A grayscale promotional copy of Star Frontiers New Genesis

TSR's Star Frontiers New Genesis Playtest Contains Racist Content

July 21, 2022

By: Tyler Chancey

 
 

TSR LLC is still moving forward with creating TTRPGs. The third incarnation of the tabletop company has recently released playtest material for the sci-fi RPG, Star Frontiers New Genesis. Putting aside the fact that Wizards of the Coast owns the rights to Star Frontiers, as revealed in a string of lawsuits between the two companies, the playtest material contains deeply disturbing material, including white supremacist neo-nazi ideology.

Please note that the content below has quotes from the leaked playtest material. As such, a content warning is in effect for racist, homophobic, transphobic, and anti-semitic content, as well as additional material of a discriminatory nature. Read at your own discretion.

 

What Hateful Material is in The Star Frontiers New Genesis Playtest?

The playtest material for Star Frontiers New Genesis was leaked by the twitter account NoHateInGaming. In a twitter thread, NoHateInGaming provided screenshots of various excerpts from the playtest material, highlighting some of the most offensive material in the RPG. This information is based on information provided by TTRPG YouTuber Tenkar's Tavern, who read through the material in two dedicated videos. That material contains the following:

  • Descriptions of the Ulfar character race. These include Negro, a Subrace described as, "tall, thick bodied, dark skinned even purple dark, brown-eyed race with large strength, average intelligence.", with a maximum intelligence of 9. This is in comparison to the Nordic Ulfar, described as a "Tall, blonde, blue-eyed race with exceptional attributes and powers", with a minimum stat anywhere of 13. This is blatantly racist and mired in nazi eugenics as well as the neo-nazi appropriation of Norse symbols and names.
  • In a section about playable races, Subraces are explained further. It states that Subraces, "include the people created in a laboratory, such as the plant-based people. Other subraces have appeared naturally. Or with Humans, you can be African, Asain, Mexican, etc." This expressly describes African, Asian, and Mexican people as a lesser form of humanity." Once again, this is blatantly racist and plays into nazi eugenics.
  • In a section about roleplaying your character, it asks if you, "are a SJW warrior pushing your values on others," denigrating outspoken liberal-leaning progressives.
  • Stating that "races in SFNG are not unlike races in the real world. Some are better at certain things than others, and some races are superior than others." This perpetuates more racist ideology.
  • The Core Rules explaining Theology, the ability to understand religious organizations and hierarchies, describes "the practices of secret cults such as the Masons," echoing far-right conspiracy theories, as well as explicitly calling BLM and Antifa "radical things."
  • When explaining a character's Looks stat, it states that a character with a Looks stat of 0 is seen as unbearably hideous. It states, "a good example of this is would be large noses or narrow noses, large lips or thin lips, oval eyes. The player can have a lot of fun with this aspect. Be creative." These descriptions are in line with negative stereotypes of Jewish people, Black people, and Asian people.
  • In player race options, Gender options are "Male/Female no bonuses, and no Trans." Furthermore, there is red text attributed to one of the writers asking, "should we make a trans type race? Maybe 'transbots?'" Not only is this erasure of transgender people, but it also blatantly "others" those who identify as transgender.
A string of text from the Star Frontiers New Genesis playtest
Image Credit: TSR, No Hate In Gaming

Who Was The Designer Behind The Star Frontiers New Genesis Playtest?

The lead writers of Star Frontiers New Genesis are TSR LLC's CEO Justin LaNasa and Dave Johnson. In addition to LaNasa's noted history of seeing more progressive initiatives by Wizards of the Coast as being slanderous towards his company,  Johnson is notorious online for being a loud, consistent source of hate speech across his various social media platforms. In addition to posting various bigoted memes and ideas (racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism, ableism, etc.) he is also obsessed with Antifa. He even claims at one point to have "infiltrated their ranks" despite the fact that Antifa is recognized more as an ideology meant to call out and stop authoritarian actions by people in power than a formal organization. All of Johnson's offending tweets have been compiled here on the No Hate In Gaming blog.

 
 

At the time of writing, we checked on Johnson's official social media platforms for any kind of response or commentary about the leaked Star Frontiers New Genesis playtest. While we were not able to find any Facebook account associated with Johnson, a quick search did reveal photos showing correspondence between playtesters and Johnson through Discord. One photo, in particular, has Johnson stating that "anyone involved spreading lies about me will not be involved in this playtest. If I find out who they are, their name will be given to my lawyer for litigation." As for his Twitter account, it has been deleted.