- The Yakuza Gang Stat Block
- Yakuza Gang Names
- Yakuza Gang Modifiers
- Yakuza Gang Size
- Yakuza Gang Alignment
- Yakuza Gang Wealth Levels
- Kumicho and Wakagashira Qualities
- Yakuza Gang Qualities
- The Role of the Number Two Man
- Gang Enterprises
- Sample Yakuza Gangs
Though there are some commonalities from one gang to another, each yakuza family has its own peculiarities. The oyabun is the primary factor in determining the attitude and actions of the gang as a whole, but there are other factors, including the personality of the second-in-command, the size and wealth of the gang, and the gang’s enterprises.
A yakuza gang stat block is organized as follows.
Name: The name of the yakuza gang is presented first.
Alignment and Type: The gang’s alignment is the general alignment of its members. Individual members and officers in the gang can be of any alignment, but the majority of the gang will be within one step of the gang’s alignment. The gang type indicates both the wealth level (impoverished, poor, typical, prosperous, wealthy) and the overall size of the gang (band, gang, syndicate, major syndicate). (Population) The actual size of the gang is recorded parenthetically.
Modifiers: A yakuza gang possess modifiers (Honor, Morale, Lore, and Society) which affect the difficulty of specific skill checks made in relation to the gang. A gang’s default modifiers are -2 but these modifiers are further adjusted by the gang’s alignment, qualities, size and wealth.
Wakagashira: This entry provides the name, alignment, class and level of the gang’s number two man. Additionally the actual job of the number two man, within the gang, is noted. (Wakagashira Qualities) Three qualities, describing the overall personality of the gang’s number two are noted parenthetically.
Gang Qualities: As with the oyabun and the second in command, three qualities are used to describe the overall personality of the gang. The first of these must be chosen from one of the three qualities possessed by the oyabun and the second is taken from one of the three qualities possessed by the second in command. The third quality is reflective of the gang’s alignment.
Gang Enterprises: The activities of the yakuza gang within their communities are listed here. All yakuza gangs have gambling as an enterprise. The size of the gang determines how many other ongoing activities they have.
Purchase Limit and Smuggling Limit: This section lists the amount of money the gang, as a whole, has at its disposal for the purchase of any single item at any one time. The smuggling limit reflects the price of the most expensive item the gang can smuggle into a community for the purpose of selling it to a ready buyer, or for its own use if it has at least a week to gather together the funds. Generally, the smuggling limit is twice the purchase limit, but both amounts are subject to further adjustments based on the gang’s alignment, qualities, size and wealth.
Notable Members: This section lists any notable gang members. The listed members are identified by their role in the gang, followed by their names, alignments, class and level.
Yakuza gangs are named in a variety of ways. Some are named after the community they dwell in, some are named for the kumicho, others have more poetical names. The following three tables can be used to create an authentic sounding yakuza gang name. Simply choose, or roll randomly, one word from each table.
|Table: Japanese Adjectives||Table: Japanese Nouns||Table: Japanese Group Descriptor|
The difficulty of interacting with yakuza members is represented through four modifiers, each of which affects the use of specific skills. A gang’s default modifiers are -2, but these modifiers are further adjusted by the gang’s alignment, qualities, size and wealth.
Honor: Honor is a measure of how truthful, loyal and trustworthy a group is and how well the group, as a whole, pressures its individual members into behaving in a manner that reflects well on the whole group. Groups with high honor hold themselves to a higher standard than groups with low honor. The Honor score modifies the DC for all Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate checks made to compel a member of the group into doing something contrary to the group’s personal code. You should also consider the group’s Honor when determining how members of the group react to temptations or bribes.
Morale: Morale is the measure of a group’s general cheer, optimism and determination. Groups with a high morale are, as a whole, harder to intimidate. Individuals in groups possessing a low morale are more easily cowed and dispersed. The Morale score modifies the DC for all Intimidate checks made against members of the group by those outside the group. You should also consider the group’s Morale when determining how they react to danger.
