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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Wizard Tower Games

Publisher of coll games
The above video by @DLIMedia details a massive data breach of credit card info and paypal info. If you made an order with TSR I can prove this breach is real. Email me at wizardtowergamesllc@gmail.com Title your email TSR ORDER

Tell me your name and address and I will to prove to you it is real, tell you your manner of payment and what you ordered. This was a massive data breach and he will not lie and try to cover it up.
 
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DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
And of course it gets worse... Justin never got a merchant account for TSR LLC, instead piggybacking all the DHSM's store front purchases through his existing oxygen bar business in Wilmington, Port City Kava...

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Although I can't confirm it, that seems questionably illegal.
 








Faolyn

(she/her)
Now it looks like they're talking about starting up a class-action lawsuit against him for the breach in cyber-security and giving out all of the credit card information of all his customers in a data dump. Who DOES something stupid like that? I think Justin's going to prison!
There are a lot of dumb people out there.

At my last job, a manager (not mine, but we were a small place so everyone knew each other), asked me to help her with a personal project (help her type of a will, since I was practically the only person at that place who could write well) and she just handed me literally all of her information: social security number, current and former street addresses, her parents' names, her children's personal info... And this was a workplace where we had to take HIPAA training every year so it's not like she wasn't aware of the concept of not handing out personal info willy-nilly. She's just very lucky I'm honest.
 

DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
I will add, Port City Kava and Oxygen bar that was closed in December, and he was fined for not paying sales tax on. So he is still operating that LLC bank account.
The company that is taking payments for TSR and the DHSM - "Port City Kava", which is Justin's oxygen bar in Wilmington, NC - has been administratively dissolved since 2020.

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How can a company that legally doesn't exist be taking payments? Are they paying their taxes?
 

Is it still closed? Because everywhere I look it shows that it's still operating. Heck, they were looking for new staff in April.
And of course it gets worse... Justin never got a merchant account for TSR LLC, instead piggybacking all the DHSM's store front purchases through his existing oxygen bar business in Wilmington, Port City Kava...

Although I can't confirm it, that seems questionably illegal.

Near as I can tell, Port City Vapor, Kava, and Oxygen Bar is still in business and operates in three locations. It is a business owned solely by Justin Lanasa. He incorporated as an LLC between 2018 and 2020, but I believe that was only for tax purposes (an attempt to get out of the tax issue that has been discussed here before). Outside of that range, he has operated as a privately owned business without LLC protections. Also, of the three locations, two are owned by Lanasa (under the business name), and the third is rented.

As Port City Vapor, NuTSR, and the DHSM are all owned by Lanasa, there is nothing inherently illegal about the DHSM using Port City's credit card processing services for all three. However, it is really stupid. Any intelligent business owner would be operating all three under different LLCs with separate financials to protect all three from litigation. Done properly, this would mean that by suing NuTSR you couldn't get money from Port City, the DHSM, or Lanasa personally. But once Lanasa crossed the streams, he opened up all to the same litigation. Of course, he also screwed up by having some of the trademarks in his name instead of an LLC, and overlapping others (the DHSM trademark is owned by NuTSR).

I was told that the DHSM was now processing credit card orders under a separate account through Square. I'll have to reach out to my contact about that and see what I can find.
 




Doesn't it still need to be registered and active with the Department of State?

The short answer is, probably not. I don't know the exact details of his company or North Carolina (where I do not live). But in most states if he's operating as a sole proprietorship, he probably doesn't need register. He still needs to pay taxes, but they're filed as an individual, not as a company.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
Wait, oxygen bar? That's a thing?
Yes. It's proof you can, in fact, sell air to people.

It's basically a pseudoscience where you breathe scented air and it provides a miraculous treatment for anxiety and headaches, increases your ability to concentrate or perform athletically, and other such stuff. I imagine the first claim has some merit--if all you're doing is sitting and breathing for 30 minutes or so, your stress levels are likely to go down. On the plus side, from what I've read, the oxygen provided by these bars isn't pure enough to cause any actual health problems, unlike with many other pseudoscientific health claims, so it's just a waste of money.
 

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