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I was creating a character for one of my players who has difficulty doing so. He is playing as a Rogue, but while I was reading the Sneak attack in the PHB, I noticed that it can be done any time the Rogue has advantage.

Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll.

I use inspiration in my games and was wondering if I give it to the rogue, and he would use it, is that a valid way to get advantage so that he can make a sneak attack?

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Inspiration grants Advantage, and Advantage enables Sneak Attack. There are no requirements or specifications in Sneak Attack for how the advantage is gained, so yes... by RAW, Inspiration enables Sneak Attack.

You're the DM, so you're the ultimate arbiter on what is "allowed". You control the distribution of Inspiration, so it's all in your hands anyway. That said, I don't see any reason to not allow it. I'm a big fan of Inspiration, and hand it out like free candy, and I've never had a problem with Rogues using it to get a Sneak Attack in.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this mean inspiration is meant to be preemptively used? Or could the rogue roll, see the result, and then decide to use their inspiration and gain advantage + sneak attack? \$\endgroup\$ – Wharf Rat Mar 8 at 5:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @WharfRat Inspiration grants advantage, not a reroll. It must be used before the roll. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Mar 8 at 13:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ To have this make more thematic sense, think of the increased damage from Sneak Attack as precision damage instead. The Rogue doesn't use his inspiration to sneak up on someone and then stab them, but instead to be able to put his dagger in the exact right spot for massive damage. \$\endgroup\$ – D.Spetz Mar 8 at 19:35
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Yes

Under "Using inspiration" in the basic rules/Player's handbook, it says:

If you have inspiration you may expend it when you make an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check. Spending your inspiration gives you advantage on that roll

So, if a rogue attacks and decides to use his inspiration point, then the attack roll is with advantage and can trigger his sneak attack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wait... Inspiration gives advantage?? Does this include Bardic Inspiration? \$\endgroup\$ – Arkenstein XII Mar 8 at 1:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ArkensteinXII: No, Bardic inspiration is a different mechanic, where you add 1d6, 1d8, or whatever to a d20 roll. It's not advantage. I was surprised, too, I thought I remembered reading about a GM-granted inspiration that worked like bardic. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Mar 8 at 4:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Peter Cordes Considering the sheer amount of rules one has to keep in mind when playing D&D, it's likely that someone, somewhere, implicitly made that assumption and was not corrected for a while. Or failed to mention that it was a house rule. I'd also wager that a lot of groups still play by Critical Role's hybrid rules from the first campaign without knowing where exactly they deviate from the official 5E. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruther Rendommeleigh Mar 8 at 12:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I fail to comprehend is why the 5E team decided to have two mechanics with nearly identical names, intended to have essentially the same effect, but totally different implementations. I couldn't resist simplifying things by just stating that they work the same. Hmm, maybe it's a popular house rule for that very reason. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruther Rendommeleigh Mar 8 at 12:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had never even thought about this before (no bards in my group). Bardic inspiration has been around in some form for a while; maybe it started out as giving advantage and then the designers decided they wanted something that could improve over time so would be better as a dice bonus? Or the general "inspiration" feature was added later by someone else, mimicking the old Eberron feature which also added dice, but then changed to use the new advantage mechanic? One can only guess! \$\endgroup\$ – PJRZ Mar 8 at 13:27

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