The Inspiring Leader feat is one that has found a lot of play throughout various campaigns around our gaming table. The ability to give an inspiring speech that gets a group so fired up that they run into battle yelling “FRRREEEEEDDDDOOOOMMMMMM!” with their extra temporary hit points absorbing some of that first wave damage.
Or insert your favorite movie speech of choice to gaming tables that aren’t so old 🙂 The Inspiring Leader feat is not only a useful way to boost the entire party before going into battle, but it has led to some wonderful roleplaying moments as the player with the feat gives a speech unique to their character’s quirks.
The One DnD/6E Inspiring Leader Feat allows a player to increase their Wisdom or Charisma score by +1, and gives them the ability to put on an encouraging performance at the end of a Short or Long Rest that gives up to six friendly creatures within 30 feet temporary hit points equal to 2d4 + your proficiency bonus.
That’s a nice little bonus before exploring a dangerous area or diving into battle – but is it enough to justify the use of a feat?
Let’s dive in and see if Inspiring Leader is a winner or a loser in its new 6E iteration.
Inspiring Leader Feat DnD One Review
The best way to break down a feat is to check out the exact wording.
From Unearthed Arcana:
Prerequisite: Wisdom or Charisma 13+
You are adept at encouraging others, granting you the following benefits:
Ability Score Increase. Increase your Wisdom or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
Encouraging Performance. At the end of a Short Rest or a Long Rest you can give an inspiring performance: a speech, a song, or a dance. When you do so, choose up to six friendly creatures (which can include yourself) within 30 feet of you who witness the performance. The chosen creatures each gain Temporary Hit Points equal to 2d4 + your Proficiency Bonus.
Unearthed Arcana, Expert Classes 2022
Let’s break these individual benefits down in more detail to get a better sense of what the new Inspiring Leader Feat really has to offer.
Benefit #1: Increase your Wisdom or Charisma score by 1, up to a maximum of 20.
Fairly basic half feat offering a +1 ability score improvement that makes sense considering the feat. Previously this had been only Charisma based in 5th Edition so I think the decision to add Wisdom to the mix, but not Intelligence, actually makes a ton of sense and is a really smart move by designers to not only buff the feat but also make it fit in line with the flavor of the world and the various ways inspiration comes from both pools of wisdom or highly charismatic individuals.
Benefit #2: Encouraging Performance – whether by speech, song, or dance you get to give a performance that grants temporary hit points (2d4 + your proficiency bonus) to up to six allies within 30 feet. This can include yourself and must be done at the end of a Short Rest or Long Rest.
This is the meat and potatoes of the feat, and so much relies on the dice rolls. A low roll at low level could give as few as an anemic 5 temporary hit points which, while better than nothing, isn’t really going to move the needle. At higher levels with maximized rolls, it could be 14 temporary hit points which while not crazy against level 19 enemies, is at least a measurable portion.
The theming of this is great and it’s a feat that was clearly designed as a Bard Feat, but it also works with other classes looking for that +1 to Charisma or Wisdom while leading the group whether Cleric, Sorcerer, or Warlock.
This is an interesting mechanic, and it’s strength is in the multiplier. An average of +7 temporary hit points isn’t much, but with 6 players that’s +42 temporary hit points total and that DOES move the needle.
How Does The Inspiring Leader Feat Measure Up?
This is a hard one to judge. If it affected just one PC it wouldn’t be that good a feat. The fact it gives a boost to so many party members makes a big difference ,but even then a bad roll can dull its effectiveness and it doesn’t change the fact that an individual player character only gets a small boost.
While the math of +7 times 6 equals 42 looks really impressive, we all know the difference between that being dispersed among the entire party versus all in one character makes a huge difference in how effective it actually is.
This is one of those feats that I think is more for flavor than use, but if you just need a +1 to Wisdom or Charisma it can be a fun way to get that +1 stat boost and give a little bit of extra boost to the group. It’s a ‘cherry on top’ feat where it’s great as an extra to what you need, but it’s not solid enough to warrant a grab for its own sake.
Inspiring Leader Feat: DnD One Vs 5E
There have definitely been changes from the original Inspiring Leader feat found in 5th Edition, and at first glance I have to say this is one where I feel like the feat has been nerfed big time. This was a feat that was used multiple times in old 5E games over the past decade, and while expanding it beyond bards makes sense, the other changes are going to cause it to crater at future games, IMO.
First the change of turning it from just a Charisma feat to a Charisma or Wisdom feat was a good move. This makes the feat more accessible and versatile, and it opens up the addition of a +1 to CHR or WIS as a core stat improvement as this is a half feat.
Related Article: 5E Inspiring Leader Feat Guide
The temporary hit points used to be your level plus your Charisma modifier. This is far superior to the 2 d4 + Proficiency bonus. Take a look at the table below which shows the average temporary hit points each party member could expect from an inspirational speech in 5th Ed versus One DnD.
|Player Level||5th Ed||One DnD (6E)|
While arguments can be made that 5E’s Inspiring Leader Feat was overpowered (quite possibly) and wiped out the point of having any other temporary hit point abilities (almost certainly), it was a good take for a Charisma based character in the party but with these major debuffs I don’t see it getting the major love it used to as now by level 7 even a perfect roll only matches what 5E brought to the table, and 5th Ed beats it every level thereafter.
While One DnD has buffed many feats, the making of Inspiring Leader into a Half Feat just doesn’t do enough to make up the difference.
Who Should Take the Inspiring Leader Feat in DnD One?
While this was a must-take for Bards in 5th Ed, for One DnD with the changes it’s an alright choice for any Wisdom-based or Charisma-based character looking for that extra +1 when nothing else sticks out, but it is not the overpowered “must take” that it once was.
Because of that in the new system there isn’t necessarily any classes or builds where this would be considered a “must have” feat.
One DnD Inspiring Leader Feat Final Grade
This is one of those feats where it’s always a good idea to have one person in the party who has it, but it doesn’t make sense for multiple players to take it, and it was much stronger in 5th Edition. Because of that this is a C- grade. While I understand that some buffing really was a good idea, it went too far the other way.
This isn’t so bad as to be nearly worthless, but considering how many other feats were buffed up, even a minor step backwards can cause a feat’s usefulness to plummet by comparison and since feats can’t be compared in a vacuum (sorry, Linguist Feat), that means this falls to a C-. You won’t feel bad if the party has it, but a player will feel bad if they take it over a much better mechanically inclined feat.
Other Articles of Interest
- Types of Damage in D&D
- DnD Core Stats Guide
- One DnD Actor Feat Guide
- 5E Feats List Guide
- One DnD Magic Initiate Feat Guide
- One DnD Lucky Feat Guide
Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.