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

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.
Roleplaying can get really fun when there's no escape from issues of personal hygiene and modesty.

B-)

Wizard: "And behold, Leomund's Tiny Hut!"

Rogue: "It's a dome."

Wizard: "Yes it is. A safe dome for us to sleep in tonight. Now relax and rest."

Rogue: "Where's the toilet?"

Wizard: "Toilet? Um, I guess it doesn't have one. Come on, let's get some sleep."

Rogue: "So what if we need to take care of you-know-what?"

Wizard: "Uh, I guess do it on the ground? Come on, it's not safe out there."

Rogue: "Screw this. I'm not sleeping next to somebody's steaming pile."

Wizard: "It'll be fine. The air is cleansed by the magic."

Rogue: "All fine until I turn over and roll onto a mess left behind by our barbarian here."

Barbarian: "Ooh, look, my hand passes through but the rock I pick up on other side doesn't come in."

Wizard: "We'll just make sure that all the piles are on the other side, okay?"

Rogue: "I'm still not taking my pants off in front of the paladin."

Paladin: "Hey, what's that supposed to mean?"

Wizard: "(sigh)"
 
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You're looking for Tiny Hut, not Secure Shelter.
That one is even worse though, except for the shorter casting time. "Missiles, weapons, and most spell effects can pass through the hut without affecting it, although the occupants cannot be seen from outside the hut (they have total concealment)."

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.
I'm not sure what editioin you're discussing here, but in AD&D, it could take a magic-user a lot longer than eight hours to recover from adventuring. Eight hours was the minimum amount of time you had to rest before you could even start memorizing spells again--it could easily take another eight hours to finish memorizing everything--and of course anyone who'd hit Death's Door was out of it for a long period of time (a day? a week? I forget).

Edit: correction. I think in AD&D 1E, you could memorize some low-level spells after only four hours of sleep; eight hour minimum was only for 2nd edition.

Sure, it helps you avoid foraging for shelter. I'm less munchkin nowadays so I could see myself casting it just because comfort is nice and the opportunity cost is low (similar to how I learn to create characters with Prestidigitation in 5E even though being warm and dry and having yummy food it has little mechanical effect); but both the AD&D version and apparently the 3E version are convenience spells, kind of like a cantrip.

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.
Yep. It does what it says on the tin. Gives you a place to rest.

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.
I don't see any indication at all in the link you sent me that it prevents combat. Enemies can see the "unmoving, opaque sphere of force of any color you desire around yourself" and "missiles, weapons, and most spell effects can pass through the hut without affecting it". That's not even close to being invisible, and it's not much protection either.

It's basically a gigantic magical umbrella, of any color you choose.

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).
You've argued for an extremely powerful 5E version of Leomund's Tiny Hut by appealing to history. But I see no evidence that it ever, in any edition including 5E, had the camouflage-like powers you are citing here; it seems likely that this is a house rule or ruling you've been relying on so long that you've forgotten it's a house rule.

In any case, 5E gives no indication that the sphere is immune to damage like Wall of Force is; it gives no particular reason to think that you can camouflage it into anything near invisibility; if you allow the sphere to be subject to destruction through sufficient damage, then it behaves pretty much in line with AD&D's version of the spell and apparently with 3E's (judging by your link) in that it gives players a slightly more secure place to rest, one secure from nuisance threats but still subject to attack by powerful monsters. (Contrast with Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion at 7th level, which keeps you safe from even powerful monsters unless they have very specialized skills/spells.)

I think that letting it be damaged leads to a better game, and it's 100% compatible with PHB rules; I suspect that Mike Mearls likes a more episodic game, and so having something that lets him handwave it as "you're invulnerable until your long rest completes" is probably more compatible with his game. Either interpretation is compatible with the PHB text, so pick the one that fits your game.
 
