The Roleplay Workshop

Operated By: 
Rebecca Thomas
Teens, Young Adults, Adults
8 participants
becky [at]

We use an interactive adventure game, Abantey, to coach teamwork, critical thinking, and self-efficacy skills, preparing players to become heroes in game and critical thinkers in the real world!

  • Since 1989
  • Group Ages: 14-16, 16-18, 18-20, & 21+
  • Completely screen-free - learn outside the box
  • Fun - players explore a dynamic world, solving challenging adventures
  • Youth flex to their imaginations while learning life lessons
  • Abantey rewards communication, investigation, planning, and improvisation, unlike other games which glorify killing and looting
  • Abantey seamlessly blends math, biology, physics, sociology, and other disciplines into the gaming experience
  • Abantey promotes success through practice and failure - emphasizing personal responsibility and collaboration

Parent Reviews

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RE: summer activities for 13yo ()

When my son was 13, he loved Abantey, Roleplay Workshop, on Piedmont Ave. it was all day playing a Roleplay game that Becky, the owner and a former teacher, developed. It taught the kids logic, cooperation, math,... they spent time outside playing as well. It was one of the best activities we found for him. 

The other activity he liked was Camp Galileo Summer Quest. Again all day.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Dec 2015

RE: Social Skills Group for 12 yr old Boy

I know this isn't exactly what you're looking for (Communication Works has more straight-up social skills groups for teens), but you might want to have your son give Abantey (the Roleplay Workshop) in Oakland a try. Right now they have some winter break holiday programs that he can try a day at a time, but they also have after-school and Saturday programs during the school year. My 12-year-old son has been doing Abantey for a year or so now, and he loves it. It is an interactive storytelling game (like a tabletop role-playing game) for youth ages 12 - 18, and can be ''a sandbox for testing social behavior in a low-stakes, fictional context.'' It is a cooperative game run by an excellent instructor who used to teach at the Archway School. Check it out at (Link to Holiday Registration page: Good luck! Another mom

June 2015

Does your child (age 12 and up) love fantasy, adventure, and roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons? Then they will probably love Abantey as much as my kids do! Abantey is an interactive storytelling game that: a) teaches students math, science, and problem solving skills, b) allows youth to work through complicated mysteries to create their own story, c) teaches youth personal responsibility both in the game and in real world using fantasy scenarios, d) allows youth to experiment, succeed, fail, and learn in a safe environment that teaches about real life consequences, e) is *completely* computer and technology free with a focus on interaction between players and making new friends, f) allows youth to become a hero and maybe even the stuff of legends! Abantey was created by a classroom educator, but my kids think it's just plain fun. The programs are held inside of a local game store (Dr Comics & Mr Games; 4014 Piedmont Ave., Oakland), and include a summer day camp (M-F, 9am-5pm) with extended care available as well as school year programming (after school and Saturdays). Check out their website for more information: Fan of Abantey

May 2015

This a fantastic after school, weekend and SUMMER CAMP for a kid who wants to have fun, stretch the imagination and interact with others.. The workshop is an amazing place for children to be creative while learning school skills like math and having fun. They learn life skills of working with others and strategizing. Again all while having fun. They don't even realize they are learning anything. My son went on weekends and summers for 4 years and still talks about it fondly. Two years after his last sessions at Abantey, he has taken up drawing to make figures for a Roleplay game, has worked with friends to develop a whole Roleplay game and has started a Roleplay club at his high school to continue developing his game. I can't thank Becky, the owner, enough for nurturing him and his creativity. She and her staff are amazing. We are trying to figure out how to squeeze a week or two into his summer schedule to attend. Definitely consider it. Their website is Feel free to contact me if you have questions. Linda B

April 2010

Re: Day camps for 12 year old boy not into sports
For the person who is interested in science, mythology, robotics, tech classes, writing... that sort of thing. Ideas?

He may enjoy the Roleplay Workshop. They offer weekly day camps all summer, Mon-Fri all day (with optional extended care). You didn't say where you live, but the Roleplay Workshop is on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. The games are creative and involve science and mythology, as well as a little math. My son and daughter have both been attending for years and LOVE it! See their website for more information:

Summer day camp details here:

I think the minimum age is 10 years old, and goes up through 17 or 18. (There's a separate teen table.) - love love love Roleplay Workshop

