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Mafia, image II (Shadowrun Sourcebook, Vice).png

European Mafia, Families.

The Mafia (Europe) typically refers to the traditional European crime syndicates which formed an alliance against the Vory V Zakone which were invading their territories in Europe.


The Mafia is a multi-national coalition of ethnic syndicates which formed a united front against the Vory V Zakone in 2046 AD, by establishing the "Alta Commissione ". The idea for such a united front came from Don Lucio Feretti of the Sicilian Mafia. Each syndicate received a seat on the Alta Commissione, with Don Lucio Feretti serving as the chairman and mediator. It gives member syndicates an international distribution network for its illegal drugs and other contraband, launders money for them, and manipulates stock markets.

What it does not have is any authority over the individual syndicates or their internal affairs. Each of the syndicates keeps its traditions, cultures, and organizational structure. The Commissione uses peer pressure and the benefits of cooperation against outsiders to keep the syndicates in line. It has an enforcement arm called "Fratellanza" to which the members contribute men on "loan". Fratellanza is used to suppress wars between members and as a tool against enemy criminal organizations.[1] As of the early 2070s, the chairman of the Alta Commissione is Don Camillo Spinelli of the Feretti family.[2]


The Mafia is involved in a wide variety of activities. Some member syndicates focus more on certain types of criminal activities and illicit markets than others. Among their operations are protection rackets, drug trafficking, black markets, kidnapping, illegal waste disposal, smuggling, prostitution, gambling, and bank heists. Starting in 2063 AD, the Alta Commissione has been orchestrating an offensive against the Vory V Zakone, expanding into Central Europe and the Allied German States.[3] As of 2072, the European Mafia controls the underworld throughout Italy, Corsica, northern Spain, and southern France. It's power extends into Austria, Switzerland, and southern Germany.[4][5]



Due to the influence of Catholicism, the Mafia started out with a disadvantage when it came to metahumans. Many of the families are traditionalists and the most bigoted among the Mafia, refuse to hire metahumans as anything except disposable muscle.[6] Some families are prejudiced against certain types of metahumans.[7] When it comes to metahumans, generally speaking they prefer to keep them as "associates" rather than initiate them into the family.[8] The racism toward metahumans results in the anti-metahuman Humanis Policlub receiving financial support from various Mafia dons.[9]

A fact that the Triads have been able to take advantage of as they are both more accepting of metahumans (actively recruiting them) and more willing to promote them (including to the highest and most powerful positions). The Triads go as far as to purposely recruit metahumans who are disaffected because of the lack of opportunities with the Mafia.[10][11]


The fact that the Mafia was slow to adapt to the return of magic and that the Italian organizations and families are influenced by Catholicism has hurt the European Mafia. Generally speaking, the Italian Mafia families (and the Spanish) don't trust magic. Even among the "progressive" families there is a distrust of magic among the rank and file, and mafiosi. When it comes to magicians, generally speaking they prefer to keep them as "associates" rather than initiate them into the family.[12][13][14][15][16] Because of this anti-Awakened bias, there are Mafia dons that contribute financially to the Humanis Policlub.[17]

This puts the Mafia at a disadvantage against the Triads. In the case of the Triads, they were the first major crime syndicate to accept and use magic. Triads attract the Awakened (both magic users and adepts) at higher rates than other crime syndicates and they are favored within the Triads, being promoted more often and faster. Usually the Shan Chu (Dragonhead or Lodgemaster) of a Triad is an Awakened. Reinforcing this advantage over the Mafia is their dominance over the talislegging market.[18][19][20][21]



The Mafia soldiers (soldati) are known for using implants and cyber augmentation, a lot of cyberware. The average soldato uses as much cyberware as the average Yakuza soldier (kobun) or the average Triad soldier (sze kau).[22] It's in the quality of the cyberware where they end up at a disadvantage. The Mafia has access to secondhand cyberware, unlike the Yakuza and Triads who get their cyberware brand-new straight from the corporations due to their corporate connections.[23][24]