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Before I go into quote and response mode, I think we just need to clarify two things:

1) Is it your position that when the text says LTH can be "any color you choose", it is just fluffy set-dressing? It is there so MUs/Wizards can have a conversation with other PCs about "what a lovely shade of < > my LTH is, don't you think!" (not sarcasm there, just a potential example off the top of my head) Therefore, it is not an actual input to some form of action resolution to determine discovery; in AD&D1e this would mean affecting random encounter chance, while in 3.x and 5e, this would mean Spellcraft/Arcana vs Spot/Perception contest?

2) I saw you used the term "house rule." AD&D is basically the original "rulings not rules" edition (hence why 5e is a throwback). This is because so much of the rules are either (a) silent and requiring extrapolation, (b) directly at odds (incoherent), or (c) at least at tension. All AD&D games are basically a combination of hard rules and cobbled extrapolations. All we can do is discuss the nature of that marriage.

Do you disagree with that?

That one is even worse though, except for the shorter casting time. "Missiles, weapons, and most spell effects can pass through the hut without affecting it, although the occupants cannot be seen from outside the hut (they have total concealment)."
Here is where it is good:

a) It is a 3rd level spell.
b) It grants Total Concealment to the PCs inside. This is much more powerful than the -4 to hit that enemies get for attacking PCs (AD&D) in LTH because they cannot see them due to its opacity (another benefit of LTH). Total Concealment in 3.x equals in independent 50 % miss chance! Roll to hit. Oh you do? Ok, now roll your 50 % miss chance!

c) Unrelated to the Secure Shelter comparison, but a comparison to AD&D Wizards; 3.x Wizards will have considerably more spell than their prior edition counterparts and their saving throws scale in the opposite direction (which won't affect this spell, but just general info); saving throw DCs scale (significantly with magic items/feats) better than PC/enemy saving throws (ratther than the inverse in AD&D).

I'm not sure what edition you're discussing here, but in AD&D, it could take a magic-user a lot longer than eight hours to recover from adventuring. Eight hours was the minimum amount of time you had to rest before you could even start memorizing spells again--it could easily take another eight hours to finish memorizing everything--and of course anyone who'd hit Death's Door was out of it for a long period of time (a day? a week? I forget).

Edit: correction. I think in AD&D 1E, you could memorize some low-level spells after only four hours of sleep; eight hour minimum was only for 2nd edition.
Yes. The 8th level MU I cited would need 6 + 1 (15 minutes *4) hours to rest/prepare spells. So the 8 hours they get for LTH duration would be more than sufficient.

Sure, it helps you avoid foraging for shelter. I'm less munchkin nowadays so I could see myself casting it just because comfort is nice and the opportunity cost is low (similar to how I learn to create characters with Prestidigitation in 5E even though being warm and dry and having yummy food it has little mechanical effect); but both the AD&D version and apparently the 3E version are convenience spells, kind of like a cantrip.

Yep. It does what it says on the tin. Gives you a place to rest.

I don't see any indication at all in the link you sent me that it prevents combat. Enemies can see the "unmoving, opaque sphere of force of any color you desire around yourself" and "missiles, weapons, and most spell effects can pass through the hut without affecting it". That's not even close to being invisible, and it's not much protection either.

It's basically a gigantic magical umbrella, of any color you choose.
I'm lumping this all together. Ok, what I find relevant to the conversation (and clarification):

* Enemies attacking into LTH cannot see them due to its opacity. Consequently, they suffer -4 to hit the PCs inside the LTH in AD&D, 50 % miss chance in 3.x (and allowing Rogues to SA), and heavily obscured in 5e (thus Disadv to hit PCs and possibly Adv for PCs to hit enemies if you rule that way).

* Casting LTH saves PCs from having to deal with (i) exposure from the elements and exposure to Fatigue due to the number of turns they have to spend doing work that requires exertion (both of which cause them negatives to ability scores which requires rest to remove). (ii) Then they would have the chance for random encounters while doing so (exacerbated if they prolong the effort by spending the necessary turns to rest for a reset to their "exertion-meter" rather than facing a Con check for Fatigue).

