I just had an encounter with some goblin ambushers in front of my fort. Most were caught by cage traps, and I sent my troops out to finish the rest. However, somehow, two dwarves were captured, and now they're sitting in their "dwarf cages" in animal storage.

How the heck do I get them out? How did they get in there in the first place - I thought my dwarves were immune to their own traps.

  • 2
    Truly, dwarves are paragons of intellectual capacity. In all seriousness, I've had this happen too and they ended up starving to death. I'd be curious to know.
    – TheQ
    Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


You'll have to "build" the traps that the dwarfs are in and then change the assignment so they are let out. It's the same way you handle caged animals and invaders.

The reason the dwarfs get caught is that they either get knocked unconscious, or they are sleeping. Check to see if the dwarf is wounded.

  • Is there any way to differentiate between cages of the same material type? I've got a big storage room full of mostly goblins and two dwarves. Or do I just have to build every cage of the type I want until I get lucky?
    – sjohnston
    Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 20:04
  • 5
    Push 'x' to expand and show the full name. It normally will say something like 'Horse Cage(zinc).' If you still can't tell, press 'y' on them there.(I believe that'll work.) Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 20:33
  • 1
    The dwarves were certainly knocked unconscious on their cage trap, which does cause them to get trapped. Same goes for other types of traps, so you have to be careful fighting near traps.
    – JavadocMD
    Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 21:30

This is discussed as a bug with caged dwarves. It is suggested to build the same cages and reassign the dwarf.

I find it simpler with metal cages to designate the item for melting (make sure it's not forbidden); then once it's marked, go to the smelter and task melt a metal object. Once the task is complete, the dwarf is freed, and, generally, [i]f there are items in a container that you are melting, the items will be placed inside the smelter when the container is destroyed ! (40.24)

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