Guide to Advanced Crisis

BUILDING ARCS

Crisis committees are distinct in the extent to which delegate actions can shape the debate and topics being covered in committee, as crisis breaks and updates point the committee in new directions, multiple times a day. This section will explain how you can build an interesting and comprehensive Crisis Arc which leaves a deep and important impact, increasing your ability to shape the committee to your vision. We’ll assume you’re at least moderately familiar with what a Crisis Arc is–if not, refer to our “Intro to Crisis” modules before you keep reading.

Ok, now that we’re on the same page, the goal of any good Crisis Arc will be, almost always, to undermine the influence of the committee and promote your own interests. To be clear, you shouldn’t interpret this as, “I must topple the government of committee and make myself President.” Think of it more as taking away the legitimacy, strength, or structure of the committee and reconsolidating it for yourself.

Does that sound too broad? That’s because it is, at least at this stage. Fortunately, you have the power to define your ideology and interests in your own arc–that way, success will be defined on your terms. This will start when you read your Character Bio (MUNUC will include these in the Background Guides posted to the website). Your Bio will have some pointers about your character’s values, ideologies, and powers, and, while these are not set in stone, they can be a good starting point as you consider how to build your arc. Your goal will be to take the beliefs of your character and extrapolate/enhance them, starting very early in your arc (i.e. your first note), so that you convince your staffer and Crisis Director that your goals are important and that, if you reach them, you have succeeded.

Ok great, we’ve established how to build an ideology. How can we begin thinking about the arc itself–how can you concretely achieve your ideology and put your arc into action? There are two main strategies here, and you can feel free to use them in tandem.

(1) Top-Down Structure

This is the most common strategy. Once you have your end goal in mind (create a secessionist territory, impose religious law, establish a communist state), you’ll work your way down. If you want, say, a secessionist territory, you’ll need to delegitimize the current government and grow your own base of support. Perhaps you can delegitimize the current government by using your position to cause a crisis (you’re the Treasury Secretary? Cause a banking crash. Secretary of Agriculture? Poison the crops. You get the idea), or by publishing propaganda, or by assassinating a government official. And maybe you can grow your base of support by recruiting a private police force, or giving food to the poor in the area you want to secede, or creating a regional radio show. Basically, you will use your end goal to determine what resources and actions you need to achieve along the way.

(2) Bottom-Up Structure

This is the second-most common strategy, and one that is helpful if you’re stuck on what to do. In this framework, you’ll be focusing even more on your Character Bio. Essentially, you’ll analyze your existing resources (family connections, portfolio powers, education, personal companies, etc.), and work with your ideology to build an arc. For instance, let’s say your character is the Minister of Industry, comes from a large family, owns a textile factory, and is devoutly religious. You can begin to put these pieces together–maybe you assemble a fighting force from your extended network of cousins and siblings? You could produce religious-themed textiles and clothing to spread your cause, or forge documents within the Ministry of Industry to increase the production of holy symbols, all to further your goal of religious authoritarianism.

Improving Your Speeches

You will advance your arc by taking personal actions through notes written to confidants. Backroom staffers will respond to these notes in character. If your note was well-written and detailed, your requests will likely be granted and your plans will largely succeed. If your note is brief or poorly thought-out, your request will likely be rejected or your plan will fail. Regardless, always expect some pushback—things very rarely go entirely to plan! Besides, we don’t want to make things too easy for you; expect staffers to throw challenges your way so that they can see how you respond.

Your crisis arc should have 3 phases and be paced accordingly:

  1. Establish ideology and amass resources (Thursday and Friday first session)
  2. Build logistics (Friday first session to Saturday first session)
  3. Execute your plan (Saturday first and second session)

Early in committee, use a note to explain your character’s personal ideology, the broad strokes of your arcs’ plans, and your desired end-goals. It is okay if you change and adapt your plans as obstacles arise, but it is helpful for the Crisis Director to know your general direction as soon as possible. Be aware that dramatic actions that will radically influence committee need to be built-up to and well set-up. Be sure that you have the resources and logistics needed before trying to execute a major operation.

Joint Personal Directives

Joint Personal Directives (JPDs) are private directives that allow you and collaborating delegates to pool personal resources to advance backroom objectives. A JPD can have as few as 2 signatories, but it may also have half of committee signed on! JPDs can either be one-time collaborations or the bases for an entire joint arc with another delegate. Identify shared goals with other delegates, then determine how the resources you have already amassed can be best used, collaboratively, to advance mutual or separate-but-interrelated interests.

While JPDs are structured like any other directive, they do not need to be voted on by the whole of committee. Instead, those party to each JPD sign it and send it to backroom as though it were a note. Backroom will respond to JPDs like notes—it may be approved or pushed back on depending on its nuance and feasibility.

Non-Traditional Mechanics

Non-traditional mechanics fall outside the bounds of normal committee structure. Some committees, like the MUNUC 33 Experimental Committee, are based around non-traditional mechanics such as large time jumps and frequent changes in topic. Normal crisis committees will also include non-traditional mechanics once or twice a committee, but they will usually be more along the lines of trials, elections, or other mechanics that advance the crisis plot.

If delegates obtain evidence that a member of committee has committed crimes in the backroom, they may motion to put them on trial, or Committees may simulate elections in which delegates are asked to decide which of them will hold a certain open office. Some committees may specify that you may not vote for yourself, so you will need to persuade a plurality of the other delegates to support you (or whoever else you are advocating for).

Non-traditional mechanics are, first and foremost, designed to make the committee more interesting and to allow delegates to branch out from the traditional caucus structure. Non-traditional mechanics are also a chance for delegates to showcase their skills and think on their feet.

If something pops up that you’ve never seen before in committee, don’t stress! Chances are, other people in the room are also surprised. That’s the point of crisis. Always feel free to ask questions and be sure to keep participating, even if you aren’t completely sure what’s going to happen next. Even if crisis isn’t going your way, don’t give up. We love to see people experiment and try new things. The key is to just keep trying!

What Success at Crisis Looks Like

Non-traditional mechanics are, first and foremost, designed to make the committee more interesting and to allow delegates to branch out from the traditional caucus structure. Non-traditional mechanics are also a chance for delegates to showcase their skills and think on their feet.

If something pops up that you’ve never seen before in committee, don’t stress! Chances are, other people in the room are also surprised. That’s the point of crisis. Always feel free to ask questions and be sure to keep participating, even if you aren’t completely sure what’s going to happen next. Even if crisis isn’t going your way, don’t give up. We love to see people experiment and try new things. The key is to just keep trying!