Tommy Vercetti (GTA Vice City) with his teal summer shirt

Tommy Vercetti

(Profile #1 - enforcer)


Tommy Vercetti is the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, a 2002/2003 video game. The story takes place in 1986, in a thinly-disguised version of Miami (“Vice City”) at the peak of a crime and narcotics wave.

GTA: Vice City is one of the best-reviewed cars-and-guns, “open world” video games, along with its successor GTA: San Andreas.

Our profile for Vercetti is a 3-parter. It is followed by .



  • Real Name: Tommy Vercetti.
  • Other Aliases: The Harwood Butcher.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: The Forelli crime family.
  • Base Of Operations: Vice City, Florida (formerly Liberty City).
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 210 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown

Powers and Abilities

Tommy Vercetti is a famous mob enforcer. He is known as an excellent wheelman, an highly skilled shooter, and a born survivor with a knack for getting out of even the worse firefights with his skin intact.

He is well connected to the Forelli crime family in Liberty City and is building similar connections in Vice City. This network building is aided by Tommy’s natural charisma. He is someone that many people quickly come to like and respect, even if they are normally suspicious of others.

For the logistics of Vercetti’s exploits (safe houses, income sources, possible superhuman abilities, etc.) see the Game Stats section.


New Man in Town

When Tommy first arrived in Vice City, the only connections he had were to the Forelli Crime Family and Ken Rosenberg. As he worked his way into Vice City political power structure, he quickly made more contacts:

Colonel Juan Garcia Cortez, smuggler (High Connection in DC Heroes terms)

Cortez was already working with the Forellis in hopes of that they would be better business partners than the current drug kingpin of Vice City, the oafish and violently erratic Ricardo Diaz. Extending his partnership to Vercetti was a natural progression, particularly once Tommy had proven himself a capable operator.

Cortez and Rosenberg also quickly acquainted Tommy with the most important people in their social circles, giving him Familiarity (Vice City underworld). Cortez eventually had to flee Vice City and go to ground after some of his industrial espionage placed him at odds with the French government, but he still kept in contact with Tommy to exchange information.

Kent Paul, music industry slimeball (Low Connection)

Paul is the business manager for the hard rock band Love Fist, which would later lead to a working relationship between Vercetti and the band. At this point, Paul was more valuable to Vercetti as an informant on Vice City’s criminal escapades.

Paul was always desperate to make important connections with Vice City players and as a result always had all sorts of useful underworld gossip and rumors to share.

This was how Tommy met him in the first place. Rosenberg sent him to Paul in hopes of getting some leads on the stolen Forelli money. Paul quickly recognized Tommy as an up-and-coming player and wanted to get in tight with Vercetti in hopes of riding his coattails.

Avery Carrington, real estate magnate (Low Connection)

Carrington was a long-time business associate of Rosenberg’s. Vercetti did several jobs to assist Avery’s real estate deals, ranging from sabotaging labor disputes to demolishing rival companies’ construction efforts.

Vercetti’s understanding of exploiting real estate opportunities earned Avery’s respect and the two consulted together with increasing frequency as Tommy moved further up the Vice City food chain.

Lance Vance, fellow mob enforcer (Sidekick in DC Heroes terms)

Lance had been on the other side of the ambushed deal that Tommy was attempting to make when he first came to Vice City. Like Vercetti, Lance wanted to move closer to Ricardo Diaz to get his property back, get revenge for the ambush, and to take Diaz’s place as the top supplier of cocaine in Vice City.

The two eventually became partnered enforcers working for Diaz while plotting to kill him. Lance had many of the same talents and skills that Tommy did, albeit not at the same high levels as Vercetti.


Tommy Vercetti was the son of a Liberty City printing press manager. He had happy childhood memories of working with his dad cleaning the print rollers. He planned to follow in his father’s footsteps but, as Tommy puts it, he “lived a different life.”

Tommy’s short temper, talent for violence, and willingness to engage in all manner of criminal activity led him to become an enforcer for the Forelli family. This mob was becoming the top mafia family in Liberty City at the time.

The people of Liberty City came to fear Vercetti’s visits on the behalf of the Forellis and Tommy’s reputation helped the family expand their influence.

