Mafia, image (Shadowrun Sourcebook, Underworld)
American Mafia (customized map from ShadowHelix)

American Mafia (crime families and operations)

The Mafia is the multi-ethnic coalition of crime families in the North America.

The Mafia typically refers to La Cosa Nostra, the Italian Mafia, although the term is also applied to the various European ethnic crime syndicates (many of which were consumed by La Cosa Nostra, including the Polish, Irish, Jewish, Mexican, and Afro-Caribbean syndicates). The oldest player in North America, the Mafia is heavily embedded into Western culture, and thus, most people only know about the misconceptions of the Mafia that they learned from crime investigation shows and movies.

Following the Awakening the American Cosa Nostra invited the smaller ethnic syndicates to join their national syndicate. They first "convinced" the white ethnic mobs (Jewish, Irish, and Polish). Afterwards they recruited the Latino syndicates (Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican). Last to be brought into the fold were the black street gangs that had risen to prominence.[1] When the Batista family relocated to Havana in the Caribbean League, he formed an alliance with several Afro-Caribbean syndicates bringing them into the Mafia.[2]

The Mafia is steeped in tradition and internal conflict. One of the main reasons that the Mafia is struggling against the increasing sphere of influence of foreign outfits (such as the Yakuza, the Triads, and the Vory) and new syndicates (such as the Seoulpa Rings and the Native American crime organizations) is the constant war between the regional Mafias, with each Capo trying to gain more influence and power. As they say in the Old World, “The Mafia is its own worst enemy.” The two most important traditions of the Mafia are omerta (silence) and rispetto (respect). You do not speak of the Mafia, and you are obligated to maintain the honor and respect of the Family.

Organization Edit

The Mafia is organized into families, who are ruled by Dons. The families are organized into regions (based on geographical areas around major cities), with each region ruled by a Capo (fem., Capa). The Capo leaders as a whole are called the Commissione. The Commissione, in theory, report to the Inner Circle, the 12 most powerful Dons and Capos, who report to the Capo di Tutti Capi, the Big Boss.

In 2059 AD, there were 40-50 families in the Mafia, each with a seat in the Commission. Though when it came to important matters it was the Inner Circle which made the decisions. Holding seats in the Inner Circle were families based in N.Y. City, Washington FDC, Miami , Boston , Los Angeles , and Chicago .[3]

As of 2072 AD, the Mafia has 56 capos with twice as many families and associated groups. They are strongest on the east coast of the UCAS and CAS. They used to have a small foothold in Aztlan, in the city of Tenochtitlan which was annihilated by the David Cartel after the Tempo-Drug War.[4][5]

Unfortunately for the Mafia, in the aftermath of the Tempo-Drug War, the David Cartel virtually eliminated the operations of all foreign syndicates within Aztlan.[5] On the Inner Circle are the five families of N.Y. City, the Sixth family of Quebec City (Quebec ), the Verontesse Family of Las Vegas, the Milano Family of Los Angeles, the Detroit Partnership, the Batista Family of Havana in the Caribbean League , the O'Rilley Family of Boston, and the Kozlowski Family of New Orleans.[6]



Many of the families are traditionalists and the most bigoted among the Mafia (the Five Families of New York), refuse to hire metahumans as anything except disposable muscle.[7] Some families are prejudiced against certain types of metahumans (e.g. the Ciarniello Family which accepts elves but not orks or trolls).[8]

Among the newer families, some of them are progressive with metahumans in all levels of the organization (Batistas, O'Rilley's, and the Kozlowskis).[7] When it comes to metahumans, generally speaking they prefer to keep them as "associates" rather than initiate them into the family.[9] The racism toward metahumans results in the anti-metahuman Humanis Policlub receiving financial support from various Mafia dons.[10]

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.[11][12]


Generally speaking, Mafia families don't trust magic.[13] When it comes to mages and shamans, most families prefer to keep them as "associates" rather than initiate them into the family.[14] Because of this anti-Awakened bias, there are Mafia dons that contribute financially to the Humanis Policlub.[15]

Among the few progressive families (Batistas, O'Rilley's, and the Kozlowskis), magicians are accepted and can be found in the upper tiers of those families.[7] Even among the "progressive" families there is a distrust of magic among the rank and file, and more so among the elder wiseguys as Donna Miriam Kozlowski recently discovered.[13]

This puts the Mafia at a disadvantage against the Triads and Zobop the voudon crime syndicate. 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.[16][17][18][19]



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).[20] 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.[21][22]


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.[23] 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.[24][25]

Mafia SoldiersEdit

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.[26] Which puts it at a disadvantage with Zobop, the Vory, the David Cartel, and the Triads.

The soldiers of Zobop truly fear for their souls if they betray the syndicate.[27] The Vory and Aztlaner (Mexican) 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.[28][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 SiegeEdit

The American Mafia has been slowly but steadily losing ground to both foreign syndicates and new domestic syndicates for over six decades. It faces syndicates that have more soldiers (Triads and to a lesser degree Yakuza), whose soldiers are better trained (Vory and Triads) and are more brutal (Triads, Vory, and Mexicans). The competition has the edge in magic (Triads, Zobop, and Amerindians), in cyberware (Yakuza and Triads), and in the Matrix (Vory, Triads, and Seoulpa). Making matters worse for the Mafia, unlike some of its rivals (Triads, Yakuza, Vory, Zobop, David Cartel, and Ghost Cartels) it receives nowhere near the same level of protection from their national government (UCAS and CAS) as those syndicates do back in their home countries.

They unlike the Mafia don't have to spend their resources on defending their territory from a wave of invading syndicates (though that is changing for the Vory and to a lesser degree the Yakuza). On top of that, unlike the Yakuza, Triads, Vory, or David Cartel, the Mafia has to deal with the problem of numerous street gangs and go-gangs which create problems in the underworld for the Mafia. Finally, the smuggling networks bringing in the drugs, BTL chips, weapons, telesma, duty-free goods, people, and counterfeit merchandise are mostly in the hands of the Triads and Ghost Cartels. If it wasn't for the fact that the Mafia families are united under the Commissione and this is their home turf so to speak, they would most likely have been swept aside by now.

Countries with Mafia FamiliesEdit

The Major Families Edit

Genovese, Lucchese, Colombo, Bonanno, and Carnetti Families in New York City [39]

Bigio, Ciarniello, and Finnigan Families in Seattle [40]

Muldon, O'Rilley, and Morelli Families in Boston [39]

Mueller and Marconi Families in Washington, FDC [41]

Batista Family in Havana, Caribbean League [42]

Gambione Family in Miami [42]

O'Toole Family nearly decimated in Chicago [41]

Sixth Family in Québec City, Republic of Québec [6]

Detroit Partnership in Detroit [6]

Worczek Family nearly wiped out in San Francisco [43][44]

Kozlowski, Romero, and Mossino Families in New Orleans [45]

Larraga, Gillespie, and Milano Families in Los Angeles [46][47]

Verontesse Family in Las Vegas [48]

Gianelli Family in Atlanta [49]

McCaskill Family in Milwaukee [50]


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  22. o35506625Chrome Flesh p.38
  23. o33031982Vice p.79
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  34. o02196230Run Faster p.208
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  36. o07914318Corporate Enclaves p.48
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  42. 42.0 42.1 o98082743Cyberpirates! pp.45-46
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  50. o21377451Target: UCAS p.56