Dwarf Fortress: Very Ambitious Roguelike


Annoying as it was at the time, it was a good learning experience. I now have a much better grasp on visually ‘seeing’ how the other z-levels are represented from the current z-level (ie., open space, slopes, “top of the treeline” of the next z-level down, etc.), and knowing where the points are that will allow invaders to hop the ditch via a hill or whatever. Took an awful large refuse stockpile to clean up the mess from the mass extinction event though :)


Only building while confidant? Are you an elf?




I’ve submitted an update to O’Reilly today which includes all of the bugs here (er, I hope so) and others reported to me through the book’s errata page on O’Reilly and in other places. The update should be alerted to people in two or three weeks.

If you’re an O’Reilly ebook owner and use DropBox I believe you can snych your O’Reilly purchases to DropBox and get them updated automatically? Pretty cool feature I reckon!


Just curious Calistas, will the printed books be updated with your revisions, or would that need to wait for a second edition or second printing or whatnot? I have the ebook but I’ve been feeling tempted to buy the dead-trees version as well (the 40% discount for ebook owners adds to the temptation significantly).


The dead-tree version is about two weeks behind the released ebook version. To be absolutely sure you should probably contact O’Reilly on twitter or by email before ordering the print book. I’ll try and find out and post here too :)


Giant Bomb posted their second stream of the game Friday. In this episode they delve too deeply and too greedily…


Awesome, thanks for the tip, gotta go watch it now.


I love watching people’s DF sessions, but I’m not sure I can sit through somebody learning as I’ll continue to shout at the TV, “No…”


Things going badly when those guys at Giant Bomb play a game they don’t understand very well is a big part of the appeal. Some of their misadventures with highly technical flight simulators are especially glorious.


That is true, but I don’t regularly play flight simulators so I can enjoy the misadventures. I guess I’ve hit a point in DF where I’m willing to help people who are just starting, but don’t really want to watch their games while doing it.

I’m just that way, can’t help it I guess.


I have made a couple of Dwarf Fortress videos about an automated minecart shotgun I built. Enjoy!


Calistas, your book got a favourable review in this week’s “c’t”, one of the largest German computer magazines.

The magazin, which is not geared at gamers, reviews 3 books in every biweekly issue, from all fields even remotely connected to computing. So this is really something. Congrats, and I hope you see an increase in sales!

– cookroach


This is great. I love the different types of ammo, haha.


I had this happen.

That’s one tough Elf. Literally.


Can you look up the elf under the historical figures and post more info about him? I’m wondering if he’s a vampire or something.


He’s not a vampire… he wasn’t even all that skilled - he was “Excellent” with bow and crossbow.

I have a Reddit post about him which includes a bio. But if you’re allergic to Reddit I’ll post the bio here :

Quithe Sealguard - The Coastal Wisp of Comedy

[spoiler]Quithe Sealguard the Coastal Wisp of Comedy

A male elf born in -115 Quithe Sealguard rose to notoriety when he refused to flee his home of Waxbrush and stood alone in defence of the town against a human army 1,492 strong. And won.

Little is known of the early stages of Sealguard’s life, as he wandered the lands around the forest retreat of Zephyrbeach and the first known mention of his name comes in the year 121, when he is listed in the ledger of Elves captured by Humans in an attack on Zephyrbeach.

Bound for slavery in the Human civilisation known as The Nations of Voice, Quithe was sold to a tailor in the town of Craftdepth, where he stayed for seventeen years before effecting his escape in 139 when an Elf named Mukca Fatetraded attacked Craftdepth. Fatetraded had been severely wounded in the same action that saw Quithe captured and it’s believed that while wounded she was discovered and bitten by a Werebeast of some sort.

Fatetraded’s attack on Craftdepth proved the distraction Quithe needed to take back his freedom and he sought refuge with a band of brigands and other escaped slaves in The True Hills, where he would hide out for a decade.

In 149 the dragon Vush Taxedflicker suddenly took roost in The True hills, either killing or forcing out those hiding there and Quithe fled back to the nearby Elven home of Waxbrush and he had been there for barely a season when humans reappeared to attack the town again.

After almost twenty years of slavery and a further decade of hiding, this attack proved to be the line in the sand for Quithe. He had become an expert archer in his time as a fugitive and made his own custom bows and while it’s certain he cannot have believed he would win the day against an army a thousand strong, he clearly felt death was better than recapture.

Instead, in a result that will have shocked even Quithe, his first four shots instantly killed their targets - the Dwarf Pan Incenseclouts being first to fall - and then Quithe repeatedly landed other shots that wounded his enemies. Eventually he faced the leader of the human force, the Goblin Eman Clobbertick and while history does not record the results, it’s believed that Clobbertick fled, at which point his makeshift army made up of Humans, Elves, Dwarfs and Goblins began to fracture.

When Quithe then quickly wounded and killed several more soldiers, (one of whom, it is written, Quithe beat to death with a crossbow), his enemies began to rout. They had come simply to gather more slaves and it was clear the only potential slave present would kill them all if necessary, so they retreated.

A year later an 871-strong Human army returned to Waxbrush, but this time Quithe had help and knew the humans were coming. With 18 allies Quithe attacked into the flank of the Humans at a forest crossing, his first shot striking down the intimidating Zilta Fishblocked. The Humans wanted no part of a fight with Quithe Sealguard, especially in such confined quarters where it would be difficult to bring their numbers to bear and so they turned and fled in disarray, losing more than 300 troops in the retreat at the cost of only three of Quithe’s forces.

Clearly feeling safer now with the humans bested twice in two years, Quithe’s thoughts turned to setlling down. Elves were flocking to his banner at Waxbrush, one of whom was to become his wife.

Born in -111, the basket weaving comedian Taviti Romanticwhisker became the first to ever tame Quithe Sealguard, but the celebrations were to be short lived, as the Dwarfs from the mountain hall of Glazestables saw an opportunity to strike while Waxbrush was weakened and distracted.

The 830 strong Dwarven army hit Waxbrush from the northwest and every Elf present took up arms in defence, including Quithe and his new wife. As always the Elven forces were desperately out-numbered and, unlike the human armies who came looking for slaves, this Dwarven force was highly trained and hard-bitten. The tide quickly turned in their favour and the Elves fell back on the center of Waxbrush. Fighting in the central square, Quithe was horrified when he saw his wife struck a mortal blow with a large mace.

Fighting ever more desperately, Quithe watched as Elf after Elf fell until he was the only one remaining. He fought on, despite being hit by two crossbow bolts until the Dwarf Medtob Inkyurged struck him, driving Quithe to the floor and then landed a killing blow.

Quithe Sealguard the Coastal Wisp of Comedy had only risen to fame in 149 and now less than two years later he was gone. His name lived on as a rallying cry for the Elves though and Waxbrush became an important site for them. The Elves would recapture Waxbrush from various Human and Dwaven armies thirty-three different times.

Quithe, the last to fall:

This is a result of my recent “hobby”, which is to leave DF running overnight, generating worlds with almost two thousand years of history and then reading the legend file back through Legends Viewer as if it was a poorly organised history book.


Oh, wow! Thanks for that! Good stuff!


Has anyone been tooling around with masterwork? I have played a few forts but I mostly feel it is layering buggy not fleshed out systems on top of what is already there. I would like a more varied experience than vanilla - but I have been disappointed by most of the mods out there.


Thanks for posting this! That’s quite the story. :)