC regarding their use of their IP.
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  • December 11th 2021. The president of the Gygax Memorial fund publicly declares that they were never consulted, and would refuse any donation from TSR3's crowdfunding campaign. TSR3 quietly removes the references to the GMF from the IndieGoGo page.
  • December 29th 2021. TSR3.5 refiles its lawsuit, this time in the correct jurisdiction. LaNasa and TSR ask for a trial by Jury.
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  • January 8th 2020. Wonderfiled[sic]'s Stephen Dinehart threatens to sue Twitter user David Flor for his negative review of Giantlands on the platform.
  • January 10th 2022. TSR3's Justin LaNasa sends TSR alumn Tim Kask a profane message, telling him to "Go suck Lukes/wotc/balls you f*****g coward" and accusing him of having been fired from TSR for stealing.
  • January 11th 2022. Michael K Hovermale claims that the first edition of TSR3's Star Frontiers: New Genesis game was released and has sold out. He says “It was a very small limited run released and sold on the DHSM [Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum] website. It is no longer available, and probably won’t be reprinted.” As yet, nobody has publicly revealed that they bought a copy.
  • January 14th 2022. Michael K. Hovermale resigns as TSR3's Chief Creative Officer and Public Relations Officer after 6 months in the position.
  • March 4th 2022. WotC strikes back with a lawsuit naming TSR, Justin LaNasa personally, and the Dungeon Hobby Shop museum. WotC seeks a judgement that TSR hand over all domains, take down all websites, pay treble damages and costs, hand over all stock and proceeds related to the trademarks, and more. TSR has 21 days to respond.
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  • March 22nd 2022. TSR gets an extension on that WoTC suit. Two waivers of service of summons granted to both Justin LaNasa and the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum. He now has 60 days from March 4th to serve an answer or motion, or suffer default judgment.
  • March 26th 2022. TSR CON takes place at the same time as Gary Con. TSR claims " lol, actually we asked just about every one of the 800 people stopping by, TSR CON, and about 60% had no idea Gary con was going on, and we tried pushing them to go over and attend."
  • March 28th 2022. TSR3 posts images of 'rebound' copies of AD&D 1E books it is selling for $650 each.
  • May 17th 2022. Evidence emerges of Nazi connections via TSR3's Dave Johnson. Public Twitter posts include concentrated hateful imagery and messages over a long period of time.
  • May 17th 2022. DriveThruRPG removes all Dave Johnson Games titles from the platform.
  • May 17th 2022. A jury trial date is set for the TSR/WotC lawsuit for October 2023 (few suits like this actually make it to trial in the end).
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  • July 19th 2022. A leaked version of a beta version of TSR's 'Star Frontiers: New Genesis' game emerges on the internet. The content includes racist and white-supremacist propaganda, including character races with ability caps based on ethnicity, and various homophobic and transphobic references. Justin LaNasa immediately threatened to sue blogger Eric Tenkar, who shared the information publicly ('Mario Real' is one of LaNasa's online pseudonyms). Various evidence points towards the document's genuine nature, including an accidentally revealed Google drive belonging to NuTSR.
  • July 22nd 2022. A video shows a Google Drive that appears to be owned by nuTSR, which contains a list of enemies of the company, usually with the word "WOKE" in caps being used as a pejorative.
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(screenshot courtesy of the @nohateingaming Twitter account)

  • August 30th 2022. Wizard Tower Games announces that they have received a subpeona from WotC regarding TSR and Justin LaNasa. Former NuTSR employee Michaal K Hovermale confirms that he has also received a subpeona.
  • September 5th 2022. Justin LaNasa sends out customer data, including addresses and credit card numbers. LaNasa responds by publicly claiming the evidence is photoshopped and slandering those who revealed it as liars.
  • September 8th 2022. WoTC files an injunction to prevent LaNasa or his companies from “publishing, distributing, or otherwise making available Star Frontiers New Genesis or any iteration of the game using the Marks”.
  • June 8th 2023. NuTSR files for bankruptcy. The case between WotC and NuTSR is postponed until March 2024.

Have I missed anything important? I'll continue updating this as I remember things, or as people remind me of things!

To the best of my knowledge, TSR3 is not actually selling any type of gaming product.

*if anybody has any link to LaNasa's knighthood, please let me know!

