5e DM Tool - Heroic Inspiration

by KibblesTasty

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Heroic Inspiration

The following rules are a supplement and expansion to the Inspiration rules designed with several different goals in mind. First and foremost, it is to make it a more interesting resource, and in turn making it a more sought after and core component of the game to make earning Inspiration a bigger consideration in player behavior.

Second, it is modifies risk/reward behavior to attach more reward to continuing to adventure without taking a long rest.

Lastly, it gives the DM another tool to help weight the odds without fudging dice or monster health, giving players that have ended up in a hopeless - but heroic - situation a fighting chance, letting heroes have their heroics while keeping the very real chance that even going above and beyond won't be enough.

Inspiration Mechanics

Inspiration is gained through prioritizing what your character would do, overcoming challenges and objectives, and coming out victorious in hard or deadly combat encounters - all of these fall under the DMs discretion, and can be awarded to either the party as a whole, or individual members.

It has the following mechanics:

  • You can have Inspiration up to your Proficiency
  • At the end of a long rest, your Inspiration is halved, rounding down.
  • You can spend Inspiration to accomplish certain Heroic Acts.
  • More stacks of Inspiration are typically harder to earn; do not expect to reach 5 stacks of Inspiration under any normal circumstances. An act that might earn you your first stack of Inspiration will not earn you your 5th stack of Inpiration if you already have 4 stacks.

Heroic Acts

1 Point

Legendary Resolve

After failing an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, but before you know the outcome of the effect, you can choose to spend 1 Inspiration to roll an additional die. You can choose between the additional die and the die you would have had to otherwise use.

Cast Without Spellslot (1-5)

When you lack the spell slots to cast a spell, you can expend a number of Inspiration equal to the Spell Slot level to cast the spell instead. To cast a first level spell, it would cost 1 Inspiration. To cast a 5th level spell, it would cost 5 Inspiration.

2 Points

Legendary Resistance

After failing a saving throw, you can choose to succeed instead.

Legendary Endurance

At the start of your turn, you can choose to expend a number of hit dice up to your Proficiency modifier. Roll and regain health as normal (the hit dice are expended).

Heroic Save

If a character within 5 feet of you is attacked, or falls a Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution saving Throw, as a reaction you can choose to suffer the effect instead of them. You have resistance to all damage until the start of your next turn. You can move you and/or the saved target up to 10 feet, and only you are subject to Opportunity Attacks.

3 Points

Legendary Action

You can choose - at any point - to expend 3 Inspiration and take a Legendary Action. For your Legendary Action, you can take any standard action you can normally take, or move up to your movement speed.

You gain one level of Exhaustion after the action is complete.

Defy Death

When you would drop to zero hitpoints, you can instead drop to 1 hit point by expending three Inspiration points.

4 Points

Legendary Ability

You can choose after making an attack roll or ability check expend 4 Inspiration points to roll a 20. You must decide to use this before making the check or attack. While a 20 is a critical hit on an attack, a 20 on an ability check is not inherent success, though it will usually be as favorable as possible a result.

5 Points

Five Inspiration points take on a tier of it's own and should only be reached in the most heroic and dire of situations. Once a character has uses a 5 point ability, it can never again be selected for that character.


You will not fall unconscious until you take lethal damage (negative your maximum health) or 1 minute passes; you can disregard any condition that would automatically kill or destroy until the minute is up, and you are under the effect of freedom of movement. You will die at the end of the of the minute if you have three failed death saving throws. You gain three levels of Exhaustion after the minute is complete.

Perfect Clarity

You achieve a state of perfect clarity. You are under the effects of haste and foresight for one minute. You not restricted to one spell per turn while under this effect. You gain three levels of Exhaustion after the minute is complete.

Deus Ex Machina

A cosmic entity directly interferes and snatches you from reality, returning you and 1d4 of your companions to somewhere safe.


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