After slaughtering a bunch of goblin invaders, the dwarfs promptly piled up their corpses in my refuse pile.

Fast-forward a few seasons and the corpses decomposed to the point where only their skeletons remain. Being low on ammunition at the moment I decided to put those goblin bones to good use and make bone bolts out of them, like I sometimes do with cows and kittens.

Trouble is, the dwarfs refuse to make bolts because they need "unrotten bone body parts". But I have more than two dozen skeletons outside!

Can I use those bones or not? If that is possible, how can I get the dwarfs to make nice goblin bone bolts, so they can take out the next wave of besiegers with the goblin's own ancestors?

  • This is a very horrendous variant of fighting fire with fire...
    – Grace Note
    Commented Nov 5, 2010 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


Have you butchered the skeletons? Dwarf ethics may prevent the butchering of intelligent enemies, but they have no qualms butchering their bones.

Alternatively, skeletons and partial skeletons should "eventually" decompose into stacks of bones. But why wait?

  • 2
    I remember one fort site that had no iron ore whatsoever. I eventually started referring to sieges as "Goblinite" because my main iron source was melting down captured goblin weapons... :) Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 8:57
  • It's things like this that make DF so great.
    – Kzqai
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 4:43
  • 1
    What version are you using? I'm on v0.34.11 and it won't let me butcher goblin partial skeletons, which makes my marksdwarves sad.
    – edsobo
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 15:29
  • @edsobo At the time this question was asked, v0.31.XX. I'm not sure of the truth now. Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 22:28

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