This Trait sets Inspired characters apart for “ordinary” people. A character's Inspiration measures his ability to channel Z-waves, perform super-science or create his own luck. Like Willpower, Inspiration has both a permanent and temporary value. A character's permanent Inspiration is the number of dice he uses for all Inspiration rolls. His temporary Inspiration pool measures how in tune he currently is with the world around him and how much “weird luck” - or “telluric energy” depending on how your character views his particular talents- he has left. A character's temporary Inspiration pool may exceed his permanent score.
Inspiration has several different functions, so of which may not be accessible to all Inspired characters. Non-Inspired characters have no Inspiration Trait and get none of the advantages.
You can spend temporary Inspiration on any of the following effects. Unless otherwise noted you can only spend one Inspiration point a turn. (Note that Inspired Villains abide by the very same rules, except they benefit from performing villainous deeds. Go figure)
Many psychic and dynamic Knacks require you to spend an Inspiration point to activate them. This doesn't count toward the one-point-per-turn restriction noted above, although only one Knack may be triggered with Inspiration each turn.
You can spend multiple Inspiration points to assert significant changes in the existing scene. See Dramatic Editing
Characters in Adventure must use their ingenuity to escape certain death every so often, just like the heroes of old adventure serials did in the days gone by. A cliffhanger is a specially arranged, climactic use of dramatic editing.
Once each scene, you can spend an Inspiration point to double your character's dice pool for a single action! This applies only to one task, even if your character performs multiple maneuvers in a turn. This can obviously come in quite handy, but it's a sure fire way to use up Inspiration points if you're not careful.
Luck is always on the hero's side in pulp stories. By spending an Inspiration, you can ask the Storyteller for a useful hint or to point you in the best direction for the story. This isn't character precognition, nor is it just “maybe you don't want your character to open that door.” The Storyteller gives you essential information that helps motivate your character to move the story along. She might provide the essential clue needed to discover a murderer's identity, suggest a line of reasoning that reveals the enemy's plan or simply point out that you've been chasing a red herring and that the heart of the story is back at the lab.
Inspiration is an extremely useful, yet rare commodity. Each player should be careful about spending it too freely, or he'll find his character out of Inspiration when he needs it most! Conversely, one of the best ways to gain more Inspiration is by wisely spending the points you already have. “Wisely” is the key! Spending an Inspiration point on an exciting maneuver that adds to the game and furthers the story is a good way to get a return on your investment; blowing an Inspiration point every time your character attacks two-bit thugs is a good way to waste Inspiration.
A character begins every story (but not every game session) with his temporary Inspiration pool topped off (equal to his permanent Inspiration). A character may end a story with a pool higher than his permanent score. Although there's nothing wrong with that, per se, the Storyteller may not be making the story dramatic enough. Adventure is a game of high excitement and amazing action, after all.
The ways a character may regain Inspiration are described below. As stated previously, a character's Inspiration pool may exceed his permanent Inspiration rating. (As with spending Inspiration, Inspired villains follow the same essential rules described here, regaining Inspiration for performing villainous acts instead of heroic efforts. It's only fair, right?)
An Inspired character regains one point of temporary Inspiration by spending two consecutive days on rest and leisure activities. If the character is under enforced rest, such as a hospital stay or an ocean voyage, but can't indulge in his preferred recreation, regaining each Inspiration point takes five days. The character's relaxation must be appropriate to his established personality, preferences and habits. A millionaire playboy regains Inspiration by partying with all his energy, but an ascetic priest regains Inspiration through meditation and reading scriptures. This method may be used only to recover Inspiration points up to the character's permanent score.
If you roll at least five extra successes beyond an action's difficulty but gain no benefit from such an amazing result - say getting an incredible result when picking a lock, seducing someone, coming up with a lie- the character receives a point of Inspiration. This does not apply to combat situations, Knack use or Sheer Heroism.
Inspiration isn't necessarily tied to Willpower, but the two are related in the sense that both of them reflect parts of the character's fundamental nature. If the character would regain a Willpower point but already has the maximum amount of temporary Willpower, he acquires an Inspiration point instead.
When it comes down to it, Adventure is a game. As such, it's meant to be entertaining. Accordingly, if a player spends an Inspiration point for an action that is appropriately heroic for the character and benefits someone besides himself - anything from dramatic editing to activating a Knack - the character does not lose any of the Inspiration spent and even gains a single additional point. This may not happen more than once per game session for any given character. The Storyteller should maintain a reasonable stringent definition of “appropriately heroic” and may deny the benefit if a player has clearly calculated his character's efforts solely to scrounge up more Inspiration.
This is similar to heroic entertainment, but specifically does not involve spending Inspiration. Instead, the Storyteller may award the character with one point of Inspiration if she feels the character did something especially appropriate to the character's primary Inspiration facet - a highly entertaining bit of social interaction with a rival, an amazing piece of non-Inspired athletics or something similar. A character should get this prize no more than once per game session and should not be rewarded for the same kind of action from one game to the next. (This prevents the player from trying the same routine over and over to scrounge points rather than make the story richer.) As with Heroic Entertainment, the Storyteller what deserves this benefit and should be fair and consistent in handing it out.