TSR LLC vs Wizards of the Coast LLC – FIGHT!

During 2022 and 2023 there were numerous disasters engaged in by nuTSR, most of which are pending a final resolution – but the most spectacular and all reaching was the lawsuit of TSR LLC against Wizards of the Coast LLC. Many of these aspects were not easily understood by someone without a background in law or intellectual property.

Prelude

It can be safely assumed that once the intention to use the old TSR Inc trademarks became public, Wizards of the Coast would have instructed legal counsel to write polite, but firm, letters to TSR LLC advising them that they did not have the right to do so. The exact details provided etc are not available to the public, but it is an all but mandatory courtesy in these situations.

This seems to have worked to a certain degree, as the following trademarks were surrendered/abandoned without a fight:

But well… for the rest…. they decided to fight…

Continue reading TSR LLC vs Wizards of the Coast LLC – FIGHT!

NuTSR’s recruitment drive and the Fall of Michael

From June 2021 to mid January 2022 – nuTSR went into a mission to try to build up credibility as a games company and recover from losing their flagship product as well as the individual they had given control of their social media presence to. Pretty much all of this effort would fall onto the shoulders of “volunteer” Michael Hovermale as Justin focused on talking things up and recruiting terrible people to make terrible products.

I put scare quotes on the volunteer because Justin and… accounts very defensive of Justin have always maintained that Michael was purely a volunteer who never expected to get paid – but as you’ll see he was doing an awful lot of work and putting up with awful lot of shit (including from yours truly) – so I’m inclined to believe this was supposed to be a “volunteer for now and then we’ll talk compensation” type arrangement.

Particularly given some later events involving some accounts called “Mario Real” but… more on that later in our story.

Side note: If this was professional reporting I would have reached out to people for comment, but since I didn’t do it while it was happening and I think there’d be rather massive differences in responses due to personal reasons. (Don & Michael would probably be happy to comment, I’m pretty sure Justin would not) Therefore all this is based on observation and public interactions.

The Official Discord

Before being promoted to head of PR, Michael had been the head moderator at the Discord and had implemented a lot of rules that were in place to try to keep the conversation entirely about games – and not about politics. These, ironically, would have been prohibitive of Justin being a member of the Discord – but Michael didn’t realize that yet.

A screenshot of the server rules for the TSR Official Community Discord.
"1 Respect each other harassment & bullying isn't allowed. This includes personal attacks, slurs, racist, sexist, homophobic, hateful or derogatory speech. Also don't attempt to create drama. It's not nice to make fun of others, let's make sure that this remains a safe and positive space for everyone.

2. No NSFW or obscene content. This includes text, images, or links featuring nudity, sex, hard violence, or other graphically disturbing content. A good rule of thumb is keep things PG-13. Discord allows members as young as 13 to join. If you're unsure if your post is "ok" you can ask a moderator.

3. Avoid sensitive or controversial topics. Real world politics, religion, race, gender, current (sensitive) real world events, depression/suicide, violence, etc. These discussions can easily turn into heated debates, which does not reflect the positive and inclusive nature of this server."
Ironically Justin would later demonstrate the only thing that stopped him breaking all of these rules was disinterest in his own “community”.1My Twitter, 8 August 2021 https://twitter.com/wincenworks/status/1424151599375519749

And I want to stress here, as misguided as it was to try to run a Discord about any role-playing game with no discussion of politics around it in the first place – given that invariably a part of world building in role-playing games is working out the politics, and the implications of your interpretations of those politics. Even something as simple as creating a “good” society means making political statements on what is encouraged and what is encouraged by “good” people.

Continue reading NuTSR’s recruitment drive and the Fall of Michael

The New TSR (“NuTSR”) – Transphobia, Scandals and Reactionary politics

As briefly covered in the first post, the meltdown in June was pretty dramatic and led to a split up between TSR LLC and Wonderfilled Inc. Since neither Justin LaNasa, nor Stephen Dinehart, can be classified as a reliable narrator and both parties blame each other for the matter – the TSR deep dive on this will be covering everything that was posted under the official TSR brand, since whether it was Dinehart or LaNasa at the keyboard, everything up until that point was under the brand and was consistent with later sentiments.

Everything Dinehart specific that did not bleed directly into the TSR platforms will likely be covered in the GiantLands Saga section.

A lot of the content has been deleted since, there will be heavy reliance on screenshots. After the disaster interview, there were a few attempts to simply dispel the narrative and pretend that the statements made in the interview simply didn’t exist. These went down like a wet bag of sick largely due to them being completely fabricated and having no basis in reality.1TSR Games (@TSR_games) Twitter (24 June 2021) (Archived) https://web.archive.org/web/20210624221618mp_/https://twitter.com/TSR_games/status/1408187164790345733 2TSR Games (@TSR_games) Twitter (24 June 2021) (Archived) https://web.archive.org/web/20210625050832mp_/https://twitter.com/TSR_games/status/1408178463773794306

Two tweets by TSR Games (@TSR_games) posted:
"The TTRPG is the original safe space."
"We are intolerant of hatred of any kind from all sides. All players are welcome at our table. Thanks to the role-playing game, we have a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion."
Continue reading The New TSR (“NuTSR”) – Transphobia, Scandals and Reactionary politics

NuTSR Group – The Beginning

This post had to be heavily edited due to some Facebook pages changing their URL handle without notice, specifically “TSRHobbiesMuseum” to “DUNGEONHOBBYSHOP”. I’ve now updated them, removed the dead links to things that have been taken down and were never archived and now attached links to screenshots. Anywhere you see a 📸, you can click it for a screenshot of the linked post, for record keeping purposes.

In instances where the screenshots third parties, I’ve pixelated out their faces and/or names to protect their privacy.

Kim

While it looks more or less like any other house, 723 Williams Street, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin has an extraordinary history as the original office for Tactical Studies Rules (TSR), the company founded by Gary Gygax and the original vendor of the now iconic role-playing game Dungeon and Dragons.

However, as TSR grew, Gary Gygax got pushed out and the venture (put a pin in that) was purchased by Wizards of the Coast (headquartered in Seattle, Washington) – the business of role-playing games move away. The history, and the significance of the site stayed present in the memory of many. Enter Scott Griffin, the man with original vision to make a homage to the Dungeon Hobby Shop (inspired by Jayson Elliot’s Gygax Magazine, though the company that published that is now Solarian Games) and the first man stepped on by Justin LaNasa in his quest for glory and fortune through nostalgia in the TTRPG space.

In a pair of interviews on the Tenkar’s Tavern YouTube Channel,1Ernie Gygax Call with Scott Griffin re: Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum 6/21 – Sorry I Gygaxed You! Part I, Tenkar’s Tavern, YouTube (22 June 2022) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB5RzpZfxv0 2Ernie Gygax Phone Call with Scott Griffin re: DHSM – Part 2 – Justin is “Abrasive” & “A Bully”, Tenkar’s Tavern, YouTube (29 June 2022) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljxEo6DJjrU which included recordings of calls with Ernie Gygax, Scott discussed how he had been scoping out the project with some specific intentions of replicating the early environment as much as possible: Incorporating early employees like Ernie Gygax, Jeff Perren (though more realistically his daughter Vicky Perren) and Jeff “Duck” Leason.

Continue reading NuTSR Group – The Beginning