I tried to build an uncrossable pit and removed all the slopes going up out of it. But now I need to cross that uncrossable pit. Is there a way to build a path down from above?

Here's the top layer:

Top layer

And the layer below it:

Layer below

4 Answers 4


Using the build construction menu (b > C), you can build ramps and stairs. You can build a down stair on the level where your dwarves can access, build up/down stairs below each other until you reach the bottom, then an up stair at the floor.

Simple diagram viewed from the side:

---    D_P__    -- P = Your dwarves
   |   X|       -- D = Down stairs (b > C > j)
   |   X|       -- X = Up/Down Stair (b > C > i)
   |___U|       -- U = Up Stair (b > C > u)
  • That doesn't seem to work. I have a dwarf burrowed down there with some rocks and Wall/Floor Construction, Architecture, and Masonry enabled, but he refuses to build the up stairs (which are designated to be built from the nearby rock [not wood or something he can't reach or something]).
    – Shadow0144
    Nov 8, 2015 at 15:11

Construct a raising or retracting bridge over the pit. Then you can connect it to a lever and your pit remains uncrossable when the bridge isn't down. This way you don't have to deconstruct the ramps or stairs later.

Added bonus: you now have a handy death trap to fling or trap invaders.

  • Well, the entire reason I'm having a problem is exactly because I built a bridge. You can't remove the slopes after a bridge is built. So I tore it down, removed the slopes, and someone got trapped on the other side. I tried having them build staircases before asking the question, but no one was doing it so I wasn't sure it would work. I guess they are just busy doing other a million other things.
    – Shadow0144
    Oct 19, 2015 at 5:52

My guess is: the stones selected for building are the stones in the pit. But they cannot be reached without the staircase! Try selecting stone blocks, as you know there are none in the pit. Or wood. Or metal. Or whatever you want, even clay would work, but not stone.


One thing you might consider is to create an access door to the bottom of the pit. Even though it might feel more secure to have a pit with no way out, often you will need access to it. One reason among others is to reclaim crossbow bolts you used as well as goblinite from fallen foes in the pit.

1) From inside your fort (or from outside if you are paranoid), dig a up/down stairway down to the level of the bottom of the pit.

2) dig a horizontal (on that Z level) tunnel that connects the stairway to the bottom of the pit.

3) build a small (1x1) drawbridge where the tunnel reaches the pit as a doorway that allows you to seal the pit.

4) connect the drawbridge to a lever located at a safe location in your fort.

The end result: You now have a doorway that the majority of foes cannot break. The outside of a raised drawbridge will act like a constructed wall rather than a door; building destroyers who can beak down normal doors cannot break closed drawbridges. If you ever want your dwarves to enter or exit the pit you can now pull the lever in your fort to open (or close) the pit access tunnel.

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