How Would You Make Inspiration More Used?

I'm A Banana

I think that is the rub, some groups do this naturally, and others need system assistance. The vague triggers can be arbitrary and seen as "mother may I" type play. I like the inspiration on 20 roll because its a rare, but tangible trigger. I also like getting inspiration on a 1 roll too.
I do think this is a really interesting distinction between Inspiration as it is and the direction they're taking Inspiration in. Right now, DM's give Inspiration, and they give it in a kind of vague and nebulous way, like a little cookie for "good RP" whatever that is. And then it's easy to forget or not use because who KNOWS when that'll happen again. It definitely doesn't feel like something I control, as a player.

Giving the players a more active hand in generating inspiration is a great idea.

I think what I don't like is linking it to builds or to luck. The thing I want players to do is not to fish for 20's to get 1/day advantage. I want them to engage with their characters and the world. I don't want to replace bardic inspiration with Inspiration.

I am more OK with them spending Inspiration being part of builds or a way to tweak luck. Give Bards a unique way to spend Inspiration on their allies.

But keep Bards earning Inspiration by leaning into their character flaws and world elements.

Like, maybe Bards have a class feature called True Artist and if the bard creates a new composition in the world, they get Inspiration. And then maybe they can spend it to gain a bonus use of Bardic Inspiration. I would like my bard characters to make songs. That is DOPE.
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I think inspiration should be a reroll, not advantage. It works better for players who forget about it when they roll (my players do ALL the time), and it stacks with the numerous sources of advantage already in the game.
The few times we've used it, I think we allowed the reroll, as advantage if that made things work out better for the player (say for sneak attack). The amount of times players would forget, I figured it was worth letting them retcon it.


what part of it doesn't work, exactly?
Um, the rerolling part. Sorry, just a little joke. ;)

The part that doesn't work is the sense that giving Players* a Reroll option (versus Advantage) when using inspiration will encourage them to use it more often. This doesn't work because that is already what people* do. The idea that people know, understand, and practice the rule that Inspiration is used as Advantage on a roll is just false in my experience. So, trying to solve the problem by giving us something we already "in fact" have does not and will not work.

My footnote may sound hyperbolic but it's not. I think most people just assume that Advantage and Rerolling are equivalent**. Or better yet, we don't assume anything, we just play without thinking about it.

I think Inspiration is great even though I don't see it used very often. It can encourage us to get in touch with our Characters' softer sides. However, it only works if we use it; which is dependent on the Dungeon Master remembering to give it out, and then, on top of that, it's dependent on the Players remembering to use it***. Because of this, it is essentially an optional rule that works for some Tables and not for others. Which is fine. It's not an integral part of the game and I hope it stays that way.

Maybe there should be a moratorium on the use of inspiration. Maybe 10 minutes, or an hour. Or better yet, maybe there should be one Inspiration point and it gets passed on to the next Inspired Player even if the current Player hasn't used it yet. You snooze, you lose****.

* Me and my Players/people to be more precise (and every other Player/person I've played with at conventions).
** They're not, and I understand that.
*** It's frustrating when you remember to give a Player Inspiration but they can't accept it because they already have Inspiration from the last time you remembered to give it out.
**** Hmm :unsure:.
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The game is too easy, so players don't need to use Inspiration. It's easy to make saving throws and to hit on attack rolls. You succeed like 75% of the time.
And if you miss an attack, it's not like the creatures do enough damage where there's ever any danger anyway. You'll get them next time. And if they do end up knocking you out, you have 3-4 other party members who can heal you.

I'm A Banana

You know Retreater, you got a point. If everything we do is awesome, then what do we need with awesome points?
One of the cool things that Inspiration can do is to give you awesome points for choosing to not being awesome.

If you give in to your basest instincts or you choose a more difficult path to adhere to your beliefs, Inspiration can help offset the problems that come out of that.

I was surprised that WotC stuck with one inspiration at a time. That seemed like the rule for when it was a new idea and they were worried it might be overpowered. One would think 8 years of it not being overpowered, or particularly powerful at all, would have made them willing to live a little more.

But, I figure it's still about a 50% chance that it ends up being that you can store inspiration equal to your proficiency bonus. WotC these days is always on the lookout for something else to tie to proficiency bonus.