Big house

Vercetti earned the infamous nickname of “the Harwood Butcher” when he brutally murdered 11 people as part of a mob hit gone bad in 1971. For the crimes the state was able to convict him of after that massacre, Tommy spent 15 years in prison.

While behind bars, Vercetti came to the realization that Sonny Forelli, the head of the Forelli family, had set him up. Tommy had been sent to kill one unprepared target and instead walked into an ambush by almost a dozen armed men.

(Most likely, Sonny recognized the same ambitions and talents in Tommy that would later serve Vercetti so well in Vice City. Thus, he needed Tommy neutralized before he became a rival. Arranging for Tommy to be killed in a bungled hit would have solved the problem without giving Sonny a bad rep for turning on his own people.)

(A reputation for betraying business partners would have made it difficult for Sonny to build the associations necessary to control Liberty City. Even though Tommy wasn’t killed in the ensuing firefight he was imprisoned afterward. This was sufficient to keep him out of Sonny’s way.)

When Vercetti was released from prison in 1986, the Forelli family had mixed feelings about his return. By that time the Forellis had solidified their position as the dominant organized crime group in Liberty City and no longer needed Vercetti’s brutal enforcement.

A lot of people still remembered Tommy though, and the Forellis were concerned that his fearsome presence would make their current business arrangements unnecessarily volatile.

Vice City

Sonny Forelli had the inspiration to send Vercetti to Vice City, Florida. Sonny wanted to get into the lucrative coke trade down there regardless of the Liberty City mafia families’ general disdain for drugs. Tommy was the perfect man for the job.

It was also a convenient way to get him out of Liberty City. The plan was simple: let Vercetti loose in Vice City for a few months to carve out a slice of the action for the Forellis, then pay Tommy a visit and take his business over.

Unknown to Sonny, Tommy had his own plans. Knowing that Sonny had betrayed him, Vercetti decided he’d take this opportunity to build his own empire away from the Forellis’ influence. This would give him the power to break free of the family once and for all.

Tommy Vercetti driving a sports bike

Sonny entrusted Tommy with a fair chunk of money to make some drug deals and get the Forellis’ action going in Vice City. Ken Rosenberg, a Vice City lawyer and Forelli family associate, collaborated with smuggler Colonel Juan Cortez to set up a drug deal outside the notice of Vice City’s established thugs.

Upon his arrival at Vice City’s Escobar International Airport, Tommy was picked up by Rosenberg. They went straight to a cocaine deal with the drug dealing Vance Brothers that Ken had arranged at the nearby Vice City docks.

The deal was ambushed by a group of mercenaries. Tommy barely escaped with Ken, forced to leave the coke and the money behind. When Tommy got to his hotel he contacted Sonny Forelli and swore to get the money back.

Don’t mess with a made man

Tommy began his investigation into the ambush with the help of Colonel Cortez. They did not know who was responsible for the attack, but Cortez suspected Ricardo Diaz, who zealously protected his role as Vice City’s coke baron. Diaz was the most powerful player in Vice City’s underworld, so they could not move against him without first acquiring a lot more evidence and influence.

Vercetti proceeded to do so by ingratiated himself with various underworld and legitimate figures alike through his willingness to commit violence in their service. Tommy also built up a friendship with Lance Vance, whose brother had been killed during the drug deal at the docks.

Vance was working his way up to Diaz as well, hoping to get revenge for his brother’s murder and to take over Diaz’s business. While the partnership was strained at first due to Tommy’s loner tendencies, he came to trust and respect Lance’s abilities. Eventually Tommy and Lance rose to the position of top enforcers for Diaz.

The duo’s plans were thrown into disarray when Lance accidentally exposed his true intentions to Diaz. Lance had always struggled to contain his anger toward Diaz and simply snapped at a bad moment. Tommy found out through Kent Paul that Lance had been taken away to be tortured and killed by Diaz’s thugs. Vercetti rescued his partner at the last minute in a brutal gunfight.

Screw it, let’s just shoot everyone

The pair laid low for a while to let Lance’s wounds heal and to let Diaz think the two men had just fled the city in fear. Tommy and Vance then brought the situation to a close by the simple expedient of invading Diaz’s home, shooting their way through his guards, and executing him in his own office.

