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Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Facebook and Twitter Survey Results

by Mike on 4 September 2017

In October 2016 I ran a Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition survey of 6,600 dungeon masters to better understand how DMs prepare and run their games. I wasn't happy to stop there, however. Since then I've been posting numerous single-question polls over at the D&D fifth edition edition Facebook group and on Twitter to gauge the community on numerous questions.

These polls give us some easy and immediate feedback on how polled D&D DMs and players experience the game. This article is an archive of all of the polls and results I've conducted thus far.

These polls are certainly flawed. They suffer from selection bias (only those who saw the poll and chose to answer had their answers recorded), imperfect questions, and numerous other problems.

That said, we're not testing cancer drugs here. We're talking about D&D. I wouldn't quit a job and build a business on these results but I think they help give us a better idea how the community (at least those who answered) feels about a given topic.

These polls are flawed but they're better than a guess or assuming fact from our own personal anacdotes.

I'll update this page with new polls continually as I run them.

D&D Poll Table of Contents

Questions for Dungeon Masters

Questions for Players

General Hobby Questions

Tactical Questions

Do Players See DMs Fudging Monster Hit Points?

Note, this poll was conducted on both Twitter and YouTube.

Question: This is a poll for #dnd PLAYERS. Do you know or recognize that your DM is fudging monster hit points during a battle?

Twitter poll posted 29 November 2021, 490 respondents.

Response% of total

Do You Use D&D Beyond?

Note, this poll was conducted on both Twitter and YouTube.

Question: This is a poll for D&D players and DMs. Do you regularly use D&D Beyond when preparing for or playing D&D?

Twitter poll posted 21 November 2021, 1,099 respondents.

Response% of total

YouTube poll posted 21 November 2021, 2,700 respondents.

Response% of total

Do You Use the DMG Monster Stats table?

Question: This is a poll for #dnd DMs. Have you used the "Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating"”" table in Chapter 9 (page 274) of the Dungeon Master’s Guide to quickly build or improvise monsters?

Poll posted 17 November 2021, 1,092 respondents.

Response% of total

Do You Change Monster Hit Points During Combat? (2021 Update)

Question: This is a poll for #dnd DMs. Are you willing to change a monster's hit point total after combat has begun?

Poll posted 24 October 2021, 1,321 respondents.

Response% of total

Do you allow third party character options?

This is a poll for #dnd DMs. Do you allow third party character options in your games?

Response% of total
Never or almost never24%

Does your group use feats?

From James Introcaso on 21 June 2021

"If you play #DnD 5e, does your group use feats?"

Response% of total

How Long Does Your Game Last?

Question: This is a question for both #dnd players and DMs. Roughly how long do your games last?

Poll posted 18 April 2021, 2,152 respondents.

Response% of total
Under 2 hours2%
2 to 3 hours42%
Around 4 hours47%
5 or more hours9%

Do you use flanking rules?

Question: This is a Twitter poll for #dnd DMs. Do you use the optional flanking rule in the D&D Dungeon Master's Guide?

Poll posted 28 December 2020, 1,194 respondents.

Response% of total

What do D&D freelancers aspire to?

Adam Handcock, a DM's Guild author, ran this poll on Twitter.

Question: Fellow #DMsGuild freelance creators, I am genuinely curious what you aspire to do career-wise?

Poll posted 20 November 2020, 624 respondents.

Response% of total
A job at WotC26%
A job at a 3P publisher13%
Continue freelancing32%
None of the above29%

Do you run WOTC published, other published, or homebrew adventures?

Question: This is a poll for #dnd DMs. Do you primarily run WOTC published adventures, other published adventures (DMs Guild, etc), or your own homebrew adventures?

Poll posted 30 October 2020, 704 respondents.

Response% of total
WOTC Hardcover Adventures36%
Other Published Adventures7%
Homebrew Adventures57%

How long do you prepare your games?

Question: How long do you spend preparing for a roughly four-hour D&D game?

Poll posted 9 April 2020, 3,663 respondents.

Response% of total
About 30 minutes or less10%
About an hour33%
About two hours28%
About three hours or more29%

How do players prefer to level?

Question: This is a poll for #dnd players. Do you prefer leveling up based on experience points, milestone leveling, session-based leveling, or something else?

