Part III: We dive into age groups and occupation responses to see if that affects D&D character choices.
It was early in 2020 that we posed the question: does your personality type affect what kind of D&D character you play as? Well, after about a year of collecting hundreds of responses, we have analyzed them all and come to some interesting conclusions. Not only about personality, but about player gender, age, ethnicity, and how some character choices correlate to others. This is the third in a series of blog posts throughout this month to dive into what we learned, and what it means for the game of Dungeons & Dragons.
The first question in our survey focused on Myers-Briggs personality types. The second and third on self-identified gender and ethnicity. Our third and fourth were on age groups and occupation choices. We asked responders to put their age group, and then to choose which field they work in. We have then analyzed these responses with our D&D character-based questions to see if there are any patterns. And there definitely are! Again, we had 546 respondents for this survey.
The most interesting thing about the age groups is taken as a whole. There seems to be a journey of life gone through in D&D character choices. While mostly there aren’t patterns in races or classes except for a few instances, there are definitely patterns in the types of quests these characters are taken on.
There were ten respondents that said they are aged 18 or under. For this group, you would expect high school or middle school students, and rarely some college students. The teenage years are definitely big times of change and choices within our lives, and this group seems to have some clear preferences when it comes to the types of characters they play.
- 55% played male characters.
- 50% played Elves.
- 40% of their characters are on quests of Understanding.
- 40% of their characters are in a Person vs Self conflict.
18 – 24
We had 100 respondents claim to be from this age group. This is a big transformational time in all of our lives. We start to make decisions on who we are and who we want to be. Some may go to college, some may travel the world, some may start their careers, some might get married, some might have children. For this group, we see our responders are still interested in characters with quests of Understanding in a Person vs Self conflict. But we also see a marked shift in character gender.
- 50% of their characters are female.
- 40% are on quests of Understanding.
- 32% have a Person vs Self conflict.
25 – 34
This was by far our biggest group of respondents, with 290 total. Does this mean this group is more likely to play D&D, or more likely to frequent the social media channels this survey was marketed on? What can you expect from people in this age group? It is definitely diverse. There could be college students, stay at home parents, career professionals, free spirits, or those still figuring out what they want. But they do have some clear D&D choices.
- 55% of their characters are female.
- 48% of their characters are on quests of Understanding.
- 29% of their characters are in a Person vs Self conflict.
35 – 44
This age group had 95 total respondents. At this point in their lives, people have either committed to a career path or are reinventing themselves and trying a new direction. Some may have gotten married, others stayed single. Some may have children and others opted for childfree. Some might be thriving with the “over the hill” age and others stressed about it. Life is diverse for everyone, after all. We continue to see a similar pattern against the last two age groups. But most notably is that the Person vs Self conflict has steadily declined, and this is the lowest we’ve seen it while still holding a majority of the responses.
- 55% play female characters.
- 41% of their characters are on quests of Understanding.
- 28% have a Person vs Self character conflict.
45 – 54
We had 25 respondents in this age group. Does this mean as people age they are less likely to play D&D? Or does it mean this age group was less likely than others to frequent the social media channels this survey was marketed on? In this “middle-aged” group, people are at a variety of points in their lives. Preparing for retirement, or preparing for new projects in their senior years. Perhaps grandchildren, perhaps childfree. Perhaps world travel, perhaps comfort at home.
But with this group this is the first time we’ve seen a break from a Person vs Self conflict. Now it is evenly divided with Person vs Person and Person vs Society. Why is this? Perhaps at this point in their lives people have a solid identity of self and are focused outward more? Maybe they’re fed up with society, or other people in general (understandable). Whatever the reason, it is a very interesting change.
- 52% play female characters.
- 56% are on quests of Understanding.
- There is a tie for top spot with 36% in a Person vs Person conflict and another 36% in a Person vs Society conflict.
55 – 64
There are only five respondents in this age group. With some retiring but all looking ahead to their senior years, this group had a marked change from others before it. There were clear preferences for character race and class, as well as a break from internal character quests and a new preferred conflict. While this is a small sampling so it’s hard to draw solid conclusions, it is extremely interesting to see such a difference.
- 80% play male characters.
- 40% play Human characters.
- 40% play the Paladin class.
- 80% are on quests of Transformation.
- 40% are in a Person vs the Gods conflict.
We had no respondents for this age group.
The next question dealt with respondents’ occupation. We had 19 choices including an “Other” option. And there definitely are some interesting finds!
This was our biggest group, with 88 respondents. Perhaps because that tends to be a more social environment and so these respondents are more likely to play D&D? Students would be anyone in middle school, high school, undergraduate, or graduate school.
- 39% of their characters are on quests of Understanding.
- 30% have a Person vs Self conflict.
