All art belongs to MCDM

Inspiration has always been a mechanic I forget to implement in my games. I just end up randomly remembering they exist and that’s when I give them away. This article looks to make these points much more important by giving them away through in-game mechanics, as well as giving them other uses.

The article talks about ways inspiration can be given away when critical successes or failures occur. I believe these ways of handling inspiration play extremely way with how these dice results make the players and PCs feel. You can also earn them by expending the last of one of your resources, in the same way you might feel inspired by shooting your last bullet.

The rules for using inspiration, on the other hand, feel much more chaotic (in a good sense). These range from rerolls, to ways to move the plot forward, or mechanical benefits for combat. The most interesting one for me might be giving legendary actions to PCs through inspiration. I believe it can break a bit the action economy, but as long as you take it into account from the start it can make combat more dynamic.

Lastly, we’ve got the two sections that I ended up liking the most. Firstly,  we’ve got Party Inspiration: there’s an inspiration pool anyone can draw from, but at the same time everyone has their own inspiration point. I believe you can try to make some fun party strategies with this, adding more fun to the game. Finally, there’s the magic items that consume inspiration, or work differently when you have an inspiration point. The most intriguing items are definitely the ones that have an aura that works while you have an inspiration point, as it creates a synergy with the other rules mentioned above. Would you rather keep the aura, or use a special ability and keep fighting without it?

Sam comes with my jam! Monsters!! And these are definitely creepy, and you can tell by just looking at the art. There are 9 monsters here, listed in the image by the sideAs we’ve been seeing before, those who bring monsters to Arcadia tend to make use of the Action-Oriented design style for monster creation, which I absolutely adore! However, something I loved about these monsters is how videogamey they feel at times through their mechanics. Despite that term usually being seen as something negative, it is definitely a positive for me in this case, as most of the monsters have powerful actions that after being used, they put themselves at a disadvantage against the player characters, in the same way enemies in videogames throw at you the different colored attack you can reflect, or reveal their weak spot if you wait enough.
Among other things, these monsters use mechanics that we will be seeing in the The Talent & Psionics content we will be seeing in the future. It’s not the first time Arcadia has done this, and I love every time we get to see a little peak of what is to come through this articles. There’s also the use of the key words the “Flee Mortals” book will be making use of to categorize the monsters, such as Skirmisher, Controller, Soldier, Solo, Brute, etc. My favorite monsters are the Dreameater, mostly due to its evocative image, and then the Shard, cause I love when you mix those futuristic things with my fantasy. There’s also a “Neutral evil evil evil evil evil evil evil” monster, which I’m pretty sure is just a copy-paste mistake, but it still got me a chuckle when I read it.

Tubular, bro! Hehe. If you felt disappointed with the hoverboards from some years ago not being like the ones from Back to the Future, then get ready to get the real deal in D&D! This one-shot adventure is located in some kind of university, where players play teenage punks on a skateboard race against some bullies. The star of the show is the spellsled, which is basically a magical hoverboard. The art and NPCs go all in on the punk vibe to really get you into the vibe the adventure is looking to create. There’s also a full gang of punks whose names you can create by rolling on a table, getting NPCs such as Thorn Mockery, or Frost Whip (they call themselves the Cantrips for a reason) that I had some fun rolling in.
The one-shot is quite simple, being mostly a chase scene while riding the spellsleds, as it is actually a race. It uses a similar approach to the DMG’s Chase rules, with some modifications, and a whole lot of hazards the characters can run into while driving, making each turn extremely chaotic and fun. You can attack while riding the spellslade and racing. In fact, you are encouraged to do so, to defeat the whole Cantrip gang, and their leader Color Spray.

Final thoughts

This issue was just COOL. New great stuff to do with the underutilized Inspiration, terrifying monsters with very interesting design, and a radical skateboarding adventure! Arcadia just never fails to surprise me! Of course, I loved the monster article the most because I just adore monster design, but the other two stand out on their own as well, with the inspiration article being something I would really like to try out and playtest in my games, and the one-shot being the perfect adventure to play when a player misses a game.

What’s your opinion? Which of the three articles is the best for YOUR table? Is there one you are looking forward to adding to your campaign? Let me know in the comments below!!