Detective (5e Class)

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Called upon by nobles, an elf is brought to a distressing scene, a murdered royal. He carefully inspects the room, the body, the exits of the room. He talks with members of the family, servants and gardeners. Within the day he has found the murder weapon, discovered who the murderer was and deduced the motive- a beautifully embroidered knife, held by the hands of the royal’s wife, fuelled by rage at his multiple affairs.

A gnomish woman is hot on the trial of a suspected crime ring. Entering the home of a known affiliate, she places a magical alarm on the main entrance. Rummaging through papers, chests, desks and wardrobes, she uncovered the evidence she needs to undermine the crime ring once and for all. As she goes to make her escape, the magical alarm alerts her of the homeowner returning home. Quickly she makes for the backdoor, narrowly escaping capture.

A pair of unruly gentlemen quickly turn a heated argument into a drunken brawl, in the center of a crowded tavern. A human dressed in a long cloak is pulled into the fight. Watching the swaggering steps and slow punches, he manages to block every advance and deal back blows the pair could never see coming.

Detectives are seekers of truth and justice. Whether they be affiliated with a government body, or a private investigator their morals are the same. Drawing on their expertise in detection, deduction and observation they solve crimes, unravel mysteries and discover secrets scattered throughout the material plane.

Mystery Solvers[edit]

A defining quality of all detectives is their thirst for knowledge and their excitement for mysteries. Their inquisitive nature leads them to places many other heroes would not usually find themselves, a detective will often not go on a quest or adventure, if there is not mystery, intrigue or secrets interwoven within the adventure. Now of course, there are always exception to this. It is very likely that a detective owes a favor to another adventurer, possibly the quest at hand has ties to a long-dead crime organisation or mystery, the detective had abandoned long ago.

Whatever the reasons, when a detective finds themselves in an adventure or completing a quest they leave no stone unturned, thirsting for every one of their questions to be answered and everything within the adventure given plausible reason for its occurrence.

Seekers of Truth and Justice[edit]

The reason for a detective choosing this path of life is because within them they have a strong moral compass. This compass calls them to right the wrongs committed by others and quell injustice wherever they see it. This strong moral right-standing could have been ingrained within their mind as a child by their parents or teachers, or possibly, an event of great tragedy or injustice may propel them to stop the same happening to those around them. Because of this, detectives very rarely have a chaotic alignment and more often then not will steer towards lawful solutions to problems.

Creating a Detective[edit]



When choosing this class there are a few questions you must ask yourself. The first of all being: Why? Why do you do what you do? What drives you? Was it a murder of a loved one? A connection to a holy deity that calls for justice? Or are you simply a genius who enjoys solving puzzles? This thing that drives you is what enables you to continue doing what you do, even when times get tough. What indicator lets you know that you are doing the right thing? Are you doing the right thing? Think of something that you abide by, a set of rules, the law, self-prescribed morals, the words of your parents. This code you live by will help you make the right decisions, especially in times when the answer is not the one you are looking for.

Quick Build

You can make a detective quickly by following these suggestions. First, Intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by either Constitution or Wisdom. Second, choose either the sage or soldier backgrounds. The inquirer background from the 5e Homebrew page fits well with this class as well. Third, choose a simple weapon, an explorers pack a gaming set of your choice, thieves' tools and a shortsword.

Class Features

As a Detective you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Detective level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Detective level after 1st


Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: Thieves' tools, one other tool set of your choice.
Saving Throws: Intelligence and Wisdom
Skills: Choose any three


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) Any two simple weapon or (b) Any martial Weapon
  • (a) A sage's pack or (b) An explorer's pack
  • (a) A gaming set of your choice or (b) {{{item3b}}}
  • (a) A Alchemy kit or (b) Thieves' tools
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10 gp in funds.