Websites
Various websites have come and gone. I'll try to make some sense of it here so you know what site you're actually visiting!
  • TSR.com is the original TSR website. For a long time it redirected to WotC. The URL is no longer in use. (WotC)
  • TSRgames.com was TSR2 until summer 2021. The site is still running, although TSR2 is now called Solarian Games. (Jayson Elliot)
  • TSR.games was TSR3 until summer 2021. It now goes to Wonderfiled(sic)'s website. (Stephen Dinehart)
  • TSR-hobbies.com is TSR 3.5, launched summer 2021 by Justin LaNasa and Ernie Gygax. (Justin LaNasa)
 

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DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
In regards to the charge, while it's fun to think of it as making moonshine - that's a separate charge in NC. NC has the 5th highest tax rate for distilled alcohol in the US, where as Wisconsin is the 41st, and even SC has a rate 1/3rd the size. So it's far more likely that Justin figured he'd he'd stock up on fancy booze while out of state and offer to sell it to people, particularly if it's hard to get in NC due to the increased tax making it less appealing to stock up etc.
That sounds more like the legal equivalent of bootlegging than it does moonshine. I'm not sure which of the two is more comical.
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
I am going to briefly come in to say my opinion-

I think that following the (mis)adventures of Justin LaNasa and (nu)TSR and the museum, etc., are fine! And even having some fun with it. And, of course, associated issues.

But I am really uncomfortable about the discussion related to the personal issues with his family, even if they have become legal issues.

Given that LaNasa and others have done harm to people, I know that it's a natural instinct to want justice, or karma, or to revel in unfortunate things happening, but this is the type of thing that we shouldn't be discussing.

IMO.
 

But I am really uncomfortable about the discussion related to the personal issues with his family, even if they have become legal issues.

Given that LaNasa and others have done harm to people, I know that it's a natural instinct to want justice, or karma, or to revel in unfortunate things happening, but this is the type of thing that we shouldn't be discussing.

FWIW, I'm uncomfortable with it, too. It's good to be uncomfortable in certain situations. It's just that, personally, my desire to document the saga and share the news outweighs my discomfort. I think it's very important to create a record of things that are happening in this saga, because we know that Lanasa(s) will do everything in their power to have things deleted from the internet, and lie about it afterwards. We've seen the DARVO, over and over again.

I put a lot of trust in the mods to keep things in check, and I would like to applaud them for all they do. I know this thread has been a lot of work for them. And if you don't mind a little bit of argument that falls somewhere between "whataboutism" and "moral relativism", I can tell you that ENWorld is probably the nicest and fairest shake that the Lanasas are getting with this most recent news. If you look up things on Twitter, Facebook, Discord, etc, you'll find a good deal more digging into their personal lives (e.g. Erika's mugshot), and a lot of "colorful" opinions on everything from people's upbringing to some very non-modern takes on domestic violence. I think it says a lot that the rate of posts in this thread is much lower about this news than it was about, let's say, NuTSR's rebound books or custom dice.

So I (and, I assume others) am going to keep updating things until someone tells us not to. And the way things are looking, some of those updates could be very uncomfortable. But rest assured that there are personal events and details that are being edited out. It's walking a very fine line, and not everybody agrees on exactly where the line is. But I am hopeful that we can keep the surrounding discussion as civil and on-topic as possible. Personally, I'm open to DMs if someone wants me to edit something (with the understanding that we may defer to the mods decisions about certain things).

On a less serious note, I can also tell you that I did not have "Snarf would be more concise than me" on my bingo card for today.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
@Deset Gled

I understand your position, and respect that you are trying to be judicious and sensitive. That said, the topic is something that I am uncomfortable with, so I will refrain from commenting further on that issue.

On a less serious note, I can also tell you that I did not have "Snarf would be the more concise than me" on my bingo card for today.

.....well played. No notes.
 

I feel part of the discomfort is that Justin has a tendency to push his family into this, with unclear degrees of consent and information to them.

Erika briefly experimented posting on DHSM and trying to confront Tenkar in his live streams.
His daughter keeps getting included in DHSM posts.
Justin's weird defamation case attempt included both Erika and his daughter as victims in perplexing ways.
Justin's vanity site is loaded with pictures of his family and him bragging about what a great family man he is etc.

Also his father as a few other relatives occasionally come in to bat for him, with unclear amounts of information behind their statements - but there's a been a general consistent message of "we are superior to you" making all indicators to the obvious relevant to the validity of that claim (even though it doesn't matter to most people).

There's also an indicators on YouTube that someone is determined for this to enter the main nuTSR discourse - as well as other weirdness I come across when I'm looking for nuTSR related stuff. All of this is also, sadly, relevant to my own court stuff currently going on.

Unfortunately it's not a clear lines scenario, but is one where I hope that if nobody else - Justin's wife and his daughter can get some resolution and privacy.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
That said, the topic is something that I am uncomfortable with, so I will refrain from commenting further on that issue.

Mod Note:
If it matters to you, we are paying attention.

Discussion of LaNasa getting dinged for untaxed alcohol seems like a relevant point on his business practices. But note how we took joking around about domestic violence off the table.

Noting the charge happened is one thing - going on at any length about it, or trying to do armchair psychology, or reveling in how someone in the family felt that pain, would not be tolerated. Schadenfreude has limits around here.
 

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