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Basic Information

A Tong is a type of Secret Society found among Chinese American immigrants. The first Tongs started in the 19th Century, and were created for mutual support and protection from other local ethnic groups hostile to immigrants.

Some, but not all, Tongs are involved in criminal activities, and may have connections to Triads or Streetgangs. Others are more respectable organizations with no criminal affiliations.

Tongs existed in The Wild West, were particularly violent in the 1930s, and today clearly marked Tong halls can be found in most major American Chinatowns.



Game and Story Use

  • Because of the blurring between Triads and Tongs (especially in the eyes of Westerners), the GM can use them as a Red Herring. Someone might have an unearned reputation of being a dangerous Triad, when in reality he's only a member of an exclusive Chinese businessman's club. Or, the local Triads may be masquerading as a more respectable Tong organization.
  • Non-criminal Tongs halls may be centers of Occult learning or other esoteric knowledge. Secret Societies tend to have such connections, especially in game worlds.
    • A secret society with organized crime and occult connections would be a truly formidable enemy.
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