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I am playing a wizard with the spell tiny hut.

The DM came up with the idea of having Strahd change the spells in my spell book, just slightly. This makes a little sense because my current character was his blood doll before becoming a PC. This serves to explain why many spell effects are actually different in Barovia.

As I said, I have the tiny hut spell. The DM asked me if it was ok if he swapped my tiny hut for a homebrew Ravenloft version. I thought it was a great idea and we talked about the specifics of the spell modification beforehand and we agreed the details.

The spell now summons a mausoleum with a coffin and plaque for each person I want inside, whether they are inside when cast or not. The walls are stone and are as impenetrable as the spell originally intended. But then there's the door... it's a wrought iron gate that can be seen through from either side but sound doesn't pass through. The open areas of the gate won't allow enemies to stab us and spells can't pass through it. Though our swords can go through the other way and we can stick our hands out to finish casting a spell.

That all went over well with my surprised party members but the DM and I gave the door finite HP and it got broken down by a pack of werewolves while we "fought" them through the gate. My party has mixed feelings about the door mechanic. And I can't really say I blame them. The spell is supposed to make us invulnerable and obscured from sight.

I love the setting and random night encounters make the whole game feel more like we are in constant danger in Barovia. I worked on this mechanic with my DM because I don't want my whole party to miss out on the experience just because I picked a spell that breaks the tension it's supposed to have.

Is this a broken rule or should my party just accept it?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "We" can't tell you if this is a problem or not. Only your table can determine that. I think as asked, this is opinio-based. But if the table is pushing back on the homebrew, we can help you with figuring out how to deal with that. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 18 at 13:42
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I am in agreement with Anagkai that the problem is largely one of expectations. Depending on your group either you, or your DM, or both of you, should explain to the other players that part of the flavor of Curse of Strahd is that your characters are never truly safe anywhere. This is not just about this spell - it is a larger feature that underlies the whole campaign and they will need to accept and adapt to that, or ask the DM to change that presumption, or find another setting. Even potent high-level magic like

teleport, plane shift, and wish will not allow PC's to leave the setting, and resurrection carries with it the danger of madness.

so you can't really expect a single third level spell to mean "this keeps us perfectly safe for eight hours".

However, it may help to win over the more reluctant members of your party by (1) limiting night-time encounters and (2) emphasizing the advantages of your version of the spell.

Limiting Nighttime Encounters

According to the wandering encounter tables for Curse of Strahd,

wandering encounters should not happen more than twice in 12 hours. If your DM is throwing more than 2 night encounters at you, they are already overemphasizing the "nowhere in Barovia is safe" vibe. In this case, you may want to talk to them about actually following the rules if you are going to use a modified hut. Likewise, there should be a lower chance of encounters if you stick to the roads. That is not something you as players should necessarily know, but if your DM is not playing that way they may have to scale back.

Emphasizing the Advantages of your version of the spell

Your form of the spell offers a number of advantages over the PHB version, and it is up to you to sell these to your fellow teammates.

In the official version of the spell,

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.

But your version allows you to designate who can be in it even if they are not present when you cast it. Someone off scouting when you set up camp? No worries, you'll leave the light on for them. NPC or monster arrive when you are halfway through your ritual cast? Let the other party members deal with it while you finish. Suppose you have spotted an encounter ahead of time and don't know if it will turn out to be friendly or hostile. Send the scouts or the face ahead while you work on creating the hut that they can retreat to if things go south.

Officially,

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 PHB hut is defensive only. But yours is a fortified structure that you can place where you want and then use to make melee, missile, and magic attacks from. Again, use your scouts to figure out where the enemy is, and then lead them to the hut that you have prepared - not for you to rest in, but for you to protect your squishy casters in during the combat. When their hordes bunch up trying to assault the gate, use your AoE spells. Your version is a bunker you can drop on a field of your choosing with one minute's notice, or if you have eleven minutes, can significantly boost your defenses without spending a spell slot.

Officially,

The dome is opaque from the outside, of any color you choose

Yes, if you are trying to escape notice, you can choose a single color to try to blend in to the background. But most intelligent opponents will not ignore a monochrome dome sitting out in the middle of nowhere - they will collect reinforcements and wait outside, possibly while building fortifications of their own. But your version offers Curse-specific camouflage. There is more than one little graveyard or mausoleum by the side of the road in Barovia. When you are using it to rest and not as a forward combat post it has a much better chance of looking like the normal scenery and being ignored than the official version.

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It defeats the purpose of the spell

The idea of tiny hut as you say, is to be safe while resting at night. Having the destructible gate defeats that purpose.

If it is broken depends on what you want to do.

When you can fight through the gate and the opponents can break it down, this seems quite reasonable. This depends on the hit points of the gate, obviously, but since in the example encounter the door was broken, it is probably not too high.

You could make the door unbreakable.

If the door was unbreakable there would still not be a problem per se. Nobody forces werewolves to stand there and let themselves get shot down. They can just wait somewhere else and attack as soon as the PCs leave the hut.

Your problem seems to be rather about expectations.

You seem to have a lot of fun being in constant peril. The other players less so. To resolve this, you need to talk to everyone and check if you can compromise. Maybe you can come to an agreement to only rarely have night encounters. If multiple other players find this thoroughly unfun, however, and want the original spell back, you should change it. The way you asked the question indicates to me that you probably would do this for the group. Reflavoring the hut to be a mausoleum is only flavor of course and won't pose the same problems if it has a solid and impenetrable door.

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