Captain Obvious / Tabletop Games

All examples found in games with physical equipment, played generally on top of a table but occasionally on the floor, are here!

  • Canonically, this is the result of a Critical Failure on your diagnostics check in BattleTech, particularly in the RPG version called Mechwarrior. If your Tech flubs their roll when asked to assess damage, the best estimates they manage to make are blindingly obvious statements that are immediately apparent to anyone with functional eyes.
    Uh, well, the head is blown off.
  • Cthulhu Tech's description for having a low "Support Weapons" skill: "Support Weapons make bigger explosions than other weapons and you think that's cool."
    • Which is actually a very useful description showing that low skill in a given area may include not only lack of aptitude but also limited, short-incomplete or even false perceptions. In the case quoted, the skill of providing tactical support is limited to knowledge of Gatling Good and More Dakka tropes.
  • The 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual has an infamously hilarious example where it requires a DC20 Knowledge (nature) check to learn that bears attack with their claws. Memetic Mutation has extended similar gems of wisdom to fire (DC15: Fire is hot), water (DC25: When immersed in water, organisms with lungs cannot breathe) and bees (DC20: BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES).
    • "DC15: Bears live in the woods". Well you could get it wrong, and then your characters think bears live in condos in Florida and vacation in Newfoundland.
    • Given the other creatures inhabiting the typical Dungeons & Dragons world, a less educated person might be forgiven for thinking that bears attack with death rays from their eyes. In fact, in World of Synnibarr, bears do attack with death rays from their eyes.
  • The card Duh from the Magic: The Gathering joke set Unhinged invokes this trope. (Reminder text is any italicized text in parentheses that explains rules you already know.)
    • The card Fat Ass, which gained additional Power if you were eating, had reminder text that defined eating.
  • The Star Wreck RPG has "State the Obvious" as a special ability. Most of the time it isn't very helpful but if the rest of the group Failed a Spot Check it provides a huge bonus. Given that this is "Paranoia: THE SPACE OPERA" this translates to a 25% chance.
  • An old roleplaying story from a Vampire: The Masquerade game has the players trying to put together a plan to defend against an impending attack by the violent Sabbat. One player, pleased with his insight, says, "If I know the Sabbat, when they come, they'll come at night." Everyone just stares at him until somebody breaks character and replies "Of course they'll come at night. They're vampires."