Humans, Fighters, and Life Domain Most Popular On D&D Beyond
  • Humans, Fighters, and Life Domain Most Popular On D&D Beyond


    Yet more stats published by D&D Beyond, the official licensed Dungeons & Dragons electronic tool. Recently they revealed the most commonly viewed adventures, and the most common classes by tier on their platform. This time they're looking at how often people create characters of each race, class and subclass!




    Humans are by far the most common choice, with a total of 22% of the character made on the platform. They're followd up by Half-Elves, Tieflings, and Dragonborn. Deep Gnomes are the least popular listed, with under 1%, although the developer confirms that a lot of other races hover around 0.8%, just below it.






    This is followed up by a look at classes. Fighters come first, and druids last. The "traditional" core four - fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard - make up the top four. The developer mentions that warlocks got very popular just after Xanathar's Guide, but it has returned to normal now.





    Next it's the turn of the subclasses. The lead of the cleric's Life Domain, sorcerer's Draconic Bloodline and The Fiend (despite being a less popular class) are fairly strong. They note that the Hexblade was the most popular last time they looked, but it's down to 2.8% now.

    Of course, these are characters created on the platform, not necessarily played. Lots of people create multiple character builds for fun. According to the developer, that's 8.8 million characters in total.
    Comments 105 Comments
    1. jerryrice4949's Avatar
      jerryrice4949 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ash Mantle View Post
      I really like the swashbuckler
      Well I should start off by saying I certainly appreciate other points of view. Not trying to throw shade or anything.

      I can see how this could be a fun subclass just not a swashbuckler per say. When I think of the classic swashbucklers such as Zorro or the Musketeers they are more than panache and feetís of dexterity. They are also incredible swordsmen bar none. Technical masters of light fighting. That is just not represented in the current swashbuckler.

      I think part part of it is that the swashbuckler does not fit well in any class. To me it is really part fighter, part rogue and even a little bard minus the spells of course.

      i donít mind the subclass it just doesnít ring true as a swashbuckler. Swashbucklers donít backstab they defeat you in a duel with wit, acrobatics and superior swordsmanship.
    1. Ash Mantle -
      Quote Originally Posted by jerryrice4949 View Post
      Well I should start off by saying I certainly appreciate other points of view. Not trying to throw shade or anything.

      I can see how this could be a fun subclass just not a swashbuckler per say. When I think of the classic swashbucklers such as Zorro or the Musketeers they are more than panache and feetís of dexterity. They are also incredible swordsmen bar none. Technical masters of light fighting. That is just not represented in the current swashbuckler.

      I think part part of it is that the swashbuckler does not fit well in any class. To me it is really part fighter, part rogue and even a little bard minus the spells of course.

      i donít mind the subclass it just doesnít ring true as a swashbuckler. Swashbucklers donít backstab they defeat you in a duel with wit, acrobatics and superior swordsmanship.
      No worries, bro.
      I feel their class features do lend credence to the fact that they are technical masters of light fighting, especially their fancy footwork and rakish audacity abilities. I would also argue that swashbucklers don't backstab, and that sneak attacking is not the same as backstabbing, backstabbing is not on brand for them. They just know how and where to find the most unguarded and most painful bits of the body to attack.
      Their wit and superior acrobatics is covered with their panache and rogue abilities and elegant maneuver.

      If you are also saying that they could benefit from an another attack action, that I'm inclined to agree with but there's also multiclassing.
    1. ad_hoc's Avatar
      ad_hoc -
      Quote Originally Posted by jerryrice4949 View Post
      They are also incredible swordsmen bar none. Technical masters of light fighting. That is just not represented in the current swashbuckler.
      I think this is represented by them getting sneak attack when only fighting one person. They don't need the target to be distracted or unawares. They are just so good that they can inflict terrible wounds by skill alone.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by BadEye View Post
      Again, very assertive for someone that does not have the complete picture of the data.

      For instance, I have not mentioned anything about multiclassing, which impacts this greatly. Taking the barbarian class for a couple of levels is actually very popular for multiclass characters, and those would not end up having a barbarian subclass yet. When looking at subclasses only, those barbarians would be removed from the dataset.

      We could absolutely remove any characters that are multi-class from these results, but there are pros and cons for doing so and we decided to keep them in for now.

      So, having the actual data in hand, I will assert that it is correct, but as with any analysis uses some assumptions and parameters that you do not have access to for reverse engineering.

      The goal of sharing these numbers is not to concretely establish camps out there in the community - it is an interesting exercise that could demonstrate player choices and trends.

