Triads

Basic Information

Triad is a term that describes a version of Organized Crime that started in China and has spread to many cities with large Chinese populations.

Their criminal activities include drug trafficking, contract killing, money laundering, gambling, prostitution, car theft, extortion, and other forms of racketeering. A major source of triad income today comes from the counterfeiting of copyrighted and trademarked goods. They also trade in endangered species as well as bootleg tobacco and alcohol products.[1]

Somewhat related to Triads are Tongs, Chinese Secret Societies that are not always criminal in nature.

Sources

Bibliography

Game and Story Use

  • Triads provide a flavorful alternative to the Mafia in a setting with Asian roots. They can also be a third party in a game that already has cops and mobsters.
  • Because of the blurring between Triads and Tongs (especially in Western eyes), the GM can use them as a Red Herring. Someone might have a reputation of being a dangerous Triad, when in reality he's only a member of an exclusive Chinese businessman's club.
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