Final ruling of the Resolution Committee for the accusations against Frank D regarding his actions in relation to the assault on the character Fremont at the May 2017 Shadow Accord event:


Investigator: Bryan Wilson
XO in charge of Resolution Committee: Michael Osgood-Graver (Mog)
Staff Member 1: <unlisted>
Staff Member 2: <unlisted>


To be clear, this was not an easy decision and there was no possible outcome that was not going to be problematic in one way or another. We thank you for your patience while we re-ran this investigation and re-deliberated on the ruling.

Because of the widespread concern about this specific investigation, and the general lack of trust amongst both the playership and the staff of the Org as a whole when it comes to transparency and the responsible handling of controversial investigations like this one, we will be going into more detail than is usually done when delivering this final ruling of the Resolution Committee. Ensuring that this report was as complete as possible is one of the major factors that delayed its release. Please do not expect this level of detail to become a regular thing in future reports.

However because of the same concerns about how contentious this ruling will be and the difficulty that we had in finding staff members who could act in an impartial manner we will not be releasing the names of the staff members who sat on the committee. Quite frankly there was a large fear of retribution from one side or another no matter what the ruling turned out to be and we had to promise their anonymity in order to ensure that fear of reprisal did not sway their judgement. We understand that this damages the transparency of this committee, however we will not be budging on the matter. If you wish to find fault with this ruling please direct your concerns, complaints, or displeasure to the Executive Officers as it is part of our job to absorb such things rather than have it directed at members of the general staff. The XO Team vouches for the impartiality of the members in question, fairness of their deliberation, and stand by their ruling.

Here is the summary of the rules infractions and subsequent punishments. We discuss each of these further in the sections below.

Frank D. has been found to be responsible for the following violations:
    • Game Rules – Failure to call resists clearly and out loud.
    • Game Rules – Failure to react to unresisted powers.
    • Game Rules – Failure to accept combined physical, status, and mental attacks in excess of character’s ability to resist.
    • Safety Issue – Rushing through combat and striking (or near miss) of another player with a shield.
    • Safety Issue – Running so fast down the hill that he couldn’t call resists let alone stop.
    • Poor Sportsmanship – Disrespect to another staff member acting in their respective domains as conduct unbecoming as a Head of Staff.
    • Dereliction of Duty – Significant violation of game rules while holding the position of Head of Rules Team.
Frank D. has been cleared of responsibility regarding the following the concerns:
  • Safety Issue – Using the OOG back door to the church as an IG exit.
  • Poor Sportsmanship – Lying to Safety about the claim of rushing through combat with a shield.


In response to this the Resolution Committee has determined the following punishments:
  • Loss of Privilege – Losing the right to play the character Fremont.
  • Loss of Privilege – Losing the right to hold the staff position of Head of Rules Team.
  • Loss of Privilege – Losing, for one year, the privilege of holding any Shadow Accord staff position. *
  • Loss of Privilege – Permanently losing the right to hold a staff position on Rules Team. **

*Note: The one year timer for this ban is to begin on the date that this ruling is publicly posted. At this point we consider the one year ban from holding any position on Staff to be as much of a cooling off period for all of the players and current Org staff as it is intended to be a punishment towards Frank After that time we would welcome him back to Staff on any team that will have him other than Rules Team which is covered under a separate Loss of Privilege.

**Note: We are treating this permanent ban from Rules Team as if it falls under the same rules as a Player who has been permanently banned from the game in that the Permanent Ban appeals process should apply to the decision. If in the future Frank wishes to return to Rules Team, he should follow the same process currently written that is used to appeal a permanent player ban, which includes a public call for testimony on behalf of or against him, in order to be allowed to fill that role again. This allows for the possibility for him to return to serve on the Rules Team in the future so long as he has regained the general trust of the majority of the players and staff currently at game at the time that he chooses to appeal.


In addition, the following public statements should be made as separate postings:
  • Public Notice – Clarification of the back door to the church being a valid in game exit or not for the building.
  • Public Notice – Reminder to exercise caution when running quickly with a shield past other players, regardless of if the shield is held or worn on the back.
  • Public Notice – Invitation for a public discussion of the safety concerns of wearing a shield on one’s back to determine if from a purely Safety perspective the practice should continue to be allowed.
  • Public Notice – Reminder to exercise caution when running down the hills at game as they can be very dangerous when traveling at high speeds.
  • Public Notice – Reminder that if a player finds themselves in an unsafe situation for any reason, or even if they perceive that they might be in an unsafe situation, they should feel free to call a stand down to address the situation.

