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I wanted to ask the question "Is Inspiring Leader basicly a permanent HP increase for the whole party?", but apparently that question has already been asked and answered, even though it doesn't really solve my issue.

I am a DM for a party of 5 players where one of them (the Rogue) has the Inspiring leader feat. We're all horrible at roleplay, so I don't require him to actually make up a speech each long rest in order to get the benefits. Because I think it's also a bit silly that he has to say "I use inspiring leader" each long rest, I simply ruled that he automatically uses it every morning.

And this is where something very rare happened! The players wanted me to make a harsher ruling! One of them said that they should only be allowed to get the benefits after an actual speach (or at least have the +n be dependent on whether a speech was given or not, and how good it was). Some others said that it was silly that they'd get a permanent HP increase and that there should be some mechanic tied to it.

I kinda agree with them, but I don't know how to make a better ruling. I also do NOT want to nerf Inspiring Leads, because since it's a feat he already sacrificed two +1 ASI's to get it.

How can I handle the Inspiring Leader feat so that it is not just a permanent HP boost - without materially changing the feat? I am trying to tap into at table experience with this feat by DMs who have found it raising similar issues.

Since this there probably isn't a RAW solution for this, I'm mainly looking for experiences from both DMs and players who have had DM's who made a special ruling concerning this feat.

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I would explain to your players that it is intentionally this powerful, and not adjust combat encounters to be "more difficult" than if the rogue didn't take this. There's a difference between "now you are level N, you face more CR N threats" and "you made synergistic characters, now you face more CR N+k threats"

It's a feat, which means that it represents 1/6 of the rogue's opportunity for increasing stats.

It requires a Short Rest, so there is the possibility they don't get to top-up between combats.

It doesn't stack with any other TempHP. Most classes have some options for getting TempHP, so having a party-wide source means those options do less.

PC's are meant to have cool effects. If they make synergistic choices they should get the benefit of the synergy.

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Rests get interrupted, so do inspiring moments

Some of the issue I think you are having is that you are treating the 10 minutes required time as no time.

Short and long rests occasionally get interrupted, especially in dangerous sleeping locations. If you are interrupting those, then occasionally the inspiration should as well. Roughly about 1/6th as often as a short rest does.

Interrupting rests is usually not something you need to do, but if players are abusing the rest mechanic, then an enemy patrol should have a chance to discover them. Likewise, if your party is camped outside the BBEG's room, that is probably NOT the time for an inspiring moment.

This is not limited to rests or feats, but to anything that takes time. My players once make a huge ruckus in an area where they knew a dragon hung out. Then they proceeded to continue exploring more of the town and arguing out in the open. The dragon unsurprisingly crashed their conversation. It created an interesting battle (which the characters still won) and the players learned that other creatures will react to their actions, and if given time will proceed with their own plans.

In short, the 10 minutes spent inspiring needs to be done somewhere where it is safe and makes sense to do so, hence why making it automatic is not necessarily the best idea.

Speeches aren't silent

Speaking of hostile environments, inspiring speeches are generally not delivered in whispers. Now, the feat doesn't say it has to be a speech at all, so the Rogue could just quietly go around speaking confidently to the others, in order to shore up their confidence, so this might not be a big deal.

I would however starting requiring the Rogue to tell you how they inspire the party. They shouldn't have to in-real-life have to come up with a bunch of speeches or anything, but they should say what their character is doing.

Rogue: "I give a speech about how XYZ goal is important." DM: Are their hostiles nearby that might have heard? If so, maybe roll to see if they noticed. If not, then no problem.

Rogue: "I walk around to each party member and quietly reassure and inspire them." DM: Are there hostiles around that might have noticed the movement or heard him moving?

Rogue: "I use inspiring leader." DM: 10 minutes passed, did something occur?

Regardless of the method of how the inspiration is provided, things continue to happen in the world, so (occasionally) make it have consequences.

Maybe the party doesn't want their temporary hit points immediately

Generally the temporary hit points would be most useful just before a big boss fight. The cleric (or whatever) heals everyone up to full after the previous challenges, and THEN the Rogue gives their big speech. Otherwise, those temporary hit points were wasted on the little guys.

If you just give them the 8 more HP after a short or long rest, the player loses agency as to when those hit points are applied.

Consider what the Rogue gave up

By using an ASI for a feat they gave up increasing their DEX. Based on the information you provided the Rogue appears to be level 6.

Unless you roll for stats (and the Rogue got super lucky), that means their DEX modifier is only +3 (or +4 with a luck roll for stats), so they could have chosen to increase that, instead.

What do Rogues get for +1 DEX mod?

  1. Their to hit bonus increases by 1
  2. Their damage increases by 1
  3. Their AC increases by 1

The last point is one of the biggest: they have made themselves more vulnerable in order to help out their party.

You mention adjusting combat, but I would strongly advise against doing that. The feat is nice, especially at the current level, but it is likely only going to increase by 1 HP/level going forward, and the party members' HP gain is going to be more than 5/level in most cases. Therefore it will stop being a 20% gain for long.

So, I'm definitely with your Rogue in being adverse to any penalties or adjustments being applied to their feat. They gave up a lot for it, don't nerf it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I don't see how my "Don't nerf your character" applies to the "Try this" but without cited experience. I have lot of experience not nerfing my players characters and seeing things working out pretty well, and I see lots of other answers on this site saying not to unduly take things away from players without having to cite how they personally messed it up. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 2 at 16:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I don't really understand why you asking for a citation to NOT nerf characters, while also asking me how I've nerfed characters and how it went. Not nerfing is the default, and I provided objective criteria for what the character is giving up. I really do not see how your link applies to my answer. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 2 at 16:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I guess what I"m saying is that your recommendation to interrupt inspiring moments. At face value, that makes sense, but how did it work out at the table? How often did you interrupt and prevent? Is there a line between doing it and doing it too much - where did you find it was? What recommendations do you have for others to look out for? \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Mar 2 at 18:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ For reference the interrupt rest advice was why I downvoted this post. Doing it too often is a huge violation of trust, and doing it in response to a feat that I took would probably cause me to leave the game. Adding some advice on how you have done it well, and how not to overdo it would be good. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Mar 2 at 19:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch That is at bit more clear. I thought you were referring to my last section where I said to not nerf the Rogue (and my only instance of the word "nerf"), not the interruption section. I thought interrupted rests was a basic risk players took in hostile environments, it would have never occurred to me that people consider it a nerf. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 2 at 21:07

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