Lore: Lore is the measure of a group’s overall attitude towards knowledge and scholarly pursuits. Groups with a high Lore modifier are more likely to possess libraries and hold scholars in high regard. Groups with a low Lore modifier are more likely to be taciturn and distrustful of new ideas. The Lore score applies to Diplomacy checks made to gather information from members of the group and Knowledge checks made using the group’s personal resources. You should also consider the group’s Lore when determining how chatty and communicative the members of the group are. (Note that a group’s Lore modifier supersedes the Lore modifier for the community in which the group dwells. That is, when speaking to a member of the group in question, replace the community Lore modifier with the group Lore modifier.)
Society: Society is a measure of how open-minded and civilized a group is. A group with a low Society modifier is going to be distrustful of those from outside the group and will be more insular. A high society modifier indicates a more cosmopolitan attitude towards outsiders. A group’s Society score should be applied to all Disguise checks made against a member of that group, as well as to Diplomacy checks made against members of the group by outsiders. (Note that a group’s Society modifier supersedes the Society modifier for the community in which the group dwells. That is, when speaking to a member of the group in question, replace the community Society modifier with the group Society modifier.)
As yakuza families grow larger, they control larger territories and branch out into an increasing number of enterprises.
|Yakuza Type||Gang Smuggling Population||Gang Modifiers||Base Enterprises||Additional Gang Limit (gp)||Purchase Limit (gp)|
Band A yakuza organization of this size operates either within in a village, or a hinin-eta neighborhood set within a larger community, such as a city. The members of the gang are very likely to be big fish in a very small pond. Besides the band’s bakuto parlor, these yakuza are most likely to be operating an extortion racket, hitting up their neighbors for protection money.
Gang A typical yakuza gang controls a hinin-eta town, managing many of the businesses and taking protection money from those not directly under its thumb. Besides gambling and extortion, such gangs frequently branch out into one or two other enterprises, such as smuggling, drug-crops, or prostitution.
Syndicate A syndicate is what you get when a single family has gangs in multiple towns and one or two cities. Each locale will have its own bakuto parlor and offices, but all pay fealty (and a percentage of their profits) to the central kumicho. A syndicate’s gambling profits are often only a small portion of its income, as it has branched out into a number of other profitable vices.
Major Syndicate Major syndicates control the activities of almost all the yakuza within a large territory. They possess gangs in multiple cities and outright control several towns and villages, with their fingers in as many different ventures as is possible. Such organizations have a tremendous amount of money and power, but those at the top rarely rest easy, for there are always a number of ambitious members eager to carve out a name for themselves, and being so large, conflicts with other yakuza families are inevitable.
A gang’s alignment describes the overall attitude of the gang at large. Most yakuza organizations are Lawful Evil, but there are exceptions to this rule. The alignment of the gang must be within one step of the alignment of the group’s kumicho, or else the group has the fractured quality. The alignment of the group affects the gang’s modifiers as follows. A lawful alignment increases the group’s Honor by 1. A Chaotic alignment decreases Morale by 1. An evil alignment decreases Honor by 1 and a good alignment increases Morale and Honor by 1. A neutral alignment increases Lore by 1 (true neutral doubles this increase).
If you wish to randomly determine the alignment of a yakuza official, member, or gang you may use Table: Yakuza Alignment. Accompanying each alignment is a list of three possible qualities associated with that alignment. Once alignment has been chosen, choose one of the qualities associated with that alignment and apply it to the individual or gang being created (remember that if the alignment of the group and the group’s kumicho is more than one step apart, the quality chosen must be the fractured quality).
