From Dark City

Business Overview

New York is home to the headquarters of several billion dollar and Fortune 100 companies; countless others have a substantial regional presence in the five boroughs, and the area also boasts several prestigious business schools, including Columbia University and NYU.

The economy of New York City has diversified only a little in the past few decades, with shuffling emphasis between tourism, finance, trade, real estate, technology, and media. Some of the behemoths of the Big Apple include IBM, Deloitte, Pepsi, JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Verizon, and Pfizer, to name only a few.

And like any such hub, it has a dark underbelly where the ambitious, the cunning, and the unscrupulous can take advantage, with deep roots that sprawl outwards and upturn other parts of the city.

Theme and Society

New York's business sector covers the full spectrum from grunge to glamor, but no matter how high you climb the industrial ladder, you can never fully escape the grime. With Wall Street just there, collectively, trillions of dollars are flowing through New York on any given day, but don't think that it's all Fortune 100 companies. One out of every forty people in New York City owns a small business, and those small businesses collectively employ half the city.

But if you want to be successful in the City with a business, you have to have an appetite for hustle and at least a willingness to consider the unorthodox. Suffice to say, everyone owes everyone favors, and no one gets ahead without being reminded where they came from. Where will you fit into the spider's web?

Businesses Owned by PCs & NPCs

Joining the Sphere

Players may enter the Business either at character creation or through play, whether someone hedging their way into the Business sphere through gumption, hard work, dirty money, shady connections, or others. Gaining that first dot in play marks a transition in that it really ought to be the culmination of a story in its own right: you’re here now. You either own a business or have significant influence at one of size. And certainly players are encouraged to craft a character arc to that end, explaining how they came to hold influence over the city's economic ebb and flow.

Players should give thought as to what this means for their character’s future. Are they old money, keeping to the old traditions? New blood with a fire under the seat of their pants? What enterprises or movements might threaten the organization they represent, or their business interests? What city institutions do they favor with their patronage? What is their relationship with the local police, or the media? What are their ambitions, and what are their fears? How does your character fit into all of that?

There are no stat requirements to enter Business, although the following stats are encouraged:

  • Presence, Manipulation, Resolve
  • Socialize, Subterfuge, Politics, Persuasion, Academics
  • Resources, Allies, Contacts, Mentor, Staff, Safe Place

Sample Allies and Contacts in Business include, but certainly aren't limited to:

  • Secretary Pool
  • Middle Managers
  • Night Security
  • Guards
  • Mail Room Clerks
  • Delivery Drivers
  • Food Safety Inspectors

View the existing businesses, or add yours, on the Business Listing page.

Rules and System

Status in Business represents your influence within the business industry at large in New York. Consider what your character has done to earn their Status, and how it plays a role in their larger story.

Status has several functions. First, it can apply to a Social roll with those over whom you have some sway. Second, it can grant you access to relevant resources or facilities. Third, it can be used to block a single instance of Mentor, Resources, Retainer, Contacts, or Allies once per chapter if it's of a lower dot rating than your Status, and makes sense. But consider the drawback: Status requires maintenance, and you're likely to be called on for favors, deeds, or tribute to keep your foothold.

  • Status 1: Manager of a local chain store, Owner of a small business
  • Status 2: Middle manager at a large enterprise, prominent local business owner
  • Status 3: Upper management at a large local company, Investor
  • Status 4: C-Suite Management, Venture Capitalist
  • Status 5: CEO of a Fortune 100 Company

Current Plots

Someone is buying up all the warehouse and office space in Long Island City.


  • All Storytellers participate in Civil Society plots. Any might be relevant to one, but if you're unsure, just open up a venue ticket for your character.