The official Dungeons & Dragons companion app and website D&D Beyond recently released some stats for the last year’s worth of characters created on the platform. The most popular name was ‘Bob’ just like it has been every year since at least 2019.
Names with the most growth include Link, which enjoyed a 23% boost thanks to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, while those with the most drop-off include Bruno, down 56%, and Eddie, which fell by 45% after enjoying a bump the previous year thanks to Eddie Munson from the 2022 season of Stranger Things.
Before you assume this is proof D&D players have no imagination, it’s worth noting that a lot of characters made in D&D Beyond aren’t made to be played. Names like “Cleric” and “Bard” tend to rate highly in these polls too, but people aren’t actually rocking up to games to play Cleric the cleric. Half the PCs on my account were made either to test builds or to fully stat up an NPC rather than relying on one of the pre-made stat blocks for a Veteran or whatever. Bob the human fighter is a venerable henchman name for the quiet guy who gets sent along with the adventurers to act as a meat shield because all your friends rolled up rogues and wizards.
Still, these numbers provide an interesting window onto the shifting influence of pop culture. Back in 2019 the number two name was “Varis” but the popularity of Game of Thrones references fell off pretty hard in later years. Other stats collected by D&D Beyond show that the most popular Baldur’s Gate 3 companion character sheet to download was Gale’s, which gels with Larian’s stats in which Gale was the most popular origin character. People sure do love a somewhat generic human male—no offense, Gale.
Meanwhile, the most popular character age was 28, which is perhaps a balance between the people playing fresh-faced young humans, tieflings, dragonborn and the like versus longer-lived dwarves and elves who are fully 50 or 100 years old. Unlike the rest of us, who just feel like we are.
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