I have captured several human necromancers, zombies, a troll, an Amphibian Man Fisherman necromancer, and a giantess.

I've chained the Amphibian Man Fisherman necromancer, and sometimes I have noticed a blue exclamation mark flashing on him, implying that he is in a melancholy mood. I've also noticed a brown exclamation mark flashing, but I'm not sure what that is. These moods go away after a few minutes, although I'm not sure if one day the mood will become permanent.

Do all enemy prisoners experience moods? I haven't noticed it on any of the human necromancers or the giantess yet. Can they go insane? Do I need to do anything to keep them happy or in a non-insane mood? Can they die from mood?

EDIT: Now the blue exclamation mark keeps flashing and won't go away. I think it's melancholy mood, but there isn't anything on the wiki on non-dwarven prisoner moods.


Well, there's not much info on this, so I'll state my observations so far:

  • Amphibian Man Fisherman necromancer has a dark blue exclamation mark flashing permanently, implying melancholy mood.

  • A Human necromancer has flashed a brown exclamation mark, which eventually turned into a bright blue exclamation mark after some time, implying the human necro is now mad. His clothes are shrewn all over the floor also, which further reinforces this suspicion.

  • Elven merchants and guards can go insane in captivity; I've seen berserk and melancholy moods, but the melancholy status won't show up in the units screen u, except for berserk mood.

So, three things that remain a mystery are:

  • What is the brown exclamation mark that flashes that foreshadows an oncoming insanity?

  • Is there any way to prevent insanity while being captive? I can give them nice furniture and food, but I can't tell if it works or if they have really high stress tolerance.

  • Do all (learn/intelligent?) captive beings eventually go insane? ie, Trolls, slugmen?

  • 1
    These symptoms sound more like ordinary thirst and hunger. However, I can't answer the mood question itself.
    – Humungus
    Jun 9, 2015 at 22:18
  • @Humungus Downward arrows indicate thirst and hunger. Exclamation marks are more urgent and indicate moods or insanity. The wiki doesn't list a brown arrow, though the dark red enraged status looks similar in color: dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/DF2014:Status_icon Jun 10, 2015 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


The blue exclamation mark that you noticed flashing on your prisoner is most likely the "Terrified" status icon, as opposed to anything akin to dwarf mood icons. If an enemy unit (or dwarf, for that matter) sees something it is afraid of (e.g. several of its friends are cut down in front of it, a heavily armored dwarf is approaching it with sword drawn, etc.) it can become terrified.

You can see this on the unit by inspecting them and looking at their status (v -> w on the main screen). I would guess amphibian-men are more easily scared than most other types of animal-men, which is why he has it and your others do not, or perhaps he just watched a lot more of his friends die than the others - terror can take a long time to subside, and seeing dwarfs can reactivate it.

I don't believe insanity/moods applies to anything other than elves/dwarves/humans, but I could be wrong on that.

Finally, I believe the brown exclamation mark icon you saw flashing was, in fact, a dark red exclamation mark icon, which signals that the unit is enraged. This was probably triggered by seeing a dwarf that it wanted to kill.

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