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5E The Dangers of Overreliance on Leomund's Tiny Hut (3rd Level Spell)

We need a constitutional lawyer to give all this a look and help determine what the Supreme Court might likely allow. I'm not taking this all the way to DC without some kind of idea how the SCOTUS might rule.
If Jeremy Crawford is the high court of the land, we're in trouble.

"I DECLARE IT A DOME...GUILTY AS CHARGED. FEET FIRST INTO THE WOODCHIPPER!"

"NO WAIT, CRAP ITS A HEMISPHERE...anyone have any industrial strength super-glue?"

EDIT - [MENTION=76149]Variss[/MENTION] , yeah, cross-posted. Good post.
 
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My only hope is that others read my book and designer citations and agree with the logic chain. Then we can all be sad together!
I agree with some of your poitns, and I disagree with some of your points. I think your point about needing a floor to be comfortable is cogent however. I'll change my ruling on floors now.
 

Brandegoris

First Post
Very happy to say that I have never had anyone , ever, in any of my games use this spell. mostly because it is stupid as Sh*t and ridiculous :)
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I agree with some of your poitns, and I disagree with some of your points. I think your point about needing a floor to be comfortable is cogent however. I'll change my ruling on floors now.
It's funny, the "need a floor to be comfortable" is one of the weakest parts of the argument in my opinion. First of all, magic. Second, I knew someone that would go out ice fishing (frozen lake, middle of winter) with a shed that had a heater. He had to keep his boots on because the ice was cold but otherwise would fish in shirt sleeves while it was below zero outside.

So ... not a big deal. It doesn't even say the interior (which would imply floor) just says the air is warm and dry. You can get that with one of a portable heater.
 

I agree with some of your poitns, and I disagree with some of your points. I think your point about needing a floor to be comfortable is cogent however. I'll change my ruling on floors now.
Below is my take on the matters of adjudication in this spell:

1) It seems we're in agreement on the volumetric hemisphere with the plane of symmetry as "force floor/substrate." Thus the following logical inference here from (a) the 3D geometry and (b) the fact that the internal climate is regulated. It just says "it's dry and comfortable." Anything beyond that (such as a magic space heater) is beyond inference or extrapolation. Here is what I think is easily inferred. A shaped (be it hemisphere, sphere, or cube) "forcefield" in D&D prevents:

- physical travel (so no precipitation nor groundwater nor meltwater...hence "dry").
- Ethereal travel
- Conductive heat transfer. So the space neither loses nor gains heat from the outside, hence perpetually "comfortable."

The evidence is significant (legacy, logical inference, and Lead Designer).

2) The book is silent on the procedure of coloration blending in with natural surroundings. One can either assume (a) color is merely "color" or (b) it is an actual input to action resolution (which is what it has been historically). So, with (b) we have to determine a procedure for action resolution. Arcana vs Perception (with all the other dynamics I canvassed above - Adv/Disadv, Survival either to Help or as primary camo).

3) Ethereal travel is prevented. Legacy + other Force effects + DMG explicitly and clearly (in a rare 5e moment!) stating it.

So I'm assuming you disagree with 2? Do you think being able to color it is not an input to action resolution or do you think my procedure is off?
 

raleel

First Post
We haven't even really started getting into it's utility for surviving lava flows or gas attacks if you have some warning. Or lahars or mudflows. Or, heck, floods.

Also, I'll point out it's comfortable and dry, regardless of the weather outside, which implies that it's proof against weather, not against everything. One might think that the heat of lava surrounding you,if you consider lava an object and thus blocked, might roast you like a turkey.

Definitely a GM call :)
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
We haven't even really started getting into it's utility for surviving lava flows or gas attacks if you have some warning. Or lahars or mudflows. Or, heck, floods.

Also, I'll point out it's comfortable and dry, regardless of the weather outside, which implies that it's proof against weather, not against everything. One might think that the heat of lava surrounding you,if you consider lava an object and thus blocked, might roast you like a turkey.

Definitely a GM call :)
Even if you weren't cooked, being buried under several feet of cooling (but still quite hot) lava when the spell ends might make for some crispy PCs. :mad:
 

raleel

First Post
Even if you weren't cooked, being buried under several feet of cooling (but still quite hot) lava when the spell ends might make for some crispy PCs. :mad:
Last 10 minutes, ritual up another one right there. Good to go!

Oh wait, oxygen running out is going to be an issue.
 


Below is my take on the matters of adjudication in this spell:

1) It seems we're in agreement on the volumetric hemisphere with the plane of symmetry as "force floor/substrate." Thus the following logical inference here from (a) the 3D geometry and (b) the fact that the internal climate is regulated. It just says "it's dry and comfortable." Anything beyond that (such as a magic space heater) is beyond inference or extrapolation. Here is what I think is easily inferred. A shaped (be it hemisphere, sphere, or cube) "forcefield" in D&D prevents:

- physical travel (so no precipitation nor groundwater nor meltwater...hence "dry").
- Ethereal travel
- Conductive heat transfer. So the space neither loses nor gains heat from the outside, hence perpetually "comfortable."

