I read there is a bug that makes your dwarves not use bins and barrels after reclaiming the fortress. How do I know which bins and barrels are just clutter. I use the LNP so it might have even fixed the issue since I never noticed it.

I know how to check the contents of any bin or barrel, just hoping they are marked or maybe your dwarves just ignore them altogether.


1 Answer 1


When you reclaim a fortress, all preexisting items will be scattered and forbidden for use by your dwarves (buildings will also be forbidden). This is useful because mature fortresses may have tonnes of items, and by the time your dwarves finish picking them up, you would have spent a year hauling everything inside.

The solution is simple: designate all "wanted" items to claim. The combination is the following


Then select all items you want to reclaim within the rectangle. You could also do this manually (with k) or within the stocks menu, however manually is only good for a small amount of items and to use the stocks menu you need to setup a bookkeeper and have him do enough work such that every item is accounted for (which will take time).

It is possible to use DFHack to prevent item scatter altogether. The command is called lair and when used marks the current embark as a "monster lair", therefore preventing item scatter on reclaim. Note that you need to call this before you abandon the embark that you want to reclaim.

In the abnormal case where bins were being used before the reclaim (which would render them unusable on the reclaim), there is no clear indication that distinguishes those "bad bins" from the good bins, apart from the fact they aren't being used. According to some information on this 2009 post, simply moving them is enough to reactivate them.

Due to the factors involved, dwarves will not move those bins. Hence, the use of the autodump feature of DFHack might prove handy, as it should move and "repair" the bins for usage.

  • Also, you can select entire cubes now, not just rectangles. Feb 11, 2014 at 20:15
  • @Shadur I am aware of that, but didn't include it because a 3D concept in a 2D game seems off. Feb 11, 2014 at 20:16
  • I was talking about the bug that causes bins and barrels to be permanently unusable after reclaiming a fortress
    – Paralytic
    Feb 11, 2014 at 22:09
  • I am unaware of such a bug in reclaim mode, and you didn't quote any information regarding said bug. Could you please post what article you read that described such bug? Feb 11, 2014 at 22:21
  • dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2012:Reclaim_fortress_mode look in the bugs section at the bottom
    – Paralytic
    Feb 12, 2014 at 12:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .