Shadowrun Wiki

Mafia, image (Shadowrun Sourcebook, Underworld).png

American Mafia (crime families and operations)

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

Families (2059): 40-50[1]

Families (2072): 110+[2]

Membership (2059): 4,000 made men[3]

Membership of Families (largest): low hundreds[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.


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.[1]

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.[2] They used to have a small foothold in Aztlan, in the city of Tenochtitlan which unfortunately for the Mafia was annihilated by the David Cartel after the Tempo-Drug War.[7][8]

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.[9]



The Mafia used to be made up of crime families, which accepted only full-blooded Italians to their families (except for the Chicago Outfit which accepted other Caucasians - Irish, Jews, etc).

The Awakening changed all of the aforementioned in North America. Where "La Cosa Nostra" opened the doors to other Caucasian crime syndicates and later Latino and Black syndicates which were based in lands of the former United States and Canada, and in the island nations of the Caribbean Sea.[6][5]

In North America, there are still some crime families which are made up of made men from the same ethnic group.[10] On the other hand there are families which are now more ethnically mixed, though the leadership in the family is still based on ethnicity (e.g. Italian, Polish, Irish, Mexican, etc).


Many of the families are traditionalists and the most bigoted among the Mafia, refuse to hire metahumans as anything except disposable muscle.[3] Some families are prejudiced against certain types of metahumans.[11]

Among the newer families, some of them are progressive with metahumans in all levels of the organization, but they are in the minority.[3] When it comes to metahumans, generally speaking, Mafia families prefer to keep them as "associates" rather than initiate them into the family.[3] The racism toward metahumans results in the anti-metahuman Humanis Policlub receiving financial support from various Mafia dons.[12]

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.[13][14]


The Mafia is for the most part a culturally conservative and traditional organization, which to put it mildly is chauvinistic in its view of women and therefore few women are members of Mafia crime families. In the traditional families, which are the majority if not most of them, the Mafia is closed to women. Among the newer progressive families that is changing, with those families accepting women into their ranks.[3]

Those who are accepted into the families have usually been those who are blood-relations of Mafia members. Every single woman who has ended up leading a Mafia syndicate has been either the wife or daughter of the former "Don" who inherited the position. Though formidable women as they wouldn't have lasted long if they were not competent and ruthless, not a single one of them has earned their position by working their way up the ranks and getting their hands dirty unlike their counterpart female syndicate bosses in the Vory or the Triads.



Generally speaking, Mafia families don't trust magic.[15] When it comes to mages and shamans, most families prefer to keep them as "associates" rather than initiate them into the family.[3] Because of this anti-Awakened bias, there are Mafia dons that contribute financially to the Humanis Policlub.[12]

Among the few progressive families, magicians are accepted and can be found in the upper tiers of those families.[3] Even among the "progressive" families there is a distrust of magic among the rank and file, and more so among the elder wiseguys as some progressive dons have discovered.[15] Which puts them at a disadvantage in the magic rich Sixth World and its magic-heavy syndicates of the Triads and to a lesser degree the Zobop.[16][14][17][18]


The Mafia soldiers (soldati) are known for using implants and cyber augmentation. The average soldato uses as much cyberware as the average Yakuza soldier (kumi-in) or the average Triad soldier (sze kau).[19] 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.[19][20] Augmented Mafia soldiers and specialists (e.g. riggers and deckers) have received such enhancements as wired reflexes, trauma damper, and encephalon.[21]


The Mafia unlike the Yakuza does not get cutting-edge weaponry straight from the Japanacorps (for services rendered) or from the vast arms market of the Vory merchants in Siberia.[22][23] Nor are they like the Triads which gets its military-grade weaponry through its partnerships with the armies and warlords of China and the Golden Triangle, and also the Vory arms merchants in Siberia.[24][25][26][1][23] The same can be said when comparing them to the other large syndicates, the Ghost Cartels, the Grey Wolves, the David Cartel, and the Kabul Maffiya. Each of which has partnerships with armies, warlords, or megacorporations and therefore access to all the military-grade weaponry they want.

