5E The Case for Inspiration

pogre

Adventurer
Every player in our game starts with a marker to give another PC inspiration. Generally, when a player does something cool or role plays well one or two players throw their markers at her and she claims an inspiration point to use later. No DM hassle and it adds to the game.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
Proficiencies do matter. Inspiration gives you advantage on an ability check, not an auto-success.
From levels 1-4, proficiencies only affect 1/10 rolls. Once you hit 17th level, they're affecting as many as 3/10!

Unless the DM is denying non-proficient rolls, auto-succeeding proficient rolls, routinely using passive scores or otherwise deviating from the 'roll and add modifiers' scheme (all things which will affect inspiration usage as well), then proficiencies are very low impact, with the exception of characters who get significant skill use boosts.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
From levels 1-4, proficiencies only affect 1/10 rolls. Once you hit 17th level, they're affecting as many as 3/10!

Unless the DM is denying non-proficient rolls, auto-succeeding proficient rolls, routinely using passive scores or otherwise deviating from the 'roll and add modifiers' scheme (all things which will affect inspiration usage as well), then proficiencies are very low impact, with the exception of characters who get significant skill use boosts.
I don't know what you're referring to. That hasn't been my experience.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
A superb use for Inspiration, although it requires all rolls in the open and no fudging DM is to use it for others e.g.:

- A fellow Player misses a crucial save, make him reroll

- Make the DM reroll a critical attack which downs your fellow or a save which prevents the death of the villain.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
That's not how probability works.
Yeah, it is. +2 to your rolls actually only makes a difference to your success/failure against a static DC 2 times out of every 20 rolls (on average, naturally). The 2 times that it makes the difference between meeting the DC and not meeting the DC. Every other time, it was irrelevant. A bystander would not be able to tell whether or not you had that bonus.

That's different to how it affects your success chance - you need to know the DC, and your original bonus for that. But if I'm just rolling a d20 and trying to equal a 10, then a +2 bonus will only change the outcome 2 rolls out of every 20 (assuming a DC that originally requires a roll).
 
I am still not sold on Inspiration.

For me the problem is not that it depends on the DM (and I would argue that it still does even with this self-claimed variant), bu rather these:

- it grants advantage, which is statistically powerful but also boring: there's already many sources of advantage in the game, if you grant inspiration too frequently then you get advantage more often than not, if you grant it scarcely then the benefit is underwhelming

- it's too easy to roleplay with some personality traits. A player could come up with a trait like "I absolutely delight in combat", what are you then going to do, grant inspiration once per encounter? If players know that it's only a matter of roleplay to earn advantage, it can become devastately annoying... think of what a PC with the Entertainer background and trait "I get bitter if I'm not the center of attention." can do to your game! And that is the same whether you grant inspiration easily (the player will use advantage immediately and try again all the time) or only on really good roleplay (the player will still try all the time in hope of scoring)

The phenomenon is not dissimilar to granting XP for roleplay. It can get very annoying quickly.

The only situation when IMO it really works well is when you grant inspiration as a reward for roleplaying the trait or flaw in a way that actually leads to paying a price. For example, a PC gives away her treasure to the poor, or lets a prisoner escape out of pity, or loses temper and starts a fight they should not. But it must be clear that the player is aware she is making a wrong decision tactically, and does so because it is believed it would be very much in-character. That to me is a good way to use inspiration, since it's a trade-off between a more convenient decision and a compensation, for the sake of the story.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
[MENTION=1465]Li Shenron[/MENTION] #48 Of course you do not grant Inspiration for every time some combat delighted PC enters a combat. The most common reason to grant inspiration is when a player finds some unexpected genius or comical solution to an obstacle (which might be combat, riddle, social encounter whatever). In my games a Player can have only one inspiration at a time. To spend it in anything else than a life or death Situation is a total waste!

It is for those situations when e.g. you or a nother PC failed his 3rd death save, or the examples i gave above in#45 and for that it is a very nice tool and it is one of the things i love about 5E (along with BA). It certainly is not intended that you get Advantage for a single unimportant attack in an unimportant combat Encounter. The good Thing about it is that you can influence any d20 roll (not just to hit rolls). It is liek a divine Intervention powerwise, so do not give it to often to the Players or it loses ist Magic.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Yeah, it is. +2 to your rolls actually only makes a difference to your success/failure against a static DC 2 times out of every 20 rolls (on average, naturally). The 2 times that it makes the difference between meeting the DC and not meeting the DC. Every other time, it was irrelevant. A bystander would not be able to tell whether or not you had that bonus.

