I am experimenting a lot with the game right now and one thing I have noticed is that child dwarves are extremely useless. They just throw parties and interrupt others.

It's obvious they need to be sent to a better place.

My current solution is to dig a 2x2x8 well with a bridge on top, use a burrow to get the children onto the bridge and then just pull the lever. Most of them immediately die, some of them need a few months to meet their demise.

The problem is cleaning up the bodies and putting them into coffins. This creates a lot of unhappy thoughts but I do it to avoid ghosts being spawned.

So what is the most clean way to get rid of children while creating the fewest unhappy thoughts in my dwarves?

  • 4
    ..... only in Dwarf Fortress.
    – Radhil
    Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 21:46
  • Would a solution on how to edit the configuration files to ensure that you don't get so many children be an acceptable answer? I ask, since this being Dwarf Fortress, the elaborate death trap may be half the point. Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 13:29
  • @LindaJeanne I think I like the one that is already posted, but I am sure what you say would be useful to a lot of other people who stumble upon this answer (I personally don't have a problem with editing the files since I use the newb pack anyway).
    – Maurycy
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


Your elaborate child death trap should work just fine - you can erect a memorial to put a spirit to rest without needing to retrieve the body.

A few caveats:

  • Children do actually help out on their own accord, including harvesting crops and storing items.
  • As you'd pointed out, being haunted by a child produces unhappy thoughts, however the death of a child will cause this as well. You should be careful with how many children you slaughter as this can spark a tantrum spiral (Dwarfs getting upset causing other dwarfs to get upset, etc.)
  • Your bridge plan will work ok (in a sadistic sense), but if you want to make it humane, you can build a bridge on the ground, lift the bridge, corral the kiddies where the bridge goes down, then smash them into oblivion.
  • If you want to be as inhumane as possible (Praise Armok), I'd suggest this.
  • Children can be useful unless you get 10 kids in a 14 people migration wave. And the next one is almost the same... Atom smasher sounds like a better (and safer) solution. Is it known how long the unhappy thoughts appear after the death and how influential they are? Can I combat them back with some decent furniture here and there?
    – Maurycy
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 8:17
  • looking at this 'Thought' version 0.34 on the wiki (dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/v0.34:Thought) the modifiers are stated, the loss of a loved one can range from -50 to -10, and the scale of a dwarfs mood ranges from 0 to over 150. So unless they stack, you could theorietically 'catch' a dwarf from going all the way to 0 with some waterfalls and nicely made food (also depends how much it changed to .40).
    – schil227
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 12:17
  • 1
    Fair enough. The best way to get rid of kids is to disable them when playing, learn how to cope with them or cope with atom smashing them!
    – Maurycy
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 19:38

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