How to Award and Track Inspiration the Easy Way

I have personally tried a few different methods of using Inspiration at the table. Out of all of them, this technique is the easiest way to award and track inspiration during your D&D sessions.

This post from Crypto Cartographer has a great set of Inspiration cards that you can print up and hand out to your players when you award them an inspiration point. For a VTT, just resize the image and import it as a token. You can either type a character’s name on it in the VTT or create a new token in an image editor for each character. Both ways work just as well but the latter requires a little more time and effort. GIMP is an easy-to-use and free image editor you could use for this.

For those unfamiliar, using a point of inspiration allows the player to reroll their d20 attack, ability check, or saving throw. This new result is used instead of the previous role. A player can also use it before a roll to give themselves advantage and roll 2d20 and use the better result of the two. Both of these allow the player to give themselves a better chance at succeeding on their roll.

Using inspiration like this can increase player engagement since they’ll be on alert for nat 1s and 20s so someone can get a point of inspiration. It can also encourage role-playing by getting players to use more skills to roll more dice to increase their chances of inspiration. This is okay and kinda encouraged. I’m a fan of the players and characters and love to see them succeed in amazing ways. There are other dials of difficulty I can turn instead of being mad my players keep rolling with advantage. 

Awarding Inspiration

This method almost guarantees that you will give out inspiration during the session. It’s an idea I had from reading one of the early OneD&D playtests.

On a natural 20, the player gives an inspiration card to another player. This simulates seeing another character doing something awesome and being inspired by it.

On a natural 1, the player receives an inspiration card. This is to simulate the urge to do better after a poor performance.

If a player already has an inspiration card, they can give it to someone else. You cannot have more than one at a time. All inspiration cards expire at the end of the session. Inspiration has to be used before the DM starts adjudicating the roll.

Additionally, I reward inspiration when a player does something cool. Look for moments when the whole table is like “Wow, I can’t believe you did that, that was so cool!” That’s a good time to hand out a point of inspiration. It doesn’t hurt to tell the players they can nominate each other for inspiration points when something awesome happens. 

Using this method not only do I remember to hand out inspiration but I find the players using them each and every session. Try this out at your next game and let me know how it goes.

Good luck on your next session, I believe in you. See you in the future!

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