* Related to my (1) question at the very top. If you're in a bog, you've got a default random encounter check every 4 hours (1 in 10, 12, or 20). Is it your position that PCs in a copse of trees who have made all kinds of racket setting up a natural shelter and have an exposed fire going should have the same random encounter check as the same group in a fully dark (sans racket and time) LTH in those same copse of trees?

I assume that is not your position? If it is not, then what other system machinery are you going to use in AD&D to resolve this if not the random encounter check die and then dismissing nonsensical results on the random encounter table (should the random encounter check yield an encounter)?
 
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pemerton

Legend
Roleplaying can get really fun when there's no escape from issues of personal hygiene and modesty.
Maybe, maybe not.

But presumably the rogue is just as keen to avoid the gaze of the paladin if they're sleeping in bedrolls around a fire rather than bunked down in a LTH.

So I still don't see that you're worse off having a LTH you have to step out of, rather than a circle of bedrolls you have to step away from.

And it would seem slightly weird to me if no PC ever got ambushed while going to the toilet until they did so having stepped out of a LTH. Where did the toilet-haunting monsters suddenly spring from?

I'll add: the only reference to PC toileting practices that I'm aware of in any D&D book comes from Gygax in his DMG, under the heading "Factors Contributing To Surprise" (p 62):

When one side or another is surprised, this general term can represent a number of possible circumstances. In the first place it simply represents actual surprise - that is, the opponent was unprepared for the appearance/attack. The reason for this could be eating, sleeping, waste elimination, attention elsewhere, no weapon ready, etc. While each possible cause of surprise could be detailed, with a matrix and factors of time for recovery from the condition calculated to a nicety, the overall result would not materially add to the game - in fact, the undue complication would detract from the smooth flow of play.​

It sounds like LTH makes the mooted matrix more important, though: if a monster gets surprise against the inhabitants of a LTH, we need to know whether or not the reason is "waste elimination", because we need to know whether or not the surprised PC is inside or outside the hut!
 

Before I go into quote and response mode, I think we just need to clarify two things:

1) Is it your position that when the text says LTH can be "any color you choose", it is just fluffy set-dressing? It is there so MUs/Wizards can have a conversation with other PCs about "what a lovely shade of < > my LTH is, don't you think!" (not sarcasm there, just a potential example off the top of my head) Therefore, it is not an actual input to some form of action resolution to determine discovery; in AD&D1e this would mean affecting random encounter chance, while in 3.x and 5e, this would mean Spellcraft/Arcana vs Spot/Perception contest?

2) I saw you used the term "house rule." AD&D is basically the original "rulings not rules" edition (hence why 5e is a throwback). This is because so much of the rules are either (a) silent and requiring extrapolation, (b) directly at odds (incoherent), or (c) at least at tension. All AD&D games are basically a combination of hard rules and cobbled extrapolations. All we can do is discuss the nature of that marriage.

Do you disagree with that?
I disagree with the dichotomy you are drawing in #1, between "fluffy set-dressing" and "infinitely-variable camouflage based only on Arcana skill". I already gave you my ruling. Do you disagree that the procedure I outlined (at best, a Survival-based roll to choose an inobtrusive location/color for the Hut, creating a DC of min(12, Survival roll) to those who attempt to spot the tent) is a form of action resolution? If it's not action resolution, what do you think it is instead?

RE: #2, it's a semantic issue. I have no problem with house rules--I've been using spell points for decades--but as a matter of history, I'm struggling to explain the divergence between your repeated assertions that the spell has always been overpowered, and my memory of what the spell did in AD&D plus your link to what the spell did in 3E, and the only explanation I came up with was "old habits die hard--maybe it's just an old house rule." Still, the fact that you're still proponing your viewpoint suggests that the chance you're going to change your mind and go, "Oh yeah, I guess I did make that up in 1993 because I wanted such-and-such" is rapidly approaching nil--so I guess it's not a deliberate house rule on your part after all.

