TSR Games Banned From GenCon

TSR Games Banned From GenCon

The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don’t need any rules. Gary Gygax

I am firmly of the opinion that one of Twitter’s major sources of income is providing angry mobs on command for a fee.  The revoltingly fat and malignantly repulsive fifteen-year-old girls that make up the core of the Stans haven’t the slightest interest in anything other than para-social activity on the internet.   They have never been interested in Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, James Bond, Doctor Who, Disney World, or anything else on popculture’s role-call of the fallen.  

The Stans care for nothing but agreeing with each other. They are an ouroboros snake that instead of eating its own tail, is forever sniffing its own farts.

The Stans couldn’t survive in the wild, they are a protected species in an enclosed environment called Twitter.  They are so fundamentally incapable of normal human interaction they can only connect with others via para-social interactions that they think are the same thing as communicating with another human being. 

And they sure as fuck couldn’t manage anything as social as playing Dungeons and Dragons.

The only reason they’ve decided they are passionate role game players this morning is that the Twitterverse told them they are. And that only happened because someone with a big pocketbook paid the Twitterverse.

The attacks on TSR Games have all the hallmarks of a paid hit-job.  And the people most interested in doing that are the boobs that run Wizards of the Coast.

Beloved Readers: Dude, what you talking about? Wizards of the Coast owns TSR.

No, they own Dungeons and Dragons.  TSR games is now a separate issue.  

Here’s the background.  When author and Tolkien nerd Gary Gygax (1938-2008) decided to started selling the game he and his friends had been playing to a grateful world. He called his new company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR).  Originally, he sold Dungeons and Dragons out of his basement for $10 a copy.  It sold well enough that he decided to expand and to do that he needed partners.

Skipping ahead, to the mid-1980s.  AD&D is the king of the roleplaying hill, sales are robustly healthy, The Dragonlance books had made TSR the number one fantasy book publisher in the US. The (absurdly terrible) Dungeons and Dragons Saturday morning cartoon had led in its timeslot for two years.

So, you can imagine Gygax’s surprise when he found out the company was nearly bankrupt.  His partners, the Blume brothers had gone deeply into hock to buy stupid shit that was way off-mission for the company like a latch-hook rug company.  Gygax went to the board and got them fired.  The Blumes sold their shares to TSR’s VP of finance Lorraine Williams who promptly fired Gary Gygax.  

She appears to have been the kind of manager who increases productivity by running the presses well past their recommended speed and eliminating down time for maintenance. 

After a few years of Lorraine Williams making financial decisions that favored Lorraine Williams* and making bad decisions like not buying Magic the Gathering when it was in diapers, and then making a crappy rip-off version of it (Dragon Dice).  TSR was on the rocks again. After a huge number of Dragon Dice units were remaindered on the grounds that no one wanted to play it, the end was in sight.

At that point, Wizards of the Coast (which had bought Magic the Gathering) stepped in and snapped up TSR (GenCon and all) in 1997.   WoC continued to use the TSR name for three more years, then discontinued it with the launch of the Third Edition D&D rules which was published under the Wizards of the Coast logo.  Wizards of the Coast was in turn bought up by Hasbro.

Wizards of the Coast started as an Oregon company, and it shows.  They are completely SJW converged and Woke.  Which is why they did something so fundamentally stupid as to let the TSR trademark lapse. 

Earnie Gygax (Gary’s son) had been keeping an eye out for this and immediately applied for the trademark. And wingo bizingo TSR Games is back in existence and the Gamma wonders that run Wizards of the Coast have egg on their faces.

You see, WoTC Dungeons and Dragons have a bit of problem.

Don’t get me started on Critical Role

The Generation X players.  The people who were playing D&D back when you would be better off wearing nothing but ass-less chaps in Times Square then be caught with a Star Fleet uniform in your closet, hate the new Dungeons and Dragons.  The rules bloat is beyond belief, the variety of playable races is absurd, and the whole thing feels a hell of a lot more like Magic the Gathering than it does Dungeons and Dragons.  

