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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...

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”.
  • June 8th 2023. NuTSR files for bankruptcy. The case between WotC and NuTSR is postponed until March 2024.

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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Sacrosanct

Legend
Hi Deset,
Yes you are correct I did leave, and chose to take control of the narrative publicly. I've been here on EN World and online the whole time, remember when you saw me sneak in here and welcomed me? I failed my stealth roll and you were very gracious I appreciated it :D

I really don't understand what all this ridiculous behavior and posting about me by NuTSR volunteers is all about. I turned in all my materials, snail mailed it even on a flash drive as we agreed to, and posted my resignation.

Subsequently I was kicked from the NuTSR Discord servers, and have been very disappointed by their behavior thus far.

Thank you for saying something about this and helping keep the record straight I appreciate it very much Deset. I’m here and around online, never went anywhere on Discord or other SM platforms, and I catch up from time to time.

I hope you and everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

Until Next Time
Good Journey
MKH


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Credit where credit is due, at least you're willing to speak up front to a group that isn't the most friendly towards you.
 

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Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
There is a notion that the OSR is full of reactionary, intolerant players. THAT is what we have to fight. I would say that these people are making things worse, not better, for the OSR's perception.
This very perception is what caused me to be very leery at anyone who claimed to be a fan of OSR for a very long time. It took me a while to notice that a large amount of the OSR community was as welcoming and inclusive as anyone else, and there were (and still are) several bad actors actively trying to spoil the bunch.

It is a shame that bigotry within the community is still so easily associated with OSR, as unfair as it is to claim the opposite (that OSR can be associated with bigotry).

Of course, the OSR is hardly the only institution/community for which this holds true. Looking at you, Norse-aligned paganism. You too, Paradox Interactive fanbase.

E: come to think of it, how long has the Warhammer community also struggled with this?
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
That and younger gamers. I can't count the number of times in an OSR forum someone complains about WoTC or 5e and when asked to keep it to OSR, lots of people reply with some variation of "they hate us, they bash adnd, they call us all racists, so I'm justified in bashing them."

I can't say I'm surprised. I've occasionally had some OSR types react to something I said with a sneer and an indication that I obviously don't have the experience to know what I'm talking about. As I've noted, I started with OD&D in 1975.

(Of course the fact I've indicated I left D&D and its kin for many years about 1978 makes me an obvious heretic in their eyes anyway, so...)
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
This very perception is what caused me to be very leery at anyone who claimed to be a fan of OSR for a very long time. It took me a while to notice that a large amount of the OSR community was as welcoming and inclusive as anyone else, and there were (and still are) several bad actors actively trying to spoil the bunch.

That's definitely been my experience with the OSR. It's mostly just a small, vocal, group of horrible people generating a lot of bad publicity for everybody else. I just try the best I can to ignore it (ignoring nuT$R has not been easy) and vote with my wallet.
 




Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Among the hater OSR crowd there are those who blame Dragonlance for being the beginning of the end and some who call it the Star Wars of D&D. It is so strange.
ah, that one I can explain - at least the first part.

See, Dragonlance was - or is perceived to be - the beginning of tightly scripted adventures. I haven't played them, but I have been told:

"i have no personal horse in the race but my understanding is that the dragonlance adventures were a watershed in the transition from old-school site-based adventure to trad plotted-out railroad adventure"

"to expand a bit, while i haven't played them, the DL module series is different from other previous modules in that it has players inhabiting the roles of pre-existing characters
and essentially playing through segments of the novels"

"and also, rather than using it as an opportunity to like, essentially play live fanfic of the novels where you get to change how things go or whatever, the GMing advice is basically "make sure everything happens exactly how it did in the books or you have failed, do whatever is necessary to keep it on track" "

So that's the "beginning of the end" notion.
 


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