Working with d20pfsrd.com, I set up a survey to catalog Pathfinder characters and the builds players are using. After three months and over 10k responses, I closed the survey and ran some analysis. For posterity, here is:
- My analysis: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1B_cI3Ieu_m14bhefFGB5GVY0cgTp89Rb
- All the comments: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1R5vHu1mWflJQpiHrk1Z3qzsSKQpJ0H9C5A8PdhLGhxc
- And the raw response data: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1D1J4P8X7AsuD0vNeSAEpb69z5IlUIIJA
The analysis document covers most of my process and results, but I’ll summarize here:
I used SurveyMonkey.com to capture Name, Race, and Class of Pathfinder characters with more than 10,000 responses collected and analyzed. Following popular naming trends, ‘A’ is the most common leading letter by a significant margin. ‘N’ and ‘A’ are the two most common terminal letters, again by a wide margin. And ‘X’ surges to second place for terminal letter of last names. The majority of games utilize is fan-made or third-party content (60%). Paizo’s Pathfinder Adventures account for 26% of characters. Societies is a minor contribution of character usage at 9%. One-third of characters gotta have that bonus feat (and chose Human) and Core races make up more than 2 in 3. Aasimar and Tiefling account for another 10%. All remaining races are less than 25%. Human is the most common selection among every class. Core Role Book classes account for the top 10 most popular classes, over 50%. 3rd party only captured 6%. About a third of characters utilized multiclassing. Nearly half of all characters used archetypes and the three most popular archetypes in each class account for nearly half of all archetype usage. 50% of characters max out at level 6 in a given class, level 8 including multi-class. 20% reach level 12, level 14 for multi-class. 10% reach level 15, level 17 for multiclass. 7.5% of characters had prestige levels; the most popular ten prestige classes encompass 47% of those characters. Gestalt/Tristalt represents just 4% of characters in this survey.
My intention was that this information would be valuable for players for understanding their trends as well as content creators who could filter through statistics of what get played as well as the bountiful comments the respondents provided and incorporate that information into future work. This effort was started before PF2.0 was announced, but certainly, the voice of Paizo’s customers is a valuable resource for tailoring their new version.