With Diaz out of the way and having the trust of many important Vice City players, Tommy and Lance were set to take over Diaz’s business. See the Tommy Vercetti — Drug Lord writeup for more information.


Vercetti is a tall white male with an lean build accentuated by broad shoulders. He has a perpetual five-o’clock shadow and thick rumpled brown hair complementing his craggy features. he’s ruggedly handsome, judging by the reaction of the women he meets (and, at one point, a porno director looking for new talent).

His preferred attire is white tennis shoes, stonewashed blue jeans and a blue-green tropical print button-up short-sleeve shirt. This combination is loose-fitting enough to allow Tommy to get physical without impediment and blends in with the predominant informal fashions of Vice City’s citizens.

Vercetti will dress up in other suits as needed though, putting on a golfer’s outfit to meet someone on the links or throwing on a pair of worker’s overalls when infiltrating a labor protest.

Tommy can even stomach dressing up in the latest fashions if need be — he wore a dark purple suit, black undershirt, and loafers with no socks to a fancy party soon after arriving in Vice City — but will switch back to his standard clothes as soon as possible.


Tommy Vercetti is the living embodiment of the motto, “Who dares, wins.” 

Vercetti has large ambitions and is not afraid to pursue them with zeal and relentlessness. He acts quickly to solve problems by any means necessary (including absurdly vicious acts of violence in full view of the public) and will take great risks for great opportunities.

Vercetti’s drive to dominate Vice City is partially motivated by simple power lust. But he also desires the security and freedom that comes from being an influential man who commands respect and fear.

This has trapped him in a cruel cycle of violence. Vercetti has already made enemies in his climb to the top and the only way to fend them off is to seek even more power, which in turn makes him an even bigger target.

While Tommy has a strong independent streak and is wary of trusting strangers, he will be open and cooperative with people who can obviously help him. Vercetti will look for ways in which he can demonstrate his usefulness and learn his associates’ businesses, which is useful whether he later becomes a full partner or he takes over the business himself.

Tommy is particularly distrustful of others on the same level as him since they may be direct competitors, though he will go to the trouble of building a relationship with them if he discovers them to be reasonable people.


Since driving is an important part of Tommy’s lifestyle and modus operandi, he keeps his edge honed by taking on various driving jobs in his spare time (he also needed the money during his early days in Vice City). These jobs range from mundane activities like taxi driving and pizza delivery to more intense work such as driving ambulancea or fire trucks (the latter under aliases).

Sometimes he will simply indulge in stunt driving around the city to the awe and terror of innocent bystanders. These forays also help Tommy maintain his intimate knowledge of the streets and back alleys of Vice City.

Another trait that Tommy frequently indulges is his violent streak. Rampages in which Tommy grabs a weapon and wastes a bunch of thugs that have annoyed him are not uncommon. These outbursts of violence helped to establish his reputation as a fearsome man among the gangs of Vice City.

Further, looting the bodies often provided a little extra cash, which was a necessity at the start of Tommy’s career in Vice City.

To keep the cops off his back, Vercetti uses a combination of bribes and occasional vigilante missions which have made him popular with both the public and the police rank-and-file.

Despite the uncontrolled appearance of these indulgences in mayhem, Vercetti’s use of violence is actually rather calculated. Tommy is first and foremost a businessman and will not use violence if there is a more efficient way to get things done.

He has no problem using brutality if it is the most effective way for him to resolve a situation and he enjoys causing chaos when he has a reason for it, but he won’t engage in violence to the detriment of his business interests.

Even though Tommy has dreams of big wealth, he is not above petty theft or small-time jobs at this point in his career. A little extra spending money never hurts, nor does maintaining his skill and reputation as a tough guy.


“You have my personal assurance that I’m gonna get your money back, and the drugs, and I’m gonna mail you the dicks of those responsible !”

(After being told to change clothes for a party) “Now I gotta dress like a chump as well as hang out with them ?!” (becoming defensive) “I *like* this shirt.”

Rosenberg: “What did you find out ?”
Vercetti: “That are more criminals in this town than in prison.”