June 2009

Re: Camp suggestions, 1 to 3 weeks, age 12/13, both genders
How about the Roleplay Workshop summer day camps? I already posted information about them in the ''schools, preschools & camps'' newsletter, but here it is again. As we're all looking ahead to summer and finding activities for our kids/teens, I'd like to make sure everybody knows about a fantastic weekly summer program called ''The Roleplay Workshop''. The program is located in a loft above Dr. Comics and Mr. Games on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. (They also walk to a local park for lunch and ultimate frisbee games in the afternoon.) Do your kids like fantasy, science fiction, or other imaginary worlds? If so, the Roleplay Workshop may be perfect for them. My two kids both started as soon as they turned 10 years old and this summer will be their 4th and 6th years attending. It's their favorite summer activity! My daughter says ''Roleplay Workshop is a great place to have fun and express yourself.'' My son says ''Roleplay Workshop is fun for beginning and advanced players.'' Check out their website here: Sharon

June 2009

Re: Ideas for summer activities for 15-y-o gamer
I highly recommend The Roleplay Workshop (also called Abantey)'s a table-top role playing game and if your kid likes interactive computer games, this will be up his alley. It's even better however because it's real people sitting across from each other interacting in the moment and the game masters are very creative folks. Also, the kids go out and play an hour of ultimate frisbee each afternoon so they get some exercise too. This camp is above Dr. Comics & Mr. Games on Piedmont Ave. Brenda

May 2009

I wanted to remind everyone who is looking for something to do with their kid this summer that Roleplay Workshop (Abantey!) is around for fun, learning and entertainment. They're short a few players to make good tables and it's a great activity for kids. It's a roleplaying game that teaches responsibility and that encourages thought, math skills and interaction. And it's easy to learn and there is not a computer in sight! My son Alex loves it. Becky Thomas, who runs it, is a credentialed teacher and truly gifted with teenagers. Info is at or you can always contact me to find out more. Jackie

Sept 2007

Re: Role Playing Games for kids?
I heartily recommend The Roleplay Workshop in Oakland on Piedmont Avenue. Becky offers after-school, holiday, and summer camp programs. From the website, it appears the minimum age is 10. My two sons primarily went during school breaks and summer vacation. They always had a good time, it was reasonably priced, and Becky was always understanding and flexible. Lois

July 2004

Hi: I found yesterday a web site about an ''abantey camp'' in Oakland. It is a roleplaying camp where I would send my 11 years old son. Has any of you had an experience with this camp/method? Thanks Sophie

My son went to the Abantey camp a year ago and just loved it. The leader is really nice and enthusiastic, and the kids there all loved the game. I recommend it. Linda

My 13 year old son has been going to Abantey for 2 or so years. He goes during spring and winter break from school and as many weeks as he can during the summer (when he's not at sleepaway camp and we're not on vacation). He LOVES it. It is role play is also learning math, learning about human character, how to become a better person....what do you have to do to evolve to another level...I actually don't really understand it fully...I think you have to do it to understand it. My son spends time working in his Abantey workbook at home, he has discussions with his other Abantey friends about the different beings and characters they've come up with....I believe it helps him do real life problem solving. Becky Thomas, the creator of Abantey is wonderful. I highly recommend it, if you can handle schlepping to Piedmont twice a day.

They go out during lunch and run around A LOT playing ultimate frisby, in case you're concerned about them sitting around all day. Try it for a week and see how your son likes it.... have fun, June

May 2001

My son has been attending the Roleplay Workshop after school for about 4 years now, and loves it. It is run by Rebecca Thomas, who is an experienced teacher. It's designed for kids 9 & up - with separate sessions for teens. It's a place where the kids can create a character and then work with the others to solve complicated mysteries. See their web site for more info. Kids can sign up for 1 or more afternoons per week, and there are also school vacation and holiday all-day sessions. It's held at the Dr. Comics & Mr. Games store on Piedmont Ave in Oakland, and kids come from Berkeley as well as Oakland. As the kids gain experience, there is also the chance to learn game-master skills. My son loves the program. I'd be happy to give more info if anyone wants more specifics. The phone number of the program is 510-654-3582.

Feb 2001

The Roleplay Workshop has offered a unique educational enrichment program for teens since 1989. The program uses an interactive storytelling game to teach students a variety of real life skills while they are having a great time! The program stresses problem solving, team work, conflict resolution and math skills along with boosting organizational skills and self esteem. The Roleplay Workshop began as a teaching tool to supplement Ms. Thomas' 6-8th grade classes while she was teaching at Archway school. Since then, the program has grown to become a year round program with after school programs, school holiday programs, summer day camps and special events. Ms. Thomas also offers private and group tutoring in math and the sciences. The Roleplay Workshop is dedicated to providing the best educational enrichment possible. We provide a fun, safe environment to help motivate and enrich the minds of youth. The program is proudly sponsored by Dr Comics & Mr Games (4014 Piedmont Ave.), who provide us with space to run our programs. For more information, please visit our web site:, or call Becky at (510)654-3582.

Rebecca L. Thomas, Director
The Roleplay Workshop