Slaves to Armok II: Dwarf Fortress is a tile based, real time strategy, city building, and adventure game for one player by Bay 12 Games developer Tarn Adams.

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How should I learn to play Dwarf Fortress?

I am interested in learning how to play Dwarf Fortress. Where should I start, as an absolute beginner?
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6answers
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Dwarf Fortress learning curve

I've seen a lot of questions, on this site and in many gaming forums, about Dwarf Fortress. I know that it's free, and I like dwarfs and mining, but I never tried it — mostly because I've heard that ...
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1answer
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How can I tell which layers there are in an in-progress fortress in Dwarf Fortress?

At the embark screen it lists which layers are in the map. After starting a fortress and playing for a while, is there a way to tell which layers there are (short of digging through them all?). More ...
28
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1answer
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Why should I buy a barrel of blood?

I just noticed a dwarven caravan brought about a dozen barrels of blood from various sources, and a few barrels of ichor too. What's the use of this? If there's any, how can I "collect" the blood ...
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2answers
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Why make cheese if milk is already food?

In Dwarf Fortress, milk is already a food item, and if I am not mistaken, you get one cheese for every one milk. So would the only benefit of cheese be that it is just one more ingredient for making ...
26
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1answer
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How do I get my dwarfs inside?

How do I order everyone inside when I'm being attacked?
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3answers
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How to start with a Minimalistic build in Dwarf Fortress

What are the first things you should do when starting with a minimalistic build (1 anvil, 1 copper nugget) in Dwarf Fortress.
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2answers
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What is Dwarf Fortress?

I have seen a lot of questions on this site about Dwarf Fortress. What is it? What genre of game is it, and where can I get it?
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5answers
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Should I keep caged prisoners?

I've captured goblins with caged traps. I've already stolen all their stuff like explained here, but now I don't know what to do with them. Maybe my Dwarfs are happy seeing caged prisoners, but I'm ...
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3answers
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Is bronze really better than iron?

According to the Dwarf Fortress wiki bronze armor is now better than iron. Is this really accurate in the game, and does this accurately model the real world?
23
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1answer
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Why is my cat blinking?

One of my Outer Barrier Wall Guardian Felines, currently attached to its Bloodlust Distance-Minimization Chain, is blinking between no background and a light brown background. I looked on the wiki, ...
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2answers
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Is vampirism genetic?

I found someone that I think might be a vampire, but he's married and has a young child. His wife is somewhat suspicious too. I'm thinking of just executing the three of them. Can a vampire marry a ...
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2answers
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How do you move caged beasts in Dwarf Fortress?

I've got a fortress that's grown up past its adolescent phase and is starting to mature. Naturally, I've had a number of encounters with goblins and werewolves. Since my primary defense is a hallway ...
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3answers
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Will fish populate artificial underground canal?

If I channel to make an artificial underground canal or pool, fed by a natural river (and disappearing at the edge of the map), is there a chance small fish (as I understand it, vermin) will ...
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4answers
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How do different types of weapons compare in Dwarf Fortress?

How do different types of weapons compare? For example, is sword better than a mace, or are they different somehow?
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2answers
5k views

How do I make a farm using buckets?

On the Dwarf Fortress wiki is a description of muddying tiles using buckets and a channeled irrigation gallery. I haven't been able to make this work. I've dug the two z-levels, and channeled the ...
18
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4answers
917 views

How do I make cats less proud?

I have several cats running around my fortress, killing vermin and doing what they do best. Every now and then, a cat runs into my fortress dragging behind it a fresh kill as if to say "Look at what I ...
18
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1answer
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Can you divert a brook?

I've got a fortress that embarked in an area with a brook. The only problem is that the brook is much too far from my fortress to keep my fisherdwarves safe. Are brooks divert-able? What would the ...
18
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1answer
317 views

Are high-speed body parts a health & safety hazard?

Now that traps that propel junk at foes are a thing, thanks to the introduction of minecarts, does the same mechanism apply to body parts, and if it does, are they capable of doing appreciable damage? ...
18
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1answer
776 views

What affects the wear rate of clothing items?

Do we know anything about differential wear rates between clothing items? Does material affect wear rate? (Leather, cloth, silk, yarn, adamantine; do they wear out at different speeds?) Does ...
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3answers
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Dwarf Fortress Character and Graphics Sets [closed]

What are clear, intuitive tile sets that help beginning players understand what all is on the map? Tiles are spread across two different sets: character sets are the ASCII and graphics sets are the ...
17
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1answer
942 views

Can I run both Windows and Linux Dwarf Fortress from the same directory?

The reason I'm asking this is because I want to play Dwarf Fortress mainly on my main Windows computer, but I'd also like to be able to continue the same save from my Linux VPS. I already know how to ...
16
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2answers
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Will I miss anything important if I turn the sound off?

In the Dwarf Fortress options menu, the Music and Sound option allows you to set the desired volume, however this is a single option that will turn off both music and sound is set to 0. For the ...
16
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1answer
327 views

What happens to caged animals in an abandoned fortress?

My fortress seems to be heading for a tantrum spiral, and I'm not sure there's anything I can do to stop it. I have six Faedogs in my fortress, as well as a golden goose, and I would rather not lose ...
16
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1answer
959 views

What is a Queen Vampire doing in my fortress?

This is the first time my fortress was promoted to Mountainhome before flooding with water, lava or HFS, so I don't know if this is expected. I got a message that the King had arrived with his ...
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3answers
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Why do my dwarves climb trees?

