I've captured goblins with caged traps. I've already stolen all their stuff like explained here, but now I don't know what to do with them.

Maybe my Dwarfs are happy seeing caged prisoners, but I'm not sure.

If I have to kill them, how do I do it?


5 Answers 5


Gladiatorial Games There are a ton of different options, depending on your sense of fairness and the blood thirstiness of your dwarves, but the basic premise is the same, build a stadium, with a cage connected to a lever in the stadium (or 2+ cages for pitting goblins vs. monsters you've captured). Make sure the stadium can be made inaccessible. Pull the lever(s) and let out the creatures.

Some options:

  • Archery gallery so your Marksdwarves can practice their aim. Not very sporting.
  • Leave the Goblin some (or all) of it's equipment when you put it up against a fearsome foe. Possibly sporting
  • "trap" new Nobles, and make them survive a trial by combat before they're allowed to govern. This might require a bit more effort (EG a bedroom w/ limitable access in both directions.
  • Danger Course. Make a path lined with traps. If you're feeling particularly generous, this could even lead outside of your fort.
  • For added variety, make the stadium floodable with Lava, Water or both.
  • creatures currently never pick up and use items. The one exception is items they acquire via wrestling. Sep 3, 2011 at 12:58
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    Does this include Goblins? What about Macaques? They're always stealing random crap (at least in older versions).
    – aslum
    Sep 4, 2011 at 3:49
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    Macaques (and a few other creatures) have the CURIOUSBEAST_ITEM tag, which makes them pick up items and then attempt to leave the map. CURIOUSBEAST_EATER and CURIOUSBEAST_GUZZLER tags exist, and such creatures will try to steal your food and booze respectively Sep 4, 2011 at 4:04
  • I'm trying to make an archery gallery but don't manage too. I've built a pit with a "fortification wall". Thrown the goblin in one side and assigned my archers to the other side but they didn't shoot at him... Sep 12, 2011 at 12:05
  • Well this is also a good point to make sure you've got your military setup right, they're equipped w/ arrows (and bows!). Also have you released the goblin from his cage? They won't shoot at caged animals.
    – aslum
    Sep 12, 2011 at 15:13

There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping a Goblin and Kobold Zoo. It's possible for dwarves to have a preference for goblins ("Urist likes Goblins for their Terrible Features"), and since Goblins (any non-friendly or tame unit, actually) don't need to be fed, they will (un)happily remain in cages indefinitely.

Just make sure to build a cage via the build menu, and voila! Instant goblin petting zoo.

  • 16
    I am thoroughly disturbed by the thought of happily petting naked goblins. Sep 2, 2011 at 18:57
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    @Raven Are goblins/kobolds also hateable? Will putting creatures like these into a zoo also create unhappy thoughts for some of my dwarves?
    – bcpettifer
    Sep 27, 2011 at 14:31
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    @Jaminja - No. Only vermin are hateable, and only those with the [VERMIN_HATABLE] tag. At least this part of DF is intuitive! Sep 27, 2011 at 16:05

If you do want to kill them, you can use i to make a pit over a cliff with spikes at the bottom and then use P to assign them to it. Then your dwarves will take them and throw them off the cliff.

This won't work for goblin kidnappers and thieves(which all kobolds are I think) though as they'll slip away from your dwarves and try to fight/escape. You'll have to manually release them, and have your military dwarves kill them/flood the room(with magma!).

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    Do be aware that Dwarves have about a 50/50 chance of failing to pit non-tame creatures, as of 31.25. A naked, weaponless goblin wandering around your fort still causes needless amounts of job cancellations. Sep 2, 2011 at 19:54
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    @RavenDreamer: Really? I don't remember that change... Sep 2, 2011 at 20:50
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    It's not a change. It's a bug. Sep 2, 2011 at 22:10
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    You'll want to make sure that either the pit is especially deep or that you have some weapon traps around to finish off the hardier nasties. I built one of these and only made it about 3 z-levels deep, and it doesn't usually kill goblins. It injures them pretty badly, and then I get to watch them wander around bleeding and blundering into traps. Actually, I guess it works pretty well... Also I dropped a hydra in there that lived for several months afterward. However, it does instantly kill any unfortunate macaques that set off my cage traps.
    – andronikus
    Nov 9, 2011 at 3:01
  • It helps if you simply keep your designated cage storage in the locked room you do your pitting from. Jan 23, 2013 at 20:14

I always put them in a room where my archers can shoot at them but they can't get out. Then I give my archers wooden arrows and just let them go at him.

Instant training pit.

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    If you do this without taking the armour from the caged prisoners first, they will last longer against your marksdwarves, which means that your dwarves will gain more skill. I do this to stop my marksdwarves getting rusty, since they refuse to train in my nice archery range that I built for them.
    – bcpettifer
    Sep 27, 2011 at 14:25
  • No need to train. Get 200 dwarves, assign them all cross bows and bolts. When a siege comes, conscript them all into one squad and they pown!
    – Russell
    Mar 19, 2012 at 15:43

I always create a room for caged creatures with hatch-covered holes in the floor leading into 3x3 fighting rooms below. Each hatch is then marked as a pit using 'i' and creatures can be easily dropped into a room with a dwarf warrior-in-training waiting to try out some killing.

By keeping the cages near the pit designations, my dwarves don't have to move the cages far. Note that there's nothing stopping you from making the fighting rooms several Z levels lower than the storage to make sure larger creatures have broken legs before the fight.

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