Dwarf Focus in 5E


I was thinking how to Dwarven focus should be handled in 5E. Rather than a fixed mechanic like 2E or 3E, I was thinking it could best be handled as another way for the DM to award Inspiration, as another aspect of the character’s background. He is an example to see if I can explain it better.
Here is the example of Dwarf focus from 3E:
“For example, Grelak, protector of his dwarven community, makes the retrieval of a sacred book stolen during a raid his focus. After a week of gathering clues, he sets out to retrieve the artifact from its current possessor, who hides in a trading post two weeks away. On the way to the outpost, he encounters a wild lirr; while battling this foe, he receives his morale bonus, because he is trying to reach the book.”

That is how it worked in 3E. For 5E I would say it would work differently. In this case, just because he encountered a lirr on his journey, he would not gain Inspiration from his focus. However, if he knew he had a choice to travel through lirr territory on the quick route or take the long way around and the dwarf choose to go the quick route, then he would be awarded Inspiration that could be used for that battle. That roleplaying choice by the character triggers the gaining of the advantage.

Is that clear? Anyone agree with this handling of dwarf focus?

(Chris Flipse) #2

I like the idea of tying Focus together with inspiration. it fits.

Given how generally forgotten inspiriation seems to be be, it’s probably nice to have something that explicitly prods it may help. Or it might end up deadspace. Hard to tell. :confused:


In this example, I have never felt that simply encountering an opponent on the way to accomplish a focus has anything to do with the endstate of accomplishing a focus.

For 5E, as a GM, I would grant a proficiency bonus or Advantage to a dwarf that is performing a task directly related to their focus. In the example, that would include battling the sacred books’ current possessor, navigating the corridors of the trading post, or engaging anyone/anything that is specifically denying the dwarf from accomplishing his/her focus (ie: guards).

I am a pretty rules-light player, so I would tend to grant Advantage on: 1) the attack roll if the opponent is directly denying the dwarf from achieving their focus; 2) on the ability check if a task must be performed in order to ensure success in accomplishing their focus; or 3), on a saving throw if failure meant that the dwarf would not succeed at accomplishing their focus.