In the session last weekend (Lost Mines of Phandelver, Parts I and II), I really focused in on the inspiration mechanic more that I had in the past. I was running a one shot (which, by request, will now be a two-parter — we all had a ton of fun!) for a regular group I’m in that does NOT regularly play D&D. Almost everyone had played at some point in the past, but like many, had drifted from the game.
I thought it would be fun to help re-kindle some of those memories by passing out copies of my old AD&D books as the a token that represented the character’s inspiration point. I had some hesitation, worried that it might distract from the game as the players flipped through the books. It turned out the problems that cropped up were perhaps more severe, but very different from what I anticipated.
What I found was that because of the sheer size of the books, the players were putting them aside to keep out of the way during the game. As a result, they, and I, lost track of who had or had not earned inspiration. I found myself REALLY wanting to know at a few points during the session, and unable to tell at a glance.
In our group, we typically put up those cheap plastic 8″x5″ plastic photo stands with a character portrait and name. Going forward, I’m going to make sure that I hand out (and collect back) something bright and visible that can be tucked into that stand. Then we can all see who is inspired!
(BTW, I did get all my AD&D books back. I double-checked)