I've got a fortress circling the death drain. Half the population managed to thirst themselves to death despite a non-zero quantity of booze available, and matters only got worse when the legendary miners started tantrum-ing. (My poor mason still alternates clutching at the stump of his right hand and his still-open guts, which now trail 2 tiles behind him like a horrifying tail of viscera)

I'm ready to abandon and reclaim, but I've excavated a ton of stone and gems, and for the gems at least, I'd prefer they weren't all scattered upon my return (less hauling jobs, at least). I know that heavier things, i.e., the lead bins I've been making, are less likely to move around, but the problem is that the majority of my bins are made of some sort of wood.

How do I get my dwarves to move the gems from the wooden bins to the lead ones?

  • 1
    Start a few carefully-placed fires? No wait, bad idea...
    – Wikwocket
    Oct 4, 2010 at 21:40

2 Answers 2


Dump the wooden bins with the gems in them, then reclaim only the gems within the bins, not the bins themselves. At that point, your dwarves should pick the gems out of the wood bins and put them in the stockpiles full of lead bins.

  • When you set the bin to be dumped, the gems aren't forbidden. The dwarves are not picking the gems out of the forbidden bin, and if I unforbid the bin, the whole thing is moved back to the gem stockpile. Oct 5, 2010 at 14:47
  • Then you may have to get supremely fiddly and designate stockpiles that are impossible to satisfy with the current gem in bin setup: Designate stockpiles that only hold a single kind of gem at a time, and all your mixed bins will have to be sorted out to satisfy your stockpile conditions.
    – Lokathor
    Oct 5, 2010 at 15:40
  • Oooh -- or maybe I can set up a stockpile with no bins allowed, and no other gem stockpiles -- would the dwarves remove the gems in that case, ya think? Hm... Oct 8, 2010 at 14:45
  • Quite possibly. Having never done reclaim mode, I'm not sure why you need to get the gems out of their bins in the first place, so I've never really attempted such a thing.
    – Lokathor
    Oct 8, 2010 at 17:22

It's time consuming, but the easiest way I've found to do this is to individually mark the gems themselves for dumping (or mass dump via the stocks screen. Your dwarves will swarm out, throw the gems into the nearest garbage zone, and move on. Then it's simply a matter of reclaiming the gems with d-b-c and forbidding everything but the lead bins you want them stored in.

  • 1
    A faster way is to forbid the gems, and haul the bins to the trade depot (while there's a caravan present). The forbidden gems will be left on the ground where the bin had been.
    – Brilliand
    May 20, 2014 at 18:51

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