Bardic Inspiration D&D 5E: Complete Guide [UPDATED]

What is Bardic Inspiration:

In D&D 5e, all bards start with Bardic Inspiration, which is a potent skill.

Every bard can use a bonus action to grant a Bardic Inspiration dice to another creature, or most commonly another character in the party, with Bardic Inspiration. A player who has a bardic inspiration die can use it to add the result to an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw by rolling it (basically any D20 roll).


If at all feasible, give the opposing player an actual die to keep so they don’t forget about the inspiration. The die size starts at a d6 and grows as the bard progresses through the levels.


Although it may not appear to be particularly powerful at first, it is a skill that remains relevant and valuable to a bard as they progress through a campaign.


This can be quite useful, as it can aid a player in making a crucial saving throw, landing a critical hit, or passing a major skill check.


Bardic Inspiration Details: 

Players can decide whether or not to utilize bardic inspiration after their d20 roll, but before the results are disclosed. This is fantastic since it eliminates the need to waste bardic creativity on rolls that are either a clear success or failure.


Giving out these inspiration dice has almost little cost for the bard, especially at low levels.


It takes a bonus action, but at low levels, most bards have nothing else to do with their bonus action. This means that a bard can still attack, cast a spell, or do something else with their action.


Bardic inspiration improves as the bard progresses through the levels.


More inspiration dice are gained as the bard’s charisma improves. Their bardic inspiration dice recover on a short rest rather than a long rest at level 5.


The dice size increases at levels 5, 10, and 15, going to a d8, d10, and finally a d12.


At level 20, bards gain an inspiration ability, though it’s rubbish and not worth mentioning.


If you employ Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything’s Optional Class Features, a creature with an inspiration die can use it instead to add damage to a spell attack or healing to a healing spell.


This isn’t really noteworthy, but it’s better than nothing because it allows casters a new way to use inspiration. Especially if they intend to perform a spell that doesn’t require an attack roll, such as a healing or offensive spell.


Even better, all bard subclasses acquire more ways to use their Bardic Inspiration starting at level 3.


These uses can add or subtract from certain d20 rolls, implement special battle moves, or provide new bonuses and abilities to the targets of your inspiration. Many of them are incredibly entertaining and compelling.


For the various sub classes, details on some of the alternatives for bardic inspiration are provided below.


Bardic College: Lore

(3) You have the ability to reduce a target’s attack, damage, or ability check.

(14) You can boost your own ability check with bardic inspiration.



(3) This is a fantastic ability!

(14) This is also acceptable.


College of Valor

(3) A PC can employ BI to increase its AC or do more damage.


(3) This is excellent. Adding to the air conditioning system could save someone’s neck at times. Additional harm is acceptable, although it is not always the greatest usage.


College of Creation 

(3) When a PC uses BI, it receives minimal benefits.

(6) On the same round that you provide BI, you can command your animated artifact.



(3) It’s fine.

(6) Excellent. This makes it a lot easier to give away inspiration without having to give up an extra action.


College of Eloquence 

(3) Deduct the saving throw of a target.

(6) If a PC uses the die but fails the roll, they keep it.

(14) If a PC uses BI, you can spend a reaction to give BI to another creature (# uses = your Cha modifier per long rest).



(3) As a complete spellcaster, you want your spells to be as effective as possible. This contributes to that. This is fantastic, and it contributes to the College of Eloquence bard being the greatest bard subclass.

(6) Extends the life of your BI. Excellent.

(14) Everyone benefits from more BI. Excellent.


College of Glamour

(3) provide others temporary HP and allow them to move around without being attacked.



(3) Excellent, especially for a group with a lot of martial characters that might need to reposition in the middle of a battle.


College of Swords

(3) When attacking, use special moves (“blade flourish”).

(14) Blade flourish with a d6 every turn without using inspiration.



(3) If you like melee, which you probably do if you’re in the College of Swords, it’s very good. It’s worth noting that these manoeuvres also work with ranged weapon attacks.

(14) If you enjoy melee combat, this is a great game to play. By Level 14, however, you’ll almost certainly have better (spellcasting) options than a melee strike.


College of Whispers

(3) As a rogue, deal psychic sneak attack damage.



(3) All right. The best part is that you can perform this with any weapon strike, even ranged ones. If you employ psychic swords too often, however, you’ll rapidly run out of ideas.



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