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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adamantyr

Adventurer
It IS very strange that the posts have survived this long. A couple suppositions:
  • LaNasa simply hasn't seen it yet.
  • Ernie took control of the DHSM account and refuses to delete them.
  • LaNasa is just trying to come up with a perfect comeback before posting/deleting.
  • LaNasa was told by his lawyer NOT to delete things like that, because if he does, it opens the path for WotC to demand FB provide full records of all posts. (And FB can recover EVERYTHING, deleted or not.)
 



Graph Paper Architect

Michael K. Hovermale AKA Graph Paper Architect
I am amazed to see that your comments about this are still standing on the DHSM FB page. Even the bits that call out LaNasa directly. What's even stranger is that the DSHM "liked" it themselves. Weird. Frankly, I assumed you would have been banned from their FB just like they banned you from their Discord.

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I don't understand it either. Why he, assuming JL, thought that using my writings to try to help them would be ok is beyond me. Other than things like this I have dropped the mic on them. Thanks to you and others everyone knows about them, and that I no longer have anything to do with NuTSR.

But
While we are at it, I wrote #PlayAsYouWish I also wrote the NuTSR philosophy and told Justin I thought he should sign it as the CEO, and I wrote the About Us(With Help) on the NuTSR website. Absolutely NONE of those ideals are in use at NuTSR. They have shown several times with their actions what their hate filled agenda is. I stand behind my work, but I also want everyone to know that NuTSR is NOTHING like what I wrote.
 

Graph Paper Architect

Michael K. Hovermale AKA Graph Paper Architect
All of @Graph Paper Architect's comments on the "Dreams of a Homebrewer" post have now been deleted from the Facebook page.

Guess Lanasa logged on.

(Edit, irrelevant information was posted, didn't check the date)
Looks like NuTSR nuked my ability to comment on anything as well. If they continue to steal my work, I will just keep posting elsewhere. TY for the heads up Steampunkette :)
 

While we are at it, I wrote #PlayAsYouWish I also wrote the NuTSR philosophy and told Justin I thought he should sign it as the CEO, and I wrote the About Us(With Help) on the NuTSR website. Absolutely NONE of those ideals are in use at NuTSR. They have shown several times with their actions what their hate filled agenda is. I stand behind my work, but I also want everyone to know that NuTSR is NOTHING like what I wrote.

Good to know. I can see where you were trying to go with the "Play As You Wish" idea, and the retro vibes made sense for a marketing direction. But every time I see NuTSR use "play as you with" it reminds me of the southern phrase "bless your heart". I can understand that some people may use the words more literally to be nice, but it's pretty clear when it's just a polite way of giving someone the middle finger. When LaNasa says it, it's clear that "Play As You Wish" really translates to the age old falacy "If you're really tolerant, you have to tolerate my intolerance." That's probably why he liked it and stuck with it.

In other news, NuTSR has spent the last couple of days desperately posting about GenCon controversies and trying to somehow convince people it's about NuTSR. It's such a blatant cry for attention that it's pitiful to watch.
 

DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
The DHSM would like you to focus your attention on the terrible behavior at GenCon instead of their own terrible behavior.

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I'm not personally familiar with it, but one of the places they link to - Kotaku in Action - is quite literally the GG subreddit.

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The comments there are... well... yikes...
 
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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Could someone give a two sentence summary of Kotaku and GamerGate and how it pertains? Thanks, I don't want to tarnish my Sunday with digging in :)
These are the kind of things that even two sentences will easily tarnish at least your Sunday, and probably even a few days after that :p

For your sanity, I urge you to not dig deeper, if you still value humankind somewhat.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Could someone give a two sentence summary of Kotaku and GamerGate and how it pertains? Thanks, I don't want to tarnish my Sunday with digging in :)
Gamergate involves a female game reviewer who didn't like some games that some redditors liked and liked games they didn't like.

So they decided she was trading sexual favors and taking big bribes for good reviews because that's the only possible explanation they could imagine.

From there it kinda just became an excuse to harrass and dox any woman with the temerity to make, review, or sell videogames.

Y'know. Misogyny.
 

Could someone give a two sentence summary of Kotaku and GamerGate and how it pertains? Thanks, I don't want to tarnish my Sunday with digging in :)

There is literally no connection between GamerGate/Kotaku to NuTSR. The folks at NuTSR have been trying to bring up other controversies in gaming to try and force personal connections to them. It's nothing but a weak attention grab.

They tried to make posts claiming they were somehow connected to the Phoenix/Stone controversy; when @Jedion357 managed to contact Phoenix directly, she said she had never heard of NuTSR. They tried to channel GamerGate; Lanasa's father, William Gentry, wrote an article about how the "attacks" on NuTSR are "GamerGate 2.0". But literally nothing posted makes any connection with the original GamerGate whatsoever. Earlier in the week, they tried posting about someone catching COVID at GenCon.

Most recently, they're trying to post about the "Daisy Grant" story that's coming out of GenCon. No doubt this one is high priority for NuTSR because it involves a trans person. I've only read the basics of the story, but I can guarantee you NuTSR has no involvement in it. One of the links they posted goes to a subredit heavily associated with GamerGate.

NuTSR is desperately trying to link themselves with any controversial news item they can find. Unfortunately, the only way to fight it is to ignore it.
 
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darjr

I crit!
I think they've even stirred posters on other sites to randomly bring it up with allusions to it all being connected somehow. Using a broad brush.
 


gamergate made me embarrassed to call myself a gamer.

While I certainly wasn't proud about anything that came out of GamerGate, it did feel a little ... cathartic might be the right word? Like someone who had been fighting symptoms of sickness for a long time, but was always told not to worry about it, then finally got a diagnosis of <insert serious disease here>. It was definitely bad news and painful to hear about. But in the long run it's better to have an actual view of the problem and search for ways to fight it, rather than pretending it hadn't been there for years. YMMV.

NuTSR is actually a great example of the long term benefits of GamerGate. By the way that NuTSR tried to appropriate GamerGate to their own struggle, we can instantly tell that they are misogynistic narcisists. Neat.
 



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