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I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this, but the more I read into Leomund’s tiny hut, the more it looks like it’s a spell designed entirely around taking free long rests in dungeons, or anywhere really. This seems game-breaking to me.

What truly boggles my mind is the idea that you can potentially chain tiny huts together with multiple casters, literally living inside of a hostile dungeon if they choose to, especially since practically nothing can damage the hut, or its inhabitants. Maybe even a single caster can chain this spell.

Part of the description of Leomund’s tiny hut 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. Spells and other magical effects can't extend through the dome or be cast through it. The atmosphere inside the space is comfortable and dry, regardless of the weather outside.

Until the spell ends, you can command the interior to become dimly lit or dark. The dome is opaque from the outside, of any color you choose, but it is transparent from the inside.

Take this example, for instance:

Three adventurers decide they’ve had enough and instead decide to live inside a goblin-infested ruin. The first wizard casts Leomund’s tiny hut while the other wizard creates food and drink. The ranger makes goodberries. They nap for 6 hours and then the other wizard prepares to cast another tiny hut, overlapping perfectly with the duration of the other Hut.

Rinse, repeat; dozens of goblins now line up around the hut, curious at the bizarre obstruction at their camp, that never goes away, as it is literally indestructible.

Can the above scenario go on like that forever? I understand this site disallows questions about intent, but is this a correct usage of this spell?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/106781 - People (other than caster) can shoot from inside the hut. Disclosure: It is my question. \$\endgroup\$ – Mindwin Dec 17 '18 at 16:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Strikes me as much more odd that objects can pass from the inside to the outside. Which means casting Tiny Hut prior to picking up a fight with an army of 5,000 orcs is a safe bet prodivded that you brought a couple of full quivers and a bow. Or, a few long spears, for that matter. Can grind down pretty much every opponent no matter how big as long as you have him cornered with the spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Damon Dec 18 '18 at 13:12
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The spell enables relatively secure resting in dangerous places

You are correct that, on the whole this spell enables the party to rest securely knowing that they will not be murdered by the most common dungeon dangers while they sleep. They are safe from spells, creatures and objects that may try to encroach into their safety bubble.

Creatures can even fire projectiles through the sphere from the inside which makes it a very powerful defensive option. Of course, it seems that this is exactly the use case that this spell was made for.

However it is not mechanically perfect

Dispel Magic

When facing high enough level enemies and/or given enough time, many enemies could come up with a way to dispel the leomund's tiny hut. As a spell it is still very susceptible to this and there would be no way to counterspell the dispel from inside the hut.

It doesn't protect against everything

There are things that are in dungeons that can produce effects that are neither spells, magical effects, objects, or creatures. For example, a dragon's breath weapon falls into none of these categories and thus would go right through the hut and start roasting the party.

Staying indefinitely might be possible, but is not a good idea

The longer they stay, the more enemies can prepare for when they inevitably leave

Presumably, the party has something they should be doing. The outside world does not wait while the party hides in their relatively safe house. McGuffins get moved, princesses get moved to other castles, additional pylons fail to get constructed. Regardless of the nature of their goals, presumably they are not going to be happy living in a 10ft radius sphere for the rest of their lives. They must move forward at some point or the story fails.

And the longer they stay in the hut the more time the enemies outside have to prepare. Presumably the party has set up shop in an area that they don't belong in and whose inhabitants would much rather they leave. They aren't just going to give up and accept this new resident. Thus, goblins having failed to assault the house directly will likely set up barriers/traps/or assaults on and around the house for when the party does eventually come out. The longer the party waits, the more elaborate the traps and the more enemies get stationed there to make sure the eviction sticks. And of course the party can see this all from inside the sphere.

What goes in must come out

From a slightly less mechanical standpoint still, there are challenges to living with 4 people you may or may not be close to in a relatively small area for long periods of time. Even though everyone except the caster can leave the sphere, if there are enemies or danger outside that they are hiding from they are obviously not going to want to. If there is no danger then there is no real reason to have the spell going at all.

