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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.
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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 Chiefl Creative Officer and Public Relations Officer after 6 months in the position.
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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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Dinehart definitely left to form Wonderfilled, leaving Ernie Gygax and LaNasa with TSR3. Michael never claimed that LaNasa had left the company. There's plenty of stuff to point at them for, but I do try to keep it factual.
And I appreciate that!

My review of the facts at hand is that Michael made the claim that "the individual who was handling this account is no longer with TSR" was made on July 2nd, and that it appears that Dinehart didn't leave until slightly later- for example the the website re-do was July 7th.

I think your surmise from the time that he was referring to Justin was accurate, even if he didn't name him specifically. The two accounts, TSR and Giantlands, were making different but related comments, and appeared to be run by two different people. I think you were right the first time, though Michael didn't name Justin specifically. I appreciate that it's impossible to be sure, and that you're sticking to facts you can verify.
 
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I'm still amazed that LaNasa's Indiegogo campaign hasn't just stalled out--it's preserved in amber. Still at $5,647 for a week or more, no new comments in the past week. They aren't even bothering to update regularly to try to whip people into a frenzy--just three updates total over 5 weeks!

Rare that you found anything online-and-culture-war-baiting with such a low and clearly defined ceiling, and such a tiny base of support.
 

Willie the Duck

Adventurer
I'm honestly quite surprised by that!

Well, that was a twist I didn't see coming.
What surprises me is that there's anything left to find surprising.
I'm still amazed that LaNasa's Indiegogo campaign hasn't just stalled out--it's preserved in amber. Still at $5,647 for a week or more, no new comments in the past week. They aren't even bothering to update regularly to try to whip people into a frenzy--just three updates total over 5 weeks!

Rare that you found anything online-and-culture-war-baiting with such a low and clearly defined ceiling, and such a tiny base of support.
I suspect we just don't notice it. I'm sure there's so-and-so who wokeness or whatever did dirty in some perceived way that got 155 minutes of fame and people donated to them or their 'defense fund' or the like or even offered them a job on the latest alternative media network or whatnot and then... it just stopped.

I do think it is kinda notable, though, just how much of the usual suspects who I'd expect to be seen whipping their base into a frenzy over this just plain not doing so. Almost as if even they are thinking, 'these bozos don't help our cause in any way, and money spent on them is just keeping their lights on another week while they try desperately to figure out what to do next to keep their momentum. Better just to ignore it and assume it will die out.'
 

I do think it is kinda notable, though, just how much of the usual suspects who I'd expect to be seen whipping their base into a frenzy over this just plain not doing so. Almost as if even they are thinking, 'these bozos don't help our cause in any way, and money spent on them is just keeping their lights on another week while they try desperately to figure out what to do next to keep their momentum. Better just to ignore it and assume it will die out.'

Great point. Venger Satanis and such full-on ghosting them might be the most pathetic part of this entire pointless endeavor.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Not so much anymore.

The biggest baddest “classic rock“ station in the D/FW metroplex plays Metallica, Green Day, RHCP and U2, just to name a few of the younger bands.

I’ve also noticed a similar genre creep in the piped in music in stores. i was shopping for groceries last month, and they went from Pink Floyd to Soundgarden to The Offspring. The originals, not covers.

Sirius/XM has theirs separated by era which feels like it makes it easier. Classic Vinyl vs. Classic Rewind. (they don't seem to have Classic Disc or Classic MP3 yet). They also have a series of pop stations by decade (starting in the 40s - used to start with channel 4 and move up). I wonder if the non-chronologically prescribed ones with classic in the name (Deep Classic Album Rock, Classic Alternative, Ozzy's Classic Hard Rock) have arguments about what counts?
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
They're already doing that... the "Dungeon Crawl" game they acquired from another company is branded as being "with Ernest Gary Gygax Jr" on the cover, even though I'm not entirely sure what he had to do with its production if anything. As far as I know, the product was already made by another company and TSR just acquired the publishing rights for it.

And Dinehart's initial involvement in TSR3 is... complicated. I know some details, but cannot discuss them openly.

Well, Dinehart posted photos of Ernie signing copies of the game. Still doesn't answer what involvement he had other than playing it and being there in person so put his name on things.
 



I wonder how this came about. Maybe, "Look, Justin, if you can't actutally pay me, I have to go back to a real job."

This is probably accurate. It's pure speculation, but I'm guessing Michael wasn't being paid a fixed salary, since TSR has no regular income stream to support it. So he was probably promised a percentage of sales from TSR product. But the Dungeon Crawl board game sold less than 100 copies, and TSR Con has only managed to sell a handful of badges and game tickets. It's pretty reasonable to guess that Michael was holding out to see how those products sold, and then decided months of work trying to cover for Lanasa's online behavior and bizarre legal games simply wasn't worth the dozens of dollars he was getting compensated for it.
 








Available* to any cat cool enough to donate another $1000 to the indiegogo scampaign!

* on a volunteer basis, only!!

I'm not too proud to admit there was a point in my life where I would have seriously considered that. Publish a few of my homebrew ideas under the TSR name, manage the details of the convention and the company for a couple of months, then jump ship. The resume padding you could get is pretty valuable; it could add management experience, PR experience, published creative writing, and game design in one nice bundle. Resume writing/padding and professional headhunting can cost hundreds of dollars, so this might be cheap by comparison. And I'm sure there are lots of people out there desperately trying to break in to the professional TTRPG world.
 
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