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fistandantilus4.0
I'd always assumed Seattle street gangs were relatively small, the smaller ones ranging from half a dozen to 20 or so gangers, where some of the high end ones like the Ancients numbering around 100. Most other gangs would fall somewhere in the middle, with 50 or so gangers to fairly succesful gangs that didn't have a reason to be small (such as the exclusive requirements of the Merlyns).

I checked New Seattle for example, and saw that it did indeed list the Ancients at being approxiametly 100 strong. The Ancients have always been listed as a top tier gang, and while they're numbers might be a bit smaller due to low elven percentages over all, they base themselves in Tarislar, where there would be plenty of recruits.

I wasn't able to find my Underworld Sourcebook, which, really is a shame in and of it's self, but I believe it gives some example gangs with approxiamate nubers as well, mostly in this range.

So I started to wonder what was going on in Ghost Cartels when I see "third tier" gangs like the Ragers having over 100 members, and the First Nations swelling to 150-200 strong in just a few months. Obviously the Nations are going to be getting a lot of new recruits, but to my perspective, that seems like a lot.

So I find myself wondering if it's just me, or if other people tend to have smaller gangs, or if these packs of gangers that are presented in Ghost Cartels is closer to the norm for other gaming groups. I don't perticularly have a problem with it, I'm mostly curious how others are handling it, and how gangs 100+ strong interact with the city around them. It seems they would have a lot more power and interest than I generally give them credit for.
Ancient History
Most of the gangs used in Ghost Cartels are multisprawl gangs - that 100 Ancients for example are just the Seattle chapter; as a top-tier gang they have a membership in the thousands spread out across a lot of sprawls all over the continent, and possibly other continents. A lot of gangs also have a number of affiliates beyond just their regular members, who can be counted or called up and which distort the numbers a little. More on gangs will be in the upcoming Vice sourcebook.
fistandantilus4.0
I figured the chapter business would be a part of the Ancients, the 100 counting only for what was local.

Was I mistaken in my understanding that the 150 or so Ragers were not located in Tacoma?
kzt
SR is still stuck in West Side Story. The whole Sharks and Jets of SR has always been pretty absurd. The Chicago Gangster Disciples had about 50,000 members a few years ago. Of that, maybe 5-10,000 were the hard-core (multi generation felons, GD on the inside and the outside), but there were some 50,000 people in Chicago who considered themselves part of the GDs.
fistandantilus4.0
Wow, very opposite-end-of-the-spectrum. Thanks kxt,, apparently I'll have to do some RL research on it then.
fistandantilus4.0
The results of my 5 minute google research:

QUOTE
Numbers of Gangs and Gang Members
NYGC researchers estimate that more than 24,500 gangs were
active in the United States in 2000, a decline of 5 percent from
1999. However, cities with a population of more than 25,000 experienced
a slight increase (up 1 percent from 1999) in the number of
gangs. The estimated 12,850 gangs in these cities equals the 1996
estimate, the largest number reported during the survey years.
The overall estimate of gang members across the United States
has exceeded 750,000 in all survey years. NYGC researchers estimate
that more than 772,500 gang members were active in the
United States in 2000, a decline of 8 percent from 1999. Nevertheless,
cities with a population of more than 25,000, which accounted
for 66 percent of all gang members in 2000, experienced
an increase (up 2 percent from 1999) in the number of gang
members. The estimated 509,500 gang members in these cities
were the most reported since 1996.

http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/fs200203.pdf

772,500 (Gangers) / 24,500 (Gangs) = appx 31.53 Gangers per gang on average.

Obviously they're not going to be all nice and evened out like that, but it gives a nice idea of an average. Take into account this piece however :

QUOTE
Survey respondents were asked to
report information only for youth gangs, defined as “a group of
youths or young adults in your jurisdiction that you or other
responsible persons in your agency or community are willing to
identify or classify as a ‘gang.’? Motorcycle gangs, hate or ideology
groups, prison gangs, and adult gangs were excluded from
the survey.


A lot of SR gangs would fall into that category. I'll have to dig more to see what those numbers look like.

