Tactical Studies Rules

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legal form Inc.
founding 1972
resolution 1997
Reason for dissolution Takeover by Wizards of the Coast , use of the name as a product label until 2000
Seat Lake Geneva (Wisconsin) , USA
management Lorraine Williams
Branch Publishing

TSR ( Tactical Studies Rules Inc. ) was a company founded in 1972 by Gary Gygax and Don Kaye to publish the rules of the pen and paper role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons . After Don Kaye died of a stroke in 1975, the remaining owners, Brian Blume and Gary Gygax, founded TSR Hobbies, Inc. TSR's assets were taken over into the new company and TSR was dissolved. In 1983 the word "hobbies" was given up again.

After several wrong decisions, the company got into debt and Gygax left the company management. The new management failed to improve the situation and the debt grew. Coupled with other issues such as poor new product sales and poor inventory management, this brought the company to the brink of bankruptcy.

TSR published a variety of early role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons , Boot Hill , Gamma World , Top Secret , Empire of the Petal Throne , Star Frontiers , Indiana Jones and Marvel Super Heroes . She also edited the magazines Dragon and Dungeon . In 1984 TSR began publishing novels based on their games. The trading card game Spellfire and the trading dice game Dragon Dice also come from TSR.

TSR also published some rule extensions for other epochs such as Wild West , World War II and the Middle Ages ( Chainmail ).

After the initial successes, the company embarked on a variety of lawsuits over what it considered to be its intellectual property . There were procedures around the question of how who developed what and when. A high point was reached when TSR attacked individuals who posted game information on the Internet. This gave the company the reputation of taking action against its own customers, and other products such as rules and accessories for the role-playing worlds Greyhawk , Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance did not help. This behavior of TSR, which the target group perceived as inconsiderate, greatly reduced the popularity of the products, and many fans switched to other games such as Rolemaster and Palladium .

Wizards of the Coast bought the company and its rights along with Dungeons & Dragons and various campaign materials in 1997. The TSR staff were incorporated into Wizards of the Coast and TSR ceased to exist as a separate company. In 1999, Hasbro, Inc. bought Wizards of the Coast itself .

Since 2011 there has been another company with this name, founded by the sons of Gary Gygax: “We do own the trademark for TSR, and have since December of 2011. We are a new company, not the old TSR, as they were purchased by Wizards in the ›90s. The trademark was abandoned about nine years ago, and we registered it in 2011. "


The S in the TSR name has often been satirically replaced by a dollar sign $ due to the company's behavior by outraged gamers. The name TSR has also been given other meanings, such as “Too many Supplements Required”, an indication of the company's tendency to come up with a separate work for every little thing. These books became known under the name "splatbook".

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. TSR is back (sort of), published by GYGAX MAGAZINE PhantaNews, December 20, 2012