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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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Note: There will be some NSFW language included in this document:


FWIW, I haven't seen anything in there that hasn't been covered in this thread. But it is all laid out nicely and well organized instead of hunting through 460 pages of posts.
I must admit I'm... not as impressed as you are by the organization - I feel like it's missing a cover letter. It's just a bunch of stuff
 

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I'm trying to get more information on it, but @Jedion357 is reporting that Justin Lanasa of NuTSR miraculously uncovered a document in the DHSM, typed by Gary Gygax on GG's typewriter, that states that Arneson had nothing to do with the creation of D&D.


That line about "Don't google Justin LaNasa, because there's another LaNasa that's been involved in a lot of court cases and it's not the same person!"

The supposed letter revealing that Gary Gygax co-created D&D with Brian Blume, not Arneson is even more ridiculous. And incredibly petty, considering the Arneson estate rebuffed LaNasa in the past.
 

Wincenworks

Adventurer
The supposed letter revealing that Gary Gygax co-created D&D with Brian Blume, not Arneson is even more ridiculous. And incredibly petty, considering the Arneson estate rebuffed LaNasa in the past.

I'm assuming, based on observations of various accounts - that Justin reached out to Griff Morgan to help him out, make TSR a star of the (tiny) convention he ran etc and Griff pragmatically realised there'd be nothing but suffering in it for him (and the Arneson family almost certainly agreed) so said No. (As a side note, the Blume family have also clearly never wanted anything to do with him).

That and Justin is trying trying to claim that he has "secret" items of value like this letter, so that he substantiate the $5 million dollar price even though the actual collection in the museum consists mostly of a third party collection purchased for (reportedly) $10,000 cash.

Examination of anything that would allow a party to evaluate anything requires approval by Justin, signing an NDA and not bringing any recording devices - so it seems he's hoping that the whispers and rumours will inspire some eccentric billionaire D&D history fan to pay up or otherwise provide him leverage against Wizards of the Coast.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I'm assuming, based on observations of various accounts - that Justin reached out to Griff Morgan to help him out, make TSR a star of the (tiny) convention he ran etc and Griff pragmatically realised there'd be nothing but suffering in it for him (and the Arneson family almost certainly agreed) so said No. (As a side note, the Blume family have also clearly never wanted anything to do with him).
He may also have solicited the Arneson family for mementos and artifacts for the "museum", which they'd likely have declined at least in part because it's a for-profit business owned by LaNasa. Not a nonprofit or historical org.
 


Wincenworks

Adventurer
He may also have solicited the Arneson family for mementos and artifacts for the "museum", which they'd likely have declined at least in part because it's a for-profit business owned by LaNasa. Not a nonprofit or historical org.
I'm pretty sure he did - but while Ernie was in hospital they shifted their focus to Arneson for a while, then dropped it.

Given that the "they" there is Wonderfilled and NuTSR, former sworn enemies... I think it's safe to say Justin was hopeful they could still be friends when it benefits him.

As a side note, the real estate listing has now updated to remove the "co-creators" bit but refers to them "of Dungeons & Dragons" so may have been done in a panic after receiving a pointed email from... someone.

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vs
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Weird they're so specific about Brian, given how they refer to him previously...
A screenshot of Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum on 31 March 2020 : Rip Brian J. Blume #3 TSR employee
 
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Cordwainer Fish

Imp. Int. Scout Svc. (Dishon. Ret.)
Given that the "they" there is Wonderfilled and NuTSR, former sworn enemies... I think it's safe to say Justin was hopeful they could still be friends when it benefits him.
It's a safe hope. Dinehart is a shameless remora who tries to latch onto any person, corp, or fad he thinks might make him cool by association.
 

I'm assuming, based on observations of various accounts - that Justin reached out to Griff Morgan to help him out, make TSR a star of the (tiny) convention he ran etc and Griff pragmatically realised there'd be nothing but suffering in it for him (and the Arneson family almost certainly agreed) so said No. (As a side note, the Blume family have also clearly never wanted anything to do with him).

That and Justin is trying trying to claim that he has "secret" items of value like this letter, so that he substantiate the $5 million dollar price even though the actual collection in the museum consists mostly of a third party collection purchased for (reportedly) $10,000 cash.

Examination of anything that would allow a party to evaluate anything requires approval by Justin, signing an NDA and not bringing any recording devices - so it seems he's hoping that the whispers and rumours will inspire some eccentric billionaire D&D history fan to pay up or otherwise provide him leverage against Wizards of the Coast.

Scams on top of scams with this guy.

For the hobby's sake, probably the best caretaker of all the TSR historical artifacts is probably one of the University of Wisconsin campuses. I suspect one of them has faculty members interested in the history of roleplaying games.

Agreed. For starters, they'd have people that know about preservation and archiving on hand to properly manage them.
 

RFB Dan

Podcast host, 6-edition DM, and guy with a pulse.
For the hobby's sake, probably the best caretaker of all the TSR historical artifacts is probably one of the University of Wisconsin campuses. I suspect one of them has faculty members interested in the history of roleplaying games.
While not a part of the UW system, Marquette University in Milwaukee already has an archive of manuscripts & whatnot from the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien. I on the other hand went to UW-Oshkosh, where we had an extensive collection of alcoholic students.... :D

 

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