That's different to how it affects your success chance - you need to know the DC, and your original bonus for that. But if I'm just rolling a d20 and trying to equal a 10, then a +2 bonus will only change the outcome 2 rolls out of every 20 (assuming a DC that originally requires a roll).
Why are you telling us this as if "only change the outcome 2 rolls out of every 20" wasn't identical to a +2 bonus?

Starting proficiency increase you success rate by 10 percentage units. No more, but certainly no less.
 

Kevtron

Visitor
I don't play/RP to get inspiration, I do it because it's fun and I want to get into my character. But it is really nice when my DM notices and it's a fun little bonus to have :)
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
- it grants advantage, which is statistically powerful but also boring: there's already many sources of advantage in the game, if you grant inspiration too frequently then you get advantage more often than not, if you grant it scarcely then the benefit is underwhelming
I imagine how this is perceived depends on the number of rolls in the game.

- it's too easy to roleplay with some personality traits. A player could come up with a trait like "I absolutely delight in combat", what are you then going to do, grant inspiration once per encounter? If players know that it's only a matter of roleplay to earn advantage, it can become devastately annoying... think of what a PC with the Entertainer background and trait "I get bitter if I'm not the center of attention." can do to your game! And that is the same whether you grant inspiration easily (the player will use advantage immediately and try again all the time) or only on really good roleplay (the player will still try all the time in hope of scoring)

The phenomenon is not dissimilar to granting XP for roleplay. It can get very annoying quickly.
The method I propose limits Inspiration to one per personal characteristic, so 4 per game per PC. The goal here is to encourage the players to each portray four characteristics per session. The effect is that you get to see more aspects of each character during play though, in practice, it's fairly rare to see all of them because some don't fit the situations that are being played out during the given session.

The only situation when IMO it really works well is when you grant inspiration as a reward for roleplaying the trait or flaw in a way that actually leads to paying a price. For example, a PC gives away her treasure to the poor, or lets a prisoner escape out of pity, or loses temper and starts a fight they should not. But it must be clear that the player is aware she is making a wrong decision tactically, and does so because it is believed it would be very much in-character. That to me is a good way to use inspiration, since it's a trade-off between a more convenient decision and a compensation, for the sake of the story.
I tried this early on. I made it too difficult conceptually for the players in my experience and so they just didn't do it very often. By removing the requirement that they must act to their own detriment, it means they go for it more often which results in livelier portrayals of the characters.
 
Yeah, it is.
No, it's not.

Here's 20 rolls: 10, 14, 15, 10, 17, 1, 13, 5, 13, 9, 20, 4, 1, 18, 12, 9, 3, 15, 6, 3. A +2 bonus would only affect the outcome of trying to hit DC 10 on 2 of those rolls like you said it would... but against a DC of 15 it affects the outcome of 3, and against a DC of 20 only affects 1.

Here's 20 more rolls: 14, 1, 9, 8, 12, 8, 11, 2, 6, 2, 18, 15, 12, 10, 18, 18, 17, 9, 10, 1. A +2 would make 4 of those higher than 10 that wouldn't be without it, or 1 higher than 15 that wouldn't have been, or 3 of them 20.

Because "you chance of success is 10 percentage points higher than without the bonus" and "2 out of every 20 rolls will be affected by your bonus" are not synonymous phrases - the later suggests that having a +2 bonus affect 4 rolls in a row is impossible, when the reality of probability with a d20 roll is that such an event isn't even unlikely.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
No, it's not.

Here's 20 rolls: 10, 14, 15, 10, 17, 1, 13, 5, 13, 9, 20, 4, 1, 18, 12, 9, 3, 15, 6, 3. A +2 bonus would only affect the outcome of trying to hit DC 10 on 2 of those rolls like you said it would... but against a DC of 15 it affects the outcome of 3, and against a DC of 20 only affects 1.