Boredom sets in, tensions run high. There's no privacy. Characters are not going to want to or enjoy staying in this way for longer than they have to.

There's also the matter of all the food and drink that the creatures are consuming are becoming waste and that cannot leave the sphere. That is going to get really smelly really quickly.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are we sure a breath weapon is neither magical nor an object? If it's not a magical effect, it's likely some sort of substance, whethe solid, liquid, or gas. Do objects in D&D need to be solid? \$\endgroup\$ – Obie 2.0 Dec 18 '18 at 2:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Obie2.0 we are sure. It is explicitly not a magical effect per the Sage Advice Compendium and the effect does not say it creates any type of object or substance so it doesn't. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Dec 18 '18 at 2:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ A party sitting in a dungeon can only watch through their forcefield as a truck full of concrete slowly backs up to the casing the goblins have built around the dome... \$\endgroup\$ – Borgh Dec 19 '18 at 7:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ With regard to the solid waste, projectiles can leave the dome. \$\endgroup\$ – linhartr22 Dec 20 '18 at 2:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @linhartr22 Sage Advice states "The intent is that objects can move (emphasis on "move") out of the dome—usually on a creature—not be shot out." \$\endgroup\$ – Man_Over_Game Jan 18 '19 at 19:03
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Yes, right up to the point where the goblins go fetch their shaman to cast Dispel Magic and fill the adventurers full of arrows.

The downside of your scenario is it hands all the strategic initiative to everyone outside the hut.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Dec 17 '18 at 13:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ They don't need their shaman, they can just build a platform on top of the hut and continue to place a pile of large rocks on top... and then wait for the entertaining moment the spell ends. \$\endgroup\$ – Quaternion Dec 17 '18 at 23:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Enemies can't build a platform or pile up rocks outside as those inside will pepper them with projectiles. In eaerly editions this spell was originally designed for easy camping, mostly just for protection vs weather. Not a "ultimate fortress". Wall of Force is Level 5, and this thing is wayyy better: better shape, no concentration, much longer duration, and won't block your side as much. The only drawback is casting time. Not important since you cast before night, "in case" of fights. So since WoF is Lvl5, this LTH should be, what, Lvl8, maybe? Definitely not level Lvl3! Thus, a broken spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Jan 10 at 15:31
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You might not be able to rest

If the goblins know what a leomund's tiny hut is then they know they can't get in. They also know that their sound can.

They park their worst bards close to the hut and let loose with the worst "music" (in very big air quotes) they can produce. For hour after hour after hour. No-one in that hut is getting any rest.

Alternatively, they cover the hut in garbage and refuse. The people inside spend the next 8 hours looking at disgusting stuff slowly running down the dome. They can't smell it (depending on how you rule "comfortable" atmosphere) but they can certainly see it. Also, there is the sure knowledge that in 8 hours, all that disgusting stuff is going to be landing on their heads and clothes and gear. Again, not very restful.

Much simpler, the goblin pile rocks on the dome. When the dome ends, rocks fall, everyone dies.

In summary, leomund's tiny hut is a great place to rest but it is not perfect.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jun 18 '19 at 13:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that you can ritual cast a hut from inside an existing hut, giving you more time to dig your way out. (Especially if you can magically make food). Or slightly offset in position to let you emerge from the hut not covered in garbage. But good point about noise. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Sep 14 '20 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can't overlap the castings. 1st, the caster knows when the 1st casting will end as it occurs, not "in advance". Unless he's got the magical equivalent of a modern digital chronometer on him, he won't know "Hey my LTH will come down in exactly 60 seconds so I must start casting the 2nd one... now!" This is because the 1st LTH doesn't allow spells and magical effects (thus, spell's effects including the 2nd LTH) to pass through. Thus, not allowing any LTH overlapping. The 2nd casting can't "merely extend the duration" of the 1st spell: instead it creates a wholly new spell effect. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Jan 10 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ If I cast LTH#2 when inside LTH#1, LTH#2 simply fizzles just like any other spell trying to pass through parts of LTH#1. Passing through is not the same as passing all the way through. To occupy the same space, 2 things have to pass through each other, otherwise they could be adjacent but not in the exact same place. And unless your wizard can cast LTH#2 in exactly the same spot down to the fraction-of-an-inch that he cast LTH#1, then some parts of LTH#2 will always "fully pass through" LTH#1. So, nope for that aspect of overlapping. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Jan 10 at 16:27
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Short answer - yes (with exceptions as noted in other answers).

