The TSR & Wonderfilled/GiantLands Saga – Introduction

In June 2021, a Twitter account @tsr_games (archive) was launched to promote TSR LLC, a company registered in Wisconsin in September 2020 for the express purpose of running a tribute to the original Dungeon Hobby Shop at the original address, and making games with the help of old school gaming personalities like Ernie Gygax. The company and associated group (NuTSR) were founded by Justin LaNasa.

By the end of July 2021 the twitter account would be renamed to @wfd_games and representing Wonderfilled Inc, a company registered in Wisconsin by Stephen E Dinehart IV – former CCO then separated from TSR LLC and owner/co-creator of GiantLands. By December 2021, TSR LLC would have lodged a federal lawsuit against Wizards of the Coast over a handful of old trademarks.

The events involved in that are complicated, and convoluted, but the short version of it is a series of bad business decisions, unethical practices and expression of reactionary politics by the personalities above created quagmires of public image, legal problems and unfavourable exposure. Most of the incriminating tweets, videos, etc have seen been deleted or removed from public access so screenshots will be used where archive links are not available. Most of this is being recreated from a Twitter thread that has become incredibly unwieldly over time.

Ignition Point

In June, Ernie Gygax did an interview (no longer available on YouTube) that was reported on EN World by the site owner Morrus. In it, Ernie, amongst other things:

  • Announced that about he was dissed for being old-fashioned, particularly around ideas like gender identity.
  • Claimed Lorraine Williams was a corporate raider and that mean she was like native american tribes who would “wipe out another tribe many times take the woman and children and murder off everything else.”
  • Referred to the people at modern Wizards of the Coast and their supporters lemmings – then announced the problem is “my fighter returns antagonism for antagonism. So that’s where we start getting into some difficulties and I’m having to throw a protection from evil up.”

For obvious reasons, this raised a lot of concerns among the modern audiences and required TSR LLC to wade in on and seek support. This was, initially done primarily by Stephen Dinehart who attempted to simply to deny anything happened and then – through his GiantLands Twitter account (replying to a tweet to TSR’s Twitter) launched the tweet that escalated things to flashpoint.

A screenshot of the original exchange between Meg (@MegTheSorceress) and GiantLands (@GiantLands) where she asks them to confirm if they agree trans identities are valid, and stop evading the question, and GiantLands replied with "You are disgusting"
The tweet that set the garbage pile ablaze

The lit fuze

An apology by Ernie was issued, but at this point the situation became polarized – with the vast majority of the old school gaming (including Luke Gygax) being alarmed and opposed to all of this, sceptical of the validity of this claim of being the old company reborn and unimpressed with the responses; and reactionaries from groups like ComicsGate rushing in to defend TSR LLC, seeing it as a new battlefield where they could claim victory and dominance over shared nostalgia.

A screenshot of the article on ComicsGate "Lying about Ernie Gygax? TSR Games and GiantLands are innocent" by Rohan Kumar Pall.  It has the standard "it's all lies" rhetoric.
Rohan Kumar Pall, aka Warcampaign, posting a video on Comisgate claiming people asking for accountability on Ernie’s interview were “lying” about him.
A sample YouTube thumbnail that consists of the GiantLands background, the Dungeon Master from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon looking unimpressed, some dice and the text "TSR Games BANNED from GenCon!"
The thumbnail by ClownfishTV YouTube Channel for their video to cover that, due to the blatant transphobia – TSR/GiantLands had been banned from GenCon.

TSR’s Official channel leaned into this.

Screenshot of two tweets retweeted by TSR Games (@tsr_games)
@TinfoilhatNick posting the "Exposing the lie" video
@Kneon of ClownfishTV posting:
"So let me see if I got this straight.

Gary Gygax's son says RPGs are for everyone.

The "TTRPG Community" is losing their shit because they think he's pandering to bigots or whatever.

And now they're going to form a "protective wall" around their hobby so it's not gatekept?"
A small sample of what the account was retweeting.

Stephen Dinehart then started proposing that the backlash was artificial and was a the result of people being paid by Wizards of the Coast to speak out against the company. He would continue to repeat variations on this idea at various points later.

(As a side note, based on his old tweets – Stephen did NOT vote for marriage equality)

This combined with a truly baffling apology by the Ernie Gygax account (allegedly operated by Dinehart at the time) – sharing a fantasy of becoming a school shooter and essentially blaming all his statements on misunderstanding and his own experience being bullied created a branding crisis.

Screenshot of a tweet by "Ernie Gary Gygax Jr." (@Gygax_Jr) 29 June 2021, part of a thread.
"I played the Violin and often I began to wish that indeed I did have a Thompson 45 Machine Gun inside so I could wipe away some of those laughs."
The most controversial of the “child hood story” tweets

This culminated in the baffling announcement on the @tsr_games account that there was a new Social Media manager named Michael, who would be handling things from then on. At the time this was viewed by many as a badly executed hoax, but we now know that it was in fact Michael K Hovermale, blinded by nostalgia and trying to help TSR LLC recover from the branding crisis so they could make the old school style games he dreamed of.

A screenshot by the TSR Twitter account (@TSR_games) annoucning "Hi everyone, I am the new Public Relations Officer for TSR.Games.
The individual that was handling this account is no longer with TSR.
Please direct all future TSR communications to me."
It also promises a video to address both Ernie's original interview, and the "childhood story he posted" and is signed:
Public Relations Officer
You can probably see what we were skeptical.

It seems this… announcement of “the individual that was handling this account is no longer with TSR” didn’t go over well with Dinehart as these posts were deleted shortly afterwards.

Screenshot showing the Twitter account @TSR_games tweeting:
"A belated Happy independence Day from the team at TSR, LLC!"

There is a reply tweet from @King_Lemongrab
"I see you deleted the post announcing your new PR guy? You guys decided to drop that facade then?"
That the new PR manager’s arrival erased did not go unnoticed, and all who commented on it were blocked by the account.


Around 7 July 2022, it appears differences between Dinehart and LaNasa lead to an explosive schism in which Dinehart left with most of the Twitter accounts and urls. Initial confusion led to this being reported as a rebranding, etc – but ultimately it lead to a split into two groups whose only common member was Ernie Gygax.

Spoiler: It got renamed to @WFD_games

TSR LLC re-established itself later with continuing it’s Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum ( and TSR Hobbies branches and consisted largely of Justin LaNasa and a rotating inner circle of reactionaries with Jeff Leeson kept on for the museum and credibility. They had the promise of making Star Frontiers: New Genesis game, along with other “old school” games. Their story is the TSR Saga.

Wonderfilled continued to post in plural (“we are excited to announce”) despite being entirely Dinehart, with James M Ward remaining as a co-creator of GiantLands but operating in a purely contract capacity with royalties. That story is the GiantLands Saga, continued here.

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