I'm playing in DF2010 for 3 or 4 days. Read a lot at DF's wiki. Now I'm prepairing for the 1st attackers. I'm gonna build a tower with underground way to it. So I need to understad clearly, how to build walls.

Sometimes I need to build wall inside my fortress. But I still don't get meaning of all the icons. https://dwarffortresswiki.org/index.php/Tilesets hadn't help a much. Now I'm very confused of these three of them. They all are in places, where I wanted to build walls.

alt textalt text — seems to be the constructed normal wall from shale (the only stone I have now)

alt textalt text — but what are these? if they are unfinished yet walls, why do they have different view, and why Pillar and Wall, if they both must be walls?

What are these two?


2 Answers 2


The first tile you have pictured is a wall/pillar waiting to be constructed. Pending walls will have their colors inverted. The second set of tiles are completed walls. Pillar and Wall are synonyms and function the same. Pillars just happen to be where walls end. Pillar tiles will automatically become wall tiles if you extend the length of the wall.

  • 6
    It's not actually inverted, it's always just a gray background with a black object until it's built. Commented Sep 17, 2010 at 12:37

To address another possible point of confusion: they are referred to as "Rough" walls because they were built from unfinished stone (the kind of stone that's lying on the ground after you mine an area). To build "Smooth" walls, you need to first create blocks, as in from a mason's workshop. There is no way to smooth an already constructed rough wall. Still, there's not much functional difference between them. A smooth wall is simply of higher value than a rough wall, so your dwarves will like it better, but this is really only important when you have nobles around.

As an added note: you can carve fortifications into constructed walls, but you cannot engrave constructed walls.

  • For the sake of completeness: after the 2014 DF version, rough walls (and wooden palisades) can be climbed fairly easily, while smooth walls are a lot harder, tho still not impossible. Something to keep in mind when planning defenses.
    – Liz
    Commented May 4, 2018 at 13:21

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