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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Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Context...


This is A LOT. It's 300 pages, two-sided, spiral bound. I can't easily scan this, not that I'd want to because it likely has identifiable markings in it (there are pencil marks and handwriting in it).

I need some time to process this. I feel like I'm handling plutonium... or the Necronomicon.
Well... You know what we're all going to ask.

Is it still N&N and filled with bigotry? Or did they edit it out in order to make it more palatable?
 

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DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
Well... You know what we're all going to ask.

Is it still N&N and filled with bigotry? Or did they edit it out in order to make it more palatable?
They seem to have taken out the really blatant stuff we pointed out, so I guess we did them a favor.

Nordics are still in. Attributes by gender are still in. Creepy race sexuality is still kinda in, but they took out the "no trans" parts.
 


DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
but can we make such a request?
I'm sure WotC would be happy to expedite it; they have a mountain of evidence already.

Given that it's a jury trial, it's not the sort of thing that can be expedited easily anyway. If anything, Justin will try to settle it before it ever goes to trial, but I'll be surprised WotC doesn't die laughing if he tries it.
 


Abstruse

Legend
I'm sure WotC would be happy to expedite it; they have a mountain of evidence already.

Given that it's a jury trial, it's not the sort of thing that can be expedited easily anyway. If anything, Justin will try to settle it before it ever goes to trial, but I'll be surprised WotC doesn't die laughing if he tries it.
If Wizards of the Coast settles at this point, it will be because LaNasa caves to every one of their demands and forks over a crapload of money. They might even require a public statement be made.
 



Just so everyone's aware: I have reached out to WotC's legal team to determine what I should do with this cursed book.
If you end up keeping it; may I suggest auctioning it off at gaming convention?
Though I'm not sure how much people are willing to pay for Cringe??
You could donate the sales money to a non profit if the auction isn't for charity already.
 


They seem to have taken out the really blatant stuff we pointed out, so I guess we did them a favor.

Nordics are still in. Attributes by gender are still in. Creepy race sexuality is still kinda in, but they took out the "no trans" parts.

Does the pro-slavery rhetoric (disguised as anti-mutiny laws) still show up?

If you end up keeping it; may I suggest auctioning it off at gaming convention?
Though I'm not sure how much people are willing to pay for Cringe??
You could donate the sales money to a non profit if the auction isn't for charity already.

What are the odds that LaNasa would try and buy it back?
 

Keeping the nordics (that still have exceptional ability scores) in is still a big dogwhistle. I suppose they thought that was "subtle" enough to get a pass.

Nordics are still in. Attributes by gender are still in. Creepy race sexuality is still kinda in, but they took out the "no trans" parts.

Maybe his various business bring in more than I think, but I can't see LaNasa having enough money to pay Wizards' legal costs, let alone buy their forgiveness.

If Wizards of the Coast settles at this point, it will be because LaNasa caves to every one of their demands and forks over a crapload of money. They might even require a public statement be made.
 


Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
So... Gizmodo did an article, last night, that basically shows WotC v Justin Lanasa is an open and shut case.


I put in the following reply, though it doesn't seem to want to show up in the comment section:
So there is an important thing to note that is not included in this article, which REALLY highlights WotC’s problem with nuTSR and SF:NG... so much so it basically slamdunks their case.

The Star Frontiers: New Genesis pile of bigotry is NOT A REBOOT.

In order for it to be a reboot, Justin Lanasa and nuTSR would need to own the Intellectual Property of Star Frontiers. They do not. They cannot use the Yazirian gliding monkey people. They can’t use the planets or Peoples of the Star Frontiers universe. All they have is the Trademark to the Name.

Instead of a Reboot, which Lanasa and Johnson couldn’t do since they don’t have the Intellectual Property that is Star Frontiers, the pair opened up Wikipedia and started jotting down antisemitic conspiracy theories (Lizard People) and white supremacist myth (Nordics) in order to try and cobble together an incredibly bigoted product for their own purposes. Then they slapped the name “Star Frontiers” onto the product hoping to get a bunch of people who liked the original Star Frontiers to buy their unrelated product.

