Gallant Knight Games & WunderWerks Statement Regarding OUATIJ Investigation

On May 9th, Gallant Knight Games & WunderWerks issued a statement regarding allegations of abuse regarding Tobie Abad and TAGSessions, a game design partner who Gallant Knight Games and WunderWerks was working to publish a wuxia roleplaying game titled Once Upon a Time in Jianghu under a publishing and distribution deal.

You can read that statement at the following link: [LINK].

The hired investigative team has not directly worked with Tobie Abad or Once Upon a Time in Jianghu in any professional capacity, and a legal team was chosen to due to the strict ethical code required by United States Bar Associations regarding legal practice and licensing to which the team would be held.

Our team has concluded the investigation. What follows is the statement from the attorney leading the investigation and their recommended action.


Recommendation Concerning Tobie Abad, Once Upon a Time in Jianghu, and Gallant Knight Games

Note before beginning: No evidence was found that meets any burden of proof beyond a simple preponderance of the evidence. Even there, often a statement or claim would be found provable in part and not others. The following recommendation is based only on evidence which could meet this standard, the lowest applied in most courts and jurisdictions—hence its use as a baseline.

After reviewing all the evidence and statements by various parties, it is my recommendation that Gallant Knight Game suspend their work with Mr. Abad for no less than one year, during which time current activities and events will be monitored to assess if past problems with Mr. Abad behavior carries a future risk of escalation or return to questionable behaviors of several years ago. If Mr. Abad shows no similar behavior during this time or is known to publicly endorse or assert such behavior? There is no further recommendation as to working with Mr. Abad going forward.

Note that in our judgment, no actions by Mr. Abad rise to qualify as harassment or abuse under any legal standard we could find and apply—not civil and thus certainly not criminal. However, despite that, his past behavior in two incidents while gaming was questionable enough to advise Gallant Knight Games to engage in a probationary period before continuing to work with Mr. Abad in the gaming industry, if they wish to continue to do so.

A more detailed report may be forthcoming as time allows (none of the investigators or parties involved in this case are pursuing this matter full time, but is our hope to provide one), but in brief it was determined Mr. Abad did likely engage in some insensitive behavior or use questionable judgment in the past that upset other individuals. Mr. Abad was found to apologize for these actions in the past[1].

It is also clear that these actions were confined to the gaming table and all interactions and reactions after the fact stem from a few questionable incidents from several years ago. There are no other reports of interactions beyond these incidents that suggest problem behavior. It is also the assessment of this investigator that these questionable incidents were both terrible ideas for tabletop game session content and that they were encouraged by various factors that somewhat explain their inclusion while in no way excusing it.[2]

Thus it seems likely based on various statements and what scant evidence exists that much of the game content that led to the problems and incidents seemed acceptable at the time to Mr. Abad and at least some—but not all—parties present when in fact it with hindsight it is obvious this was never a good idea. This was echoed in the second incident mentioned, when it seems a miscommunication between parties resulted in personally upsetting elements were used in a game that could have been avoided if more caution and consideration was used.[3] Again, the investigation found no evidence of malice in these actions, but they occurred nonetheless and should not be repeated.

The lack of malice or deliberate intent found in these actions supports the recommendation above: if Mr. Abad can show for a period of time he no longer engages in certain behavior, then it seems likely he’s learned his lesson—frankly a lesson many gamers learn over their time in the hobby. If he cannot, then it is our recommendation that working with him to produce gaming product carries an unacceptable risk. And while it is recognized these incidents are from several years ago, it is still recommended an active probationary period be enacted from this point forward so as to better assess current behavior and any potential risks to Gallant Knight Games in supporting the work of this creator.

Note that during this investigation we received several statements and communications alluding to or outright stating problems with behavior from other parties. These were not considered in this investigation, except in those cases when such statements and communications also contained evidence such as communications, screenshots, etc…relevant to the incidents involving Mr. Abad.[4] This was, and remains, an investigation into Mr. Abad’s past behavior.

Final Words

In conclusion, there is one statement this investigator would like to make outside of the investigation content and about the investigation itself and the behavior of certain individuals in the gaming community.

During this investigation Gallant Knight Games was criticized for funneling information to the investigators. This was deemed improper, with the implication that the company would pass only information they wanted us to see. In truth, the anonymity of the investigators was to protect them from threats, doxxing, and harassment. In a few cases, this was questioned as well, suggesting that those investigating didn’t truly need protection.

