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

DLIMedia

David Flor, Darklight Interactive
Wow, this all sounds like an awful lot of carnage in a short amount of time.
Honestly, it's actually fairly impressive they can manage this. I mean, it would take me considerable effort and blatant disregard to f%$# up a business venture this monumentally this quickly.

And I really wish people would stop comparing TSR3.x to Wonderfilled... That's a completely separate and unique s%$# show... and, say what you will of Wonderfulled and S. Dinehart, at least they have an actual physical product they made themselves (Giantlands) that they're publishing. That's more than I can say for TSR3, a company where the only original new product they're selling that they created themselves is the pizza story written by LaNasa's three year old daughter. Yes, really, that's a thing.
 

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To the best of my knowledge, TSR3 is not actually selling any type of gaming product.
This is the real punchline.

All this fuss, all this argument. . .they don't even make any actual gaming products.

Not even some simple adventures or shovelware-grade forgettable sourcebooks.

The only thing they seem to make is controversy, and their main means of income appears to be Indiegogo.

It seems more like a platform for a couple of people to use the TSR name for personal publicity and crowdfunding appeals, not an actual functioning game company.
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
That's more than I can say for TSR3, a company where the only original new product they're selling that they created themselves is the pizza story written by LaNasa's three year old daughter. Yes, really, that's a thing.
Honestly, that one book is the only thing I find at all palatable about their whole business. If they'd stuck with cutesey kids' books about silly food items discovering things in the world, cool.
That'd be better than all this dumb, anti-"woke" poo-stirring about D&D just to make a quick buck off an army a handful of random internet knuckledraggers.

edit: HOWEVER...
I just noticed that the back cover of that book on their online shop looks like it has a smeary "TSR Wizard" ink-stamp mashed on:

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So that establishes that LaNasa has had an official TSR rubber stamp made! That's got to count for something in this legal battle, right?
And so the clever plot to wrench the trademark from WotC's withered grasp continues....
 


Not sure if it has been mentioned before, but WotC has kind of fired back. They submitted a petition to cancel TSR3's trademark claims with the USPTO. WotC alleges that TSR3 defrauded the PTO, among other things.


This is not a lawsuit, per se, but it would be devastating to TSR3 if the PTO granted the petition.
 

Not sure if it has been mentioned before, but WotC has kind of fired back. They submitted a petition to cancel TSR3's trademark claims with the USPTO. WotC alleges that TSR3 defrauded the PTO, among other things.


This is not a lawsuit, per se, but it would be devastating to TSR3 if the PTO granted the petition.
It's in the timeline for December 6, and there's another whole thread about it
 



antiwesley

Unpaid Scientific Adviser (Ret.)
Part of the saga, to a point, is that Gail removed herself from the Memorial Plaque and quite possibly everything else with regards to the Gygax name, per Tenkar, who of course, posted it as a YouTube video, and not a readable article.
 

Saracenus

Always In School Gamer
Isn’t playing games with LLCs likely to be viewed as fraud after some point? Is that possible?
Hard to prove. The whole, any legal fees left over go to the Dungeon Hobby Shop (DHS) to erect a statue in honor of those that created D&D, is slimy. But, if they have crossed their "T"s and dotted their "I"s they CYAed themselves by stating the DHS memberships the indigogo campaign were donated. Unless discovery finds some smoking gun emails, texts, or paperwork (gawds, we could only hope that "Michael" would turn states evidence) talking about this whole thing as a grift, they avoid what you are talking about.
 
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Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Part of the saga, to a point, is that Gail removed herself from the Memorial Plaque and quite possibly everything else with regards to the Gygax name, per Tenkar, who of course, posted it as a YouTube video, and not a readable article.
Is that really part of the saga? Or just its own separate saga?

Gail and her reputed mismanagement of the Gygax Memorial Fund over the last 12 years seems entirely unrelated to TSR(3), though both involve Gary Gygax's legacy. I am glad to see that their website now has annual minutes posted and that last year they appointed a new Director and apparently saw at least a little forward progress on the memorial over the last year or so. The new concept seems like a good one to me.

 


Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I love how it may be possible to play a game there.
Yeah, the memorial being a game table with level one of the Castle Greyhawk dungeon inscribed in the surface, and digitally-accessible keys, is really cool. That's definitely going to be a bucket list item for me, if they make it real.
 






If Russia can have a giant fire-breathing three-headed dragon statue and China an almost 200' tall statue of Guan Yu (which, granted has to now be relocated because everyone thinks it's an eye sore), why not?




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I was hoping they would just build, like, a 200' tall statute of Gygax gazing beatifically over the Wisconsin landscape, like some sort of grognardian Kim Jong-Un.
 

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