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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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Well, one thing this saga has taught us, is that at the end of the most recent She-Hulk episode, we know she has nothing to worry about because that's not how trademarks work ;)

Although, it would be funny if they made a villain in MCU based off of LaNasa's nonsense against WotC :p
 



Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
So what does this mean, in practical terms?
There are attorneys and even legal organizations that have certain…reputations. If they’re sitting at your table, it’s all good. If they’re sitting across the table from your attorney, your attorney is probably wearing 3 layers of depends.

I’m not one of those, but I’ve traveled in those waters. Sometimes, announcing the mere fact they’re on a case gets people to settle post haste. Or there’s a phone call, “Nevermind, we’re done. click.”

I (tangentially) knew one personally so feared, when he was getting divorced, only one divorce attorney in the county was willing to represent his wife. (Context: he had won something like 450 cases before he lost his first one, and nobody wanted to step up to be his next victim.)

I don’t know those attorneys listed, but the fact that they’re both partners in a big firm makes it FAR more likely that they’re the legal equivalent to Megalodons/kaiju/Nazgul/Sith Lords or whatever nickname you’d care to attach to them. LaNasa’s Oracle may be telling him that he’s facing a financially & personally ruinous future.
 

pantsorama

Explorer
Well, one thing this saga has taught us, is that at the end of the most recent She-Hulk episode, we know she has nothing to worry about because that's not how trademarks work ;)

Although, it would be funny if they made a villain in MCU based off of LaNasa's nonsense against WotC :p
HA! I was thinking the same thing, and talking to the screen - go for negligence and / or breach of trade practices or maybe even that thing where you claim you are tarnishing the trade groups good name.
 




Wizard Tower Games

Publisher of coll games
@DLIMedia thanks for posting. I will make it very clear here for all. When I am wrong, I own it, I own up to it, I take responsibility. However I am not wrong here. I will not allow Justin Lanasa to sully my name, to lie about me, to take everything he has said, done, pulled and point it at me. I know Lanasa looks at this site and my posts.

Justin... Do you want to really play this game with me? I am happy to oblige.
 

DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
I don’t know those attorneys listed, but the fact that they’re both partners in a big firm makes it FAR more likely that they’re the legal equivalent to Megalodons/kaiju/Nazgul/Sith Lords or whatever nickname you’d care to attach to them. LaNasa’s Oracle may be telling him that he’s facing a financially & personally ruinous future.
This is one of the partners on the case... He's a Yale Law School guy, was Seattle's "Lawyer of the Year" in Copyright Law, and is referred to multiple times as a "Super Lawyer", so... yeah... he's going to tear Justin's dime store lawyer apart.
 

Wizard Tower Games

Publisher of coll games
I will add this.

I Don of Wizard Tower Games makes an offer to Justin Lanasa of TSR Hobbies. I propose we go on a LIVE video, me and you, no subject taboo, and we publicly go over EVERYTHING...

Come on Lanasa, you are man not ashamed, you a man who says it how it is. LIVE.... ME... YOU.....
 


I will add this.

I Don of Wizard Tower Games makes an offer to Justin Lanasa of TSR Hobbies. I propose we go on a LIVE video, me and you, no subject taboo, and we publicly go over EVERYTHING...

Come on Lanasa, you are man not ashamed, you a man who says it how it is. LIVE.... ME... YOU.....
As both of you are involved in litigation with the other this is a very bad idea
 



Thomas Shey

Legend
I'm afraid you're right, and it's already happening. I'm already skittish about which OSR titles to support, because of some of the chatter I'm hearing on social media.

The amount of cross-talk in OSR forums has always been small and easy to ignore, still is, but it's picked up in the last few months. Worse, it's starting to take on a disturbing tone, and an increasing amount of the comments are categorically hate speech. (It is in the language of Mordor, which I will not utter here.) It's a big red flag for me, when I see an OSR product being promoted by the Olag-hai of social media.

There's been an undercurrent of it among some old school and OSR proponents for quite some time, but there's also been an active attempt to counter it in some circles (the old school FB group I'm on has made it very clear they won't tolerate that), but the regressive and hateful elements can be very, very visible.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
As a fan and creator of the OSR, if I had a dollar every time I had to assuage someone's fear that I was not a racist douchebag, I could put out twice as many products ;)

So yeah, the association and damage is already there. I should note it didn't start with Justin though. It started with Pundit, Zak, and Venger, calling themselves the "face of the OSR".

Macris didn't help, either.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
There are attorneys and even legal organizations that have certain…reputations. If they’re sitting at your table, it’s all good. If they’re sitting across the table from your attorney, your attorney is probably wearing 3 layers of depends.

I’m not one of those, but I’ve traveled in those waters. Sometimes, announcing the mere fact they’re on a case gets people to settle post haste. Or there’s a phone call, “Nevermind, we’re done. click.”

I (tangentially) knew one personally so feared, when he was getting divorced, only one divorce attorney in the county was willing to represent his wife. (Context: he had won something like 450 cases before he lost his first one, and nobody wanted to step up to be his next victim.)

I don’t know those attorneys listed, but the fact that they’re both partners in a big firm makes it FAR more likely that they’re the legal equivalent to Megalodons/kaiju/Nazgul/Sith Lords or whatever nickname you’d care to attach to them. LaNasa’s Oracle may be telling him that he’s facing a financially & personally ruinous future.
I think the problem with this, though, is it's pretty clear that LaNasa's ego won't let him back down at this point, no matter how much the odds are against him. Even if his own lawyers decide to run, he's likely to continue on his own. He'll get trounced faster and with worse consequences, sure, but I would be shocked if he decides to back off.
 

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