I embarked on a site that does not have a volcano. I have access to clay. so want to use a magma kiln to make clay crafts until I find coal.

those who perfer full vanilla game play, do not look at the spoiler below:

I use DFHack's "fastdwarf 1 1" command and all my dwarves have Legendary skills via editing the raw file (cheating), so hauling clay, crafts, or magma long distances is not a big issue.

I was thinking of using the magma sea to fuel the kiln. So I was considering bringing the magma up to the surface for the fuel + pampering tree hugging guests killing elves and goblins. Or would it be easier to use the kiln at the magma sea? I am asking this of anyone who has experience building pump stacks [for magma].

So is better to make kilns at magma sea level or at the surface?

  • 1
    Spoiler alert! If you are using "fastdwarf 1 1", your dwarves will teleport across massive distances in no time at all (from the surface to the magma sea) as long as they can path between the two. So build a magma kiln at the magma sea to bake clay and a conventional kiln at the surface for clay collection (no fuel needed) and let them carry clay down and crafts up. You only need magma at the surface so a magma kiln is close to your clay source to reduce travel time between the kiln and clay, which you don't need to worry about since the fastdwarf command removes travel time entirely. – Mark Ripley Jul 15 '16 at 13:30

There are glitches that allow you to bring a decent amount of magma to the surface without building mechanized Elevators. Basically you need to dig out a pillar from natural rocks all the way down to a lava pool. Then let this pillar crash down into the sea. For reasons only toady knows, the magma displaced below comes out on top of the pillar, where it can be siphoned away. This implies however, that there exists a stretch of rocks reaching down to lava without being interrupted by a cavern.

In dwarfspeak this is called a magma piston. There is a good guide to be found on the wiki pages: http://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/v0.34:Magma_piston

The other options, Minecart tracks and/or pumps are way too much of an commitment to build just after the start. You will probably die from an invasion in the process.

It might be an option to build at magma sea level and using an automated minecart to transport items, and have the main site above.

  • reading your post I was thinking of digging 8 blocks around a centre block from top to magma sea. I think that would cause cave-in in the magma sea. And if the magma comes to the surface then I assume that it would fall off from the 8 blocks that I just dug to do cave-in. – Fennekin Jul 11 '16 at 17:04
  • Updated with link. Your intuition was right. The easiest way to retain lava at the top is to carve a reservoir / pool on top of the piston. Some will drop flow off the sides, but as much as the reservoir can hold will stay inside. After everything is done, you can close the gaps around the piston and siphon off to your actual reservoir. That however needs at least a 3 by 3 wide pillar, and because of scaling I would suggest not using anything less than 5 by 5, (9 usable tiles of lava). If the Lava is deep enought, I think this can capture multiple layers of lava for increased efficency. – antipattern Jul 11 '16 at 17:12
  • Don't try to cause the cave-in by digging. Anchor with a lever-actuated support and pull it when everything is in place. The cave in will cause lava to splash around, causing lava mist, which can lead to massive fun if dwarfes are nearby. On the other hand, you could wait for the goblins to arrive... – antipattern Jul 11 '16 at 17:22

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