When it comes to getting their weaponry, the Mafia gets most of it the way they have always gotten them, which is through the hijacking and/or diversion of shipments (both military and corporate). Which means they are less likely to have heavy weaponry than most of their biggest rivals in the criminal underworld and what they have is in smaller quantities. Which may explain why Mafia soldiers on average appear to be less well armed than their rivals in the Yakuza, Vory, and Triads, why they seem to be more likely to hire Shadowunners than the Triads or the Yakuza, and why the Mafia is more likely to use gangs as their soldiers both in their rackets and in their wars with foreign syndicates.

Mafia soldiers are usually equipped with ballistic armor (e.g. armor vest or armored jacket) and a handgun (usually a heavy pistol), and in some cases with sub-machine guns, petrol bombs, grenades, or shotguns. In addition to firearms they may carry knives, baseball bats, or extendable batons).[27][28][29][30][31] Though heavy pistols and shotguns which the Mafia favors like the Ares Predator II are formidable weapons with heavy hitting power, in an era where explosive or armor piercing rounds are common it is not as much of a plus as before. Especially when facing a Vory or Triad packing a machine pistol, SMG or an assault rifle. Carrying melee weapons like extendable batons is not as lethal a threat as a Yakuza or Triad carrying a sword (especially if it's a vibro-sword).


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.[32] The Mafia will hire shadowrunners for more types of jobs than the Yakuza would or much less the Triads. Shadowrunners can find themselves doing what would appear to be a normal run-of-the-mill job, and find themselves deep into a family business matter.[33]

Criminal Enterprises[]

Gambling Rackets[]

The Mafia runs a variety of gambling operations throughout their territory. Among them are gambling houses located upstairs in the "special" VIP room of a club or in the back of a restaurant. They also run lottery-style bets, known as numbers, which are limited to specific neighborhoods.[34]

Prostitution Rackets[]

The Mafia is deeply involved in the sex trade. In addition to running brothels and escort services, they also control street walkers. The Mafia will organize the pimps operating in its territory. In some cities within the UCAS, all of the pimps are part of an organization.[35]

Some of the syndicates go beyond organizing the pimps and into what they call "business development". In which they will go out and recruit among the runaways and street kids, preferring the newest arrivals to the metroplex as they are very vulnerable.[35] Mafia dons (or donas) have no problem with putting a 12 year old girl to work in a brothel.[36] The Mafia (like the Triads) have followed the Yakuza's lead in establishing "bunraku" (meat puppet) brothels.[35]

Drugs & BTL Chips[]

For a long time, the Mafia claimed that they weren't involved in drugs because they were dirty, but that was bull. It was good public relations though, which they learned from the corporations. Drugs means nuyen, and nuyen always grabs the interest of the Mafia. The Mafia has its claws in various legitimate corporations which produce pharmaceutical or entertainment products. Giving them the means to divert product for the vice rackets or produce illegal drugs or BTL chips.[37]

While the Mafia traffics more in BTLs than in opiates, ice, novacoke, or any of the designer drugs out there it mostly because of the shift in demand in the first decades of the Sixth World. They still keep there fingers in the drug trade.[37] Part of the reason for the Mafia focus on BTLs is that the main drug sources and smuggling networks are not in their hands but in the hands of foreign syndicates (e.g. the Triads and Ghost Cartels).

Hijacking & Theft[]

The Mafia has a long history of being a supplier of hijacked goods, stolen vehicles and parts, and so on.[38] It continues to be dominant in the hijacking business in North America (the Seoulpa Rings are also big players but nowhere at there level). While the number of hijacks has declined over the decades, the total value of what has been hijacked has increased. (many gangs, particularly go-gangs such as the Ancients are into hijacking). Most gang-related hijackings are connected to syndicates, in which they let the gangs continue with their hijacks in exchange for a cut.

