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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Also, what the hell is a "vendor hull"?
It's possible that it is preconstructed booth backing. In my real work there are conferences that use these for uniformity and ease of set up. The one we're using next looks kind of like this -______/. One small counter and a bend on the other side.

But, it's also possible that they don't know what they're doing.
 



Anti-update: There was a Justin Michael Lanasa arrested in NC on Friday. This is not NuTSR's Justin William LaNasa. I will repeat: this is NOT our guy. I imagine it's only a short amount of time before someone on the internet gets these two people mixed up. Here's a link with mugshot to prove they're not the same guy: Justin Lanasa - Rutherford, North Carolina 09/16/2022 Arrest Mugshot

Edit: It looks like the same Justin Michael Lanasa was also arrested on Sept. 10th. Still not the NuTSR Lanasa.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Anti-update: There was a Justin Michael Lanasa arrested in NC on Friday. This is not NuTSR's Justin William LaNasa. I will repeat: this is NOT our guy. I imagine it's only a short amount of time before someone on the internet gets these two people mixed up. Here's a link with mugshot to prove they're not the same guy: Justin Lanasa - Rutherford, North Carolina 09/16/2022 Arrest Mugshot
Is it weird that you can leave comments under someone's mugshot? That seems to me like it's just ripe for abuse.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Anti-update: There was a Justin Michael Lanasa arrested in NC on Friday. This is not NuTSR's Justin William LaNasa. I will repeat: this is NOT our guy. I imagine it's only a short amount of time before someone on the internet gets these two people mixed up. Here's a link with mugshot to prove they're not the same guy: Justin Lanasa - Rutherford, North Carolina 09/16/2022 Arrest Mugshot

Edit: It looks like the same Justin Michael Lanasa was also arrested on Sept. 10th. Still not the NuTSR Lanasa.
There’s a joke in there somewhere about this guy getting arrested after going ballistic when he found out he was one of the many Justin LaNasas who gave money to the failed political campaign.
 

For a minor update about the NuTSR Lanasa, it looks like he has a hearing with his local property tax commission on Thursday (Sept 22). This appears to be a separate issue from the $40k summary judgement passed against him in February (that was a state-level sales tax issue, this is a county-level property tax hearing). I'll see if I can get an update later this week. Without getting too far into politics, it's worth nothing that when Justin Lanasa was trying (and failing) to be a politician in NC he campaigned heavily for tax changes that affected local small businesses (i.e. himself).

Link to the formal notice: https://www.ncdor.gov/media/13618/open
 

Jeremy Thomas

Explorer
There’s a joke in there somewhere about this guy getting arrested after going ballistic when he found out he was one of the many Justin LaNasas who gave money to the failed political campaign.

Alternately, "NuTSR's LaNasa immediately sued Justin Michael LaNasa for the trademark to his name, while Justin Michael LaNasa countersued for defamation, arguing, 'Hey I may have been arrested twice in one week, but better than than be confused with the guy whose name is on Star Frontiers: New Genesis."
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Anti-update: There was a Justin Michael Lanasa arrested in NC on Friday. This is not NuTSR's Justin William LaNasa. I will repeat: this is NOT our guy. I imagine it's only a short amount of time before someone on the internet gets these two people mixed up. Here's a link with mugshot to prove they're not the same guy: Justin Lanasa - Rutherford, North Carolina 09/16/2022 Arrest Mugshot

Edit: It looks like the same Justin Michael Lanasa was also arrested on Sept. 10th. Still not the NuTSR Lanasa.
Thank you for that, very fair minded. Besides, "our" Lanasa doesn't need any fake bad publicity, he's perfectly capable of making his own.
 




Riley

Hero
Bad year for all Justins Lanasa, huh
It makes me thankful my name is not Justin Lanasa.

The only person I know of who shares my name is an upstanding psychiatrist in Ohio. The only time our paths (nearly) crossed was when someone called me to prepare for my upcoming hospital grand rounds presentation… which I did not know I was scheduled to present.

I was so relieved when I learned it was OhioRiley’s hospital AV geek calling, and not my own.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
There's been a person with my same name living in my area since I was a kid. Fortunately, she has a different middle name. I have never knowingly met her (in fact, despite the fact I have a very common first name, I've only met a very small number of people with it), but for decades, whenever I would go to a library, bank, or other place where they would have to look up my details, I would have to specify "my middle name starts with an M, not an H."

Amusingly, I once was with my Dad when he got a store card for, I dunno, Office Depot or something like that, only to discover that there was another person with his name living near to him as well.
 

Davies

Legend
Can you imagine the film ending with Kirk Douglas standing and all around him others stand up, shouting, “I’m Justin LaNasa!”
No. But I can imagine all of them pointing at each other and saying "He is --"

Apparently there's a Chris Davies who was involved in the development of some RPG-significant software. I think I've been confused with him at least twice.
 




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