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. TwoSix -
      Quote Originally Posted by BadEye View Post
      No being the answer, the reason is such a high percentage of clerics choose Life Domain that the total of that subset is higher than all the other individual subclasses for all the other classes. I can confirm that over 60% of clerics on DDB are Life Domain, and clerics have the most subclasses of any class. Only sorcerers exhibit more single-subclass dominance with Draconic comprising 65% of all sorcerers (sorcerers just have a good bit fewer total number of characters).
      Wow. Could we get more data like this? The popularity of intra-class choices is a lot more interesting than popularity across classes, since there are a lot less confounding factors.

      I'd love to see a chart on popular feat choices as well. How many people take feats as opposed to ASIs, especially at tiers 1 and 2. (People run out of good feats by Tier 3 and 4, generally.) What feats are the most popular at Tier 1 and 2?

      Good data sets are like crack to the nerdiest among us, I swear.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
      ...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 agree with most everything you said in this post.

      About this specific part, I want to add that based on other posters comments about how they handled multiclassing and "mistakes" made in the subclass breakdown, it seems to me the most obvious way they handled multiclassing in their class breakdown chart was to simply count all the characters that had some level of cleric etc. Then take the sum of all those counts for the denominator. If this is truly the case then it also presents a big problem for their class breakdowns as well.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      Quote Originally Posted by TwoSix View Post
      Homebrew subclasses are now possible to add in D&D Beyond. They have been since ...August, I think?
      Ah, that's what I get for not following along. But just to confirm, classes cannot be added in correct?
    1. TwoSix -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      Ah, that's what I get for not following along. But just to confirm, classes cannot be added in correct?
      Sadly no. As someone who primarily plays homebrew content, that would be the killer app that gets me to subscribe.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      Ah, that's what I get for not following along. But just to confirm, classes cannot be added in correct?
      They did add a good bit to DND Beyond recently, so, for instance you can now add extra feats, skills, etc., without too much pain, say to accommodate a campaign that gave all PCs a bonus feat at first level. It's still fairly rough to integrate a home built race or class. It can be done by people way more patient than me through some workarounds like making a magic item that provides the abilities. I won't count myself an expert at database programming but from what I know of it, that would be very challenging to do so I get why it's not there.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      I agree with most everything you said in this post.

      About this specific part, I want to add that based on other posters comments about how they handled multiclassing and "mistakes" made in the subclass breakdown, it seems to me the most obvious way they handled multiclassing in their class breakdown chart was to simply count all the characters that had some level of cleric etc. Then take the sum of all those counts for the denominator. If this is truly the case then it also presents a big problem for their class breakdowns as well.
      If you could multis in the simple way there's going to be a lot of double counting and thus, you're right it would mess up the class breakdowns. Cleric and fighter are both very common level dips, just as an example.
    1. DQDesign's Avatar
      DQDesign -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
      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.
      I'm totally moved! Someone shares my opinion about this! Please believe me, I swear no irony here, I would never expect that. thanks, really.

      I find the logic less clear ever when I consider adventure paths. the most popular according to dndB data is the only non-FR, i.e. Curse of Strahd, which is also the best scoring in the reviews section of this site.

      and wotc sticks publishing FR-based adventure paths only.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      @BadEye

      I do want to apologize for being rude to you. I get quite passionate about things like this.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by DQDesign View Post
      I'm totally moved! Someone shares my opinion about this! Please believe me, I swear no irony here, I would never expect that. thanks, really.
      You're welcome. I'm a firm believer that one needs to acknowledge the presence of luck in many situations. It's way too easy to analyze situations in hindsight.


      I find the logic less clear ever when I consider adventure paths. the most popular according to dndB data is the only non-FR, i.e. Curse of Strahd, which is also the best scoring in the reviews section of this site.

      and wotc sticks publishing FR-based adventure paths only.
      Yeah, I don't quite get that either. From knowing someone in the publishing world, one thing that is a fairly hard constraint they have is the release schedule, so that often does put pressure on things.

      It is the case that not everyone playing a game is running it via Beyond or, more broadly, electronically. Even electronic D&D games may not be buying WotC content. I've played in several games on Roll20 and none of them have been WotC APs, though occasionally we've used bits and pieces of them. Of course, that's just me. The fact that there are multiple VTTs competing also makes things more confusing.
    1. bedir than's Avatar
      bedir than -
      Anyone who thinks that Xanathar's is the only book with player expansion in it probably should review the entire catalog. Over 50% of the books have player options in them.
    1. DQDesign's Avatar
      DQDesign -
      Quote Originally Posted by bedir than View Post
      Anyone who thinks that Xanathar's is the only book with player expansion in it probably should review the entire catalog. Over 50% of the books have player options in them.
      yeah, it is clear, the vast majority of people obviously bought CoS because of the new PC background.

      anyway, I think most of us see a clear difference between a product like Xgta and SCAG, for example. the first is a 'major mechanical expansion' (quote Mearls), the second a campaign guide clearly aimed at DMs in which some bonus UA rules for players are refined and printed, occupying a vastly negligible percentage of the book. and, assuming a linear model, justifying only a negligible percentage of the sales.
    1. BadEye's Avatar
      BadEye -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      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".
      The chart adds up to 100% (of course all circle charts do) - there just isn't labeling for the remaining percentages because there was no room for them to exist and still be legible.
    1. BadEye's Avatar
      BadEye -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
      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.
      This data is presented as a high-level look at distribution of race, class, and subclass selection for active characters on D&D Beyond. It serves that purpose just fine.