Ancient History
The largest modern day gangs like the Latin Kings, Black Disciples, and la eMe are what SR qualifies as "syndicates" in nearly all respects - SR tends to predicate a stronger influence of "traditional" syndicates (the Mafia, the Yakuza, the Triads, etc.) which fills the void of these larger modern gangs. That doesn't mean they don't exist in SR, but with the strong combination of metatype, ethnic, magical, resonance, political, and religious divisions experienced in SR, the emergence of smaller gangs has been more prominent to the setting. There are plenty of historical parallels for that kind of thing.
hyzmarca
That definition of a gang is so patently absurd that it cannot be held to produce reliable figures. The total subjectivity and potential over-broadness of the criteria "that you or some other person would call a gang" pretty much guarantees that those meddling kids and their dog, too, will be included, as will various non-criminal youth clubs and organizations and those five or six kids that always hang out together at that Rec Center/Juice Bar in Angel Grove. Essentially, any teens hanging out in a group large enough to make old people nervous would qualify.
kzt
QUOTE (fistandantilus4.0 @ Oct 31 2008, 09:31 PM) *
772,500 (Gangers) / 24,500 (Gangs) = appx 31.53 Gangers per gang on average.

Obviously they're not going to be all nice and evened out like that, but it gives a nice idea of an average. Take into account this piece however :

QUOTE
Survey respondents were asked to
report information only for youth gangs, defined as “a group of
youths or young adults in your jurisdiction that you or other
responsible persons in your agency or community are willing to
identify or classify as a ‘gang.’? Motorcycle gangs, hate or ideology
groups, prison gangs, and adult gangs were excluded from
the survey.


The most obvious problem is that, technically speaking, the Gangster Disciples ARE a prison gang. Much like the Mexican Mafia. They just also exist outside prison too. So I have to wonder what is really going on here.

The second is that the numbers you produce with "average size" are crazy. For example, the number I have most handy shows that they were, in the late 90s, about 150,000 gang members in Los Angeles county alone, divided amoung 138 gangs. This means the rest of the US (outside LA) has an average gang size of 24. If you continue this and work the numbers you'll end up with an "average" gang outside of CA, IL, TX and OH of less than 10. Let's be real, you don't have a "street gang" with only 8 guys in it, you have some juvenile delinquents with delusions of grandeur.

The other issue is that, while there ARE actually 138 gangs, in LA there are two super gangs that they mostly belong to. And it's perfectly possible to get "the Crips" pissed at you instead of just having "the 83rd street Crips" pissed at you. Which is a lot more than 1087 guys.
kzt
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Oct 31 2008, 09:36 PM) *
The largest modern day gangs like the Latin Kings, Black Disciples, and la eMe are what SR qualifies as "syndicates" in nearly all respects - SR tends to predicate a stronger influence of "traditional" syndicates (the Mafia, the Yakuza, the Triads, etc.) which fills the void of these larger modern gangs. That doesn't mean they don't exist in SR, but with the strong combination of metatype, ethnic, magical, resonance, political, and religious divisions experienced in SR, the emergence of smaller gangs has been more prominent to the setting. There are plenty of historical parallels for that kind of thing.

That's an interesting point. Thanks.
Cthulhudreams
Yeah, gangs are more sort of loose conglomerates than top down formal structures.

Relationships are more Feudal, in that you'll be part of a group, that answers up to another group etc in the same what you'd be working the baron who answers to the duke who answer to the king.

And various levels of the heraicy can be irritated with you.
Tachi
Keep in mind how high gang connections can run, also. According to a "friend" of mine, the Sons of Silence have a disproportionately high number of cops among their members. If you are not careful you can piss off a "legitimate" and powerful group by not knowing these connections. Keep in mind, however, that all I have on this is anecdotal evidence, something which I detest, really hate to quote, and probably shouldn't have.
Backgammon
Anectdotal story: couple weeks ago, here in Montreal's East end (the crime heavy area), the local chapter of the Bloods, led by 2 brothers, went to war with the Mafia. The dispute rose from something stupid, pobviously, and the Mafia actually tried to avoid the war by wanting a sit down with the Bloods. But the hot-headed leaders of the Bloods wanted none of it and the whackings started. The Bloods would kill a mafioso, and he Mafia would retaliate by killing a Blood.

So when I read that, a few things stood out -
1) Gangers are indeed hotheaded while the Mafia is all about business
2) The Mafia ain't so strong that it kicks ass in any war... you can hurt them just the same
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