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.
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.
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. 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. This was, and remains, an investigation into Mr. Abad’s past behavior.
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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
- 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.