Game Masters

Meet our team of skilled game masters

Rebecca Thomas

Director, Lead Game Master

Rebecca (Becky) is the developer of the Abantey System and is the Founder and Director of The Roleplay Workshop

With more than 30 years of professional game mastering, Becky is uniquely skilled at storytelling and has an intuitive ability to combine her world building skills with her players’ choices to create uniquely engaging game play.

It all began during Becky’s first year of teaching, as the sole teacher of a group of 8 students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, she needed to find a way to integrate the diverse curriculum into a ‘one room classroom’. She did this by giving the students a year-long project, combining science, social studies, and math – to build a believable world, with working ecosystems, interesting cultures, and functioning economies.

While her students worked, Becky was inspired to develop her own world – a roleplaying world and game system. Her students wanted to play and it evolved from a personal project to a business with both summer and school year programs, including evening gaming for older teens and adults. Over the years, the adult program has expanded, adding other game masters and role play systems, including CyberPunk, Serenity, and D&D 5e.

Becky’s wealth of real world experience and knowledge allowed her to create a realistic and engaging role play system and world – Abantey. She grew up in Michigan, studied Zoology at University of Michigan, studied fruit bats and jungle ecology for a year in the Philippines. Her observations of both the ecology and culture of the Philippines provided much of the complexity found in the world of Abantey. In fact, the name Abantey is derived from a Bisayan (a dialect of the Philippines) word and means: “to forge ahead or gain an advantage.

Becky moved to the Bay Area for graduate work in Ecology and Systematics. She taught courses in Mammalogy at the California Academy of Sciences, and ultimately decided to pursue a teaching career. She earned teaching credentials from SFSU in Life Sciences, Psychology, as well as General and Physical Sciences, in 1988.

She is a lifelong, avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, police procedural, and tactical military fiction. She has read thousands of books and is a devoted fan of action and science fiction films and TV. She studies martial arts and has a black belt in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

Steve Kani

Lead Artist and Game Master

Steve Kani is a Game Master, Illustrator, and Modeler for the Roleplay Workshop.

Steve grew up right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Industrial Arts from San Francisco State University.

Working in television and film for both Danger Productions and Pixar, Steve fabricated wire armatures, and composed digital art for the Saturday morning children’s show Bump In the Night, and worked as a render wrangler, and technical director for Pixar on films including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo.

Steve draws inspiration from diverse genres of film, novels, and graphic novels and is always seeking new ideas, new ways to tell a story, and new directions to take his games. Drawing from his experience working in commercial fabrication, he builds many of the terrain features and other models for our games primarily out of reclaimed and salvaged materials.

As a player and game master of tabletop roleplaying games for over 40 years, Steve has mastered several different game systems and genres, and has carefully refined his storytelling skills and style. He encourages his players to take an active role in shaping the world in which they play.