Creating a Crisis Arc

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 “Backroom Overview” module 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.