From Dark City

Education Overview

New York City is home to the largest public school system in the United States, with 32 community schooling districts and over one million students enrolled across 1,500 schools. By law, any child between the age of 5 and 21 is entitled to a free public education. Despite years of chronic underfunding, its public education system is considered one of the very best in the country.

In 2017, New York also declared that any families or individuals making less than $125,000 per year would be qualified to attend any of the community or state (CUNY and SUNY) colleges tuition-free, adding to the already 594,000 college and university students that attend any of the City's 110 institutions of higher education.

Theme and Society

The struggle of the Education sector is one that's echoed elsewhere in New York: so many people, not enough resources. Despite the largest and arguably best-funded public school system in the country, it never seems to be enough. Blue politics create an on-paper favorable environment for investing in schools and the education of the public, but the reality is that it's a constant scrap for resources, and your average public school teacher in New York isn't much better off than they are elsewhere, except they probably have more students.

At the university level, the politics are cutthroat, and the economics are just as challenging, even when you don't factor in paying rent for classroom space in one of the most costly cities on the globe. With New York now footing the bill for thousands of adults to get a college education, less has to go further than it ever has.

Joining the Sphere

Any character can join the Education sphere at either character creation or in the course of play, either as a career choice or as someone pursuing a higher education for themselves. It’s possible that others might be stakeholders as well, based on their circumstance. If you’re unsure, speak with a Staff member.

Think about how your character interacts with their status, whether as a student, a teacher, a professor, or maybe a vested politician. What are their objectives in that realm, and what are their obstacles?

Joining the Education sphere may come with meeting certain requirements, albeit more thematic than strictly by the letter. Consider the following list:

  • Academics and either Expression or Persuasion
  • Skills or Specialties that reflect what your character teaches or studies

Sample Contacts and Allies within the Education sphere include:

  • Financial Aid Councilors
  • Omega Phi Alpha Sorority
  • Associate Professors
  • IT Majors
  • Student Registrar Office Staff
  • Young American Conservatives Student Organization

Rules and System

Status in Education represents your influence within the gears of the more than hundreds of education institutions, ranging from the comprehensive PS system to the ivory towers of New York's own Ivy League school. 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: Teacher at a public school, university student, campus employee, PTA President
  • Status 2: University teacher, associate professor, principal of a grade school
  • Status 3: School Board member, tenured professor
  • Status 4: Dean of a College, Superintendent of schools
  • Status 5: President of a University, Globally Renowned Professor, Schools Chancellor

Current Plots

None yet. Check back soon.


  • 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.