However, everything has its cost. Take this scenario that happened to a friend's group.

In a certain campaign, a party of adventurers was about to encounter a cult partaking in evil rituals. About to face presumably inevitable combat, they decided to have a long rest inside their convenient Tiny Hut.

Rested and restored - they proceeded up the mountain to find... nobody. In the time they were resting, the cult's ritual had been completed and they had packed up and moved on. The sacrifice was made, and the demon already summoned. The adventurers missed out on the opportunity to prevent this because of a critical resource they had unknowingly depleted during their rest:

Time.

Leomund's Tiny Hut is certainly a 'cheap' way to rest - but nothing is ever free.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In D&D5, where officially designed aventures are combat-intensive, those parts are strongly linked to the "typical typical adventuring day" design: Unwritten In Da Book Rule #1: 6-8 fights with 2 Short Rests + 1 Long Rest. Not following that screws up game and class balance a lot. Unwritten In Da Book Rule #2: Always have a reason to put super strong time pressure on the players so they won't rest willy-nilly whenever they want/need. Most DMs don't go with such high-intense adventure day, leading to nuking & easy adventures. Plus, being under such time pressure almost constantly is not fun. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Jan 10 at 18:17
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Sure. Then you tell your players to roll new characters because these ones decided to never leave a 10 ft. dome and live there. Especially since the longer they are there the more time goblins have to make barricades around the dome and the more reinforcements come in.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If the party can cast Gate, they may be able to escape to a different plane. \$\endgroup\$ – Cœur Dec 16 '18 at 16:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you are fighting goblins i don't think you have access to spells of that caliber. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Karolis L Dec 16 '18 at 17:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ The goblins could make sure their stay is permanent if they are hostile and creative enough. All they need to do is cover the hut in stones and other heavy items. If the hut ever vanishes the party will be immediately crushed and buried alive. It really is a pointless thing to do unless the party has some really good reason for taking up residence in a dungeon. \$\endgroup\$ – Allan Mills Dec 16 '18 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Objects inside at moment of casting can pass through. So how can the enemies move these rocks in place without being pepperred by arrows from inside? \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Jan 10 at 16:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Advancing with full cover. Literally just picking up and moving portable walls towards the bubble. It's a traditional siege tactic. \$\endgroup\$ – Robert Valentine Feb 3 at 19:26
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Wait, what am I missing here?

Here are my deductions:

D&D Beyond: Tiny Hut states, that

A 10-foot-radius immobile dome of force springs into existence around and above you and remains stationary for the duration. The spell ends if you leave its area.

  1. Dome extends around and above, but not below. So it is vulnerable from the bottom.

All other creatures and objects are barred from passing through it. Spells and other magical effects can't extend through the dome or be cast through it.

  1. The dome of force blocks everything physical by definition - be that air, arrows, objects, people.
  2. Later on, it is stated, that even magic cannot penetrate the force dome.
  3. So you can shoot arrows or spells inside the dome, but they will not penetrate the force dome, however, they could penetrate the non-existent bottom.

The atmosphere inside the space is comfortable and dry, regardless of the weather outside.

  1. Not even air, cold, heat, moisture can pass through, yet the air remains breathable for 24 hours

So, to get to the answer:

Yes, this could go on forever, BUT there are lots of simple 'tricks' to get around them:

  1. Dig into it from below, maybe it even drops all its inhabitants to their deaths
  2. Dispel Magic

Even worse is the problem, that the inhabitants can watch, but have no influence on things that happen outside. They almost completely give up their initiative to the circumstances imposed on them from the bad guys outside.

