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5E Does your group use inspiration? If not, why not?


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Mistwell

Legend
Yes, we use it, and have since it was a thing at beta stage. We don't always tie it to traits personality and flaws (though sometimes we do) it's more of an inspired role playing moment or sacrifice that we recognize.
 


We originally didn't use it much at all; my first campaign gave one out after each story arc (so 4 for the campaign). We started using it more frequently, but rather than give it out for traits, flaws, ideals, etc (since to us that's just playing the game), we give it out for good ideas, either in or out of character. This helps reward players for paying attention and interacting with the game world.
 

the Jester

Legend
All the time. I give it both as a reward for roleplaying your character in a way contrary to your best interests and as a reward for succeeding at tasks that don't earn xp. I also give it for other things like "lubricating the game"- basically, making it easier for the game to run, such as by helping a player in need get to the game (though not at the moment, given that all our gaming is currently remote), providing art or a prop for the game, etc.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Just to clarify, I'm talking about Inspiration rather than Bardic Inspiration:

I come from Exalted and Savage Worlds, where meta currencies like "stunt dice" and "bennies" are handed out like candy, allowing players to gain mechanical benefits for doing cool stuff. However, I tend to see a lot of resistance to the concept in 5e. These mechanics always struck me as a good way to encourage creativity and RP, which seems like a positive thing. Hence today's question: If you tend to ignore Inspiration in your games, why?
Basically never. It's unclear, boring and goofy.

Unclear, because it doesn't say when you can expend it. According to the examples in the book, it seems like it can be intended as a condition : you become "inspired" and as long as the reason for your inspiration is sustained, you can "expend" it (so that you cease to be inspired) in exchange for advantage on a single roll related to the reason I am inspired. Unfortunately I only see gaming groups playing it so that you "save" your inspiration for later and can use it on something totally unrelated: "hey 3 weeks ago I got inspired for donating money to a beggar, now I want to use it for shoplifting".

Boring because it's advantage which it's the most common benefits from special abilities. Advantage doesn't even allow you to do something beyond your current capabilities, as a straight bonus does, it only increases the chances. Useful yes, exciting no.

Goofy because what does it mean I earned my advantage by doing something cool and now I can give it to you because you do something cool? Why don't you get yours from the DM so that I can keep mine?

Also, traits and ideas are very unequal before gaining inspiration, with some it's much easier than others.

Originally I thought I would rather use inspiration for rewarding players who purposefully did something inconvenient in order to stay in character. Like not lying when it would really help, because the PC can't really be untruthful. But in practice I don't even remember to give inspiration anymore.

I might be persuaded to give it another go one day, but I really want to stick with the "inspiration as a condition", so that you have to find yourself a situation during which you both earn and expend your inspiration.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Though I can both see and understand their appeal to some, mechanics like this are far too 'meta' for my liking.
 

jsaving

Adventurer
These mechanics always struck me as a good way to encourage creativity and RP, which seems like a positive thing. Hence today's question: If you tend to ignore Inspiration in your games, why?
Our group agrees that creativity and RP are important but disagrees with your judgment that the inspiration mechanic is a good way to foster them. If players are role-playing already then they do not need mechanical benefits like inspiration to cheer them on, whereas if they're not interested in role-playing then no amount of mechanical tinkering will help them understand why they are "wrong" to devalue it.
 


Nebulous

Legend
Rarely. It's so easy to forget it just gets left by the wayside. BUT, I did use it a few months ago, a player impressed me with some obscure film reference, I was so astonished I gave his PC Inspiration on the spot. I've also given it I think if someone made me laugh from something especially clever. But generally, no, we don't use it.
 

We don't use inspiration at all. We feel that it is a mechanism for rewarding players for playing "the right way(tm)" or for disrupting the game by trying to be "entertaining".

We tried it. One by one, players announced to the table over a few sessions that they were opting out, and refused inspiration when offered. We were insulted that the rules thought we needed a cookie to play our characters .

We allow each player one "hero point" they can use in the same way inspiration could be used. It refreshes at the beginning of the next session, or when they accomplish a character goal. No one can have more than one at a time.
 


Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I don't use the system in the book, no. I do use something somewhat similar, but not based on the traits and flaws, or alignment, none of which I use either. I have something more like core drives that I like to use to help define characters, and an 'inspiration' system based on that and great role playing moments, where the dice you get are more potent than inspiration dice. I use those dice to power my Blades-style flashback mechanic, and I tie some narrative authority into their use as well. When the results of the die spend are cooler, and are tied to meaningful mechanics, people tend to forget to use them (myself included).
 

Retreater

Legend
No. The game isn't particularly difficult, nor is the mechanic substantial enough to keep up with. Plus when I do it, power gamers trying to role play for mechanical benefits was an annoyance. I don't use bonds, flaws, etc. Backgrounds are only useful for two skill proficiencies.
 

cbwjm

Hero
Nope because it's always forgotten about. I'm thinking of just chucking some d20s into the centre of the table equal to the number of players and saying that they can use one for advantage on any d20 roll but each time they do, I get 1 to use at a later date that session. Something like the Doom pool from marvel superheroes saga edition.
 


No. My players roleplay constantly, and getting advantage for no reason feels really artificial to us. I have no issue handing out advantage in general though.
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Yeah, we use it. I give Inspiration for good roleplaying, especially if the player is doing something in-character that is closely related to their Trait, Ideals, Bond, or Flaw.
 


Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Everybody in our group gets a point of Inspiration every session. I expect a high level of engagement and roleplaying from my groups anyway, and just having it be a regular thing both helps us remember it.

This method also effectively always allows a player to take narrative control on a moment's notice to look cool or do something cool.
 

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