log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E The Fall Of The Dwarves: What Races Do People Actually Play?

What races are people actually playing, and how much of it is Tolkien fantasy as against other stuff?

AF4847B0-224A-4E69-B2BA-7ABE6393B9A6.jpeg


Fortunately D&D Beyond provides a better source of data than we've ever had. The most recent data from less than a week ago in December 2020 alas does not provide percentages.
  1. Human
  2. Half-Elf
  3. Dragonborn
  4. Tiefling
  5. Half-Orc
In February 2019, using stats found via this very site:
  1. Human
  2. Variant Human
  3. Half Elf
  4. Tiefling
  5. Dragonborn
  6. Wood Elf
  7. High Elf
  8. Half-Orc
  9. Goliath
  10. Mountain Dwarf
  11. Lightfoot Halfling
  12. Hill Dwarf
Which is a bit of a change from what people were creating in launch month for D&D Beyond (mid 2017)
  1. Human
  2. Elf
  3. Half-Elf
  4. Dwarf
  5. Tiefling
  6. Dragonborn
  7. Genasi
  8. Halfling
  9. Half-Orc
  10. Gnome
  11. Goliath
The percentages are presented in different ways in 2019 and the launch month, with launch month merging the various subraces. So to compare like with like:
  • Wood elves and high elves taken together in the 2019 data are more popular than half-elves (or variant humans)
  • Meanwhile if we split the wood elves and high elves from 2017 they are probably both behind tieflings and dragonborn
  • Dwarves taken together in 2019 are only just behind dragonborn. They've still fallen from ahead of tieflings and dragonborn to behind them
  • Halflings combined in 2019 are neck and neck with half-orcs and ahead of goliaths
  • Genasi combined in 2019 are a little behind goliaths and slightly ahead of combined gnomes
Interesting that dwarves have fallen so heavily out of favour - and half orcs have climbed so strongly into favour; I guess there's been a lot of talk here. The thematics of tieflings and dragonborn (entirely unsurprisingly IMO) have made them core races and even the dwarfs are disappearing in favour of half-orcs (which IMO is a surprise).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

log in or register to remove this ad

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Dwarves are a tired one note cliché. Is no wonder people are bored with them.
Dwarves flourish once you get them out of the mines and into the fresh air. Dwarves as magical architects is a fun one I use in my own settings. Eberron dwarves, which hit a “business oriented/banker/security expert” trope as well as an “experimenter with psionic fleshcraft” trope, are also quite fun.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

"Now I only fancy to drink beer and kick ass greenskins...and I'm all out of beer".

We can't forget the rune magic. Sometimes I try to imagine a revival of the incarnum game mechanic, and the runesmith would use runes on the item for "chakras" (body slots for magic item). This would be perfect for players who love to be a "christmas tree".

Tienflings sing "heavy metal", but I would rather dwarves because these like more country, like the bardcore version of avicii-hey brother or one republic-counting stars. (you can find these in youtube).

Dwarves had got beard lot of time before hipsters made it fashionable. Dwarves haven't to be tall to sock like in a Bud Spencer's movie (this was an Italian actor of action-comedies with lots of slaps).

Female dwarves can be a good example of action-girls and heroines haven't to be slenders as Barbie (or those hot-chicks from beat'em videogames). Glimmer, the character of She-ra reboot, has got the body proportions of a D&D dwarf, but she is cute.

Dwarves are perfect for tank classes, and then for players who are beginning.

* I have got the complete collection, 23 books, of the Spanish translated edition of "Endless Quest". We may say this was my first contact with D&D even before the 80's cartoon.
 

DND_Reborn

I don't debate opinions.
* I have got the complete collection, 23 books, of the Spanish translated edition of "Endless Quest". We may say this was my first contact with D&D even before the 80's cartoon.
Are there only 23 in Spanish? There are over 30 in total.

My collection stopped at 22. I had the 23, Blade of the Young Samurai, but it didn't survive the fire we had when I was in high school. Also, I only got the D&D books, not the Gamma World, Shadowrun, or others. 🤷‍♂️

For a complete reference, you can see them all here (AFAIK): Endless Quest - Wikipedia
 


MGibster

Legend
In one of my Curse of Strahd campaigns, one of the players had a dwarf and elected to show off her décollatage. Strahd was way into her.
 



Voadam

Legend
That's it. Thanks. I seem to recall it was good though not terribly special beyond its magic system.
I had gotten the 3.0 version of the Bestiary of Loerem and remember it being notable for the high proportion of monsters with no spell abilities which was a nice source for when you just want a fantasy beast. Poisons, rake attacks, rending, grappling, tripping, that sort of thing.

