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Here's The Most Common D&D Party Composition

D&D Beyond's latest data-output looks at the composition of the typical adventuring party. The 'traditional' party always used to be Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, Wizard; let's see how that stacks up these days!

These screenshots were compiled by SageAdvice.eu. DDB's developer said "I’m going to be honest: this was really hard to look at from a data perspective right, so what I mean by that is it’s hard to figure out exactly how to chop this data up for it to be the most meaningful that we can make it all right. These are all campaigns where party members and characters within that campaign are taking hit point adjustments, so that’s one of the best senses that we have that something is actually being played”.


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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I like that they disclosed their methodology about how they determined if ti was a live game or not. Not that it's a perfect methodology, but it is a completely reasonable one and we can judge for bias for ourselves.

I wish I had access to the raw data. As these really low percentages show, there are so many valid combos that even the most likely are around 1 in 200. I'd love to be able to play with the data to see "these classes are likely to be rather equivelent in roles because they commonly adventure with the same other classes (or their equivelents)", and things like that. For small parties are they more likely to lose a role or go for classes that cover more roles? For large parties what roles get added more? Are they some classes that are predominantly found in larger parties only (so are great once the roles have been covered).

With no pre-judgement about those roles, but rather what we discover from actual play.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I'm curious who gets to play with 8 people in the party.
Matt Mercer & pals, fairly regularly. Possibly over-represented in D&DB, because tools are probably helpful for managing large groups. Possibly more common than it used to be, because large groups do seem common in online streaming games.
 

Parmandur

Legend
In the stream, Adam notes that the smaller parties tend to be more classic combos (Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard types), whereas larger parties tend to have quirkier combos with newer Classes (Sorcerers & Warlocks, etc.).

Indeed, at the larger party sizes, Matt MErcer's Blood Hunter starts showing up in party compositions, indicating that Critical Role might be an inspiration behind larger tables.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
In the stream, Adam notes that the smaller parties tend to be more classic combos (Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard types), whereas larger parties tend to have quirkier combos with newer Classes (Sorcerers & Warlocks, etc.).

Indeed, at the larger party sizes, Matt MErcer's Blood Hunter starts showing up in party compositions, indicating that Critical Role might be an inspiration behind larger tables.
I imagine it’s more simple than that — the larger the party, the more likely a ‘non core’ class will show up just by virtue of the laws of probability. Get a large enough party and everything will show up.
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
I'm curious about who wants to play with 8 people in the party.
I played in a 9 player 3E game. It broke down into 3 groups of player types: 3 actors/role-players, 3 slayers/power-gamers, and 3 watchers. The DM tried to make about half the game social and half the game combat to appease the two primary groups, while the watchers just kinda there. It was a fairly good game, primarily due to the skill of the DM, but it would have been better with a lot fewer players (if the DM had time to run two games, we would have broken into 2 groups).
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I'm curious who gets to play with 8 people in the party.
Dick Van Patten and Willie Aames apparently. It's enough, though. Notice no party of nine ;)

And everyone knows the party of five is Neve Campell, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and the whiny angsty dude from Lost.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Seems pretty close to perfectly random, really.
When you take just the ones at top, it's not surprising that they are close.

But let's look more at the numbers. For example, with 12 classes there are 1728 different three person parties (assuming straight classed only, allowing duplicates). If they were all equally likely, we'd be seeing 0.05787% each. Instead the most likely are about nine times as likely, which also mathematically shows that there a enough that are below that for the average to work out.

If the lowest are the same amount below the average as the highest are above, then there's about an 1 to 80 ratio in likelyhood between lowest and highest.

Even if no one ever played duplicates, that's still 1320 different combos - they highs listed are still much more common than the average.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I find it interestung that in parties of 4 Sorcerors are more common then Wizards.
I first was going to say that we're only looking at the top 10 options, we don't have enough information to break it down for all parties of four. It could be that it's 35% wizards, 28% sorcerers, 8% both, when you look over the whole data set.

But then when I was counting I noticed that among the party of four, only two (1st and 3rd) have sorcerers, while three (2nd, 4th, and 8th) have wizards, so even among the top 10 there are more wizards than sorcerers.
 

MockingBird

Explorer
I try to limit mine to 5 but I will go higher if someone wants to check the game out. I have 4 right now and that feels like the perfect number.
 

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