I've accidentally trapped my mason at the bottom of my mineshaft.

The shaft is 5x5 with up/down stairways, except for at the bottom.

The bottom layer has down stairways (dug, not constructed) leading to my aqueduct.

There's plenty of Diorite on the same level as the mason, and, I have designated the construction of the Up stairways on the current Down stairways.

Right now, however, he's just sort of standing there progressively getting thirsty. Any ideas?

Edit: Here are the surrounding layers. and here is the save file.

I do have another mason with 'No job' and 2 miners with the mason skill enabled. I also ensured that nothing within range is forbidden.

The odd thing is he won't even build a floor on the same level, let alone an up/down stairways or up stairways.

  • Can you provide a picture of the 3 closest z-levels to your stuck dwarf? Or, failing that, upload your gamefile to dffd or the like? It's hard to know what's gone wrong justfrom this info. Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 1:39
  • Have you made sure that the Diorite is not forbidden?
    – StarPilot
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 3:22
  • Consider telling him to construct an up/down stairway. It might not want to erase the natural down stairway with a constructed up stairway. This is just conjecture though, it's been a few months since I played df.
    – Nick
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 3:28
  • Give another dwarf the Masonry job as well (and clear off his other jobs for a moment so he/she doesn't have a choice). Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 8:19
  • I tried these suggestions and edited the main post including screenshots and save file.
    – user66184
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


If it are down stairs carved out using designate (This is your problem)

  1. You need to channel out the stairs. Beware that if the tile above has a up/down stairs your dwarf might fall 2 Z-levels and break his leg, or neck. Try to get the mining dwarf to the current floor first, mind you need a pickaxe for channeling.

  2. Now you need to construct a Up/down or up stair on that level manually. "b"-"C" and pick your stairs from the menu and place it there. Any mason will come and bring a stone or brick with him to create a stairs.

If it are constructed stairs (Just adding this since it is relevant)

  1. You can remove constructions in the designate menu "d". Not sure about the specific key but you can look it up in the designate list. I think it is "x".

  2. Now with the down stairs gone you can use the same method as above (2.) to construct a new stairs using construct "b"-"C".

  • It appears that my miners are unable to access the stairs to channel them. Odd since there's up/down stairs right above them. Any ideas?
    – user66184
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 20:30
  • @Thebluefish Dig a down stair next to the shaft with the final up/down stair. They cannot reach it because there is a upstair missing on the level below. See it like 2 halfs. If you have a up/down stair on your 1st floor of your house but no stairs leading up to the first floor. Then you have to jump from half way. Dwarfs do not jump, they are too fat and too drunk to do that.
    – Madmenyo
    Commented Jan 9, 2014 at 18:29

You must log in to answer this question.