Write a Statement

Statements are a tool for making a character unique. A statement is a short description about a character. Statements define a character’s special strengths, beliefs, and talents. During gameplay, a character’s statements may provide a bonus to certain rolls. At 1st level, every character has two statements.

What Makes a Good Statement

The best statements are written as simple sentences or short phrases focused on some sort of action, belief, or quality important to a character. A statement should strike a balance between too narrow and too broad, even if these parameters are hard to define. If a statement is too narrow, it will seldom (if ever) affect a character’s success. If it is too broad, the statement turns into a blanket bonus to pretty much everything.

In general, statements fall into three categories: physical, mental, and social. Due to the nature of statements, however, there is some overlap. When writing a statement, focus on one of the three categories to start with. Here are some examples:

  • Physical: Trained by the Space Marines. Healthy as a horse. Swimming is the best way to travel.
  • Mental: Stubborn as a mule. Secrets deserve to be revealed. Logic always finds a way.
  • Social: A silver tongue opens many doors. Daughter of an aristocrat. Child of the streets.

Example – Writing a Statement: Christopher is making up an expert. He thinks about his character. What is he like? Does he have any special talent, noteworthy strength, or important belief? Christopher decides his character suffered a horrible tragedy that changed his life. He writes a statement about this tragedy: “Xenomorphs ate my father!”

During gameplay, Christopher watches for times when his character’s statement would affect his hero’s actions. During those times, Christopher can narrate how the statement affects his character. If he does so in a way that makes sense within the game’s story, then Christopher’s character gets a die-roll bonus.

How Statements Work

During the game, the player should be on the look out for situations in which his character’s statements can affect gameplay. When such a situation arises, he narrates his character’s actions appropriately. If he narrates appropriately, his character enjoys a +1 bonus to a single roll.

In general, statements are meant to be widely applicable and flexible enough to let players be creative. Keep this in mind when narrating actions: The die roll determines success or failure. The narration earns a bonus, but not automatic success. Thus, narration must be modest enough to account for the possibility of failure.

Example – Narrating a Statement: Let’s look at two different ways the statement “Xenomorphs ate my father!” can affect gameplay. First, in combat: “Chuck swings the flamethrower toward the monster, remembering all of those nightmare-haunted days he studied xenomorph biology and habits.” This is worth a +1 bonus on an attack roll to simulate Chuck’s intimate knowledge of xenomorphs. Next, in a social situation in a xenomorph-ravaged facility: “Chuck gently takes the kid’s hands in his own and looks into her eyes. He says, ‘I dunno how you managed to stay alive, but you’re one brave kid, and you’re safe now. I will never leave you. That’s a promise.” This is worth a +1 bonus on a Persuade skill check to calm the kid down.


Amazing Future Tales MarkChance