My base started on a mountain. I dismantled the wagon and made a large meeting area on two cliffs below. However it seems like that my units like to climb trees. In fact, one of my miners was found ...
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3answers
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How can I make the original Dwarf Fortress tileset square?

I have gotten used to the default tileset of Dwarf Fortress, and I do not wish to change it a lot. That is exactly what most Dwarf Fortress tilesets do, though. My problem with the default tileset is ...
15
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3answers
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Getting rid of water on the lower levels in Dwarf Fortress

I want to build a deep fortress downwards multiple levels and I want to have water accessible on almost all levels. Optimally, I'd like to build a misting waterfall that falls down my entire fortress. ...
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2answers
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How to tend to a wounded dwarf?

I was building a vertical tunnel down multiple levels when I realized that one of my other dwarves had already dug the lower half. When the poor dwarf dug through the upper half, he fell multiple ...
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1answer
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Does the Champion do anything?

The wiki is quite unclear on the Champion. From what I gather he might "boost the morale". Is there a point to appointing one? The champion is a noble position appointed by the Baron (that is, you ...
15
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1answer
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How can I learn to read?

I've invested several hours in a human adventurer and want to learn the secrets of life and death. Unfortunately, I failed to invest any skill points in Reader at character creation. Is there any way ...
15
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1answer
990 views

Is there a list of public Dwarf Fortress dfterm2 servers anywhere?

I'm curious if there is a list of publicly playable dfterm2 servers you can telnet into somewhere to play Dwarf Fortress. I have seen a few servers mentioned on Steam Community sites dedicated to ...
14
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4answers
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What are my fortress essentials?

I've made it through a couple Dwarf Fortress tutorials but I'm still concerned that I don't know the basics of what my fortress needs to stay alive indefinitely (barring some sort of terrible goblin ...
14
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1answer
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How do you efficiently manage chains of tasks in Dwarf Fortress?

I'm a beginner at Dwarf Fortress. I was just about keeping on top of things, until my first wave of migrants arrived. Now I have 15 dwarves to keep track of, and my previous strategy of micromanaging ...
14
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2answers
705 views

Toys, instruments or crafts in dwarf fortress?

Is there any meaningful difference for my craftdwarf to make a toy, musical instrument or generic craft (e.g. figurines, rings, earrings, amulets, bracelets, crowns, and scepters)? For trade ...
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2answers
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How to reliably hurt dwarves without killing them?

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 ...
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3answers
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My squads die all the time when goblins come

How in the world do I: A: Train my military to not be pushovers. and B: Equip them so that they can kill things. An "ambush" of 4 goblins tend to kill 4 or 5 or 6 of my dwarven squad members, for ...
14
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1answer
267 views

Is my immigration policy going to haunt me?

I've decided to wall off my fortress with my initial seven dwarfs and bar all access from the outside. The immigrants will be denied entrance and will eventually die outside to hunger, sieges or wild ...
14
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2answers
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Taking a bath in Adventure mode

How do I clean my dwarf and his items in Adventure mode? Currently I've killed a number of things and am covered in blood, leaving a trail of it behind me wherever I walk. I doubt it'll impress the ...
14
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1answer
543 views

Is it possible to figure out why someone was murdered?

I've been playing around with Dwarf Fortress' legends mode and was reading about one of the figures. He was murdered at age 23 by someone else. Is there any way to figure out why he was murdered?
13
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5answers
6k views

How can I make Dwarf Fortress easier?

What configuration options can I change to make Dwarf Fortress easier to play?
13
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3answers
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Dwarf Fortress Traps and Levers

How do I know if/which trap/door/etc is linked to which lever?
13
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2answers
952 views

What makes an area easier then another?

What do I need to look for in an area for the first fortress?
13
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2answers
977 views

Should I spend all points at the “Prepare for the Journey Carefully” stage in Dwarf Fortress?

I'm a brand new player to Dwarf Fortress, and I've been looking at some beginners guides for starting a game. Although the guides tell you which skills it is worth investing in at the outset, they do ...
13
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3answers
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How do I get rid of unwanted immigrants?

I've just gotten a large number of immigrants, most of whom I don't want, and I would like to get rid of them. I have a small room set up to flood with water, but short of giving those dwarfs I want ...
13
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1answer
643 views

Keeping unskilled engravers away from a job site

I'm about to start digging out a flashy tomb for my fort's baron, and I want to engrave it wall-to-wall. I'd like to let only my best engraver do the work. I could lock him in easily enough, but I ...
13
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2answers
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How to find magma in Dwarf Fortress

What's a good way to find magma in Dwarf Fortress v0.31.08 (or thereabouts)? (Preferably without cheating.) I know if I dig straight down I'll eventually find some, but I usually wind up breaking into ...
13
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1answer
4k views

I am under siege and walled in, what can I do to fight back?

This is Urist McImdsm of Iton Datan, member of the Tomb of Heroes. We've been attacked by (initially) 32 undead. They've since eaten chickens and badgers. We are holed up in our fortress, which has ...
13
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1answer
583 views

The Minotaur won't kill my dwarf, what can I do?

So let me preface that I am playing the (or close to the) latest version of DF under the stricture that my dwarves are pacifists. No killing, no violence except personal self defense. No militia. Cage ...
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2answers
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How can I run Dwarf Fortress in text mode on my Linux VPS?

I installed Dwarf Fortress on my Linux VPS to use with dfterm. It's running Ubuntu 10.04. I'm fairly certain I have all the dependencies: I've installed: ncurses ncursesw libsdl libsdl-image libgtk ...