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

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm not sure what Justin's endgame is, but this...seems like a bad idea to me.

It's one thing to air out your dirty laundry. But is there any scenario where he doesn't end up with his underpants scattered all over the neighborhood?

Given discovery and evidence becoming part of public record, you mean?

Usually, the point of a weak suit is not to win, or to ever let it get to the courtroom. The point is to tie up the target in red tape and expenses until they submit. But with LaNasa, who knows what the point is?
 

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darjr

I crit!
I have to admit something here. I’m keenly interested in what comes out via discovery, not on LeNasas part, or for his benefit, but the idea the details from WotC are sure to be interesting.

Aita?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I have to admit something here. I’m keenly interested in what comes out via discovery, not on LeNasas part, or for his benefit, but the idea the details from WotC are sure to be interesting.

I don't expect them to be interesting. We already know WotC's side of the trademark issues - they've been selling product with the trademark. I don't see what interesting info will come out of WotC on that.
 

I'm not sure what Justin's endgame is, but this...seems like a bad idea to me.

It's one thing to air out your dirty laundry. But is there any scenario where he doesn't end up with his underpants scattered all over the neighborhood?
There is no endgame, he simply is incapable of doing anything but attacking. Once he threw the rock at the bees nest there was no turning back. He was just going to keep on the offensive in any way possible regardless of how pointless and self-defeating it was.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Given discovery and evidence becoming part of public record, you mean?

Usually, the point of a weak suit is not to win, or to ever let it get to the courtroom. The point is to tie up the target in red tape and expenses until they submit. But with LaNasa, who knows what the point is?

In addition to the issues with defamation (usually not a great claim for a lot of reasons) and discovery, there's another reason this is a bad idea for a lawsuit.

Litigation tends to breed litigation. Just as I said at the beginning, that WoTC might file counterclaims, so too is it likely in this scenario. Now that he has filed a Complaint, if there isn't a procedural reason for dismissal ... the Defendant would be well-served filing counterclaims.

The first rule of holes is that when you're in one, stop digging.
 

darjr

I crit!
I don't expect them to be interesting. We already know WotC's side of the trademark issues - they've been selling product with the trademark. I don't see what interesting info will come out of WotC on that.
Oh, I dunno, maybe the rules set they were working on….. if there is one.
 

darjr

I crit!
But I swear, LeNasa, if either of my last posts ends up helping you I will be deeply ashamed.

H*ck if anything I’ve ever done ever ends up helping you, I’ll be put out.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
The idea of LaNasa going to therapy seems at odds with the LaNasa we've seen on display this past year or so. Don't get me wrong, I certainly think he would benefit greatly from therapy. It's just the picture of him that's emerged doesn't seem like a person that is into things like self-assessment and empathy.
For all we know, his wife asked for couples counseling or a school counselor had a meeting about their kid (either of which can be for completely normal, everyday reasons), LaNasa grudgingly went the one time, and now is trying to claim that it's all Tenkar's fault.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Given discovery and evidence becoming part of public record, you mean?

Usually, the point of a weak suit is not to win, or to ever let it get to the courtroom. The point is to tie up the target in red tape and expenses until they submit. But with LaNasa, who knows what the point is?
I'm still convinced that he thinks everyone in the courtroom will be amazed at his testimony and he'll go down in history as the guy who defeated all the naysayers on his way to defeat the Big Bag Corporation. I mean, this is a guy who calls himself Sir on his website; he clearly has delusions of grandeur.
 

I have to admit something here. I’m keenly interested in what comes out via discovery, not on LeNasas part, or for his benefit, but the idea the details from WotC are sure to be interesting.

Aita?

I would absolutely love to see what comes out in discovery, but unfortunately I expect very little of it will be made public. There is an agreement between both parties that any information considered "confidential" will remain private. That would include a lot of the juicy information we want, like Lanasa admitting how little product he has actually sold.

I'm still convinced that he thinks everyone in the courtroom will be amazed at his testimony and he'll go down in history as the guy who defeated all the naysayers on his way to defeat the Big Bag Corporation. I mean, this is a guy who calls himself Sir on his website; he clearly has delusions of grandeur.

Fun fact: Lanasa has demanded a jury trial in his suit against @tenkar, the same as he did with WotC. I absolutely think part of his "strategy" in both suits is to play upon the jury's emotions instead of relying on pesky facts.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I'm still convinced that he thinks everyone in the courtroom will be amazed at his testimony and he'll go down in history as the guy who defeated all the naysayers on his way to defeat the Big Bag Corporation. I mean, this is a guy who calls himself Sir on his website; he clearly has delusions of grandeur.
I hear Hollywood has already lined up Jimmy Stewart to play LaNasa in the upcoming blockbuster biopic.
 



Entirely possible. And I'm sure that would come out in court. But who knows, maybe I am wrong and LaNasa has been deeply affected by the (much-deserved) pile-on and has been seeing a therapist. But I doubt that, based on who he's shown the world that he is. I have a feeling this is the equivalent of the person showing up in court wearing a neckbrace.

For all we know, his wife asked for couples counseling or a school counselor had a meeting about their kid (either of which can be for completely normal, everyday reasons), LaNasa grudgingly went the one time, and now is trying to claim that it's all Tenkar's fault.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Entirely possible. And I'm sure that would come out in court. But who knows, maybe I am wrong and LaNasa has been deeply affected by the (much-deserved) pile-on and has been seeing a therapist. But I doubt that, based on who he's shown the world that he is. I have a feeling this is the equivalent of the person showing up in court wearing a neckbrace.
That is literally what I was thinking when I wrote that. Everything we know about him suggests that he is exactly the neckbrace-type.
 

It's just internet drama, but I thought this conversation on Ryan Palmer's FB was relevant:

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As a reminder, Vincent Florio (aka TheEvilDM) is the author of NuTSR's adventure "The Cult of Abaddon", was the one who gave @tenkar's address to LaNasa, and was outed in July for taking part in a number of problematic discussions with LaNasa. This was his public apology video:


I also really appreciate Ryan Palmer being so blatant. Sure, there's plenty of evidence of LaNasa being a racist, transphobic, lying bully all over the internet. But that doesn't really matter because he's "been cool" to you. It's a perfect summary.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Re: discovery

Assuming discovery details become public record for some reason, we really won’t find out much about WotC beyond stuff directly related to the case. WotC’s lawyers will be on point about directing WotC’s reps refusing to answer irrelevant or illegal questions.

OTOH, I’ll predict J LaN will probably spill the beans because he unable to stop himself from mouthing off and/or lie under oath.
 

Who is Ryan Palmer?

Ryan Palmer has made numerous posts supporting NuTSR in the last few months, generally just parroting talking points from Lanasa. He claims to have direct contact with Lanasa. He is an employee of Cornerstone Creative Studios, which is owned by Jesse Hansen. Jesse Hansen claims to be an "Interior Artist at TSR Hobbies" on his FB page, he is credited in Star Frontiers New Genesis, and he has done other work for NuTSR including art for FFA Con.

In this case, Ryan was the first person that I know of to post the news that Justin Lanasa filed suit against Tenkar. He posted it to his FB page the morning after the paperwork was filed in court showing that Tenkar was served papers. It is very minor leap in logic to assume Ryan got his info direct from Lanasa (how else would he know?). The news about the suit on both the NuTSR and DHSM FB pages links to Ryan's FB post, rather than writing the story themselves.
 


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