Do D&D Character Choices Affect Their Quests & Conflicts?

Part VI: We look into if certain types of characters or players are more likely to have certain internal quests and conflicts.


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 sixth 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. The third and fourth were on age groups and occupation choices. The fifth question was about the race of the respondent’s favorite D&D character they have ever played. The sixth related to character classes. And the seventh and the eight were about internal quests and conflicts. We’ve taken a look at each and analyzed for player data correlations, as well as other character choice correlations. Again, we had 546 respondents for this survey.

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D&D character

Internal Quests

We looked at certain internal quests to see if D&D character choices correlated. We determined internal quests to be what drove the character to go adventuring. Was it a quest of revenge? Was it for understanding? Were they trying to redeem themselves? All these and more were posed as options in our survey.


Quest of Understanding

By far and large this was the most popular internal quest for a character. There were 248 respondents who said the favorite D&D character they have ever played is on a quest of understanding. After all, what better motive to take you from home than to answer deep questions?

  • 25% are INFP Mediator personality types.
  • 56% of the characters are female.
  • 33% have a Person vs Society conflict.

Quest of Transformation

This was our second most popular internal quests, with 139 respondents. You can expect these types of characters to be focused on redefining who they are, leaving old upbringings behind, and seeking a new purpose.

  • 53% of these characters are female.
  • 41% have a Person vs Self conflict.

Quest of Redemption

This was our third most popular internal quest for a D&D character, with 81 respondents. These characters are trying to right a past wrong, or fix a bad mistake.

  • 50% of these characters are male.
  • 30% are either Elves or Half-Elves.
  • 35% have a Person vs Self conflict.

Quest of Revenge

This was our last internal quests, with only 78 respondents. Leaving home to seek vengeance and perhaps vigilante justice, there were also interesting correlations with this quest.

  • 51% of these characters are female.
  • 26% are Rogues.
  • 48% have a Person vs Person conflict.

D&D character

Conflicts

Anyone familiar with story structure (or those who remember school well) will be familiar with types of character conflicts. It always starts with Person vs, and can follow up with Self, Nature, Society, and so on. These typically are key to a character’s backstory, or something critical that evolves in the campaign that the character is passionate about.


Person vs Self

This was our most popular conflict with 161 total respondents. These characters are looking to be at peace with conflict within, and perhaps looking to redeem or transform themselves.

  • 25% of players INFP Mediator personality types.
  • 55% are female characters.

Person vs Society

This was our second most popular conflict, with 144 responses. These characters may feel like outsiders, they may have made enemies, or they may be rebels angry at society.

  • 51% are female characters.
  • 57% are on quests of Understanding.

Person vs Person

This conflict was chosen 119 times. These characters may be out seeking revenge, or have a direct enemy they are up against.

  • 59% of these characters are female.
  • 31% are either Elf or Half-Elf.

Person vs the Gods

We had 72 respondents to this conflict. Why are these characters seeking to battle a god, or many gods? Perhaps they are fighting against a cult, stopping an evil from entering the world, or getting revenge on a god who has wronged them.

  • 54% are female characters.
  • 37% are on a quest of Understanding.

Person vs the Arcane / Technology

We had 32 respondents to this conflict, much less than previous conflicts. These characters are unhappy with magic or technology for a reason. Perhaps it is corrupting life, perhaps it’s being used to hurt others, perhaps they disagree with it.

  • 50% are male characters.
  • 61% are on a quest of Understanding.

Person vs Nature

This was our least most popular choice, with only 18 respondents. Maybe these characters are trying to stop a natural disaster? Maybe they are trying to survive? Maybe they are at war with sentient forces of nature?

  • 55% are male characters.
  • 38% are Humans.

You can read Part I about personality types here. Part II about gender/ethnicity here. Part III about age and occupation here. Part IV about character race here. and Part V about character class here.

We will have a summary post highlighting what we learned, as well as our strongest correlations. That will be posted on February 27th.

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