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TSR TSR Is Back.... Again!

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TSR is back... again! A new company, using the name and logo of the original publisher of Dungeons & Dragons has just been launched, along with a limited edition new game called Giantlands, and a theme park!

But first, some history! Because this isn't the first time TSR has been resurrected!

TSR (or Tactical Studies Rules) was the company which started it all -- the firm, co-created by Gary Gygax and Don Kaye, which launched Dungeons & Dragons back in 1974. The failing company was bought by WotC in the late 90s, who went on to revive D&D with the launch of D&D 3E. The TSR trademark itself expired in 2004, and Gary Gygax passed in 2008.

Jayson Elliot acquired the expired TSR trademark in 2011 and launched Gygax Magazine. D&D co-creator Gary Gygax’s sons, Luke and Ernie Gygax, were both involved, as was TSR-alumnus Tim Kask. The magazine was cancelled a few years ago as Luke and Ernie Gygax withdrew after a trademark dispute with Gail Gygax, Gary Gygax’s wife.




That company is still an operational company called TSR Games which currently produces the Top Secret RPG.

Confused yet?

Now TSR is back - again! A press release dated June 15th was released this week, and a Facebook page launched with a new version of the old logo. "Have you noticed the new art on our TSR.games site? It's an image created by Larry Elmore (pencils) Steve Ince (Ink & color) & Stephen E. Dinehart (Direction, Color, Layout, Graphics) for our first official product - GiantLands."

tsr.jpg

Lake Geneva, WI, June 15, 2021 --(PR.com)-- Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) was founded in 1973 by E. Gary Gygax and Don Kaye. Originally formed in 2020, TSR Games is officially back and under the leadership of E. Gary Gygax Jr.

“I am thrilled to be part of this next generation of gaming and hope that you all find it cut the same cloth as all my old TSR experiences as we forge a new TSR Games,” said Gygax, continuing, “Thanks to the vision of our CEO Justin LaNasa, and the help of Wonderfilled, we’re bringing TSR back home to Lake Geneva. It really means so much to me.”

TSR was behind the original Dungeons & Dragons first released in 1974, now a worldwide phenomenon owned by Hasbro on its fifth and most popular edition yet. The team includes Justin LaNasa (CEO), Ernest G. Gygax Jr (EVP), Jeff R. Leason (COO, and Stephen E. Dinehart (CCO). LaNasa is a visionary and entrepreneur that has set out to reunite brands like TSR with the original talent behind them.

“It’s with great pride that we’ve managed to secure the TSR brand, born here originally in 1973 and brought back to the people who created this new form of game that changed the world,” said LaNasa.

In addition to the classic lines of products at TSR Museum and Dungeon Hobby Shop, TSR Games is working to bring a new generation of role-playing games and more to players worldwide. “Now more than ever, the world needs TSR,” said game designer Jeff R. Leason. “We’re happy to be bringing it back for experienced and new players alike.”


The Facebook page contains a bunch of info about the people involved.
  • Jeff R. Leason -- Jeff is our Chief Operation Officer and comes with decades working as an game editor, master and designer. As a key member of the original TSR team, he's best known for his Advanced Dungeons & Dragons adventure "The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan" (1980). His TSR paystub from 1983 for $134.18 once sold at auction for $135! We're glad to have his mastery, wisdom and candor helping bring TSR back to life!
  • Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. -- Our Executive Vice President is none other than Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. aka "Ernie". The oldest child, Ernie was one of the first people on planet Earth to play Dungeons & Dragons (with another guy named "Gary" no less), and he still loves to play! You'll often still find him DMing for members of Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum in Lake Geneva, while working hard to bring TSR back to life! This weekend he's hard at play in Lake Geneva running 1E with the gang at Robert Donald Paiser Con III. How about you? What are you playing?
The new TSR's first product is called Giantlands. It's a science fantasy tabletop RPG, in a boxed set, and has an associated theme park! The original boxed set was originally Kickstarted in 2019 by Stephen E. Dinehart IV, which also included a limited edition boxed set which was limited to 100 copies, which would not be made again.

Be the first kid on your block to get our first blockbuster summer release GiantLands! This crowdfunded game is made in Wisconsin with some of the original TSR team, like Larry Elmore, Jeff Dee and James M. Ward. It will be among the first titles to bring TSR Games back to life. The GiantLands 1st Edition boxed set consists of three booklets, dice and more, a homage to the original D&D set.


Screen Shot 2021-06-19 at 12.25.54 PM.png

A radiant golden Sun rises over a devastated planet Earth of the 5th Age. Emerging from the destruction is a planet born anew where giants, tribes, mutants, androids and odd creatures from a multitude of worlds clash in an attempt to reclaim the Earth as their own! The GiantLands® 1st Edition Set includes there core rule booklets, character sheets, dice and few more surprises. While you can play this game at a table, it’s also the key to a new active world, where live-action roleplay and costumes are encouraged. Soon you’ll also be able to join us at live events and a GiantLands theme park where you can go on adventures as your favorite characters in a living game world!


