The Most Popular D&D Character Name Is "Bob"

What's the name of your D&D character? The folks at D&D Beyond have released some more stats, and this time they're sharing the top 15 D&D player character names.


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What these stats appear to tell us is that many people call their character "Bob", and even more seems to just use their class name, such as "Cleric" or "Bard". Lots of people seems to name their characters after Game of Thrones' Varys, but spell it differently, and lots like "dark" names like Ash, Raven, Ember, and Shadow.

More realistically, it may be that many of these are simply experimental builds, with placeholder names. The folks at D&D Beyond (watch the stream here) say that these are the most popular names "for characters on D&D Beyond", although the other data elements shown on that stream were specific to material used from Xanathar's Guide to Everything.

Numbers-wise, they're not saying those are all the characters on D&D Beyond - there will be thousands of names used which are used less than 755 times each, and possibly even thousands which are used just once. The table above only shows the top 15, and how often they were used.
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

MechaPilot

Explorer
What's the name of your D&D character?
As I suspect is true for most players, I have a few characters in different games at the moment:

Drea (a darve, i.e. alternate version of drow, assassin played in a modern game that mixes d20 modern and 5e).
Velishra (a tiefling wizard who ascended to actual demonhood)
Evedra (a human utility wizard who's mute because her tongue was cut out).
Mallucia (an asimaar light cleric who gets her powers from her belief in herself as a nacent hellgoddess)


What these stats appear to tell us is that nearly 10% of people call their character "Bob", and about 12% seems to just use their class name, such as "Cleric" or "Bard". Lots of people seems to name their characters after Game of Thrones' Varys, but spell it differently, and lots like "dark" names like Ash, Raven, Ember, and Shadow.
Lilith is also a dark name. IIRC, it means night in Hebrew. The name is also probably related to Lilitu, the Sumerian goddess of night. And, it has a place in the Midrash as Adam's 1st wife who refused to submit to him and ended up becoming a consort of demons.
 

Traveller

Explorer
Lilith is also a dark name. IIRC, it means night in Hebrew. The name is also probably related to Lilitu, the Sumerian goddess of night. And, it has a place in the Midrash as Adam's 1st wife who refused to submit to him and ended up becoming a consort of demons.
LaYLa - is night in Hebrew (Capitals are consonants, lower case are vowels ) ,
but Semitic languages are root based so the connection is there.

As you said in the Midrash (Post 2nd temple period - 3rd century) she is basicly a Demon.
The rest of her stories might not be safe for Noah Gran, so will be skipped....

In Modern Jewish Mythology, the lack of a Jewish Vampire was much bemoaned, so Lilit takes that place.
 
What's the name of your D&D character? The folks at D&D Beyond have released some more stats, and this time they're sharing the top 15 D&D player character names.

What these stats appear to tell us is that many people call their character "Bob",
Wellp, I guess that finally puts all those D&D Beyond stats into perspective.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
LaYLa - is night in Hebrew (Capitals are consonants, lower case are vowels ) ,
but Semitic languages are root based so the connection is there.

As you said in the Midrash (Post 2nd temple period - 3rd century) she is basically a Demon.
The rest of her stories might not be safe for Noah Gran, so will be skipped....

In Modern Jewish Mythology, the lack of a Jewish Vampire was much bemoaned, so Lilith takes that place.
I had always been told "Lilith" means "night" in Hebrew. However, upon reading your post I looked it up, and (apparently) it come from the Akkadian word "Lilitu," meaning "of the night." Which, puts it more in line with the Sumerian goddess, and might be related to why the name was demonized in the Midrash. Lots of religions have a habit of demonizing the deities of other religions.

Also of an interesting note is that it was apparently translated as "Lamia" in the Vulgate Latin bible. So, it could technicnally be linked to a few different monsters: namely, Lamia, Vampires and Succubi.

Thank you for the correction. I always enjoy learning things (or discovering more depth to things I already knew).

*hat tip
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
They talk about it every time they go over the data in these videos. There are able to filter based on activity on a sheet that indicates actual play. Their numbers they provide also match up with what WotC has said for years based on their in-depth surveys, such as with Feats, so the data matches what is known from other sources, lending it credibility..
See, right here is a great example of why this data is dangerous when not ibnterpretted right.

There is literally NO WAY to look at characters and know if there is a featless game. Only the opposite. But a character without feats doesn't even necessarily lean (>50% correlation) in the direction of a featless game until probably the 2nd or maybe third 3rd ASI. And they have told us they have less data there. Even then it just means it's more likely, not that it's true.

Trying to use that to collaborate self-selected survey results (a system with well documented biases) that most games are featless (which it doesn't meansure does nothing. It's actively harmful because it tricks people into thinking there is evidence from multiple sources saying the same thing so it's likely true. When they don't say the same thing, and there are issues with the data collection.

D&D Beyond also has self-selection issues for who uses it. No one in either of my groups do. In addition, some types of data collection is compounded on that some offered content is free and some is gated by cost. Feats are one of these. Between the basic rules and the OGL, only the Grappler feat is listed. So anything they say about feats is even more suspect - either it's using the full player base, many (the majority?) won't have access to feats (outside Grappler) or they are reducing to a fraction of the sample size to those who purchased that content.

