I really love the inspiration rules but they suffer from a number of issues during play. Dungeon masters must remember personality characteristics for an entire party. Most simply forget to award it. Player's forget they have inspiration, or hold it in reserve and never spend it. And, personally, the subjective criteria often makes me feel uncomfortable awarding it to just one character at a time.
Rather than rely on the dungeon master to award inspiration, this variant relies on the players asking for inspiration:
You gain inspiration after a short rest. You cannot no longer spend inspiration at will. Instead, you can only spend inspiration on rolls appropriate to your personality characteristics. You may also regain inspiration by taking disadvantage on certain rolls.
Before you make an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check you may declare your character is inspired. To be inspired, the roll must involve one of your personality characteristics in some way. You spend your inspiration and make your inspired roll with advantage.
For example, Adam is playing Bruenor the dwarven fighter. He picks “I aspire to reclaim my homeland, Mithral Hall” as his bond at character creation. Later, he encounters an evil enchanter who casts modify memory on Bruenor to make him magically forget he ever lost his homeland. Adam declares Bruenor is inspired to resist based on his bond. The DM agrees and Adam rolls his saving throw against the spell with advantage.
Similarly, you can regain spent inspiration by declaring a roll as uninspired. An uninspired roll can be any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check that involves your flaw(s) or frustrates an ideal, bond or trait. You make an uninspired roll with disadvantage. Regardless of whether you succeed or not, you regain inspiration after you make the roll. You cannot declare a roll is uninspired if you already have disadvantage.
For example, Adam has chosen
Gruff demeanour for one of Bruenor’s personality traits. While trying to gain entry to the inner keep, Bruenor attempts to talk his way in. The DM asks Adam to make a Charisma (Persuasion) check. Adam declares Bruenor is unnecessarily rude and brusque to the guard, and the roll is uninspired. Adam rolls with disadvantage. Miraculously, he makes the roll but still regains inspiration.
Foremost, the rules place the responsibility of
claiming inspiration firmly in the hands of the players. A player knows his character better than anyone, making it more likely inspiration will be used.
Inspiration is now regained after a short rest to discourage players from hoarding it and encourage them to engage with their personality characteristics.
Finally, I've deliberately left the rules for whether rolls are inspired or uninspired vague and lightweight to prevent getting bogged down in lengthy conversations. A player declares they're inspired or uninspired and, with a nod from the DM, off they go.