Further information regarding the decisions for each component of this ruling:

Why each of the following items were counted as infractions:
  • Game Rules – Failure to call resists clearly and out loud.

In some parts of some of the reported scenes multiple witnesses did report hearing Frank call resists to at least some attacks that landed on his character, however there were other times where none of the players that were present heard resist calls for attacks even though he did not react to those powers in any visible way. Reports of this behavior included both status attacks and mental attacks. The behavior was also reported for physical attacks received by his character, however since those may have been taken to armor or health they will be covered in one of the sections below.

We do recognize that in the excitement of combat things including resist calls may been missed or become confused and some attacks that landed might have been accidentally ignored because of the chaos. Our reactions are not always perfect, and we do not expect perfection. Even from a member of Rules Team some flexibility and forgiveness should be expected. However, the frequency and consistency of these reports demonstrate that the behavior was highly problematic in these scenes and merited being called out as a violation of the game rules.

  • Game Rules – Failure to react to unresisted powers.
  • Game Rules – Failure to accept combined physical, status, and mental attacks in excess of character’s ability to resist.

The explanation for both of these require a careful attempt at reconstructing events as they likely happened so we are responding to them together. Unfortunately this one is complicated and VERY long, but we believe that the details matter quite a bit under the circumstances. So please bear with us while we attempt to explain all of the circumstances around our decision.

First, we need to understand what the current rules for resisting mental and status attacks are as explained in our most up to date rules clarification for the topic.

This excerpt is taken from the “SARulesTeamRecentRulingsClarifications” document that was released in January of 2016:

Resisting a Mental/Status With a Current Mental/Status:
Q: Say you have a mental or status effect active on you (e.g. Song of Rage). If you get hit by a second attack of the same type (e.g. Obedience, go home) but immediately resist the second attack (by willpower, meditate, or Resilience), do you still have the first effect active, or would both effects be cleared?

A: The answer is a teensy bit complicated.


Statuses are easy:


Status powers are either resisted immediately (and have no effect on you) or not resisted at all. If you are under the effect of one status (Venom) and are hit with another (Paralyze) you can either:

A) Resist the Paralyze immediately and remain affected by Venom OR
(Note: Resisting with Resilience applies Wither, and so that would replace either effect)
B) Take the Paralyze and the Venom ends, and remain affected by it for its duration



Mentals are where it’s a bit more complicated:


Mentals can be resisted immediately (and have no effect on you) or resisted later (having partial effect on you) or not resisted at all. If you are under the effects of one (Song of Rage) and are hit with another (Daze) you can either:

C) Resist the Daze immediately and remain affected by Song of Rage OR
D) Take the Daze and the Song of Rage ends, then resist the Daze at some point later OR
E) Take the Daze and the Song of Rage ends, and remain affected by it for its duration


As a note, this is also relevant for powers with the Taint meta call. If the secondary power was Tainted (Tainted Paralyze or Tainted Daze), you would not become tainted in examples A and C, but would become tainted in examples B, D and E.

That text is the most recent official statement that we have on how to properly resist stacks of mental or status attacks.

As you can see, resisting of either mental or status attacks when you are the receiving end of several in rapid succession can get rather complicated. Since the rules for resisting mental and status attacks don’t match things can get very difficult to keep track of. The problem gets even worse when a single target is receiving a fast string of metal, status, and physical attacks that all need to be kept track of independently.

Because of this we were initially prepared to be fairly lenient in all of our judgements regarding the resisting of attacks considering the chaos that was most likely present in the actual combat that occurred in the scenes in question.

Even so we made sure to confirm that this text was decided upon while Frank was a member of Rules Team. The original source of this decision is a Rules Team form discussion thread prompted by a player asking for clarification. There was both a public discussion thread discussing the rule, and also a private discussion thread on the Rules Team private section of the forum where the team deliberated their final response to explain how the rule should work in practice.

