• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.

D&D Stats: What The Typical 5E Party *Actually* Looks Like

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
I'm a big fan of statistics. Especially ones that challenge our preconceived notions.

...however, given that these stats appear to show that elves are one for the LEAST popular races, I would think that there should be a little skepticism about how these statistics were generated (let alone that it would appear that everyone multi classes, which is also odd).

I am certainly not an elf lover (personally, I think they should join gnomes at the bottom of the Nyr Dyv) but there's a reason there's approximately 5 billion elven sub-races. People like them. And by people, I mean, "People other than me, with clearly substandard taste."

So ... I think we need a wee but more about the generation of these stats than this post.
 

akr71

Explorer
The first problem with this article is using D&D Beyond data to say what classes people are playing. Do you know how many characters I have created on D&D Beyond and never used? Neither do I, its been that many.

It isn't a VTT so I don't know how they can tell if the character is 'played'
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
I'm a big fan of statistics. Especially ones that challenge our preconceived notions.

...however, given that these stats appear to show that elves are one for the LEAST popular races, I would think that there should be a little skepticism about how these statistics were generated (let alone that it would appear that everyone multi classes, which is also odd).

I am certainly not an elf lover (personally, I think they should join gnomes at the bottom of the Nyr Dyv) but there's a reason there's approximately 5 billion elven sub-races. People like them. And by people, I mean, "People other than me, with clearly substandard taste."

So ... I think we need a wee but more about the generation of these stats than this post.
The X factor is that those are the stats for people who bought literally all of the books in D&D Beyond: the true hardcore. Their other numbers from all users shows Elves way up the list. It is interesting that Humans, Half-Elves, Dwarves, and Dragonborn remain popular even with the option-loving hardcore players, though.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
I think D&D Beyond stats are for what characters have been created, not necessarily which ones are being played.

I've got six characters on there, but only one I'm actively playing. So the 5 others are just experimental concepts I play around with and One may become my next character.
They screen out test concept characters, by using metrics about work being down in a PC sheet that indicate use in play. Not 100%, probably, but probably good enough.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
There's no way in heck that "most" characters are multi-classed. Their data is biased in favor of characters that require an online tool to build, and away from the normal characters that we write down by hand.
Again, that's 90% of characters made by people who have bought all of the books on D&D Beyond, so yeah.
 

Ashrym

Explorer
I like statistics but take them with a grain of salt. Too easy to manipulate or mislead.

I took the results to indicate Fighters, Clerics, and Hexblades are popular; Humans and Half-Elves are popular; multi-classing is popular and exceptionally popular with sorcerers, warlocks, and clerics; some classes that get a rep as powerful are not as popular as that rep should indicate (eg druids and bards aren't more popular than monks); pure wizards and rogues aren't more popular than pure warlocks and sorcerers.

At least going by the tools used.
 

Bacon Bits

Explorer
I don't really think multiclassing favoring Fighter and Rogue is all that surprising. Multiclassing a spellcaster is generally a terrible idea, while 1-4 levels of Fighter (Action Surge, Second Wind, Fighting Style, Martial Weapons, Medium Armor, Shields, Archetype) or Rogue (Cunning Action, Sneak Attack, Expertise, Light Armor, Thieves' Tools, Rogue weapons, Archetype) is extremely profitable, and the requirement (13 Str or Dex) is so meager that it's basically irrelevant.

What surprises me is that so few Barbarians multiclass as the class is all but dead after level 8. I guess it just goes to show how few campaigns really get to high level.

I definitely understand multiclassing a Cleric, though. The Cleric's spell list and abilities at higher level are almost as dead as the Barbarian. Levels 10 through 16 mark one of the longest nearly dead stretches in the entire game; all you get are ASIs and new spell levels, and the spell list for Clerics is pretty terrible at high level. Lots of restorative spells and true seeing, but not much more. Conjure Celestial is a good example of how much of a slap in the face these spells are. 7th level, 1 minute casting time, requires concentration, lasts up to 1 hour, and you get: one celestial creature of CR 4 or lower. For reference, that's a Pegasus or a Couatl, and that's it. You can't even get a Unicorn.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
When your interpretation of the data leads you to conclude that the typical 5E party has every single character taking levels in fighter, it's time to step back and rethink whether you understand statistics well enough to write an article like this. (I'll give you a hint: You don't.)
Yeah, the article writer junps to some weird conclusions, not founded in data.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
I am reminded of the original GIGO- the telephone poll that predicted that Humphrey would destroy Roosevelt. Which was erroneous, of course, because the sample was people that had telephone (at that time, very few people - and they were very wealthy).

Given the elf data, which flies in the face of everything I know (really.... one of the least popular races ... less than Bugbear, or shifter, or Gith, or Orc, or Kalashtar ...which I think was just made up?) ... I can't take this seriously.

Dude. elves are the same popularity as centaurs. Something Is wrong with data.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
I am reminded of the original GIGO- the telephone poll that predicted that Humphrey would destroy Roosevelt. Which was erroneous, of course, because the sample was people that had telephone (at that time, very few people - and they were very wealthy).

Given the elf data, which flies in the face of everything I know (really.... one of the least popular races ... less than Bugbear, or shifter, or Gith, or Orc, or Kalashtar ...which I think was just made up?) ... I can't take this seriously.

Dude. elves are the same popularity as centaurs. Something Is wrong with data.
The data does show something: peiple willing to spend several hundred dollars on seperate digital copies of all 5E crunch books aren't that into Elves. This is useful for WotC and D&DB to know, since this might indicate Elf fans are satisfied with their options that they are willing to pay for already. However, it doesn't speak to player popularity overall, the way the article thinks.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
some classes that get a rep as powerful are not as popular as that rep should indicate (eg druids and bards aren't more popular than monks);
I don't think popularity and power are a linear correspondence. For example, many Bard subclasses are even more support than Clerics until higher levels (7+), and even if powerful that's only going to interest a subset of players who like to play that style.

It's like back in 4e where the average party would have 2+ strikers but only one defender and one leader. It's a popular style.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
The data does show something: peiple willing to spend several hundred dollars on seperate digital copies of all 5E crunch books aren't that into Elves. This is useful for WotC and D&DB to know, since this might indicate Elf fans are satisfied with their options that they are willing to pay for already. However, it doesn't speak to player popularity overall, the way the article thinks.
Statistics that support what I know to be true are amazing example of math in action.

Statistics that challenge my beliefs are lies, damn lies
 

Advertisement

Top