The evidence is significant (legacy, logical inference, and Lead Designer).

2) The book is silent on the procedure of coloration blending in with natural surroundings. One can either assume (a) color is merely "color" or (b) it is an actual input to action resolution (which is what it has been historically). So, with (b) we have to determine a procedure for action resolution. Arcana vs Perception (with all the other dynamics I canvassed above - Adv/Disadv, Survival either to Help or as primary camo).

3) Ethereal travel is prevented. Legacy + other Force effects + DMG explicitly and clearly (in a rare 5e moment!) stating it.

So I'm assuming you disagree with 2? Do you think being able to color it is not an input to action resolution or do you think my procedure is off?
I disagree with #2, and we may differ somewhat on #1 as well though it's hard to tell from what you've written.

I think changing the color is not sufficient to supply camouflage; I think the most I'd allow is a Survival check to find a place where the variations in coloration which the tent can supply are sufficient to mask it, somewhat. In other words, I'd probably impose Perception checks on any enemy trying to spot the thing, with a DC of either 12 or the PC's Survival roll, whichever is lower, and only if there is a suitable (naturalistic or dark) place to put it. I don't think it's possible to hide it better than DC 12ish, given the constraints.

RE: #1, based on historical usage of the spell in AD&D, and the wording of Leomund's Tiny Hut vs. Wall of Force/Forcecage in 5E, I would rule that the hut is not indestructible. It prevents physical travel through it while it exists, just like a stone wall does, but unlike a Wall of Force it can be brought down by sufficient force. Leomund's Tiny Hut is not Leomund's Tiny Invulnerable Fortress; it is what it is designed to be, Leomund's Portable Secure House. For simplicity, I'd say it's as robust as six inches of stone wall from Wall of Stone. That's AC 15 and 180 HP, which is plenty to make it useful and give you time to pull out some weapons/whatever even if a giant does start trying to huff and puff his way into the hut; but it's now just a resting place, and not an invulnerable stronghold.

I suspect, based on discussion so far and the type of questions that you're asking, that you probably rule differently; but I am only guessing.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
The hut is immune to damage according to Mearls (though he and Crawford aren't always in agreement).

http://www.sageadvice.eu/2015/06/29/damaging-leomunds-tiny-hut/
Anyone that could do enough damage to destroy the hut (assuming it could be damaged) could probably take out the PCs in other ways. Tunnel from underneath (if you allow that), bury it, make it the center of a bonfire trap set to go off when the hut collapses, set up ambushes and so on.

Point is, in my campaign if the enemy finds you in the hut it's highly likely you're going to have a bad day when the spell ends if you wait it out.
 

RE: #1, based on historical usage of the spell in AD&D, and the wording of Leomund's Tiny Hut vs. Wall of Force/Forcecage in 5E, I would rule that the hut is not indestructible. It prevents physical travel through it while it exists, just like a stone wall does, but unlike a Wall of Force it can be brought down by sufficient force. Leomund's Tiny Hut is not Leomund's Tiny Invulnerable Fortress; it is what it is designed to be, Leomund's Portable Secure House. For simplicity, I'd say it's as robust as six inches of stone wall from Wall of Stone. That's AC 15 and 180 HP, which is plenty to make it useful and give you time to pull out some weapons/whatever even if a giant does start trying to huff and puff his way into the hut; but it's now just a resting place, and not an invulnerable stronghold.

I suspect, based on discussion so far and the type of questions that you're asking, that you probably rule differently; but I am only guessing.
Different, but similar.

I was aware of Mearls clarification of it being immune to damage. However, its legacy is that of a force object that can be destroyed (50 MPH + winds). So I had always treated it as a force construct that can be destroyed by powerful elemental effects. Its already overpowered as is (with its legacy mechanics) so (a) making it immune to everything and (b) making its ability to mitigate conductive heat transfer limitless both serve to make LTH even ridiculously more powerful. And again, it was stupidly overpowered before it could be cast as a Ritual and didn't use up a spell slot.

So regarding (a) and (b), I handle it with as minimal mental overhead and table handling time as possible. As below:

(a) I don't give it an AC. I give it a Damage Threshold of 15 and 50 HPs against the average damage of a single attack. So while lesser humanoids (such as Orcs) or lesser giants (such as Ogres) couldn't siege it, a determined Hill Giant could in short order (3 rounds) and a Young Red/Blue Dragon would obliterate it instantaneously with its Breath Weapon. That makes handling trivial from a book-keeping perspective and keeps it sturdy without making it overpowered (as its meant to be).

(b) I don't do the calculations for extreme environments (eg for every degree above/below 105/0, the internal temperate raises on a 1:1 basis). Unnecessary overhead. Just two types of extreme environments. The first you can use LTH (something like a frozen glacial wasteland with normal winds) and you just have to succeed on a Saving Throw vs Con DC 15 Con every 4 hours, so 2 in a Long Rest, or suffer a level of Exhaustion. Anything well beyond that (such as a rushing flood or a lavaflow), will automatically destroy LTH.

