La Cosa Nostra
rating: 0+x

Basic Information

When Joseph Valachi testified before the US Senate in 1962, he revealed that American mafiosi refer to their organization by the term cosa nostra, which means "our thing". The press and the FBI took it to be a proper name, and the version of the Mafia in the United States has be popularly known as La Cosa Nostra ever since. If you leave out the La, you're probably talking about the mafia of Sicily.

The Five Families of New York

The five families have dominated organized crime in the US since the 1930s when famous gangster Charles "Lucky" Luciano suggested they form The Commission to demarcate their respective territories.

The Mafia came to the US in the 19th Century, but was relatively quiet until the Prohibition era of the 1920s. 26 crime families are currently active in the US.

Other Crime Families and subgroups of La Cosa Nostra

La Cosa Nostra organization and customs largely mirror those of the Sicilian Mafia - see that page for details and ideas. A few extra/different terms exist, such as Made Man instead of Soldato, and Captain or Skipper instead of Caporegime.


Game and Story Use

  • Antagonists, villains, maybe even PCs and their families. La Cosa Nostra has their fingers in everything.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License