Frank was not only on the Rules Team at the time that this was decided upon, but he also posted on the private Rules Team thread where they discussed the rule before the team made their final official post. As such it is reasonable to expect that he would be familiar with the mechanic as it is written not just as the current Head of Rules Team but also as a member of the team that made the decision.


Second, we have the powers that were being thrown against the character Fremont throughout the encounter.

Here is the list of powers that we have been able to confirm were actually used against the character Fremont in the attack.

Snarl (Mental)
The target must stay where he is and roleplay deference towards the caster. The target is not permitted to attack the caster while this power is in effect. This power ends immediately if the caster moves out of mental range of the target or if the target of the power is attacked. You can only have one target snarled at a time.

Taunt (Mental)
After insulting the target, activate this power. For the duration of the power, the target must attempt to attack the caster to the best of her ability, provided she can see where the caster is. This power ends if the caster falls to the ground.

Daze (Mental)
The target closes his eyes and slumps his head and may not do anything else. When the mental effect ends the target doesn’t have any memory of what happened during the time he was under. This power ends if the target is attacked. While under the effect of the this power the target may be targeted by other powers as if he were asleep and may not use willpower to resist Dreamshape. Umbrabound creatures in the Umbra may use this power across the Gauntlet by saying “Breach” before the sig call.

Root (Status)
The target’s feet are stuck in place. He is unable to move either foot. This power ends immediately if the target takes damage from any source. Umbrabound creatures in the umbra may use this power across the Gauntlet by saying “Breach” before the sig call.

Other mental or status attacks may have been in play, however these were the only ones that were listed to us as named powers by the people who were using them or by people who remember specific calls that were being used.

In the case of Snarl, Daze, and Root the powers are broken if the target is struck or takes damage. Taunt is not broken if the player takes damage. As per the explanation on resisting Status and Mental attacks above, each Status or Mental can be overwritten by a later power of the same class.


Third, we have Frank’s own statement from his own written testimony.

For context, we have included two sections of his testimony that were relevant to this decision.

The lines in purple are in reference to the original violations that we had informed him of. The wording has changed slightly and so is no longer an exact match for the current violations that we have listed. These are two separate quotes and were not originally placed side by side in Frank’s appeal.

Game Rules violation – Failure to accept mental attacks in excess of character’s ability to resist.

I was being targeted with multiple mental attacks within a second or less of each other. I did not resist them individually, as each one was immediately overwritten by the next mental attack as per the rulebook, page 14. As such, I resisted the most recent mental attack I was targeted by. I did call resists out loud to the mental attacks I resisted. Additionally, I spent less than 10 seconds within 10 feet of other characters, having gained significant distance from them as I outsped the stationary characters around the church, putting me outside of mental range. I outsped Maggie, who took a shorter route, by some length. I was not pursued past the bottom of the hill to the Rose.

Poor Sportsmanship violation – Manipulation of the description of events in trying to explain away resisting more than 10 mental attacks without pausing to accept the effects.

I resoundingly reject any claims that I was anything less than completely truthful. It is completely permissible per the rules to only resist the most recent mental, and I was under a barrage.

It is also generally accepted that players are given a second or two to process the attack and begin to RP its effects. By the time I was preparing to RP or resist one mental, a new mental attack was used against me, which overwrote the first mental attack. Additionally, I was running at a full sprint, and any attempt to suddenly stop to roleplay any particular effects would have put me in personal, real life danger, especially since I was already going to resist them, so there was no need to stop.

Both of these parts of Frank’s response play heavily into our decisions as described in various sections later in this document.


Fourth, we have the effect of all of these factors combined with the actual events that occurred in the scene as the vast majority of players present agree on them.

The exact number of attackers as well as list of characters involved is still unclear due to a variety of reasons, however we know for certain that there were at least 17 shifter characters involved total. We have 5 named attackers inside of the church, though apparently one was in the Umbra when combat began so probably had little impact on that first scene so we will count them as having 4 attackers in the initial ambush. We also have 4 named attackers lying in wait behind the church. Another attacker specifically stated that they were guarding the top of the hill down to the Rose. That individual was within line of sight of the group waiting out front of the church, but for tracking purposes we will count this 1 attacker as being a group by them self. This leaves all of the remaining attackers waiting out front. We have the least solid accounting of that group so it is possible that some of them were either positioned elsewhere or were actually participating with one of the groups but not properly accounted for in our other reports. For tracking purposes we will call the group of attackers waiting in front of the church as being up to 7, though there may have been either more or less than that number in that particular group.