Wizards of Coast has more than enough marketing muscle to convince a new generation of Gammas that they are totes invested in 5E rules and that their entire identity is built upon them. And anyone who thinks it is garbage deserves the longest wall of text imaginable. Also, if you don’t like it, you’re racist. 

But the older players have been seeking alternatives to Dungeons and Dragons for a while. And there is now a lot out there; Adventurer Conqueror Kings, Pathfinder, King Arthur Pendragon, Symbaroum, The One Ring, Dungeon World, The Fate of the Norns.  I was really enjoying a game with the most generic title in history (Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game) until I made the huge mistake of reading the author’s Twitter feed.

My point is this, there is no longer any real reason to play a game with a Woke political agenda that is only going to change its rules in another three years just to sell another set of expensive books to the gullible.  You know, like Dungeons and Dragons.

Wizards of the Coast is aware of these seismic rumblings but has never cared before now because Dungeons and Dragons is too big to fail so there is no reason it shouldn’t go Woke.  And if you don’t like it, you’re racist.

But for some reason TSR’s return from oblivion has WotC wound up and pissed.  It was announced yesterday that TSR Games is banned from GenCon.  Today Origins followed suit on the grounds that Gary Gygax was racist because he favored Humans over Orcs and no, I’m not joking.

The last time I saw anyone canceled this hard from the Con circuit was Vic Mignogna.


Because the Wizards of the Coast version of the game is extremely vulnerable.  They wouldn’t be pushing this hard if they weren’t scared.  Earnie Gygax has brought a lot of the band back together and is even publishing a new version of the much-beloved, Star Frontiers.  There are a ton of Generation X gamers who will happily jump ship and go back to TSR.  And you know who goes with them?  Their kids, the Zoomers.  Wizards of the Coast is about to lose a generation of gamers.


*Like canceling Star Frontiers in favor of a Buck Rogers game which by happy coincidence she owned the rights to. 

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Comments (17)

  • Dave W. Reply

    The chances of me buying any WOTC product or going to GenCon were already less than zero. Now they’re lower than that.

    And may Lorraine Williams get a huge boil on her ass!

    June 29, 2021 at 5:27 pm
  • CAG Reply

    Interesting – I wonder if Ernie Gygax was inspired by Steve Jackson’s reclaiming of the rights to The Fantasy Trip rules from the long defunct Metagaming company and Howard Thompson. Granted that Steve’s job was a bit harder than reclaiming a disused trademark in that it involved finding an odd loophole of sorts that allowed rights to return to the creator after a period of time if the owners don’t do anything with the IP in question (? – paraphrasing from memory, but something like that) but it is analogous.

    Pity that Gary Gygax was not all that business savvy – I don’t blame him, but man a lot of bad juju could have been avoided had he a better head for the business side of things and maintained control.

    June 29, 2021 at 6:14 pm
  • Bibliotheca Servare Reply

    Damn. He’s already apologized on Twitter for “hurting anyone” (apparently some tranny lunatics were pissed that he didn’t say “tranny lunatic lives matter” or somesuch thing) and explained that he was a bullied, poor need in school.

    He seems like a nice guy, but I don’t know if he has the balls to refuse to bend the knee to the psychopaths and monsters we call SJW’s. Praying he does, but when the first thing I see upon googling his name is an apology…

    But he’s in the arena, and God bless him for it!

    June 29, 2021 at 6:45 pm
    • The Dark Herald Reply

      I’m afraid he thinks it’s the Eighties. And he can make them understand if talks talks with them in an honest manner. He either has to learn to fight or he is going under quick.

      June 29, 2021 at 8:14 pm
  • Teleros Reply

    “But the older players have been seeking alternatives to Dungeons and Dragons for a while.”

    Not mentioning Adventurer Conqueror Kings (ACKS) by Autarch. Where’s the real Dark Herald and what have you done with him?

