Boostergangs (or "Boosters") are bands of street gangs, typically enhanced with cybernetic technology. They can be benign or outright violent, and in all cases, extremely territorial. They form together out of necessity, due to the dangers of urban living — especially in lawless Combat Zones. Boostergangs come in the following types (some gangs are more than one type), with examples from Night City.
- 1 Police Assessments
- 2 Types of Gangs
- 3 Reference
Commonly made up of criminals of various sorts, gangs rule illegally via threats and violence, pushing drugs, firearms, and other controlled materials. Although the gangs war with themselves and others, they disrespect authority and can be hard to fully cleanse. Although there is no standard policy when dealing with gangs, due to their diversity and changing natures with few constants, deadly force is acceptable if gang activity rises to unacceptable levels, due to higher risks to public life and safety if they become out of control. Nevertheless, general standards are to let gangs operate until they become problems, so as to create a steady flow of data for street-level law enforcement, making city life safer to live in.
However, gangs are intricately familiar with the goings-on in their territories and neighborhoods and can be controlled far easier than other criminals, which are more organized or corporate. Gangs are predictable, more visible, and more questionable than other criminals.
Social ramifications are also largely present when gangs are interacted with by law enforcement, relying on pressuring awareness onto the public eye, usually the media, as to how young gang members can be, and especially if or when a cop kills one of them, regardless of the context leading to the fatality.
The headquarters (or Dens) of a gang are closely guarded or heavily defended secrets, as they serve as meeting points seen as safe havens for gangs. Cash, hardware, and resources are stored in large quantities here, watched over by the head of the gang.
Gangs operate in a hierarchy similar to that of organized criminals:
At the top is the Chief, Warlord, or Hardest Man (or whatever the top position is known as in a gang,) whose word is essentially law.
Lieutenants follow suit, named in the same vein as the top position. They carry out the word of the Chief, commanding small detachments of members, and have much more leeway than other members unless the Chief is upset by them.
Hardcore membership comes next, Homeboys and Bloodboys, otherwise known as "full-timers". Specialists and troops come from this sect of the gang.
At the lowest position of the gang are the affiliates, also known as "part-timers". Called in when the gang is in trouble, affiliates perform feats to prove or demonstrate loyalty and is where most who want to join a gang starts off, obtaining higher ranking via personal skills.
Boostergangs are any gang whose members enhanced themselves with cybernetic technology. They are also the most common type of gang. Due to members typically suffering or near the edge of cyberpsychosis, they tend to be the most violent type of gang.
- Typical Booster Gang: Maelstrom
Chromatic Metal Gang
Chromer gangs like centering activities around their favorite rock bands, interpreting song lyrics as orders from their heroes. Most Chromatic rock gangs are into totally senseless, random acts of violence as a means of expression. Some of them (such as the Silver Slash) are benign.
- Typical Chromer Gang: Steel Slaughter Slammers
Combat gangs are centered around a type of "warrior's code". Elaborate combat rituals, ranks, and body armor are all part of the mystique. Combat gangs are dangerous, because once they declare a war on someone, they never give up. Most of them occupy their time fighting each other.
- Typical Combat Gang: The Animals
Made up of youths dedicated to a specific belief or ideology (like aliens saviors, new-age Druids, the coming of John Frum, etc). They will pursue their goals with an extremist's zeal. Symbols and idols are typical trappings with these gangs. Most cult gangs are dangerous (because, well, they're crazy), but not predatory.
- Typical Cult Gang: The Inquisitors
While drugs are common with most gang, 'dorpher gangs like to use synthetic endorphins in combat or to cause havoc.
They form an extended family, which protects runaway children. A few older "adults" run the gangs and protect the turf, while the younger members steal and deal for family support. Extended families are territorial and fiercely protective of their members.
- Typical Family Gang: The Bradi Bunch
Are the urban counterparts to the more nomadic Bōsōzoku ("speed tribe") motorcycle gangs. Unlike Bōsōzoku gangs, Go Gangers are not always Japaneses.
- Typical Go Gang: Steel Dragons
Guardian gangs are local vigilantes who from in reaction to the violence of other gangs. For the most part, they are peaceful, and would usually not cause problems, but will act when a local gang gets out of hand.
