D&D 5th Edition - Story Mode

Variant: Cinematic Inspiration

This variant ramps up the power of Inspiration Points by letting characters perform custom stunts and actions with a higher chance of success.

It lets the heroes succeed when it really matters, or otherwise bend the rules for creative effect.


  • Cutting a rope to unfurl a sail that entraps a group of enemies.
  • Shooting a cyclops in the eye with an arrow.
  • Changing the shape of a fireball into a roaring dragon, to frighten the remaining enemies.

Using Inspiration

  • The player describes the action (attack, spell, etc.), and any kind of special effect they want to create. The player and DM should cooperate to find the best effect for the current situation.
  • The player gets Advantage on the roll, ignoring any existing Disadvantages.
  • Additional Inspiration points can be used to add extra Advantage dice to a single action.
  • The DM may add a Flavor Bonus based on the creativity of the description.
  • Successful Attack rolls automatically become a critical hit.

Gaining Inspiration

There are a couple of ways a player can earn Inspiration.

  • Role-playing their personality in an interesting way, especially when interacting with other characters.
  • Interacting with something special that might not be directly related to the adventure.


  • Talking and bantering during a short or long rest
  • Healing an injured animal
  • Telling (or listening to) an entertaining story
  • Appreciating and describing remarkable scenery
  • Meeting with a beautiful elf queen for the first time
  • Praying or reflecting on recent experiences

Inspiration Roll

Instead of earning points directly, the player makes an Inspiration Roll.

  • Roll 1d4.
  • If the number is higher than their current Inspiration, they gain one Inspiration.

This approach encourages players to use their Inspiration points more often, and lets the DM be more generous in giving out Inspiration rolls.

Inspiration Limit

  • Inspiration is not lost between sessions.
  • The natural upper limit is 4, as dictated by the Inspiration Roll of 1d4.