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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Out of curiosity, is it normal for lawyers to throw phrases like "As the philosopher said..." and "alas, he did not" into their... whatever type of document this is? I have no idea how to write a legal document like this (or, uh, of any sort), but these lines seem far less formal than I would have imagined.
Yes and No. Part of a lawyer's job is to be persuasive, so adding a flourish etc here is sometimes part of the job - particularly in the US where the influence of the late Justice Scalia has led a lot of people to believe that sprinkling a little touch of drama or comedy on your rhetoric makes it more compelling (not what Scalia recommended, but y'know, people are people). However, they are expected to be persuasive to the court, and courts have very specific expectations (most of which they are required to have by law).

The degree to which flourish and informality can be used also varies greatly by venue and document - some documents are extremely rigid in their formula and some are very open ended. I've left out the majority of docs from the docket, because they're basically forms the court needs filled out correctly. (Courts vary in their tolerance for this, and usually people who self-represent are given more leeway and assistance than actual lawyers)

Letters to the court are very open, and flourishes like that can be considered helpful if they are illustrative, make the key points memorable, etc. For that reason these kinds of things also sometimes appear in judgments (varying in degree from venue to venue, judge to judge) - after all what Scalia did recommend was to to heavy emphasis on your key point and make it impossible to overlook or forget.

It also sometimes gets used to varying degrees to try to influence the public opinion and please the client - one of the actually most interesting, memorable and funniest things about Carano v. Disney was that Carano's initial complaint had an introduction that was a homage to the traditional Star Wars opening crawl - unfortunately for Gina everything aside from that is bad (including the wording within the opening crawl) so it seems inevitable she will be crushed under the behemoth that is Disney's legal team (it's currently facing a motion to dismiss on the basis that the 1st Amendment is a complete defense which is just a chef kiss level response given that the case is being funded by "Free Speech Absolutist" Elon Musk).

For the most part Law is a combination of extremely rigid documents where you have to follow the instructions to the letter, and more open documents where the burden in upon you to express certain points in the most persuasive manner possible. One of the reasons the judge in the original case was eager to get rid of the case was Justin's lawyer had repeatedly failed to express a valid cause of action - without which all his other rhetoric was worthless. He doesn't seem to be taking that well, or willing to own up to his own part in that decision.
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
Yes and No. Part of a lawyer's job is to be persuasive, so adding a flourish etc here is sometimes part of the job - particularly in the US where the influence of the late Justice Scalia has led a lot of people to believe that sprinkling a little touch of drama or comedy on your rhetoric makes it more compelling (not what Scalia recommended, but y'know, people are people).

The purpose of Indiana's nudity law would be violated, I think, if 60,000 fully consenting adults crowded into the Hoosierdome to display their genitals to one another, even if there were not an offended innocent in the crowd.

Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 US 560, 575 (1991) (Scalia, J., concurring).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
The purpose of Indiana's nudity law would be violated, I think, if 60,000 fully consenting adults crowded into the Hoosierdome to display their genitals to one another, even if there were not an offended innocent in the crowd.

Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 US 560, 575 (1991) (Scalia, J., concurring).
60,000 Nude Hoosiers would be a helluva band name.
 




Faolyn

(she/her)
Yes and No. Part of a lawyer's job is to be persuasive, so adding a flourish etc here is sometimes part of the job - particularly in the US where the influence of the late Justice Scalia has led a lot of people to believe that sprinkling a little touch of drama or comedy on your rhetoric makes it more compelling (not what Scalia recommended, but y'know, people are people). However, they are expected to be persuasive to the court, and courts have very specific expectations (most of which they are required to have by law).

The degree to which flourish and informality can be used also varies greatly by venue and document - some documents are extremely rigid in their formula and some are very open ended. I've left out the majority of docs from the docket, because they're basically forms the court needs filled out correctly. (Courts vary in their tolerance for this, and usually people who self-represent are given more leeway and assistance than actual lawyers)

Letters to the court are very open, and flourishes like that can be considered helpful if they are illustrative, make the key points memorable, etc. For that reason these kinds of things also sometimes appear in judgments (varying in degree from venue to venue, judge to judge) - after all what Scalia did recommend was to to heavy emphasis on your key point and make it impossible to overlook or forget.

It also sometimes gets used to varying degrees to try to influence the public opinion and please the client - one of the actually most interesting, memorable and funniest things about Carano v. Disney was that Carano's initial complaint had an introduction that was a homage to the traditional Star Wars opening crawl - unfortunately for Gina everything aside from that is bad (including the wording within the opening crawl) so it seems inevitable she will be crushed under the behemoth that is Disney's legal team (it's currently facing a motion to dismiss on the basis that the 1st Amendment is a complete defense which is just a chef kiss level response given that the case is being funded by "Free Speech Absolutist" Elon Musk).

For the most part Law is a combination of extremely rigid documents where you have to follow the instructions to the letter, and more open documents where the burden in upon you to express certain points in the most persuasive manner possible. One of the reasons the judge in the original case was eager to get rid of the case was Justin's lawyer had repeatedly failed to express a valid cause of action - without which all his other rhetoric was worthless. He doesn't seem to be taking that well, or willing to own up to his own part in that decision.
Hey, thanks for the info! And for the Carano v. Disney read.
 


briggart

Adventurer
"Freemasonry, the teachings and practices of the fraternal (men-only) order of Free and Accepted Masons, the largest worldwide secret society—an oath-bound society, often devoted to fellowship, moral discipline, and mutual assistance, that conceals at least some of its rituals, customs, or activities from the public (secret societies do not necessarily conceal their membership or existence)."

He probably thinks it's cool to be a party of a "secret" society, but apparently has lost track of what they stand for.
"often" being the operative word in that mission statement :p
 

DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
Things have fallen rather quiet here, or that's how it seems because I don't have PACER access (I owe them a fair amount of money due to my reporting).

But our most favorite anonymous NuTSR lackey continues to push his conspiracy theory of the raid on North Texas RPG Con ina n ongoing conversation with Gamers on Games, a conversation that's been going on for close to two weeks without any evidence to back anything up.

GQXmRZ-XEAAzn2n
 

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