For the defenders, including the character Fremont there were initially 3 defenders inside of the church. One was dropped before combat left the building which allowed for that attacker to turn and focus on Fremont. The other defender does not appear to have been dropped and was able to escape the building with Fremont, however once outside they took different routes and all further attacks outside of the church were focused on Fremont. There is some confusion about the part inside of the church, however it appears that near the end all four attackers were at least briefly focused on Fremont even though one of the other defenders was still standing.

These numbers list only the players/characters that were specifically named in written testimony, have been consistent across most of the testimony, and line up with our own math for the situation. However, the actual number of characters present may have been higher.

From these reports we also have compiled separate totals for both the minimum total of confirmed attacks, and a very conservative estimate of likely attacks.

For tracking purposes we limited “confirmed attacks” to those where the numbers were counted by the player delivering the attack and was confident that the attack made legal contact where necessary, or where a player witnessed a legal hit that was not reported by any other player who responded to our request for testimony. Any tally of attacks that we list as estimated are likely totals under circumstances where we could not verify with certainty that the attacks legally landed on Fremont or where we could not be 100% certain that the total did not include multiple players witnessing and counting the same hit.

Also, please note that we only have testimony from roughly half of the attacking force, so even the estimated numbers are likely to be quite a bit lower than what really occurred. When in doubt at any point we erred on the conservative side for both the confirmed and estimated totals.

Of note there was a Stand Down called inside of the church building after the initial ambush began in response to the initial attacker who was making the wrong sig call for a power and also trying to throw a mental as if it were a status. The stand down which was called by Frank was entirely correct and appropriate and none of the testimony by any of the players present suggested otherwise. However the presence of that stand down still impacted the initial ambush in that it paused combat and gave all of the players on both sides time to react to the initial moments of surprise.

Each separate stage of the scene was counted and considered separately for determining our totals, however rather than show the individual totals for each stage here we have instead decided to show only the totals for the full scene. We decided on limiting that information for this report because the scene by scene breakdown reveals information about the powers and abilities of some of the individual characters that were present that should not be revealed OOG, and was not a significant factor in our decision beyond the grand totals.

Here are the totals for each category of attack:

  • Combined confirmed totals for entire engagement:
    • Confirmed Mental attacks – 38
    • Confirmed Status attacks – 2
    • Confirmed Physical damage – 65

These totals are just the bare minimums that we can confirm. Very rough and very conservative estimates from the description of the full engagement quickly put the mental attacks over 60, status attacks over 15, and the physical damage well over 150. Considering that even those were conservative estimates, the actual amounts delivered may have been significantly higher still.

Regardless, we made our decisions based on the smallest category of confirmed numbers listed above as they alone become very problematic.


Fifth, we must interpret how so many attacks of each kind could have been survived by the character in question.

When considering just the mental attacks it is important to understand that at no point did any of the defenders see Frank even momentarily act out any of the mental attacks as if they had hit him. We can grant him the initial three Daze attacks before the Stand Down was called. He did not learn what power he was resisting until it was corrected in the Stand Down, so both reaction and resisting could have been considered to be the scenario most favorable to him which would be all three of the Daze attacks stacking as he was momentarily stunned and then resisted at the end with a single point of willpower. Based on the description from all parties this was reasonable. However, this still leaves him responsible for somehow resisting the remaining 35 mental attacks for the rest of the combined engagement with a maximum of 9 willpower remaining.

Testimony from some of the earliest attackers stated that they did hear at least some resists being called, but not enough to account for all of the mentals thrown. There is also confusion since in some cases the resists that were heard were for earlier mental attacks and not for later ones, which is the opposite of what should happen if a character were accepting several mentals in a row in order to resist only the last one in order to avoid having to pay for resisting the earlier ones.

If we are being generous then some of the mental attacks could also have been absorbed by being immediately struck after receiving the mental, however this does not work for the mental attack Taunt. In order for that one to be ignored it would have to be overwritten by a different mental which would then have to have been broken by being struck. While this is at least possible in theory, the player would still have to react to each of them unless they all literally landed in perfect order at nearly the same time.

It is at this point that we must refer back to the point that Frank made about the amount of time it takes to react to a given attack.