And yet early in the investigation Gallant Knight Games received death threats and harassing communications. These individuals were clearly upset that Mr. Abad was being investigated at all, and that is was apparently a capital offense to do so instead of deeming him immediately guilty. I firmly believe the only reason myself and other investigators did not receive similar threats is we were not identifiable at that time.

This development was extremely upsetting. I encourage the community at large to not only avoid such behavior, but to actively help stop it. Don’t let your friends or acquaintances threaten or harass people investigating incidents—or anyone else. Do not hide or excuse those who bully or abuse others because you feel they are ultimately “on the right side” or because they claim to be “really mad” or “upset”.

Do you know who’s really upset? People who get death threats. People who get harassed for not doing what the sort of people who make death threats want. People who find out their friends, co-workers, and other associates receive such threats. People who have that happen? We’re pretty damned upset.

Those of us who experienced threats and harassment frankly don’t appreciate about the good intentions and charity of those who enable and allow such behavior in their circles. Quite the opposite.  If you want to show good intentions? Shut that down when you see it. That is action we would appreciate.


[1] This was used primarily as evidence Mr. Abad admitted to some version of the past events central to this investigation and showed some awareness of the problems they created. It is neither relevant to, nor the place of this investigation to determine if these apologies were deemed sufficient by other parties.

[2] While the purpose of this statement is not to provide a detailed report, it is understood this particular comment will likely cause rampant speculation if not explained. So in brief: Yes, using a critically acclaimed comic writer’s horror work for the basis of a rpg scenario might convince one to believe the content is acceptable. Yes, there is a certain misguided but earnest mindset in some gaming circles that gaming should be actively therapeutic, transgressive, or otherwise challenging to all engaged. Yes, it is recognized that many gamers, especially early in their time as players and GMs engage in “edgy” behavior at the table to push boundaries or for similar reasons. No, this doesn’t mean when these factors converge it can’t be harmful to others or that engaging in gaming based around such ideas is advisable. In short, one can see how this happened without outward malice or intent to harm—it still doesn’t make it a bad idea and a rather obvious one.

[3] Again we have a storyline adapted from a popular comic book writer. This time the ideas seemed conventionally acceptable and would not have upset most people but veered close enough to upsetting elements for a particular player to cause them distress. Statements of the specific elements the player did not wish to encounter discussed with Mr. Abad beforehand suggest that while the evidence does not prove he purposefully rejected these concerns, it does suggest he did not fully consider how thematically similar elements were unwise and potentially upsetting inclusions for that player.

[4] This comment does not speak to the validity of such claims or statements provided. We cannot and will not state that any unrelated claims made to us were true or false. Nor will we identify the individuals who made these claims to us publicly. Ultimately, it was not the place of this investigation to determine the potentially harmful behaviors of others or the validity of accusations against them. That said, we certainly encourage any who contacted us saying they felt bullied, mistreated, or abused by others to come forward; it simply was not in our purview to investigate or act upon those claims.


This concludes the end of the investigative team’s report. Gallant Knight Games will be honoring their request to remain unnamed, as fears over doxing, harassment, and threats are viewed as credible. The same applies to those who submitted evidence for the investigation.

In accordance with our commitment to act upon the recommendation of the investigative team, Gallant Knight Games has taken the following steps:

  • Gallant Knight Games has immediately revoked their publishing contract with TAGSessions and Tobie Abad.
  • All assets and rights to TAGSessions IP, products, distribution, and content has been returned to Tobie Abad and TAGSessions. TAGSessions products have been removed from the GKG convention booth and retail spaces (online and physical.)
  • Tobie Abad will no longer be working on future Gallant Knight Games products for the duration of one calendar year at minimum, as per the investigative team’s recommendation. Existing work that has already been completed, paid for, and is slated for release will be released. This only consists of a small amount of writing on WunderWerk’s Nighty Knights project, which will be re-reviewed and re-edited for suitability.

