The backroom is what makes crisis truly unique. In the backroom you can take actions without the need to build consensus in the front room and build up your own personal resources. You are able to do this because of crisis notes. Crisis notes are notes written in character to fictional 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. We will go over how to write a good crisis note in a later section.
The logistics of notes are fairly simple, if your committee has crisis elements, you receive one or two notepads at the start of your first session. You use these to write plans, actions, questions, plots, etc. The dais of your committee will then periodically collect these notepads and respond to your note.
Ultimately, notes build your importance and power in committee. With a series of well written notes, you can take the spotlight of the committee. The next “crisis break” can be about you and your plans, which is a good goal to have. When your notes are causing crisis breaks, you become more influential in the decisions of the committee.
It’s also important to keep in mind that over the course of a weekend, you will be writing dozens of notes. Together these notes form what is called your “arc”. It is important to have some idea of what you want the end goal of your arc to be, that way you can be more direct about getting there. There are generally three phases to a crisis arc, building resources, building logistics, and executing your plan. Each note you will build upon what you have accomplished in previous notes until you reach the point where you can accomplish your goal. Here is an example of a crisis arc:
1. Open a pizza shop
2. With the money the first one open a whole chain of pizza shops
3. Using profits from the pizza chain buy up multiple newspapers
1. As owner of the newspaper have them publish articles promoting ideology and attacking opponents
2. Offer free pizza in shops to increase personal popularity
3. Put together a group of covert mercenaries who will do whatever asked
1. Have mercenaries sabotage the power grid
2. In newspapers publish articles blaming the blackout on the government and calling for protests
3. Have mercenaries dress up as protesters and engage in looting
4. Use newspapers to call for the government to resign and elections to be held due to mishandling of protests
5. Use popularity as a man of the people to make yourself the leading candidate to replace the government
You may notice that some of the actions in this arc might be working against committee, and might even be criminal. That is ok, as long as you don’t take things too far you are allowed to engage in illicit affairs. Some of the things that we don’t allow at MUNUC are drugs, unnecessary violence or killing, and anything that might be considered a war crime or crime against humanity. You should be careful when you engage in these activities, if committee finds out what you are doing they might put you on trial, and you could lose all your progress.
While you are working on carrying out your arc, 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. There will also be other delegates running their own arcs which might conflict with yours. Be flexible in your plans, there are often multiple ways you can reach the same result.
It can be helpful if early in committee you write a note to explain your character’s personal ideology, the broad strokes of your arcs’ plans, and your desired end-goals, essentially what is included in the position paper. 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.