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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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I just realized, NuTSR won a small victory here -- we're all focused on their diversion.
Great. Maybe instead we should all focus on how Zak Smith's lawsuit against Gen Con has been given new life by the courts. :erm:

 

Great. Maybe instead we should all focus on how Zak Smith's lawsuit against Gen Con has been given new life by the courts. :erm:

No, we really shouldn't. At least not in this thread. Let's take the GencCon conversation to its own thread, and start new topics in new treads.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Possibly that's just "We're not giving you free advertising". Unless we hear something from Luke or Ernie that says differently.

It's not like with Frank Mentzer, where Luke filed a restraining order that bars him from attending. (You can dig around the web to find it, if you're not familiar with the details.)

EDIT: Maybe not a restraining order, I'm having trouble finding it, if it exists. I swear I saw one once, in Wisconsin public records. Regardless, Frank himself shared a private letter from Luke that details why he was removed as Guest of Honor.
Yeah, my expectation is it's going to be more like how they handled Bill Webb and his harassment incident a few years back. They didn't ban him from the con, they withdrew their celebration of him as a guest. Ernie may be rightfully in the dog house, but I expect they won't prevent him from being there without there being some new problem. They're just not going to laud Ernie while Ernie is being a schmuck.
And I'm OK with that.
 

darjr

I crit!
Yeah, my expectation is it's going to be more like how they handled Bill Webb and his harassment incident a few years back. They didn't ban him from the con, they withdrew their celebration of him as a guest. Ernie may be rightfully in the dog house, but I expect they won't prevent him from being there without there being some new problem. They're just not going to laud Ernie while Ernie is being a schmuck.
And I'm OK with that.
I will enjoy the schadenfrued when Lanasa lamely announces a doomed to fail counter convention everytime Ernie goes to a convention Lanasa is banned from.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
I just realized, NuTSR won a small victory here -- we're all focused on their diversion.
I just want to state that taking the time to discuss an incident of harassment and sexual violence not directly related to NuTSR is not a win in any case and in fact, considering that Lanasa's current narative is that this is being "covered up", this discussion is as close to the opposite of them "winning" as possible.

If anything it's deeply concerning that there hasn't been a large multi-page thread here about this incident the way there were regarding similar incidents involving Frank Mentzer, Bill Webb, Zak S, et. al. I don't know if this is because folks here feel the need to walk on eggshells around the topic given the identity of the perpetrator (in this case Daisy Grant, a trans woman) or if people here just don't know that much about her, despite her DMing the live play streams sponsored by one of the largest and most popular D&D 3PPs, and I'm not even all that sure which of those feel worse to me.

In any case, we need to be able to talk about sexual violence perpetrated by predators who happen to be trans women without also furthering the narrative promoted by transphobes that all trans women are predators. And we need to not let completely unrelated bad actors act as if they've earned a moral victory by our lack of conversation about it.
 

darjr

I crit!
I just want to state that taking the time to discuss an incident of harassment and sexual violence not directly related to NuTSR is not a win in any case and in fact, considering that Lanasa's current narative is that this is being "covered up", this discussion is as close to the opposite of them "winning" as possible.

If anything it's deeply concerning that there hasn't been a large multi-page thread here about this incident the way there were regarding similar incidents involving Frank Mentzer, Bill Webb, Zak S, et. al. I don't know if this is because folks here feel the need to walk on eggshells around the topic given the identity of the perpetrator (in this case Daisy Grant, a trans woman) or if people here just don't know that much about her, despite her DMing the live play streams sponsored by one of the largest and most popular D&D 3PPs, and I'm not even all that sure which of those feel worse to me.

In any case, we need to be able to talk about sexual violence perpetrated by predators who happen to be trans women without also furthering the narrative promoted by transphobes that all trans women are predators. And we need to not let completely unrelated bad actors act as if they've earned a moral victory by our lack of conversation about it.
I agree we do need to point out predators. In this case however several victims have expressed a desire to move on once they made their public posts and folks in a position to do something appropriate have acted. Also Daisy has stepped back from both the hobby and industry and has all but dissapeared on the internet. It’s why I’ve, personally, refrained from posting a thread.

