We adventure in some pretty insane worlds. There’s an entire multiverse full of worlds to explore in D&D, and few of them are safe for travelers.
While we might be incredibly powerful heroes who grow stronger with each obstacle we overtake, we do still have to rest.
The whole concept of rests is a mechanic that has been worked into editions long before 5e, but it stands strong. While rests are incredibly important, they’re also the time when we are most vulnerable.
Today, we’re talking about a spell that will save your party from those unexpected attacks time and time again – a spell called Leomund’s Tiny Hut.
In this article, we’ll be going over what this spell does, how best to use it, and most of all, how good of a spell this really is at the end of the day.
Leomund’s Tiny Hut
- Casting Time: 1 minute
- Range: Self (10 ft. hemisphere)
- Duration: 8 hours
- School: Evocation
- Class: Bard, Wizard
- Level: 3rd level
- Damage/Effect: Utility
- Attack/Save: N/A
- Components: V, S, M (a small crystal bead)
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 and of any color you choose, but it is transparent from the inside.
What Is Leomund’s Tiny Hut?
Leomund’s tiny hut, or tiny hut, is a spell that creates a protective dome around you and up to nine other creatures. Since this dome lasts for 8 hours, it is often used to create a safe haven for a party and their allies to rest inside.
For starters, a hemisphere is half of a sphere (if you didn’t know that already). So this spell creates a dome that is half of a sphere with a radius of 10 feet.
That’s a pretty large space, and it covers a little more than 12 squares on a battlemat. Also, since it does say hemisphere as the range, that means that it comes with a floor.
That’s why you can fit up to 10 people inside of it, which is more than you’d normally have in your party. Hopefully, this spell will encourage you to hire on some retainers and boost up that party size.
This spell doesn’t just make any dome though; it makes a barrier of force. We’re not talking about mass times acceleration or Star Wars here though.
In D&D, force refers to pure magical energy. That’s where force damage comes from.
A barrier made out of force is extremely durable, which is why this dome can only be passed through by those who are allowed to do so.
Specifically, those that are within the area when you cast the spell can pass through freely, along with any objects that were also within the area.
The same can be said for any spells or other magical effects. This dome is virtually impenetrable.
The other really spectacular piece of this spell is that it’s transparent from the inside and opaque from the outside. In fact, the outside can be any color you want it to be. In other words, you can see out but no one can see in.
Lastly, Leomund’s tiny hut is a ritual spell, which means it can be cast as a ritual if you have ritual casting.
Since both bards and wizards have ritual casting, you should almost never have to cast this spell using a spell slot. Learn the spell, and you’re good to go whenever; there’s no worrying about saving a spell slot for later on in the day.
What Does Tiny Hut Block?
Leomund’s tiny hut is described as blocking the passage of spells and other magical effects along with creatures and objects that weren’t inside of the hut when it was cast.
It also states that “The atmosphere inside the space is comfortable and dry, regardless of the weather outside.”
That seems extremely straightforward, but in a game like D&D there are always going to be some strange exceptions and loopholes. Not everything can be roped into those four categories in such a complex fantasy setting.
One commonly debated aspect of the game is dragon’s breath.
Does dragon’s breath pass through Leomund’s tiny hut?
It’s a tough question to answer, and it will come down to what a DM decides.
Breath weapons don’t count as magical, and they’re not creatures, but they might count as objects.
However, according to Jeremy Crawford, it fits in none of these three categories and can therefore pass through the barrier created by LTH.
Personally, I would disagree though. Since a tiny hut protects you from weather and other atmospheric conditions, I believe it should protect you from breath weapons.
Atmospheric conditions cover everything from rain to forest fires and lightning to blizzards.
While breath weapons can cover almost the entire spectrum of damage types and therefore composition, it still is little more than another type of environmental condition.
At the end of the day though, RAW doesn’t provide a clear solution for this issue, and your DM will have to come up with their own ways to deal with it.
How about concentration spells? Obviously, you can’t cast a spell through the barrier, but can you walk outside, cast a concentration spell, and then hold concentration when you walk back into the hut?
Can you concentrate on a spell through Leomund’s tiny hut?
Again, RAW doesn’t provide a clear answer. It says that “spells and magical effects can’t extend through the dome or be cast through it.”
Technically, concentration isn’t a magical effect; it’s more of a magical cause. Concentration is something you need in order to maintain a magical effect; it’s on the same level as a spell component.
Personally, I imagine concentration as a magical tether to the spells you are casting. This is my explanation for spells breaking if you lose concentration or, in some cases, get too far away from them.
For me, that means walking through the barrier breaks your concentration. For other DMs, their concentration might work differently.
One last thing people tend to have questions about is burrowing creatures.
Can burrowing creatures make it into a Leomund’s tiny hut?
The answer is no. This idea comes from the misconception that LTH doesn’t have a floor, but since it does, it’s a moot point.
What Does Tiny Hut Let Through?
Tiny hut doesn’t let much through. It’s basically just going to allow things that started on the inside to leave and then come back in.
Those of you who ask the hard questions are probably thinking something like “Won’t we run out of oxygen?” or “Can we hear things outside of the hut?”
For just about any strange question like this, with any spell or even mechanic in D&D, the answer often comes down to your DM.
Luckily, the spell does say that the atmosphere inside the dome is “comfortable,” so I’m going to go ahead and say that it is breathable.
Also, if it wasn’t hospitable, it would say so. Look at the bag of holding. That item specifically says that breathing creatures run out of air within a certain timespan.
