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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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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Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter

The other thread is closed (because people couldn't help themselves but to argue how nazis should be treated), but in that thread I asked a question about how this would impact One Bookshelf, if at all. Turns out we've got the answer

View attachment 157238

Can't wait for the inevitable Indiegogo campaign decrying cancel culture. He'll rake in dozens of dollars!
 

No real response yet from NuTSR, LaNasa, or Dave on the latest news.

What are the odds that next press release is something to the effect of "Due to accusations that are totally untrue and don't really matter anyway, we're going to hold off on releasing SF:NG. It's not our fault, it's totally real, and finished, and we wanted to release it. But the cancel culture won't let us."?
 

ko6ux

Adventurer
No real response yet from NuTSR, LaNasa, or Dave on the latest news.

What are the odds that next press release is something to the effect of "Due to accusations that are totally untrue and don't really matter anyway, we're going to hold off on releasing SF:NG. It's not our fault, it's totally real, and finished, and we wanted to release it. But the cancel culture won't let us."?

100%?
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
No real response yet from NuTSR, LaNasa, or Dave on the latest news.

What are the odds that next press release is something to the effect of "Due to accusations that are totally untrue and don't really matter anyway, we're going to hold off on releasing SF:NG. It's not our fault, it's totally real, and finished, and we wanted to release it. But the cancel culture won't let us."?
Shouldn't matter though, right? I mean, they keep saying they won't do PDFs due to piracy, so this should have no impact to SFNG?

Riiiggghhhttt....
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
No real response yet from NuTSR, LaNasa, or Dave on the latest news.

What are the odds that next press release is something to the effect of "Due to accusations that are totally untrue and don't really matter anyway, we're going to hold off on releasing SF:NG. It's not our fault, it's totally real, and finished, and we wanted to release it. But the cancel culture won't let us."?
Official nuTSR statement:
"We are unable to proceed with the project at this time, as we we did nazi this coming."
 


I don’t think we’ve gotten there yet - so far, this is just calling out (really) bad actors. However, once a company does deal with IP-theft jerks, we’ve seen where it’s really easy for the lawyers to take over and the company starts attacking its own fans, treating even the most innocuous fan content as IP theft/competition. That would mean for us possibly the death of DMs guild and other fan publications, and I sure don’t want to see something like that come out of this mess.

It doesn't help that at least U.S. law on trademark violation runs to the all-or-nothing (i.e. if you ever let a violation pass, you're supplying ammo to the other side the first time you don't).
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
What are the odds that next press release is something to the effect of "Due to accusations that are totally untrue and don't really matter anyway, we're going to hold off on releasing SF:NG. It's not our fault, it's totally real, and finished, and we wanted to release it. But the cancel culture won't let us."?
Only if it liberally uses the word "cancelled" throughout the press release. And by "cancelled" they would mean "being criticized publicly for posting Nazi trash".
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
No real response yet from NuTSR, LaNasa, or Dave on the latest news.

What are the odds that next press release is something to the effect of "Due to accusations that are totally untrue and don't really matter anyway, we're going to hold off on releasing SF:NG. It's not our fault, it's totally real, and finished, and we wanted to release it. But the cancel culture won't let us."?

Low chance, I expect. They feed off being victims.

What are the chances that this becomes a crowdfunding effort with the message, "They are trying to cancel us, so we'll need extra cash to make this happen. Pwn them! Give us moneys!"
 





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