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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JackMann

Explorer
As an engineer I take offense at that. No such thing as overengineered. :)
No such thing as too well-engineered. The problem is when you give certain engineers free reign and no one makes them pay attention to things like logistics or economics. And suddenly you have neither enough tanks, nor the ability to properly support the ones you do have.

Goes to a mindset of "My great idea can't fail, I'm too much of a brilliant superman for that to happen." Which is another mindset I think LaNasa shares with that crowd. If LaNasa comes up with an idea, it must be brilliant. He came up with it, after all. So there's no need to wonder things like "Have I covered all my bases?" or "Have I missed any potential pitfalls?" or especially "How is this even supposed to work?" The plan is brilliant, and he'll surely overcome any problems.
 




Just out of morbid curiosity, does NUTS-eR (and nuts-er every day) have an actual lawyer writing that stuff for them, or has one of them just decided that they're a lawyer?

A lot of things like the Ratings Meter agreement read to me like Lanasa found a template from the internet. But Lanasa does have a lawyer (Russell D. Nugent) that he uses regularly in NC for his standard business legal stuff as a landlord/employer/etc, and is part of his team in the Hasbro trademark case. I suspect Lanasa has been doing anything he can lately to minimize his legal fees, which probably means cutting corners in a few places.
 


Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
"Overengineering" comes from Engineers being given external limits like funding and material quality limitations.

So a wide variety of innovative solutions to the most needless complications you can imagine must be employed.

And if one of those various solutions breaks, the whole thing breaks, and people complain it was overengineered.

It wasn't overengineered. It was underfunded.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I'm no lawyer, but this seems hilariously one-sided. "You kicked my puppy and I now say you owe me a million dollars. No Arguing!"

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Ugh. You're going to hate me for saying this, but ... that's just (wait for it) a boilerplate clause. It's just ... um, strange in this context.

Brief background- one of the standards for a temporary injunction is irreparable harm (the exact definition of which can vary between jurisdictions, but is generally thought of as either incurable harm or harm that can be cured by a legal remedy- aka, money).

So the purpose of this particular boilerplate is to allow a party to more easily gain a temporary injunction, to order specific performance (fancy talk for "make someone perform the contract") and/or to avoid having to pay a bond. This is fairly common in certain contracts such as non-compete agreements.

It doesn't mean you are owed one million dollars- it just means that it is somewhat easier to get a temporary injunction for a breach. It's just kind of weird in this context. Like he was borrowing terms from other contracts.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
No such thing as too well-engineered. The problem is when you give certain engineers free reign and no one makes them pay attention to things like logistics or economics. And suddenly you have neither enough tanks, nor the ability to properly support the ones you do have.

Goes to a mindset of "My great idea can't fail, I'm too much of a brilliant superman for that to happen." Which is another mindset I think LaNasa shares with that crowd. If LaNasa comes up with an idea, it must be brilliant. He came up with it, after all. So there's no need to wonder things like "Have I covered all my bases?" or "Have I missed any potential pitfalls?" or especially "How is this even supposed to work?" The plan is brilliant, and he'll surely overcome any problems.
That plus people like LaNasa tend to assume that most people think the same way he does, and that's the "correct" way. So anyone who thinks differently is automatically wrong.
 




Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
As an engineer I take offense at that. No such thing as overengineered. :)

Engineering to support loads, stresses, and capacities far beyond what the application calls for happens. The archetypal example I know of is, "typical New England over-engineering," in which a home is constructed with more (and larger) framing material than is necessary, with wiring that can carry loads beyond what's needed for a home, and so on.

Sure, that barn won't fall down short of a nuclear strike, but it is more work and money to assemble than was called for.
 



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