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

JediSoth

Semi-Professional Author
Epic
I'd do it (17+ years publishing product line catalogs for distributors, 10 published novels, 3 published short stories, 3+ years experience working on 2 monthly trade magazines, plus several custom pubs over the years), but my tolerance for engaging with their type of toxic BS is at zero right now.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
NuTSR is going to deny (or claim ignorance) that the original TSR owned the rights to D&D and Star Frontiers?

That would be consistent with some of their approaches to the logo artwork, where they tried to assert that TSR did not properly have right to the art in the first place. They may want to try to raise doubt in that manner, questioning if TSR actually had the rights to sell to WotC at all...

Mind you, that doesn't leave the rights to nuTSR either. But it would mean that WotC wouldn't have standing to sue.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
That would be consistent with some of their approaches to the logo artwork, where they tried to assert that TSR did not properly have right to the art in the first place. They may want to try to raise doubt in that manner, questioning if TSR actually had the rights to sell to WotC at all...

Mind you, that doesn't leave the rights to nuTSR either. But it would mean that WotC wouldn't have standing to sue.

One thing to understand (in response to this, and @Deset Gled ) is the Answer is a little different than ... well, normal logic and life.

To understand why, there is one concept you have to understand- anything (anything!) a party "Admits" in an Answer ... is a fact in the case from that point on. Period. So there is almost no reason to ever admit anything, even some of the most basic facts, in an Answer. Because - for the most part- admissions can only harm you. If you admit, then from that point on the allegation in the Complaint is an undisputed (and undisputable) fact.

So the Answer will almost always contain variations of "without knowledge" or "speaks for itself" or "calls for legal conclusions" or other terms, but most often decoding it is pretty simple- it will be variations of "denies."
 

freebfrost

Explorer
I'd do it (17+ years publishing product line catalogs for distributors, 10 published novels, 3 published short stories, 3+ years experience working on 2 monthly trade magazines, plus several custom pubs over the years), but my tolerance for engaging with their type of toxic BS is at zero right now.
With that kind of experience, you'd be auto-blocked on general principle anyways. ;)
 

adamantyr

Adventurer
And with all this going on, they're still persisting with Star Frontiers: New Genesis. (Let's just add IP violation to the charges shall we?)

Supposedly. No, seriously, it's at the printers! We just have to approve layout. And find an editor. And an artist. And a game designer.

So... two weeks! Although the dog is eyeing the manuscript and grandma's not been looking too well...
 


So there is almost no reason to ever admit anything, even some of the most basic facts, in an Answer.

As an example, I present this gem:



I just find it entertaining that they built their entire marketing scheme around "TSR IS BACK!" and "Home of the original!" to do a complete 180 in a legal document. "TSR? Who were those guys? Did they publish something important?"

On a related note, NuTSR filed their Corporate Disclosure Statement, but it's not free. I'm hoping someone will post a copy soon. It will be interesting to see if any co-owners are listed.
 

Just sharing this from the NutTSR Discord to tide myself over until a copy of the corporate disclosure statement comes out:

RancidLord — Today at 2:50 AM
OK, there's no new information that I am aware of. Dave did provide an update a week or two ago. I understand the frustration, but if you go back in time before the internet existed, there were almost no "updates" to speak of at all until a finished product was released. Yes, there's discord, Facebook, mewe, Twitter, etc now, but it is not a must to keep people updated every week. Dave is working hard on star frontiers, to my knowledge, and if the man doesn't do weekly updates, then it is what it is. There's 2 choices : you can accept the updates as they are or you can leave the server. No one is forcing you to be here. And all I ever see is negative comments in this channel. If this continues, I am this close to deleting the entire [f word] channel. Again, if you don't like how things are, start your own company or just get your information elsewhere. A discord server is not the office next door to TSR Central. I hope you all can have patience as this is something that will come to fruition. There's no other way it will be done, and we all have to accept that. If I hear anything, I will be the first to say. Thanks.

DavefilmsUS — Today at 5:31 AM
The game is coming. Have some coffee and coffee cake while you wait. I am. I'm waiting also.

I don't even know where to start with what's wrong with this, but I'm pretty sure it ends with "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche".
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Just sharing this from the NutTSR Discord to tide myself over until a copy of the corporate disclosure statement comes out:



I don't even know where to start with what's wrong with this, but I'm pretty sure it ends with "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche".
The man has no idea how to run a company. You don't promise X by Y date, miss it, and repeat the process over and over. Do you know who does that? Guys like Ken Whitman or Gareth Skarka. And how does the industry view those two? Is that company you want? Rather than actually explain why you missed your promised date (a legit question), you tell everyone to get lost and throw a tantrum?

Good luck with that Justin. And good luck with your lawsuit.
 


lingual

Adventurer
Just sharing this from the NutTSR Discord to tide myself over until a copy of the corporate disclosure statement comes out:



I don't even know where to start with what's wrong with this, but I'm pretty sure it ends with "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche".
Wow. The old "start your own company" card.
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
Wow. The old "start your own company" card.

Yeah. Thing is, there are hundreds (possibly thousands) of small press publishers whose output dwarfs that of nuT$R, both in number of actual products released and in terms of overall product quality. Things like I Bury The Gods, Mork Borg, Cairn, Liminal Horror, Fate, OSE, Far Away Land, Pacts & Blades, Lancer, Sword Lesbians, WOIN, and the list goes on. And on. And on.

LaNasa or Johnson telling others to "start your own company" isn't the big own they think it is. Because people have done this and are doing this. And they're blowing nuT$R and Johnson Publications (or whatever Dave Johnson is calling his company this week*) out of the water on pretty much every front, from actually getting stuff out the door to producing high quality, professional, product.

*He's re-branded his Facebook groups multiple times in the last month or so.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
As an example, I present this gem:

FWIW, if anyone thinks this is exceedingly rare, I can almost guarantee that it’s not as rare as you’d hope.

From 1980 to 2008, U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer entertained lawyers far and wide with his "et cetera" column in the Texas Bar Journal, which featured excerpts from depositions, court proceedings, filings and the like. Some of them were just as exasperating as that reenactment.
 

seebs

Adventurer
In my experience, people are not super hyped about denying things that are in fact true, because judges get real mad about that sometimes. The point of the admit/deny process is to let everyone save a lot of time and money. If you naughty word around with it, that's a good way to signal to a judge that you're trying to waste time and money.
 

seebs

Adventurer
People who have Borderline Personality Disorder are the same way. It would certainly explain the loyalty tests that people fail. People with BPD are obsessed with tests of loyalty. If you fail with them in a loyalty test, they throw you out of their circle and never want to see you again. They're always performing passive-aggressive "tests" on even their closest friends to make sure their loyalty is sincere. It's downright paranoid.
Uh. I think that's narcissism. I know a few people with BPD, and none of them do that. The only people I've seen do that have been classically-presenting narcissists.
 



Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
I would, but I'm blocked everywhere.

Although, if I wasn't blocked already, I expect I would be seconds after I asked.
I'm blocked as well, and I've never actually spoken to him. I can only surmise he blocked me when I asked LaNasa a question a while back and HE blocked me, so....
 



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