The Power of a Great Speech: Guide for Inspiring Leader:
The Inspiring Leader achievement is ideal for players who wish to uplift their allies. To strengthen their resolve, and keep them fighting harder for a longer period of time in the upcoming battle. In addition, if your party lacks sufficient healing, it’s a useful tool to have on hand.
A great speech has motivated countless noble deeds, heroic actions, and acts of bravery.
From King Théoden’s remarks at the War of Minas Tirith (or Aragorn’s at the Black Gate) to Idris Elba’s prior to the final assault on the portal in Pacific Rim, my favorite thing about this style, a few motivational sayings before the battle can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
In Dungeons & Dragons 5e, you can accomplish this using the Inspiring Leader Feat.
WHAT IS THE INSPIRING LEADER FEATURE USED FOR?
The Inspiring Leader Feat allows you to give a mesmerizing speech or otherwise spend time comforting. It allows you to encourage your trading partners. This helps to boost their mental strength in the form of temporary struck points.
Your existence and words of encouragement are enough to give them the strength and determination to stay aware and fight for a longer period of time – may be just one or two rounds, but that might be sufficient. You gain the following benefits by accepting this feat:
Your words and actions inspire others, strengthening the resolve of your companions. You grant up to six creatures that can hear and understand you. You’re Character Level if you spend ten minutes encouraging your companions with a rousing speech. Creatures directly affected by this Feat will not be able to benefit from its own effects until they have rested for a short period of time.
1989’s Henry V
THE REASONS WHY THE INSPIRING LEADER FEAT IS SO GOOD:
I want to demonstrate that, in the right set of circumstances, this Feat is extremely powerful, so let us do a few rough math. Powerful, as in, “strong enough to make up for a party without the need for a healer.”
Assume you choose this feat at level four (typically the first time you can choose a feat) on a character with a Charisma score of 16 (the highest you can get at level four using the Standard Range or Point Purchase generation methods if you’re also choosing a feat, which we are).
This means that each time your party takes a brief rest, you have the option of using ten minutes to grant 7 temporary hit points to each member of your party, including yourself.
Let us just say that you get this Feat at 4th level (typically the first chance to get a Feat) on a character with a Charisma score of 16 (the highest you can get for your primary attribute at 4th level using the Standard Array or Point Buy new-gen methods if you’re also grabbing a feat, which we are).
This means that whenever your party takes a short rest, you can use ten minutes to give each member of your party, including yourself, a temporary hit point boost of seven.
Now let’s say that there are six of you, which is the maximum number for the party. With each short rest, you effectively increase the distance between you and your allies by 42 hit points.
You can take advantage of this Feat three times throughout the day you wake up. If you get the chance to take a short rest between the majority of your encounters, which works out to two short rests per day.
Your ability will be able to absorb an additional 126 damage over the course of the day. That almost equals how many hit points the White Dragon has.
Yes, you can give your group a daily hit point buffet appointment to the life force of a Giant Shark. A Woolly Mammoth, or an Earth Elemental thanks to the Inspiring Leader Feat.
In terms of how much of an impact you can have on your allies’ ability to survive. This puts you very close to actual healers.
For a quick comparison, let’s take a look at the Life Domain Cleric, who is also level there and has a 16 in their primary modifier (Wisdom). The Life Domain Cleric has access to three 2nd level spells and four 1st level spells at the level of 4.
Assuming the Cleric player is an ardent and selfless healer who uses all of their spell slots for healing. They have a long dress that allows them to cast Prayer of Healing twice and Cure Wounds four times each (1d8 + 3 to up to six creatures).
The average number of hit points that the party heals throughout the day would be 90 hit points. Assuming that the average result of all rolls is obtained and that the cleric successfully hits each of the six-party members with both applications of Prayer of Healing. The best healer in the game is without a doubt the Life Domain Cleric.
That is, quite frankly, an insane amount of enemy damage taken over the course of a day. Now consider what would happen if you applied this feat to a Life Domain Cleric.
A word of caution, though, before we get to who can use this Feat the best. Momentary hit points are not exclusive to hit points.
Cons of the Inspiring Leader Feat:
Temporary hit points are easily manipulated and transitory, and they don’t get along. Yes, you can absorb a massive amount of damage with the Inspiring Leader Feat every day. But its efficiency can quickly degrade.
No time to take a quick break? No temporary hit points for you, dude.
Do you still have any hit points from the last time you used or benefited from this ability? Those hit points are now gone, which is a bummer. Ally just passed out in the middle of a battle? That’s tough, buddy; perhaps you should’ve been a healer after all.
Although the Inspiring Leader Feat is a great way to increase your party’s resilience and relieve the cleric of a few of the pressure. You’ll find it difficult to fulfill the role of a healer using this Feat alone. Because temporary hit points act more like a shield or buffer than true hit points. You might even be able to let your friend Steve play a different role than that of a solely devoted healer for a change.
Time is another disadvantage I must mention. You won’t have a full ten minutes to spare sitting about giving your allies a reason to reach the day with a positive outlook. If your long rest concludes with a chance encounter or someone trying to attack you right out of the gate.
In terms of D & D combat time (a hundred rounds, to be exact), ten minutes is eternal life, so this ability is strictly for downtime – or perhaps even during travel if your DM is cool with it.
Also, I’ve worked for bosses who thought they had this Feat, and if any of them had spent ten minutes trying to inspire me with words of bravery a minimum of three times a day, I’d be in prison now for using a stapler, a rubber band ball, a folding chair, and the office water cooler to commit highly illegal, but completely justified violence.
I would find other ways to uplift people’s spirits in addition to downloading a few motivational speeches from the internet.
For all the good it did little Haleth. Keep in mind that Aragorn’s conversation with the Haleth Son of Hama before the Battle of Helms Deep is another excellent illustration of how you can use this Feat a little more discreetly.
WHEN TO CHOOSE?
This would be the ideal Feat for a non-healer to use before battle to boost up their allies.
It’s also a great way for dedicated or half-healers to build a safety cushion. This allows them to use their healing abilities less frequently. This Allows focusing more on damage and utility, or simply saving those big repairs for when it really counts.
Because your Charisma modifier adds a constant number of temporary hit points to the number of temporary hit points you deal out. You’ll need at least a +3 Charisma modifier to get the most out of this Feat.
The Paladin (probably the best for this, narratively and mechanically), Sorcerer, Warlock, and Bard are all classes that work well with this Feat (the other obvious choice).
This Feat is useful at all levels. But it is most effective at the beginning when hit points are scarcer, healers have fewer spell slots. And the party is more likely to take short rests frequently.
While the Custom Lineages from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and the Variant Human from the Basic Rules. Both allow you to choose a Feat from the 1st level. I would recommend waiting until the 4th to do so. As you’ll be taking it right around the sweet spot when the number of temporary hit points granted by the Feat report feels impactful.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Inspiring Leader a specific action?
Not in the sense that it can be done in combat. Inspiring Leader is a Feat that takes 10 minutes to activate. So it would take 100+ rounds of combat to take effect.
Is it possible to stack Inspiring Leader?
No. Multiple instances of Inspiring Leader (whether from the same person or multiple people) do not stack. Because any new temporary hit points replace any that your character already has.
What is the duration of temporary hit points?
Temporary hit points last until you rest for an extended period or until you gain more momentary hit points from another source. This replaces the temporary hit points you currently have.