When you say, "it's always been overpowered," I have to interpret that now as either a rules error (if in your AD&D games it indeed supplies adaptive camouflage, as you seem to be saying) or else merely an opinion about the usefulness of shelter from the elements, but not a houserule. You're not changing the rules on purpose after all.

Here is where it is good:

a) It is a 3rd level spell.
b) It grants Total Concealment to the PCs inside. This is much more powerful than the -4 to hit that enemies get for attacking PCs (AD&D) in LTH because they cannot see them due to its opacity (another benefit of LTH). Total Concealment in 3.x equals in independent 50 % miss chance! Roll to hit. Oh you do? Ok, now roll your 50 % miss chance!
Eh. That's quite different from preventing combat, what is what we were discussing. But I'm willing to let the 3E discussion drop because my exposure to 3E is limited to what you've quoted, my occasional browsings of the 3E SRD, and the IWD2 and ToEE video games.

Yes. The 8th level MU I cited would need 6 + 1 (15 minutes *4) hours to rest/prepare spells. So the 8 hours they get for LTH duration would be more than sufficient.
That doesn't seem right. IIRC it was 15 minutes per spell level; I believe an 8th level Magic User had 4/3/3/2 spells at maximum, so if he had somehow cast them all it would take him (4 * 1 + 3 * 2 + 3 * 3 + 2 * 4 = 24) * 15 minutes = 6 hours to memorize fresh spells, in addition to the rest time he needed beforehand. I don't remember if 4th level spells can be memorized after only 4 hours of sleep, but even if so it would still take him 10 hours to refresh his spell list--and if not, it would take him 14 hours. Either way, I don't see how you're computing only 1 hour to do his memorization.

* Related to my (1) question at the very top. If you're in a bog, you've got a default random encounter check every 4 hours (1 in 10, 12, or 20). Is it your position that PCs in a copse of trees who have made all kinds of racket setting up a natural shelter and have an exposed fire going should have the same random encounter check as the same group in a fully dark (sans racket and time) LTH in those same copse of trees?

I assume that is not your position? If it is not, then what other system machinery are you going to use in AD&D to resolve this if not the random encounter check die and then dismissing nonsensical results on the random encounter table (should the random encounter check yield an encounter)?
You'll notice, I hope, that you're changed the subject to something which is not controversial. Yes, Leomund's Tiny Hut makes resting easier, more comfortable, and a bit safer. What precisely made me think that this was in any doubt?
 
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[MENTION=6787650]Hemlock[/MENTION] , couple quick bits of clarification. Way past time I should be asleep.

1) On your 5e action resolution adjudication for the color; Wizard rolls Survival Wis (min 12 it looks like?) for Perception DC. I'm sorry, I'm doing this in the midst of several other things and possibly not paying as much attention as I should be to nuance. I thought the Survival Wis you were discussing was for an effort to camo/obscure with foliage/snow (etc). So that Survival Wis would be for the Wizard to choose a hue that best blends with the surrounding terrain (I was thinking you weren't allowing any spellcasting check and only allowing Survival for natural camo...which, in that case coloring the LTH by the caster meant nothing mechanically)? Alright. Sure that is fair enough and that is definitely an action resolution component tied to the spellcasting of the Wizard and the coloring of the LTH.

Would you let someone Help that check by obscuring it with natural camo (the aforementioned foliage, snow, etc)?

2) Can you point out the rules error that you're seeing? I'm talking about how it interacts with (i) wilderness survival/exposure mitigation and (ii) how it intersects with random encounter mechanics (both odds in the die rolled and the % chance table).

