In 5th Edition, there’s a new mechanic called inspiration that allows the DM and other players to reward a player for good role-playing, especially playing up the ideals, bonds, or flaws that are related to the background the player chose for their character (pg. 125, PHB).

In the Duchy campaign, I’ve given out inspiration twice now. The first time was during the first session when the player of Kadiff, the bard, made a quick ditty on the spot praising the barbarian, Sevoric for saving him from one of the bandits. It mentioned Sevoric’s bloody glaive, but still was upbeat. The second time I’ve handed out inspiration was this most recent session, when the player of Sevoric played up his ideal of ┬ánot being a thinker, being more of an action person. The player basically said we’re doing too much talking and not enough killing or something to that extent.

For those unfamiliar the benefit of inspiration, a player can elect to “cash in” the inspiration and the next roll they make they roll with advantage, or basically roll a second d20 and take the higher of the two rolls. This is a pretty decent reward.I know other games have come up with ways of rewarding good role-playing and I know there are some players and game masters who think it should be unnecessary to reward role-playing in some material way.

For myself, I think, especially with people who are new to the hobby, that inspiration is a good mechanic to get someone into playing their character. Thankfully the rules for 5th Edition limits the amount of inspiration that a character can have at one time, one point. This means that as a dungeon master, I don’t have to worry about someone trying to hoard inspiration.

As I mentioned earlier, the rules also allows other players to reward each other for good role-playing. This is done by allowing a player with inspiration to give their point to someone else in recognition of good role-play. This means that players will have to be tuned into each other, maybe more so than would be normal.

So far, I’m a fan of this mechanic. I’m interested in seeing how the players use their inspiration dice.


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