However there have been a few ignorant bigots who have used this as a opportunity to show thier hatred. That prompts me to say something.

Edit: note my concern is with the victims.
 
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I just want to state that taking the time to discuss an incident of harassment and sexual violence not directly related to NuTSR is not a win in any case and in fact, considering that Lanasa's current narative is that this is being "covered up", this discussion is as close to the opposite of them "winning" as possible.

If anything it's deeply concerning that there hasn't been a large multi-page thread here about this incident the way there were regarding similar incidents involving Frank Mentzer, Bill Webb, Zak S, et. al. I don't know if this is because folks here feel the need to walk on eggshells around the topic given the identity of the perpetrator (in this case Daisy Grant, a trans woman) or if people here just don't know that much about her, despite her DMing the live play streams sponsored by one of the largest and most popular D&D 3PPs, and I'm not even all that sure which of those feel worse to me.

In any case, we need to be able to talk about sexual violence perpetrated by predators who happen to be trans women without also furthering the narrative promoted by transphobes that all trans women are predators. And we need to not let completely unrelated bad actors act as if they've earned a moral victory by our lack of conversation about it.
I think it deserves discussion, and its' own thread (FWIW, my guess is that the difference is almost all of us knew Mentzer, Webb, and Zak before things went south). My point began and ended with the realization that we were talking about it, not NuTSR, in the NuTSR thread.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
True. And if they knew about what happened and did nothing, then that would be bad.

As far as I understand it, the person who was harrassed doesn't have a beef with the convention once the incident was reported. Souds like they did everything right from there.

My only gripe is that leaving folks to sleep in the lobby is a security risk, and generally crappy.

I can't find the original response from the person who was harassed by Grant but... wasn't she supposed to be at the hotel?

Yes. My understanding is that the victim and the offender were sharing a room assigned by the convention. So, the discussion should have been something like this:

Security (con or hotel, depending on jurisdiction): Excuse me. Are you okay?
Victim: Well...
S: Are you a guest here at the hotel?
V: Yes.
S: Is there a problem with your room that you are sleeping in the lobby?
V: Well... my room has people in it that I don't feel safe around.
S: Okay, if there's something you'd like done about that, we can talk about that. But for now, let's find you a better place to be than the lobby, okay?
 


If anything it's deeply concerning that there hasn't been a large multi-page thread here about this incident the way there were regarding similar incidents involving Frank Mentzer, Bill Webb, Zak S, et. al. I don't know if this is because folks here feel the need to walk on eggshells around the topic given the identity of the perpetrator (in this case Daisy Grant, a trans woman) or if people here just don't know that much about her, despite her DMing the live play streams sponsored by one of the largest and most popular D&D 3PPs, and I'm not even all that sure which of those feel worse to me.

If you want to make a thread about it, make a thread about it. FWIW, I think the other cases you mentioned were big news only because of the people involved, and the GenCon connection is incidental. I had not heard of Daisy before this incident.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
As far as I understand it, the person who was harrassed doesn't have a beef with the convention once the incident was reported. Souds like they did everything right from there.

My only gripe is that leaving folks to sleep in the lobby is a security risk, and generally crappy.
Agreed, but... we don't know all the details. The last hotel I stayed at for a con had a huge lobby with lots of artistic partitions and plants in it as well as lots of event rooms, meeting areas, and nooks in the wall, making it easy to miss a person in there. It also nearly always had groups of people hanging around and talking in the lobby, even late at night, and she could have seemed to be part of one of those groups. It's also entirely possible that the hotel recognized her as a guest, thought that maybe she was taking a quick nap before going to another event, and decided to leave her alone for a brief time. Or yes, it could have been a sloppy oversight on the part of the hotel. We just don't have enough information to go straight to "Bad hotel!"
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Agreed, but... we don't know all the details.

No, we don't have all the details. I'm pretty sure, "Folks shouldn't be sleeping in the lobby," still holds.