Trademarks exist so that if you buy a product you’re getting the product you expect from the company you know. It’s a form of Consumer Protection that also protects company interests by ensuring no one can intentionally release a terrible product under the brand name of another company to destroy their reputation.

So no one can sell a tub of ‘I Cant Believe Its Not Butter’ filled with dog poop rather than margarine and claim in court “I wasn’t trying to ruin their name, I was just selling my own product! See? I didn’t use an apostrophe in Cant so it’s clearly a different product!”

The fact that a JOURNALIST believes that the product is a -continuation- of a previous product rather than a wholly new product by a wholly new company that “Happens” to share the same name in both product and company shows that Lanasa’s product will absolutely do damage to WotC and Star Frontiers.
Soooo yeah... Someone who actively goes out and seeks information above and beyond the work of your average consumer thought Star Frontiers: New Genesis was a Reboot of the Star Frontiers IP. A direct continuation of what came before.

Lanasa is gonna get destroyed.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
So... Gizmodo did an article, last night, that basically shows WotC v Justin Lanasa is an open and shut case.


I put in the following reply, though it doesn't seem to want to show up in the comment section:

Soooo yeah... Someone who actively goes out and seeks information above and beyond the work of your average consumer thought Star Frontiers: New Genesis was a Reboot of the Star Frontiers IP. A direct continuation of what came before.

Lanasa is gonna get destroyed.
Man, the FB comments in the various gaming groups about this article. Yikes. There are plenty of folks who still seem to be drinking the Kool-aid. The cognitive dissonance is strong today. I've seen several comments along the lines of "this is just one side, we need to hear the other side" (despite the "other side" refusing to talk and blocking everyone when asked, and how is a mountain of evidence one side or the other? It's evidence...)
 


Cordwainer Fish

Imp. Int. Scout Svc. (Dishon. Ret.)
though it doesn't seem to want to show up in the comment section
They have a weird sort of commenting system over there where newbies' comments are hidden by default until they start getting engagement from regulars (if they bother to look at hidden comments at all, which 99% of the time are just what you would expect from drive-by accounts, so...)
 

I missed that bit of information and just assumed he had the tattoo parlor, and maybe a vape bar or somesuch, in addition to the DHSM. While real estate can be lucrative, I'd hazard a guess he still doesn't have enough to pay for his lawyers and the legal expenses of Wizards, plus potential damages, and still have enough to make an offer.

LaNasa's main business is real estate. He owns a number of commercial, residential, and undeveloped properties. I have no idea how much of it is leveraged, but there's a lot to lose.

The comments are a thing, definitely. The idea that there's no evidence is just mind-boggling. If there's one thing that the Saga of Not-TSR has, it's well-documented evidence of bigotry on their part.

Man, the FB comments in the various gaming groups about this article. Yikes. There are plenty of folks who still seem to be drinking the Kool-aid. The cognitive dissonance is strong today. I've seen several comments along the lines of "this is just one side, we need to hear the other side" (despite the "other side" refusing to talk and blocking everyone when asked, and how is a mountain of evidence one side or the other? It's evidence...)
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
So... Gizmodo did an article, last night, that basically shows WotC v Justin Lanasa is an open and shut case.


I put in the following reply, though it doesn't seem to want to show up in the comment section:

Soooo yeah... Someone who actively goes out and seeks information above and beyond the work of your average consumer thought Star Frontiers: New Genesis was a Reboot of the Star Frontiers IP. A direct continuation of what came before.

Lanasa is gonna get destroyed.
From a legal standpoint, SF:NG is not a reboot of the original Star Frontiers. However, I don't think that legal ownership is what most people care about when they consider a reboot. I'd say the real reason as to why SF:NG isn't a reboot is that it doesn't actually use any of the SF lore or information. There's doesn't seem to be anything in common between it and the real SF.
 

From a legal standpoint, SF:NG is not a reboot of the original Star Frontiers. However, I don't think that legal ownership is what most people care about when they consider a reboot. I'd say the real reason as to why SF:NG isn't a reboot is that it doesn't actually use any of the SF lore or information. There's doesn't seem to be anything in common between it and the real SF.

Let's not forget...

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