      I do appreciate your thirst for accuracy and ensuring that no one out there is being bamboozled!
      Yep multiclassing is an interesting issue. I already called out the difficulties with dealing with multiclassing in d&d data in general on another recent thread about D&D beyond data.

      Remember my conclusion was already that they included only subclassed characters in their subclass data. That meant that about 20% of all their characters from their class data graphical breakdown didn't include subclasses. Leaving off the fact that nearly 20% of classes haven't chosen a subclass skews the subclass data quite drastically. How so?

      It means you are including level 1 clerics, sorcerers and warlocks but leaving out level 1 fighters etc. Presumably there are a lot more level 1 characters than anything else. That highly skews subclass results towards those 3 classes.
    1. Azzy's Avatar
      Azzy -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      I'm doing calculations on the data they gave us to help fill in their huge gaps. I shouldn't have to do that. But I figure it's worth combating now before I hear on every thread for the next year how D&D Beyond says XYZ is more popular. Instead I'd rather nip that in the bud and have everyone know basing anything on these couple of D&D charts is bogus.
      You're still working with incomplete data, so whatever conclusions you reach are meaningless.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Azzy View Post
      You're still working with incomplete data, so whatever conclusions you reach are meaningless.
      Not at all, my assumptions were confirmed. My calculations were correct.
    1. bedir than's Avatar
      bedir than -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      Not at all, my assumptions were confirmed. My calculations were correct.
      Did your assumptions include that players could be using homebrew subclasses?
    1. DQDesign's Avatar
      DQDesign -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
      Xanathar's sold quite well. It was featured in the window at the Amazon store on 34th Street by my office in Midtown Manhattan for quite a while!
      could you please point where in my post (the exact words please) I said Xgte sold poorly?
    1. ccs's Avatar
      ccs -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      I just mathed it...

      Nearly 20% of the classes in their total population of characters don't even have a subclass. What the heck is anyone supposed to make of a population of characters where that's the case?
      That 20% of the characters are below the lv where you'd pick a subclass?
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by bedir than View Post
      Did your assumptions include that players could be using homebrew subclasses?
      To my knowledge it's not possible to use homebrew content on Beyond. Please let me know if that is in correct
    1. Yunru's Avatar
      Yunru -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      To my knowledge it's not possible to use homebrew content on Beyond. Please let me know if that is in correct
      Definitely possible.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Yunru View Post
      Definitely possible.
      Maybe I should rephrase. I didn't think you could use homebrew classes and subclasses.
    1. Yunru's Avatar
      Yunru -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      Maybe I should rephrase. I didn't think you could use homebrew classes and subclasses.
      Well homebrew is definitely an option, Treantmonk keeps disabling it in his videos. And I don't see why that'd be necessary if classes and subclasses aren't possible.

      That said, I've never and will never use D&DB.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by DQDesign View Post
      could you please point where in my post (the exact words please) I said Xgte sold poorly?
      You didn't, but the implication was that these data (and experiences on DM's Guild) justified WotC's decision to focus on DM content and to release no "splatbooks" of player options. Hands down, the best selling release WotC made was Xanathar's; most of the sales were driven by players wanting access to the classes and spells. So I don't know I'd conclude that these data say what you said.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      c) yes bad data makes interesting conversations, but it also makes pointless conversations
      It also has a propensity to generate misleading "facts" that last long past when they were shown to be in error. I agree that there are some clear problems in the data as presented. In particular, it looks like the subclass numbers are actually conditional probabilities that are being listed as if they were something else. That's going to be really confusing.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
      It also has a propensity to generate misleading "facts" that last long past when they were shown to be in error. I agree that there are some clear problems in the data as presented. In particular, it looks like the subclass numbers are actually conditional probabilities that are being listed as if they were something else. That's going to be really confusing.
      Also, the subclass graph doesn't even add up to 100%. Circle Charts always should add up to 100%. Even if the last category is "other".
    1. DQDesign's Avatar
      DQDesign -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
      You didn't, but the implication was that these data (and experiences on DM's Guild) justified WotC's decision to focus on DM content and to release no "splatbooks" of player options. Hands down, the best selling release WotC made was Xanathar's; most of the sales were driven by players wanting access to the classes and spells. So I don't know I'd conclude that these data say what you said.
      you are right. for a moment I believed to be able to find a spark of rationality in wotc publishing schedule but, as you highlight, they dropped the most favorable (for a company willing to make profits) option (i.e. continuing with players' supplements).

      the lack of new official wotc stuff for players it's just another random choice and my data on dmsguild are unrelated to this*

      *but indeed I mentioned they are minuscule.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by BadEye View Post
      No, but it is possible to have a higher percentage in a separate data sample that removes characters that have not reached a level appropriate to choose a subclass, which is what has happened here.

