Dwarf Fortress: Very Ambitious Roguelike


Hehe, thanks! I kinda think I should just tell people to get four types of meat, and ten lots each, as 40 meats is a fiddle, slow, and… a fiddle. But… free barrels make a lot of stuff easier early on!


The good thing is since I saved the start template I shouldn’t have to go through that the next fort if I want to keep the same starting setup. Plus, I agree as the extra few minutes it took should help quite a bit once things get going.


With the template saved you might get an alert about goods availability next time it loads. What you can buy each time does change depending on the civilization you chose and other factors. Don’t be surprised if you have a few points left over that you can spend.


I have done this very thing so many times that, now, one of the first things I do when installing the game is to edit the keybindings file and change EMBARK! from ‘e’ to ‘E’.


I’ve been having some difficulty embarking on a glacier that has an aquifer; I want to try freeze traps on goblins and forgotten beasts. What I try to do is dig a narrowing pit, like a reverse pyramid in through the aquifer. That way the water layer freezes and I can continue on down through the aquifer layers, which seem to be more than a few z levels deep. However my miners would always go missing and I started to wonder, maybe the wildlife was getting them? So I confined everyone to burrows. An that’s when I saw it, a dwarf seemed to channel underneath another dwarf dropping him into the chilly waters where he instantly became a solid block. I could live with one or 2 doing that but all my miners disappear so there must be something more to it. Never the less I tried a checkerboard pattern of channeling, so they couldnt drop eachother into freezing water. And then… And then… I saw one dwarf dig a pit and all 3 ran into it, freezing all 3 solid. I didn’t have anything on the z level below set to go.

SO after 6 forts where I’ve lost all my miners, but most importantly their picks, I’m going to try again. Perhaps if I forbid the area’s they channel? Do dwarves violate those traffic rules?


So having grown up in an era of ascii games, they are not what i tend to choose to play these days. So what’s the feeling on the Lazy Newb Pack for DF?


Does it lower the barrier of entry enough without wrecking good DF things? I’ve only just found out about it and am hoping it might ‘cure’ my inability to get into DF so far (as DF represents all that can be good about gaming compared to the glossy super graphic and shallow high end of 99% of AAA).


Depends Zak.

LNP does little to address the #1 complaint about DF, the pretty inconsistent and unapproachable UI.
Navigating the map and doing most things ingame are just as painful as in vanilla.
However, if the ASCII isn’t for you, LNP makes it easy to switch to a tileset easily.
Also, Dwarf Therapist is included. DT makes managing the jobs of your Dorfs a non-issue, once you got used to it it’ll be hard to ever play the game without it, unless you do little or no job-micromanagement.
Unfortunately, DT doesn’t allow direct modification of the military system, which is still a PITA.

Just download LNP, pick a tileset and activate it, launch the game, generate a world, launch a fort and run DT, then you’ll quickly see whether the game is bearable for you or not.



splinterz’s fork of Dwarf Therapist does allow (at least some) modification of the military. I’m not into the military stuff yet enough to know just how much is there or how useful it is. This particular fork is quickly becoming the version of DT to use though.

The Newb Pack will help you get a running DF without hacking files, and let’s you quickly try out both Phoebus and Ironhand graphics packs. Really though, that’s where it ends. Very handy, but it won’t change anything for you once you are in the game. I’m quite happy with the Phoebus tileset myself.

What would help most is the book from O’Reilly. A much better reference than youtube videos, and a much better ‘guide’ to the game than the wiki. The wiki has lots of great info - but it isn’t laid out in a gameplay style (do this, now do this).

I just started tinkering with building a ditch/moat as per the book. I put my fortress in the side of a mountain, and had a heck of a time wrapping my head around getting the ditch to actually block things off (I couldn’t “see” how I needed to extend my ditch up the hillside - slopes/ramps/etc confused me). I was getting frustrated and about to give up (even lost my miners at one point, trapping them and having them starve - taking my picks!), when suddenly my dwarves start complaining about a lack of water source. WTF? I’m pumping out drinks, but noooo. Turns out, I finally figured out the ditch (sans functional bridge - I managed to build it over empty space). So everyone was trapped inside! Now dwarves are dying left and right from thirst. No problem, get that bridge up! Uh oh … all the death is poisoning the fortress with miasma. Yep, there went the bridge builder. Okay - new guy on the job… done! “It is now winter”. NOOOOOO. Everything went to ice. Tantrums and death abound. It was a long time until spring.


Ok, can anyone link to a working version of that fork then?
I think I was referred to it before, but the version I tried back then didn’t actually have out-of-the-ordinary features (that I could spot).
Thanks in advance.



I got back into DF recenty with the LNB and its been great, but I also spent quite a bit of time watching a YouTube playthrough designed to teach new players the basics with the LNB. That was several hours of video, so its not like DF is suddenly something you can just jump in and play.