Table: The Detective

Level Proficiency
1st +2 Inquisitive Senses
2nd +2 Cunning Moves
3rd +2 Detective Archetype
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 Perilous Intuition
6th +3 Dectective Archetype Feature
7th +3 Hyper-Intellect
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 Keen Insight
10th +4 Ingenious Parry
11th +4 Detective Archetype Feature
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Astute Eye
14th +5 Detective Archetype Feature
15th +5 Improved Intuition
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement, Heightened Hearing
17th +6 Intelligent Salvage
18th +6 Outwitting Manoeuvre
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 Master Detective

Inquisitive Senses[edit]

You have developed a knack for picking up when things aren't as they seem.

Starting at 1st level, you gain advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks to determine whether a creature is lying or not; you gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks to spot hidden creatures, objects, or doors; and you gain advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks when searching for clues.

Cunning Moves[edit]

At 2nd level, your intelligence provides you with quicker reaction times. You may add your Intelligence modifier to your initiative checks.

Detective Archetypes[edit]

At 3rd level, you choose what kind of detective you will become: Arcane Adept or Martial Master, both detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd, 6th, 11th and 14th level.

Ability Score Increase[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Perilous Intuition[edit]

Beginning at 5th level, you’ve encountered enough traps and ambushes to know when something’s not quite right. You have advantage on Dexterity saving throws which originate from a place you can see. To gain this benefit you cannot be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.

In addition, if you are surprised at the beginning of combat and aren’t incapacitated you can use your reaction on your turn to do one of the following.

Attack. You can make one attack action against a creature within range.
Move. You can move up to your movement speed.


With a brain like yours, everything is a problem that can be solved with a little more thought. At 7th level, you gain proficiency in either Strength or Charisma saving throws. At 18th level, you also gain proficiency in all other saving throws.

Keen Insight[edit]

When you reach 9th level, you are able to discern certain information about another creature just from observing and/or interacting with them. If you spend at least one minute observing or interacting with another creature outside of combat, you can learn about the creature’s capabilities as compared to your own. The DM tells you if the creature's stats:

  • Hit Points
  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Intelligence
  • Wisdom
  • Charisma
  • Class Level (if any)

Each additional minute spent with the same creature will reveal one more characteristic. Additionally, the player determines if the creature has any hidden items or physical weaknesses, such as a limp or sprain. In game terms, this is anything that would impose a penalty on the creature during checks or saves and would be visually noticeable even if the creature is attempting to hide it.

Ingenious Parry[edit]

At 10th level, when you are hit with a melee attack, you may use your reaction to add your Intelligence modifier to your AC.

At 17th level, if using Ingenious Parry would cause the attack to miss, you may make a melee weapon attack against the creature that attacked you, so long as they are within your reach.

Astute Eye[edit]

Beginning at 13th level, your senses have become accustomed to reality and are now able to discern the differences between what is real and what isn't. As an action, you can break any illusion cast by a creature that is a level lower then your own. If the illusion was cast by a creature equal in level, you and you alone are able to perceive that it is an illusion, but you cannot break it for others, and if the creature is a level higher then your own, you are only able to detect the presence of an illusion, not see through it. This also works for magical disguises or shapechangers not in their original form. You can only use this ability if you aren't blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.

Improved Intuition[edit]

Starting at 15th level, if you would make a check with advantage or disadvantage, you may reroll any 1's associated with this roll. You may use this feature 3 times, regaining all uses after finishing a long rest.

Heightened Hearing[edit]

When you reach 16th level, your hearing has been honed to near god-like levels. As long as you are able to hear, you are aware of the location of any and all creatures within 20 feet of you regardless of hiding or invisibility. Additionally, you have advantage on all checks made to listen or hear.

Intelligent Salvage[edit]

At 17th level, your mind is so quick that if you make a mistake in combat, you can attempt to amend it. If an attack against another creature would miss, you may re-roll your attack. You must take the new roll even if it is lower than the first.

Outwitting Maneuver[edit]

Starting at 18th level, when you are engaged in melee with another creature, you may use your reaction to make an Intelligence (Investigation) check to find the opening in the enemy's attack. If you succeed against a DC = the opposing attack roll, you may knock the creature prone and end it's turn immediately. You still receive the damage if the attack was successful.

