Law & Government

From Dark City

Law & Government Overview

New York City employs over 325,000 people to assist with the conducting of its civil affairs, of which over 36,000 are cops. Its annual budget for 2021 is $88.2 billion, that's billion with a b -- and it spends every red cent. With some of the highest costs in the world, the City doesn't get cut a lot of slack in its own resource and labor procurement, but with big spending comes big taxation, and frequently there's a lot of noise about exactly how all of that money is spent.

With the eyes of the world frequently leveled on New York, everything that it does comes under a magnifying glass, ranging from court decisions to adopted legislation to the frequent instances of police brutality. Whether it's the business sector, or education, medicine, transportation, finance, and more, there are very few things that the artifice of New York's expansive city government don't touch.

Theme and Society

<Law and Order sound dun-dun>

The apparatus of New York City is a monolith in its own right, and attempting to navigate to the top can take your entire life -- and you can still fail. You can still never even get started. Whether you're an ambitious politico or a beat cop, an attorney or one of the hundreds of thousands who work for the City, you know that for all your good intentions and hard work, you'll always be bound up in red tape. But that doesn't mean you still can't accomplish, or improve, but know that when you try, there's the weight of decades and trillions of dollars worth of "this is how we've always done it" pushing back against you.

Joining the Sphere

There are some limitations on who can enter the Law & Government sphere. With a strict profiling and background checking process, someone with a criminal or even checkered past would be unlikely to gain this status, and someone who had trouble holding down daylight hours (like, for instance, a Vampire) would struggle to rise in the sphere, as the majority of significant positions and opportunities for advancement are naturally during a traditional nine to five.

Beyond that, characters are open to join the sphere at chargen or in play.

There are no stat requirements to enter Law & Government, although the following stats are encouraged:

  • Intelligence, Wits, Resolve
  • Politics, Academics, Investigation
  • Resources, Allies, Contacts, Mentor, Staff, Safe Place

Sample Contacts and Allies in the Law & Government sphere might include:

  • Administrative Assistants
  • Lobbyists
  • Case Workers
  • Councilmen
  • Beat Cops
  • Desk Sergeants

Rules and System

Status in Law & Government represents your pull and influence in the legal and civic back-channels of 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: Legal intern or civic activist, rookie or beat cop
  • Status 2: Attorney or employee working for the City, Detective
  • Status 3: Partner at a law firm, manager working for the City
  • Status 4: Significant Elected Official, Judge
  • Status 5: Mayor, Governor

Current Plots

  • Union negotiations with the City have hit a complete standstill.


  • 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.