7
\$\begingroup\$

The Player's Handbook contains the spell Leomund's tiny hut (on p. 255), and the Systems Reference Document contains a version of this spell called tiny hut1. The descriptions of these spells are completely identical.

The rules for combining magical effects say:

The effects of different spells add together while the durations of those spells overlap. The effects of the same spell cast multiple times don't combine, however. Instead, the most potent effect — such as the highest bonus — from those castings applies while their durations overlap, or the most recent effect applies if the castings are equally potent and their durations overlap.

Additionally, the Dungeon Master's Guide contains a more general version of this rule for combining game effects (p. 252; emphasis mine):

Different game features can affect a target at the same time. But when two or more game features have the same name, only the effects of one of them—the most potent one—apply while the durations of the effects overlap.

These spells notably have different names, but are they considered the same spell for the purposes of applying the rules for combining magical and game effects?2


1Tiny hut does not appear in the Basic Rules, it only appears on page 187 of the Systems Reference Document, despite DNDBeyond's detail page for the spell stating it is from the Basic Rules.

2My question was inspired by this question concerning stacking tiny huts as a countermeasure against dispel magic.

\$\endgroup\$
27
\$\begingroup\$

The SRD isn't official rules material, so this is a non-issue for official rules

The SRD isn't an official rules resource, so material from the SRD is effectively irrelevant to rules questions (except where material from an official rules resource is identical to it). In other words, if we're limiting ourselves to "official 5e rules", this question is a moot point, because the SRD versions of spells don't exist in official rules resources.


The Systems Reference Document is described as follows:

The Systems Reference Document (SRD) contains guidelines for publishing content under the Open-Gaming License (OGL).

Essentially, the SRD details what official D&D 5e material can and can't be (re)published by others using the OGL. (It doesn't preclude other methods of legally publishing D&D material, such as under the terms of Dungeon Masters Guild (DMsGuild).) Notably, it's not intended to function as even a partial list of the 5e rules; the material contained within the SRD is just a comprehensive list of what's allowed to be published under the OGL.

Lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford reiterated this in a January 2018 tweet addressing one case (among several) in which the wording of the SRD differs from that of the official rules (emphasis mine):

The sword of sharpness deals an extra 14 slashing damage when you roll a 20 on its attack roll. The SRD incorrectly says otherwise. Note that the SRD is not an official rules source for D&D.

Crawford's tweets are no longer official rulings, but this is not making an interpretation of the D&D 5e rules - simply clarifying the fact that the SRD is not an official source for D&D 5e rules.


D&D Beyond's source listings can cause confusion in this regard

Note, however, that D&D Beyond does list all material that appears in either the SRD or the Basic Rules PDF as being from the "Basic Rules" - even though the Basic Rules and SRD have several important differences, both in purpose/function and in the content included. D&D Beyond's "Basic Rules" listing is an inclusive combination of the two separate documents from Wizards of the Coast.

Basically, whenever Wizards of the Coast makes content available for free, D&D Beyond seems to strive to provide it to users (to the extent that they are able). As a result, the SRD versions of certain spells and magic items (i.e. those spells/items as they're named in the SRD) are made freely accessible to everyone, even though the versions of those spells/magic items as they're named in the PHB and DMG respectively do require purchasing the respective books (though they're otherwise identical to the SRD versions, besides references to "the DM" being changed to "the GM"). Even if the SRD isn't technically an official rules resource, this material is made available on D&D Beyond as a matter of convenience/benefit to the user, because that technical distinction is largely irrelevant from a practical perspective.

(I can only guess that there's a technical or legal reason why they have to list the SRD and non-SRD versions of material separately where the two differ only in name, rather than essentially having both names point to the same underlying listing and having the displayed name be merely a cosmetic thing.)

However, what this means is that even if tiny hut and arcane hand and arcanist's magic aura do appear on D&D Beyond, they're not technically official spells, i.e. they don't exist in the official D&D 5e rules. (The non-SRD equivalents in the official rules are Leomund's tiny hut, Bigby's hand, and Nystul's magic aura from the PHB.)

Because these SRD-only versions don't exist in the official rules, a character can't learn/prepare the SRD version of such a spell, so a question of "Can Leomund's tiny hut stack with tiny hut?" can never actually come up, because the latter basically doesn't exist in the rules.


Homebrew could create this problem scenario, but that's the homebrew's fault

Of course, if you do homebrew in the SRD version of the spell such that it exists alongside the PHB version of the spell, then you've basically constructed a situation where they're technically "different spells"/game features that don't have the same name, so then they do stack regardless of what they do.

You could construct a similar scenario using homebrew, as with the example in Erik's answer, where the haste spell coexists with a renamed version of the haste spell and have them stack because they have different names.

However, that would be a contrived scenario where you're basically making a problem exist where one didn't exist before. No reasonable DM would (mis)interpret the official rules as working this way (i.e. treating SRD versions of spells as separate from the non-SRD versions) - and ostensibly no DM would similarly allow homebrew to just make a renamed version of an existing spell that coexists with the original unless they clearly wanted to enable these kinds of shenanigans.

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
54
\$\begingroup\$

They're supposed to be the same spell; the only reason the names are different is because of copyright/legal issues. So you shouldn't be having both of them in your game.

Trying to argue they are two different spells is trying to rules-lawyer something that was only done to appease real lawyers and suggesting this in seriousness is likely going to earn you The Look by most of the people at the table.

Besides, if you're going this way you might as well ask your DM if you can research Speedening which does the exact same thing as Haste except it has a different name so it stacks. That's probably not going to fly either, for the exact same reason.

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The same can be seen for "Tensor" spells (Floating Disk) and "Mordenkainen" spells (Magnificent Mansion). It seems like these proper names, which are WOTC intellectual property, were removed, and I would presume it's to avoid confusion about what exactly you're allowed to use from the SRD without additional licensing. \$\endgroup\$ – MirrorImage Aug 11 at 23:09
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @MirrorImage: I don't think it's to "avoid confusion", exactly - The SRD specifically says those character names are "Product Identity" that can't be used by others under the OGL (i.e. without a separate agreement): "Product Identity" means product and product line names, logos and identifying marks including [...] characters. So the changes of spell/magic item names simply follow from that restriction. (The same is true of those spell/item descriptions whose mentions of "the DM" have been changed to "the GM" - "Dungeon Master" is likewise described as "Product Identity".) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 12 at 2:39
10
\$\begingroup\$

Tiny hut is an unofficial spell, as the SRD is not an official rules source and that is the source of that Leomund's tiny hut variant (so that a version of it could appear under OGL).

If the DM wishes to treat the SRD as a source in their game and include all the spells listed therein, then it's up to them to resolve this, but Leomund's tiny hut is the only official/'real' version of the spell.

(As V2Blast notes, SRD content is lumped in under the 'basic rules' section of D&DB. Tiny hut is not part of the actual basic rules; it only appears in the SRD.)

| improve this answer | |
\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.