Master Detective[edit]

At 20th level, you have honed your abilities to such a level that you can solve a crime in the blink of an eye. When you roll a natural 1 on an Intelligence (Investigation), Wisdom (Perception), or Wisdom (Insight) check, you can instead treat it as a natural 20. You can do this a number of times equal to your intelligence modifier + 1. You regain all uses when you finish long rest.

Arcane Adept[edit]

Throughout your adventures, you have seen the wonders and conveniences magic can bring. You realize that if you were to implement some of this wonder into your life, it could help you in your travels as well as in your investigations. Those who choose this path dedicate all the time they can spare into learning the ways of the arcane, studying, practicing, learning. When studying you must choose two schools of wizardry, you may select either (a) Abjuration or (b) Transmutation and (a) Evocation or (b) Illusion. Abjuration spells grant you additional protection in battle, evocation spells deal damage to many foes at once, illusion spells dazzle the senses and befuddle the mind, and transmutation spells modify energy and matter to your will. Detectives learn a comparatively small number of spells, committing them to memory instead of keeping them in a spell book.


When you reach 3rd level, you have committed yourself to learning the ways of the arcane, allowing you to cast spells. See chapter 10 of the Player’s Hand Book for the general rules of spell casting and chapter 11 for the wizards spell list.

Arcane Adept Spell Casting Table
Detective Level Cantrips Known Spells Known 1st Level Spell Slots 2nd Level Spell Slots 3rd Level Spell Slots 4th Level Spell Slots
3rd 2 3 2 - - -
4th 2 4 3 - - -
5th 2 4 3 - - -
6th 2 4 3 - - -
7th 2 5 4 2 - -
8th 2 6 4 2 - -
9th 2 6 4 2 - -
10th 3 7 4 3 - -
11th 3 8 4 3 - -
12th 3 8 4 3 - -
13th 3 9 4 3 2 -
14th 3 10 4 3 2 -
15th 3 10 4 3 2 -
16th 3 11 4 3 3 -
17th 3 11 4 3 3 -
18th 3 11 4 3 3 -
19th 3 12 4 3 3 1
20th 3 13 4 3 3 1

Cantrips. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the wizards spell list. You learn an additional wizard cantrip of your choice at 10th level.

Spell Slots. The Arcane Adept Spellcasting Table shows how many spells slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell’s level or higher. You regain all expended slots when you finish a long rest. For example, if you know the 1st level spell Shield and have a 1st and a 2nd level spell slot available, you can cast shield using either slot.

Spells Known of 1st-Level and higher. You know three 1st level spells of your choice, two of which you must choose from the schools listed above on the wizard spell list. The Spells Known column of the Arcane Adept Spellcasting Table shows when you learn more wizard spells of 1st level or higher. Each of these spells must be from the schools you have chosen from the options above and must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level. The spells you learn at 8th, 14th, and 20th level can come from any school of magic. Whenever you take a long rest you can replace one of the wizards spells you know with another spell of your choice. The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots and it must be of the two schools you have selected from the options above, unless you are replacing the spell you gained at 3rd, 8th, 14th or 20th level from any school of magic.

Spellcasting Ability. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for your wizard spells, since you learn your spells through study and memorization. You use your Intelligence whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your intelligence modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a wizard spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier

A Specific School of Thought

At 6th level, depending on the schools you have chosen to study, you gain a feature associated with that school. You can only choose one feature to use and that feature can not be swapped for another at any time. You can also not choose a feature associated with a school you have not previously selected. (E.G, if you selected Evocation and Transmutation as your schools at 3rd level, you cannot select the Abjuration Feature at 6th level.)

