BEOWULF Inspiration Mat and Tokens

So Inspiration is key component of BEOWULF: Age of Heroes. Jon and Jacob both love the 5e inspiration mechanic, but find that the core rules don’t make full use of the mechanic. BEOWULF seeks to change that, and provide — ahem — inspiration for new ways to use the mechanic.

The Hero’s Adventure

BEOWULF is primarily designed for duet (one player, one gamemaster) adventuring and we suppose that our Hero is keen to receive omens and wise words before chasing after a nigh-undefeatable Monster. This process creates the Portent, a scrap of Anglo-Saxon poetry that might become important over the course of the adventure. The Portent also fills the Inspiration Pool – there are four components to the Portent and with each component, an Inspiration Token is placed either in the Hero section, the Follower section, or the Monster section of the Pool.

One More Inspiration Token

There are five tokens in the set, four for the Portent and the Inspiration Pool, one for the Hero themselves. In BEOWULF, there are many ways to earn Inspiration and several ways to spend it. One of the most effective ways ties into Advantage. In the game, heroes are either aligned with the Old Ways, the traditional set of gods that are known by many names across the Two Seas of northern Europe and their foretellings of epic wars against the Monsters; or the Church, a new set of beliefs spreading from southern Europe and bringing the promises of freedom, literacy, and personal salvation. When you select your Alignment Die and you’re rolling with Advantage, you receive Inspiration. As long as your faith prevails, you can use this feature over and over.

At the Moment of Need

So what do you do with those Inspiration tokens in the pool? Well, when it’s a dramatically appropriate time, you can use the token to give Inspiration to the appropriate type of character. For example, the player might draw a token from the Follower pool to give a Follower advantage on a check or attack, or to activate a special Gift. The GM might draw a token from the Monster pool to activate a special feature belonging to the Monster or just to give it advantage on an important attack or skill roll.