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Sherlock Holmes


By Sidney Paget - de:Wikipedia, Public Domain,, Sherlock Holmes
By Sidney Paget – de:Wikipedia, Public Domain,

Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant London-based “consulting detective” famous for his intellectual prowess he is renowned for his skillful use of astute observation, deductive reasoning, and inference to solve difficult cases.

Besides his talent for deduction, Holmes is also a master of disguise, a skilled fighter in both hand-to-hand and weapon-based combat, profoundly knowledgeable in many sciences, and a skilled musician. He is assisted by his friend Dr. Watson, who chronicles their adventures. Holmes has a brother named Mycroft Holmes is a government official. His nemesis is Professor Moriarty, whom he has clashed with on multiple occasions.

He is an expert who is brought into cases that have proven too difficult for other investigators; he is so good that on many occasions he is able to solve a problem without leaving his home. He specializes in solving unusual cases using his extraordinary powers of observation and logical reasoning, and frequently demonstrates these powers to new clients by making on-the-spot observations about their personalities and recent activities. This simple marketing strategy rarely fails to impress and build confidence in his services.

Mythological Figures: Sherlock Holmes (5E)

Mythological Figures: Sherlock Holmes (5E) | EN World | Dungeons & Dragons | Tabletop Roleplaying Games

Sherlock Holmes banner.jpg

It’s a general rule in this column that I keep things strictly RAW in the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition ruleset. That means only content from the core books. There are however plenty of builds like that already for Sherlock Holmes so it felt a bit redundant to do one. Instead I’ve used the savant class from EN5ider because it was built exactly for characters just like him! The build below uses the Coordinator aptitude but for a more Robert Downey Jr.-type you could make him an Adversary, and Watson is a perfect fit for a Chirurgeon of maybe 10th level. Also today should have been an Epic Monsters post and though those use the monster creation rules, they are not strictly RAW (which means today’s dish was going to get some cooking either way :p).

If you’re like “that sounds neat!” I implore you to download the savant class for free and consider signing up for the A Touch More Class mailing list (so you get notified about the Kickstarter launch as soon as it goes live and can get this class in print along with 8 other new classes).

Design Notes: As mentioned above the savant is tailor-made for Sherlock here. Using the Blog of Holding’s rubric and averaging actually gives him a CR of 10, but even with all of his attack negations and other defensive measures I’m skeptical that without support he’d match up that highly so I erred on the lower end. I noted above that the adversary aptitude would be good for an action movie interpretation of the character, but the same could be achieved with 3 fighter levels (probably landing around CR 11-12 and rightly so at that point).

Sherlock Holmes
Medium humanoid (human), neutral good savant (coordinator) 13
Armor Class 18 (Intelligence)
Hit Points 84 (13d8+26)
Speed 30 ft.

10 (+0)16 (+3)14 (+2)20 (+5)12 (+1)10 (+0)

Saving Throws Dex +8, Int +10
Skills History +15, Insight +6, Investigation +15, Nature +15, Perception +11, Persuasion +6; alchemist’s supplies +10, thieves’ tools +8
Senses passive Perception 21
Languages English, 4 other languages
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Analyzed Need: Survival. When Sherlock finishes a short or long rest, he can choose a skill. When making an ability check using that skill, he uses Intelligence instead of the ability score it normally uses.

Combat Deductions. Sherlock can use a bonus action to quickly observe a creature and make an Intelligence (Investigation) check against a DC equal to CR + 5. On a success, learns up to three of the following pieces of information. If Sherlock succeeds the check by 5 or more, he chooses the categories instead.

  • Armor Class
  • Vulnerabilities
  • Damage resistances
  • Damage immunities
  • Condition immunities
  • Whether the target has lair or legendary actions
  • Weakest saving throw
  • Highest ability score

Feat: Brilliant. Sherlock always knows how long it will be before the next sunset or sunrise, the northerly direction, and can perfectly remember anything he’s experienced within the last 31 days.

Focused Defense. When Sherlock is facing more than one enemy he’s able to use them against each other. As long as there’s more than one enemy within 30 feet, Sherlock can use a bonus action to choose a creature within range. Until the end of his next turn, it has disadvantage on attack rolls against him.

Informed Coordinator (5/Short Rest). Sherlock can use a bonus action to give an ally a +5 bonus to their next d20 roll.

