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

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The other screen shot is even worse. (the one under his Morgoth name).
Jeeeebus - what a piece of garbage.

And btw, when someone takes a villain as their username... I always felt it was a bit of a red flag... and boy does this prove the theory.

edit: I'm not sure it's worse though. saying
that it is better to be a nazi sympathizer than a "trans lover"
is SO FREAKING OUTRAGEOUS. It can be taken in a number of ways, and they are all terrible. My opinion of the man was already low, but this cratered it.
 

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DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
And Justin responds to Don Semora's emails by:

1) saying the entire conversation was Photoshopped.
2) Suggesting WTG owes him $23K for not printing their product.
3) Posting two images that I don't quite understand why they were posted, but they do explain why Justin's not a fan of Tim Kask.

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It's worth noting that when you kick someone off a Discord server you have the option of removing all their posts, and of course Justin can remove his own posts, so who knows what's really said... but a federal subpoena can clear that up no problem. Not sure to what extent that's going to happen because, since the federal case is about trademarks, it really has nothing to do with this discussion.
 


Shakeshift

Adventurer
What do you want to bet that LaNasa will never provide those receipts he claims to have.
Justin lies so often not even HE can keep track of it all. He lies pathologically. Justin has no evidence because if he never has any intention of showing his own documents for fear of being found out, he can make up anything he wants to at this point.

A federal subpoena would completely change everything though. I doubt Justin has the balls for something like THAT. My guess would be that he'd run full tilt away from THAT game of chicken Don Semora is willing to play.
 

Jeremy Thomas

Explorer
And Justin responds to Don Semora's emails by:

1) saying the entire conversation was Photoshopped.
2) Suggesting WTG owes him $23K for not printing their product.
3) Posting two images that I don't quite understand why they were posted, but they do explain why Justin's not a fan of Tim Kask.

View attachment 260040


It's worth noting that when you kick someone off a Discord server you have the option of removing all their posts, and of course Justin can remove his own posts, so who knows what's really said... but a federal subpoena can clear that up no problem. Not sure to what extent that's going to happen because, since the federal case is about trademarks, it really has nothing to do with this discussion.
I mean, it's already BLATANTLY clear that Justin deleted comments in there as he's clearly replied to messages that aren't in the screenshots. So I really don't know what he thinks this proves, other than "Yes, I do delete messages."
 

DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
Justin lies so often not even HE can keep track of it all. He lies pathologically. Justin has no evidence because if he never has any intention of showing his own documents for fear of being found out, he can make up anything he wants to at this point.

A federal subpoena would completely change everything though. I doubt Justin has the balls for something like THAT. My guess would be that he'd run full tilt away from THAT game of chicken Don Semora is willing to play.
If anyone is sending out subpoenas in this, it's WotC. I'm pretty sure they're the origin of the subpoenas to MichaelH and DonS.

WotC could just as easily send subpoenas to Discord, Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc... and they likely have for certain things, but I'm not sure they care about this. They are going after Justin for their trademark violations, not for their business arrangement with WTG. If anything, that's a separate lawsuit... and, given that the WotC suit will likely absorb every dime Justin has, I doubt he's running to get another suit going at the same time.

DonS, though, is on the brink of suing Justin himself, and that will probably bleed him dry even faster than anything WotC could have done alone.
 



Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
DonS, though, is on the brink of suing Justin himself, and that will probably bleed him dry even faster than anything WotC could have done alone.

I hope that Don is not acting in anger - court cases are expensive, and although I am quite confident that Don would win the case, actually getting the money from LaNasa might be... challenging. So it's not something to undertake lightly.
 


vecna00

Speculation Specialist Wizard
Jeeeebus - what a piece of garbage.

And btw, when someone takes a villain as their username... I always felt it was a bit of a red flag... and boy does this prove the theory.
I just thought he was a cool character and it stuck!

edit: I'm not sure it's worse though. saying
that it is better to be a nazi sympathizer than a "trans lover"
is SO FREAKING OUTRAGEOUS. It can be taken in a number of ways, and they are all terrible. My opinion of the man was already low, but this cratered it.
I'm surprised that he said the words out loud, but I'm not surprised that he feels that way. Some people are awful beyond belief.
 




Gnarlo

Gnome Lover
Supporter
Just read The Game Wizards, got Slaying the Dragon on the list; I can't wait to see the books eventually written in a decade or two about this chapter in the long saga of RPGs... the more things change, etc. etc. ...
 
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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I just thought he was a cool character and it stuck!


I'm surprised that he said the words out loud, but I'm not surprised that he feels that way. Some people are awful beyond belief.
LOL - Ancalagon is not the best of dudes either :D

and it's a bit of a red flag, meaning "pay attention" - it doesn't 100% mean the person is bad. At least I tell myself that... :D

And yes, he saying that was more than a red flag, that was the sky turning red
 


Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
I missed it entirely, I'm not even sure what the term is... but at this point, I'm not surprised to hear that LaNasa is well versed in less common slurs... :mad:
Very common in the Southern US. Particularly in areas where on pretty summer days people sit on their porch to socialize with their neighbors around a nice pitcher of lemonade or iced tea, play dominoes, and generally enjoy the weather.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I missed it entirely, I'm not even sure what the term is... but at this point, I'm not surprised to hear that LaNasa is well versed in less common slurs... :mad:
The porch idea--I had to look it up--is someone sitting on the porch, doing nothing important and being lazy. Then realize that people like him aren't talking about arboreal tailed simians.

Which is, of course, funny because when we play RPGs or board games, we're sitting around a table doing nothing important.
 

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