Inspiring Leader feat in DnD 5E explained

As the ogre raised the gnarly tree limb above its head, the Ranger’s hands began to shake, palms sweat.  The lump developing in their throat threatened to buckle their knees under its weight. Like a bolt of lightning, the memory of that morning struck the Ranger’s mind, the scent of hot coffee and rousing words of the party’s ever-optimistic Bard as fresh as they were at first light. Gritting their teeth and tightening their grip, the Ranger strode forward to meet the mighty blow, catching the hard oak on their scimitar and pivoting in towards the exposed belly of the beast. 

We’ve all seen motivational speeches in our favourite books, TV shows, and movies that spur the characters on, allowing them to push past what they would normally be capable of and achieve what they need to. In Dungeons & Dragons 5E this kind of motivational speech is represented by the Inspiring Leader feat, let’s start by breaking down the feat:

It requires a Charisma of 13 or higher.

You can spend 10 minutes inspiring your party, this can be up to six creatures of your choice within 30 feet and can include yourself. Each creature gains temporary hit points equal to your level + your Charisma modifier. In order to gain these temporary hit points, a creature must be able to see or hear you and be able to understand you. Once a creature has received these temporary hit points, they can’t benefit from this feat again until they have completed a short or long rest.

The formula used for the temp HP is excellent, scaling with you throughout your adventuring career, whilst allowing you to leverage your Charisma modifier to compensate in earlier levels. This feat can collectively save the party well over 100 HP in damage over the course of the day. The downsides here are the prerequisite in Charisma making it undesirable for some builds, requiring ten minutes after your rest can be inconvenient in hostile environments, and you are limited to once per rest so you’re out of luck if you want to top up between encounters when you don’t have an hour or more to spare.

So it’s overall a great feat, but how to be sure if it’s right for your character? Let’s take a look at classes best suited to this feat:

Inspiring Leader is most useful for

  • Charisma casters (Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock) – As you’ll be focusing on Charisma anyway, you’ll have no issue with the prerequisite and will be able to get the most out of this feat at all levels. Bonus style points for a Bard motivational speaker build! 
  • Fighters – Specifically Fighter subclasses that aren’t reliant on another mental stat for their abilities, 13 Cha is fairly cheap and useful in general on most characters, and you’ll have the ASIs to pick this up without sacrificing your combat effectiveness. 
  • Rogues – Particularly the Swashbuckler that has an incentive to have a good Charisma modifier from their subclass. In general, Rogues being Dex SAD allows them to have whatever secondary/tertiary they like, and with an additional ASI grabbing this feat is rather affordable.

Inspiring Leader is least useful for

  • Monks – Being Dex and Wis MAD makes the prerequisite relatively expensive, and with so many stats to increase it’s hard to justify using an ASI for a feat that others would be able to use more effectively.
  • Rangers – Similar to Monks above, but to a lesser degree, Rangers are already dependent on three different stats (Str/Dex

As long as you’re comfortable meeting the Charisma prerequisite Inspiring Leader is a valuable addition to every party, Paladins are worth a mention here as Charisma is tied to many of their class features, however, their MADness makes it difficult to spend the ASI on picking this feat up. Ideally, a Paladin taking this feat should pick it up at 1st level from being a variant human or custom lineage, or be Cha-focused to get the most value out of it.

Hopefully, you’ve been inspired by this article and now have a better understanding of this great feat. If you’re thinking about a Charisma caster after reading this then check out our Warlock guide here, or if you’re interested in other feats then check out our feat section here. Until next time, may your dice be favorable and speeches rousing.

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