This sentence in particular from the second of the two sections that we quoted from Frank earlier in this document played a large part in our decision.

It is also generally accepted that players are given a second or two to process the attack and begin to RP its effects.

The idea that it is generally accepted to take a moment before reacting to a power is not a hard rule or policy, but it is indeed generally accepted that it may take a person some small amount of time to process that they have been hit with a power and react accordingly. This is particularly true when a person is surprised by the attack or ambushed as initially happened to Fremont inside of the church building.

That being said, while we agreed that this is a generally accepted policy, we believe that the degree to which this grace period is extended by Frank in this situation defies all reasonable interpretations.

We do not agree that the extended grace period is applicable to each and every separate attack in a running engagement after combat has started and the player realizes that they are under attack.

We can concede that there might be a moment of hesitation in reacting each time a new and different power makes contact as you may have to re-think how to react if you hadn’t previously reacted to that power in the middle of the current round of fighting. However the powers thrown were very distinctly focused on only 4 powers, 3 of which were mentals and the last one of which was a status which only stacks on top of itself.

Frank knew he was in combat and under attack before the fighting resumed after the Stand Down was lifted. Because of that it is very difficult to grant leniency in this situation.

Somehow Frank managed to fight his way out of the church, through the group behind the church, around to the front of the church, through the group waiting for him in front of the church, and past the attacker guarding the hill down to the Rose without pausing even once to role play out however briefly being hit by any of the powers even though each of them would have in some way or another stopped his forward movement.

From reviewing his character sheet and confirming with Frank that no special items were used to enhance his ability to resist attacks, this is simply not possible.

As an example, even if he had been taking the mental attacks in stacks of four, and then only pausing once to role play out responding to only one of the powers thrown in each stack, that still would have required him to pause while surrounded or chased by attackers at least 8 times. Being generous and saying that a full half of the mental attacks against him were broken by a physical attack before he could respond in any fashion that still leaves him having to pause at least 4 times. Considering that Taunt is not broken by being attacked this is being very generous, but even those four pauses would have resulted in many more attacks because it would have broken up his admittedly very fast headlong movement.

Of specific note are the last mentals that Fremont was hit with as he passed the final attacker guarding the hill down to the Rose. That attacker heard no resists called and saw no role play reacting to being hit by those powers even though they could not have been broken by any physical attacks since Frank was at that point past the last attacker.

Under these circumstances, we find again that Frank’s own testimony makes it difficult to act with leniency.

Consider this line from his testimony above. We have underlined and italicized the last part for our own emphasis:

Additionally, I was running at a full sprint, and any attempt to suddenly stop to roleplay any particular effects would have put me in personal, real life danger, especially since I was already going to resist them, so there was no need to stop.

There is more than one way to interpret this statement, however it is at least possible to see it as a kind of admission of guilt after the fact in that he realized that he had skirted the edge of the rules. Had the math of the scene allowed for him to resist each and every mental thrown at him with his available resources then the admission would have been less severe. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

That Frank also claimed that he could not stop to react for safety reasons is being addressed under a different point as a safety violation.

With regards to the Status attacks, there were significantly fewer of them so we don’t want to spend too much time on them. However since they do not stack against mental attacks they could only be broken by being stuck, or being hit by another status. As explained in the rules clarification above, status MUST be resisted at the outset as it cannot be resisted later. Since he never paused in his running to even briefly role play being rooted before being struck and resuming his flight, we must count them as having been resisted even if the resists were not heard by the other players present. Each status resisted reduces the total pool of energy that he had available to resist damage. As such we are considering them as having reduced the total pool of damage that the character could have absorbed. At 2 energy per resist our confirmed 2 status attacks would have only reduced his energy total by 4, although that in effect would have counted as 4 less damage that he could have absorbed.

Were we to include the the conservative estimate of status attacks that likely hit, the total energy cost would have alone been enough to drain his entire energy pool leaving him nothing other than his armor to resist damage.


Sixth, on to the damage dealt to Fremont. We have a confirmed and witnessed account totally at least 65 damage legally hitting him. To be generous, let’s allow that a few of the hits may have been thrown too fast by the same character which could have violated our 1 second maximum attack machine gunning rule. This is pure conjecture, but consider it anyways for the sake of argument. If we grant that a quarter of the damage was negated in this way, that still leaves us with a rounded down total of 48 damage dealt to Fremont.

