Making a Quest Event ProposalWe highly recommend that you download the sample proposal (Word for Windows format) and use it as the basis for your proposal.
Your proposal should:
- give the Committee as good of an idea as possible of what your game is about, and
- show the Committee that you have already done a lot of thinking about plot, staff, and organization.
Detail is crucial for both, especially on the organization and bookkeeping parts.
This document is divided into these parts:
Writing Your Proposal
Your Proposal's Appearance
We're basically looking for "clear and legible", so please don't use a fantasy-looking font or anything else fancy.
Try to make the proposal easily understandable: separate it into sections, use distinct paragraphs, title your sections, etc. Proposals are often set up like a big outline, and for good reason.
Most importantly, bring at least eight copies of your proposal so that each Committee member has a copy to read, plus you have one of your own.
Your first sheet should be a copy of the game "teaser". It does not have to be the final draft.
The sample game proposal includes the standard "info block" ("Continuing Game 123: Feast of Darkness is a Continuing Game tavern night that will be held on February 30, 2009, at the Wesleyan University campus...") Please use this sample block, as it contains all the info that must go into a teaser, such as the date, the cost, and the need to be 18.
The Ops Committee asks that you give one hour (no more, no less) for check-in, with new players instructed to arrive when check-in first opens. If you use the sample game proposal, all this information will already be in the "info block".
Remember that just as your teaser will sell your game to the players, so too will it sell the game to the EC. The teaser matters; players do decide whether or not to come based on what the teaser says. Make sure your teaser appeals to a wide variety of players, giving a broad base of character types a reason to be at the game locale. If your game appeals to only a certain kind of character, make sure that this information comes out in the teaser so that players know what to expect and can choose characters accordingly.
Two-day games should offer food (and if your game will not, you must warn your players). Tavern nights do not have to offer food. Be sure to tell your players in your teaser whether you will be serving a meal(s), snacks, or nothing at all.
Weekend events only:
Weekend games require PCs to register with you, so that you know how many PCs you will be getting and how much food to buy. PCs do not have to send a check ahead of time; they merely need to RSVP. The registration cutoff should be one month before the event. PCs who register before this date pay the basic game fee; people who register after it pay extra.
So you'll want to include a line in the teaser such as "To attend this event you must register with the GMs, by sending an RSVP email. The event will cost $60 if you register by the February 31 registration deadline, and $75 thereafter."
List who the GMs are, since the EC is handing official responsibility for the event over to those people. (If you want to add a new GM after the proposal date, you'll need EC approval.)
You'll want to "sell" your game beyond what's in the teaser. What will make your game particularly enjoyable? What will make your game memorable for players? What's the "big deal"?
Most GMs also include a "game philosophy" section, e.g. describing your game as "gothic horror", "light-hearted fantasy", "filled with moral dilemmas", etc. You may want to mention whether you'll be sticking to a well-designed plot tree, or letting PC decisions lead the plot. Also, include other game conceptions - will the game be party vs. party, or will the PCs be united in a common goal? Will each party have individual aims of its own? Will you not even have pre-planned parties (as is the case with most Continuing Games) at all?
Lastly, remember that Quest players (including Committee members) come in different strains: role-players, problem-solvers, and fighters, etc. Use this section to show how your game has things to do for all types of players.
Two-day games (and tavern nights serving a meal) do not have to the kitchen staff pre-arranged at the time of the proposal, but it certainly would help.
Beyond that, you do not need to have taken on all your staff by the time of your proposal. List your GMs and AGMs, plus what staff personnel you do have. Try to include which staff will be playing which NPCs unless this would spoil your plot.
Experience matters; the best way to learn how to run a good game is to have done so. If the GMs are only moderately experienced, it is highly recommended that you have experienced personnel as AGMs or important staff (and that you give them a say in organizing the game). Not only will it improve your proposal's chances, but you'll be thankful when the game actually runs. If the GMs have never been on a game staff before, you're going to have a real tough time getting your proposal to pass..