“Hooray, more crap to wipe up. What did I do wrong in a past life ?”

(While shooting at the police) “I did your wife, you pork bastard !”

“Who are these pricks, anyway ? Lawyer pricks, rug-wearing pricks, I’m surrounded by pricks !”

Avery: “Now I’m going to head out of town for a while and if that office development were to face sudden and insurmountable structural problems, then I —”
Tommy: “— As a civil minded individual you’d feel obliged to step in and save the rejuvenation of an important area of the city ?”
Avery: “Where can I get more guys like you !?”

(To a driver while stealing his car): “You’ve got insurance, so don’t be a prick.” or
“You can blame my mother. I do.”

(While stealing a car from a rich golfer near the country club) “Just think of this as socialism in action.”

Umberto Robina (calling Leo Teal to secure a contract hit and getting Tommy on the cell phone instead): “Hey, if Leo knows you’ve got his phone he’ll kill you !”
Tommy: “Maybe Leo’s already dead. Maybe I killed Leo and took his phone. You ever think of that, prick ?”

Lance Vance: “So, Tommy, we know it was Diaz busted our deal. So why in the hell are we running errands for him ?”
Vercetti: “The more we learn now, the less we have to learn when we take this town over.”

(While chasing a fleeing enemy): “You better keep running, asshole !”

(Hosing enemies with machinegun fire) “Eat it ! EAT IT !!”

DC Universe History

Tommy would fit into pretty much any major city with a high level of organized criminal activity. If the PCs are fighting street criminals or organized crime, they could find themselves fighting Vercetti.

The PCs’ actions could even inadvertently assist Vercetti in his rise to power as they eliminate his competitors. While GTA: Vice City is set in Florida in 1986, Tommy himself is not rooted in that era and can be transplanted to big cities throughout the 20th or early 21st Century as needed.

If GMs want to recreate the Vice City atmosphere, it is important to remember the tone of the game is more about caricatures than anything else. Everything is exaggerated to stereotypical extremes.

Liberals are smarmy elitists, conservatives are self-righteous plutocrats, ethnic identities are established by ridiculously thick accents and over-the-top cliché attitudes, the cops are all stupid thugs, etc.

If your gaming group enjoys that sort of satire and doesn’t mind their own sacred cows being gored, this can make for an interesting setting. If not, it may be best to avoid the above.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Tommy Vercetti

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 06 Wil: 07 Min: 06 Occupation: Mob enforcer
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 021 HP: 035

Acrobatics (Athletics, Dodging): 04, Martial Artist (no Techniques): 04, Thief (Concealment)*: 05, Vehicles (Land, Sea): 07, Vehicles (Air): 05, Weaponry (Firearms, Heavy): 07, Weaponry (Melee, Missile): 05

Attractive, Confidant (Ken Rosenberg, Attourney at Law), Confined Headquarters (Ocean View Hotel), Exile (Liberty City, Involuntary), Familiarity (Printing Presses), Gift of Gab, Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes.

Forelli Crime Family (Powerful, Low — would normally be considered High since Tommy is directly connected to the top man, Sonny Forelli, but is treated as Low due to the very limited assistance offered).

Miscellaneous (Being a city boy, Tommy never learned to swim and will immediately start drowning if he falls in water any deeper than his head).

Tommy can usually buy or steal small-arms up to the size of an assault rifle and vehicles up to the size of a bus, though it might take some time to find the exact item he needs if a specific weapon or vehicle is required. He almost always has the following items on hand, unless he has just gotten out of jail or a hospital:

  • BRASS KNUCKLES [BODY: 06, EV: 03 (04 w/ STR, 05 w/ Martial Artist)].
  • M1911A .45 Semi-Automatic Pistol [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 08, R#02].
    Making sure to arm himself quickly after arriving in Vice City, Tommy helped himself to the sidearm of one of the local cops that he had “disagreed” with.
    (Note: While the game documentation and the weapon model in the game itself indicate a .45 caliber M1911A, the game version’s ammo capacity of 17 suggests a 9mm instead (the M1911A can be chambered for 9mm, but that variant still only holds 10 rounds). I’ve stuck with the standard Ammo capacity for a .45 here, but GTA purists may want to adjust the Ammo to 17 to match the game.).
  • CONCEALED BALLISTIC VEST [BODY 04, Invulnerability: 04, Skin Armor: 01, Limitations : Invulnerability and Skin armor only vs bullets ; Partial Coverage (Can bypass protection with a +1 OV Trick Shot) ; Real Armor].
    This light bulletproof vest could be worn under a loose shirt without appearing obvious to superficial inspection, a necessary balance between protection and inconspicuousness as Tommy started his career in Vice City. As with many such vests in the Vice City time period (1986) this vest offers no protection against piercing and slashing attacks, a design flaw corrected in modern-day ballistic armor.
  • OCEANIC SEDAN [STR 05, BODY 06, Running: 6, R#: 2].
    Though he preferred to steal something sportier or more durable when on a specific mission, this reliable old “beater with a heater” provided transport without attracting attention when Tommy just needed to get from point A to point B.

A two-tone car in GTA Vice City

Design notes

  • These stats represent Tommy Vercetti at the time of his arrival in Vice City (“In the Beginning”), with the special rules paragraphs listing various advancements up until his takeover of Diaz’s drug cartel (“Rub Out”). See the Tommy Vercetti (Drug Lord) and Tommy Vercetti (Kingpin) writeups for his stats in subsequent parts of the game.
  • While GTA: Vice City did not track and increase the main character’s skill stats with vehicles and weapons as GTA: San Andreas did, I am assuming for purposes of these writeups that the players themselves would get more adept with the controls while playing through the game. Accordingly, some of Vercetti’s skills will gain APs as the writeups progress.
  • See the Powers & Abilities section for more Connections as they appear during the game.

Safe as Houses

Though Tommy only had a single base of operations when he first came to Vice City (a room at the Ocean View Hotel), he quickly acquired numerous other hotel rooms, apartments, and condominiums around town. Some of these locations act as basic safe houses, while others have weapons and/or vehicles available (the latter usually in a small garage on-site).

Two to three favored sites (especially the Ocean View) should have established locations in play. If Tommy is desperate for a hiding place and happens to be a long distance away from any of those places, he can spend some HPs to access a new place (it can be assumed that said location was actually purchased previously and simply not needed until now).

Spending 2 HPs gets him a basic apartment where Tommy can hide out for a while and switch clothes to disguise himself, while 5 HPs provides a condo or house which, in addition to the above, has a garaged vehicle or two, a few small arms, and spare body armor. The favored sites mentioned above are the equivalent of a 5 AP safe house.

When Vercetti spends HPs to “find” a safe house, it will usually be a quarter- to half-mile away (8-9 APs).

Living on the Edge

Not having a regular income, Vercetti is required to engage in one Wealth Subplot a week to maintain his Wealth score. This usually involves carrying out a quick mission for one of the better established criminal figures in Vice City, spending some time at one of his driving jobs, or robbing a business.

After Vercetti killed the mercenary known as Mr. Teal and took his cell phone, he also made extra money by accepting the hit contracts that Teal was supposed to be carrying out.

The driving jobs Vercetti took (including pizza delivery and driving taxis, ambulances, and fire trucks) helped him refresh his skills behind the wheel as well as allowing him to gain Area Knowledge (East Side of Vice City).


It is almost impossible to keep Tommy Vercetti in jail for any substantial length of time, no matter how egregiously he may have violated the law. The only reason he did a prison stint in Liberty City was because it was in the Forelli family’s interest at the time. And even then, Vercetti only served 15 years despite being convicted of brutally murdering 11 people.

Due to changing circumstances, Tommy enjoyed the full protection of the Forelli family’s lawyers again once he got out of prison. Furthermore, when he came to Vice City he quickly integrated himself into the local political power structure.

This allowed Vercetti to quickly arrange for his release from jail even when arrested for ridiculously violent acts that he was clearly guilty of.

In game terms, even if Vercetti is arrested, Ken Rosenberg will get him out without charges within 12 hours (14 APs). If someone attempts legal action or persuasion of some kind to get a prosecutor (at either the local or federal level) to actually press charges, they will be facing an OV/RV of 10. Results of such an effort can be measured against the following table:

1-4 RAPs Vercetti is not charged with any crime, but a full investigation will be started.

