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I have a necromancer in a cage, I want to do some fun stuff with him. But I'm not ready yet. I want to keep him safely locked up for now and then make use of him later for training purposes.

What are the conditions in which he can and cannot raise the dead?


Can he raise the dead whilst in a cage? If so will building a wall around him stop him?

Can he raise the dead whilst chained up?

What is the safest way to store him in such a way that I can make use of him later?

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You do whatever you want with him. Your question in italics is answerable, though. If you make that your question, we can answer it. Otherwise, this is non-constructive. – Frank May 29 '13 at 20:00
@fbueckert le-sigh forgive me for trying to have a little fun on a gaming website. Fine, I'll make the already pretty obvious real question utterly unmissable... – Ian May 29 '13 at 20:03
Look, dude, I'm just trying to help you. We're not anti-fun, but you still need to follow the rules, regardless. If you make it an objective, answerable question, you can have all the fun you want with it. Your edit makes the question much better. – Frank May 29 '13 at 20:05
Agreed with @fbueckert, this question is much better sounding and is still really fun. I can already imagine the mayhem he will cause if he gets a corpse to resurrect... – Sadly Not May 29 '13 at 21:14
up vote 5 down vote accepted

According to the wiki, necromancers can be safely kept in cages. [RE-EDIT: I initially got this wrong, see comments] Since they are immortal, they won't starve. They will not reanimate things.

They can reanimate any corpse or body part they have a line of sight to. So walls and raised bridges will stop them completely, and windows or bars will stop their movement while allowing them to reanimate training material. You can combine bridges and windows to make an effective switchable danger room.

You can read more about this on the wiki:

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According to the link, a caged necromancer can be kept safely in a cage as of version 0.34--- which has been the current version of DF since June 4, 2012 (this was posted on 2013-06-02). – StarPilot Jun 2 '13 at 18:34
Sorry, I didn't read to the end of that paragraph. I think I'll go fix that; each page is supposed to be version-specific. – Wutaz Jun 3 '13 at 2:19
Fixed in both places. – Wutaz Jun 3 '13 at 2:28
It's not very helpful to put information and misinformation in the same sentence. – kotekzot Jun 3 '13 at 9:52
Good point. Re-fixed. – Wutaz Jun 3 '13 at 21:15

The safest way to store a necromancer until you are ready to "do something" is keep it in a cage. Caged enemy cannot do anything until they are let out. They effectively enter a "stasis" state, so they do not starve and the do not heal.

Once let out of the cage, the necromancer can do anything that a necromancer can do. Chains and fortifications won't stop the necromancer. Only being caged will stop the necromancer and make it safe to have in your fortress. A caged necromancer, in version 0.34, cannot reanimate until it is out of the cage. The dwarf fortress wiki agrees with this information.

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I was under the impression that a necromancer required line-of-sight to resurrect something. – Ian May 30 '13 at 14:38

Build a raised bridge, next to it bars and next to that an empty square. Put the cage to the empty square and hook it up to a lever to let him out once you raised the bridge. The necro will sit idle in it's 1x1 square behind bars. Once you are ready dump some bodies in front of the bridge and lower the bridge.

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