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So here's the situation: I'm chilling inside a tiny hut I cast earlier, and some of the other party members are right outside. No one is in danger, and then someone does something to cause an attack by a bunch of mimics that look like trees. I open up my handy bag of caltrops, toss them into the air, and cast animate objects. My spikies of death whirl out of the hut and I laugh at the ensuing mayhem as I start to spray sawdust all over in a festive manner from my protective bubble.

Here is my problem: I know that my equipment can pass through the tiny hut's walls, but I also know spells can't. This leads to my question:

Can my equipment that has a spell acting on it pass through the tiny hut's walls?

I'm not 100% sure I should have been allowed to do that.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't answer the question, but... why not just step outside and cast the spell before stepping back inside? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 8 '18 at 20:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast The hut disappears if the caster exits it. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 8 '18 at 20:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, good point. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 8 '18 at 21:07
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My reading: the hut's wall only blocks targeting and line of effect for spells

The relevant text from the tiny hut spell is:

Spells and other magical effects can’t extend through the dome or be cast through it.

This wording is somewhat peculiar. Notably, rather than making a blanket statement that the hut blocks all magic, it lists two specific things that spells and magical effects can't do. And it's a good thing it doesn't say the dome blocks all magic, because if it did, then none of your party could carry any of their fancy magic equipment through the dome, which would be an unpleasant surprise for your friend wearing a Ring of Spell Storing and a Belt of Giant Strength, or your ranger carrying a quiver of +1 magic arrows on their back. Furthermore, if the hut blocked the passage of all magical effects, anyone with a spell cast on them would be unable to pass through the dome until the spell ends. Do you think it makes sense that casting guidance on a creature should trap them inside the hut? I don't.

So, by the same logic, your deadly swarm of animated caltrops should have no more trouble passing through the dome than they did before you animated them. Passing through the dome is not the same as "extending" through the dome, and the caltrops are not casting a spell through the dome, so the tiny hut spell's text about blocking magical effects doesn't do anything to stop them from passing through. The caltrops only need to be inside the hut when you cast the spell, so that you can target them.

What the dome does do is act as total cover for the purposes of spell targeting and areas of effect, in exactly the same way as a mundane dome-shaped wall would, but with the additional feature that even spells that don't require line of effect are blocked.

This interpretation avoids self-contradiction

We can also note that interpreting the magic-blocking feature of tiny hut as described above ensures that the spell does not contradict itself. The spell also says:

Creatures and objects within the dome when you cast this spell can move through it freely.

Prior to becoming animated, the caltrops are objects. Once animated, they become creatures. Either way, this part of the spell says that they can move through the dome freely. If creatures or objects bearing magical effects were barred from moving through the dome, then the spell would be contradicting itself. So it seems reasonable to assume that the intended interpretation is one that avoids this contradiction. Hence, the clause about blocking magic is most likely not intended to limit the mobility of creatures or objects through the dome, which the spell explicitly grants.

The caltrop swarm will not collapse the hut

The tiny hut spell also includes this limitation:

Nine creatures of Medium size or smaller can fit inside the dome with you. The spell fails if its area includes a larger creature or more than nine creatures.

This looks like it might be a problem, since after casting animate objects the hut contains at a minimum you and 10 animated caltrops, a total of 11 creatures (of course you can choose to animate fewer caltrops, but don't bother; keep reading). However, note that the spell uses the word "fails", not "ends". "Fail" is consistently used to describe spells that are cancelled prior to casting without ever taking effect, while "end" is used to describe a spell that is cancelled after it has already been cast and taken effect. (For example, compare the text of counterspell and dispel magic.)

So, like parents leaving for a weekend getaway and trusting their teenager not to throw a party while they're gone, the spell only checks the occupancy when it is first cast. After that, you can add as many creatures to the inside of the hut as you can fit, provided you have a way to get them inside.

Anyway, you probably weren't worrying about collapsing the hut until I brought it up, but you can go back to not worrying about it again.

You should check with your DM regardless

Regardless of the above, the question of exactly what is and is not blocked by the dome of a tiny hut spell is the subject of considerable debate. (Does it block sending? Scrying? Catapult?). The above is only my interpretation, and in the end, the only decision that matters is that of your DM.

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There is a Jeremy Crawford tweet about objects moving out of the hut rather than being fired.