But, I figure it's still about a 50% chance that it ends up being that you can store inspiration equal to your proficiency bonus. WotC these days is always on the lookout for something else to tie to proficiency bonus.
that'd be too much. i think half (perhaps rounded up) would be fine, but your full prof bonus would just be excessive. you don't need 6 free instances of advantage a long rest.

edit: of course, we'll see if wotc cares about that...


I like letting players use inspiration as a reroll rather than beforehand. That's how Baldur's Gate 3 does it, and I do like it that way.

I also don't mind allowing PCs to use Inspiration as something like a Fate Point declaration or even as a "Help me out DM" ... within reason.


Prince of Dorkness
Since I first started playing 5e and stumbled across Inspiration in the PHB, I immediately wrote it off as meta-gamey and nothing I wanted to use in my campaigns. Especially the part about players rewarding each other with Inspiration or donating their own Inspiration to another player. And to this day I still haven’t used it. It hasn’t even crossed my mind, to be honest. But since 1DD seems to be forcing us to use this mechanic, I’m pondering how I’ll need to tweak for my games. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Nobody likes when they have an opponent down to a handful of HP left and then roll a Nat 20. It’s a waste when your bare minimum damage would finish off the enemy, but you now get to roll double damage. Whoop-dee-doo! I think I’ll change it so that, when you roll a Nat 20 on an attack roll, you can forego the double damage to gain Inspiration instead. You can then use that Inspiration in the future to turn a normal hit into a critical hit. I might also allow players to accumulate multiple Inspirations. I don’t know, this just popped in my head while reading this thread, so I’ll have to give it a bit more thought.

On a side note, I don’t get the push for earning Inspiration on a Nat 1. I would think people would be more inspired by overwhelming success than by abject failure. If anything, rebounding after abject failure wouldn’t be Inspiration, it would be Determination. Another idea just came to me: If DMs are worried about their players hoarding Inspiration, they can always change it so that a Nat 20 grants Inspiration, but a Nat 1 takes Inspiration away. That would certainly incentivize players to “use them before they lose them.”


On a side note, I don’t get the push for earning Inspiration on a Nat 1. I would think people would be more inspired by overwhelming success than by abject failure. If anything, rebounding after abject failure wouldn’t be Inspiration, it would be Determination. Another idea just came to me: If DMs are worried about their players hoarding Inspiration, they can always change it so that a Nat 20 grants Inspiration, but a Nat 1 takes Inspiration away. That would certainly incentivize players to “use them before they lose them.”
I think this is a popular element from many non-D&D rpgs. Some of them reward XP and other bennies if you play into faults and stay true to characters and play out difficult situations.


My group has evolved to use it as a reroll, because a bad roll is a easier trigger to remember than thinking ahead of time. But I'm not sure if I like how those situations work when you already have advantage or disadvantage, roll poorly, then get to use a reroll on top of that.

How about this?
1. If you don't already have Advantage on a d20 Test, you may spend your Inspiration before rolling to get Advantage to the roll (cancelling Disadvantage instead, if it exists).
2. If you don't have Advantage or Disadvantage when you fail a d20 Test, you may reroll one d20 (this is not Advantage).
3. If you already have Advantage on a d20 Test, you cannot spend Inspiration on the roll.
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Personally, I would like to see Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws continue to be a thing. But make it so the player can claim Inspiration once per trait per session instead of having to wait for the DM to give it to them.

What if you got one experience point for playing your personality, ideals, bonds, flaws each session, for a possible total of 4xp per session. Maybe you need 20 xp to level up, and achieving a group goal could net additional xp. That could could be defeating monsters, but it also might be stealing a treasure, exploring a location, uncovering ancient lore, etc.

I like the human inspiration thing. Really fitting.

I also like them to be lost when lying down for a long rest. Makes you go on if you have them.

I also like musician to give inspiration during a short rest, so you are also inspired to go on.

However I'd like them to be a reroll and I'd like them to stack a bit. Either being able to have two at a time or even prof bonus. Every mechanic that make you go on and counterbalances attrition is something I like. (Don't take me wrong and think I don't like attrition as a mechanic. I just like it while your ressources go down, you get different bonuses so you have to really consider if you go on or not.)

