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I've been trying to hurt dwarves, for my healthcare dwarf to practice on, by building a retracting bridge, stationing a squad there, and then retracting the bridge.

If the fall is just 1z, i.e. the bridge is on the level right above the ground, the dwarves just get stunned and not damaged. If the fall is 2z, they die every time.

How can I reliably hurt dwarves without killing them?

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I'm not sure reliable is something you can count on. –  aslum May 10 '12 at 6:18
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2 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

You could try to use a danger room to injure them. It consist of a spike trap triggered by a lever, where your... test subject will stand and be injured.

The last time I did one, I used an actual wooden menacing pike instead of a training spear as the advice in the article, and I noticed that it tends to give your dwarf a nice wound after just a single lever pull.

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This is how I do it too. I like to break both arms of my hammerer. They tend to survive more than one hit. –  Oxinabox Jan 31 at 2:04
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Give another dwarf a bad weapon, like a silver sword or an Adamantine hammer, and let him whack away at the trainee. This has the additional benefit of training the attacking dwarf as well. If that's not enough damage to actually hurt the victim, give the trainer weapons made of increasingly better material. See the Dwar Fortress Wiki article on Metal and Weapon quality

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Do you mean using the "training" option to get the dorfs to fight each other? Because in DF2010 and above, training almost never cause any real injury: dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/Training#Injury –  Private Pansy May 10 '12 at 10:14
    
as far as i know, its call a training room as it quickly levels your stats, its really just a room that hurts...lots... –  TrewTzu May 10 '12 at 11:05
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@YiJiang I mean ordering a military squad (consisting of the 1 trainer with a weak weapon) to directly attack your trainee. When you have been training enough, just cancel the kill order. –  Hackworth May 10 '12 at 12:34
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