|d100||Alignment||Possible Qualities (choose one)|
|01-59||Lawful Evil||Devious, Meticulous, Vicious|
|60-79||Neutral Evil||Cold, Devious, Greedy|
|80-89||Lawful Neutral||Cold, Honorable, Meticulous|
|90-96||Chaotic Evil||Cruel, Riotous, Vicious|
|97||Neutral Good||Charitable, Greedy, Just|
|98||Lawful Good||Charitable, Honorable, Meticulous|
|99||Chaotic Good||Charitable, Lawless, Riotous|
|00||Chaotic Neutral||Greedy, Lawless, Riotous|
There are five possible wealth levels for a yakuza group. The five levels are impoverished, poor, typical, prosperous and wealthy. These wealth levels modify the Purchase Limit and Smuggling Limit of each yakuza gang, as described on Table: Wealth Level Adjustments. Once the wealth level is chosen, multiply or divide the base Purchase and Smuggling Limits as indicated. This adjustment is done before any adjustments indicated by gang qualities. Table: Wealth Level Adjustments may also be used to pick a random wealth level, if so desired.
|d10||Wealth Level||Adjustment for Purchase and Smuggling Limits|
|1||Impoverished||Divide Limit by 10|
|2-3||Poor||Divide Limit by 2|
|8-9||Prosperous||Multiply Limit by 1.5|
|10||Wealthy||Multiply Limit by 2|
When assigning qualities to the yakuza kumicho (and their second in command), choose one alignment related quality from Table: Yakuza Alignment and then choose two qualities from those presented on Table: Kumicho Qualities. If you desire, Table: Kumicho Qualities allows you to randomly select these qualities.
Each gang should be assigned three qualities. The first of these is chosen from the three qualities possessed by the kumicho and the second is chosen from the three qualities possessed by the gang’s second in command, the wakagashira. The third quality is taken from Table: Yakuza Alignment, according to the gang’s alignment. Qualities cannot be chosen twice.
Bustling with energy, an Active individual is always planning, working, and moving. Groups with this quality are likewise constantly busy. An Active group’s Morale modifier increases by 1 and its Purchase and Smuggling Limits increase by 10%.
An individual or group with the Bold quality acts decisively and fearlessly. Members of a group with the Bold quality increase their Morale modifier by 2.
An individual with the Cold quality is distant and emotionally unapproachable. Groups with the same quality are aloof toward those outside the group and maintain a facade of passionless efficiency. Groups who are Cold have their Honor modifier increased by 1 but their Society modifier decreases by 1.
A cruel individual enjoys causing pain in others, whether physical or emotional. Cruel groups seek to hurt those in their community at every opportunity. The Honor and Society modifiers of a Cruel group are decreased by 1, but the Morale of such a group is increased by 1.
A devious individual is manipulative and scheming. Though not all devious people are liars, one must parse one’s words carefully. Devious groups seek to use those outside the group to their own advantage, and even those within the group must be alert to the machinations of their comrades. Devious groups decrease their Honor by 1 but their Lore Modifier increases by 1.
A group with the Fractured quality is being torn apart by internal struggles. All modifiers in such a group are decreased by 2.
Constantly morose, Gloomy individuals wallow in pessimism. Groups with the Gloomy quality are full of such individuals. Morale in Gloomy groups decreases by 1.
A Greedy individual covets that which he does not have and seeks monetary success, frequently through less than honorable means. Groups with this quality are likewise focused on the acquisition of worldly wealth, even at the expense of others in their community. The Purchase and Smuggling Limits of such a group are increased by 30%.
An Honorable individual’s word is his bond. He lives according to his own personal code, even when others fail to do so. Honorable groups likewise have a rigid code of conduct, whether spoken or unspoken and expect each member of their group to live according to this code. The Honor of groups with this quality is increased by 3 and the Morale modifier is increased by 1.
Quick to anger, Hot Tempered individuals frequently take out their frustrations and wrath on those around them. When an entire group is Hot Tempered, the community walks gingerly, fearful of displeasing the group. A Hot Tempered group’s Society modifier is decreased by 1.
Jolly individuals enjoy their jests. Laughing often, they are seldom seen without a smile. Groups with the Jolly quality are good natured and friendly, at least outwardly. Morale and Society modifiers are both increased by 1 in a Jolly group.