One fun thing I find really amusing: Have the caster cast Tiny Hut, but the rest of the team stay in hiding somewhere else, maybe an invisible Mansion? When the goblins start digging, building barricades, following though with their little evil plans. When they have exhausted all their power and least expect an attack, THEN the time has come: Take them by surprise, round em up from behind, kill 'em all, and let Amaunator sort 'em out.

So I see Tiny Hut as some provisional shelter from harsh weather, that initially wards off direct attacks, but that by no means is a proper fortress.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Rope Trick would be a level-appropriate alternative to Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion as ambush hideout if we're talking about goblins, and a party where Leomund's Tiny Hut is a top-level spell. But yes, nice idea. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Sep 14 '20 at 20:58
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Many ways around LTH (Leomund's Tiny Hut).

Objects: 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.

Thus ordinary air does not count as an "object". It is not discrete nor inanimate. Same for the water in a pond, the flames gushing out of primitive flamethrower, or the output of breath weapons: those also do not count as "objects".

Since LTH lists that it blocks objects, then any of those things will work against a party protected by LTH. Let's say, a glass bottle containing a liquid that, on contact with air, quickly turns into a large amount of poisonous gas. Throwed against the dome and it would work nicely: the bottle breaks at the outside surface, and the resulting poisonous gas would just seep inside. Lots of delivery ways to throw the glass container from further away: catapult-like devices, custom made arrowheads, etc.

Another anti-LTH tactic for humanoïd baddies: set a large amount of foliage and semi-wet wood, or even the whole forest, aflame, in order to smoke the PCs out! Any type of fine dust cloud, fine enough that you don't count each grain of dust as "an object" but rather the entire cloud as a gas, something that makes it hard to breathe, will work, too.

PHB 255 on LTH spell:

The atmosphere inside the space is comfortable and dry, regardless of the weather outside.

Comfortable here is related to the outside weather. Temperature, wind, humidity, that sort of thing. The rule doesn't automatically imply that the atmoshere also gets "filtered" out of any artificial toxicity or poisons, unless the DM decides so.

If you think LTH makes non-humanoïd night encounters trivial, then make the game world have low-level and higher-level areas. Low levels adventure, a mundane forest fillled with mundane animals. Higher level the PCs might have to cross the very dangerous Northern Forest, where there are much less mundane animals and much more fantastic and much more cunning animals. Your pack of ordinary wolves, active at night, are suddenly replaced with Winter Wolves, which have a cold breath weapon.


All that being said, players hate it when the DM likes to use night time encounters to interrupt and ruin their rest. It often feels forced just to pile up extra trouble upon them at their weakest moment.

Logicallly the amount of encounters is based not only on the mere density of monsters in the area, but also on covered ground, and how detectable a group is.

We can see 3 types of encounters:

===BY DAY===

  • Moving party and moving monsters find each other, maybe one side surprises the other.
  • Moving party finds immobile monsters.
  • Moving monsters find immobile party (during breaks, longer conversations, etc.).

===BY NIGHT===

  • Moving monsters find immobile party.

Another factor is that when the party is moving, it is more visible and noisy than when they are bunkered up for the night.

All this naturally means that there should be a LOT less "random" night encounters than "random" day encounters. A good DM should thus use night encounters either quite sparingly, or with solid hints to the players, like say an NPC telling them that the forest they are going into is full of nocturnal goblins.


In my campaigns (typically lower epic magic than vanilla D&D), LTH caused so much headaches, I just ended up changing it like this:

  • Material component: Added a 2-person Tent (2 gp, 20 lb).

  • Area: 3x3 squares of empty relatively flat open unencumbered terrain.

  • Effect:

At 1st round of effect: Tent transforms into a wooden hut. This takes the entire round.

The hut's front side has a 2' wide 6' tall wooden door. The back side has a 2'x2' window located around 5' height (or at caster's level). Both door and window open outwards. The door can be "locked" by a very simple rotating lever on the inside side frame that rotates down into a simple slightly jutting L shaped part in the door. Same for the window. Pick Locks DC 10 to open it.

