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Glossary: I Use the Word “Relevant” a Lot

Dancing Lights Press

This goes hand-in-hand with “context“, because it’s about defining a moment. I use the word “relevant” a lot as an unspoken rule. All it means is “this applies to the current situation”. To tie it together, relevance can create context and vice-versa. It applies equally to systems, creative efforts, and group management.

It’s an important term because it comes back to the I-need-a-better-name-for-this Three Pillars of character, worldbuilding, and story. They all provide context for one another, but not every element of each is relevant to the others. Telling the guide “my character should be able to tie knots because their parents worked on fishing boats is relevant. The character should be able to do it, so either they can in spite of the oversight on their character sheet, or there now has to be a story explaining why they can’t. Character, worldbuilding, story.

At the table I’ve needed to invoke relevance far too often. In the middle of combat, a player whose character was in no position to climb anything had a question about the climbing rules. How is that relevant? It isn’t. Save it for another time, and get your head back into what’s going on. A lot of table talk isn’t relevant, and as most roleplayers who’ve been around for any amount of time know, table talk can be a huge problem.

So, relevant is now in the official Dancing Lights Press glossary.

About Dancing Lights Press

Dancing Lights Press publishes creative aids and story games that embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation. The spotlight belongs on the creativity of the players as they converse and collaborate on plot, worldbuilding, and character development. Roleplaying is an activity, not a book. Our titles are merely part of the delivery system.

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