A just individual attempts to insure that people are treated as they deserve to be treated. Just groups attempt to distribute justice to their community, according to the code of the group and the mores of their society. Groups with the Just quality increase their Honor by 2.
An individual with the Lawless quality does as he pleases, when he pleases and must be forced to do otherwise. A group with the Lawless quality is out of control. Members barely obey their superiors, and only when their superiors are on hand. Honor, Morale, and Lore modifiers are all decreased by 2 in such a group.
When possible, a Lazy man avoids labor and strenuous activity. If intelligent, it is likely that the lazy man seeks to do his work efficiently and quickly, so it does not have to be redone. Lazy groups suffer from a lack of motivation and frequently try to coerce others into doing what has to be done. The Morale modifier in a Lazy group is decreased by 1 and their Purchase and Smuggling Limits are decreased by 30%.
Learned individuals have studied extensively and are knowledgeable about one or more areas of interest. Groups with the Learned quality value scholars and wisdom. The Lore quality of such groups is increased by 3.
A Meticulous individual is very exact in both his appearance and his record keeping. A group with this quality expects its members to be clean and to maintain good accounts. In a Meticulous group, Honor and Lore are both increased by 1 and Morale is decreased by 1. The Purchase and Smuggling Limits of a Meticulous group are increased by 10%.
A man with the Quiet quality does not speak unless what he has something worth saying. Groups who share the Quiet quality are calm and subdued in their dealings. A Quiet group’s Society modifier is increased by 1.
Whether pious, zealous, or simply devout, a Religious man is concerned with matters spiritual and makes the time to participate in the faith he has chosen. Religious groups give regularly to their faith, participate in festivals and other times of worship, and are respectful of the clergy. The Honor and Lore of a religious group are each increased by 1. The Purchase Limit of such a group is reduced by 10%.
A Riotous individual is unruly, wild and an incorrigible carouser. Such people are frequently intoxicated, almost always boisterous, and frequently belligerent. A group with this quality is comprised of wild individuals given to dissipation and carnal excesses. In a Riotous group, Honor is decreased by 2, and Morale and Lore are both decreased by 1. Additionally, the group’s Purchase and Smuggling Limits are both reduced by 10%.
Sentimental and possibly idealistic, a Romantic finds pleasure in situations and people who capture his imagination. Groups possessing this quality are prone to hero worship and theatrics. Honor and Society are each increased by 1 in a Romantic group.
Trampling on all who come between them and their goals, a Ruthless man, and a Ruthless group, stop at nothing to get their way. A Ruthless group decreases its Honor modifier by 1 but increases its Morale modifier by 1.
An individual with the Stern quality is hard on himself and on others, expecting the best from each. Stern groups are frequently mirthless, expecting all to conform and do their part as required. A Stern group’s Honor and Morale modifiers are increased by 1, but their Society modifier is decreased by 1.
A Strong individual appreciates strength in himself and in others, whether that strength be physical or mental. Groups with the Strong quality likewise value personal strength and hold those that can demonstrate strength in high regard. Such groups increase their Morale modifier by 1.
A Stubborn man does not easily change or back down. Groups who also have this quality are likewise set in their ways, refusing to change their beliefs and actions until there is no other choice. Stubborn groups increase their Morale modifier by 1 but decrease their Society modifier by 1.
Individuals and groups with the suspicious quality do not easily give their trust. Groups with the Suspicious quality have their Society modifier decreased by 2.
A Superstitious individual holds any number of beliefs concerning the spirit world, luck (and the loss thereof) and the proper way one should act concerning both. Frequently fearful of change and the unknown, Superstitious groups engage in numerous small activities meant to placate the spirits and increase good fortune. Both the Lore and Society modifiers of a group with the Superstitious quality are decreased by 1.
A Thoughtful man thinks before acting and is frequently given to introspection and philosophy. Groups possessing the Thoughtful quality are seldom rash, but plan efficiently before setting themselves into motion. The Lore of a Thoughtful group is increased by 1 and the Smuggling Limit of such a group is increased by 20%.