Abjuration. Whenever you cast an abjuration spell of 1st level or higher, you can simultaneously use a strand of the spells magic to create a magical arcane ward on yourself that lasts for 12 hours or until you finish a long rest. The ward has a hit point maximum equal to twice your Detective Level + your Intelligence modifier. Whenever you take damage, the ward takes damage instead. If this damage reduces the ward to 0 hit points you take any remaining damage. While the ward is at 0 hit points it can’t absorb any damage, but it’s magic remains. Whenever you cast an abjuration spell of 1st level or higher, the ward regains a number of hit points equal to twice the level of the spell. Once you create a ward, you can not create it again until you finish long rest.
Evocation. Whenever you cast an evocation spell of 1st level or higher, that affects other creatures that you can see, you can choose a number of them equal to 1 + the spells level. The chosen creatures automatically succeed on their saving throw against the spell, and they take no damage if they would normally take half damage on a successful save.
Illusion. When you choose this feature, you learn the minor illusion cantrip as a bonus cantrip. If you already know this cantrip, you may choose a different bonus cantrip of your choice. This does not count against your number of cantrips known. When you cast minor illusion, you can create both a sound and an image with a single casting of the spell.
Transmutation. As a bonus action, you can perform a special magical alchemical procedure on one object composed of wood, stone (but not gem stone), iron, copper, or silver, transforming it into a different one of those materials. For each 10 minutes you spend performing the procedure, you can transform up to 1 cubic foot of material. After 1 hour, or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell), the material reverts to its original substance.
Mage's Stone

Starting at 11th level, you can spend 8 hours imbuing a stone with magic, creating a mage’s stone. You can benefit from the stone yourself or give it to another creature. A creature gains a benefit of your choice as long as the stone is in the creature’s possession. This includes yourself.

• Darkvision out to a range of 60 feet, as described in chapter 8 of the players handbook.
• An increase to movement speed of 10 feet while the creature is unencumbered.
• Proficiency in one saving throw of their choice. The saving throw must be one they are not already proficient in.
• Resistance to acid, cold, fire, lightning or thunder damage (your choice whenever you choose this benefit).
• The ability to cast Disguise Self as a 1st level spell without expending a spell slot. Once this spell is used you can not use it again until you finish a long rest. (This feature can only be selected if you study the illusion school)
• The ability to cast upon themselves an arcane ward, as described in the Specific School of Thought abjuration feature, they can do this without casting an abjuration spell. This version of the arcane ward lasts half as long as if it was cast by a detective, a total of 6 hours. Once this is used you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest. (This feature can only be selected if you study the abjuration school)
• The ability to cast Guiding Bolt as a 1st level spell without expending a spell slot. Once this spell is used you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest. (This feature can only be selected if you study the evocation school)
• The ability to cast Feather Fall as a 1st level spell without expending a spell slot. Once this spell is used you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest. (This feature can only be selected if you study the transmutation school)
Magical Mastery

When you reach 14th level, you have mastered the art of spell casting. When you use your action to cast a cantrip, you may use a bonus action to cast a spell or make one weapon attack.

Martial Master[edit]

Those who chose the Martial Master Archetype are those who are sick of being brought down by others whom think they are tougher, those who stand for what they believe it and are willing to fight for it. Martial Masters pour their time and energy into training like a professional fighter, aiming to be as good with a sword as they are deciphering clues. As good at dancing around a battlefield as they are dancing the intellectual jive against their rival detective.

Weapons Training

Starting when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you’ve taken it upon yourself to learn the ways of the warrior. You gain proficiency with all martial weapons, as well as shields and medium armor. In addition to this, you have now adopted a fighting style of your choice. You can’t take a fighting style option more than once, even if something in the game lets you choose again.

Archery You gain +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
Defense As long as you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
Dueling When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.
Protection When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You must be wearing a shield.
Two Weapon Fighting When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.
Extra Attack

When you reach 6th level, you can attack twice instead of once when you take the Attack action on your turn.

Elementary Defence

At 11th level, when an enemy successfully hits you with an attack, they treat your AC as 1 higher for every time they've hit you, until the start of your next turn.

Exquisite Attack

Starting at 14th level, you have studied battle and anatomy to a point where it enhances your martial prowess. When you make a weapon attack, you may add your Intelligence modifier to the damage rolls.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the detective class, you must meet these prerequisites: You must have an intelligence of 15.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the detective class, you gain the following proficiencies: You must be proficient in the investigation skill.

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