The Mafia is a criminal underworld which originated in Italy.


The Mafia was born approximately 2 centuries ago, on the Mediterranean island of Sicily. In the 18th and 19th centuries a wave of Italian immigration to the New World, gave rise to Italian gangs in America which fought against other ethnic gangs. Eventually the Italian gangs joined forces and formed the American Mafia in the early 20th century. It's wealth and power exploded during the Prohibition. and after Prohibition ended the Mafia kept its network and absorbed the Jewish, Irish, and Polish mobs among others.

The most powerful gangster in America, Lucky Luciano formed the American Commissione which was modeled on the Sicilian Mafia's Cupola. It included not only the Italian-American families but the powerful non-Italian ethnic syndicates too. Immigration to Australia by Italians and Americans after World War 2, spread the Mafia to that continent. Eventually new anti-organized crime laws and the emergence of vicious new syndicates like the Mexican Mafia and other national prison gangs weakened its power, and led to the entry of foreign mobs like the Vory and Yakuza.

Back in the European Union, Italian organized crime remained pretty much dominant for decades or centuries, and spread beyond Italy. They diversified into white collar crime and narcotics, leaving behind most of the street level crime to local outfits and gangs. The Crash of 29 crippled their higher-level criminal operations, forcing them to return to the streets and rebuild. The chaos of the EuroWars and its aftermath, the Russian mafia advanced on the Italian syndicates everywhere. They had already been major players in Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the EuroWars provided them with new opportunities which they exploited ruthlessly.

The establishment in 2046 of the Alta Commissione was the turning point for the Mafia's history. Now united, the European Mafia regained a lot of its former power if not the territory which was taken by the Vory. Back in America, the mob wars had resulted in the replacement of the old dons by outfits that were newer and more modern. The Mafia in Australia was finally united in 2067 in the Melbourne Commissione, with the backing and influence of the European and American Commissiones.[1]

Mafia's Hierarchy from Shadowrun Sourcebook, Vice

Organization Edit

In the Mafia, there is great variety in how the syndicates or families are organized. Especially in Europe, where the various Italian organized crime organizations have widely different organizational structures and traditions. In North America, the Mafia is organized along the lines of the Sicilian Mafia. They are divided into families, who are ruled by Dons. These 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, reports to the Inner Circle, the 12 most powerful Dons and Capos, who report to the Capo di Tutti Capi, the Big Boss.[2]


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.[3]

The Mafia AlliancesEdit

The CommissioneEdit

Each of the three major Mafia alliances have thier own "Commissione" which controls and mediates relations within each area.  There may be some confusion among readers of various in-universe sources using the word Commissione, as well as thier respective founding dates.

  • The American Mafia has the original "Commissione" or alternatively spelled "Commission".  It was founded by Charles "Lucky" Luciano in 1931 in the Fifth World. It has authority over mafia organizations in the UCAS, the California Free State, the Republic of Quebec, the CAS, the NAN, and the Caribbean League.
  • The European Mafia has the second "Alta Commissione", formed in 2046.  It is in control of the Italian, French, Spanish, and Turkish Mafia.  It does not control the British, Austrian, Dutch, Serbian, Polish, or Dutch mobs.
  • The Australian Mafia has the third Commission, called the "Melbourne Commissione", and was founded in 2067.

Mafia SetbacksEdit

Of the major criminal organizations, the Mafia is the one that has been most negatively impacted. The Japanese Yakuza, Chinese Triads, Russian Vory, and Latino Drug Cartels (David Cartel and the Ghost Cartels) have for the most part been able to keep foreign syndicates out of their home countries and maintained a near monopoly over the local underworld.

The Mafia in turn has lost a lot of territory and still has to contend with numerous foreign syndicates in its cities, in both Europe and in North America (UCAS and CalFree. Not to mention the rise of local ethnic syndicates which have replaced the Mafia in their new sovereign nations (Comanche Mafia, Lakota Mafia, and the Koshari).

The one that was impacted the worst were the Europeans who lost most of eastern and northern Europe to the Russians. What is now the "European Mafia" if to varying degrees under siege as it faces pressure from practically every direction. In the north the Russian Vory in France and central Europe battle the Mafia. Down south in the Iberian peninsula, the Netherlands, and along the western Mediterranean coastline they are in conflict with the Muslim syndicates (Arabs and Albanians). Internally they face the rebellious Baptista Family which has erupted into a long civil war.

In turn the Mafia has made few inroads into the territory of other crime syndicates. It has no strongholds in South America. They had a foothold in Tenochtitlan, the capital city of Aztlan but the David Cartel recently wiped out all foreign syndicate operations in their country.[4][5] In China, the only Mafia outpost is in the city of Macao and it does not challenge the Triads.[6] Not one Mafia family has a foothold in either Russia or in Japan, unlike the Triads who have a stronghold in Russia and network throughout Japan or the Russians who have a stronghold in Neo-Tokyo.[7][8][9]


  1. o33031982Vice p.26
  2. o33031982Vice p.36-40
  3. o02196230Run Faster p.208
  4. o53561113Aztlan p.166
  5. o33031982Vice p.86
  6. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.27
  7. o33031982Vice p.86
  8. o70096438Shadows of Asia p.82
  9. o07914318Corporate Enclaves p.103