With the power and abilities available to him, assuming a full 10 point health pool, his claimed 10 points of armor, plus his power pool that he could have used to resist damage at 1 point per point of damage avoided, he could have absorbed a total of 45 points of damage without falling over unconscious. Because of the confirmed status attacks, this should have been reduced by another 4 points to a total of 41.

That leaves a discrepancy of 7 points of damage above his maximum to stay conscious just from confirmed attacks alone.

If we applied the same assumptions to our estimated numbers for likely damage dealt this would result in over 70 points of damage past what the character could have absorbed. Again, we want to point out that this is still being conservative with our estimated numbers on top of being generous with the circumstances we considered.

And all of this was done without once pausing to react to a mental or status power before resisting, which would have resulted in still more damage being dealt.

We can only see three possible ways that this could have happened.

  • Frank actively and repeatedly refused to pause to role play out being hit by powers that he did not resist.
  • Frank actively resisted a minimum of 38 mental attacks with only 10 willpower points.
  • Some combination of the above two possibilities.
  • Frank ignored a significant chunk of damage done to him which put him above his total ability to absorb and his character to remain conscious.

The last one appears to be true regardless of the situation with resisting the mental attacks, but when compounded by the failure to react or resist the mentals in a reasonable fashion the combination becomes impossible to for us to accept within the bounds of fair play.


In Summary, the Resolution Committee does not accept that it is possible or appropriate within rules as they are written to chain together the reaction grace period of each and every attack that was received while exiting the rear of the church, running through combat in the back of the church, around to the front of the church, through another large combat with another group of attackers to get to the hill, then all the way down the hill without even once stopping to pause visibly and react to a single Status or Mental attack.

Claiming that it was not necessary to resist each and every attack because they overwrote each other, yet never once reacting to a single power that is claimed to have been let through before resisting for such an extended time and distance is not only in violation of the letter of the rules, it is in extreme disrespect to the spirit of those rules.

  • Safety Issue – Rushing through combat and striking (or near miss) of another player with a shield.

There were three separate incidents involving either contact or a near miss with a player and the shield carried/worn by Frank that were reported to us in three different parts of the combat. The first was someone inside of the church being struck by the shield while he tried to escape through the front door before turning around and running for the back door. The second was reported to occur as he exited the back door of the church and rushed through the crowd of players waiting to ambush him. In the second case, no physical contact actually occurred. However the player had to quickly step or stumble backwards to avoid possible injury to both themselves and Frank. The third involved Frank running past the last attacker guarding the hill. Again, in the third case no physical contact actually occurred, however that player also had to quickly step backwards to avoid possible injury to both themselves and Frank.

There are multiple conflicting reports on both sides swearing that the Shield was carried on Frank’s arm or was being worn on his back. As we cannot get a clear consensus either way we are withholding judgement as to if either incident constituted a “shield rush” maneuver, however the scene is still problematic either way.

Without making any judgement as to if the shield was carried on the arm or worn on the back, it is clear from the multiple reports of the three incidents that Frank was not exercising due caution regarding his shield making contact with the other players in the scene. As such we find that Frank did not give due consideration to the safety of the other players in those scenes.

  • Safety Issue – Running so fast that he couldn’t call resists let alone stop.

By his own admission in his written statement Frank was running so fast that he could not safely stop to react to the mentals or status attacks that he was being hit with. The statement was given in context of an explanation for why he was not pausing to react to various mental attacks before resisting the last attack in a stack. That he would use such an explanation which contains within it a blatant rules concern as defense of a rules violation is particularly concerning coming from the Head of Rules.

It is our judgement that if he was genuinely running so fast that he could not safely stop to react or even speak clearly enough to call the necessary resists required by the scene that he should have attempted to slow to a stop, call a stand down when and where he was able to, and then asked everyone to return to their rough positions for where he should have reacted to the effects that struck him before he would have resisted them to break free.

His statement did not specifically call out running down the hill to the Rose at these speeds but instead referenced his level of speed when running in general. However we wish to call out running at those speeds along the rutted and winding path down that hill as a particularly blatant and extreme safety violation.

  • Poor Sportsmanship – Disrespect to another staff member acting in their respective domains as conduct unbecoming as a Head of Staff.

