Review – Crime Pays: A Godfather’s Grimoire by Goodman Games

Crime PaysWhen I sat down to read Crime Pays: A Godfather’s Grimoire by Goodman Games I was extremely shocked! And, in a very good way! I was expecting a DM resource to bring the Medieval Mafia down on your unsuspecting PCs. And of course, it does this very well. There are 60 new stat blocks with crime-centric foes, lots of crunch, and of course, lots of story ideas to make this happen very well.  But that is all I am going to talk about it as a DM-only resource, because much to my surprise, it is so much more.

With this book, you can make your PCs the boss of their own mafia. It contains rules for creating and maintaining mobs, operating the mobs, and of course, GANG WARS! But, this is no regular old 4E “every book looks alike” job. These are new rules to make an almost entirely new game out of 4E. And really, it is just skinned with 4E for a workable setting (and it can easily be used in any flavor of 4E). If you are willing to find/make your own stat blocks and tweak the rules of what skills are tied to what, you can run this game in any system, because the mob rules are unique and not 4E dependent. In fact, the author has stated that he will be doing a free conversion for the new upcoming DCC RPG.

The book itself is 96 pages. The first chapter deals with creating mobs. The second deals with activities/crimes your mob can commit as well as punishments if things don’t go as planned. This chapter also deals with bounty hunters and assassins, the upmost punishment for the noisy crime lord. Chapter three is the operations of the mob. It gives the actual rules for a mob taking a turn. Chapter four deals with the rules for gangs fighting. Chapter Five is campaign ideas for the DM. Chapter six has 6 scenarios a DM can use to get a location established. Chapter seven contains 3 pre-built, ready-to-use mobs. There are also several appendices containing stat blocks, a thieves dictionary, maps, and tools to build up neighborhoods.

This is a really flexible products. You can use it to introduce a DM-run mob that acts as an antagonist in your story. You can use this to make one or more of your PCs an actual mob boss, running their mobs concurrent to their adventuring careers. Or, you could make a game of just having a bunch of mob bosses fighting it out for control of a city.  This is the perfect product to build that feeling of Cersei, Littlefinger, Maester Pycelle, Varys sitting around a table cordially chatting as their spies and thugs duke it out to win them control of the Seven Kingdoms in the background.

This is a must-have product for anyone who wants to run a unique 4E game or anyone who is interesting in implementing a fantasy mafia (for any setting).

The Goodman Games website has a 7-page PDF preview of the Introduction chapter and an 8-page PDF preview of the Mob Turn Chapter.

This book is available now in PDF or Print from Goodman Games Online Store, your FLGS, and various other retailers. It carries an MSRP of $21.99. But, it is worth its weight in gaming gold!




Stuart Greenwell

My first experiences with serious gaming came from the Hero Quest board game. I then made the next step to the RoboTech RPG and a lunchtime meeting of AD&D Oriental Adventures. My interests now are pretty much the same. Boardgames and RPGS. Some of my favorites boardgames are currently Settlers of Catan, Battlestar Galactica, and Space Alert. For RPGS, it is Monte Cook's Cypher System. But I am always down for a good round of Dungeons & Dragons.