So, as far as I can make out, there are now two operational TSRs. There's TSR Games, at tsrgames.com, run by Jayson Elliot, which originally launched Gygax Magazine in 2012, and now publishes Top Secret. And there's this new TSR Games, at the confusing similar tsr.games, which is publishing Giantlands. Ernie Gygax was involved in the formation of both companies. I don't know if or how the two are related, or what the trademark situation would be there! More news if I hear it!

(Both company's logos below!)

tsr1.png
tsr2.png


tsr.jpg
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

“Now more than ever, the world needs TSR,” said game designer Jeff R. Leason.
Does it Jeff? But does it tho? Nah but really mate does it?

Skeptical face. Seems more like when D&D has 50m players maybe it's time to cash in lol.

I do like the piece of art, mostly because of the juxtaposition of Elmore's style and the very "2020 take on what the 1980s looked like" colouring. If they've got something awesome to offer, cool. Classic adventures ain't that, but maybe some sort of nifty OSR game?

EDIT - Oh boy, Giantlands is going full LARP, coming out of a pandemic? It's a bold strategy Cotton, let's see if it pays off for 'em! Credit for doing something a little different I guess.
 
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Fanaelialae

Legend
Skeptical face. Seems more like when D&D has 50m players maybe it's time to cash in lol.
This seems more oriented towards older players who still remember TSR and the old box sets, IMO. A lot of the new players that 5e brought in won't really have a clue about all that. It seems more designed to evoke nostalgia.

That said, I like a good sci-fantasy game (and I'm a sucker for nostalgia). I may just have to check this out.
 

Those characters would be perfect to sell action figures with a little vintage-retro touch!!

When the skins for Fortnite?


Will it be a leveling-up system? I wonder if the system will allow mahs-up adaptations of the players' favorite franchises.
 

A lot of the new players that 5e brought in won't really have a clue about all that. It seems more designed to evoke nostalgia.
Sure, but an awful lot of people watching 1980s "nostalgia" stuff like Stranger Things, or indeed the vast majority of people playing video games with ape 1980s styles (often right down to the palette) were not even born in the 1980s. Hell a lot of the people creating 1980s nostalgia stuff, including again Stranger Things, were either not born or extremely young in the 1980s (the Duffer brothers are 37 now, so must have a hazy actual recollection at best of the 1980s). Many people designing wonderfully '80s videogames or writing deeply '80s music are in their 20s, in some cases their early '20s. The '80s left such a strong cultural impression that you don't need to have to actually have been around then to have some sort of quasi-nostalgia for them. And that wonderful 2020s-version-of-1980s TSR logo these guys have come up with says they know that.

It's a good thing, btw. Better to understand that than not.
 

rknop

Adventurer
I remember how back as a teenager in the 1980s, it seemed like a lot of culture was obsessed either with the 1950s or the late 1960s. (Which one you were obsessed with depended mostly on your political bent.) This included my peers, who by and large were born in the late 1960s (or early 1970s-- and, really, the first couple of years of the 1970s were still much like what we think of as "the sixties", just like the first few years of the 1960s were more like "the fifties".)

These things come in waves.
 



Yora

Hero
Sure, but an awful lot of people watching 1980s "nostalgia" stuff like Stranger Things, or indeed the vast majority of people playing video games with ape 1980s styles (often right down to the palette) were not even born in the 1980s. Hell a lot of the people creating 1980s nostalgia stuff, including again Stranger Things, were either not born or extremely young in the 1980s (the Duffer brothers are 37 now, so must have a hazy actual recollection at best of the 1980s). Many people designing wonderfully '80s videogames or writing deeply '80s music are in their 20s, in some cases their early '20s. The '80s left such a strong cultural impression that you don't need to have to actually have been around then to have some sort of quasi-nostalgia for them. And that wonderful 2020s-version-of-1980s TSR logo these guys have come up with says they know that.

It's a good thing, btw. Better to understand that than not.
I was a kid in the 80s, but too young (and too poor) to see many of the things that were popular first hand.
I only got to watch most of the movies the other kids had seen when I was grown up in the 2000s, and they are still awesome.
 




sevenbastard

Explorer
Every once in awhile I see a AC company our Transmision Shop called TSR and I get excited. So seeing TSR fills me with joy even though I doubt I will back this. LARP really isn't my thing.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Every once in awhile I see a AC company our Transmision Shop called TSR and I get excited. So seeing TSR fills me with joy even though I doubt I will back this. LARP really isn't my thing.
I believe it's a TTRPG boxed set. The larp element is just an additional thing they're doing with it.
 


Gotta say, I'm at least a little curious for one reason alone:

That's a Not-Dragonborn. Holding a sword, and looking at the monster, not at the human.

That is a departure from what I expect of TSR, and a good one, reflecting willingness to embrace popular ideas whether or not they are new. I am, of course, cautious because old-school rules usually aren't my cup of tea, but...yeah, I'm actually curious now how this diverges from "original TSR" rules.
 




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