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That's quite the mouthful. I'm DMing a D&D 4E game where the players desire to build an empire and trap heroes and more-or-less be the villains that D&D heroes normally are fighting against. In the early game they are collecting magic artifacts, clearing dungeons in search of a 'home base' and performing petty crimes.

By the time they reach the Paragon Tier, they hope to be running bandit gangs, brothels, be torturing people in their dungeons and such.

What I have been searching for, and am coming up blank for, is an existing rule-set for running a mafia crime business. Examples I have found thus far focus on being the underlings in the families, not the kingpins.

In a pinch, I can make do with a business simulation PnP game, but I am having trouble finding one of those either.

So, What existing mafia/crime centered RPG system contains rules for running a crime syndicate, or mob family that would be easily grafted onto D&D 4E?

Trying my best to stay within these guidelines on this.

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Just to be clear, you're looking for game mechanics? Shadowrun is awesome for that, but I have no idea how to integrate it to 4E..since it's mostly roleplay. – MrJinPengyou Sep 18 '12 at 17:32
@MrJinPengyou I can handle the integration, but ideally I'd like something that makes use of the same assets. A system based on D30's would be a poor choice. Answer with shadowrun and the related books and example rules. Take a stab! – DampeS8N Sep 18 '12 at 17:49
I would almost advise switching systems after they achieve the Heroic Tier party goals. Your Paragon Tier activities sound like they would barely use any existing 4e rules or gameplay style. Almost anything would be better suited than 4e, which is built on the assumption that play will be encounter-based, not goal-based. It provides lots of support for creative solutions to in-encounter problems, but very little support for grand-scope creative goal-setting and player-directed problem-solving. – SevenSidedDie Sep 18 '12 at 18:46
@SevenSidedDie I mostly agree, but there is more to it than that. There will still be plenty of encounters, just wrapped in a matryoshka doll of other game play. They need an epic beast for their monster pit? They have to go pursue and subdue it. They want to wipe out a rival gang? They combat their leaders while their underlings clash all around. It'll work. – DampeS8N Sep 18 '12 at 20:16
I get you. In that case, I'd look for a different game to run the "base operations" type stuff, and "zoom in" with 4e encounters. I think ACKS would work nicely for this actually, since you can just use the same stats in the different systems. – SevenSidedDie Sep 18 '12 at 20:21
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Goodman Games has a 4e supplement called Crime Pays: A Godfather's Grimoire that is exactly what you're asking for.

Crime Pays: A Godfather's Grimoire includes everything a player or DM needs to bring the grim and gritty underworld into stark focus in a fantasy world. Forget thieves’ guilds – this is the mafia in a world of dragons and magic! Form your own band of rogues, make a bid for master of thieves, and win a king's ransom in jewels… …but above all, don't get caught. This 4E sourcebook includes:

  • All the rules you need to occupy a neighborhood, recruit mobsters, hire made men, and start running your own rackets – whether you’re fleecing elves or dragonborn.
  • A new stat block system for tracking the stats of your own mob: respect, infamy, defense, upkeep, and territory.
  • Pre-statted NPCs to occupy your underworld setting, ranging from fantastic criminals to extraordinary made men.
  • Ideas for underworld events and corresponding actions of the law to help fuel the plotline in your campaign.
  • In short, this book includes everything you need to run your own mafia-themed campaign – in a fantasy world!

I read it over at my FLGS because I don't play 4e but it was compelling enough of a subject that I potentially wanted to get it. In the end it was interesting but too tied to the various 4e mechanics for me to find it useful, but if you're playing 4e I would expect it to be a slam dunk.

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Man I wish I could accept two answers... Ordered both things. I'll review and select an accepted after a complete look. – DampeS8N Sep 19 '12 at 13:10
This book is brilliant! – DampeS8N Sep 24 '12 at 17:15

Adventurer Conqueror King System (ACKS) is an old-school D&D clone that brings extensive domain-acquisition and -management subsystems into the mix. Though early editions of D&D did provide for PCs building castles and churches once they reached "name level" (9th), ACKS vastly expands the mechanics into a fully-fledged economic and domain mini-game that can be run parallel with individual-character-level adventures.

In particular for your setup, it offers ACKS thieves the opportunity to run a thieves guild. You could easily grab those rules and make the opportunity available to all your characters as a party. With little to no reskinning, the "thieves guild" setup could easily represent a gang or bawdy house. They'd have to make decisions about the activities and direction of the guild jointly (leading to some possibly-entertaining disagreements), or choose to head individual guilds that are allied with each others' guilds.

The domain system also provides rules for building dungeons, wizards' towers, and castles, along with managing the peasants (or orcs), merchants, and towns under the castle/tower's range of political control. There are rules for interacting with other domains too, allowing political takeovers, vassalage, or (c)overt warfare with other (N)PC-controlled domains. These rules are initially presented in the context of maintaining a castle and its fiefs, but are universal to all of the "domains" that a (N)PC can control, including gangs—you just fight/spy on others' turf and subordinate gangs instead of others' land/peasants and vassals.

Because ACKS is a D&D clone, your existing PCs have all the stats they need to operate in the parts of the ACKS rules that the domain rules draw on, and besides most of the domain system is independent of the underlying system and could be dropped in without changing much, if anything. There are a few feat-like options and skills in ACKS that they won't have, but since they aren't generally applicable outside of the domain stuff, once the domain mini-game is "unlocked" you can easily allow them to take them retroactively (as if they were ACKS characters) in addition to their 4e abilities, if you feel the need. There are few enough of these options in ACKS that you can just look them over and make a shortlist of ones that are available, based on what will be useful for domain play and won't be disruptive in 4e play. Otherwise, they might have some advantage in the ACKS rules because 4e stats are higher on average than ACKS stats, but that's easily balanced by giving any rival NPCs a standard array too.

The PDF is affordable, and would be the most reasonable way to get it if you're only using the two chapters on domain/economy creation and player-domain rules.

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D'oh! Seven, you beat me to it! – gomad Sep 18 '12 at 22:42
@gomad It was your answer here that made me think of it for this application! ACKS is a surprisingly large toolbox of stuff. – SevenSidedDie Sep 19 '12 at 0:26

You might also want to take a look at . Reign is notable for its Company rules - a generic ruleset for managing the activities of organizations. It can be used to manage guilds, gangs, noble houses, political parties, cults, churches, etc.. It is one of the best examples of a ruleset around.

I have used the Company rules in concert with other RPGs with some success. For instance, while I really like the game, I really hated it's house management stuff. So midway through the campaign, I tore those rules out and used Reign instead.

The Reign Enchiridion contains the core rules for Reign as well as the Company rules without the setting stuff (that you obviously don't need for your 4e game) at a very reasonable price.

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