The most favored target for hijackers are weapon shipments. Next in line are medical supplies (drugs are favored), electronics parts and equipment, "luxury items", and computers. Depending on the market you are targeting there may be also other big items. For the Trans-Polar it's sugar, and for some parts of CalFree it's water.[39]

Labor Rackets[]

The Mafia controls the greatly reduced and weakened labor unions, and has influence over the popular "fraternal organizations" which are growing among workers. These semi-covert lodges are involved in influence-peddling and have given the Mafia the ability to provide services inside the corporate enclaves.[40]

Construction Rackets[]

Wherever possible the Mafia has muscled into the construction industry, and makes loads of money. They pressure government officials, fleece the construction workers, harass the contractors, and help in the expediting of permits. Greatly increasing the cost of construction and resulting in a construction projects that are way behind schedule.[41][42]

Mafia under Siege[]

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 men are more disciplined (Yakuza), whose soldiers have combat training (Vory and to a lesser degree Triads) and are more brutal (Triads, Vory, Jamaicans, and Mexicans). The competition has the edge in magic (Triads and to a lesser degree Zobop and Koshari), in cyberware (Yakuza and to a lesser degree Triads), and in the Matrix (Vory and to a lesser degree Triads and Seoulpa Rings). 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 to a lesser degree the 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 Families[]

The Major Families[]

Genovese, Lucchese, Colombo, Bonanno, and Carnetti Families in New York City [46]

Bigio, Ciarniello, Galucci and Finnigan Families in Seattle [47]

Muldon, O'Rilley, and Morelli Families in Boston [46]

Mueller and Marconi Families in Washington, FDC [48]

Batista Family in Havana, Caribbean League [49]

Gambione Family in Miami [49]

O'Toole Family nearly decimated in Chicago [48]

Sixth Family in Québec City, Republic of Québec [9]

Detroit Partnership in Detroit [9]

Worczek Family nearly wiped out in San Francisco [50][51]

Kozlowski, Romero, and Mossino Families in New Orleans [52]

Larraga, Gillespie, and Milano Families in Los Angeles [53][54]

Verontesse Family in Las Vegas [55]

Gianelli Family in Atlanta [56]

McCaskill Family in Milwaukee [57]


  1. 1.0 1.1 o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.30
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 o33031982Vice p.32
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.31
  4. o33031982Vice p.37
  5. 5.0 5.1 o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.73
  6. 6.0 6.1 o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.37
  7. o53561113Aztlan p.166
  8. o33031982Vice p.86
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 o33031982Vice p.33
  10. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.98
  11. o33031982Vice p.41
  12. 12.0 12.1 o42265136Loose Alliances p.33
  13. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.57
  14. 14.0 14.1 o33031982Vice p.68
  15. 15.0 15.1 o94379615Target: Smuggler Havens p.20
  16. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.53
  17. o59345449Street Magic p.76
  18. o35238545Shadowrun Fifth Edition Core Rulebook p.34
  19. 19.0 19.1 o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.58
  20. o35506625Chrome Flesh p.38
  21. Shadowrun Missions: Hubris & Humility p.19
  22. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.50
  23. 23.0 23.1 o33031982Vice p.80
  24. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.56
  25. o33031982Vice p.71-73
  26. o39478620Runner Havens p.23
  27. o64195111Splintered State p.42
  28. Shadowrun Mission: Hubris & Humility p.19
  29. Shadowrun Missions: The Flip Side p.8
  30. Shadowrun Missions: Hiding in the Dark p.14
  31. o32239456Sprawl Sites p.113
  32. o02196230Run Faster p.208
  33. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.90
  34. o75212693State of the Art: 2064 p.141-142
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.19
  36. o94379615Target: Smuggler Havens p.19-20
  37. 37.0 37.1 o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.12
  38. o80643476Arsenal p.8
  39. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.16
  40. o39478620Runner Havens p.101
  41. o07914318Corporate Enclaves p.14
  42. o54409473Montreal 2074 p.13
  43. o07914318Corporate Enclaves p.48
  44. o54409473Montreal 2074 p.13
  45. o44378411Shadows in Focus: City by Shadow: San Francisco p.15
  46. 46.0 46.1 o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.32
  47. o35702881Shadowrun Third Edition p.317
  48. 48.0 48.1 o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.33
  49. 49.0 49.1 o98082743Cyberpirates! pp.45-46
  50. o38715534Shadows of North America p.51
  51. o44378411Shadows in Focus: City by Shadow: San Francisco p.15
  52. o94379615Target: Smuggler Havens p.17-18
  53. o38715534Shadows of North America p.98
  54. o07914318Corporate Enclaves p.48-49
  55. o38715534Shadows of North America p.186
  56. o05084094Underworld Sourcebook p.35
  57. o21377451Target: UCAS p.56


American Mafia in the Real World[]