Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yamada Taro, An Urban Legend in Adventures of Doom

Chicago has always been a city with a reputation—a beautiful city with a dark side. Organized crime has always thrived here, but never more so than through the 1920’s with the rise of Al Capone and Liquor Bosses. Mr Capone has long been away in Alcatraz and the mafia has lost much of its power, but it remains. With the shift in power, other groups have managed to increase their influence in the windy city. High among them is the Yakuza—the Japanese mob.

The Yakuza specialize in human trafficking and opium. What is unusual about the Yakuza is their rigid discipline and culture of honor and respect. The Mafia’s Code ultimately crumbled with corruption and greed. The Yakuza are like machines—cold, calculated and efficient. Targets are identified and respect is paid in full or the result is often worse than a single death.

One of the more unique features of the Yakuza is the employ of Ninja. At first the Ninja were considered a joke. Who would fear some crazy Japanese in masks? Many foes have now fallen to the secret order known only to the Yakuza. Their methods are supremely subtle. Almost no one knows when a Ninja has been used to eliminate an obstruction. Where the Yakuza is obvious and usually messy, the Ninja are barely a ripple on the water. Overnight their targets suddenly comply or utterly disappear. Often the threat of hiring the assassins is enough to weaken an opponent.

The Master of Assassins is Yamada Taro. He is the only Ninja in Chicago who works independently of the Yakuza. While this causes some ire in the crime organization, they can not deny he is the best. Yamada-san comes at a high price, but he has never failed. The legend of how to hire Yamada is well known. Rent the penthouse suite at the Broadmoore Hotel—a dive hotel on the upper west side of Chicago. The clerk will offer you two registers. One of the registers will be new containing no other entries. If you write your name in the new guest book, Taro will find you in 3 days to hear your offer. Payment is demanded up front. The word on the street is, if the price is too high, then Yamada makes you disappear. Do not summon the Devil lightly…
Adventures of Doom is a True20 Pulp adventure setting based in 1935 Chicago.

No comments: