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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Chaosmancer

Legend
I unfortunately share a name with a US Politician (I think he was a governor or a Representative)

Luckily, he isn't well-known where I live, so no one has ever made the connection except for me. It does make googling myself a bit of a challenge though.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I may have inadvertently ruined the life or someone who shared my name for a bit. I SEO'd the crap out of my website, which ended up boosting a post I wrote discussing how I write because I'm garbage at drawing and any visual art.

This exact passage is what Google for a long time put at the top search for my name. Right below it? The professional site of the guy with my name--who is a graphic designer.

Nowdays they use their middle name.
 


Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
My father shared the name and the year of birth (I'm using the past tense, because I don't know if the other person is still alive) with another guy who, unfortunately, was a fraudster. Once the carabinieri came knocking to his home because of some bounced checks... :p
 

I stayed out of this situation as I hadn’t taken the time to look into things enough to form an opinion. I know that words get taken out of context and offence seems to be actively sought. After looking at their Facebook page, I can see why nobody wants to associate with them. It’s full of spelling errors, bickering and inflammatory images. I saw posts showing photoshopped pictures of Star Frontiers and promises of free copies for convention attendees but nobody actually seems to own a copy. I’d like to see Ernie redeem his name and reputation but he needs to distance himself from this nonsense. I really don’t understand the purpose of this “company“.
 

My father shared the name and the year of birth (I'm using the past tense, because I don't know if the other person is still alive) with another guy who, unfortunately, was a fraudster. Once the carabinieri came knocking to his home because of some bounced checks...

I work in the financial software field.

A bit over a decade ago, some guy with the same name as me went bankrupt two states away. I'm not sure how he's going now, but I do know that this makes my life a royal pain whenever an employer in the financial sector asks for a background check, and I have to prove all over again that I'm not him..
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I don’t have any of those stories. My name is pretty unique. There’s like, only one other person with my name I’m aware of.
My mother’s first name is apparently unique to our family. Everyone we have ever found with it is an ancestor or relative. And all of them share their middle name as well.

Thing is, we can’t figure out who the original woman was, so we don’t know WHY this name was so important.

At this point in time, Mom seems to be the only living person on the planet with the names.

OTOH, a friend of mine had the sheriff & deputies show up at his apartment one day. They asked him his name, age, weight, if he’d been in a certain county, and Driver’s license number. Everything except a few digits on his ID matched a known felon. When they realized he wasn’t their guy, one deputy went to the apartment window and called another deputy off the fire escape.

Seems his doppelgänger was in the neighborhood, bouncing checks and generally being a criminal.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Footnote to the above: our family name (on my dad’s side) is linked to a lot of black & Catholic history in Canada and the USA (Louisiana)…and apparently, some really unfortunate stuff in Haiti.

Some years ago, a Haitian woman working at Barnes & Nobles customer service desk recognized my surname. “My uncle has the same name. He had a high-ranking position in the Ton Ton Macoute.”

Soooooooooo…I’m never going to Haiti. Don’t know what kind of reception I’d get.
 




Cadence

Legend
Supporter
My surname is not particularly common. My mom was not amused when one of my dad's cousins gave her son both the same (albeit then popular) first -and- middle name a few years after I was born.

Doing genealogy things for parts of Germany in the 1800s and earlier, and then after they moved to the US has tons of folks with the same full name as a parent, aunt/uncle, or cousin, or sibling(s) who died as an infant. Brothers Johann Henrich and Johann Heinrich (one went by John H. the other by J. Henry) who both lived to old age is the one that had me double checking things the most.
 
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Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
My individual names aren't rare at all. But combined I'd never met another Rachel Williamson 'til I moved to Wisconsin.

After an attack I'd rather not discuss I wound up with a bad staph infection in my left leg and went to the local clinic to get it taken care of. I have a mild penicillin allergy. They gave me penicillin in the emergency room. They only told me it was a "Powerful Antibiotic".

Turns out there's an 86 year old Rachel Williamson who -isn't- allergic to penicillin living in the same community and they pulled up her medical history to treat me.

I wound up with hives everywhere a large vein or artery was near the surface of my skin, mostly the arms and legs, but also my face and neck and I was sick as a dog for about a week.

When I called and found out they'd swapped the charts I said "I'm thirty five and you took me for 86? Your Grandma must look -amazing- for her age..."

And now I don't go back to that clinic.
 

My individual names aren't rare at all. But combined I'd never met another Rachel Williamson 'til I moved to Wisconsin.

After an attack I'd rather not discuss I wound up with a bad staph infection in my left leg and went to the local clinic to get it taken care of. I have a mild penicillin allergy. They gave me penicillin in the emergency room. They only told me it was a "Powerful Antibiotic".

Turns out there's an 86 year old Rachel Williamson who -isn't- allergic to penicillin living in the same community and they pulled up her medical history to treat me.

I wound up with hives everywhere a large vein or artery was near the surface of my skin, mostly the arms and legs, but also my face and neck and I was sick as a dog for about a week.

When I called and found out they'd swapped the charts I said "I'm thirty five and you took me for 86? Your Grandma must look -amazing- for her age..."

And now I don't go back to that clinic.
One of the experiences I had with the drug trafficker with my name was when I went into the DMV to get my driver's license and was met by the police to serve a warrant.
 

Turns out there's an 86 year old Rachel Williamson who -isn't- allergic to penicillin living in the same community and they pulled up her medical history to treat me.
Over here, medical people treat date of birth as a basic part of your name, equal to your personal and family names. That helps a lot. My name is rare enough that I've never met a Dallman who I wasn't closely related to, but there are enough about that I can't treat it as unique.
 



Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
A friend of mine had the same name as a prime minister - but that was a reasonably common name so it wasn't too much of a hassle for him... but he was happy when that PM lost their job ha!

Mine is not unique, but quite rare - only a few in the country that I know of.
 

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