One of the common rulings my DM allows at my table is the usage of any source of music or wordplay to grant Bardic Inspiration, if you have that class feature. For example, I commonly use Minor Illusion to keep my hands free as a bard, seeing as it allows you to create music or discrete sounds over the course of its duration. Technically speaking, this appears to fit into the wording of the feature as I understand it.
The rules for base Bardic Inspiration state:
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...
Minor Illusion states:
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (a bit of fleece)
Duration: 1 minute
You create a sound or an image of an object within range that lasts for the duration. The illusion also ends if you dismiss it as an action or cast this spell again.
If you create a sound, its volume can range from a whisper to a scream. It can be your voice, someone else’s voice, a lion’s roar, a beating of drums, or any other sound you choose. The sound continues unabated throughout the duration, or you can make discrete sounds at different times before the spell ends.
For fun flavor, I typically use this to give characters an individual theme song that swells with their particular instrument when it's their attack, they're doing something impressive, etc. Costs me an action each minute, but it also saves me needing to use two hands to play a flute or lyre, and lets me technically make the sound of a song that might include multiple instruments, rather than the single one I can play at a time!
Variety is the spice of life and not every DM will rule as generously as my current one. Next week I have a different DM, and I expect I'll need to get quite creative to avoid using an instrument. My question is essentially thus:
Are there other features, spells, or inherent abilities that offer similar ability to inspire without an instrument?
- Verbal or somatic components to such an ability are perfectly fine.
- I do already know (and use) that I could feasibly say anything on my turn, like a witty line, poem, joke, or encouraging few words to inspire, so such an answer (while true) would not be particularly helpful.
- Since Bardic Inspiration requires a Bonus Action to be granted, whatever ability or feature producing music would need to leave one's Bonus Action unused