Poll posted 8 February 2020, 6,009 respondents.

Response% of total
Experience Points21%

How often do you play D&D?

Question: How often do you play D&D?

Poll posted 18 October 2019, 1,816 respondents.

Response% of total
More than once a week17%
About once a week38%
About twice a month24%
Monthly or less21%

Do you play D&D in person or online?

Question: This is a Twitter poll for D&D players and dungeon masters. Do you primarily play D&D online or in person?

Poll posted 7 October 2019, 3,377 respondents.

Response% of total
I play mostly in person70%
I play mostly online20%
I play both equally10%

Will D&D continue to grow?

Question: D&D popularity has roughly doubled every two years over the previous five. Over the next ten years Do you think D&D popularity will...

Poll posted 15 September 2019, 1,188 respondents.

Response% of total
continue to grow35%
level off but hold steady52%
decline slowly11%
drop off quickly2%

Can you enjoy D&D without playing D&D?

Question: Can you enjoy tabletops RPGs without necessarily playing tabletop RPGs?

Poll posted 21 May 2019, 2,521 respondents.

Response% of total

Do players like puzzles?

Question: "This is a poll for #dnd players. In general do you enjoy puzzles in your D&D games?"

Poll posted 6 May 2019, 2,481 respondents.

Response% of total
I have no opinion8%

Do you prefer read-aloud text in published adventures?

Question: "This is a Twitter poll for #dnd DMs. Do you prefer read-aloud text in published adventures?"

Poll posted 13 April 2019, 5,140 respondents.

Response% of total
I have no opinion14%

Players, do you have fun if your character dies?

Note, I recorded these results from the survey Bartoneus ran on Twitter.

Question: "As a tabletop #rpg player (non-GM), do you enjoy it/have fun if your character dies?"

Poll posted 7 April 2019, 631 respondents.

Response% of total

How do you handle absent players?

Question: "This is a Twitter poll for #dnd DMs. How do you typically handle PCs when a player can't make your D&D game?"

Poll posted 31 Mar 2019, 3,135 respondents.

Response% of total
Someone else runs the PC23%
PC goes on a side quest13%
PC fades away for session53%
Cancel the game11%

Do you more often collect, play, or watch D&D?

Note, the Grand DM ran this survey on Twitter.

Question: "Do you collect, play or watch #dnd more?"

Poll posted 19 Mar 2019, 1,224 respondents.

Response% of total

DMs: Are you a good or bad DM?

Question: "This is a poll for #dnd Dungeon Masters. Do you consider yourself a good or a bad DM? Choose the option that most closely matches your own assessment."

Poll posted 14 March 2019, 3,565 respondents.

Response% of total
I am a good DM71%
I am a bad DM29%

Players: Do you play with a bad DM?

Question: "This is a Twitter poll for #dnd players. Do you regularly play with "bad" dungeon masters? You get to define what 'bad' means to you."

Poll posted 12 March 2019, 2,282 respondents.

Response% of total

Do you enjoy describing your killing blow?

Question: "During the game do you enjoy describing your killing blow or describing a physical trait of the monster you're attacking?"

Poll posted 13 December 2018, 2,044 respondents.

Response% of total
I don't know5%

Do you have trouble running D&D games regularly?

Question: "Do you have trouble running D&D games regularly?"

Poll posted 25 November 2018, 1,305 respondents.

Response% of total

How long ago did you start playing D&D?

Question: "This is a poll for D&D players and dungeon masters. How long ago did you start playing D&D?"

Poll posted 20 September 2018, 3,049 respondents.

Response% of total
Less than 2 years ago22%
2 to 4 years ago18%
5 to 10 years ago12%
More than 10 years ago47%

What Style of Combat do Players Prefer?

Note, this poll is similar to a question in the 2016 DM's Survey and got similar results.

Question: "This is a poll for D&D players. When playing in a D&D combat scene do you prefer a 5 foot per square gridded map, fully descriptive "Theater of the Mind" combat, a loose map or diagram with relative distances, or something else?"

Poll posted 18 September 2018, 2,617 respondents.

Response% of total
5 foot per square grid56%
Theater of the Mind21%
Abstract map19%
Something else3%

Which D&D Gameplay Pillars do Players Prefer?

