Inspiring Fingers

While I was initially hesitant with the 5th Edition bard’s inspiration ability, it has grown on me over time. It’s pretty useful (or at least it’s useful when it recharges on a short rest). However, it’s really easy for bards to just fall into the trap of saying “I inspire her character”, possibly supplementing this with a mnemonic die. Most characters have abilities that suggest a narrative which can be ignored in favour if the pure mechanical benefits. But bardic inspiration is just that little more vague by design, so it can be a melodic song, a few motivating words, a firm slap on the butt paired with a saucy wink, or just a good reliable thumb’s up: because the designers didn’t want to force all bards into the roles of musicians. It’s a little too easy to forget to describe how the bard is inspiring a character, and what is motivating them to succeed.