The last time I updated the Psi-punk blog with details of what’s inside Corps and Criminals, the Mafias section was still brand new. Now it’s fully fleshed out, and there are a lot of mafias to add to your game.
Here’s a preview of the mafias chapter, including an overview of how mafias fit into your game of Psi-punk and a sample mafia.
Mafias in Your Game
Mafias are some of the largest and most feared criminal organizations on Earth. Some of them may rival smaller megacorps in terms of power and wealth, and certainly they rival them in terms of firepower. They have their hands in every possible criminal activity and even some legitimate business ventures.
A campaign centered around a mafia may involve several different facets of its business. Players may be a special police or government task force assigned to bring down a specific crime family, or they may be pawns in the Sicilian Mafia’s schemes.
Unless the campaign is designed to stretch several dozens of sessions with PCs increasing greatly in power over time, the likelihood of the players ever taking down an entire mafia, or even an entire branch of one family, are pretty slim. The fact is, mafias are networks of organized crime families and syndicates, and even discovering who’s involved in a single mob activity may be enough work to keep the players occupied for several sessions.
The top dogs in any given mafia are probably Phenomenal or even Extraordinary NPCs (see page 160 in the Psi-punk core rulebook for more about Powerful NPCs). They have dozens of lower-ranking cohorts and hundreds or even thousands of goons at their disposal, so it can be a challenge for a group of street runners to work their way up through the ranks.
Players don’t necessarily need to be opposed to a mafia. They may be members of a powerful crime family or they may be Made Men (trusted associates of a crime family). Such players may receive their jobs from the leaders of their family, or they may still be working hard to get on the mob’s good side. PCs may even be tasked with carrying out hits or other contracts, or they may actively opposed members of another mafia.
Muslih Qamari was once a political activist who helped changed the face of Saharan society. In his youth, he played a key role in over-throwing the Moroccan and Tunesian governments. Though he never held a seat in the new Saharan parliament he did ensure several of his hand-picked allies became leaders.
That was sixty hears ago. Now an old man, Muslih has grown jaded with the new government. Despite the dramatic changes he helped bring about, corruption still reigns. He now uses his knowledge of the political system to his own ends.
Muslih’s Saharan Mafia is one of the few great powers in Northern Africa. Though the Arab Nation rules the people of the region, the mafia rules the Arab Nation. Muslih maintains powerful allies within parliament, including Prime Minister Haziem Benjelloun. He’s the shadowy underwriter of most of the nation’s laws, and his men are entrenched in every aspect of the legal system, including security and criminal justice.
This mafia uses its power to smuggle weapons, magic, drugs, people, and all manner of other illicit goods throughout the region. Moreover, the mafia uses its power to maintain a lucrative food smuggling ring the likes of which are seen nowhere else in Africa.
In the dry wastes of Northern Africa, real food is even more expensive to produce than other areas of the world. NFC Global has just as tight a foothold in the region as anywhere else, but Muslih works with them behind-the-scenes to ensure food smuggling laws are both strict and severely enforced—of course, when the mafia controls the enforcers, it’s easy to look the other way. That means real food commands incredible prices on the black market, and Muslih benefits both from its sale and its prohibition.
ODFs: +4; DDFs: +7
Social (Formal): Wonderful;
Specialization: Public Speaking
Language (Arabic): Good
Combat (Ranged); Language (English): Fair
Gifts: Friends in high places; friends in low places; stress analyzer (detect stress levels in others)
Faults: Old, (-1 Hurt wound, included), Jaded
Weapon: Sm. Handgun (Damage: Fair; Range; Good; RoF: S; Reload: 3; Gifts; Cost: 4)
Armor: Nanoweeve Suit (Impenetrable Armor; Protection: Phenomenal; Gifts: Nanoweeve, negates penalties of impenetrable armor; Cost: 80)
Luck Points: 1
Wound Levels: Normal wound track
Hopefully you enjoyed this preview. Corps and Criminals is well on its way to being completed. Melissa Gay expects to have the final draft of the cover illustration to me by the end of January, and after that I can finish putting everything together and get this book into your hands by the end of February.