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”.
  • June 8th 2023. NuTSR files for bankruptcy. The case between WotC and NuTSR is postponed until March 2024.

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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Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
It was a video of someone accessing a Google Drive server that appears to be run by NuTSR. It included going through Justin Lanasa's "hate list" of 21* people he doesn't like...[]
*Correction: 22
Having been burned by off-by-one row numbering in Excel before, I note there are really 19 entries. The header row counts as Row 1 and there is a blank row below that. My relationship with Excel is... complicated.
 

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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Another thing is how... absolutely bonkers this is. I reached the "it can't get worse/crazier than this" level a while ago, and it keeps getting so.

What is next? Morrus is the insider?
 


pantsorama

Explorer
I told my brother about this, and he couldn't believe anyone would publish something with such overt racist and fascist material.

"Are you SURE it's not a parody or joke?" Sadly, no.

Of course, they can deny they wrote it, call it fake, etc. The metadata in the PDF should confirm the creator/editor, but they'll probably scream hackers etc. This may also be a case where Star Frontiers: Not Genuine may actually help them, as they can point out that they have had people produce fake material before.
I too thought that maybe it was just an elaborate troll. My naive ass wanted to beleive that people don't actually think this way anymore. Still, even if it were some sick and unfunny "joke", an ole adage comes to mind:

Even if you f*** a goat as a joke, you are still a goatf***er.
 


pantsorama

Explorer
If this is true, it's pretty bad for Justin and crew. As I mentioned in the discussion, IANAL, but I imagine that taking WoTC IP and presenting it in clearly racist ways could be damaging to WotC's product. And why it's plausible that WoTC did have an emergency meeting after all these previews came out.

View attachment 254513
At a certain point this all crosses a line where it becomes malicious and WotC can go for damages. It will be up to a jury, but personally I think this crosses that line.
 
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billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Something about this feels a bit off though. The more I've thought about it the less sense this list makes. It seems to be both an enemies list and a list of people he's screwing over and how he plans to screw them over.
Dick Nixon was famous for having an enemies list - but in his case, he and his chief of staff had an administration to manage and they had to circulate a list to let the rest of his people know who to shun.
The main reason having a written list might make sense is if he's sharing it with someone else.
 

Emrico

Adventurer
At a certain point this all crosses a line where it becomes malicious and WotC can go for damages. It will be up to a jusry, but personally I think this crosses that line.
Yeah. I don't see how any reasonable person at this point doesn't see this as a blatant attempt by NuTSRacists to maliciously damage the WotC brand by dragging the TSR name thru the mud. I fully expect WotC to file some new action to stop this based on the potential damage to their IP and brands. IANAL but I can't imagine that there's nothing they could do but wait it out til October 2023 for the TM suit while LaNazi and cronies continue to crap all over their IPs and TMs.
 

I see Ernie is still spouting his "Can't we all just leave politics out of this and play games" bs on his FB page and touting the DHSM as some kind of savior of gaming history. Totally hiding his head in the sand to ignore that he's totally in up to his neck with racist scum. He deserves zero sympathy or more chances in this fiasco. What a complete dbag apologist.

Adding a screencap for posterity:

Ernie PhoenixCon1.JPG


Ernie, the person bringing bias and judgement into RPGs is you.
 

gambler1650

Explorer
So I just got caught up on this whole sordid thing. I had no idea there was this nuTSR, and at first was excited when I saw a reference to the new Star Frontiers. I find it amusing that a year or so ago they were saying they'd released a limited run of Star Frontiers: New Genesis and it was sold out basically immediately. And now it's obvious they didn't given their racist beta pdf that could 'have everything changed'.

This is just amazing... What a group of racist, nazi naughty words.
 

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