If nothing else, it should be a security issue for the hotel to allow folks to do that. But, by all means, believe as you wish that hotels should just allow folks to sack out in the lobby. That's fine. Just maybe don't go into hotel management...
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
If anything it's deeply concerning that there hasn't been a large multi-page thread here about this incident the way there were regarding similar incidents involving Frank Mentzer, Bill Webb, Zak S, et. al. I don't know if this is because folks here feel the need to walk on eggshells around the topic given the identity of the perpetrator (in this case Daisy Grant, a trans woman) or if people here just don't know that much about her, despite her DMing the live play streams sponsored by one of the largest and most popular D&D 3PPs, and I'm not even all that sure which of those feel worse to me.
If someone makes a thread I'll go read it, but I had never heard of this person before she was mentioned in this thread and all attempts to Google her to figure out who she was came up with a character from Madame Secretary and a bunch of random other folks. Until you posted this I'd assumed she was some minor indie RPG publisher I'd never heard of rather than a livestreamer I've never heard of.
 

Scribe

Hero
If anything it's deeply concerning that there hasn't been a large multi-page thread here about this incident the way there were regarding similar incidents involving Frank Mentzer, Bill Webb, Zak S, et. al. I don't know if this is because folks here feel the need to walk on eggshells around the topic given the identity of the perpetrator (in this case Daisy Grant, a trans woman) or if people here just don't know that much about her, despite her DMing the live play streams sponsored by one of the largest and most popular D&D 3PPs, and I'm not even all that sure which of those feel worse to me.
My google skills are basic, I couldn't find anything but mentions on websites I do not bring my laptop to, outside of some extremely limited and or partially deleted tweet threads.

That seemed weird, as you've provided more detail than what was readily available.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
No, we don't have all the details. I'm pretty sure, "Folks shouldn't be sleeping in the lobby," still holds.

If nothing else, it should be a security issue for the hotel to allow folks to do that. But, by all means, believe as you wish that hotels should just allow folks to sack out in the lobby. That's fine. Just maybe don't go into hotel management...
It's a bit of a stretch to jump from seeing me say that there may be reasons why this happened to me thinking that it's a thing that should be allowed.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I just want to state that taking the time to discuss an incident of harassment and sexual violence not directly related to NuTSR is not a win in any case and in fact, considering that Lanasa's current narative is that this is being "covered up", this discussion is as close to the opposite of them "winning" as possible.

If anything it's deeply concerning that there hasn't been a large multi-page thread here about this incident the way there were regarding similar incidents involving Frank Mentzer, Bill Webb, Zak S, et. al. I don't know if this is because folks here feel the need to walk on eggshells around the topic given the identity of the perpetrator (in this case Daisy Grant, a trans woman) or if people here just don't know that much about her, despite her DMing the live play streams sponsored by one of the largest and most popular D&D 3PPs, and I'm not even all that sure which of those feel worse to me.
Not everyone watches/listens to live play streams, you know.
 

jolt

Explorer
I agree that people should not sleep in hotel lobbies. I also can't think of a single way to prevent it. There's nothing GenCon can do. Even if they're rented space with a hotel, they have no authority to police what goes on in the hotel lobby. If someone needs an alternative place to stay, where are you going to put them? The downtown hotels can't even cover for half of GenCon's attendance; most of which are sold out 6+ months in advance.

If a person truly does not feel safe, then the police have to be called. GenCon can't do anything (and likely won't even know until after the fact). The hotel might have alternate space, but they might not. It doesn't help that most cons are staffed by volunteers who have neither the training nor the knowledge to deal with this kind of thing. So, again, I think the police need to be involved in any instance of not feeling safe. I know people often have a reluctance to involve the police, but they really need to be. I think this is doubly true for something like GenCon which is so large that many resources are strained in even the best circumstances.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I agree that people should not sleep in hotel lobbies. I also can't think of a single way to prevent it. There's nothing GenCon can do. Even if they're rented space with a hotel, they have no authority to police what goes on in the hotel lobby. If someone needs an alternative place to stay, where are you going to put them? The downtown hotels can't even cover for half of GenCon's attendance; most of which are sold out 6+ months in advance.

I've never been to a big con. Is it common for the hotels at them not to look after that themselves? Or do they just not care? (I'm pretty sure it wouldn't fly at any of the hotels I've been at for academic conferences* - including the ones in some of the cities big gaming/comic cons are held in).

*Edit: at least during those conferences
 
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