Interior is 3x3 squares, with a slightly sloping roof. Hut has a wooden floor, directly on the ground.

The atmosphere inside the hut comfortable and dry, regardless of the weather outside.

The hut counts as a single Large object with AC 15 and 27 Hit Points. If destroyed, the entire hut falls down, breaking apart without dealing any damage to those inside. One round later, nothing remains of the hut. Any part that is separated from the rest of the hut, also breaks down in the same manner.

If not destroyed, at the last round of the effect the hut, over one complete round, transforms back into the original tent. No damage on the hut gets carrried back over to the tent.

Basically, the spell turns back into its original purpose: easy camping site with protection against the weather, and a bit of protection against enemies, and not a impregnable fortress.

YMMV.

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The answer is complicated by the fact that several variant writeups of this spell exist. If one bases the answer on the writeup linked in the body of the question: Leomund's tiny hut (which, BTW, is not Leomund's original!) then the hut as described has a major vulnerability: it is open from below, as the forcefield is a hemisphere. Digging under is not much of a challenge; kobolds could do it, or any digging monster. Which leads to another problem: Imagine that you have the maximum number of creatures sheltering under the dome; then an umber hulk (friendly or hostile, it doesn't matter) digs underneath and comes up inside the dome, which is now overcrowded. Does the dome collapse?

I think, from the wording of the question, that the author had another variant in mind, not the one he linked to. To make matters worse, the responders also seem to refer to whichever variant they are most familiar with. Most variants create a complete dome, but have other vulnerabilities. Unless a specific variant is unambiguously referenced, it is unfeasible to answer the question in detail. But answering in general: vulnerabilites there are, and most dungeons contain creatures capable of taking advantage of them. So no, the hut is not perfectly safe, and the longer you stay in it, the harder it will be to extricate yourself gracefully. Like in any long-lasting siege, intelligent besiegers are likely to invest and countervallate, stalemating the occupants inside the beleaguered dome.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. There is only one correct description of the tiny hut spell in D&D 5e, and it's the one quoted in the question (it's unchanged in errata). In addition, Jeremy Crawford has unofficially ruled on Twitter that tiny hut has a floor (full conversation). \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 18 '19 at 8:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you're right in interpretation differences of the spell, but there are no variants. It's always just been that spell and the use of the word 'dome'. I think if you can focus on that, you'll get a better vote response. Stating there are variants that aren't there isn't helping your argument. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 18 '19 at 14:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch: "It's always just been. . . (a) dome". Depends on what you mean by always. Always in 5e, yes. But Leomund has been with us since the beginning, and it was a full dome until very recently: "Half the sphere projects above the ground, and the lower hemisphere passes through the ground." dndtools.net/spells/players-handbook-v35--6/… It seems to me that a lot of the answers here are by guys who played D&D for longer than you did, and they base their answers on their experience, despite this being the 5e forum. \$\endgroup\$ – Ralf B Jul 22 '19 at 8:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RalfB Giving that this is a question about 5e, yes, always means always in 5e. OP didn't ask for lore, so I'm not covering that. And your assumptions about other answers bases and my experience aren't necessarily accurate - it's best not to make those assumptions. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 22 '19 at 12:30
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This spell does not block arrows or any non-magic projectiles. Actually it doesn't even block melee attacks as long as the user's arms do not go inside.

It only blocks creatures, and spells. You could have 6 goblins shooting randomly into it (especially after a goblin shaman has identified it with detect magic). It allows certain creatures to cross the dome, which you choose when you cast the spell, but it does not block:

  • arrows or non-magical projectiles
  • boulders
  • homemade Molotov cocktail style firebombs
  • climbing on top and pooping through the dome

Or you could summon sprites to fire poison arrows at them, or you could just dispel it. (I would only do this if they start abusing it... at about the second use probably)

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    \$\begingroup\$ The spell specifically precludes crossing by creatures and objects that are not included during the initial casting. How does this answer reconcile that element of the spell? \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Feb 24 '20 at 18:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Specifically: "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." \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 24 '20 at 18:26

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