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Tinkering with an inspiration/player motivation system, need some advice

Content of the article: "Tinkering with an inspiration/player motivation system, need some advice"

Hey all, im running a dungeon crawler campaign in 5e and i want to use inspiration to motivate my players to take risks and roleplay. I've modified an interesting version i found in Angrys awesome inspiration system Here, basically i agree with him that since its a dungeon crawler, and literally nothing else besides the hubworld, the backstories of the characters don't matter as much, just their Ideals and flaws. But honestly taking a look at my notes a few days after writing it the system i came up with just seems complicated and confusing and i just dont have enough experience to know if this could work, could you guys take a look and tell me how i could improve or simplify it?Here are my notes


• Write one sentence about what motivates your character to go into the dungeons and take on these missions. (gold/glory/for your faith/ because you hate monster filth)

• When the dm decides you have gone to great lengths to act accordingly to your motivation, you can be awarded an inspiration

◦ (

◦ If you have inspiration, you can expend it when you make an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check. Spending your inspiration gives you advantage on that roll.

◦ You can award your inspiration to another player if you feel they’ve acted cleverly, bravely, or have done something your character would approve of

◦ You can use your inspiration to make an enemy roll at disadvantage ONLY if you explain it in a way that lines up with your motivation

▪ (eg: “ I see the glint of gold at the back of the room, I’m inspired to HOWL and rush at my opponent, catching them offguard)

▪ you lose your inspiration at the start of each new session


• Write down one fear and one flaw

• Alternatively you can gain inspiration yourself by using Setbacks which will have you roll at disadvantage

◦ To Claim a Setback you must either impose disadvantage on one of your own ability checks, saving throws, or attack rolls based on one of your Personal Characteristics OR make a decision that creates a significant story setback, obstacle, or hindrance.

◦ Setbacks can be based on your fears or flaws

◦ for fears you can initiate a setback if you see something that scares you and interact with it

▪ Action: I see a bunch of high platforms to get to the next room, can I take a setback to try and jump across them?

▪ Result: The DM approves and You roll at disadvantage while jumping across, if you succeed you can gain an inspiration

◦ For Flaws you can initiate setback if you do something risky that lines up with your characters flaws

▪ Action: My character doesn’t trust strangers, I’m going to be rude and accusatory to him, can I claim a setback for that?

▪ Result: DM allows this and the NPC refuses to help or even attacks and it is harder for you to progress

Read:  Balancing the Black Spider for three level 5 characters (LMoP spoilers)

Source: reddit.com

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