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 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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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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Once you discount the people that just support them because they hate the same people they do, the Venn Diagram of "people who are okay with bigotry," "people who don't know a scam when they see one," and "people that love old TSR" has to be pretty small.

They have "many enemies" and "pairs of fans". Doing marketing right, that group...
 

Ernie Gygax is working on the redirect, too.

In case anyone thinks I'm being unfair to Ernie, here is another post he just made:

may24.JPG


No, Ernie. There are not any parallels between companies that fall victim to phishing attacks and what is happening to you. None.

Here's two more from the past week (in S block for both size and questionable language):

may21.JPG


may19.JPG

Ernie is not being unjustly named guilty by association. This is not cancel culture. He is actively trying to justify the immoral actions of those who work for a company where he is an owner/investor.
 



thirdkingdom

Adventurer
Publisher
In case anyone thinks I'm being unfair to Ernie, here is another post he just made:

View attachment 249091

No, Ernie. There are not any parallels between companies that fall victim to phishing attacks and what is happening to you. None.

Here's two more from the past week (in S block for both size and questionable language):


Ernie is not being unjustly named guilty by association. This is not cancel culture. He is actively trying to justify the immoral actions of those who work for a company where he is an owner/investor.
Who's DNDYoDanno?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
In case anyone thinks I'm being unfair to Ernie, here is another post he just made:

View attachment 249091

No, Ernie. There are not any parallels between companies that fall victim to phishing attacks and what is happening to you. None.

Here's two more from the past week (in S block for both size and questionable language):


Ernie is not being unjustly named guilty by association. This is not cancel culture. He is actively trying to justify the immoral actions of those who work for a company where he is an owner/investor.
Is that him making those posts?
 


Is that him making those posts?

Yes. Ernie confirmed that he was the one posting as "Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum" some time in February. I'll see if I can find the exact post. There's also some crossposting between this account, his personal account, and the "Oerth - Gary Gygax's Greyhawk" FB group. Ernie also used this account and the TSR Con account consistently though the con.
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Found the confirmation:

View attachment 249107
Confirmation for that post. But not confirmation about every post. There are several of these guys at DHSM, and it's not unreasonable to assume they all have access to the official FB group for that business.

Not that I'm excusing him here (his silence is deafening on Dave), only that it doesn't prove he's the only one posting under DHSM.

*edit, not that it really matters in the big picture, because he's made his bed and chosen his allies, and seems perfectly at home with their toxicity at the very least. Unless Justin has his pet dog held at gunpoint or some other movie reason I don't know about, there isn't really an excuse for him at this point.
 

Who's DNDYoDanno?

Yo Danno is apparently a well known Twitter name in the Dragonlance community. I know almost nothing about them myself. The video does a terrible job and explains nothing, just complains about "cancel culture" and says a lot of "us vs them" rhetoric.

Confirmation for that post. But not confirmation about every post. There are several of these guys at DHSM, and it's not unreasonable to assume they all have access to the official FB group for that business.

Not that I'm excusing him here (his silence is deafening on Dave), only that it doesn't prove he's the only one posting under DHSM.

*edit, not that it really matters in the big picture, because he's made his bed and chosen his allies, and seems perfectly at home with their toxicity at the very least. Unless Justin has his pet dog held at gunpoint or some other movie reason I don't know about, there isn't really an excuse for him at this point.

If nothing else, it confirms that he has the power to delete the posts if he wanted to. Or he could speak out against Dave. Or post about it on his own FB page. He is actively choosing to let these posts stand on a FB page he has creative control over. I don't think the distinction that he may have given the password to someone else for a few minutes is particularly meaningful.

Also, he's the only person that I know of that has stated he's posting as DHSM. When Justin or anyone else posts under that group, they seem to consistently do it under their own names.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Found the confirmation:

View attachment 249107
Yeah that’s just for that post. Our company page has 4 people able to post on it as the company, which is fairly typical when it comes to company social media accounts. On my Kickstarters, staff like Jess and Xin sometimes use my account when replying to people (and they’ll note when that happens just like here that it’s them replying). I wouldn’t feel comfortable declaring that Ernie made those other posts.
 

Yeah that’s just for that post. Our company page has 4 people able to post on it as the company, which is fairly typical when it comes to company social media accounts. On my Kickstarters, staff like Jess and Xin sometimes use my account when replying to people (and they’ll note when that happens just like here that it’s them replying). I wouldn’t feel comfortable declaring that Ernie made those other posts.

That's fair.

Does the fact that it's been crossposted on the Oerth FB group where Ernie is an admin help convince you that it's more likely to be him? There are a couple other admins there, but none are from NuTSR.

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more likely
Sure. But more likely might be enough for some to assume always and for others not.

But, I think you are probably right that it is probably Ernie and he probably could delete the posts or otherwise make it known if he did not agree with the sentiments. I also look to the few third parties that know Ernie personally and have previously stated on this board that they can't/won't defend his decisions. No one except NuTSR is defending the actions of NuTSR, n one who knows Ernie is saying he's not involved with them.

For me, their is no reason to not paint Ernie, Dave, LaNasa etc with the same broad brush. All while understanding it is a broad brush. Stand with who you chose, but if you do not make it clear that their opinions are different than yours, then people should expect you hold the same views as they do.
 

FWIW, the same thing was also cross posted from the DHSM to the GP Adventures Old School Roleplaying Group. From their description: "This is a group owned and operated by Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. and Benoist Poire. It relates to their gaming imprint, products, and any and all gaming related subjects, including RPG tabletop gaming."

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