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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DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
Saw the DHSM post this:
View attachment 259836

Mr. Rogers is downright sacred around here, and it makes my blood boil seeing his words in Not-TSR's mouth. I would point out two other quotes of his:

"We want to raise our children so that they can take a sense of pleasure in both their own heritage and the diversity of others."

"There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”
For the record, to no one's surprise, they got the quote wrong.

1662052412772.png
 


Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Is it? The signature looks like "Ernest G Gygax Jr" to me. It would make more sense for this to be a note from Ernie to Jim Ward owing a debt to the Dungeon shop where Ernie worked. And it would match the "Ernie" listing better, as others have noted.

While I would say the note is unprofessional and distasteful, as a note from one teenager to his friend in the 70s about a small sum of money I find it hard to get upset about.
Perhaps I've got the j and the s wrong? That it's JR instead of SR.

But $16 in 1970 is 100 bucks today. So that's a thing to consider!
 

Jeremy Thomas

Explorer
Perhaps I've got the j and the s wrong? That it's JR instead of SR.

But $16 in 1970 is 100 bucks today. So that's a thing to consider!
It looks way more like a cursive capital S to me more than a cursive capital J. As someone who uses the J in my signature, once you've done the top loop you would have to make a conscious choice not to create the lower loop that goes under the horizon -- at which point, you're not doing a J, you're choosing to make it look not like a J.
 



Staffan

Legend
Was gonna say this one myself. At least Marvel's is (presumably) a significantly less expensive price than the final book will be. The Pathfinder 2 Playtest was $30 for softcover, $45 for hardcover and $60 for deluxe hardcover.
And $0 for the PDFs. Basically, if you wanted a printed version sold more-or-less at cost (at least to Paizo – various middle-men likely took their share as usual) that was an option, but it's not what they expected people to do.
 

Jeremy Thomas

Explorer
And $0 for the PDFs. Basically, if you wanted a printed version sold more-or-less at cost (at least to Paizo – various middle-men likely took their share as usual) that was an option, but it's not what they expected people to do.
You're not wrong, and to be clear I'm not trying crap on Paizo for it. There is a matter of some people who would buy the books seeing them in a physical store or Amazon and not realizing there was a free version they could download (the description on Amazon, as you can see here, made no mention of the free download), but that's a minor gripe as I don't imagine many people who wanted to try the playtest were unaware of the situation.

I was just more amazed that people were willing to pay that much for the physical product of a playtest than anything else.
 


Perhaps I've got the j and the s wrong? That it's JR instead of SR.

But $16 in 1970 is 100 bucks today. So that's a thing to consider!

I think it's just a sloppy signature that makes the J a little ambiguous. But I've never seen a Gary signature that included "Sr" anywhere, and I don't think he ever used that as part of his name. Also, I've never seen a Gary signature as "Ernest", only as "Gary" or rarely "E Gary".
 

Yes, but also... can we say we are really all that surprised?
Not really. With a few exceptions (like the occasional diatribe from someone about how people like telling kids that they're special leads to 'kids these days' and their something something participation trophies, something something not wanting to work for a living, something something feel the world owes them something something back in my days, etc., etc.) most everyone thinks that Rogers is a good guy and would be on their side in whatever social fight they champion.

Growing up, me and my buddies would make 'vs. teams' of your preferred lineups of superheroes or movie characters or whatever, and there were always characters (Superman, and later Wolverine) that were declared 'permanent quarterbacks, both sides' because otherwise they just spoiled the endeavor because it became a battle to go first and choose them rather than debating the pros and cons of whether Rogue was cooler than Dazzler or whether Conan would beat up Flash Gordon. Rogers is one of those 'everyone wants on their lineup' figures.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I think it's just a sloppy signature that makes the J a little ambiguous. But I've never seen a Gary signature that included "Sr" anywhere, and I don't think he ever used that as part of his name. Also, I've never seen a Gary signature as "Ernest", only as "Gary" or rarely "E Gary".
It's actually really easy to find Gary's signature online, and it looks nothing like the one from the note.

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versus

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That being said, he could have a "public signature" that he used to sign autographs and a personal signature that he uses for everything else.
 

No, alas not.

Yes, but also... can we say we are really all that surprised?

Looking at a signature where he included the "E," it is noticeably different. Also, to my eye that "T" with it's extra loops, looks like the thing a teenager would add to their signature:

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It's actually really easy to find Gary's signature online, and it looks nothing like the one from the note.

View attachment 259861

versus

View attachment 259860

That being said, he could have a "public signature" that he used to sign autographs and a personal signature that he uses for everything else.
 


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