Additionally,

  • Gallant Knight Games & WunderWerks are strengthening their existing convention and game policies regarding volunteers and partner companies that play, showcase, and demo our products and those of our partners. Any endorsement GKG issues regarding GKG distributed products at shows or public gaming events will require specific safety tools and policies to earn our official endorsement.
  • This new convention and public gaming policy for Gallant Knight Games products will be introduced later this year. The new policy will be tested at GenCon on all official and endorsed Gallant Knight Games events, after which it will be revised and then released. This policy will also be made open to use by other companies who wish to use or improve upon the language.
  • Finally, Gallant Knight Games and their lawyer will be revisiting our existing convention and harassment policy to ensure that it is up to the highest and strongest standards.

While Gallant Knight Games or other game companies can’t control how individuals play or experience our products outside of our sanctioned and official events, Gallant Knight Games is committed to doing our best to provide the tools that are needed for fun, exciting, and dramatic gaming, while ensuring all participants are cared for.

Gallant Knight Games and WunderWerks will be making no further statements on this matter, as we are considering the matter closed.

 

Gallant Knight Games & WunderWerks Statement Regarding Once Upon a Time in Jianghu

On Monday, the Gallant Knight Games team was made aware that Tobie Abad had been banned from a Philippines Tabletop RPG group on Facebook due to allegations of abuse. Gallant Knight Games takes harassment claims, allegations of abuse, and similar statements seriously. In accordance with internal GKG policy regarding allegations towards partner companies who we work with, on Monday, we immediately undertook the following steps:

First, we informed Tobie that we would be reviewing the situation and asked him to forward all relevant information to us. He has done so.

Secondly, I (Alan) removed myself from any final decision making capacity on this topic. We forwarded Tobie’s information as well as the public statement from the FB group to a legal and industry team who has never worked with Tobie, but has knowledge of the game industry. We expressly retained this team Monday to investigate this matter in a responsible, unbiased, and ethical manner. Additionally, we’ve consulted with game industry experts with experience in investigations into harassment and abuse, gathering as much data, insight and feedback as we could so this matter can be handled in the best way possible.

At this time, we’ve reached out to the Facebook group who made the decision regarding Tobie to request any information they can provide us. If anyone with direct knowledge of the incidents would like to reach out, they can email contact@gallantknightgames.com, where the email will be provided to the independent investigative team.

Additionally, in order to give the independent team adequate time to resolve their investigation, Gallant Knight Games and WunderWerks have cancelled the Once Upon a Time in Jianghu Kickstarter, and the project status and future will be revisited and assessed after the investigation is concluded.

Gallant Knight Games is committed to standing by the decision and advice of our third party team regarding this situation, and ensuring that the accusations are taken seriously, and the matter is transparently handled in an ethical and honest manner.

Allegations of abuse and harassment must be taken seriously if we are all going to change the world we live in to be a more inclusive and safer place for everyone. We’re committed to doing just that.

  • The Gallant Knight Games & WunderWerks Teams

GALLANT KNIGHT GAMES partners with BARREL RIDER GAMES!

Ogden, UT – April 15, 2019 – Gallant Knight Games is excited to announce they have signed a deal with Barrel Rider Games, to help produce tabletop roleplaying games! James M. Spahn is a talented designer, whose creative art and game design has powered Barrel Rider Games, and his flagship work White Star to the top tiers of classic d20 style gaming!

The agreement allows James & Barrel Rider Games to focus on his game and product design while retaining complete control over both new and existing properties. Gallant Knight Games will assume most of the role traditionally associated with a publisher, including sales, marketing and inventory. All of the games with be co-branded by both Gallant Knight Games and Barrel Rider Games.

FROM ALAN

“James has worked with me on various projects for the last year, and during that time, we’ve learned that our views on gaming and community strongly align! James is a talented creative, and we’re pleased that we can team up with him to help Barrel Rider Games become even stronger!”

FROM JAMES

“Alan’s vision as a publisher and generosity as a collaborator have shown themselves to be of the highest quality. With the support and creative freedom of this partnership with Gallant Knight Games, Barrel Rider Games will more easily be able to create new content of superior quality with far more confidence than when operating as an independent entity. The future for Barrel Rider Games is far brighter than I ever imagined!”

UPCOMING FROM BARREL RIDER GAMES

The first joint project released by BRG and GKG will be James’s long-awaited Viking White Box roleplaying game! The game will seek funding on Kickstarter in a short campaign for PDF and print-on-demand delivery!

Following that, a collected edition of James’s White Box productions will be produced, with all new art, graphic design, and additional content, in a massive single tome containing the full White Box rules!

