4

I have a fortress of 70 dwarves with 8 miserable, 14 very unhappy and 8 unhappy dwarves and I can't find a way to make this number go down. Mostly they seem to get low morale when they see corpses or death. The problem is I always have 1-3 dwarves that get melancholy or such and let them die which leads to others seeing death and raising again the number of unhappy dwarves. While this is continuous fun, I would like to be able to improve the situation.

What I have done so far:

  • buried all dwarves (no more ghosts now)
  • made a corpse stockpile near the burying cave so that corpses are brought there even if I don't have free coffins ready (is it a good idea?)

Any ideas on how to address the global unhappiness issue?

6

You should build an engraved, stone smoothed, big dinning hall and serve better food than the classic plump helmet, something like meat.

Be sure to create rooms for each of your dwarfs if it's not the case yet or, at least, luxurious rooms for the stressed ones.

Dwarfs usually don't like to go outside or drink water, so never run out of booze and make the unhappy dwarf stay inside.

Don't hesitate to decorate your fortress with high quality products/furnitures or put caged animals if your dwarfs like a certain creature.

I don't know what your fortress look like but I do hope that you don't have vermine running around (a few cats will eliminate them) or worse : miasma ! Create stockpile "rejected" and "corpse" outside so they won't rot inside your fortress.

Last but not least, each dwarf have their own personality, you can look what they like or hate and adapt the fortress for them !

And don't forget, loosing is fun :)

3

In addition to Chocobouc's answer, I would suggest avoiding warfare when possible, especially with an unskilled military. This is a good defensive maneuver for the viability of the Fortress, and to proactively keep morale up. For best results, wall* in your fortress from the outside world, and only open it once your fortress has healed morale and can adequately defend itself.

Note that this is an advanced strategy, as it has the trade-off of no longer having access to the outside (hunting, water, wood gathering, etc.) and relies on a self sufficient fortress. Running out of resources would have adverse effects on morale.

Lastly, make a waterfall.

*Doors, floodgates, bars, etc. will not hold up in a siege, especially when building-destroyers arrive.

  • Good point ! For the wood, you can rely on underground ressources too, but be aware that the sooner you reach underground cave, the sooner a mystical creature will attack – Chocobouc Jan 3 at 9:52

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