Regardless of race, a Hate Gang is made up of young males united around racial supremacy. Uniforms, flags and militaristic slogans are the rule. They will attack anything that they think isn't "right" (read: just like them).
- Typical Hate Gang: Red Chrome Legion
Also called Terrorist Gangs, nihilist gangs go beyond the normal acts of violence and mayhem seen with many gangs and into a campaign of fear and atrocities. Much like a cultie, they are known for being suicidal or self-destructive in their violence, but unlike culties, they have no belief or ideology beyond the belief that life and existence has no meaning.
- Typical Nihilist Gang: Voodoo Boys
They party, drink Smash, take (and deal) drugs, and mug people — all as part of a "just because" lifestyle. To these guys, The Party is everything.
- Typical Party Gang: The Piranhas
Prankster Gangs are centered around pranks of one sort or another. This can range for the generally benign and harmless (Philharmonic Vampyres), to the dangerous and sadistic (Bozos).
- Typical Prankster Gang: The Philharmonic Vampyres
A poser is anyone that tries to emulate someone famous. It could be a movie star, a historical figure, or even fictional characters. There are practical benefits as well. Posers adopt the clone look for protection (they all look like), identification and impact (a score of clones can be a pretty disturbing sight). These gangs center on recreating their own bizarre interpretations of their heroes, which often includes biosculpting to look the part.
- Typical Posergang: The Kennedys
They are an otherwise peaceful group who formed out of the need to defend themselves from a persistent and dangerous threat. They are relatively peaceful, as long as folks stay off their turf, and leave them alone.
- Typical Self-Defense Gang: The Julliard
- Protect & Serve p.59: "Gangs are made up of criminals, ranging from minor abusers to psychos. Gangs illegally rule their domain through threats and violence. They push hard drugs, illegal firearms, and many other controlled materials. Gangs war with each other, causing bloodshed on a massive scale. They are disprespectful to authority and very hard to weed out."
- Protect & Serve p.59: "There is no standard policy when dealing with the gangs; they are so diverse and changable that there are few constants common to all. If a gang is burning up the street, then they're dealt with, fast. The use of deadly force is acceptable, as the risk to life when gangs are out of control is BIG. However, the general word is that the gangs can be left to get on with their business unless they become a problem. This allows a flow of hardcore data into street level enforcement, without which the cities would be a worse place to live in."
- Protect & Serve p.59: "A Gang knows exactly what's happening in its neighborhood; this can be very useful to the cops. Gangs, unlike organized criminals and corporate criminals, can also be controlled to a certain extent. They are far more visible, and therefore accessible for questioning. Gangs, unlike so many other criminals, are also predictable."
- Protect & Serve p.59: "There are also the sociological ramifications. Pressure groups make everybody aware of how young many gang members really are. The media can come down very hard on the cops when they kill one. Especially if the zoned out Psycho Trooper firing a Militech Ronin into the line outside the SIMplex was only eleven years old."
- Protect & Serve p.61: "Gang HQ's (Dens) are either a closely guarded or heavily-defended secret. This is where they come together; it's always somewhere they can feel "safe." Large amounts of cash, hardware and other resources are often stored here-where the Chief can keep an eye on them."
- Protect & Serve p.61: "Gangs operate on a ranking system similar to organized criminals. At the top of the pile sits the Chief, or Warlord, or Hardest Man (or whatever he wants to name himself). His word is The Word."
- Protect & Serve p.61: "Beneath him come a number of Lieutenants, who also have names like Right Hands, The Respected, Icemen. These are the guys who carry out the Chief's Word. They each command a small detachment of members and get away with most things, unless they upset the Chief."
- Protect & Serve p.61: "Under them come the hardcore membership: Homeboys and Bloodboys; the full-timers, all gang and nothing else. From this core element come all the specialists and troops. After that, there are affiliates, or part-timers. If the gang is in some kind of trouble (and it invariably is), then the affiliates might be called in to help. They are often called upon to perform some minor feat in order to demonstrate their loyalty. This is where most guys start. Those with the will, charisma or sheer brute strength climb from there"
PASS, G. Protect and Serve. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games, 1992