Splinterz fork --> https://code.google.com/r/splintermind-attributes/

And yeah building moats and stuff can be kinda tricky. If it seems too fiddly, don’t do it - there’s plenty to learn in DF, go play/learn something else for a while until you have an approach you are confident with!


Thanks Calistas. I actually found this one via Googling, but I wasn’t sure it was the correct thing.

To me, DF currently is a great experience, until I hit some magic barrier when I run into more and more stuff that’s just broken or doesn’t work as I’d expect it to. The military is one such thing.
Or stuff that’s just much too fiddly.
Depending on the site, it can be a horrible climb to get from the early “yay, I can forge my first metal stuff!” to a full scale metal economy.
The clothing industry I’ve never been able to get fully going.
Then there’s Soapmaking - a nightmare.
Heck, even brewing is kinda annoying, I always seem to run out of barrels constantly.
And the even more broken economy was even too broken for Toadys standards, or so it seems - at least it was outright removed.



Ah Trademet a flat embark site with a large spire offset by world generation. A perfect location to experiment with honey chickens and and magma. Work begins by digging out a trade depot and various other dwarven necessities. Food and stone flute production is in high swing when the first nip of winter arrives.

Urist McBossyPants notices the small river has frozen in the south east section of the map. Vaguely recalling blueprints from a dusty tome he orders the channeling and walling off of the river source. Two legendary miners are last seen attempting to mine the front of a rushing river, spring has arrived.

Having to put large scale aquatic manipulation on hold a dry moat is dug around the entire embark site ready to be filled next spring. Meanwhile hearing off the honey and chicken paradise that Trademet has become immigrants arrive in droves. It is not uncommon to see twenty or more dwarves arrive a season.

Inspired by the wondrous land of chicken and honey a legendary mitten and a legendary piccolo are crafted.

Dwarven and human caravans return from Trademet loaded with beautiful stone carvings and tales of a dwarven paradise free from strife. Not to be outdone by the chickens the population begins to boom. Trademet celebrates the birth of 22 children in one year.

The demands of so many mouths to feed has the populace busier then the bees in their hive. A massive bedroom complex is carved out as the defenses for Trademet are put into place. When next winter arrives the stream is connected to the moat.

More dwarven babies.

20 dwarves have begun to master the martial skills of blade, axe, spear & bow.

When entering Trademet friendly travelers can walk along the paved obsidian road admiring the many salmon in the moat, walk through its obsidian block gate and over its beautiful marble bridge. Less hospitable guess are invited to tour the tunnel of questions before beholding the shining beacon of dwarven civilization. Here guests may ponder “will this rock crush me?” , “how many spears can strike me at once?” and “Only the Penitent Man will pass…penitent, penitent man, is humble, kneels before…”

Enemies are quickly dispatched in the tunnel leaving the 20 soldiers untested. Safe behind their moat the dwarves continue to produce masterpieces of rock and dwarven babies.

More legendary clothing is produced including a sock and a cloak.

In late summer the first goblin siege arrives. The military stations itself at the exit to the tunnel of questions. The enemy waits, more dwarven babies, the enemy waits. After a few months dwarven life has returned to normal except that dwarves are forbidden from wandering near the north west section of the map.

Moat freezes
Troll bashes down something
Trolls and goblins kill 298 chickens, hens and chicks
A goblin sword lord is stung by a bee
20 military dwarves melt before goblin arrows before a single one reaches melee range.
43 cats killed
28 dogs killed
68 dwarven children murdered
The goblins unexpectedly depart leaving a soapmaker, a miner and a wood burner.
The soapmaker goes insane mortally wounding the other two remaining dwarves and eventually dying of thirst.

Upon reclamation 3 of the 7 dwarves are scared to death by the rampaging ghosts of dwarven children.

The other 4 continue to struggle to create enough coffins to appease the raging spirits of Trademet.

Dwarf fortress


Heh, nice story.
What was it that the troll bashed down in order to invalidate your defenses?

Edit: For some reason, lowering the pop-cap never quite worked out for me. I usually have it at 200, but even at 250+ dwarves I got immigrants.
Also, by that point the dwarves that are already in the fortress are reproducing like tribbles…



I recommend lowering the population cap if you are feeling overwhelmed.


A grate I believe hard to tell through all the red. Really it was the cool moat becomes solid walkway that did me in.


Yeah that’s one of the counter intuitive things in DF… an empty moat is safer than a water filled moat if you are in an area that freezes over during winter.

Other lessons I learned the hard way:
If you breach an underground cavern with a up/down stairway, but sure to seal the breach or flying beasts can get in.

Use carved fortifications for drainage instead of grates or bars that some creatures can smash through.


My understanding according to the wiki is that placed fortifications allow creature passage when liquid depth is 7/7 I’ve noticed this behavior with the salmon in my moat before it was running red with chicken and dwarf blood.


Ah, learn something new everyday. I usually use them to cap the drainage system for my fort reservoir(which I empty into the caverns), so I never noticed that.


I don’t think carved fortifications have this problem - not sure though