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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Staffan

Legend
My last name is one of the most common ones in Sweden, though my first name is fairly uncommon. But apparently not uncommon enough that there aren't a number of people with the same combination that occasionally enter my e-mail address on various forms so I sometimes get things like confirmation of ordering flight tickets and the like.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
I have a relatively uncommon last name, but a super-common first name. There was someone else with my first and last name, but different middle names, who lived in the same county as me. She's a bit younger than me, which I found out when I went to get a young saver's account because she also had one.

My dad had never met anyone with his first (which I don't think is that common, especially not nowadays) and last name combo until he wanted to get one of those frequent shopper's cards from Staples or Office Depot, and sure enough, there was another person with his name.
 


Wincenworks

Adventurer
So, I'll forgo my weird "same name" story to point out the hilarity that while we're all waiting for the outcomes on the moves for sanctions - the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum's only public commentary has been this weird post which just encapsulates so much of their nonsense.

Yes they "just found" a version that uses the modern day Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum in place of the real place... and "had to share" even though they're clearly aware that 1. That's not where it started and 2. they have photos of the original Dungeon Hobby Shop on file.

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Between this, and the final tweet of the TSR Hobbies page on Facebook... I think Justin is going to have a hard time convincing a jury that he really was never trying to create confusion between his TSR and the one that was bought by Wizards of the Coast... and that Old School Games LLC is totally not a front to avoid liability...

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Especially with Wonderfilled tweeting nonsense like this:

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That first picture makes my fists curl in rage. So much about it is wrong, starting with the fact that it's blatantly and awkwardly been altered. I wonder what the actual 6th company was in the original meme? It sure wasn't TSR, even before we get to the ridiculous picture of that house.

The constant lies and manipulation are tiring.
 

Jeremy Thomas

Explorer
That first picture makes my fists curl in rage. So much about it is wrong, starting with the fact that it's blatantly and awkwardly been altered. I wonder what the actual 6th company was in the original meme? It sure wasn't TSR, even before we get to the ridiculous picture of that house.

The constant lies and manipulation are tiring.
It was Mattel.
 

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That first picture makes my fists curl in rage. So much about it is wrong, starting with the fact that it's blatantly and awkwardly been altered.
It's getting to be like e-mail spamming, only intended to target the hard-of-thinking. Hum . . . I wonder if LaNasa believes that since judges and lawyers don't know much about the history of TTRPGs, his "alternative facts" will be just as plausible as the real history? If that is his plan, it's very doomed.
 

Wincenworks

Adventurer
At this point it's generous to refer to him having a plan - every step in his litigation seems to hinge on the belief that he will be victor by default when the other side cowers at his "genius" and concedes to avoid costs and humiliation.

I recall there was a (now taken down) video with Hovermale where he said that when he'd asked about "what will we do regarding these trademarks if Wizards does sue?" and Justin had advised that not only would they never cross a Gygax (lol) but that he had a letter from them which confirmed his right to use those trademarks, so he'd let them take him to court and then produce the letter to show he had permission the whole time.

These, a lot of the content in Hovermale's now retracted text logs, and his weird approaches like arguing "Freedom of Speech should protect me even if I agree it won't." all indicate he has the rather common version of narcissism where he assumes he knows better than other people, and that they will read his audacity not as foolhardiness - but as well earned confidence that can only mean a positive outcome for him.

This has probably served him well dealing with struggling tattoo artists, minimum wage sales staff, cops who are just trying to meet their ticket quota, etc but really, really is a recipe for disaster against high end lawyers, ex-cops who used to work super-high-stress departments, and bankruptcy trustees who are always on the lookout for a rich naughty word who is trying to push his luck.
 


Looking for some last minute gift ideas? Here's what NuTSR has to help!

First, the DHSM recently added this new patch to their online store:

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Can anybody identify where this wizard image is from? A half-hearted reverse image search hasn't revealed anything useful.

Second, you can't buy copies of Dungeon Crawl from NuTSR anymore, but their friend Mick McArt seems to have a suspiciously large number of copies:

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As a bonus, zooming in on one of the images shows that Mick is using the "Ernie Gygax Approved" logo that was created by NuTSR to promote his sales.

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