The appraiser skill is used by the Broker, an assigned position from the n screen. If the currently assigned broker doesn't have at least Novice skill, then:
- No item in your entire fortress will show its value when viewed.
- It is not possible to see the values of goods being traded, only their weight
- You will only be able to sort goods to be traded by distance, not value.
- The z-status menu will say "You need a broker with the appraisal skill", and will not show created wealth or any trade information.
When the dwarven economy is activated, shopkeepers also use the appraisal skill when selling goods[Verify].
Experience in the Appraiser skill is gained by:
- Seeing goods for trade at the trade depot (only the first dwarf to view a new caravan's wares on the trade screen can improve their skill in this way, and 100% of the gain is achieved immediately upon first opening the trade sub-screen for the Trade Depot.)
- Trading in a shop[Verify]
Notable ways that it is not gained include:
- Proposing an unsuccessful trade at the depot
- Offering goods to foreign traders
- Simply being assigned as the broker noble
- Sitting around at the depot, whether there are traders there or not
- Meeting with the outpost liaison
Because experience is gained for each trade (and possibly each offer) made, it is possible to quickly level your current broker's Appraiser skill in this manner with a single caravan, but only the first to do so with any one caravan.