Brail @BrailSays · Jun 8, 2015

@JeremyECrawford @ChrisPerkinsDnD Leomunds Tiny Hut seems like the perfect siege spell:Ritual,fire arrows out of it,remain safe?

Jeremy Crawford @JeremyECrawford

@BrailSays The intent is that objects can move (emphasis on "move") out of the dome—usually on a creature—not be shot out. @ChrisPerkinsDnD

This doesn't exactly answer the question -- and RAI from Jeremy appears to make exception for magical items usually leaving the hut on a person -- but his answer does leave room to support the other answers here that you would be able to animate the caltrops and have them move out of the hut on their own.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that animate objects turns the animated things into creatures: "Each target animates and becomes a creature under your control until the spell ends or until reduced to 0 hit points." \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Dec 9 '18 at 6:29
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The answer is, according to RAW, it shouldn't have worked. But not for the reason you think. Magic not being able to be cast through the dome wouldn't stop the animated objects from passing through. However, the spells says, "Creatures and objects within the dome when you cast this spell can move through it freely. All other creatures and objects are barred from passing through it." Since the animated objects weren't creatures when you casted the spell, they wouldn't count as creatures within the dome when the spell was casted. They count as objects within the dome, but once animated, they are creatures instead, and therefore no longer count. So, according to the spell, they should have been trapped within the dome, unable to pass through it.

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The animated objects cannot pass through...

...and the spell might end if anyone else is inside when you cast animate objects, depending on your reading.

There are two key rules which lead to the primary conclusion. From Leomund's tiny hut:

Creatures and objects within the dome when you cast this spell can move through it freely. All other creatures and objects are barred from passing through it.

Emphasis mine. From animate objects:

Each target animates and becomes a creature...

Again emphasis mine. From these two statements, we have that the objects you animate with animate objects are creatures (and, for the duration of the spell, are no longer objects) which were not inside the hut at the time of casting (since they didn't exist) and therefore cannot pass through it freely.

Side note

Additionally, one may find ambiguity in the following statement from LTH:

The spell fails if its area includes a larger creature or more than nine creatures.

Emphasis mine. Usually, "the spell fails" is used exclusively for conditions which cause the casting of the spell to fail, whereas "the spell ends" is used in situations where a condition can prematurely terminate the spell after it has been cast. However, the statement was evidently not phrased in consideration of the possibility of increasing the number of creatures in the area after casting. Make of this what you will, but beware bringing the total number of creatures within the dome to 10 depending on your DM.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The text you cite makes it clear that the caltrops become creatures, but you have not explained why they cease to be objects. If they are still objects, then they are still covered as objects that were inside the hut when it was cast. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 16 at 20:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt creatures and objects are different things, that's why you can't target creatures with spells that target objects. \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Jan 17 at 1:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @John It might be that creatures and objects are mutually exclusive categories - but I can't think of any rules statement to that effect. If this mutual exclusivity is part of Fie's answer, then the answer would be improved by stating that explicitly. On the other hand, it is not clear that they are, in fact, mutually exclusive categories, and they might not be \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 17 at 3:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt corpses may be a bit of confusion but that creatures are not objects is directly stated in the Dm's guide, it also states objects are inanimate. If its animated it is no longer an object. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/95532/… \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Jan 17 at 5:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @John It seems like you are alluding to DMG 246, "For the purpose of these rules, an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone, not a building or a vehicle that is composed of many other objects." That doesn't directly say that creatures can't be objects, although I can see that one might take 'inanimate' that way. The problem is that it is not clear what 'these rules' means - are they defining objects as a category within the game, or just for the purposes of what can be damaged, which is what that section is explicitly about? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 17 at 6:15
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It is unclear

The relevant part is “Spells and other magical effects can't extend through the dome ...”

A strict reading is that the caltrops cannot pass through. Neither can your magic sword, magic ring, the wildshaped Druid, the warlock’s pact weapon and so on.

A more liberal reading is that it is meant to prevent targeting through and areas of effect crossing the boundary. If so, the caltrops are fine.

Now, definitively, your DM allowed it so it’s completely fine. Other DMs may not.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your quotation says that effects can't extend through the dome, your conclusion is that they can't pass through. You need to do more to explain that, in a strict reading, these mean the same thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 16 at 20:27

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