I've got a little bit of a predicament. I created a pit to dump goblins in, then I tried to fill that pit up with water in order to kill them.

Of course that's when I find out that you need to actually have the place filled with 7/7 water and a floor above them in order to kill them.

Unfortunately, I left a few holes open in the level above to drop them in, and I can't do anything about it because the moment I queue up a floor hatch to fill the holes, the dwarves suspend the construction out of fear.

How do I fix this?

Level 1

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Level 2

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(The goblins are dropped in from pits above. Those floor hatches are suspended.

  • You don't need a floor - just the full 7/7 water below. Though, given your set up, I'm not sure how you don't have 7/7 water in your goblin pit. Jan 22, 2012 at 18:28
  • @RavenDreamer I don't, but the moment I do fill it up 7/7, the goblins will swim up through the holes and into my fortress.
    – user56
    Jan 22, 2012 at 18:47
  • That's because of the floor. They've gotten swimming skill from drowning, and once they get one rank in it, they can crawl up out of your pit. Jan 22, 2012 at 18:51
  • Honestly, I'm not sure if you can fix anything until the goblins are dead. I suggest marksdwarves stationed above the pit. Jan 22, 2012 at 18:52
  • @RavenDreamer I can't take the risk of them not having any swimming skill beforehand though, so for a reliable drowning pit the entire floor has to be covered.
    – user56
    Jan 22, 2012 at 19:09

3 Answers 3



Firstly you need to kill the goblins. You can't finish anything until that is done - As others have suggested marksdwarfs are the way to get this done. Even an untrained marksdwarf may hit something sometimes so make a squad and just tell them to station on the floor above. They will fire through the holes and eventually kill all the goblins.

Once they are dead, you can build your hatch and be happy in the fact the goblins are now doomed.

Personally, i'd make a ramp and have the hatch a floor higher, so they drop 2z levels into the water - the first drop will stun them, and you'll be able to fill it to 7/7 and make sure they drown without them climbing back out :)

  • +1 for the deeper pit idea. In my current fortress I have a death pit that is about 4 z-levels deep and lined with spikes where my prisoners land. The bottom area is a larger chamber with a few weapon traps. The fall onto spikes only kills about 1 in 10 goblins, and the rest drag themselves into the weapon traps. Oh, there are also fortifications so I can send in marksdwarves if I need to, and a way for dwarves to get in to harvest the goblinite. But those are all details; a deeper pit with spikes is magic, and there's no reason you can't flood it too.
    – andronikus
    Jan 26, 2012 at 14:48
  • They are actually dropped from a hatch system one z-level higher, I merely have these hatches so that they won't escape. Your suggestion sounds good though.
    – user56
    Jan 27, 2012 at 6:24

Some general ideas:

  1. Fill the pit with magma.
  2. Put other things in the pit that will kill the goblins: Just flood them in a tide of war dogs, cats, bears, etc.
  3. Make a giant room under the water and create a cave in. (Never tried this myself)
  4. Freeze all the water in the pit and kill them the old fashioned way.
  • 7
    The Beatles said it best: "All you need is Lava!"
    – aslum
    Jan 23, 2012 at 4:08
  • I'd suggest a cave-in over the pit, rather than under. Build high enough and the dwarves won't see the goblins...
    – Brilliand
    Feb 11, 2015 at 22:43

You could try sealing off the room above the drowning pit from the rest of your fortress and raising the water level until that room is also filled up to 7/7. Then it won't matter which level the gobbos are on, they'll drown anyway. Just make sure to seal to upper room completely before filling it, in order to avoid unwanted water and goblin leaks.

Once the current batch of goblins are all dead, drain the pit and redesign it to avoid this problem in the future.

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