The response from Frank to the Safety Team member who spoke to him at ST Camp in front of multiple witnesses regarding the safety concerns brought forward was disrespectful. Even if the safety concerns had been proved to be entirely unfounded, due respect should be given to a member of staff whose job it is to ensure the safety of everyone at game while they are trying to do their job as demanded of them by the Org. To fail to respect that is not only an insult to the specific staff member in question, but also to the safety and wellbeing of all of the players and staff at game.

As it was, since it was found that Frank was negligent in regarding the safety of both himself and other players during the scenes in question, his disrespect becomes indefensible.

  • Dereliction of Duty – Significant violation of game rules while holding the position of Head of Rules Team.

Considering the above description regarding the mental attacks that were not resisted and the physical damage that was not taken, we believe that either Frank was blatantly and deliberately cheating, or he was so lost in his character in the scene that he could not actually keep track of and respond to each of the attacks thrown at him. We do not pass judgement on which of these is actually true, but neither is something that we can accept in a member of Rules Team let alone the Head of Rules team.

The totals that we used were very conservative and the math we used was exceedingly generous under the circumstances that actually occurred. Despite this we could not find a way to make the numbers come even close to balancing in the favor of Fremont having survived and escaped the ambush by the 17 attackers present.

For a player to fail to properly act and respond to that scene and accept the resulting outcome does not represent the qualities we require of a person who is acting as the Head of Staff of the very team that is expected to define and enforce how such scenes should be acted out.

Why each of the following items were not counted as infractions:


  • Safety Issue – Using the OOG back door to the church as an IG exit.

While we have confirmed that at one time the back door to the church declared OOG for a period of time, it appears that this was a) intended to only be a temporary measure until the site made repairs to the door, b) the status of the door being OOG was not well communicated by the Org.

We have many players, staff, even current and past members of Safety Team who all report to knowing that the door was declared valid in game, permanently declared OOG, or only temporarily declared OOG. This confusion is a failure of the Org rather than a failure of any one individual player or member of staff.

In the future it is very important that we be very clear in announcing any door, building, or location that is considered to be off limits for either in game or OOG purposes. We also need to be more clear if any such off limits areas are temporary or permanent. Proper signage should be put up for every game to mark any such areas. We invite both the Safety Team and Deco Team to work with us to ensure that we avoid such confusion in the future.

  • Poor Sportsmanship – Lying to Safety about the claim of rushing through combat with a shield.

With the conflicting reports regarding the position of the shield for each scene we cannot make any clear statement that Frank lied about how it was carried. As such this charge was dropped.


Why each of the following punishments were chosen:


  • Loss of Privilege – Losing the right to play the character Fremont.

After careful and generous consideration of the scenario as it occurred, we find that there is no way that the character Fremont could have legitimately survived the ambush at the church.

We have no roll-backs in our game so for all story purposes the character survived in game, and as such all repercussions for members of the town including many of the attackers will play forward as appropriate to that story.

However it would not be appropriate to allow the character Fremont to continue to be played past this point. The survival of the character is in direct violation of the rules. To allow Fremont to continue as an active Character would be an insult to all of the players at game. In the past we have had characters die because the players followed the rules, we have had characters die because someone broke the rules, and we have had characters removed from game because the player was found to have broken the rules in order to survive.

We will not disrespect any of those players who lost their characters in any of those ways by allowing an exception here. As such, the character Fremont is no longer a playable character and will not be allowed to be checked in again for any future official event, nor allowed to participate as an active character in any of the unofficial between game gatherings.

For all intents and purposes the character is simply gone with no trace, and it is up to the other characters in game to decide for themselves what happened to Fremont.

  • Loss of Privilege – Losing the right to hold the staff position of Head of Rules Team.

In light of the extreme nature of the violation of the rules that we have found to have occurred in the contested scenes, Frank is immediately removed from his staff position as Head of Rules Team.

We simply cannot allow for someone who has taken these actions in violation of the rules to continue to represent us as a staff member in charge of defining and arbitrating those very rules.

  • Loss of Privilege – Losing for one year the privilege of holding any Shadow Accord staff position.

After acting in a manner that is contrary to the staff position that he was entrusted with, we deem it not appropriate for him to be holding any other staff position at this time.