Here's 20 more rolls: 14, 1, 9, 8, 12, 8, 11, 2, 6, 2, 18, 15, 12, 10, 18, 18, 17, 9, 10, 1. A +2 would make 4 of those higher than 10 that wouldn't be without it, or 1 higher than 15 that wouldn't have been, or 3 of them 20.
I feel like you're being disingenuous.
Because "you chance of success is 10 percentage points higher than without the bonus" and "2 out of every 20 rolls will be affected by your bonus" are not synonymous phrases - the later suggests that having a +2 bonus affect 4 rolls in a row is impossible, when the reality of probability with a d20 roll is that such an event isn't even unlikely.
The latter suggests no such thing. It's common parlance for either "in the sample population" or "in a sufficiently large population". It's commonly used in all kinds of media. If I say "1 in 10 people have a problem with alcohol", only an idiot is going to assume that if he's got a problem with alcohol, none of the other 9 people in the room do.
 
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I feel like you're being disingenuous.


The latter suggests no such thing. It's common parlance for either "in the sample population" or "in a sufficiently large population". It's commonly used in all kinds of media. If I say "1 in 10 people have a problem with alcohol", only an idiot is going to assume that if he's got a problem with alcohol, none of the other 9 people in the room do.
There is a significant difference between "1 in 10 people have a problem with alcohol" (an observation of outcomes) and "each person has a 1 in 10 chance of having a problem with alcohol" (an observation of probability) - the same as there is a significant difference between "2 times out of every 20 rolls" and "a 2 in 20 chance on each roll."
 

Geeknamese

Explorer
I am still not sold on Inspiration.

For me the problem is not that it depends on the DM (and I would argue that it still does even with this self-claimed variant), bu rather these:

- it grants advantage, which is statistically powerful but also boring: there's already many sources of advantage in the game, if you grant inspiration too frequently then you get advantage more often than not, if you grant it scarcely then the benefit is underwhelming

- it's too easy to roleplay with some personality traits. A player could come up with a trait like "I absolutely delight in combat", what are you then going to do, grant inspiration once per encounter? If players know that it's only a matter of roleplay to earn advantage, it can become devastately annoying... think of what a PC with the Entertainer background and trait "I get bitter if I'm not the center of attention." can do to your game! And that is the same whether you grant inspiration easily (the player will use advantage immediately and try again all the time) or only on really good roleplay (the player will still try all the time in hope of scoring)

The phenomenon is not dissimilar to granting XP for roleplay. It can get very annoying quickly.

The only situation when IMO it really works well is when you grant inspiration as a reward for roleplaying the trait or flaw in a way that actually leads to paying a price. For example, a PC gives away her treasure to the poor, or lets a prisoner escape out of pity, or loses temper and starts a fight they should not. But it must be clear that the player is aware she is making a wrong decision tactically, and does so because it is believed it would be very much in-character. That to me is a good way to use inspiration, since it's a trade-off between a more convenient decision and a compensation, for the sake of the story.
I don’t just grant Inspiration if the player is role playing their trait. That’s expected. I grant Inspiration when the player is roleplaying their trait even to their detriment or party’s detriment. When they don’t compromise on their traits. That’s when they get the Inspiration.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
I think I gave out inspiration once in my 5e campaigns. Usually I'd get players saying "do I get an inspiration point now" after rolling a big crit to take down a monster and I'd say no, you don't get inspiration for luck at rolling dice and it doesn't really work that way regardless. Also I think the Luck feat is pretty much mandatory in my group so it wasn't really needed. I don't like the idea in any event so I didn't really use them.

Just not my bag.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
There is a significant difference between "1 in 10 people have a problem with alcohol" (an observation of outcomes) and "each person has a 1 in 10 chance of having a problem with alcohol" (an observation of probability) - the same as there is a significant difference between "2 times out of every 20 rolls" and "a 2 in 20 chance on each roll."
Sure, but that difference would be whether each individual had some unique traits that meant they didn't match the population observation. This is fundamentally NOT the case when we are comparing rolls of a supposedly random and balanced d20.
 
Sure, but that difference would be whether each individual had some unique traits that meant they didn't match the population observation. This is fundamentally NOT the case when we are comparing rolls of a supposedly random and balanced d20.
That's the difference between the subject matter of both examples - you've missed the difference in the phrasing which I was using a different subject matter as a means of highlighting.

To reiterate the point as clearly as I can: "2 times out of every 20 rolls" and "a 2 in 20 chance on each roll" are two completely different things, not two ways to say the same thing.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
That's the difference between the subject matter of both examples - you've missed the difference in the phrasing which I was using a different subject matter as a means of highlighting.

To reiterate the point as clearly as I can: "2 times out of every 20 rolls" and "a 2 in 20 chance on each roll" are two completely different things, not two ways to say the same thing.
They're only different if you're deliberately trying to misunderstand the former because you think you have a point.
 

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