I am very confused about this. I know how to start a job, but I can't figure out how to assign a dwarf to it. I've looked around a lot, and can't find it. Can anyone help?

  • I remember this part of learning DF, it takes a while to get use to, but, when you do figure it out, it's really helpful cause it eliminates micromanaging on a macro scale. (Plus it adds more fun.)
    – Russell
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 12:07
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    Nerd4life123, now wait until you manage to discover how job management works using the manager. That will make stuff a lot easier!
    – Ids
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


You've got it backwards; Dwarves don't pick jobs, jobs pick dwarves. When a job is created, it picks the nearest dwarf with the appropriate labors enabled.

If you've set a job and are finding it's not getting completed, chances are, you don't have enough dwarves with the corresponding labor enabled.

While you can assign labors manually (Magmawiki link), this method usually becomes untenable once you have more than a handful of dwarves.

Therefore, I would suggest you look into Dwarf Therapist, an external program that you can run alongside dwarf fortress which will take care of all labor assignations from one simple screen.

  • DFHack also has a similar interface built into the game via the unit screen (u - l) since version 0.34.11 r2. Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 6:09
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    The only people allowed to call the Dwarf Therapist labor assignment screen "simple" operate nuclear power plants or fly passenger jets for a living. Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 8:28
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    @Shadur It is as complicated as an simple spreadsheet application. Don't overreact. It just contains a lot of information, as DF has a lot of jobs.
    – Ids
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 12:41

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