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The Raffen Shiv are an outcast subculture of nomads featured in the Cyberpunk universe. Individual members are called "raffens".


Cyberpunk 2020[]

The Raffen Shiv are the most-hated nomads; so strong is this hatred that normal nomads will start altercations with those who unwittingly call them raffens. Even among the normally permissive nomad society, these raffens are considered subhuman. The name is a derivation of several colloquial contractions and pejoratives[source?], although some believe the name means something "really dirty", according to the author of the Shard "Nomads for the Thick-Skinned". The Raffen Shiv are scavengers and sociopaths who prey on the innocent and the weak in nomad tribes—they are generally found in places beyond the reach of the law—and the rest of American culture. They are outcasts, renegades, and betrayers. They steal from, kill, or enslave any whom they can trap, and pillage those they encounter.

It is inevitable that any society will have its outcasts, and the Raffen are that and more. Probably the largest of the Raffen groups are the Wraiths. This group travels mostly at night and preys on the sleeping and unwary. It is hard to believe that there are any unwary left in this age, but the Wraiths, and the other Raffen, show no signs of weakening. Many of the smaller Raffen groups have given up on the open road, opting instead to move into cities, terrorize them for a few weeks, and then move on.

Raffen are indistinguishable in appearance from any other booster. They affect chrome 'ware and are usually well armed and armored. Their vehicles appear more combat-oriented than the average nomad. Some are total cyberpsychotics; Dogkiller, the leader of the Wraiths, is rumored to wear clothing made of human skin.

The Raffen culture is oppressive. Stronger members are physically abusive to weaker ones, either for cause or sport. Weaker members or hangers-on are called "bitch" and sometimes traded like cattle. The Raffen are thoroughly repulsive to all but the most hardened cyberpunks. Nomads dispatch dog-soldiers and war parties to eliminate them wherever they are encountered. At the same time, the Raffen are sometimes cultivated by the corporations. They will do any job, no matter how dirty or heinous, and usually for a lower price than any other mercenary group. Of course, arranging meetings for negotiation and payment is occasionally difficult.[1]

Cyberpunk 2077[]

By 2077, the Raffen Shiv gang the Wraiths inhabit the Badlands outside of Night City. They are frequently in conflict with the other nomad faction inhabiting the region, the Aldecaldos.[2]



  1. WINN, R. Neo Tribes. 1st ed., Berkeley, CA, R. Talsorian Games, 1994. (p.35)
  2. Cyberpunk 2077 loot and relationships system