Shields, Leather, Daggers, & Healing Potions: Most Popular D&D Items

It's time for another one of D&D Beyond's big data dumps! We've already seen the most common adventures, classes by tier, subclasses, multiclass combos, spells, and more. This time round, they take a look at the most often chosen weapons on their platform. Shields, leather armour, daggers, and potions of healing dominate.

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32% of active characters are equipping a shield, and 42% wear leather armour. Almost nobody wears ring mail. Lots of characters get leather armour for free.


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Daggers are also often free. Rapiers beat longswords. Nobody is Indiana Jones. Duel wielding a weapon counts twice is in this data set.


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Watch the whole video here.




 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I'm surprised Leather tops the armor list, but I guess other players make a lot more DEX-based build than I do in general. Of course, padded armor was superior and more common in use than leather. But D&D has gotten that backwards in every edition, so I didn't expect 5E to get it right. I'm trying to revamp all the armors to more accurately reflect how effective they should be and make them more historically accurate.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Between that and the high ranking of rapiers and shortswords, I would agree that it looks dex builds are pretty popular right now.

Surprised the Ring of Resistance didn't clock in on the magic item list. Shield+1 makes total sense - that's a +3 to your AC, right there. That's no small bump to your AC, no matter what armor you're wearing.

I'm surprised Leather tops the armor list, but I guess other players make a lot more DEX-based build than I do in general.
 

Barantor

Explorer
Dex helps armor, to hit for finesse weapons, to hit for missile weapons, initiative, dex saves (the most used) and a load of skills, it's kinda a no brainer why leather is tops seeing how not only all those bonuses, but that many classes default to dex for their main or secondary stat.

Ring Mail has been said to be mostly for NPCS, I believe by either Mearls or Crawford, not really for PCs to use as it's pretty crap.
 

jmartkdr

Villager
I'm surprised Leather tops the armor list, but I guess other players make a lot more DEX-based build than I do in general. Of course, padded armor was superior and more common in use than leather. But D&D has gotten that backwards in every edition, so I didn't expect 5E to get it right. I'm trying to revamp all the armors to more accurately reflect how effective they should be and make them more historically accurate.
Even in-game, there's no reason not to get studded leather if you can afford it, but it's not available in any of the starting packages, so leather is there instead.

Unless there's a ton more druids (about 35% of players)
 

UngeheuerLich

Adventurer
I second that these results are biased by starting equippment. No one in their right mind will wear leather longer than a level or two if they can help it. Studded leather is available to the same people.

Abnd since most non-fighting classes don't get heavy armor they need Dex over Str. The cleric is the exception.
As a Fighter you can go either way. Dex is not superior to strength, but it seems so on first glance. And it might make you a bit more versatile because you can do ranged combat.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I'm surprised Leather tops the armor list, but I guess other players make a lot more DEX-based build than I do in general. Of course, padded armor was superior and more common in use than leather. But D&D has gotten that backwards in every edition, so I didn't expect 5E to get it right. I'm trying to revamp all the armors to more accurately reflect how effective they should be and make them more historically accurate.
It's just the most common starting armor. Classes either get leather, a choice of leather or something else, no armor, or is a Paladin.

(Also I just imaging every armor in the game some type of gambeson as a base layer. my nerd rage has lessened quite a bit since thinking this way.)
 

Jay Verkuilen

Dogsbody Waghalter
Ring Mail has been said to be mostly for NPCS, I believe by either Mearls or Crawford, not really for PCs to use as it's pretty crap.
I think they really missed an opportunity with not having a clear mundane gear upgrade path, with starting gear generally being the worse options.

They hint at it with Splint Mail and Plate but really should have done the same thing with some of the better weapons and other armor, making the mundane but definitely much nicer weapons cost a lot. Saving for better gear is a HUGE motivator for many players and opportunity for people to savor at lower to medium levels. Using the cost differential from Ring to Chain to Splint to Plate as a guide, I think you could easily have some of the better weapons cost similarly. For example, have Rapiers, Longbows, Greatswords, etc., cost like 500 gold or more. That preserves the utility of the cheaper weapons for a while and gives the PCs a reason to get treasure.

It can even be built into the campaign world, nicely, too, when the PCs outgrow the work the village smith can do and need to head to Waterdeep or Greyhawk to get better armor when the wizard is heading to the same place for better spells.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I'm surprised Leather tops the armor list, but I guess other players make a lot more DEX-based build than I do in general. Of course, padded armor was superior and more common in use than leather. But D&D has gotten that backwards in every edition, so I didn't expect 5E to get it right. I'm trying to revamp all the armors to more accurately reflect how effective they should be and make them more historically accurate.
get back to me when You find a dragon pooper scooper job on the rolls of London 1414.
 

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