The seedy underbelly of New York City teems with opportunity for a wide variety of criminals, ranging from the lowliest and most obvious misfits to the equally meticulous and unlikely of overlords. Although the glory days of organized crime are decades in the rearview mirror, the bold bravado and open-air nature of some of the the Big Apple's most notorious criminal organizations has not decayed one bit.
But it's not just the underworld that seethes with criminal enterprise; it's everywhere. In handshakes between the moneyed and the connected, behind closed doors at city halls. Where there are people in New York, you can bet that something criminal is happening, including but not limited to broad daylight muggings, narcotics and cash changing hands on the street corner, shipments of grey and black market weapons, bookies lousy with 'the best odds in town', thieves, scam artists, and would-be kingpins galore.
Theme and Society
Crime infiltrates every walk of life, but not every aspect of crime is violent in the City that Never Sleeps. Plenty of people are trying to get by anyway they can, even if it's on the wrong side of the law. Maybe they're selling knock off items, after all everyone wants the latest Guccii, or working under the table, but people do what they have to do to survive.
Of course not every act of crime is related to the struggle, the wealthy are just as guilty, with money laundering, tax evasion, illegal hiring practices, bribery and more.
....and then there is the criminal underbelly that you've come to expect from New York City. The movies, historians, books, and public trials have painted the picture of a city where the Italian mafia is still very active.
They aren't the only sources of violent crime in the city though, The Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, Nietas and many more have a strong presence in the city, and in Manhattan's Chinatown you can find Chinese gangs such as the Ghost Shadows and Flying Dragons.
Maybe you're over your head in criminal element, maybe the extent of it's presence is walking past stalls of knock off purses on your way to work, but there is no denying it's presence in the city.
Joining the Sphere
Status in Crime is available at character creation as well as in play. At character creation, it is capped at 3. Your Status must reflect the criminal organization with which you have clout, and your benefits and social bonuses will only apply with and as a function of that organization.
You can have Status in multiple criminal organizations provided they are allies. If you'd like to add a criminal organization that is not already reflected on the wiki, talk to Staff.
While not necessarily required, it's strongly recommended that someone hoping to acquire or maintain Status in the Crime sphere possess some or all of the following qualities.
- Wits, Manipulation, Resolve
- Larceny, Brawl, Firearms, Streetwise, Subterfuge, Weaponry, Stealth
- Allies, Contacts, Safe Place, Resources, Fighting Merits
Examples of Contacts and Allies in the Crime sphere:
- Street Dealers
- Street Thugs
Rules and System
Status in Crime represents your influence within a designated criminal outfit; it's your clout, it's how much pull you have, the resources and perks you have access to. 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: Bookie, complicit business owner, street thug, informant
- Status 2: Made men, soldiers, mob members, smuggler
- Status 3: Capos, block captains, crooked accountant
- Status 4: Underbosses, gang leader, the consigliere
- Status 5: The Boss
- There's a new gambling den in Chinatown, the Red Library.