The Triads are Asian crime organizations in the space sci-fiction setting of FASA Corporation's Battletech tabletop wargame.
The Triads are criminal organizations which originated in China and Southeast Asia, hundreds of years before the human race developed the ability to travel to other worlds. Today in the human colonized worlds (sphere with a diam of 1400-1500 light years), the Triads and Triads dominate the underworld in the Sino-Russo Capellan Confederation and the Chaos March. In these syndicates, the membership is mostly Asian.
Structurally they have a paramilitary chain of command hierarchy with a leader, then the operations managers (who run the business activities on a day-to-day basis) and the incense masters (who maintain the cultural identity of the Triad and handle discipline among the ranks). Deputy leaders run the smaller operations handled by the operations managers, and the liaison/recruiters seeks out potential recruits and maintains the group's lines of communication. Administrators and enforcers maintain order at the lowest tier of the organization, keeping an eye on the recruits and other members at the bottom.
These are secret societies that are in rich in symbolism and which have intense rituals. At the upper tiers, they are led by leaders who are strong and have no reservations about using violence for the slightest provocation. Which is due to them seeing any threat to the group as existential and therefore they cannot take any chances. Though the Triad leaders have less influence over their members than a Yakuza oyabun or a Mafia patriarch, they still can receive fanatical devotion from the members.
Members are fanatically loyal to the Triad. Among the Triads, they are constantly struggling against each other for territory. Unlike the Mafia which prefers to operate in the shadows, the Triads publicly display their power in a ritualized process in a new territory and deploy men on the street whom patrol their territory.
Triads are involved in a wide variety of criminal activities including; drugs, gambling, prostitution, slave trading, racketeering, and the black market. At times they are even involved in anti-government campaigns. Their operations extend as far down as the street, Due to them being very territorial, they often go to war with any rival criminal organization that attempts to encroach into their territory. Wars that are very public due to the Triads and Tongs using street assets to execute highly public attacks to shock and terrorize their enemies and therefore drive them off. Likewise when dealing with external threats or those who raise their voice in opposition against the Triad within its territory.