Our next biggest group was the Education field, with 78 respondents. In this group you can expect teachers, professors, school administrators, and professional trainers.
- 39% of their characters are on quests of Understanding.
- 29% of their characters have a Person vs Society conflict.
IT was our third biggest group, with 47 respondents. A broad field, you can expect anyone across computer engineering, support desks, UX / UI designers, development, and everyone in between.
- 38% of their characters are on quests of Understanding.
- 34% are in a Person vs Person conflict.
We had 33 respondents in the retail field. While many are likely on-the-floor customer service focused roles, there also could be store managers, retail trainers, and even senior leadership within the corporations.
- 45% of their characters are on quests of Understanding.
- 39% are in a Person vs Self conflict.
There were 26 respondents in the medical field. Also a broad field, this could be nurses, x-ray techs, healthcare administrators, medical assistants, and many more. While one might automatically assume they’d play a healing-based class like Cleric, there actually wasn’t a class correlation at all and Cleric was only 15% of responses.
- 30% play Half-Elves.
- 53% are on quests of Understanding.
- 50% have a Person vs Self conflict.
General or Skilled Labor
There were 24 respondents for this category that includes electricians, warehouse workers, plumbers, carpenters, and all other hands-on professionals.
- 41% play a Human character.
- 33% are on quests of Understanding.
- There was a tie for conflict. 25% have a Person vs Self conflict, while another 25% have a Person vs the Gods conflict.
There are 21 respondents in the science field. Researchers, chemists, engineers, biologists . . . this is a varied field. While there were no race or class preferences, there were preferences for quests and conflict.
- 47% are on quests of Understanding.
- 42% are in a Person vs Self conflict.
We had 19 Artist respondents. Painters, designers, digital drawers, there are many wonderful artists out there making our world colorful.
- 26% play Human characters.
- 57% are on quests of Understanding.
- 42% are in a Person vs Self conflict.
Tied with Artists, we had 19 Financial Services respondents. This would encompass those involved in banking, investments, and even front line customer service professionals within banks.
- 68% are on quests of Understanding.
- 31% are in a Person vs Society conflict.
Writer / Editor
There were 18 Writers and Editors in our survey. Authors, journalists, poets, those involved with publishing houses . . . all fall within this category.
- 33% have characters on quests of Transformation.
- 27% have a Person vs Society conflict.
We had 17 respondents that work in the Hospitality industry. Event planners, venue managers, hotel workers, all of these fall within Hospitality.
- 29% play Half-Elves.
- 52% are on quests of Understanding.
- There was a tie for top place in conflict. 29% are in a Person vs Person conflict and another 29% are in a Person vs Society conflict.
There were 16 responses from the Entertainment industry. Performers, dancers, singers, actors, and everyone working for production are all in this field.
- 25% play Tieflings.
- 31% play Rogues.
- 37% are on quests of Understanding.
- 40% have a Person vs Self conflict.
There were 14 people in Marketing for our survey. Those that create brand identity, start promotional campaigns, and research into consumer behavior all fall within Marketing.
- 28% play Half-Elves.
- 28% play Warlocks.
- 71% are on quests of Understanding.
- 28% have a Person vs Person conflict.
Stay at Home Parent
We had 12 stay at home fathers or mothers that took the survey.
- 33% play Rogues.
- 41% are on a quest of Transformation.
- 33% have a Person vs Self conflict.
There were 11 HR responses within this survey. Recruiters, payroll specialists, employee relations, and benefits administrators all fall within HR. This is especially interesting because I (Ashley or Tal) used to be in HR as a Recruiter. And when I was in the industry, my first D&D character was a Wood Elf Druid on a quest of Understanding. Although I’ve moved out of that industry into writing now and have created a new D&D character that I would deem my favorite, it’s interesting to note that I would have been one of these respondents.
- 27% play Elves.
- 36% play Druids.
- 45% are on quests of Understanding.
- 45% have a Person vs the Gods conflict.
There were only six responses from the Legal Services field. It is interesting to wonder why. Perhaps, we we noted in Part I of this series of posts, certain personality types are less likely to play D&D. Attorneys, legal assistants, legal researchers, and mediators are all within this industry.
- 50% play Tieflings.
- 50% play Rangers.
- 50% are on quests of Transformation.
- There was a tie for top conflict. 33% are in a Person vs Society conflict. Another 33% are in a Person vs Person conflict.
We had only 1 respondent from the Sports industry.
- This respondent plays a Human Paladin on a quest of Revenge with a Person vs Person conflict.
General / Misc Business
We had another category for business positions that don’t fall under anything listed above. This had 15 responses.
- 66% are on quests of Understanding.
- 33% have a Person vs Person conflict.
We allowed an Other category that had an impressive 81 responses.
- 50% are on quests of Understanding.
- 30% have a Person vs Society conflict.