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I keep seeing more and more posts saying that it's used to re-roll as a house rule. I really hope WotC pays attention and changes the official rule.

The only problem I see is that it kind of steps on Lucky's toes. I guess I'd rather see Lucky get re-written.


One of the things they seem to be gunning for in the playtest is adding more ways to gain Inspiration. According to the interview on YouTube, they are looking for "a way to feed people inspiration through the system itself" and generally encourage gaining it and using it. Rolling 20's and being Human are ways to get it in the playtest.

I'm interested in getting some ideas on how to deliver and encourage the use of Inspiration. How would you like to see Inspiration given, and how would you think of encouraging people to use it? What's your take on how the playtest is doing it so far?

For me, I'm OK with a nat 20 giving you Inspiration. The Human racial trait is a little wonkier. One of the things I like about Inspiration is that it is not something you can build for, it is something you have to play for, and I would prefer that to be the case going forward, too.

Some ideas that have worked pretty well in my games:

Inspiration Gained from your Conflicts.
I've had games set up giving every character one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and whenever you succumbed to your Sin, you got Inspiration. I had a Planescape game where Inspiration was awarded by doing things in line with your philosophy that you otherwise wouldn't do (when an Athar member refused healing from a cleric of a god, for instance). I've had games inspired by screenwriting that separate a character's Wants from Needs, and those characters got Inspiration when they gave into their Wants. In another game, each PC was linked to an enemy group (ie, this wizard is set against the barbarians that hated magic), and they got inspiration by mentioning something that they did that would attract that enemy group (ie, the wizard crafted a magic item).

In all of these situations, Inspiration was something the players controlled their own access to, by making specific decisions to pursue it that had to do with the kind of challenges they faced. I think one of the most useful ways was using it as an incentive to make "bad" character choices that would still drive the action forward. It was a nice way to incentivize playing a little sub-optimally at the game to enhance the story.

What if we make that more explicitly part of the bargain? Something as simple as a list of flaws and associated actions: if you have this flaw and do this action, you get Inspiration. Like:
  • Arrogant: You gain Inspiration when you refuse to listen to the rest of the party.
  • Greedy: You gain Inspiration when you increase the number of gold pieces you have.
  • Unlucky: You gain Inspiration when you roll a 1.
  • Vow of Silence: You gain Inspiration whenever 24 hours pass without you speaking.
Inspiration Gained from your Party's Bonds
I had a game where we played characters who knew each other growing up. The DM gave us inspiration for various acts of friendship and camaraderie. Like:
  • When you roll a crit, you can give the bonus damage to an ally you consider your Friend. If you do so, get Inspiration.
  • When an ally you consider your Rival drops to 0 hit points, you can use your reaction to tell them to keep standing. If you do so, they get Inspiration.
  • When you spend at least 1 day of downtime with an ally you consider your Love Interest, you each get Inspiration.
Spend Inspiration on Cool Stuff
Advantage is nice, but it's not really distinct - there's a lot of things that give it. But I've been part of some games that have some special ways to spend Inspiration rather than advantage. That Planescape game had you spend Inspiration to power faction abilities. The game with the Seven Deadly Sins also had Seven Heavenly Virtues that were associated with effects you could gain by spending Inspiration. And in kind of an inversion of the human in the playtest, I've seen Inspiration used with extra race abilities, magic items, spells, or feats. Some ideas here that were fun include:
  • Inspiration as an optional spell component: Spend inspiration when you cast a spell and someone automatically fails their save.
  • Spend Inspiration to Twist Fate: Rather than advantage, you just tell the DM to twist fate to your advantage. Maybe the guard you're sneaking past needs to take a bathroom break right then, or maybe the sun gets in the eyes of an attacker (giving them disadvantage).
  • Spend Inspiration to Deny an Opportunity Attack: I can run away and you can stop me. POCKET SAND i mean INSPIRATION.
What are your best Inspiration ideas? I'd like to be...Inspired. :)
Some good ideas

While I’m not sure how to gain inspiration and what to use it for, I know what I DON’T want, and that is to justify being a jerk.

A player acting like a jerk to their DM and/or fellow player because « that’s how their character should act » is bad enough. I don’t need a mechanical reason to incite jerkness on top.

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