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I know I can't enter the Tiny Hut while being in the Border Ethereal but can I leave it? I.e. I'm in a Tiny Hut (someone else casted it) and cast Etherealness. Can I leave and observe the material plane outside of the hut or will the magical force block me from doing so?

I'm asking because the Tiny Hut spell specifies that

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

but also that

A 10-foot-radius immobile dome of force springs into existence...

which implies magical force IMO and DMG says that

A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible and utterly silent to someone on the overlapped plane, and solid objects on the overlapped plane don't hamper the movement of a creature in the Border Ethereal. The exceptions are certain magical effects (including anything made of magical force) and living beings.

So which of these takes precedence? Can the caster of Etherealness (who was inside at the time of casting of the Tiny Hut) move freely through the barrier even while she/he is in the Border Ethereal or not?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think we need to know where you are relative to the spell’s area when it is cast and what plane you are on at that time to be able to answer this question. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 17 at 10:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ It was sort of implied in the question but I'm thinking that the Hut has been cast on material plane. And I had to be inside of the hut when it has been cast otherwise I could not get inside later, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – geckon
    Jan 17 at 12:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ It’s your question, only you know what scenario you’re asking about. Where and on what plane are you when tiny hut is cast? I can think of several scenarios consistent with your description, and I’m not sure the answer is the same for all of them. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 17 at 12:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related: Leomund's tiny hut prevents entry via the Ethereal Plane \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 17 at 20:29

2 Answers 2

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Yes, because everything works per spell description

While true that Leomund's Tiny Hut block ethereal travel because of being made from

[...]immobile dome of force[...]

, the rest of spell description makes it clear:

[...] 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. [...]

You are inside when spell is cast. If etherealness is not cast through it, and is not, because of range self, you are free to leave tiny hut, walk around border ethereal, come back and nothing happens. Although you must be on a plane where you can succesfully cast Etherealness, otherwise nothing happens.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is incorrect as it superseded by the more specific rule on barriers made of magical force and how they interact with Movement on the Ethereal Plane. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Jan 17 at 21:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @illustro Disagree, spells are more specific than general mechanics are. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 17 at 21:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Feathercrown but this spell doesn't create an exception for travel on the Ethereal Plane when it exists on the Prime Material Plane. Exceptions in 5e have to be explicit (and specific) in order to activate the specific vs general rule of 5e, which this doesn't do. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Jan 17 at 21:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @illustro The spell creates an exception for the rule (implied, see here) that you can't move through solid walls (of magical force or any other solid substance). There's no reason that this exception shouldn't apply in the ethereal plane. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18 at 18:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanC.Thompson There's no reason that the spell-created exception shouldn't apply in the ethereal, agreed - if the wall was in the ethereal. But the wall in this case is not in the ethereal, it is on the prime. The wall on the prime creates an effect (not a wall) on the ethereal, and nothing in the spell description creates an exception to this effect. If the wall was on the ethereal (a hut cast by an ethereal caster), then that wall would create the exception on the ethereal. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 19 at 4:21
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No, because the hut is made of magical force

Unfortunately, just reading the description of the tiny hut spell itself is insufficient to answer this question. You also have to understand that the hut is made of magical force, and that objects of magical force existing on the Prime interact with the Border Ethereal to create barriers in a specific way described in the DMG, as in the question you cite (emphasis mine):

solid objects on the overlapped plane don’t hamper the movement of a creature in the Border Ethereal. The exceptions are certain magical effects (including anything made of magical force) and living beings.

If the hut is on the Prime, it is not on the Ethereal

Let's assume a hut was cast on the Prime and your caster was in it when it was cast. The rules of the spell say that your caster can move through the dome freely.

Then your caster casts Etherealness, and they are shifted to the Border Ethereal space that maps to the Prime space within the hut. It is important to understand that the Border Ethereal, but not the Deep Ethereal, maps one-to-one with the Prime it overlaps:

The Ethereal Plane is a misty, fog-bound dimension. Its "shores," called the Border Ethereal, overlap the Material Plane and the Inner Planes, so that every location on those planes has a corresponding location on the Ethereal Plane.

Although the dome maps to a space on the Border Ethereal, the dome itself does not exist there*. Spells do what they say they do, and nothing in the spell description says that the hut exists as an object in any plane other than the one in which it is cast*.