So we have two pieces of data, both self-selected and one further distorted by gatekeeping, that are sorta-adjacent but are verifiable not the same thing, but because they are presented as such we get a lot of smart people thinking that we have confirmation about the majority of games being feat-free.

But we don't.

And that sort of bias confirmation is the danger of appoaching these as anything more than they are. Taken as they are it's great data. But it's not a representitive of games as a whole. Any more than Bob is the most popular character name in actual play.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
I blame the proliferation of Bobs on the Knights of the Dinner Table.

I recall one comic where Bob the player was playing his character, also named Bob, who died and was replaced by Bob II.
 

Satyrn

Visitor
*takes a moment to Google

You're jealous?

She's way more attractive than I am, and could ever hope to be.
Well, if it makes you feel better, if they ever named a character after me, he'd be way more attractive than I am, too . . . y'know I just realized they did name a character after my cat. The cat was way better looking.

Catch-a-Purrrr!
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
See, right here is a great example of why this data is dangerous when not ibnterpretted right.

There is literally NO WAY to look at characters and know if there is a featless game. Only the opposite. But a character without feats doesn't even necessarily lean (>50% correlation) in the direction of a featless game until probably the 2nd or maybe third 3rd ASI. And they have told us they have less data there. Even then it just means it's more likely, not that it's true.

Trying to use that to collaborate self-selected survey results (a system with well documented biases) that most games are featless (which it doesn't meansure does nothing. It's actively harmful because it tricks people into thinking there is evidence from multiple sources saying the same thing so it's likely true. When they don't say the same thing, and there are issues with the data collection.

D&D Beyond also has self-selection issues for who uses it. No one in either of my groups do. In addition, some types of data collection is compounded on that some offered content is free and some is gated by cost. Feats are one of these. Between the basic rules and the OGL, only the Grappler feat is listed. So anything they say about feats is even more suspect - either it's using the full player base, many (the majority?) won't have access to feats (outside Grappler) or they are reducing to a fraction of the sample size to those who purchased that content.

So we have two pieces of data, both self-selected and one further distorted by gatekeeping, that are sorta-adjacent but are verifiable not the same thing, but because they are presented as such we get a lot of smart people thinking that we have confirmation about the majority of games being feat-free.

But we don't.

And that sort of bias confirmation is the danger of appoaching these as anything more than they are. Taken as they are it's great data. But it's not a representitive of games as a whole. Any more than Bob is the most popular character name in actual play.
I am not sure but I myself font recall DDB or even certainly other sources making "games/campaigns that allow feats" claims.

I recall some comments here or there about characters that use feats.

But I really dont recall seeing the games with feats claim being made with any degree of clarity as to its scope.
 

Toledo

Visitor
One of our players has a character named Jim or James depending on his mood. The rest of us keep telling him to rename the guy Tiberius, but so far the best he is willing to say is that his character's real name is Tiberius, and that James/Jim is his cover name (he is a rogue in trouble with the law).
 
I blame the proliferation of Bobs on the Knights of the Dinner Table.

I recall one comic where Bob the player was playing his character, also named Bob, who died and was replaced by Bob II.
I blame the Sword of Sharpness...


… also explains why so many NPC guards are called Matt.
 
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Draegn

Explorer
What does this say about my friend, who named his character Eif the wandering Bob stopper?

Or my player who named her music master, Charlotte Sometimes?
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I'm reminded of the old Dragon magazine article "Whaddaya Mean, Jack the Samurai?!"

I feel bad if anyone out there has a character named Ember Ravenshadow.
I'm ready a series of books right now where the author's name (well, pseudonym most likely) is Lillith Stormcrow. Does that count?
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I recall several 2e Dragon articles, or maybe the DMG, where it talks about naming PCs and talks about Bob, the fighter who dies and the next fighter with the same stats being Bob 2. The articles talks about putting a bit more thought into it than this though.

Not sure if this old article carries through time and people put Bob into the creator until something better comes up.
Little do we know, but 98.4% of all the "Bob"s are from one guy who's playing with a killer DM. He's up to Bob MMCIX.

"I'm here to avenge my grandfather's cousin's ex-husband's nephew's ex-wife's brother's friend-with-benefits' third cousin once remove on their mother's side."
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Always used BOB and RICK as generic, Ranger Bob, Cleric Bob, Magic Bob, Rogue Bob, Bob the bartender, Bob the sneak, so on and so on.
From back in college we had STAN. Short for "Standard NPC #3" which was how a DM introduced someone inconsequential when I asked their name.
 

aco175

Adventurer
Little do we know, but 98.4% of all the "Bob"s are from one guy who's playing with a killer DM. He's up to Bob MMCIX.

"I'm here to avenge my grandfather's cousin's ex-husband's nephew's ex-wife's brother's friend-with-benefits' third cousin once remove on their mother's side."
"But what does that make us?"
 

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