The Mafia is not known for having a strong internal Matrix ability, usually relying on decker/hacker gangs. Which has put them at a disadvantage with the Vory and the tech-savvy Triads. The Vory have gone into Matrix crime in a big way, beyond what most of the other crime syndicates have done.[25] In turn the Triads have become a power in the Matrix, having whole decker and Matrix crews within the Triads. Not to mention being the first to recruit the technomancers and in a massive way.[26][27]

Mafia Soldiers[]

The Mafia soldati are tough and ruthless, and most of them stay loyal to the Mafia. Unfortunately the Mafia like nearly all other crime syndicates has to deal with informants in its ranks and infiltrators. They also have to deal with members who may hesitate to take certain actions for the family.[28] Which puts it at a disadvantage with the Vory and the Triads.

The Vory syndicates are among the most brutal in the world, and the Triads are possibly the most ruthless of them all and among the most savage.[29][30] Former soldiers of the Russian army have swelled the ranks of the Vory and continue to join the syndicates.[31] In turn the soldiers of the Triads receive training in both martial arts and weapons, are fanatically loyal to their Triad, are willing to execute any command given without question, and their silence and loyalty is nearly guaranteed by the use of lethal magical oath rituals.[32][33]


When it comes to the Mafia, their "Johnsons" don't have major issues with shadowrunners. They prefer to meet in public places they control (often restaurants or clubs), and will either pay the shadowrunners or kill them.[34]

Mafia under Siege[]

The European Mafia has been slowly but steadily losing ground to foreign syndicates for over six decades. It faces syndicates that have more soldiers (Triads and to a lesser degree the Yakuza), whose soldiers have combat training (Vory and to a lesser degree Triads and Grey Wolves) and are more brutal (Triads and Vory). The competition has the edge in magic (Triads), in cyberware (Yakuza and to a lesser degree Triads), and in the Matrix (Vory and to a lesser degree Triads). Making matters worse for the Mafia, unlike some of its rivals (Triads, Yakuza, and Vory) it receives nowhere near the same level of protection from their national governments of Europe (except in Corsica and Sicily) as those syndicates do back in their home countries.

They unlike the Mafia don't have to spend resources defending their home base from a wave of invading syndicates. Additionally, unlike the Yakuza, Vory, or Triads, the Mafia has to deal with the problem of numerous street gangs and go-gangs which create problems in the underworld for the Mafia. Last but not least, the smuggling networks bringing in the drugs, BTL chips, people, duty-free goods, weapons, telesma, and counterfeit merchandise are mostly in the hands of the Triads, Ghost Cartels, the Vory, the Grey Wolves, and the Fanti Syndicates. If it wasn't for the fact that the Mafia families are united under the Alta Commissione and this is their home turf so to speak, they would most likely have been swept aside by now.


Alta Commissione[]



  1. o30783549Shadows of Europe p.31
  2. o33031982Vice p.54
  3. o30783549Shadows of Europe p.31-34
  4. o30783549Shadows of Europe p.32-34
  5. o30783549Shadows of Europe p.157
  6. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.31
  7. o33031982Vice p.41
  8. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.31
  9. o42265136Loose Alliances p.33
  10. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.57
  11. o33031982Vice p.68
  12. o94379615Target: Smuggler Havens p.20
  13. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.33
  14. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.97-98
  15. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.153
  16. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.31
  17. o42265136Loose Alliances p.33
  18. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.53
  19. o33031982Vice p.68
  20. o59345449Street Magic p.76
  21. o35238545Shadowrun Fifth Edition Core Rulebook p.34
  22. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.58
  23. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.58
  24. o35506625Chrome Flesh p.38
  25. o33031982Vice p.79
  26. o54409473Montreal 2074 p.13
  27. o33187922Emergence p.46
  28. o33031982Vice p.30
  29. o33031982Vice p.76-77
  30. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.170
  31. o33031982Vice p.73
  32. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.55
  33. o39478620Runner Havens p.25
  34. o02196230Run Faster p.208