Some Unpredictable people are crazy, others may simply be purposefully erratic. Either way, one is hard pressed to tell how they will react to any given situation. When a group has the Unpredictable quality, its members tend to be violent and wild, exulting in anarchy and chaos. An Unpredictable group’s modifiers are all decreased by 1. Additionally, Purchase and Smuggling Limits are both reduced by 10%.
An individual or group with the Vengeful quality never allows a slight or hurt to rest, but makes sure to return cut for cut and hurt for hurt, tenfold. They constantly pursue vendettas against their enemies, both real and imagined. Morale in a Vengeful group is increased by 1 but Society is decreased by 1.
A Vicious individual thinks little of hurting others and is given to savage moods and vindictive vendettas. Brutal and violent, groups with the Vicious quality possess a bloody reputation. Morale in a Vicious group is increased by 1, but Society is decreased by 2.
The kumicho normally chooses his own number two man and this choice both reflects the priorities of the oyabun and helps shape the personality of the gang. The influence of the number two man is reflected in the yakuza stat block in two ways. First, one of the qualities of the gang is drawn from the qualities of the number two. Second, the exact job of the number two may affect either the yakuza gang’s modifiers, or its Purchase and Smuggling Limits. Choose one of the three following roles for the gang’s number two man.
Accountant The number two man is in charge of keeping the family books and paperwork in order. The choice of an administrator, or accountant, for a number two means the kamushi is focused on profit. It is also a fairly safe choice for the oyabun as accountants only rarely conspire to take control of the family. Gangs with an accountant in the number two position decrease their Morale modifier by 1 and increase their Lore modifier by 1. These gangs also increase their Purchase and Smuggling Limits by 20% each.
Dealer The number two man still works in the gang’s bakuto parlor, overseeing the betting and sometimes even tossing the dice himself for the customers. The choice of a dealer for a number two man indicates the kamushi is focused on the family’s traditions and the day-to-day activities of the gang. Yakuza families with a dealer as the number two man increase their Morale modifier by 1. These gangs also increase their Purchase Limit by 20%.
Enforcer The number two man is in charge of family discipline and doling out violence to those that oppose the yakuza. He is a violent man and dangerous to cross. The choice of an enforcer indicates the kamushi wants to keep the community in line, through intimidation and violence if need be. Gangs with an enforcer as the number two man increase their Morale modifier by 1, but decrease their Society modifier by 2. The Smuggling Limit of these gangs is increased by 20%.
Each yakuza gang maintains a bakuto parlor. As the gang grows in size and influence, it regularly branches out into a number of other nefarious enterprises, generally starting with extortion and prostitution and then moving onto narcotics, smuggling, entertainments, and sometimes even assassinations. Beyond these endeavors, each gang is also likely to operate a number of more mundane businesses associated with the hinin-eta castes. These legitimate businesses are expected to be profitable but also serve as fronts when necessary for the gang.
Assassinations Assassinations in this case is short-hand for violence and death done for profit. It includes the kumicho hiring out his men as mercenaries, banditry (always engaged in outside of the community in which the yakuza gang operates), and traditional killings done for a fee.
Bakuto Parlor Every yakuza gang maintains at least one bakuto parlor, a gambling establishment which frequently serves double duty as a gang meeting hall, main office and sake house. The exact nature of the gambling offered may vary from one location to another, but dice games are fairly ubiquitous. Many yakuza gangs are willing to advance credit to their customers, so long as the customer is a member of the community, but the interest on these advancements is high and often lead to the debtor selling his own family members to the yakuza so that the debt may be worked off.
Drugs Yakuza families involved in the drug trade are most likely to be found in the cities, but some rural gangs make a good living off of the production and smuggling of narcotics.