      It could certainly "confuse" or "amuse" those who want to read too much into it or think it is trying to achieve a different purpose than it is.

      Actual decisions could be (and are) made from this data. For instance, when looking at future subclass design, maybe the bar would be set at Life Domain and not at the least selected domain. It's a safe bet to say that draconic sorcerers "do well" in the community and other design should target that, or that perhaps people would want to know more about half-elf culture since they are so often chosen. The data never pretends to dig any deeper than that.
    1. BadEye's Avatar
      BadEye -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
      If you could multis in the simple way there's going to be a lot of double counting and thus, you're right it would mess up the class breakdowns. Cleric and fighter are both very common level dips, just as an example.
      This is my point that no one here (except me) knows the actual dataset and many assumptions are being made. Multiclassing and homebrew subclasses are going to throw off any napkin math you all can do.

      If we entirely removed multiclass characters, for instance, does this actually still give us the most accurate look at class popularity? Is a class still popular if it is chosen, even if for only a level or two?

      We can absolutely remove multiclass characters (and we have before), but I can tell you the distribution doesn't actually change that much.
    1. Jay Verkuilen's Avatar
      Jay Verkuilen -
      Quote Originally Posted by bedir than View Post
      Anyone who thinks that Xanathar's is the only book with player expansion in it probably should review the entire catalog. Over 50% of the books have player options in them.
      They do, but WotC's propensity to put lots of DM information in means that those books are largely or mostly for DMs, with only fairly minimal player info, often not enough to drive sales to players. Just considering my own group, only one person bought Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. While it does have player content in it, it's not really comparable to the amount in Xanathar's, which is useful for most players. Volo's has quite a bit, but mostly the monster races, which have never been that popular.
    1. BadEye's Avatar
      BadEye -
      Quote Originally Posted by FrogReaver View Post
      @BadEye

      I do want to apologize for being rude to you. I get quite passionate about things like this.
      No worries - I appreciate passion.
    1. 5ekyu's Avatar
      5ekyu -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jay Verkuilen View Post
      They did add a good bit to DND Beyond recently, so, for instance you can now add extra feats, skills, etc., without too much pain, say to accommodate a campaign that gave all PCs a bonus feat at first level. It's still fairly rough to integrate a home built race or class. It can be done by people way more patient than me through some workarounds like making a magic item that provides the abilities. I won't count myself an expert at database programming but from what I know of it, that would be very challenging to do so I get why it's not there.
      I have been using homebrew a lot for my current game and so far DDB makes it pretty easy. Classes are not there, as was stated, but it's well put together so far.
    1. CleverNickName's Avatar
      CleverNickName -
      These statistics are interesting, but I wonder how representative they are to the hobby as a whole. I'm active in three different 5e gaming groups, and only one person uses D&D Beyond. He's the one who plays a human warlock of The Fiend.

      The rest of our stats don't match this at all: we're all about elves and half-elves mostly, nobody is playing a fighter or wizard, the one rogue is a Swashbuckler, and the lone sorcerer is wild magic. So I have to take these graphs with a grain of salt.
    1. Zardnaar's Avatar
      Zardnaar -
      Quote Originally Posted by CleverNickName View Post
      These statistics are interesting, but I wonder how representative they are to the hobby as a whole. I'm active in three different 5e gaming groups, and only one person uses D&D Beyond. He's the one who plays a human warlock of The Fiend.

      The rest of our stats don't match this at all: we're all about elves and half-elves mostly, nobody is playing a fighter or wizard, the one rogue is a Swashbuckler, and the lone sorcerer is wild magic. So I have to take these graphs with a grain of salt.
      Its called a bubble, you might not be that representive of casual players (none of us here are).

      Early in 5E our group would not have been to far form this. Recently we have branched out more into the advanced option and MCing concepts more than the classic 4 classes or even the specific subclasses. It has been a while since I have seen a life cleirc but its definitely one of the better PHB clerics/cleric in general.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by CleverNickName View Post
      These statistics are interesting, but I wonder how representative they are to the hobby as a whole. I'm active in three different 5e gaming groups, and only one person uses D&D Beyond. He's the one who plays a human warlock of The Fiend.

      The rest of our stats don't match this at all: we're all about elves and half-elves mostly, nobody is playing a fighter or wizard, the one rogue is a Swashbuckler, and the lone sorcerer is wild magic. So I have to take these graphs with a grain of salt.
      While nothing is perfectly representative, I would say their 9 million characters might be more representative than your three gaming groups. I expect DDB takes your stars with a grain of salt.

      I find it bizarre that in 2019 we still have to say “anecdotes are not data”. Their data isn’t perfect, of course. But it’s not an anecdote.
    Comments Leave Comment