As for sound and most other questions we haven’t specifically covered, the answer is maybe.
I’ve typically ruled that sound works for the hut in the same way that light does. It’s transaudible from the inside and soundproof from the outside.
Other DMs might say that since the spell doesn’t specify sound as being blocked, it passes through freely. It’s up to their discretion.
When To Use Leomund’s Tiny Hut
Very simply, this is a spell that you should be using before you settle in for a long rest with your party.
It can be used in some other creative ways, but 8 hours of protection is your main utility. Do be sure not to over rely on it though; that can get very dangerous.
Before we get started on the overreliance that runs rampant with this spell, let’s talk about a few niche uses that you might want to adapt. Mainly, let’s talk about how to use this spell in combat.
This spell takes 1 minute to cast and 11 if you’re casting it as a ritual, so you’re not going to be able to fire it up inside of a combat.
However, there are plenty of times where we have the ability to prepare for a fight ahead of time.
If you cast this when you know a battle is about to happen, it makes a great little protective barrier for one very specific type of character.
Any character with ranged ammunition weapons can safely fire off their shots from inside a tiny hut. In fact, if it’s a rogue, they might even be able to deal sneak-attack damage on the basis of being an unseen attacker alone.
Anyone else, casters, and close-range combatants, will have to leave the relative safety of the dome to actually engage in the battle at hand.
LTH can also be used in some creative ways to protect various things.
If you find a prisoner in a dungeon that’s too weak to engage in an upcoming battle, you might cast LTH around them to keep them safe for 8 hours or until you get back.
You might use the spell to set up an ambush. In a high-magic setting, intelligent creatures will likely have heard of LTH and expect a party to be hiding inside it.
If you cast the spell and then go hide nearby, you can watch and wait for your enemies to approach, striking at the perfect time.
As with any utility spell, the possibilities of Leomund’s tiny hut are limited only by your creativity. Sure, you can use it for a nice long rest, but if you put your mind to work, this spell can do wonders.
Over Reliance on Leomund’s Tiny Hut
Now that I’ve said a lot of really nice things about this fantastic spell, allow me to berate it for a bit. That is, allow me to berate some of its users.
There are so many players out there that get a hold of Leomund’s Tiny Hut and see it is their universal solution to all things rest related.
While you can certainly use this to provide protection to your party during a long rest, this cannot be the only thing you ever use.
Too often, players get a bit winded after a fight in the middle of a crowded dungeon and decide to set up LTH to get their hit points and spell slots back with absolutely no fear of reprisal.
I’m here to tell all the DMs and players that will listen; players should fear reprisal. Let’s look at a scenario.
Bjorn and his party are on their way to capture a goblin king. While they were making their way through the caverns of Maglubiyet’s Doom, they got into their first scuffle with a group of bugbears.
Having been exhausted of their resources, the wizard of the party sets up Leomund’s tiny hut, and the party snuggles in for a nice 8 hours of rest.
This might have worked when the party was out in the forest or traveling the countryside, but now they’re in a goblin king’s lair.
When the players wake up, they can’t see out of the hut. The once transparent barrier seems to be completely black with small rays of torchlight seeping in.
Bjorn rolls a decent perception check and thinks that it almost looks like hundreds of boulders covering the —.
…Well, the hut only lasted for 8 hours, and it was the last 8 hours of our poor heroes’ lives. The spell ended and the not-so-elaborate trap set up by an entire colony of goblins came crashing down on the party.
See, it’s not such a good idea to throw up LTH as the end-all be-all to a safe rest. The party should’ve planned better or made a hasty retreat to gather their bearings if the first combat was too much.
Instead, they left themselves wide open to attack in the middle of an extremely hostile environment.
There are so many other ways that a DM can “deal” with a poorly timed/placed tiny hut. It’s just down to creativity really. Luckily, players have the ability to be creative too. At very least, they have the capacity for foresight.
If you think Leomund’s tiny hut is the best option, at least supplement it with an alarm spell or a Mordenkainen’s faithful hound.
Anything you can do to have better awareness of your surroundings so your foes can’t set up an ambush. Hell, even the classic rule of taking shifts still applies when you have this spell up.
Leomund’s tiny hut is a great spell, but it’s just part of a larger solution. Over reliance in any game, especially D&D, takes the fun out of it for everyone.
After all, you’re unique adventurers, heroes even. If it were as easy as just casting one spell every day, everyone would do it.
Who Should Take Leomund’s Tiny Hut?
This is an excellent utility spell for any 5th-level bard or wizard to take and keep with them through even the highest tiers of play.
While this spell shouldn’t be your only method of setting up a safe space to rest, it will certainly help you and your party.
A spell like this isn’t really a question of builds – even the most striker-focused wizard can benefit from just having this in the toolbelt.
The fact that we’ll almost always be casting this as a ritual should make it just that much more of a standard spell.
That being said, if you’re worried about falling into a rut and relying on this spell, you don’t need it.
Whether you’re in a party that consistently knows where they’re going to be lying their heads or a party that is smart enough to come up with other solutions, this spell isn’t necessary.
If it was, it would be a free spell that everyone could take. And those just simply don’t exist.
So there you have it. We’ve got ourselves a spell here that can work wonders or lead to disaster. Then again, isn’t that just how life works?
You can’t go around using fireball as a solution to every problem… Well, maybe you can, but where’s the fun in that?
As always, happy adventuring.