Languages. Sherlock has advantage on ability checks made to decipher codes and hidden messages. By spending 10 minutes studying he can make a DC 15 Intelligence check to translate any script, even if he cannot recognize the language it is written in.

Savant Tricks. Sherlock can use a bonus action to prepare a trick. A trick is prepared until he uses it. Sherlock can only have two tricks prepared at time. Once he uses the trick, Sherlock can prepare another trick in the same manner. Some of his tricks require the target to make a saving throw to resist its effects.

  • Disarming Flourish. When Sherlock hits a creature with a melee weapon attack, he can activate this trick to force the target to drop an item in their hand, such as a weapon. The target makes a DC 18 Strength saving throw with advantage and on a failure, it drops one held item of Sherlock’s choice.
  • Draw Out. When Sherlock hits a creature with a melee weapon attack, he can use a bonus action to activate this trick. The target makes a DC 18 Intelligence saving throw or reacts to a strike from him that never comes. As long as Sherlock remains within the target’s reach, until the start of his next turn it cannot take the Attack action against anyone but him. After Sherlock has used this trick against a target, until the end of combat it has advantage on saving throws to resist Draw Out.
  • Grounded Reason. Sherlock can use his reaction to reroll a Dexterity saving throw that he fails. If he does so, he must use the new roll.
  • Off‐Balance. When Sherlock hits a creature with a melee weapon attack, instead of dealing damage he uses pulls, shoves, and strikes to put his target off-balance. Until the end of Sherlock’s next turn, the target moves at half speed and has disadvantage on ability checks.
  • Redirect. When Sherlock is hit with a melee weapon attack, he can use his reaction to force the attacker to make a DC 18 Intelligence saving throw. On a failure, he takes no damage and the attack strikes another creature within 5 feet. A Huge‐sized or larger target has advantage on the saving throw. Once Sherlock has used this trick against a target, until the end of combat that target has advantage on its saving throw to resist Redirect.
  • Sidestep. When Sherlock is targeted by a spell or weapon attack, he can use his reaction to make a Dexterity check against the opponent’s attack roll. On a success, he takes no damage from the spell or attack. Once Sherlock has used this trick against a target, until the end of combat he has disadvantage on checks to Sidestep that target.
  • Sweeping Stride. Sherlock cannot activate this trick without moving at least 10 feet and traveling through a square adjacent to a creature of Large size or smaller. The target must succeed on a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw with advantage or be knocked prone. On a success, Sherlock’s movement ends in a square adjacent to the target.

Superior Deduction. Sherlock can spend 1 minute observing a creature to make a Wisdom (Perception) check against a DC equal to the target’s CR + 5. On a success, he learns three of the following pieces of information (or other relevant details). If Sherlock succeeds the check by 5 or more, he chooses the categories instead.

  • One part of the target’s alignment (if it is chaotic, neutral, lawful, good, or evil)
  • If the target is disguised
  • If the target is armed
  • If the target is under the effects of a spell
  • What language(s) the target speaks
  • If the target has a native terrain and the type of that terrain

Extra Attack. Sherlock can attack three times whenever he takes the Attack action on his turn.

Rapier. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8+5) piercing damage.

Improvised Weapon. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) bludgeoning , piercing, or slashing damage (determined by object).

Hand Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6+5) piercing damage.

Intelligent Caution (5/Long Rest). When Sherlock makes a saving throw against a spell or effect that deals damage, he can use his reaction to make an Intelligence saving throw instead. On a success, he takes no damage.

Sherlock Holmes

By Siddharth Krish.The original uploader was Siddharthkrish at English Wikipedia. - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Blurpeace using CommonsHelper.(Original text: self-made), CC BY-SA 3.0,, Sherlock Holmes
By Siddharth Krish.The original uploader was Siddharthkrish at English Wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Blurpeace using CommonsHelper.(Original text: self-made), CC BY-SA 3.0,

Name Sherlock Holmes
Human CR 17
XP 102400
Investigator level 18 (skill points 234) Investigator
Any Medium Humanoid
Init +7; Senses ; Perception +26


AC 18, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +2 armor, +1 feats, +2 deflection)
hp 120 (0d8+18d8+18+18);
Fort +9, Ref +14, Will +12


Speed 30ft.
Melee MWK Rapier +15/+10/+5 (1d6+1/18-20)
Ranged MWK Pistol +17 (1d8 X4) range 20
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks
Studied Combat (Ex) With a keen eye and calculating mind, an investigator can assess the mettle of his opponent to take advantage of gaps in talent and training. At 4th level, an investigator can use a move action to study a single enemy that he can see. Upon doing so, he adds 1/2 his investigator level as an insight bonus on melee attack rolls and as a bonus on damage rolls against the creature. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) or until he deals damage with a studied strike, whichever comes first. The bonus on damage rolls is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit.