We have not made this a permanent ban from all staff positions because we wish to leave open the possibility of redemption.

Should Frank wish to return to serving on Staff to support this game at some point in the future after this loss of privilege has expired, he would need to convince the staff team and XO team at the time that his appointment to staff would be appropriate and that he was worthy of the position. If he is able to do this then we would welcome him back to the Shadow Accord staff at that time, however we do recommend to whoever is on staff at that time to consider the views and concerns of the general playership before granting that appointment. If there are strong concern from the players with regards to his appointment, then it would not be wise to return him to staff at that time.

  • Loss of Privilege – Permanently losing the right to hold a staff position on Rules Team.

After committing such an extreme violation of the rules we find that it would be inappropriate for Frank to ever again represent the Rules Team at Shadow Accord.

Unlike the previous Loss of Privilege, this one is a permanent ban.

That being said, our game does have a specific set of Org rules that can be used to appeal a permanent ban. Those rules were written with the intent of representing a player who has been banned from playing at our game who has decided to plead to return to game as a player. However we find that the same rules would also be applicable here.

Successfully going through the Ban Appeal Process is a very high bar to achieve, and so far no previously banned player has ever completed the process to return to our game. We believe that if a person who is permanently banned from a staff position can pass through the same process then they would have redeemed themselves in the eyes of the game community to a sufficient degree that it would be acceptable to allow them to return to that position. If you wish to view the policy it is publicly posted, however unfortunately because our website is currently in transition it is buried as the last entry at the very bottom of this page.

Additionally, why a Player Ban was not considered for Frank D.:


If you have actually read through this entire incredibly long document to get to this point, then you have gone through a very lengthy and serious accounting of the violations that have occurred here. As such you might have expected that a Play Ban have also been applied to Frank for either a temporary or permanent basis. Since we have not seen fit to include such a ban in our judgment, you might be wondering why we did not choose that option.

To be blunt, this is the first time that Frank has been called to task for actions such as this on an official level by the Org.

While the combined violations may seem quite extreme, particularly in light of his position as Head of Staff for the Rules Team, there is more than one possible explanation for why those violations occurred.

Yes, the breach of the game rules was very severe in this case, but we do not believe that Frank broke those rules with intent of malice. It may be that he did in fact know at the time that he was breaking these rules, but we could not see that with any degree of certainty and seemed to us as likely as not that he actually did believe that he was acting appropriately at the time.

In addition, there is a larger problem at our game which has made talking with one another about problems that we see in each other’s actions exceedingly difficult.

Our community has become toxic.

I am aware that there are people in our community who have made it known that they believe that the kind of behavior found in this investigation has been done repeatedly by Frank in the past. However, we have no record of this having actually happened.

There may have been times in the past where people did see concern in Frank’s actions and attempt to speak to him about it, but if that did occur then it was never properly documented as anyone having brought those concerns to the Org and as such we cannot act on concerns that have not been brought to us.

Likewise we recognize that in the past the Org has been less than responsive to concerns that were brought to it, and as such people have begun to see bringing such concerns to the staff as something to only be used as a last resort. As it is, we who represent the current Org for Shadow Accord are still playing catch up to a large pile of work which includes responding to other concerns that we have not yet been able to address. We acknowledge these failings and are working to correct them.

Between the historical lack of faith in the Org as a whole, and the general toxicity that has been infecting our community, it is very reasonable to believe that nobody has previously ever been able to have a conversation with Frank in which they were able to make him understand their concerns with whatever previous behavior that they might have witnessed. If someone had been able to have such a conversation with him, then it is possible that the actions in this incident would have never occurred the way that they did.

In light of all of that, for us to have banned Frank as a player without first giving him an opportunity to learn from this incident is something that we on the Resolution Committee considered to be a bridge too far.

While there may be some members of our community who view Frank as having been involved with at least some of the toxicity that we are referring to, so too were the rest of us involved. Even if some of us may have not actively participated in the growing hostility within the community, neither did any of us stand up and tell everyone else to knock it off.

We do not reasonably have a way to punish the whole community for our collective part in letting things get to this point, and at this stage to ban Frank even temporarily without finding some way for the rest of us to at least partially share in the blame did not seem appropriate. This is true for both the remaining staff and also for the playership as a whole.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This