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

Thomas Shey

Legend
I remember the "grim and gritty" playstyle having a reasonably sized following in the 3.X era. It's not my preffered style, but I respect it and could see myself enjoying it, especially as one-shot or at a con. It definitely gives me wargaming vibes.

I saw it referred to as "Fantasy ***** Vietnam" elsewhere, and that's kind of where it was in some people's minds. And after all, early D&D was evolved out of wargames, so no surprise; this was also the period where one school of thought considered combat a failure state.

The problem was, of course, that the enthusiasm for killing PCs carried on past groups where it was just part of the gig, and past people who were scrupulous about being fair and impartial with doing it. Neither of those were virtuous, and when doing it in the modern period you need to understand that a lot of people neither appreciate nor want that, and that fact does not make them lesser players (I saw some sentiment in this direction on an Old School FB group I was in the other day and just rolled my damn eyes.)
 

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Thomas Shey

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.

It still blows my mind that people paid that much for that.

Think of it as kind of a collector thing and it makes more sense.
 

Jeremy Thomas

Explorer
No, alas not.



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:

View attachment 259858
In complete fairness the Ebay note could be considered questionable anyway. Just about everything else in the James Ward Collection that the seller is advertising has a certificate from Ward verifying it; the note is among the few items that doesn't.
 




DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
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".
The seller has confirmed to me that it's Ernie Jr...

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...which leads me to believe this was likely recently done. We know for a fact that they were both at the DHSM during TSRCon/GaryCon, so I don't think we can write this off because "well, it was the 80s"...
 


The seller has confirmed to me that it's Ernie Jr...

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...which leads me to believe this was likely recently done. We know for a fact that they were both at the DHSM during TSRCon/GaryCon, so I don't think we can write this off because "well, it was the 80s"...

According to the eBay listing, it was written when in the 1970s when Ernie was employed at the [original] Dungeon Hobby Shop (i.e. not the DHSM). I have nothing to confirm this, but no reason to doubt it, either.
 

Wizard Tower Games

Publisher of coll games
Loading a video now, he is accusing me of photoshopping documents. So I will be going over his lies, showing images of our Discord chats, and your text messages. You all can see for yourself, the racist, bigotted, and more things he does and says. I will warn you, the things I show are raw and might offend some.
 



the Jester

Legend
A video detailing some major lies and proofs of Lanasa. I am sure to post proof / screen shots / actual texts and more. He will NOT call me a liar or work to discredit me. He calls me a liar again, I will make another video.

WARNING - Some content may offend.

That was beautiful. I love that you brought the receipts.

LaNasa, if you are lurking here, I can't wait for your day in court!
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
A video detailing some major lies and proofs of Lanasa. I am sure to post proof / screen shots / actual texts and more. He will NOT call me a liar or work to discredit me. He calls me a liar again, I will make another video.

WARNING - Some content may offend.

Went ahead and linked that on the DHSM facebook page... >.>
 


jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
A video detailing some major lies and proofs of Lanasa. I am sure to post proof / screen shots / actual texts and more. He will NOT call me a liar or work to discredit me. He calls me a liar again, I will make another video.

WARNING - Some content may offend.


I'm sorry that you, @Graph Paper Architect, Luke (Gygax), and others are being dragged through the mud by this despicable excuse for a human being. His day is coming (though not in the way he thinks), as WotC shores up their case against him and nuTSR. When that day comes, I will have never been happier to see a game company wiped off the face of the earth.
 

Since Don is being professional and not plugging his Kickstarter while doing this great service for us, I'm going to do him a favor and link it for him. If you want to support his business, here's where to go:


Also, NoHateInGaming has done a great breakdown of the video on Twitter for those that need it in a non-video format:

 



dave2008

Legend
I can't speak to Marvel's play test strategy, but Paizo sold a bound version of their play test books for PF1. I believe PDFs were always available for free download. And this being before I had an iPad, the bound version I bought was very convenient.
They did the same for PF2 and the PDF was free
 

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