An investigator can only have one target of studied combat at a time, and once a creature has become the target of an investigators studied combat, he cannot become the target of the same investigators studied combat again for 24 hours unless the investigator expends one use of inspiration when taking the move action to use this ability.
Studied Strike (Ex) At 4th level, an investigator can choose to make a studied strike against the target of his studied combat as a free action, upon successfully hitting his studied target with a melee attack, to deal additional damage. The damage is 1d6 at 4th level, and increases by 1d6 for every 2 levels thereafter (to a maximum of 9d6 at 20th level). The damage of studied strike is precision damage and is not multiplied on a critical hit; creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to studied strike.

If the investigators attack used a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), he may choose to have the additional damage from studied strike be nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. If the investigator chose to make an attack with a lethal weapon instead deal nonlethal damage (with the usual -4 penalty), the studied strike damage may also deal nonlethal damage.

The investigator must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. An investigator cannot use studied strike against a creature with concealment. No of D6 = 8
Swift Alchemy (Ex) Half the normal time to create alchemical items, and apply poison to weapon as a move action

Spells Known:
Investigator Spells: CL 18 Concentration 26

  • Level 1 (7) DC 19: Anticipate Peril, Detect Metal, Detect Secret Doors, Detect Undead, Disguise Self, Identify, See Alignment, ; 
  • Level 2 (7) DC 20: Ablative Barrier, Acute Senses X 2, Bullet Shield, Detect Thoughts, Focused Scrutiny, Foxs Cunning, ; 
  • Level 3 (7) DC 21: Absorb Toxicity, Adjustable Disguise, Bloodhound, Disable Construct, Heroism, Nondetection, Seek Thoughts, ; 
  • Level 4 (7) DC 22: Absorbing Inhalation X 2, Discern Lies, Enchantment Foil, Freedom of Movement, Neutralize Poison, Universal Formula,
  • Level 5 (5) DC 23: Age Resistance, Greater, Delayed Consumption, Dream, Sending, Spell Resistance, ; 
  • Level 6 (4) DC 24: Analyze Dweomer, Mislead, True Seeing, Walk through Space, ;


Str 12, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 26, Wis 8, Cha 11
Base Atk +13; CMB +14; CMD 30
Feats Amazing Inspiration (Ex), Coax Information (Ex), Guileful Polyglot (Ex), Perceptive Tracking (Ex), Prolonged Study* (Ex), Quick Disguise (Ex), Alertness, Armor Proficiency Light, Athletic, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Iron Will, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Skill Focus (Know Local)
Skills Acrobatics +3, Appraise +29, Bluff +7, Climb +9, Craft +8, Diplomacy +0, Disable Device +21, Disguise +0, Escape Artist +21, Heal +4, Intimidate +13, Know Arcana +25, Know Arch & Eng +27, Know Dungeon +14, Know Geography +15, Know History +21, Know Local +27, Know Nature +28, Know Nobility +19, Know Psionics +8, Know Religion +15, Know the Planes +13, Linguistics +28, Open Lock +7, Perception +26, Perform +0, Profession +12, Search +13, Sense Motive +24, Sleight of Hand +14, Spellcraft +16, Swim +3, Use Magic Device +9
Languages Common

SQ Alchemy (Ex), Inspiration (Ex), Investigator Talent (Ex) or (Su) 8, Keen Recollection, Poison Immunity, Poison Lore (Ex), Poison Resistance (Ex) 6, Trap Sense 5, Trapfinding, Trapfinding-2

Gear Leather armor, Masterwork Rapier, Masterwork Pistol, Amulet of health (+2), Goggles of minute seeing (+5), Gloves of dexterity (+2), Headband of intellect (+4), Candle of truth, Chime of openning, Dimensional shackles, Elixir of truth, Potion of Cure light wounds, Potion of Delay poison, Potion of Neutralize poison, Potion of Nondetection, Ring of Protection (+2), Vest of escape


Environment Any
Organization Company 10-20, Band 30-100, Squad 4-8
Treasure Standard

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