From previous answers, we know that Leomund's tiny hut (probably) has a floor, preventing enemies from burrowing into it from below. However, the spell also says that "creatures and objects within the dome when you cast this spell can move through it freely." This clearly allows such creatures to walk through the walls of the dome unimpeded. But by the same logic, if the ground fell out from under the floor of the hut, would the creatures inside still be able to stand on the floor, or would they fall through it just as easily as they can walk through the walls? Does the word "can" imply that passing through is optional, and a character interacting with the barrier chooses whether to collide with it or pass through? If passing through is an active choice, what about objects sitting on the floor, which cannot make any such choice?

Alternatively, if characters do not fall through the floor automatically, can they choose to do so if they want to? (For example, suppose they are surrounded and want to escape by burrowing underground, using the opaque walls of the hut to obscure their actions until the last second when the caster leaves.)


2 Answers 2


The use of the word "can" implies choice.

Any other time the word "can" appears in a ruling, it means that the thing is possible if you want.

Take the Combat rules for example:

On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed and take one action.

You can forgo moving, taking an action, or doing anything at all on your turn.

You can take only one bonus action on your turn

Your turn can include a variety of flourishes that require neither your action nor your move.

You can communicate however you are able, through brief utterances and gestures, as you take your turn.

You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example, you could open a door during your move as you stride toward a foe, or you could draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.

If you want to interact with a second object, you need to use your action. Some magic items and other special objects always require an action to use, as stated in their descriptions.

All these things are optional. You do not have to move up to your speed, but you can if you want. You do not have to forgo moving or taking an action, but you can if you want.

Note that it does not say "If you want to interact with a second object, you can use your action, it says you need to use your action. This is because there is no choice, you must use your action.

Leomund was a smart guy

Given Leomund's history, I don't think he would leave such a glaring oversight in his spell. It would make the spell largely redundant, as you could simply remove the earth under the hut and the occupants would walk through.

As shown in this article by Nerdarchy, Leomund was a smart guy. I don't really believe he would design a spell like this with such a large flaw in its design.

I would say the biggest reason Leomund is one of the famous wizards of distinction is because of his inventiveness. From the number of new spells he created to their utility in boosting the survivability of an adventure, Leomund had an answer.

I refuse to believe that such a clever and inventive Archmage would create a spell with such a simple flaw. I think he can design a working floor.


I would personally rule that the player can choose whether or not to pass through it, since the wording of the spell is in line with that and that would be best for my group. I also think it makes more logical sense if they are given the choice to pass through or not, since if you just passed through the bottom of the Hut, the floor is purposeless. There's no point to it if you have to phase through it and sit on the ground anyways.

TL;DR: Yes, they can pass through the floor if they want or they can choose to not pass through the floor and collide with it if they want.

However, I would also say that each DM should do whatever they think is the most fun for their group.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm willing to accept the argument that such an obvious design flaw would have been avoided by the creator of the spell (combined with the fact that the spell's text does in fact support this interpretation). Even if the walls and floor are both made of magical force, there's no inherent reason that they have to behave identically. It makes logical sense for the floor to be impassable by default and the walls to be passable by default. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 21:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would actually argue that both the floor and the walls/ceiling are impassable by default, but provide no resistance should you choose to pass through them. The reason being, if you are sleeping on the floor and accidentally roll over through a wall, it is unlikely to be what you intended. If you are tossing a tin of rations to a fellow occupant and he fails to catch it, all involved would probably prefer that the tin be stopped by the wall rather than requiring someone to leave the safety of the hut to retrieve it. \$\endgroup\$
    – cpcodes
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 22:01

For the sake of being contrarian, I would argue that the character would fall through. However, I want to point out that this question stands in details not covered by the rules. As such, I personally think that the answer should be fully in the hand of the GM to change at his whim. (Because I am an evil GM that changes the laws of the world when the story calls for it.)

The mechanical framework for which the spell was designed

This is based on the premise that the spell appears to have never been designed for a 3D battle plane, as evidenced by the fact the text only describes the upward and "forward" directions of the dome.

When looking at the game from a game-mechanic point of view, moving through both of those directions are optional. There is no mechanical barrier preventing a character from moving between two squares, but moving is still optional.

As the accepted answer points out:

On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed and take one action.

I think the framework I describe works because the player's choice is made when he declares his move. Therefore he does choose to move from one square to another. Even though he can't refuse to move after he has chosen (again assuming a pure game-mechanic view of the game).

And moving upward is usually done via flight, which is under the player's control. Otherwise we have the same problem of forced movement versus the Hut.

Why does it matter?

Because moving through Leomund's tiny hut is no different from moving through any other space for the allowed creatures. For this reason, I would argue that a character does not choose to go through the dome. They choose to move or not. And the barrier never affects them.

And this is the framework which Leomund's tiny hut was worded for. And for this reason I believe a creature cannot choose to be blocked by the dome once it has been accepted.

What about the floor?

In the case of falling, the characters do not choose to move. the movement is forced upon them by gravity. But I believe the dome makes no difference. So they fall through.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see how choosing a destination for one's movement is mutually exclusive with choosing whether to physically interact with the dome. To me, they seem unrelated. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 14:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ My approach was that the RAW mechanics tells me a different story. You mention that the player interact with the dome to cross it, but why do you think he has to interract with it? \$\endgroup\$
    – 3C273
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Sorry for multi part comment) if a player wants to move, he will say "I move there". If he wants to move outside the dome, al he has to say is "I move there". He doesn't need a special action, or to have free hands, or to even be conscious or alive. The dome automatically recognizes him and he moves through. The mecanics are the same, for one character there just a wall that the other can pass through. That's why I started from the movement rules to crossing the dome. Does that make it clearer? \$\endgroup\$
    – 3C273
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 14:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ As I said in my question, the spell says that creatures inside the dome "can move through it freely". The word "can" is generally reserved in the rules for things that a character can choose to do, as shown by one of the other answers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 14:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is going to be a 2parter. Generally reserved, but sometimes it has rhe basic english meaning. An example is found in the other answer "you can take only one bonus action" : if can means I have a choice, does that means I can take 2? 'Can' has the basic english meaning in this case. Alternatively, how would you word it if you had to fall through? Probably "you can" or "you are able". Most other I can think of have unintended consequence like being sucked through if you touch the wall. \$\endgroup\$
    – 3C273
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 16:19

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