Note, this poll was updated from the original on 31 August 2017. It went from 158 respodents to 2,103 respodents. The percentages per pillar ended up within 4% of the original.

Question: "This is a Twitter poll for D&D Players. Which one of the three pillars of D&D do you enjoy the most? Roleplaying (in-game interaction with NPCs), exploration, or combat?"

Poll posted 14 September 2018, 2,103 respondents.

Response% of total

How do DMs level up characters?

Question: This is a Twitter poll for #dnd Dungeon Masters. To level characters do you use experience points, session-based leveling, story-based leveling, or some other system?

Poll posted on 11 September 2018 on Twitter, 2,444 responses.

Response% of total
Story-based leveling56%
Experience points26%
Session-based leveling13%
Some other system5%

Do DMs think High Challenge Monster are Hard Enough?

Question: This is a Twitter poll for fifth edition #dnd Dungeon Masters who have run high-level D&D games. Are fifth edition monsters above challenge 10 too easy, too hard, or just right?

Poll posted on 20 July 2018 on Twitter, 641 of 1,034 respondents. Note, 393 responses said they don't run high CR games and are ommitted from these results.

Response% of total
Too Easy73%
Too Hard3%
Just Right24%

Do D&D DMs Prefer Standing, Sitting, or Alternating?

Question: This is a Twitter poll for #dnd DMs. Do you sit, stand, or alternate sitting and standing while DMing D&D?

Poll posted on 15 June 2018 on Twitter, 2,285 respondents.

Response% of total
I stand while DMing6%
I sit while DMing30%
I alternate while DMing64%

What D&D Gameplay do Critters Prefer?

Question: This is a poll for viewers of Critical Role who started playing D&D in the last couple of years or want to play D&D. In your D&D games do you prefer games that focus on combat, games that focus on story and narrative, or a roughly even mix of both?

Poll posted on 23 May 2018 on Twitter, 462 respondents. Note, this poll is intended to be compared to the previous poll asking the same question of Adventurer's League players. We also eliminated 110 respondents who said they did not watch Critical Role, didn't know what it was, or have been playing longer than two years as they were not intended respondents for this survey.

Response% of total
I prefer D&D games that focus on story and narrative.16%
I prefer D&D games that focus on combat.1%
I prefer D&D games that have a roughly even mix of both.82%

What D&D Gameplay do Adventurer's League players prefer?

Question: This is a poll for D&D Adventurer's League players. In your D&D games do you prefer a focus on combat, a focus on story and narrative, or a roughly even mix of both?

Poll posted on 22 May 2018 on Twitter, 407 respondents. Note, this survey is intended to be compared to the survey of Critical Role viewers for the same question. We ommitted 6 responses who said they did not play Adventurer's League games.

Response% of total
I prefer a focus on story and narrative.15%
I prefer a focus on combat.8%
I like a roughly even mix of both.77%

What Is Your Favorite D&D 5e Adventure?

Question: Which WOTC-published fifth edition adventures are your favorites? Check up to three.

Poll posted on 21 March 2018 on Facebook, 558 responses. (Note, a single respondent can post more than one response but no more than one per adventure.)

Response% of total
Curse of Strahd29%
Tomb of Annihilation19%
Lost Mine of Phandelver16%
Storm King's Thunder13%
Out of the Abyss8%
Tales of the Yawning Portal7%
Princes of the Apocalypse3%
Rise of Tiamat3%
Hoard of the Dragon Queen2%

Do DMs Read Published Adventures?

Question: This is a Twitter survey for #dnd DMs who buy published D&D adventures. Do you read published D&D adventures all the way through?

Poll posted on 20 January 2018 on Twitter, 1104 respondents. (Note, those who do not buy published adventures were omitted)

Response% of total
Other (describe)5%

Do Casters Know What Spell They Are Countering?

Question: This poll is for #dnd DMs. In thinking about how "counterspell" is used in your game, do casters know what spell is being cast before they choose to counterspell it?

Poll posted on 3 December 2017 on Twitter, 937 respondents.

Response% of total
Yes, automatically20%
Yes, with a skill check51%
Other (describe)8%

Is D&D 5e combat too slow?