      This data is intended to provide a broad view into relative popularity between all other individual subclasses.
      tl;dr: If all these data are being used for is to confuse and/or amuse some posters on EnWorld, no harm. If decisions are actually being made from them, for instance to guide future product development, I'm not sure that would be a good analysis, at least as presented.

      I'm not 100% sure what happened but I am an actual statistician IRL and know the kinds of mistakes that we make (having made many myself and seen more). Summarizing these data in a few charts would be incredibly difficult. In many ways it's like trying to compare the list of courses taken by college students in different majors across different years in school, trying to do it in only a few pages.

      The data may be intended to provide a broad overview, but I think the class and subclass data, at least as they got reduced down to a color ring chart (for which, ahem), seem particularly confusing. That's almost always a sign of too much data reduction.

      The race data makes sense because it's an unchanging trait of the character chosen at creation. That's something that makes sense to break down as percentages. Notice that nobody's arguing about that!

      Class is a bit easier than subclass due to the fact that one could summarize it with some fairly simple rule, such as giving the percentages for single classed characters and then giving some kind of easy summary breakdown for multis, who often have a fairly obvious mix, such as Cleric 10/Fighter 2 or Cleric 1/Wizard 9; Cleric seems reasonable for the first character while Wizard seems reasonable for the second. Or, conditioning on being a multi, what's the breakdown? That might get messy due to the relatively large number of possible combinations but it's unambiguous as to what's being compared, particularly if broken down by tiers or by common level dips.

      I'm not sure how one would make a sensible analysis of the subclass data given that many characters won't have a subclass due to being ineligible to have one---this is like comparing students who are in a college where majors must be declared as freshmen to ones where majors are declared as juniors. My hunch is that conditional probabilities are being compared to unconditional probabilities but not across the proper margin, but I don't really know. Comparing within tier would make more sense (in my analogy this would be comparing freshmen to freshmen, sophomores to sophomores, etc.), but even that's tough. The 10% for Life Clerics, where Clerics make up 8% of the class breakdown is a sign that a conditional probability of some sort (percent of Life Clerics) is being compared to a probability based on a different denominator.

      All types of data have inherent biases separate from any calculation being made. Process or purchasing data can be very useful because they demonstrate "revealed preferences", that is the choices people actually make as opposed to what they say they want. However, they have a substantial potential biases and often shouldn't be assumed to be better than "stated preference data" or interview data gathered in a more structured way, which can ask about things like options that are not currently presented and thus not able to be chosen.

      As a very simple illustration, just looking in my own D&D Beyond account, I currently have five characters tagged to me. Of them, three (Minotaur Fighters of different subclasses) are trial builds for a friend of mine who's not particularly adept at building characters that have, nevertheless been sitting in my account for a few months, one is an NPC (half elf Valor Bard) that's maintained there for convenience. I'm actually only playing one... a 2nd level Variant Human Fighter. So what's my "revealed preference" here?

      Many other sites have run into this kind of problem in the past: Amazon, for instance, used to have serious issues with its recommendation engine if the same account was being used to make purchases for different people, meaning it was recommending to a chimera who didn't actually exist. Netflix had the same issue. At other times, Amazon would recommend a big ticket purchase right after people would make a big ticket purchase. Recommending someone buy a Panasonic 56" TV right after having bought one from Sharp seems... pointless. But this still happens. Right after I bought a new car a few years ago, I got a ton of ads for, you guessed it, a new car.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by DQDesign View Post
      you are right. for a moment I believed to be able to find a spark of rationality in wotc publishing schedule but, as you highlight, they dropped the most favorable (for a company willing to make profits) option (i.e. continuing with players' supplements).
      I don't pretend to know WotC's strategy. I do get their point about releasing too many player options (see prior editions for why) and trying to present fratricidal competition among their own releases.

      From a sales standpoint, starving the market before releasing Xanathar's meant it really spiked, so it may be that based on their costs they want to keep sales of it high for a long time. DM content makes less money but is necessary to keep the higher volume titles (PHB and Xanathar's) selling.

      But you're right, it's tough to see a clear logic---I think they got lucky with 5E in many ways, which makes figuring out how this happened tough.


      *but indeed I mentioned they are minuscule.
      Oh you were careful to caveat that your sales are just your impression. No problem there.
    1. TwoSix -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      Maybe I should rephrase. I didn't think you could use homebrew classes and subclasses.
      Homebrew subclasses are now possible to add in D&D Beyond. They have been since ...August, I think?
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