Also remember that it is just as important to pick your players as it is your staff! If you take all the so-called "good" people onto your staff, your players may end up naive and clueless. Try to make your staff both "veteran" personnel as well as some "younger" players. However, also try to avoid taking people who have never been to Quest games before onto your staff. Staff are supposed to be generally more competent with rules and conventions, and newbies just aren't, no matter how many times they read the rulebook...
Weekend events only:
You must, and we do mean must, have your kitchen staff pre-arranged by the time of your proposal. NO WEEKEND-GAME PROPOSAL WILL BE ACCEPTED if you do not have someone to head up your kitchen. If you're having a problem finding kitchen staff, talk to the Events Committee before the proposal meeting.
Include a detailed timetable: when you'll have staff meetings, costume meetings, props meetings, and so on.
Weekend events only:
Since your preparation timetable will be longer than that for a tavern night, you'll want to list when your teaser will go out, when additional info (if any) will be mailed, when the staff packet will go out, etc.
We realize that GMs can only be so detailed here while not spoiling their plot. This is ok! Be as detailed as you can.
Tell us when your check-in begins and ends (yes, this is up to you), when you hope to start the game, and (for weekend games) how late events will run each day.
If you can't go into detail about events lest you spoil the plot, at least show that you have a organized picture of what will happen: "2nd wave of monsters goes out." "3rd batch of activity." "2nd major plot event." "Ominous signs for PCs." "More treasure put out."
Weekend events only:
Since weekend games are much longer than tavern nights and involve more set-up time, include also (as much as possible) pre-game organizational info, such as "Friday 1 pm. GMs arrive at camp" or "Friday 3:00 pm. Set up scarecrows by second lake".
Also, don't plan on starting your game before about 10 pm on Friday night. Aim for 9 pm, but don't count on it.
Be as picky as you can about numbers. Divide your budget into three sections: Expenses, Revenue, and Balance.
Expenses: Remember that while most costs are fixed (e.g. props always cost the same, regardless of your number of PCs), things like food costs vary by number of people. Account for about $4 per person per full meal, $1-$2 for snacks. Most tavern nights have either substantial snacks ($2 per person) or a full meal and light snacks ($5 per person total); most two-day games have two full meals and some snacks ($9-$10 per person total).
A game's total budget for food, props and costumes combined is usually about $100-$120 for a tavern night without meal, $225-$250 for a tavern night with meal, and $425-$450 for a two-day game. If you have special circumstances that you think warrant a larger props/costumes budget, be sure to explain them.
Please include a detailed list of props and materials needed, with costs. (Detail shows that you've thought out what monsters and costumes you'll need.) Remember that Quest's Props Manager can provide you with a list of what's already in Quest stock, and you can really really cut your expenses by using existing materials.
Revenue: the money coming in. (Cost per staff times number of staff) + (cost per player times number of players). Pretty simple, eh? Game costs are typically $10 for a tavern night, $15 for a tavern night serving a full meal, and $20 for a two-day.
Balance: aka profit. Revenue minus Expenses, assuming the number of estimated people is accurate. Bringing in a sizeable profit does matter, since it pays for the storage space, weapon upkeep, etc.
Weekend events only:
Income will be $60 per person.
Expenses must include the camp ($2,600). Props, costumes, and other expenses should come to about $150. Food runs about $12-15 per person.
This means that weekend events are at a big risk of losing money unless they get enough people. That's why it's very important that you have a compelling teaser, that you get the teaser out early, and that you try to recruit people who might not otherwise attend the event (e.g. by bringing them onto staff, or getting them excited about coming to the event as a PC.)
Tavern nights do not need to serve a meal.
If you are serving a meal(s), list what your kitchen staff plans to serve. You must include a suitable vegetarian option at all meals, and you may need to account for kosher, vegan, allergies, etc. as well. Your teaser should ask people to mail the GMs with dietary issues.