Question: #dnd players and DMs: do you feel that, in general, D&D 5e combat takes too long?

Poll posted on 26 November 2017 on Twitter, 1,165 respondents.

Response% of total

Do players wish our games were more like Critical Role?

Question: D&D Players. Are you happy with the D&D games you play in as is or do you wish they were more like streaming D&D games such as Critical Role (CR)?

Poll posted on 16 November 2017 on Twitter, 713 respondents.

Response% of total
I'm happy as is84%
I wish they were like CR16%

Do We Find D&D Streaming Games More Inspiring or More Intimidating?

Question: For D&D DMs, do you find D&D streamers (like Critical Role) to be more inspirational or more intimidating when running your own D&D games?

Poll posted on 8 November 2017 on Twitter, 1,149 respondents.

Response% of total
More inspirational68%
More intimidating3%
Both equally16%

How Often Should Characters Level?

Question: "On the average, how often do characters level in your 5e D&D campaign?"

Poll posted on 31 October 2017 on Facebook, 84 respondents (note, probably not statistically significant).

Response% of total
Faster than once every 4 hours of gameplay.1%
Roughly once every 4 hours of gameplay.2%
Roughly once every 6 hours of gameplay.1%
Roughly once every 8 hours of gameplay.12%
Roughly once every 12 hours of gameplay.39%
Roughly once every 16 hours of gameplay.32%
Less than once every 16 hours of gameplay.12%

Should we Scale Adventure Threat to Character Level?

Question: "D&D DMs: When running an adventure like White Plume Mountain (level 8ish) for higher level characters (like level 13th); should we increase the challenge to fit their new level or let them enjoy their high power in a low level dungeon?"

Poll posted on 30 September 2017 on both Twitter and Facebook, 538 respondents.

Response% of total
"Increase the threat of the dungeon (more damage, more monsters, more powerful monsters, etc)."84%
"Keep the dungeon the same and let them enjoy their high power."16%

How Often do Rogues Expect to Hide in Combat?

Question: "D&D Rogue Players: During combat, how often do you expect to be able to hide during the fight and get advantage on your attacks?"

Poll posted 26 September 2017, 836 respondents.

Response% of total
"Almost Never."4%
"Once in the beginning of combat but not after that."39%
"Less than half but more than once."36%
"About half the time."4%
"More than half but not all the time."2%
"Nearly all the time."15%

Do DMs like the idea of passive monster initiative?

Question: "D&D DMs: Jeremy Crawford mentioned the idea of running monster initiative as a passive 10+dex to save time instead of rolling for initiative. What do you think of this idea?"

Poll posted 12 September 2017, 817 respondents.

Response% of total
"I like it"66%
"I don't like it."34%

How many DMs use a DM screen?

Question: "D&D Dungeon Masters. Do you regularly use a Dungeon Master's Screen at your game?"

Poll posted 9 September 2017, 575 respondents.

Response% of total
"Yes, I use a dungeon master's screen at my game."71%
"No, I don't use a dungeon master's screen at my game."29%

Do DMs change monster hit points during combat?

Question: "5e DMs, do you regularly alter monster hit points during combat?"

Poll posted 1 September 2017, 523 respondents.

Response% of total
"Yes, I both increase and decrease hit points during combat."70%
"No, I don't modify a monster's hit points once the battle has started."25%
"Yes, I increase hit points to increase the challenge."4%
"Yes, I reduce hit points to speed up combat or improve pacing."1%
"I don't even track hit points."1%

How Much Time Per Hour do DMs Prepare for Their Game?

Question: "In the following Kotaku interview, Jeremy Crawford recommends 30 minutes of prep per hour of playtime. What is your prep time to play time ratio?"

Poll posted 30 August 2017, 209 respondents.

Note, we can compare results from this survey to the results from the 2016 DM survey limiting those results to the 2,900 DMs who ran four hour games (the most common duration. The last column shows the percentage of respondents for the same preparation time block. It isn't always a perfect fit, particularly for those higher than 60 minutes prep per hour of gameplay, but it gives a reasonable comparison and seems to be pretty close.

