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In order to avoid the various brands of fun that come in through a dungeon entrance, I'm considering closing it up with walls (or locked doors).

I'm aware that this will prevent trade and access to wood (it seems most wood things can be made of metal). Is there anything I'm going to need to learn to live without, or indeed die without?

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Flood Gates + Lever = Drawbridge! –  tzenes Oct 13 '10 at 15:53
    
@tzenes: Good call, I guess that's more reversible. –  Stuart Pegg Oct 13 '10 at 16:37
    
Well, you can unbuild constructed walls easily enough with d - n. Doors are easy too -- q - x. –  Raven Dreamer Oct 13 '10 at 16:40
    
@Raven Dreamer: Fair point, but you can't fling people with a wall :) –  Stuart Pegg Oct 13 '10 at 16:49
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*yet. ;) –  Raven Dreamer Oct 13 '10 at 16:50

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Without trading with the caravans, you will never be able to become a barony (bugged currently anyway).

Wood is exclusively used to build beds -- if you have enough beds, there should be no problems due to lack of wood (assuming you have a source of fuel).

Finally, if your map is getting ambushes / sieges, your isolationist policies mean that anything that enters the map simply hangs out at the map edge -- if you've got a couple of goblin ambushes lying "in wait" and the dwarven caravan comes onto the map, the dwarves stand a good chance of being slaughtered (ditto for the humans and elves) which may result in war with the humans and elves, and disappointment from your own civ.

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Ah beds, of course. I suppose I'll be locking out the immigrants too, so I should be fine as long as my dwarves aren't too amorous. –  Stuart Pegg Oct 13 '10 at 16:39
    
You can get wood underground as long as long as you've breached a cavern and have mud underground. (I also heard that needing a cavern breach might not be needed, but this might have been a bug.) –  Ullallulloo Oct 13 '10 at 18:34

You can't fish if you seal off your entrance, making shells awfully hard to get for moods and crafting.

Unless you divert the river inside your cave first...

(Well okay I think you can fish in underground caverns, but if you're sealing off the surface you're just shooting yourself in the foot opening up a cavern.)

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I've heard a lot about caverns but not yet found one. Shells are indeed another difficult resource; perhaps a modest stockpile for satisfying strange moods would be sufficient. –  Stuart Pegg Oct 14 '10 at 7:07

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