The hut is a solid object existing on the Prime and only on the Prime. Normally, such objects don't hamper the movement of creatures on the overlapping Border Ethereal, as stated in the DMG. However, the hut, as a physical object made of magical force, is an exception to this, and in fact it does hamper movement on the Ethereal, also as stated in the DMG. The effect of the hut, but not the hut itself, acts as a barrier, and creatures on the Border Ethereal cannot pass through the effect, regardless of whether they are attempting to leave or enter, and regardless of whether they are permitted through the dome.

This is not an exception or contradiction to the spell description, which says "Creatures and objects within the dome when you cast this spell can move through it [the dome] freely." It is not a contradiction of the spell because on the Border Ethereal, your caster is not passing through the dome itself as an object. The dome is still on the Prime. Rather, the caster is being hampered by the effect of the dome in the Ethereal, and the spell makes no reference to that.

If your caster were to return to the Prime, and they were interacting with the actual dome, they would be able to pass through it freely, just as the description of the hut allows.

If it helps, consider what would happen when you cast Etherealness on a willing elemental of air, water, or fire. While on the Prime, that elemental can remain in the space of another creature also on the Prime, because of their elemental form. But once in the Border Ethereal, they are unable to remain in the space of a living creature on the prime, because the DMG passage explains that living creatures on the prime hamper movement in the Border Ethereal. It is not the creature itself with which the elemental is interacting, because that creature is on the overlapping plane, not the Ethereal. Rather, the elemental is bounded by the manifestation of that creature in the Border Ethereal. Similarly, your caster is not hampered by the dome itself, but by the effect of the dome on the Border Ethereal.

If the hut is on the Ethereal, it is not a barrier to you

Now consider a case in which your caster casts Etherealness first, at a high enough level to bring the caster of the hut with them. Once both of you are on the Border Ethereal, the hut is cast, with your caster inside it.

Your caster can now pass through the dome, as permitted by the description of the spell. The spell does not care where it is cast, but now the dome itself is on the Border Ethereal with your caster, and the spell permits you to move through the dome. Other creatures on the Border Ethereal will still be hedged out by the dome, again per its description. However, creatures on the Prime can pass through the space the dome overlaps there, because the dome itself does not exist on the Prime any more than a Prime-cast dome exists on the Ethereal. What is more, there is no rule in the DMG that objects of magical force cast on the Ethereal have effects on the overlapping Prime, only the reverse.

*Note that this is in direct contrast to the wall of force (and forcecage) spells, which specify that they exist both where they are cast and on the Ethereal Plane:

The wall also extends into the Ethereal Plane, blocking ethereal travel through the wall.

Further, they make no distinction between the Border Ethereal and Deep Ethereal, saying only that they extend into the Ethereal Plane. This likely means that they form a barrier against any Ethereal travel, whereas the hut, restricted to the Border Ethereal by the DMG, would block travel only on the 'shores' corresponding to the prime, but would permit access to something arriving from or departing to the Deep Ethereal. Even further, this may mean that it is possible to summon Leomund's Secret Chest from within Leomund's Tiny Hut, a tribute to the careful craftsmanship of esteemed mage and veteran traveler Leomund.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is exactly why I asked. What takes precedence? The fact that "Creatures and objects within the dome when you cast this spell can move through it freely" or that it is a semi-sphere of magical force? \$\endgroup\$
    – geckon
    Jan 18 at 13:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @geckon There is no question of precedence, because only the DMG rule applies. The spell description explains that you may pass through the dome, and you may, wherever the dome is. But when you are in the BE, you are not passing through the dome, because the dome is not there. Only the effect of the dome is, and that is described by the DMG. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jan 18 at 17:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @geckon If one is using the DMG as authoritative, in terms of how it describes the ethereal plane (the treatment isn't vary large) this answer is valid in terms of answering your question. If one treats the DMG as less than authoritative, then it's not as iron clad. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18 at 18:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ I feel like you're stretching a lot to make this inference. The Tiny Hut spell states, "Creatures and objects within the dome when you cast this spell can move through it freely." As you seem to be interpreting this, this means that this permissiveness only applies to creatures on the Material Plane. Interestingly, though, you do make reference to the fact that force effects on the Prime have effects on the overlapping Ethereal, but you neglect that living beings do as well. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18 at 19:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thus, if living beings on the Material can impact on the overlapping Ethereal, it is reasonable to state that those beings exist on both, which kind of torpedoes your argument that the character isn't on the Ethereal when the Tiny Hut spell is cast. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 18 at 19:26

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