The House Rules!: Inspiration

Inspiration in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, I like the concept a lot. But the implementation can be rough for both players and Dungeon Master. Here I will examine what those rough parts are and where to begin making it easier and more fun for everyone.

Here are my issues with the Inspiration rules, as written:

  • The DM has to remember to give inspiration.
  • If you already have advantage on a roll, you cannot be inspired.

What I really like, as written:

  • You either have it or you do not, no accumulation.

Other issues, in practice:

  • If recorded on paper, it is easy to forget.

So over the last few years of playing 5e, my groups has noticed what was needed to get Inspiration working, not more efficiently, but not as wasteful:

  • Make it able to stack with advantage (reward good tactics).
  • Use clearly visible tokens (we now use little pewter castles, used coins for a while but they always got forgotten beneath our stacks of paper).
  • Have the players control who gets it (DM has enough going on).
  • Have it resemble a mechanic already in the core game (Bardic Inspiration anyone?).
Pewter Castles with glued on “crystals,” anyone remember craft fairs in the 80s and 90s just overrun with these?

So here are my house Inspiration rules:

  • Inspiration is granted at the end of a session to three characters based on the group’s vote with the DM breaking all ties. No more than four characters can have Inspiration at any one time.
  • Inspiration can be spent after any Attack Roll, Ability Check, or Saving Throw, but before the results are revealed. When spent, that player rolls an additional d6 and adds it to the roll total. This can be used for other player’s rolls.
  • It must be clear to all at the table who has Inspiration.

Now we have not played extensively with these, but we have played with aspects. Reactions are good. Try them out with your game and let me know how you like them on Twitter (@OnlyPlayWizards).