Monday, October 18, 2010

Hell's Hoods

The times change in the infernal realms, just like on the material planes. For the modern denizens of the City and the New World, devils have shed their medieval image, and appear as members of the extraplanar organized crime group called the Hell Syndicate. 

In the City, human crime is ultimately controlled by the Hell Syndicate, though many criminals may never actually meet a devil--until, perhaps, they go to their ultimate reward. In other places, Hell’s influence is less direct, coming mainly in the form of consultation or aid to individual criminals. Make no mistake, though, anything that prays upon the moral weaknesses of mankind, enriches the Syndicate’s accounts.

Since the disappearance of Morningstar, there hasn’t been a “boss of bosses” of the Hell Syndicate, but the chairman of its board of directors is Asmodeus, of the Nessus family. Through a combination of persuasion and intimidation, he keeps the other bosses in line. Mostly.

The remaining eight infernal families, and their current bosses, are:
  • Avernus family - Led by Andras “The Owl.” This family specialty is "murder for hire."
  • Dis family - Run by Dispater. The Dis family is linked to the illegal arms trade worldwide.
  • Minauros family - Led by Mammon. This family corrupts via greed, and keeps the Syndicate’s books, making sure the bosses of Hell get their proper percentages.
  • Phlegehthos family - Their boss is Belial. They’re reported to run underground torture clubs, and gambling bloodsports.
  • Stygia family - Run by Geryon. This family is extensively involved in counterfeiting, and also in various sorts of fraud.
  • Malbolge family - Led by Moloch “The Bull.” Involved in extortion and protection rackets, and armed robbery.
  • Maladomini family - Their boss is Baalzebub. Baalzebub’s proboscis is in prostitution, pornography, and the narcotics trade.
  • Caina family - Led by Mephistopheles. Focuses on influence-peddling, and the corruption of government and corporate officials.

10 comments:

Matt said...

Great take on the subject. This promises to be a very fun game.

Brutorz Bill said...

Nice spin!

Risus Monkey said...

Reminds me a bit of In Nomine (among other sources). I like the idea of infernal involvement in the City's underworld, but should it be monolithic? Is the influence of devilish forces what the game is primarily about? Be nice to have some wild cards whose allegiance to infernal powers may be a bit more ambiguous.

Trey said...

Thanks guys!

@Risus - I did overstated things a bit. There will always be a place for evil masterminds or what not doing nefarious things, or "villain of the week" one-offs, PC criminal activity, or even petty theft, which are not mob related. What I was trying to imply is that what we thing of as organized crime is all run by the Syndicate on some level--which may mean so far removed as to not be of more than academic importance. Also, there may be guys who are unwittingly working for the Syndicate.

I don't see the setting as mainly about fighting devils, but I also don't see the setting as mainly about crime-fighting, anymore than the "standard" D&D campaign is mostly about fighting the thieves guild, if that makes sense.

ancientvaults said...

Well, if you are going to get your probiscus mixed up in anything....

Cool post, Trey.

Trey said...

I was waiting for someone to comment on that line. Shoulda known it would be you, Bat. :D

satyre said...

Great post Trey.

Also inspiring. Back in a bit.

Trey said...

Thanks, Saytre.

NetherWerks said...

Excellent post. Wonderful job of integrating the Malevolent Powers into materialist categories that really bring their influence into the New World in a meaningful way. Also gives a nice contextual undercurrent to the various possible adventuring scenarios that lends a foul whiff of brimstone where appropriate or needful. Inter-family rivalries, marriages, assassinations and take-overs take on whole bucket-loads of villainous potential...and these entrenched, established forces have some competition, no doubt. There are always meddlers, innovators and rebels...

A good-ethic Robin Hood cadre of elite specialists who form their own counter-family to remove the taint of the infernal from the criminal underworld while remaining very much criminals themselves...that would be intriguing. And better than some Dukes of Hazard jokers working for the latest fallen angel on the block...

Trey said...

Awesome, Netherwerks. You've given fodder for multiple campaigns worth of adventures.