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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  • 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”.

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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Mallus

Legend
“We want to apologize to the LGBTQ community for using homophobic rightwing propaganda images from Eastern Europe, maybe, to promote our virtually nonexistent gaming business in the US, which, admittedly was a weird flex on our part.”

Our branch of the Free Library hosts a Drag Queen Story Hour. It‘s very popular. One time a church group from Pennsyltucky tried to protest outside and my neighborhood assembled like the Avengers to drown them out. I really like my neighborhood, sometimes.
 

seebs

Adventurer
I think about people I've seen reading stories to children in ways that engage the kids, I think about drag queens, and I think "gosh that actually makes sense, that is exactly the right skillset".

It's not a sexual thing to kids, they're just seeing someone reading flamboyantly. They don't know or care about the overtones people are projecting on it.
 


I didn't click the link to see where it lead, but yikes! That makes it even more of a non-apology. I reported the post as hate speech. Not that Facebook is likely to do anything about it.

DHSM is doubling down on the use of this image.

I'm not going to direct link to the video that they say explains their stance, but the description should be enough.

View attachment 252360

View attachment 252361
 



The publication date for the trademark is June 21st, correct. My understanding is that NuTSR has to be able to prove the trademark is in use within 30 days from then, or they have failed to fulfill the trademark requirements. I could be wrong about any number of details. It's also largely immaterial, as I expect this would only become an issue if NuTSR managed to somehow win their suit against Hasbro. It could then be a factor in the complaint Hasbro already lodged with the USPTO, which has been put on hold (but not cancelled) pending the lawsuit.



The earlier fake release was definitely an ashcan edition. However, the most important detail about making an ashcan release is that it has to fool someone. Strictly speaking, it's not a legal practice. Trademark law says you have to actually use the trademark; ashcan law says you have to do a decent enough job faking it for the USPTO to believe it. I doubt what NuTSR has published so far would hold up, and, as mentioned, the complaints are already filed. NuTSR needs to produce something. And they know it, too, or they wouldn't have filed for the earlier extension.

As a reminder, my legal degree only allows me to practice from my couch, not in court.
Side note: I actually ordered and received two copies of Star Frontiers from NuTSR. I saw that it was possible to order that stuff for a brief while and thought "wow, that might become collectible in asimilar fashion like Creeks & Crawdads or Spawn of Fashan".

The "product" arrived, the writing is a horrid mess (like from a ten year old), the amount of typos nears legendary status, grasp of grammar is non-existent (and I say that as a German non-native english speaker) and the rules probably are plain broken. But at least I own two mint copies of this artifact to be.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I'd never even heard of Creeks & Crawdads! It sounds kinda cute. It reminds me of when I wanted to run a "Bunnies & Burrows: After The Bomb" game that never actually happened.

@TheCreatorOfADOM, to be fair, you probably learned English from an actual professional, while we native speakers are stuck with learning it from our parents or other caretakers, and if his schooling was anything like mine, he probably didn't get too much out of English classes. Fortunately, my parents really encouraged language proficiency. And the value of proofreading and editing. Which I know that I don't always do so well with on my posts, but on anything more formal, I really try.
 

darjr

I crit!
Side note: I actually ordered and received two copies of Star Frontiers from NuTSR. I saw that it was possible to order that stuff for a brief while and thought "wow, that might become collectible in asimilar fashion like Creeks & Crawdads or Spawn of Fashan".

The "product" arrived, the writing is a horrid mess (like from a ten year old), the amount of typos nears legendary status, grasp of grammar is non-existent (and I say that as a German non-native english speaker) and the rules probably are plain broken. But at least I own two mint copies of this artifact to be.
Didn’t Tenkar have a bounty out for a copy?
 

DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
Didn’t Tenkar have a bounty out for a copy?
Yes, he still does.

Side note: I actually ordered and received two copies of Star Frontiers from NuTSR. I saw that it was possible to order that stuff for a brief while and thought "wow, that might become collectible in asimilar fashion like Creeks & Crawdads or Spawn of Fashan".

The "product" arrived, the writing is a horrid mess (like from a ten year old), the amount of typos nears legendary status, grasp of grammar is non-existent (and I say that as a German non-native english speaker) and the rules probably are plain broken. But at least I own two mint copies of this artifact to be.
You willing to part with one of those copies? Or at least provide screenshots of it? As much as I'd like to read and review it, I just would mainly like to see proof of its existence.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Side note: I actually ordered and received two copies of Star Frontiers from NuTSR. I saw that it was possible to order that stuff for a brief while and thought "wow, that might become collectible in asimilar fashion like Creeks & Crawdads or Spawn of Fashan".

The "product" arrived, the writing is a horrid mess (like from a ten year old), the amount of typos nears legendary status, grasp of grammar is non-existent (and I say that as a German non-native english speaker) and the rules probably are plain broken. But at least I own two mint copies of this artifact to be.
ah - so it's not vaporware. "progress"?

edit: Yes, as some others have noted, please share with us a few images.

edit part deux: dang it, now I can't say I've published more products than NuTSR!
 
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Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
Yeah, pics please.

PS: I played the absolute crap out of ADOM growing up, it was my introduction to roguelikes. Never won though, because I was a teenager and very very bad at it
 








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