Entertainment The yakuza traditionally control the entertainment industries, if such exist, within the communities they occupy. Street theaters, geisha, acrobats, wrestlers and the like are all brought into the yakuza organization, and forced to pay fees for the privilege of performing. In towns or cities with actual theaters, the yakuza gang often owns the property, allowing only those entertainers loyal to them to perform within.
Extortion After the bakuto parlor, most yakuza organizations quickly move into the extortion business, charging a fee to local businesses for the privilege of the yakuza’s protection. Those individuals who do not cooperate voluntarily can expect to suffer assaults upon their persons and their property until they capitulate. The yakuza are not above kidnapping the women of those men who do not go along with their program of mutual communal defense, or, upon occasion, burning down the homes or businesses of the same. Just as they are willing to advance credit in their bakuto parlors, yakuza groups often make business loans to members of their community, but, again, the interest rates they charge are typically high, and those who cannot repay must frequently give over their wives, sons or daughters.
Prostitution While not all yakuza gangs operate brothels, most of the larger families do. The women are seldom there voluntarily. While some have been kidnapped, or are supporting drug habits, most are “working” off debts run up by their husbands or fathers.
Smuggling While all yakuza gangs have some experience with smuggling contraband, a few operate regular smuggling rings, making scheduled runs. Weapons, drugs, luxury items, and even food are all transported out of the sight of government officials and the taxman. Gangs involved in smuggling often deal in shoddy or stolen goods as well, though they almost never steal, or condone stealing, from the community in which they are stationed.
|Typical Small Town Yakuza Gang||Poor Band of Yakuza Smugglers|
LE typical yakuza gang (75 members)
Honor -1, Morale -5, Lore -1, Society -3
Kumicho Hatake Komosa LE rogue 7 (meticulous, quiet, superstitious)
Wakagashira Simoro Hako LN expert 6 (accountant) (cold, gloomy, stubborn)
Gang Qualities gloomy, meticulous, superstitious
Gang Enterprises Bakuto Parlor, Extortion, Prostitution
Purchase Limit 1,300 gp; Smuggling Limit 2,600 gp
NE poor yakuza band (25 members)
Honor -4, Morale +1, Lore -1, Society -5
Kumicho Eizo Katabachi LE ranger 6 (stern, stubborn, vicious)
Wakagashira Tomeo Yoshida NE rogue 4 (enforcer) (greedy, ruthless, superstitious)
Gang Qualities devious, ruthless, stubborn
Gang Enterprises Bakuto Parlor, Smuggling
Purchase Limit 250 gp, Smuggling Limit 600 gp
Chief Accountant Shiroo Godai NE expert 3
|Big City Syndicate||Yakuza Mountain Village|
LE prosperous yakuza syndicate (250 members)
Honor -1, Morale +0, Lore -1, Society -4
Kumicho Atjime Kitayama LE rogue 7/machi-yakko 7 (learned, meticulous, romantic)
Wakagashira Atjime Ota LE rogue 7/machi-yakko 2 (dealer) (active, devious, jolly)
Gang Qualities active, meticulous, vicious
Gang Enterprises Bakuto Parlor, Drugs, Entertainment, Extortion, Prostitution
Purchase Limit 9,750 gp, Smuggling Limit 16,500 gp rogue 6
Chief Enforcer Atjime Nishaniwa LE fighter 10
LE prosperous yakuza gang (55 members)
Honor -2, Morale +0, Lore -2, Society -6
Kumicho Oshiro Amuro LE rogue 7/machi-yakko 2 (devious, ruthless, vengeful)
Wakagashira Takeshi LE fighter 10 (enforcer) (hot tempered, religious, vicious)
Gang Qualities hot tempered, vengeful, vicious
Gang Enterprises Bakuto Parlor, Prostitution, Smuggling
Purchase Limit 1,500 gp; Smuggling Limit 3,600 gp expert 4
Chief Dealer Sukota NE rogue 6
Madame Oshiro Harumi LE rogue 4
The Way of the Yakuza Copyright 2011, Steven D. Russell and Michael Tumey, all rights reserved; Author Jonathan McAnulty.