3) When I say "preventing combat" (this goes to the mid-section and the last bit), what I'm referring to is (a) better odds on the random encounter die in AD&D (eg going from 1 in 10 to 1 in 12 or going from 1 in 12 to 1 in 20) and a possible reduction in combat applicable encounters (rerolls on table when Perytons or Wyverns come up, so therefore higher chance of something more benign or a natural hazard) and (b) better chance in "preventing combat" in 3.x and 5e due to engaging the resolution mechanics with (in your procedure) Survival (with possible Help) vs Spot/Perception.

4) On spell prep for the 8th level MU we're talking about, my brain was intermittently turning LTH into level 4 (presumably because of the Secure Shelter conversation) so it would just be 6.75 hours to rest/prepare (and go with something other than LTH if you're within a days travel of the dungeon...Fireball, Monster Summoning, Slow, Suggestion...or keep it if further journey will be involved).
 

The Survival roll is to choose a location where a suitably-colored dome (e.g. black or dark brown) would be difficult to spot. This only applies in places where such a location exists and you have some freedom to choose your campsite; if you absolutely HAVE to put your dome on the hobgoblins' front doorstep, there's no roll and no chance of hiding your dome from them. Ditto if it's in narrow stone tunnels with no branchings. But if you're sleeping in the woods, there's a good chance you can find a good spot; but the hut is big enough that I'm not going to give you a DC over 12, because there is no way to conceal such a large, regularly-shaped object terribly well. Thus, the DC is min(12, Survival roll). But note that enemies relying on Darkvision will have disadvantage on their Perception checks, so you may be able to get away with it.

Note that a party who was sleeping in bedrolls under the trees could make the same Survival roll to choose a good spot and camouflage themselves with foliage, etc., and would not be subject to the maximum of 12 on their DC. However, they wouldn't be as comfortable as a party sleeping in a Leomund's Tiny Hut. The hut is essentially providing warmth and comfort which, as you point out, the PCs could create for themselves via nonmagical means via foraging, at a cost in time and stealth.

RE: "would you let someone Help that check"? Yes. Someone else can choose the spot and tell the wizard where to put it. Would I let that raise the result above 12? No, probably not, not unless they have a very clever plan to disguise it as something specific which is both dome-shaped and innocuous. E.g. if they're in a place where lots of dome-shaped burial mounds from past civilizations exist, then sure, you can build a ghillie suit for your Leomund's Tiny Hut; otherwise no, that's not a thing.

(2) Potential rules error: there's no adaptive camouflage. It's just a color. It's increasingly difficult for me to tell whether you actually apply this adaptive camouflage idea to your AD&D games, or to your 5E games, or what. As I said above, if it's not a rules error it's merely an opinion on the value of shelter and comfort; either way it's apparently not a deliberate house rule. Agree/disagree?

(3) I presume you wouldn't prevent PCs from acquiring those better odds on the random encounters table through mundane camouflage, since people are easier to disguise than a largish building. As such, it seems to me that the hut isn't preventing combat at all. It's just giving you more comfort. Do I presume wrong? Would you refuse to let someone who wasn't using a Leomund's Tiny Hut hide themselves from monsters? If so, then we are back to the "maybe it does supply adaptive camouflage in manbearcat's game", which I would view as a rules error. But I'm presuming, currently, that you would not rule that way. It's hard for me to tell.
 

werecorpse

Explorer
I understood that in previous editions the hut solely made a comfortable place to sleep, keeping out inclement weather and providing some concealment so you could light a fire and it wouldn't be a glowing beacon a la Weathertop from fellowship of the ring. It made it easier to rest without attracting attention and you could rest more comfortably, relearn spells etc (which in ad&d & prior editions required a comfortable environment to study your spell book) it didn't prevent random encounters from attacking - including entering the hut etc. The wizard had to stay put or the spell would end but others could go in and put (get firewood, hunt etc) and have a decent place to return to. It didn't (and IMO wasn't intended to) keep out random encounters.

