TSR TSR3 Throws In Towel, Rebrands Wonderfilled

In the news story that never ends, after reversing its position earlier and admitting that it was NOT the original TSR reincarnated, the new TSR company, embroiled in acrimony for the last two weeks, and having blamed the widespread criticism it has received on Wizards of the Coast, has deleted its own Twitter account and rebranded its website, misspelling it’s own name in the process.

In just a week a much-loved trademark, which was associated with the creation of our entire hobby, and which generally attracted nostalgic affection as recently as a fortnight ago, has been utterly trashed in an astonishing display of self-destructive publicity and incompetence. Two companies (one of which was directly responsible for the damage) have now divested themselves of it, and most major conventions have banned the company behind it, due to the actions and statements of three people: Justin LaNasa, Stephen Dinehart, and Ernie Gygax. "TSR" is no longer a brand which anybody wants to be associated with — not even the company which ‘relaunched’ it two weeks ago, let alone the company they sniped it from. It has been a spectacular masterclass in how not to manage a brand.

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This followed an astonishing day of activity where one of the three TSR3 founders, Stephen Dinehart announced - publicly! - that he had blocked WotC and Hasbro on Twitter. After everybody thought things couldn't get any more ridiculous, they did.

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As TSR2 rebranded to Solarian this week (after TSR3 sniped their name and trademark due to a missed filing), we've now gone from two TSRs to zero TSRs in the space of a few days.

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Most people assume that WotC (or Hasbro) has been in contact with TSR3 regarding its use of copyrighted imagery.

Meanwhile, search teams have been sent out for Michael, the mysterious PR officer announced last week who made two posts and then was never heard from again. In the meantime, somebody has set up a parody Twitter account for him.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
That creator credit goes to two men, NOT to the people who did work FOR the two men. Amongst other reasons, we're seeing bottom-feeders like Stephen Dinehart trying to attach himself like a bloody parasite onto the D&D name in order to boost up his own sub-par gaming company releasing these overpriced, under-qualified products. Then James Ward trying to act like "Dungeons and Dragons : Created by James Ward, Dave Arneson, and Gary Gygax" isn't just a piece of fanciful fiction to make his ego feel bigger.

I will never give people false credit, and that's what this feels like; Stolen credentials. Two creators of the game, and a ton of writers, editors, and artists. That's all. End of story. "Co-creator" my pimpled backside. I ask for a lot more proof than a claim of "I don't like to talk about it but I also secretly created that game, too!" spoken passive-aggressively 40+ years after the fact.
To amplify on your point a bit, stolen credit historically went the other way as well. Of course Gary trying to cut Dave out, and then TSR crediting Gary as author on products actually written by others, like the various Basic sets, or OA actually being by (edit) Cook. Definitely one of the nice things about the OSR in the past 15-odd years is seeing other creators like Holmes, Mentzer, and Cook get proper credit they were denied by TSR back in the day.

But I agree that while Jim can legitimately claim to have worked on OD&D, the idea of him as a co-creator of the game is definitely a stretch. Gods, Demigods and Heroes is certainly the least essential OD&D supplement apart from the terrible Swords & Spells. Rob Kuntz has a vastly more substantive claim as a third creator, but would never.
 
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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
To amplify on your point a bit, stolen credit historically went the other way as well. Of course Gary trying to cut Dave out, and then TSR crediting Gary as author on products actually written by others, like the various Basic sets, or OA actually being by Grubb. Definitely one of the nice things about the OSR in the past 15-odd years is seeing other creators like Holmes, Mentzer, and Cook get proper credit they were denied by TSR back in the day.

But I agree that while Jim can legitimately claim to have worked on OD&D, the idea of him as a co-creator of the game is definitely a stretch. Gods, Demigods and Heroes is certainly the least essential OD&D supplement apart from the largely terrible Swords & Spells. Rob Kuntz has a vastly more substantive claim as a third creator, but would never.

...Brainfreeze. You meant Cook.

But yeah, you're right. Individuals like Kuntz, Kask, and Ward had a lot more influence on OD&D than we given them credit for. And I think people forget how truly instrumental Ward was in early TTRPGs.

...which makes all of this so sad.
 






Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Wasn’t there a claim that it was part of Gary’s Greyhawk?
As far as I'm aware, Frank has always maintained that his setting of Aquaria is another continent across the sea from Greyhawk, on Oerth, yeah. Given that the two of them worked very closely together in the 80s, from shortly after Frank came to work at TSR, that seems credible to me.

I was trying to remember the distinction between Aquaria and Empyrea, and had to Google that the latter is a city within the former. Same Google reminded me that Frank said he had written permission to develop this additional part of Oerth.
 





Eljay

First Post
Has WFD released any products yet?

What does WFD stand for, anyway? Wonderfilled Fainéant Dinehart?

I've been hearing about GiantLands for about 5 years now.
 



Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Has WFD released any products yet?

What does WFD stand for, anyway? Wonderfilled Fainéant Dinehart?

I've been hearing about GiantLands for about 5 years now.
Here's a thread about the Giantlands release and review/commentary (with images/quotes from the book), from January.

 


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