Other exciting projects await, including a Fifth Edition adaptation of White Star, and much more!

GALLANT KNIGHT GAMES TO PICK UP CHRISTOPHER GREY’S “THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL, A ROLEPLAYING GAME”

GALLANT KNIGHT GAMES TO PICK UP CHRISTOPHER GREY’S “THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL, A ROLEPLAYING GAME”

Tabletop Roleplaying, Card, and Board Game Publisher to Publish and Distribute RPG by ENnie-Nominated Designer of The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth

Ogden, UT (February 5, 2019)—Utah-based independent tabletop game publisher Gallant Knight Games announced today that it will publish The Great American Novel, A Roleplaying Game (GAN), the second tabletop RPG by ENnie-nominated designer of The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth, Christopher Grey. The game is designed to deliver the same sort of narrative character-driven experience that is found in Great American Novels such as The Great Gatsby, Beloved, or To Kill a Mockingbird.

GAN utilizes an original system derived from several game engines including Apocalypse World by Lumpley Games, FATE by Evil Hat Productions, and Fiasco by Bully Pulpit Games, that focus on a character’s journey throughout a story, their motivations, and the conflicts that get in the way of those motivations. Designed for scenarios consistent with literary fiction, the game serves as a framework that can handle any number of settings or trappings.

“Gallant Knight is committed to bringing high-quality RPGs to the marketplace, and The Great American Novel is no exception,” said Alan Bahr, owner of Gallant Knight Games. “The narrative-driven design creates an experience at the table that is immersive, emotional, and highly satisfying. We are committed to expanding our catalog with games that create unique experiences and that work to broaden the scope of what RPGs can do.”

GAN will begin a Kickstarter campaign on February 18, 2019, to raise $5,000 for production and distribution. Interior art will be illustrated by Robert Hebert, who was ENnie nominated for his work on The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth. The project’s developmental editor Christopher Sniezak of Misdirected Mark Productions and Encoded Designs, has written and designed for Fate, Gumshoe, and Dungeons & Dragons and has worked on development for several titles including Hydro Hacker Operatives and recent successful Kickstarters Iron Edda and Streets of Avalon. The editor, Lauren McManamon, edits Gauntlet’s Codex, was the editor on The Viel: Cascade by Fraser Simons, and Good Society: A Jane Austen RPG by the Storybrewers.

“Gallant Knight is the perfect partner for this project.” said designer Christopher Grey. “Alan and Gallant Knight has an established history of incredible products, prompt Kickstarter fulfillment, broad distribution, and has earned a reputation of quality and integrity. The Great American Novel is a passion project of mine, and I am excited to have put it in such capable hands.”

Following the Kickstarter, The Great American Novel, A Roleplaying Game will be produced and distributed by fall, available in all locations where Gallant Knight Games products are sold, including its online store and Drive-Thru RPG.

About Gallant Knight Games

Gallant Knight Games is a tabletop gaming company dedicated to high-quality roleplaying games and card and board games. Alan Bahr is the lead designer and founder of Gallant Knight Games. A game designer best known for the TinyD6 line of games, along with other games such as Cold Shadows, For Coin & Blood, Planet Mercenary, Gallant Pocket Games, and many more, Alan is the owner/operator of Gallant Knight Games.

About Christopher Grey

Christopher Grey is a tabletop roleplaying game designer, publisher, author, and marketer. His work spans from fantasy and science fiction to alternative history, supernatural, and conspiracies. Christopher successfully Kickstarted and fulfilled The Happiest Apocalypse on Earth, a satirical horror Powered by the Apocalypse game which was nominated for the 2018 ENnie Awards for Game of the Year.

In addition to game design, he has published over a dozen books for both fiction and nonfiction authors under Pacific Coast Creative Publishing, as well as his novel Will Shakespeare and the Ships of Solomon. ##

West End Games D6 System: Second Edition

West End Games D6 2e is coming!

And as with all the good things that are coming, it’s time to talk about it and give some insight into the process. We first announced our license with Nocturnal Media & West End Games last October, and that intervening 15 months has been spent playing all manner of old West End Games products, ranging from Ghostbusters, to various incarnations of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game to the later OpenD6 and even the arguably more obscure titles like Hercules & Xena. 