The additional rule in 5e that didn't exist in 3e or previous editions iirc (I didn't play 4e so don't know) is the sentence "All other creatures and objects are barred from passing through it." That rule turns a spell that's meant to be a comfortable place to sleep & study your spell book, with a bit of concealment into some sort of force barrier type spell with tactical implications - given its a ritual spell so cast at no cost that's an error IMO and that line should be removed.

edit: at least that's how we played it in 1e - 3e
 



raleel

First Post
I always like hearing about particular tables' preferred anachronisms. Every group has their own peculiarities of what they like to bring into their games. I wonder how common "toilets" are in that regard?
I'm fairly certain that this is an inaccuracy, because d&d characters don't have to eliminate waste. This only happened after The Great Cabal in its Shining Porcelain Chamber finally succumbed to the oppressive barrier that blocked all magic, thus preventing them from shunting everyone's waste to another dimension
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
It's ONLY a dome;

"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. Nine creatures of Medium size or smaller can fit inside the dome with you. The spell fails if its area includes a larger creature or more than nine creatures. 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."

Also, it remain stationary, so if monsters dig underneath it, or move the land or surface under it, it stays put even without any support at all.

Interestingly, it does not say what facing the dome has, so you could choose any, and use it as a upside down shield if you were flying... weird...
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Since I can change the color of the dome, can I make it bright and shiny? No real reason, but a peaceful place to write a book would be nice.

I just want a chrome dome home tome.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
It's ONLY a dome;

"A 10-foot-radius immobile dome of force springs into existence around and above you
...


Interestingly, it does not say what facing the dome has, so you could choose any, and use it as a upside down shield if you were flying... weird...

I agreed with you about everything until that last bit. :)
 

discosoc

First Post
I've become so bitter towards the abuse of all ritual spells that I don't even care about LTH anymore. I just don't bother setting up situations where it's even useful and just move on with the game. 5e has such a surprisingly narrow focus on the dungeon crawl that I feel like the designers really had no clue what kind of difficulties they placed on a DM who wants to do something else.
 

5e has such a surprisingly narrow focus on the dungeon crawl that I feel like the designers really had no clue what kind of difficulties they placed on a DM who wants to do something else.
I'll have to disagree on that. The system itself is actually adaptable to many different styles of play.

The style of published adventures or what the DM individually prepares for the table however may be focused in one direction or another.
 

Matt Vincent

First Post
if monsters dig underneath it
fwiw: previous editions (on which 5e's version is based) said: "Half the sphere projects above the ground, and the lower hemisphere passes through the ground" even though "The interior of the hut is a hemisphere".

5e's unfortunate rewording created ambiguity, but I do not see an indication that the writers intended the spell to have a weakness to burrowing creatures (or creatures with access to items that could be used to shovel), and The Sage (Jeremy Crawford) has stated that the spell's effect do encompass the floor.

Allowing this vulnerability would seem to change the nature of this spell (in that, on earthen surfaces, most intelligent creatures could excavate a small entrance within minutes just by using their helmets, shields, etc.).
 
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The Survival roll is to choose a location where a suitably-colored dome (e.g. black or dark brown) would be difficult to spot. This only applies in places where such a location exists and you have some freedom to choose your campsite; if you absolutely HAVE to put your dome on the hobgoblins' front doorstep, there's no roll and no chance of hiding your dome from them. Ditto if it's in narrow stone tunnels with no branchings. But if you're sleeping in the woods, there's a good chance you can find a good spot; but the hut is big enough that I'm not going to give you a DC over 12, because there is no way to conceal such a large, regularly-shaped object terribly well. Thus, the DC is min(12, Survival roll). But note that enemies relying on Darkvision will have disadvantage on their Perception checks, so you may be able to get away with it.

