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D&D 5E D&D's Top Magic Items

D&D Beyond has shared a data dump of the most popular magic items, weapons, and armor used by characters on its platform. They did this in April last year, so this is an update.

Amor hasn't changed, except for a tiny shifty at the bottom end where spiked and padded switched places. The top three are still leather, shield and chain mail. The top places are taken by 'starting gear', and as we know most DDB characters are low level.

Weapons have a shifted a little more, but not by much. The top 10 is still the same list, with a couple of items shifting positions. Daggers, shortswords, handaxes, and light crossbows rule the roost here.

When it comes to magic items, there's a greater shift again - but still, it's not a lot. Bag of holding is the clear leader, followed by ring of protection, cloak of protection, and boots of elvenkind.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Olrox17

Hero
Incorrect, at least with the "reasonable" filtering we do to determine whether a character is"active" (have they adjusted hit points, taken rests, leveled up on different dates than when they were created, etc.)

With 23M+ characters in the dataset, and the surprise these kinds of things seem to have amongst the more "hardcore" parts of the community, I hypothesize many players aren't as interested in "optimization" as we perhaps think, and leather and chainmail suits them fine.

That's just my take though.
Or perhaps, not every player is as interested in keeping their digital character sheet up to date with every little detail.
I don’t know, I honestly never met a player that didn’t upgrade to better armor between adventures, so this data is bizarre to me.
 

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Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Since I'm gonna start playing DND for the first time ever this year, I must be a complete noob on WHY the dagger is top weapon.
Daggers are one of the few weapon types that any character can use, and they can be used in melee or thrown.
Additionally they can be used as a tool.

But more importantly, they are cheap, and easy to hide, so most people tend to keep an extra dagger or two around just in case something happens to their primary weapon.

Or perhaps, not every player is as interested in keeping their digital character sheet up to date with every little detail.
I don’t know, I honestly never met a player that didn’t upgrade to better armor between adventures, so this data is bizarre to me.
I have a theory that most DM's are just stingy with loot and don't provide a lot of downtime so the players can't just craft them.
 

Olrox17

Hero
I have a theory that most DM's are just stingy with loot and don't provide a lot of downtime so the players can't just craft them.
I mean, I could see that happening with plate, but studded leather? It's 45 gp, well within reach of level 1 characters rolling for starting wealth. We must be missing something here. Maybe a lot of tables consider studded leather "ahistorical" and therefore ban it?
 

kenmarable

Adventurer
I wonder if there is any correlation to the loot in published and AL games or even with armor on Monster Manual creatures? These stats likely include magic armor as well.

Or it could be as simple as aesthetic reasons. If you look at all the art out there - published and fan art, studded leather is extraordinarily rare whereas what could potentially pass as leather is extremely common.

Or characters are played but not long enough to get beyond starting equipment (so a breakdown by level range could be an interesting future data look, BadEye. ;) ) There are many possible explanations.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I mean, I could see that happening with plate, but studded leather? It's 45 gp, well within reach of level 1 characters rolling for starting wealth. We must be missing something here. Maybe a lot of tables consider studded leather "ahistorical" and therefore ban it?
Starting wealth if you roll - yes. But that's a choice to take instead of background + class equipment. Which is worth more. Not everyone does it that way.
 

Ace

Adventurer
Which has already been addressed. In this thread as well many other preceding DnDBeyond threads. If you are going to throw around an accusation, try to make sure it's not one that has already been examined and found incorrect multiple times

In fairness, it wouldn't occur to me that causal player or at least players not interested in optimization would use D&D Beyond. I very well may be wrong there.

Likely in the most starting equipment packs? Or people like having it as a hold-out weapon.

This isn't the most used weapon, it's the most equipped weapon.

I think nearly every character I've ever played save a few AD&D Clerics has had at least one dagger . The thing is dagger for us was a sketchy term in D&D since real life daggers are small sidearms not boot knives like many people use them.

Why its the most equipped is pun intended, beyond me. Maybe its because since every class gets it as a proficiency and the software defaults to it, who knows? Its a little odd as I haven't seen them used much in my granted limited 5E other than in RP specific scenarios.
 


BadEye

Chief Development Officer at Demiplane
In fairness, it wouldn't occur to me that causal player or at least players not interested in optimization would use D&D Beyond. I very well may be wrong there.


Why its the most equipped is pun intended, beyond me. Maybe its because since every class gets it as a proficiency and the software defaults to it, who knows? Its a little odd as I haven't seen them used much in my granted limited 5E other than in RP specific scenarios.
The more data we get, the more we are seeing that new/casual players prefer D&D Beyond because they would rather create a character in five minutes versus an hour. In other words, it is introducing D&D to a whole new group of people at a rapid pace.

