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.

65B1E080-EEE9-45DD-AC2C-C55BD9DB6104.jpeg

gencon.jpeg
  • 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.
tsr_tweets.jpg
  • 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.
dineharttweet.png
dinebreakup.jpeg
concon.jpg
fr.jpeg
1639501994946.png
  • 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.
lanasa.jpg
  • 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.
lawsuitwotctsr.png
  • 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).
Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 10.10.12 AM.png

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)
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
DriveThru and other POD shops are printers, not publishers. A vanity press is a type of publisher where the writer pays the publisher to edit, layout, create the cover, etc where a traditional publisher only pays the writer, they never require the writer to pay them to produce the book.
Apologies for being pedantic, but DTRPG is not a printer. They go through another company (Lightning Source IIRC) for printing. They are simply a storefront.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Agree, except I wouldn't mind seeing them come out with a new Star Frontiers and a new Gamma World. Yes, a lot of the fan stuff is quite good, but having an official release would likely bring a whole new set of fans, and increased interest in some amazing settings- which, in turn, would lead to increase fan and 3PP output.

The downside is they could botch it, but that's always a possibility. To date, I've been reasonably impressed with their stewardship of the legacy- they haven't been hitting home runs, but they've been consistently cranking out doubles and avoiding strikeouts.
My issue is that I highly doubt that Wizards is going to put out any RPG material that isn't based on the D&D engine. That's where their expertise is and that's where they want to focus. And I don't really want to see a D&D 5e Star Frontiers - if they're going to make a D&D 5e science-fantasy game I want to see a revised version of Spelljammer take that role (and yes, I'd probably be the first on the pre-order for a new version of Spelljammer tbh).

If they wanted to put out a revised edition of Star Frontiers that used the same basic game engine but updated it to the 21st century game design ideas and presentation and layout that would be great. But it would be a lot of work for something that I don't think would get the traction needed to pull it off. Conversely a D&D 5e based version of Star Frontiers could possibly be a big deal, but I wouldn't really want it.

(They could make a 5e version of Gamma World I guess and I'd buy it because I'm a sucker for Gamma World, but I don't see how they could improve on the previous edition. It's possible, but I'd have to see it :))
 

Sir Brennen

Legend
Agree, except I wouldn't mind seeing them come out with a new Star Frontiers and a new Gamma World. Yes, a lot of the fan stuff is quite good, but having an official release would likely bring a whole new set of fans, and increased interest in some amazing settings- which, in turn, would lead to increase fan and 3PP output.
Yeah, I'd be totally on board with a new version that's not much more than a fresh coat of paint. It was pretty solid to begin with, using a simple percentile system as its core mechanic, much like d20 did later on, while also avoiding some of the complexity of contemporaneous percentile systems, like Call of Cthulhu. Maybe a rewrite could pull in some of the equipment/rules from the first (and only) Zebulon's Guide as well (okay, maybe not core rule changes like the Action Control Table).

The Knight Hawks supplement's rules for ships were pretty good, including hard sci-fi nods like no artificial gravity, ion drives, etc. The actual space combat rules could use a re-do, though.

Then, yeah, open it up for paid fan-content. It will definitely be there.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
The Knight Hawks supplement's rules for ships were pretty good, including hard sci-fi nods like no artificial gravity, ion drives, etc. The actual space combat rules could use a re-do, though.

Having a Knight Hawks supplement (or core) is an absolute must.

I love Star Frontiers, but that supplement struck (for the time) the perfect balance for space battles- it was kinda detailed, but not really. It worked perfectly without getting into stupid and unnecessary details. I loved it so very much.
 






MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Is it me or is Ernie becoming the Ludacris of RPGs?

Like, he's featuring on every one of their damn things, even if his only contribution is like, making coffee for the ones doing the actual job, or nodding and saying ''yeah'' during a meeting.

I don't know if he is a Ludacris, but he certainly is ludicrous,
 

Wilphe

Adventurer
Is it me or is Ernie becoming the Ludacris of RPGs?

Like, he's featuring on every one of their damn things, even if his only contribution is like, making coffee for the ones doing the actual job, or nodding and saying ''yeah'' during a meeting.

Well yes

His middle and surname are pretty much all he brings to the table.

And its a filthy and wobbly table to boot and you wouldn't want to sit at it
 

For whatever little it's worth, the TSR discord has been a ghost town since Michael left. LaNasa made a couple of posts about the Cult of Abbadon, but that's about it. One of the few other posts is announcing that TSR now has a MeWe presence. According to Wikipedia: "MeWe's light approach to content moderation has made it popular among American conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and anti-vaxxers. ... Business Insider has reported that some of the most popular groups on MeWe focus on "extreme views, like anti-vaccine rhetoric, white supremacy, and conspiracy theories" and that in 2020 the platform was used to organize anti-lockdown protests."
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
For whatever little it's worth, the TSR discord has been a ghost town since Michael left. LaNasa made a couple of posts about the Cult of Abbadon, but that's about it. One of the few other posts is announcing that TSR now has a MeWe presence. According to Wikipedia: "MeWe's light approach to content moderation has made it popular among American conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and anti-vaxxers. ... Business Insider has reported that some of the most popular groups on MeWe focus on "extreme views, like anti-vaccine rhetoric, white supremacy, and conspiracy theories" and that in 2020 the platform was used to organize anti-lockdown protests."
Yeah, MeWe is more or less a libertarian Google+.

I would not suggest going there for anybody who value their sanity.
 

My take is that even if it is a coincidence, it shows yet again why it is so important to be open to critical discussion, especially with the things you love. It's all to easy to internalize a bunch of problematic content and not even realize it.

But considering the audience LaNasa appeals to, it could easily be entirely on purpose.

This could be a coincidence…? Knowing them, though, probably not. Also: I am not versed in spotting dogwhistling.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
For whatever little it's worth, the TSR discord has been a ghost town since Michael left. LaNasa made a couple of posts about the Cult of Abbadon, but that's about it. One of the few other posts is announcing that TSR now has a MeWe presence. According to Wikipedia: "MeWe's light approach to content moderation has made it popular among American conservatives, conspiracy theorists, and anti-vaxxers. ... Business Insider has reported that some of the most popular groups on MeWe focus on "extreme views, like anti-vaccine rhetoric, white supremacy, and conspiracy theories" and that in 2020 the platform was used to organize anti-lockdown protests."
They also had(have) a presence on Gab, which makes MeWe look absolutely saintly by comparison. One could reasonably make conclusions about someone based on the type of people and places they frequent with.
 






Visit Our Sponsor

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top