D&D publisher sues competitor over reboot of their property with 'racist' and 'transphobic' content: report
["Two Red Dragons Attacking The Village" on Shutterstock]

On Tuesday, Polygon.com reported that Wizards of the Coast, the parent company behind the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing game franchise, is suing for an injunction against a controversial competitor trying to reboot one of their properties with what they call "despicable," and "blatantly racist and transphobic" content.

"The request, made before a federal judge in Seattle on Thursday, aims to immediately halt the production of Star Frontiers New Genesis, a reboot of the classic Star Frontiers tabletop role-playing game first published in 1982," reported Charlie Hall. "The target of the request for an injunction is TSR, an entity which Wizards bought in 1997."

"The newly formulated TSR, Inc. is owned by budding game publisher Justin LaNasa," said the report. "He claims residence in North Carolina, where he’s best known for a chain of tattoo parlors — and also for a failed political campaign that was torpedoed by, among other things, reports that he once asked several female employees to wrestle in a tub filled with warm grits. LaNasa had been promoting his reboot of the original Star Frontiers for more than a year without actually producing much content. Then, in July, what appears to have been an early playtest version of the game leaked out. It was so reprehensible, according to Wizards, that the company felt compelled to take action to protect its brand."

According to the lawsuit, LaNasa's reboot contains several controversial changes. Among them are the inclusion of a "sub-race" that has a low-capped intelligence stat and "latent issues" including with their "family," an explicit reference in the manuscript to the modern Black Lives Matter movement as "radical" and an explicit prohibition in the rules on any characters being transgender.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Here’s why Ginni Thomas is facing new scrutiny from Jan. 6 select committee

Wizards of the Coast has long faced controversy over their earlier material being racially problematic. For example, in a module known as Queen of the Spiders, players encounter the Drow — a race of dark-skinned elves who were depicted as inherently evil, violent, and okay to massacre. However, the company made clear in its filing it has been working to correct this practice whenever it can.

“Wizards has long embraced an inclusive culture for gaming, including for its Dungeons & Dragons products,” said Wizards its court filing. “All players are welcome in Wizards’ games. In recent years, Wizards has redoubled its commitment to diversity and inclusion. For example, Wizards is updating its descriptions of people when reprinting older Dungeons & Dragons products to remove racially insensitive material. It increasingly uses sensitivity readers and diversity experts in its creative process to ensure that its storytelling reflects its values.”