West End Games and their D6 system is a storied and valuable part of the past of the roleplaying industry. The design strength that underlies this previous incarnations is apparent, even today, and it’s an exciting chance to refresh, update, and pay homage to a historic design!

The Core of OpenD6

When deciding to do a new edition of the D6 System, there are a few key points that must be considered first. What are the guiding design principles of D6 and what are the essential identity elements a new revision & edition must have?

Our design team felt that the core of the classic D6 System can be distilled down to a few core elements:

Fistfuls of D6s.

  • The core D6 idea of rolling lots of d6s is key to the game. The core resolution of “roll against TN” task resolution is essential in maintaining the feel of the game (as is the Wild Die). Losing that feel would violate one of the core tactile experiences you get from D6 System!

Moderate Crunch

  • D6 System is an game closer to simulationist than narrative, best defined as “moderate crunch”. Streamlining the game is acceptable, but the game should remain recognizable and maintain a similar level of complexity at the deepest level (the core idea being complexity, not complication).

Lots of Customization

  • D6 is flexible and can run a variety of genres. It’s easy to customize and adapt the D6 System engine to all sorts of amazing games!

After about 6 months of intensive playtime (the best part of the job!), we landed on some core ideas we wanted to bring to the D6 System Second Edition.

Updates to the D6 System

Character Creation – Streamlined

  • Improving the speed of character creation and ease of creation will be a primary goal. Templates are absolutely essential to this process, as is updating and streamlining the freeform chargen processes.

Complexity, not Complication

  • A game like D6 thrives upon complexity, but dies if it’s too complicated. Deep tactical choices are fun, complicated and finicky rules are not.  In playing the various iterations, both with new roleplayers, experienced roleplayers, and new and experienced GMs, the core feedback kept being that the simpler versions of the D6 System were more enjoyable, easier to teach, and more accessible.

(Even More) Modular and Optional Rules

  • By continuing to provide (as well as improve on) modular and optional rules, we can achieve a core design goal for this edition, and provide players and GMs “dials”, that they can arrange to their liking. This will allow quicker and faster adaptation to genres.

Update Language

Gaming communicates in a different way in the decades since D6 came out. Updating, clarifying and modernizing the communication in the books is a key goal.

There’s a lot to unpack in such a storied line of games, and we’ve been hard at working, working to design a game that will appeal to fans of all ages, experience levels, and familiarity with previous D6 products. We’re really proud of what we’ve got, and we’re going to start unveiling the pieces soon!

  • The Gallant Knight Games Design Team!

ANNOUNCING: A Single Moment – The Director’s Cut

GALLANT KNIGHT GAMES is proud to announce the Director’s Cut of TOBIE ABAD’s A Single Moment

This new edition contains revised and expanded addition, presenting new mechanics, new playsets and new narrative guides to high stakes, dramatic storytelling! These books are brought to you by the partnership between Tobie Abad’s TAG Sessions and Gallant Knight Games. Featuring writers like Tobie himself, Carol Darnell, Rob Vaux, and many more, A Single Moment – The Director’s Cut is the definitive edition of the game that inspired new ideas and mechanics, even whole other games!


Other writers in book include respected Philippine Game Designers and Storytellers such as: Nathan Briones of Project Tadhana, Lanz Frago-Crisostomo and Che de Leon of the Greasy Snitches, Mon Macutay of Abubot.ph, Adrian Martinez aka the Great Old One, Thomas Regala of The Epic Gaming Regiment. Rocky Sunico and Flip Velez.

A Single Moment – The Director’s Cut is based on dramatic flashback mechanics that help unfold an ongoing narrative story of a conflict between two samurai, framed around the impending duel to the death. Players will collect dice and scars as they explore past conflicts and trauma, building up to the inevitably fatal confrontation that will bookend the session.
The core book will detail the mechanics, as well as provide guidelines for narrative game play and other optional play modes!


The book will have:

  • The core two-player game

  • All new rules for Solitaire play

  • An expanded game that handle more than two players.

  • Multiple playsets to move the game into other genres (Space Opera, Romantic Comedy, Westerns – We have over 25 new playsets!)

  • All the tools and aids you need to play, as well as designer commentary from Tobie himself!

We’ve engaged the fantastic Daniel Jimenz to provide all the gorgeous art for this book, and he’s turned in beautiful work across the board!

The Cover for A Single Moment – The Director’s Cut

The Kickstarter will be coming soon!