"Hardcore players" (quoted because what does that really even mean?) or more experienced players are more likely to create characters manually and less likely to embrace D&D Beyond do to things like change bias.

Daggers are also not defaulted in any way in the software, other than being an option in starting equipment for many classes.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
"Hardcore players" (quoted because what does that really even mean?) or more experienced players are more likely to create characters manually and less likely to embrace D&D Beyond do to things like change bias.

Not sure who qualifies as "hard core", but in my case, I subscribed to D&D Beyond because I was playing a lot more. All of the players in my main campaign have been playing D&D and other TTRPGs for decades and they all use DDB for their character sheets.
 

BadEye

Chief Development Officer at Demiplane
Not sure who qualifies as "hard core", but in my case, I subscribed to D&D Beyond because I was playing a lot more. All of the players in my main campaign have been playing D&D and other TTRPGs for decades and they all use DDB for their character sheets.
Yep, I didn't say that experienced players weren't using D&D Beyond - hundreds of thousands (possibly millions, not in front of the data right now) are.

Simply sharing that newer players have proven more likely to adopt. I would suggest a couple of primary reasons (hypotheses since I haven't performed a full analysis): 1) new players don't possess the change bias and 2) new players aren't in the scenario where they already bought most of their books in hardcover before DDB came along.

It's a good thing, because new players are coming to the game and hobby in droves.
 

Ace

Adventurer
The more data we get, the more we are seeing that new/casual players prefer D&D Beyond because they would rather create a character in five minutes versus an hour. In other words, it is introducing D&D to a whole new group of people at a rapid pace.

"Hardcore players" (quoted because what does that really even mean?) or more experienced players are more likely to create characters manually and less likely to embrace D&D Beyond do to things like change bias.

Daggers are also not defaulted in any way in the software, other than being an option in starting equipment for many classes.

This data makes sense.

And I was using Hardcore as people who have gamed a lot, typically many systems and are not new to the hobby . They usually also know the rules very well and often how to optimize them. Its not an insult but there certainly are difference in the gaming culture from long time gamers, serious gamers and new gamers

As far as all the tech goes, computers are hardly new to gaming. Dragon had articles in the late 70's and our group had AD&D characters stored on a TI 994A Computer cartridge , they fit if barely. Other groups also used various DOS based software for char gen or spreadsheets as needed

I don't need stuff like D&D Beyond myself as 5E is rather simple but am hardly opposed to it or a Luddite. I think its pretty great actually.

My only 5E grip right now is I'm not playing :(
 

Interesting data. My take on it is that it shows that Dex-based builds are the most popular with folks. Leather, dagger, shortsword, rapier all outrank the longsword, battleaxe, plate, and breastplate.

I'd even argue that the top magic items point to that as well - Bag of Holding makes up for the lower carrying capacity. And who doesn't want a ring/cloak of protection?
 


ad_hoc

Hero
Yep, I didn't say that experienced players weren't using D&D Beyond - hundreds of thousands (possibly millions, not in front of the data right now) are.

Simply sharing that newer players have proven more likely to adopt. I would suggest a couple of primary reasons (hypotheses since I haven't performed a full analysis): 1) new players don't possess the change bias and 2) new players aren't in the scenario where they already bought most of their books in hardcover before DDB came along.

It's a good thing, because new players are coming to the game and hobby in droves.

New players are probably younger and more into technology too.

We had a new player (though not young) join our table yesterday. They brought a dice app. We said no, none of that nonsense, real dice only.
 

TheSword

Legend
Interesting, I reckon the most used magic items corresponds to our table pretty well. Having played a lot of the published campaigns I recognize several of the items as being easily available in Curse of Strahd, Tomb of Annihilation etc
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Speaking strictly for myself, I prefer chargen via pencil-and-paper over using computerized methods. This is mostly because I am a Grognard.
But if you want to call me a "hardcore player" I'll take it as a compliment.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I love how the magic item list is like, this item, that item, +1 this, +1 that.........+3 studded, +3 shield.......+1 this, +1 that.

What happened to +2 items and other +3 items?
 

Honestly, all of this just shows that most folks prefer simple, straight-forward, equipment. Knives and swords, leather and bucklers, Bags and AC boosts/+1s of the previously mentioned. 'Boring, but practical' seems to be the name of the game.

What DOES surprise me is that CLUBS aren't even on the list. You can't get much simpler (and cheaper) than a weighty stick. Even has the same damage die as the dagger, if a different damage TYPE.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
I love how the magic item list is like, this item, that item, +1 this, +1 that.........+3 studded, +3 shield.......+1 this, +1 that.

What happened to +2 items and other +3 items?

Easy explaination. They basically tied +2 and +3 items to higher level.

Since most games don't go past level 6 and only a fraction go higher than 10 that's probably why.
 

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