5-9 RAPS Vercetti is charged but is able to make bail.

10+ RAPS Vercetti is charged and held without bail.

Gettin’ Around Town

Since vehicular action is at the heart of the game, here are some optional rules to simulate some of those elements and add a little more detail when driving and piloting.


All vehicles take one phase to accelerate to their maximum speed. For example, a vehicle with a movement speed of 6 will go 5 APs in the first phase of driving. This can be important when trying to get out of range of pursuers and their weapons.

In GTA, most motorboats have Swimming: 05, most cars and motorcycles have Running: 06, and most planes and helicopters Flying: 07. Sporty vehicles of those types will have +1 AP of movement, while larger ones (buses, for example) will have -1 AP.


Maneuverability of vehicles can be critical in accomplishing various goals around Vice City, whether one is trying to win a street race or outrun the Man. If a driver or pilot needs to make a particular maneuver, the GM can select an appropriate OV/RV from the Universal Modifier Chart.

Most vehicles will maneuver normally, but large vehicles maneuver with +1CS to OV/RV while sportier ones will get a -1CS to the OV/RV of maneuvers. Poor driving conditions (driving on grass or sand, wet roads, etc.) or piloting conditions (wind, fog, etc.) adds +1CS to the OV/RV of maneuvers, as does attempting to make a maneuver while moving at the vehicle’s top speed. These modifiers are cumulative.

As a basic interpretation, the maneuver succeeds as long as the driver or pilot scores at least 1 RAP. For more detailed and dramatic results, subtract the RAPs from the RV and then use the resulting number as the AV/EV of an attack against an OV/RV equal to the vehicle’s BODY/BODY.

Damage from this “attack” represents collisions suffered while executing the maneuver or strain on the vehicle’s components, depending on the circumstances of the maneuver, and is accordingly resolved immediately after the maneuver is.

Races and chases

The vehicular combat rules (see BoH:SE page 182) can also be used for resolving changes in position relative to other vehicles during races and pursuits. As with vehicular combat, the competing drivers or pilots make a Maneuver Check. The RAPs are allocated as usual, with the winner being the one who allocated the most RAPs.

The loser’s RAPs are subtracted from the winner’s, and then the winner gets to add or subtract 20 feet of distance (1 AP) for every RAP remaining. For example, a winner with 4 RAPs could move 80 feet (3 APs) closer or further way from an opponent’s vehicle.

A further option would be to make a single Maneuver Check and then designate RAPs for either combat or distance. This allows a wider range of tactical options such as a pilot choosing to accept the risk of coming under attack that phase to close distance with an opponent.

Another application of this would be for foot chases between people with equal movement speed, using Dexterity or Acrobatics (Athletics) instead of the Vehicles skill for the maneuver check. In this case, each RAP would only equal 10 feet (0 APs) of distance.

Tommy Vercetti, Metahuman

The above stats assume that Tommy’s superior capabilities compared to other characters in GTA: Vice City simply reflect above-average talents and the computer game’s particular mechanics.

However, in a superheroic universe some of the more outrageous special abilities Tommy acquires in the course of the game might be superpowers manifesting themselves, in particular superhuman durability and healing.

In this case his powers at this stage include:

  • BODY 06 (combining his in-game armor and health point totals and dropping the BALLISTIC VEST from his equipment).
  • Regeneration: 06 (due to the copiously placed Heart and Body Armor Icons throughout the game).
  • Running: 04 (movement speed which can be Pushed and is improved in progressive writeups).
  • Invulnerability(DL): 14.
  • Bonuses & Limitations:
    • Invulnerability can only be used 12 hours (14 APs) after reaching negative APs of Current BODY Condition.
    • Invulnerability Checks can be made even if Vercetti has died prior to the check (i.e. reached -07 APs or lower Current BODY Condition), with success indicating that he has returned to life.

By Roy Cowan.

Source of Character: GTA: Vice City (PC game), character voiced by Ray Liotta.

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, Mike Winkler (Road Racing rules from the Dominic Toretto writeup, a simplified version of which have been included herein).