Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast has filed an injunction that could block the publication of material labeled “despicable” and “explicitly racist and transphobic”. The request, made before a federal judge in Seattle on Thursday, aims to immediately halt production star frontiers new genesisa reboot of the classic star frontiers Tabletop role-playing game first published in 1982. The target of the injunction request is TSR, a unit that Wizards bought in 1997.
The newly created TSR, Inc. It is owned by emerging game publisher Justin Lanassa. He claims residency in North Carolina, where he is best known for a series of tattoo parlors – and also for a failed political campaign that was torpedoed, among other things, reports that He once asked several female employees to wrestle in a tub full of hot water. Grits was promoting its reboot of the Lanassa original star frontiers For over a year without actually producing much content. Then, in July, what appears to be an early playtest version of the game leaked. According to Wizards, it was so reprehensible that the company was forced to take action to protect its brand.
Page nine of the injunction lays out the elements of the Playtest document that compelled the Wizards to take further legal action. Image: Wizards of the Coast
The 23-page request (embedded in full below) lays out its own evidence against Lanassa, much of which she wrote or edited herself. As part of its argument, the Wizards includes excerpts from what it refers to as an early draft of Lanassa’s manuscript. new origin, The document includes features of the game that place black characters in a mechanically inferior position to other characters due to their perceived lower base intelligence scores and other “latent issues”, referred to as “sub races”. . [sic], The manuscript also notes that the modern Black Lives Matter movement is “radical” and specifically rejects trans characters of any kind. Wizards took issue with these elements of the manuscript, among others, because they could adversely affect consumer sentiment of their own brand.
Comments on the supposedly authentic manuscript include comments attributed to Lanasa requesting what could be deemed to be additional transphobic material. Image: Wizards of the Coast
“Wizards has long embraced an inclusive culture for gaming, including its Dungeons & Dragons products,” Wizards said in the injunction request. “Wizards welcomes all players to the game. In recent years, Wizards has doubled down on its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Wizards, for example, used older Dungeons & Dragons products to remove racially insensitive content.” is updating its descriptions of people when reprinting. It increasingly uses sensibility readers and diversity experts in its creative process to ensure that its story reflects its values. New products now include languages such as Cultural traits are not included and characterizations ascribe many physical characteristics to the race.”
Wizards’ filing attempts to undermine even Lanassa’s most powerful argument—that Wizards abandoned TSR and other related trademarks, thus opening the door to its own grab of the brand and its games.
“The counterclaim defendants claim ownership of the intellectual property of former TSR, Inc.,” Wizards wrote. It states that regardless of TSR’s claim, it continues to use the IP through a sale by its official licensee OneBookshelf and more recently. Spelljammer: Adventures in Space Books.
Here things get complicated. Wizards admits that it failed to do the paperwork for the registration of the TSR, star frontiers, and other related points at the time required under federal law. But through the continued sale of related products and the use of related IP, the company claims ownership through “common law trademark rights”. It will be up to a jury to determine if that is indeed the case.
A request for an injunction against the sale of Wizards’ Star Frontiers New Genesis is expected to receive a response by the end of September. The issue of who owns the TSR and its related numbers will go up to a judge in October 2023.
Thursday’s request for an injunction comes on the heels of an embarrassing episode for the Wizards. its Spelljammer: Adventures in Space The product came under fire from fans and critics alike for including racial tropes and stereotypes. Wizards has since. A return to the all-digital editions of spelljammer and has promised to remove the offending material in future reprints. That entire episode was actually included in the injunction request—as a positive sign of the Wizards’ efforts to incorporate it into their work.
Reached for additional information, Wizards said it does not comment on pending litigation. Justin contacted Lanasa, but did not receive a response prior to publication.