Response% of total2016 survey %
I don't prepare at all. 7%2%
less than 15 minutes of prep time per hour of game time. 11%13%
15 minutes of prep time per hour of game time. Voters for this option19%23%
30 minutes of prep time per hour of game time. 31%27%
60 minutes of prep time per hour of game time. 18%22%*
90 minutes of prep time per hour of game time.4%14%**
120 minutes of prep time per hour of game time. 7%14%**
More than 120 minutes of prep time per hour of game time. 3%14%**


* For this result I combined the 3 hours per 4 hour game and 4 hours per for hour game results from the 2016 survey.

** These results all represent the 2016 DM survey's "More than four hours" or "more than 60 minutes per hour of gameplay". This is best compared by combining results "above 60 minutes per hour" from the new survey (14%) to "above 60 minutes per hour" from the original survey (14%).

How do DMs Build Encounters?

Question: "DMs, how do you balance encounters when preparing your D&D game?"

Poll posted 28 August 2017, 276 respondents.

Response% of total
"I use monster challenge ratings as a rough gauge of difficulty and improvise encounter balance from there."57%
"I don't really balance encounters. I choose the type and number of monsters based on the story and situation."26%
"I use Kobold Fight Club to balance encounters."10%
"I use another online calculator to balance encounters."4%
"I use the encounter building guidelines in the Dungeon Master's Guide."3%
"I use the new Unearthed Arcana encounter building guidelines for balancing encounters."0%

Do DMs Plan or Improvise NPCs?

Question: "5th edition Dungeon Masters, do you plan NPCs ahead of time or improvise them at the table?"

Poll posted 25 August 2017, 121 respondents.

Response% of total
"I improvise nearly all of my NPCs at the table."3%
"I mostly improvise my NPCs at the table."28%
"I prepare about half of my NPCs ahead of time and improvise half at the table."52%
"I mostly prepare my NPCs ahead of time."14%
"I prepare nearly all of my NPCs ahead of time."3%

Do DMs Roll Dice In the Open?

Question: "For 5th edition dungeon masters, do you roll your dice in the open or hide them?"

Poll posted 22 August 2017, 914 respondents.

Response% of total
"I hide my rolls."70%
"I roll in the open."30%

What Level do D&D Players Typically Reach in a Campaign?

Question: "What is the highest level D&D campaign you've run or played in?"

Poll posted 17 August 2017, 269 respondents.

Response% of total
1st to 3rd3%
4th to 6th16%
7th to 9th25%
10th to 12th13%
13th to 15th20%
16th to 18th7%
19th to 20th15%

Do DMs Use the Monster Manual at the Table?

Question: "When running a D&D game, do you use the Monster Manual right at the table to look up stat blocks? Do you reformat and reprint them? Do you use some digital tool to look them up?"

Poll posted 12 August 2017, 453 respondents

Response% of total
"I use the Monster Manual at the table."70%
"I reformat and reprint monster stat blocks for use at the table."16%
"I use some digital tool to look up monster stat blocks at the table."11%
"I use something else to look up monster stat blocks at the table."2%

Do DMs Enjoy Preparing D&D Games?

Question: "Do you enjoy preparing your D&D game?"

Poll posted 5 August 2017, 427 respondents.

Response% of total

How Many DMs Have to Deal With Disruptive Players?

Question: "Do you regularly have to deal with disruptive players?"

Poll posted 30 July 2017, 82 respondents.

Response% of total

How Many D&D Players Play in the Adventurer's League?

Question: "Do you play in D&D Adventurer's League Organized Play games whether real life or online?"

Posted 23 July 2017, 427 respondents.

Response% of total

Do DMs Roll for Monster Damage or Use Static Damage?

Question: "When running a D&D monster, do you roll for monster damage or use the listed static damage?"

Poll posted 15 July 2017, 530 respondents.

Response% of total
"I roll for damage."90%
"I use the listed average damage."10%

How do DMs Use Published Adventures?

Question: "How do you use the official published hardback D&D adventures (Curse of Strahd, Storm King's Thunder, Out of the Abyss, etc)?"

Poll posted 10 June 2017, 169 respondents.

Response% of total
"I do not run the official published hardback D&D adventures.42%
"I moderately alter published adventures to fit my campaign.26%
"I run them as they are written with very few changes.21%
"I significantly alter published adventures to fit my campaign.11%

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