Also I seem to remember the art being consistently mostly done by Andy Hopp who has a distinctly striking black and white art style. Elmore I remember doing the covers and the appendix on their dragons and giant thingys. Its been a while since I have cracked it open though.
 


Minigiant

Legend
I feel 90% of Dwarves' issue comes from worldbuilders and DMs.

Many see dwarves as part of the D&D experience but don't feel care too much for them. So they force dwarves in the setting and do nothing with them.

This is why dwarves are more interesting in video games like Warcraft and Dragon Age. Game designers are forced to design interesting dwarves characters, lore, item, and styles because the player can go there.

Whereas a DM can keep the dwarves same old same old, toss a dwarves stereotype in somewhere, and never have to expand on the dwarves as the players won't want to go to boring dwarf lands.

I made my Dwarves based on Native North Americans and Arctic.

Friend: You made the Dwarves into Northern Water Tribe.

No, Friend. Technically my world of Arctic Native American Dwarves with ice powers existed first. That's why they fight giants and not fake Imperial China/Japan.

Friend: What about your Swamp Dwarves?

Coincidence, friend.
 

wicked cool

Adventurer
I feel 90% of Dwarves' issue comes from worldbuilders and DMs.

Many see dwarves as part of the D&D experience but don't feel care too much for them. So they force dwarves in the setting and do nothing with them.

This is why dwarves are more interesting in video games like Warcraft and Dragon Age. Game designers are forced to design interesting dwarves characters, lore, item, and styles because the player can go there.

Whereas a DM can keep the dwarves same old same old, toss a dwarves stereotype in somewhere, and never have to expand on the dwarves as the players won't want to go to boring dwarf lands.

I made my Dwarves based on Native North Americans and Arctic.

Friend: You made the Dwarves into Northern Water Tribe.

No, Friend. Technically my world of Arctic Native American Dwarves with ice powers existed first. That's why they fight giants and not fake Imperial China/Japan.

Friend: What about your Swamp Dwarves?

Coincidence, friend.
Tads Williams dwarves are for you! technically not called dwarves but probably are
 


Do you remember the dwarves from Maztica?

Maybe the dwarves would be more popular if they can build a eco-friendly "vertical-forest" arcology ( = super skycraper) with solarpunk magiktec. If they can craft helicopters in Warhammer then also they can build with reinforced concrete.
 

Blue Orange

Adventurer
I'm a grognard, so I'm not up on what the kids are doing. But looking at the list:

Human
Half-Elf
Dragonborn
Tiefling
Half-Orc


Apart from 'human', which is easy, because all players are human (as far as we know!), all of these seem to have some sort of 'hybrid' nature (dragonborn are part-dragon and tieflings part-fiend) and may relate to feelings of being between two worlds and/or being an outsider.

FWIW, while some of this may be due to demographics as people have said, who were the most popular characters of the 80s and 90s? Right, Raistlin and Drizzt. So it may be a case of the same impulse expressing itself in different ways.
 

Minigiant

Legend
I'm a grognard, so I'm not up on what the kids are doing. But looking at the list:

Human
Half-Elf
Dragonborn
Tiefling
Half-Orc


Apart from 'human', which is easy, because all players are human (as far as we know!), all of these seem to have some sort of 'hybrid' nature (dragonborn are part-dragon and tieflings part-fiend) and may relate to feelings of being between two worlds and/or being an outsider.

FWIW, while some of this may be due to demographics as people have said, who were the most popular characters of the 80s and 90s? Right, Raistlin and Drizzt. So it may be a case of the same impulse expressing itself in different ways.

I think it's less about being a hybrid and more about creative freedom and being able to play a different type of being.

Look at Half elf, Half orc, Dragonborn, and Tieflings. They are races big enough in their settings to be know but not major powers bogged down by tradition and history. And they let you be the monster without being the monster.

Basically that you can play them straight and not be a monster nor an overexposed stereotype.
 



Blue Orange

Adventurer
Writing specifically about dwarves, I always wondered if nobody wants to play a short person now? There's a lot of negative views of short men in particular (look at all the dating profiles saying 'must be six feet'), and dwarves are usually coded as 'male' (with even the females having beards...)
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Writing specifically about dwarves, I always wondered if nobody wants to play a short person now? There's a lot of negative views of short men in particular (look at all the dating profiles saying 'must be six feet'), and dwarves are usually coded as 'male' (with even the females having beards...)

I think there is something to that, I know I've seen the prejudice myself. People have flat out refused to play short races. It seems to be worse for dwarves because, as you state, they are explicitly masculine - although the female beard thing is pretty rare to the point of being a joke with a few exceptions.
 


Visit Our Sponsor

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top