    June 29, 2021 at 6:56 pm
    • The Dark Herald Reply


      June 29, 2021 at 8:10 pm
  • Chris Lopes Reply

    “Today Origins followed suit on the grounds that Gary Gygax was racist because he favored Humans over Orcs and no, I’m not joking.”

    The orcs in Lord of the Rings do not represent any particular race (except maybe the Huns, who were trying kill Tolkien at one time), they are merely cannon fodder. They are not real. Time for some folks to leave their parents’ basements.

    June 29, 2021 at 9:14 pm
  • Albert Reply

    We’ll see if they can pull it off. Their main problem is that they lack an E. Gary Gygax, since the son can’t be the father.

    June 29, 2021 at 9:32 pm
  • Ty Ping, GM of the Old School Reply

    No reason to play the new editions of D&D — my first edition AD&D rulebooks, well-used in the early 80s, are perfectly adequate. I saw the older D&D “pamphlet” rules, but nobody I knew played with those.

    For people who moan, “But the new editions “fixed” problems with those rulesets…” I roll a 1 in your general direction, and state that if you can’t figure out how to work around those problems, you should give up your dice and walk away from the table and go play Magic the Money Gathering instead.

    June 29, 2021 at 10:46 pm
  • Winterborn Reply

    Had not heard a thing about any of this. Man that is great to hear Ernie got the trademark back and Star Frontiers, with Larry Elmore?? Holy crap you weren’t kidding about getting the band back together.

    June 29, 2021 at 11:24 pm
  • Jolene Blackberg Reply

    Blume, you say? Hmm.

    June 30, 2021 at 2:44 am
  • ElRojo Reply

    While I do agree that it is likely WOTC is putting the hurt on NuTSR out of fear it might actually get traction and general principle. They actually have rather little to be afraid of.

    There is a thread on this at TheRPGsite – NuTSR is going nowhere – the ‘new’ RPG they are releasing ‘GiantLands’ has an SJW lead designer.

    The rot is already in the door. And Ernie is not doing himself any favors by running his trap on platforms that hate him.

    So good idea in principle spoilt by incompetence in execution.

    But to be honest I don’t think Gygax’s kid thought it through that far. I think he just grabbed the old trademark because he could. I really doubt he had any real planning behind it.

    June 30, 2021 at 3:47 am
  • Dúnadan SonOfTheWest Reply

    I like and enjoy 5e and this is an absolute outrage. Earnie should have taken a hint from the creator of Factorio and told these brain-dead Wokists where they can shove their tepid, disgusting, authoritarian ideology. Instead, he apologized initially.
    Bad move. Never, never, NEVER apologize to Wokists. Throw it back in their faces, as vociferously as humanly possible. The ingrates at GenCon need to be put in their place.

    June 30, 2021 at 9:32 pm
  • Joe C Reply

    Hope to see Giant Lands make great success despite all the nay sayers
    Rooting for TSR to come back hard
    Hope U.K gamers can discover Giant Lands
    Via P.o.D.
    Wish nothing but the best for this new company and hope they can deliver the Kickstarter and launch new products

    July 1, 2021 at 1:34 am
  • Robert Kimble (Raven Greymalkin) Reply

    I agree the 5th edition and some of the other editions before it were unnecessarily complicated. But WOTC/HASBRO don’t have anything to fear. I am an old first edition gamer. I prefer first edition to the current edition and the two before it. However, through critical role and the like the current edition already has a serious number of followers. It has made DND acceptable again like it was before the satanic panic. Will I play this giant lands? Probably. will I play D&D 5th edition? probably. will I end up creating something that’s probably a bit of both for my own players to play in my own homebrewed sessions? most likely! The point of role playing is to escape reality and have fun

    July 11, 2021 at 6:05 pm
  • Hrj Reply

    Any update on this?
    I would really like to know if this is dead on the water?
    Or if they embraced wokeness in fear of getting canceled?

    July 22, 2021 at 8:02 pm

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