In the 4 times it has been deployed in the 17ish sessions I've GMed, it has only been at risk once. Summertime right at the tree-line of a massive mountain. Random encounter roll yielded an environmental calamity; failure of a basin which was filled with meltwater run-off. Floodwaters come down the mountain toward their camp/LTH. The party Druid easily resolved the encounter with a Control Water spell. Back to resting.

I disagree with #2, and we may differ somewhat on #1 as well though it's hard to tell from what you've written.

I think changing the color is not sufficient to supply camouflage; I think the most I'd allow is a Survival check to find a place where the variations in coloration which the tent can supply are sufficient to mask it, somewhat. In other words, I'd probably impose Perception checks on any enemy trying to spot the thing, with a DC of either 12 or the PC's Survival roll, whichever is lower, and only if there is a suitable (naturalistic or dark) place to put it. I don't think it's possible to hide it better than DC 12ish, given the constraints.
Well, here I obviously disagree (at least to an extent). When I read something in a rulebook such as the spellcaster being able to change the color of their magical shelter (which could only be about obscuring it in the hostile environment that it will inevitably be deployed in), I assume this is an input to action resolution. In AD&D, I would make this impact random encounter chance. In something like 5e, I would (and do) make this be Arcana vs Passive Perception (assuming it is even needed to be referenced...random encounter rolls don't always churn up hostiles...or even anything at all!). Perhaps if the environment isn't monochromatic or doesn't feature much in the way of spherical shapes, I would give the caster of LTH Disadvantage (and allow a Survival Help Action to give Advantage or remove that Disadvantage).
 


It's interesting that you say it was "stupidly overpowered." I presume you must be talking about 3E or 4E? IIRC in AD&D it was weak to the point where I don't remember anyone ever bothering to memorize it.

Edit: nope, it looks like the 3E version is basically the same as AD&D, according to this (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/secureShelter.htm). Doesn't seem overpowered to me.
You're looking for Tiny Hut, not Secure Shelter.

One of the reasons I preferred RC (besides the just straight up cleaner ruleset) is because it didn't have LTH.

I suppose the power of LTH in 1e may have been around the margins (because the ruleset was so sprawling and incoherent). It depends on whether you ran wilderness journeys in a granular fashion, whether you ran wilderness as an adventuring site unto itself, whether you used the WIlderness Survival Guide.

Very generally, the "game" part of D&D is pretty much about the following:

1) Combat/Evasion
2) Parley
3) Intelligence Gather/Divinations/Scouting
4) Obstacle Obviation/Puzzle Solving
5) Strategic Management of Daily Resources (Including Determining Spell Load-Out)
6) The Ability to Refresh Daily Resources

So how does LTH aid the above?

a) Primarily, it helps 6 (especially in Wilderness Scenarios). A level 8 MU with LTH has 48 turns worth, or 8 hours. There is your modern Extended Rest. For instance, the PCs are in The Sucking Bog. If you're checking for encounters every 4 hours (24 turns) there with prospects of encounter @ 1 in 12, LTH should step that back to 1 in 20. Further, you aren't just decreasing your prospects of a random encounter, you probably should reroll your percentile dice if certain nonsensical (such as Peryton's or Wyverns...hunters that might be drawn to large mammals in the open) results (due to LTH's obscuring capabilities) come up.

b) You aren't wasting the Exploration Turns and the exposure (elements/fatigue/random encounters) when trying to locate resources for/build a Natural Shelter (WSG 61) in the wilderness. The mere effects of failing your Con check and becoming Fatigued (WSG 88) while spending several straight Exploration Turns exerting yourself in the effort to gather materials/build Natural Shelters are significant. LTH obviates all this stuff and transitions right to rest period.

c) LTH helps in 3 and prevents 1 while it does. You can see out, but bad guys can't see in. Its lovely to be able to deploy and camo LTH in a copse of trees overlooking the valley where the hobgoblin outpost you're planning to assault lies. You can gather a large amount of intelligence on your enemies without the risk of random encounters from local fauna. You're pretty close to invisible while you're learning sentry postings, layout, and any infrastructure support.




Beyond that, the spell itself just became more powerful as the editions war on (through 3.x) and spellcaster available slots became much more prolific (thus reducing the opportunity cost of subbing LTH for something else). Reduction in opportunity cost and decision-making in spell loadout increases the power of utility spells.

5e is the most powerful version to date (RAW) and with the least opportunity cost in terms of spell loadout (it being a Ritual).
 

pemerton

Legend
I've never seen LTH in play. (For whatever reason, it never came up in my AD&D games.)

But I don't see how being attacked by bulettes, or having someone cover your house in brush or in rocks, is a "danger of overreliance" on the spell. It's not as if you'd be safer from bulettes or hobgoblins sleeping in a tent or under the stars. Or in a real hut, for that matter.

Apparently, also - at least per the OP - being inside a LTH makes personal ablutions and waste elimination a salient part of D&D play when it never comes up in any other circumstance of play that I'm familiar with.
 

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