My last fortress was destroyed ,dwarfs were killed and then I abandoned it. goblins came in the fortress by climbing walls ! (yes I didn't expect them to climb walls).

I thought of an idea to prevent them from climbing ,but I am not sure whether they will come inside by climbing it or stay outside ? I think this screenshot from minecraft can roughly explain the design.

(red line is the enemy path)

I wanted an open roof fortress not a fully covered top of fortress by floor. so is this feasible ?

enter image description here

  • 3
    I'm assuming that the Minecraft picture is just to more clearly (and in 3D) illustrate the situation in Dwarf Fortress.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 13:13
  • absolutely correct!
    – Fennekin
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 13:15
  • 3
    Nice use of minecraft to demonstrate something in another game! Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 13:52
  • 3
    Slight problem with the moat- someone's filled it with water when magma would be much more !fun! Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 19:17

2 Answers 2


Consider putting traps along the top of the floor level (along the outer edge) causing anyone to try and dodge, and hopefully dodge the 'wrong' way causing them to fall off (increase this by building a wall one step 'inwards'.

Another step you can take is to add fortifications, this has two advantages:

  • You can have marks dwarfs firing through the fortifications in relative safely
  • Fortifications can not be stood on unless they have a floor tile on top. This should stop anyone trying to cross over them. Due to jumpers, you may want multiple rows of fortifications.

Repeat as many times as necessary ;)

Some animals are legendary climbers (cats are by default, and Giant Cave Spiders can move at 'walking speed' when climbing); so if they can swim as well then you're current defence would possibly still fail to them.

Also this defence does nothing to stop flying coughDragoncough enemies from entering your fort from above. The only way to truly stop anyone 'climbing' into your fort is to seal the roof off. After all, who wants the 'orrible glowing sky fire shining on them while they work anyway?!

  • actually you have a good point of adding traps on the top.
    – Fennekin
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:23
  • but still can climbers reach inside the fort through such structure.
    – Fennekin
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:24
  • 1
    It's still unclear and needs more testing. Another thing you could try is fortifcations without a 'floor' on top. These are then 'impassible' tiles, and so no one should be able to scale over them. Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 18:27

Climbing smoothed natural stone is impossible.
So smooth your walls from the inside. Note that carved fortifications are carved through a smoothed wall, and constructed fortifications are considered smoothed also. If you REALLY want to prevent climbers and flyers, build a floor over your fort. Gaseous creatures might still enter through your fortifications though.
Beware of jumping creatures. They will jump over your moat, even if it's filled with magma, then grab onto a rough wall.
Ghosts will just fly through anything, including solid rock.

Edit: I'm pretty sure an overhang, like in your picture, prevents climbing too. However, enemies could just climb around your walls and moat, on the rock face against which you built.

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