D&D’s Book of Many Things makes huge change to inspiration

Jack Bye
D&D Book of many things inspiration via cards

Put down your dice and draw from the deck instead, as D&D 5e’s latest book shakes up how inspiration is handled.

Card-based inspiration has long been a fan-made rule utilized by DMs in D&D 5e, but its mechanical impact has never been more significant than in The Book of Many Things. With its official inclusion in 5e, Card-based inspiration is set to become a popular and integral new rule.

Far from a simple aesthetic change, The Book of Many Things – part of the new Deck of Many Things release – is revamping a core aspect of D&D 5e that has always needed more love. With the addition of card-based rules, varied rewards, and exciting effects, players will be waiting desperately for their chance to earn inspiration from the DM.

How Inspiration works in D&D

Not to be confused with the Bard class’ signature ability; Bardic Inspiration, inspiration is one of D&D 5e’s best – but sadly underutilized – roleplay mechanics.

Whenever a player performs exceptionally well as their character, staying true to their personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws, the DM is encouraged to award that player a point of inspiration. This inspiration can be spent at any time in the session to gain Advantage on an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check.

A player can only have one inspiration at a time, it is not possible to stockpile inspiration and gain ten rerolls on a tricky boss for instance.

How The Book of Many Things improves Inspiration with cards

D&D Book of many things cards laid out by a goblin

The Inspiration Hand is The Book of Many Things’ inspiration revamp. Instead of giving players a D20 which can be rolled as inspiration, cards from the Deck of Many Things are used instead.

At the beginning of a session, the DM shuffles and draws cards from the deck equal to the number of players and places them face up. For the rest of the session, when a player gains inspiration, they pick one of the face-up cards. The card will have an associated effect that can be activated by the player at a point of their choosing, from rerolls to bonus damage to inflicting negative conditions on foes.

For D&D players who want to use The Inspiration Hand but don’t have access to the physical Deck of Many Things, don’t worry. The Inspiration Hand has been designed in such a way that each of the deck’s cards can be replaced by regular playing cards instead.

The Inspiration Hand is an optional rule, not a full replacement, but most DMs will want to give this a try and see how their players respond.

Inspiration Cards and Effects.

Be sure to check back closer to The Book of Many Things’ digital release, as we’ll have the full list of Inspiration cards and their effects available right here.

Preorder The Deck of Many Things at Magic Madhouse

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About The Author

Ecommerce writer with an MA in Creative Writing, covering MTG, DnD, and everything tabletop for Dexerto. Previously at WePC and VideoGamer. When not rolling dice and shuffling decks, he's playing old RPGs and wishing someone would remaster Skies of Arcadia already. You can reach him at Jack.Bye@Dexerto.com