Note that a party who was sleeping in bedrolls under the trees could make the same Survival roll to choose a good spot and camouflage themselves with foliage, etc., and would not be subject to the maximum of 12 on their DC. However, they wouldn't be as comfortable as a party sleeping in a Leomund's Tiny Hut. The hut is essentially providing warmth and comfort which, as you point out, the PCs could create for themselves via nonmagical means via foraging, at a cost in time and stealth.

RE: "would you let someone Help that check"? Yes. Someone else can choose the spot and tell the wizard where to put it. Would I let that raise the result above 12? No, probably not, not unless they have a very clever plan to disguise it as something specific which is both dome-shaped and innocuous. E.g. if they're in a place where lots of dome-shaped burial mounds from past civilizations exist, then sure, you can build a ghillie suit for your Leomund's Tiny Hut; otherwise no, that's not a thing.
The only real question I'll ask here about your procedure in 5e is:

"Why the minimum...and why 12?"

It isn't so much that I disagree with 12, I'm just curious about the reasoning behind your machinery. In 5e we have:

1) Disadvantage doing the heavy lifting (mechanically and within the fiction) when determining adverse circumstances should apply and, consequently, the action resolution will typically orbit nearer the floor rather than the ceiling of potential results.

2) We have the brutally (AS below 10) clumsy (Dex), the aloof (Wis), and the feeble (Str) still capable of pulling of feats of agility, discernment, and raw power by proxy of the inherent swinginess of the d20 roll (especially with Advantage). The large plodding Ogre (-1 Initiative) can get the jump on the quickest, most aware/(p)lucky halfling (20 Dex and Alert Feat). And that is just a tiny sample.

In light of (1) and the rife examples of (2), I'm curious why LTH engaging with the resolution mechanics (eg just straight Disadvantage Wisdom/Survival) in the same orthodox way is problematic. Given what I know about your aesthetic preferences for process sim, I have to assume this is what is governing your ruling. But, if so, why is this one a bridge too far?

Or perhaps you impose a minimum to rein in the impact of the d20 and its ability to create such jarring events?

(2) Potential rules error: there's no adaptive camouflage. It's just a color. It's increasingly difficult for me to tell whether you actually apply this adaptive camouflage idea to your AD&D games, or to your 5E games, or what. As I said above, if it's not a rules error it's merely an opinion on the value of shelter and comfort; either way it's apparently not a deliberate house rule. Agree/disagree?

(3) I presume you wouldn't prevent PCs from acquiring those better odds on the random encounters table through mundane camouflage, since people are easier to disguise than a largish building. As such, it seems to me that the hut isn't preventing combat at all. It's just giving you more comfort. Do I presume wrong? Would you refuse to let someone who wasn't using a Leomund's Tiny Hut hide themselves from monsters? If so, then we are back to the "maybe it does supply adaptive camouflage in manbearcat's game", which I would view as a rules error. But I'm presuming, currently, that you would not rule that way. It's hard for me to tell.
You've smuggled in "adaptive" here (or perhaps I haven't been clear...but I don't hold the ability to color LTH as adaptive camouflage). There is just (a) a structure and (b) the ability to color it whatever color you wish. In the case of D&D wilderness survival, that would mean a color suitable to blend into the backdrop of whatever environment you're sheltering in.

I definitely think that we have a disagreement on the value of shelter and comfort in AD&D. I'm not sure about the case in 5e. I'm going to try to have one more run at this.

So let's take a Fighter and the level 8 MU with LTH. They're travelling through that swamp we discussed (looking for a shaman, or a lost ruin or something). Its Spring so its brutally humid and constantly raining...but 50 % chance to locate Natural Shelter (rather than 40 %). They spend 3 turns looking for a suitable location/means to construct a shelter for the evening. 50 % chance to fail and have to spend a further 3 turns doing the same. That would mean a full hour invested. I don't rule that as strenuous activity (for Fatigue), but the conditions (heavy armor and gear leading to "Unprotected" status in such an environment plus the environmental impacts) would definitely mean that the Fighter would be dealing with exertion, meaning the Temperature Track mechanics and the fallout of Temperature effects and exposure such as heat exhaustion or possibly stroke. You're talking pushing on and Con checks (putting you at risk) or a considerable number of turns having to rest and the removal of armor to get back down to a normal temperature range (and not suffer debuffs to Str, Dex, Con, Land Move, Attack Rolls and possibly HP damage).

