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My players bought me a plaque for DM'ing for them that has this quote on it.

Nat 1. You think you're in a room. But you've been wrong before.

Nat 1. You think you're in a room. But you've been wrong before.

It seems like a quote that would have come from some RPG live play group or some such but while I can find plenty of people mentioning this quote and selling it on things, I can't find the origin of it.

Where does this quote come from?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've never heard the quote before, although the second half makes me think of the song Foolish Heart by Steve Perry. \$\endgroup\$
    – Raj
    May 19, 2021 at 18:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ I love your players' spirit. \$\endgroup\$ May 20, 2021 at 12:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting similarity to this \$\endgroup\$ May 20, 2021 at 12:42

2 Answers 2

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This appears to be a subversion of the classic "You're in a room"

"You're In A Room" originated, as best as I can tell, from the TV game show Knightmare, in which contestants had to describe a fantastical world surrounding a blindfolded partner. When beginning their descriptions, it was very common to begin the with "You're in a room", to the point that it became a beloved phrase associated with the show.

Eventually, the phrase permeated into computer and tabletop RPGs in which games would begin their descriptions, jokingly or otherwise, with "you're in a room". I have personally been part of games as a player and DM where the narrator jokingly ended the description there and waited for players to confusedly ask for detail.

This plaque subverts this quote with the natural 1, indicating that you can't get even the most basic information about your surroundings.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "You are in a room [...]" is also very common in text adventure games and old PCRPGs with rudimentary graphics. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tsugihagi
    May 21, 2021 at 11:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tsugihagi I thought so, but I failed to find any examples. If you have any you know of, please let me know and I'll add them into this answer! \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex F
    May 21, 2021 at 15:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ My first thought was "The Count", a VIC-20 Text adventure that has "I'm in a bedroom. [...]" and proceeds to vaguely describe the room, but I'm trying to see if I can find better-known examples. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tsugihagi
    May 21, 2021 at 15:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Telnet driven MUDs at times have just something akin to that phrase, need to look up some. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    May 21, 2021 at 18:32
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It turns out source described below probably is not a root source, but may very well be a direct source of the text on your plaqe.


The only instance I can find that's not related to merch comes from D&D reddit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/9sxf2r/looking_for_fun_dd_related_sayings_quotes_etc/

Specifically this comment posted on Oct 31, 2018. 08:23:15 GMT https://www.reddit.com/r/DnD/comments/9sxf2r/comment/e8s8gch

Ashenrohk DM 2yr

*player rolls nat 1 on perception*

DM: "You think you're in a room, but you've been wrong before"

Screenshot with above quote

It looks weird for this little comment to be source of all this merch, but it's in a thread dedicated to collecting ideas for quotes to put on rpg gadgets. Looks quite probable that gadget manufacturers have found it. Especially given that I (and Medix2) can't find any merch that would actually predate this comment.


According to Carcer

before anyone else bothers them, I have already asked them and they said they definitely didn't come up with it but don't remember where they got it from.

Thus, it looks like it ended on the merch because it was on the "give me merch ideas" reddit thread, but the root source would forever stay a mystery.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I found that same thing too in my search. It seems unlikely to be the source of all this random merch but the internet is a weird place... \$\endgroup\$ May 19, 2021 at 22:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Matthew It is in a thread dedicated to collecting ideas for quotes to put on rpg gadgets. Looks quite probable that gadget manufacturers have found it. Especially given that I can't find any merch that would actually predate this comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    May 19, 2021 at 22:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure how relevant the oldest internet source is considering that the internet is pretty new. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    May 20, 2021 at 0:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jason_c_o before anyone else bothers them, I have already asked them and they said they definitely didn't come up with it but don't remember where they got it from. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    May 20, 2021 at 7:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ I still wouldn't exclude the possibility that they coined it. They might have heard something similar, misremembered it, and then unknowingly coined a new thing. "No art is original" after all :-P \$\endgroup\$
    – RHS
    May 21, 2021 at 15:38

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