“Get back!” You yell to the bard at your side as the Dolgrim stomps its way into your camp. The Bard runs into the nearest tent.
“Hopefully, he’ll have the smarts to get away,” you think as you draw your Warhammer. Your eyes are focused on the horror in front of you when you start to hear soft singing from the direction of the tent. You don’t dare to look away from your target.
The singing grows louder, now accompanied by the enthusiastic strumming of a lute. You feel your heart swell as energy begins to flow through you. “That silly singer,” you think as the Bard’s inspiration courses through you. You face your enemy with newfound zeal and power.
Read our full guide to Bardic Inspiration 5e below:
What is Bardic Inspiration in DnD 5e?
Bardic Inspiration is a bit of magic a Bard casts to buff an ally. They sing a song, recite a poem, perform uniquely, and inspire their companions.
According to the Player’s Handbook, with Bardic Inspiration:
“You can inspire others through stirring words or music. To do so, you use a bonus Action on Your Turn to choose one creature other than yourself within 60 feet of you who can hear you. That creature gains one Bardic Inspiration die, a d6.
Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, Attack roll, or saving throw it makes. The creature can wait until after it rolls The D20 before deciding to use the Bardic Inspiration die, but must decide before the DM says whether the roll succeeds or fails. Once the Bardic Inspiration die is rolled, it is lost. A creature can have only one Bardic Inspiration die at a time.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (a minimum of once). You regain any expended uses when you finish a Long Rest.
Your Bardic Inspiration die changes when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 5th Level, a d10 at 10th level, and a d12 at 15th level.”
How can you use Bardic Inspiration?
Bardic Inspiration is a bonus action used by Bards. Bards pick a target within 60 feet and inspire them. The target gets a buff. The buff comes in the form of a die. Bards award their target with a d6, d8, d10, or d12 based on the level of the Bard. They can use it as they wish.
|Bard Level||Inspiration Die|
This is a pretty cool feature of Bardom. It makes Bard the ultimate support character. They pump you up from the sidelines.
There is a limit to the amount of support a Bard can provide. The amount of inspiration dice a Bard can have is directly connected to their charisma ability score. The Bard has the same number of dice as their charisma modifier. It’s a good idea for the Bard to get their charisma ability score to 20, giving them five inspiration dice.
Bards do regain their dice. They should still be strategic about who gets inspired. They should remember that from levels 1-4, the bard needs to take a long rest to regain dice. At level 5, the Bard gains the Font of Inspiration feat, and then they can regain their dice after a short rest. So they can be a little more liberal with their inspiration as they gain experience.
At level two, Bards can choose magical inspiration. This optional class feature buffs the spell cast by the inspired character. If the character casts a healing spell, the number they roll on their inspiration die is added to the number of hit points they restore.
The same goes for spells that deal damage; the number rolled is added to the damage dealt. This feat is a fantastic addition to the Bards’ Bag of Tricks, especially in a high magic-use campaign.
Who can use Bardic Inspiration?
All Bards gain this ability at level 1.
Are there any limitations to Bardic Inspiration?
There are limits to Bardic Inspiration. Bards cannot, under normal circumstances, cast Bardic Inspiration on themselves. Only College of Lore Bards with the Peerless Skill feat can inspire themselves.
Bards can inspire multiple people at once, but you must use a bonus action. In battle, the Bard can only inspire one person per turn. Though Bards usually cannot inspire unconscious creatures. If the Bard inspired the creature before being knocked out, they could use inspiration die on their death saving throws.
How to Use Bardic Inspiration
Each Bard subclass or College has a particular way of using inspiration. Each College represents a different style and mindset. Here are some ways that various Colleges allow Bards to gain other advantages.
College of Lore
The pursuit of beauty and truth drives these Bards. Their lyrics inspire their audiences to think. Bards that chose this College can use the Cutting Words feat. This feat allows them to lower a target’s skill check, attack, or damage roll. They can also gain the Peerless Skill feat at level 14, which enables Bards to cast inspiration on themselves.
College of Valor
Bards that chose this College sing the Song of Heroes. These Bards can gain the Combat Inspiration feat. This feat buffs the target’s damage rolls or AC.
College of Glamour
The world of the fey greatly influences these Bards. They may have learned their skills from the fey or from others who dwelt with the fey. Because of the influence of the fey, the Bards from the College for Glamour are memorizing to behold. They turn heads and captivate audiences anytime they enter a room.
When these Bards use the Mantle of Inspiration ability, they transform themselves into a wondrous vision. They can then choose creatures within 60 feet, an equal number to their charisma modifier, to gift 5 temporary HP.
College of Swords
Bards in this College use their bodies to inspire. They tend to do dangerous and daring acts. They are also skilled fighters. This college gives its bards the Blade Flourish feat. This feat allows Bards to perform specific actions in battle by using their inspiration die.
College of Whispers
These Bards should never be trusted. They are known for collecting secrets and exploiting weaknesses for their gain. Using their inspiration die, they can also use the Psychic Blades feat to deal extra psychic damage. This damage increases with the Bard’s level.
College of Creation
These Bards view the universe as an act of creative energy. They draw on the ancient powers that existed before the time of man. As they cast their inspiration, it takes a physical form. This extra part of their inspiration will benefit the target differently depending on the roll, ability, attack, or saving throw type.
College of Eloquence
Bards of this College have sharp minds and silver tongues. They revere the art of persuasion and oratory. They gain the Unsettling Words feat at level 3. Their target loses points on their next saving throw. The Unfailing Inpiration feat, achieved at level 6, allows the target to keep their inspiration die permanently.
Bard of the College of Eloquence also gains the ability to use the Infectious Inspiration feat at level 14. This feat also allows additional creatures within 60 feet to gain an inspiration die. The creature gains this die without depleting the bard’s stash of inspiration die. The Bard can use this bonus times equal to the Bard’s charisma ability modifier before a long rest.
College of Spirits
Bards in this College connect with the other side. They can call upon their occult knowledge to inspire others. They can use the Tales from Beyond ability to become a medium. They call on a spirit to tell their tale through them. The bard uses one of their inspiration die to help them choose a tale from the table. Each story provides different benefits to the target.
Bardic Inspiration 5e
Bards are one of the most dynamic characters in 5e Dnd. They have many facets, feats, and abilities that make this class unique. Bardic Inspiration is one of their most beneficial abilities. Bardic Inspiration is perfect in many ways and in many situations. Consider being a Bard in your next campaign.
Jillian started learning Dungeons & Dragons in 2014. After being encouraged by a friend to make a character, she became fully involved in character creation and later became an awesome Dungeon Master. Jillian strives to use her creativity to spread her knowledge of DnD and interpret the ruleset.