So now they've found their shelter and who knows how many turns they've spent searching and resting (could be 3...could be 6...could be 10 or more). Now they do have to exert themselves with the harvesting materials and assembly. You're talking 1d6 +2 (-2 for the helper) turns of exertion to harvest (so 4ish). Then you're talking 6 -1 (for the helper) for assembly, so 5. So 9 more turns (this time of exertion so facing the Fatigue resolution mechanics or resting 2 turns after each 4).

Those are a lot of exploration turns (somewhere between 12 to possibly 19 or more) for stock encounters to manifest.

That is a lot of duress on the characters (facing exposure and fatigue and the mechanical fallout).

That is a lot of time lost (if that is relevant).

That is a lot of time toward the random encounter clock. If you're using the default 1 per 4 hours, you're checking for them somewhere in there. If this wilderness area has an elevated random encounter clock, you might be checking twice.

So that is my case.

LTH saves you from all of that. It saves you from the threat of exposure/fatigue debuffs. It doesn't leave you vulnerable to a stock area encounter while you search/construct shelter. It doesn't exacerbate your journey's interfacing with the random encounter clock due to excess time spent on sheltering. If it does nothing else (eg if you don't let the shelter influence the random encounter die or the encounter table results), it mitigates your vulnerability and your encounter:exploration per turn ratio because of this.

Then, of course, it 100 % protects you from exposure while you're in there and it allows you to keep watch in safety. If you do have to deal with a random encounter, you're almost surely to get the drop on it. And those enemies have a -4 to attack you while you're in the LTH and they're outside.

Now...all that being said, if a group just hand-waves wilderness exploration in AD&D and doesn't use its granular mechanics, then I suspect LTH likely doesn't have much value for them. My games featured it along with heavy armor Fighters. Accordingly, it was (and is when I still run it) an invaluable tool.




In 5e, the spell is just flatly considerably more powerful.

If you don't want to have it interface with the default 18-20 random encounter results on 5e's d20 random encounter die, you've got your resolution mechanics for camo (Arcana or Survival with a Survival Help) vs detection (Perception).

Its a Ritual so no spell loadout implications (with spellcasters that have more prolific spell loadout and recovery).

You've got a defensible fortress. It blocks ethereal travel as always, but it also prevents your enemies from coming in. The bad guys can't cast spells into it. You can fire artillery out of it and you're going to have Advantage in doing so.




Going to be my last post on the subject because I think we've worn this out and I want to involve myself in a few other threads. Thanks for the conversation!
 

fwiw: previous editions (on which 5e's version is based) said: "Half the sphere projects above the ground, and the lower hemisphere passes through the ground" even though "The interior of the hut is a hemisphere".

5e's unfortunate rewording created ambiguity, but I do not see an indication that the writers intended the spell to have a weakness to burrowing creatures (or creatures with access to items that could be used to shovel), and The Sage (Jeremy Crawford) has stated that the spell's effect do encompass the floor.

Allowing this vulnerability would seem to change the nature of this spell (in that, on earthen surfaces, most intelligent creatures could excavate a small entrance within minutes just by using their helmets, shields, etc.).
There's also no indication that the writers didn't intend the spell to have a weakness to burrowing creatures.

It wouldn't be the first time that a spell has been changed across editions, to buff or to nerf.

The current Sage Advice first rules no floor, but then ruled floor, but based the ruling on a line of reasoning that depends on a term used in the spell that doesn't necessarily give a floor to a dome.

I don't think that intention will truly be clear until Sage Advice Compendium is officially updated with a final ruling on the spell.
 


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