Inspiration (DMG p.240) is a system where players are rewarded for ingenuity, roleplaying, and risk-taking during the game. It is a minor reward that can often lend just the right amount of aid to a player in need. In Dark Earth, we use a modified version of this system, and clarify when and how inspiration can be used. Additionally, since we allow multiple inspiration to occur, most DMs track this with tokens, coins, or playing cards, that are distrubuted to the players as needed, and returned to the DM when used.

The amount of inspiration of each type a character can have is limited by and equal to the Tier of Play ( 1-4 ) and tracked on the individual Adventure Certificate awarded for each module you play. Your latest certificate should always reflect the total.

Tier of Play Levels Mortal Divine
1 1-5 1 1
2 6-10 2 1
3 11-16 3 2
4 17-20 4 3

Mortal Inspiration

Mortal Inspiration reflects the determination, luck, and fortitude of the heroes in the campaign. Characters earn mortal inspiration through role-playing, ingenuity, and in-character efforts to move the story forward.

Mortal Inspiration allows a character to make an Attack Roll, Saving Throw, or Ability Check with advantage. One player may spend a token of mortal inspiration to grant herself or any other player advantage on the next roll.

Divine Inspiration

Divine Inspiration reflects the will of the gods in aiding the heroes of Dark Earth. Characters earn divine inspiration through significant heroic effort that aligns with their patron gods, or other above-and-beyond heroism.

Divine Inspiration allows a character to re-roll an Attack Roll, Saving Throw, or Ability Check with advantage. One player may spend a token of divine inspiration as a reaction to grant herself or any other player advantage on a failed roll.

Encouraging Participation

One way to encourage participation in the story is to have a different player at each session write up a summary or “Season Update” for each adventure. The DM can review or post this update to their Regional WIKI pages here on Obsidian Portal. This above-and-beyond effort would be an excellent task to reward Divine Inspiration. By having different players assume the duty, it also helps more reticent players feel attached to stories where for plot or mechanical reasons, they might not have felt as involved. For example, a combat heavy character’s involvement in a political adventure where most of the encounters were skill test based.

© 2015-2017 Dark Earth Publishing, Ltd. Open Gaming License for Dark Earth


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