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A bridge is a building (not a construction) that spans multiple tiles allowing dwarves to go across water, magma, and other obstructions. Bridges are built from the build menu, under bridge.
A bridge defaults to a single tile in size. You'll need to change the size to suit your needs with the k,h,u, and m keys; the bridge's dimensions can be set anywhere up to 10 tiles on a side (including an anchoring tile at one end on solid ground or other constructions). A bridge will require both architecture and masonry (or carpentry or metalsmithing if wood or metal is used) to complete. The material required for a bridge is less than the material required for building an equivalent area of floor tiles (1 + area/4, rounded down), and when a bridge is deconstructed the materials are deposited on the ground next to where the bridge stood rather than falling down into the open space it spanned.
Unlike raising bridges, which require an area of solid ground, retractable bridges can be built using existing bridges as their sole means of support. However, the same cannot be said of other structures such as floors. The game will allow the structure to be placed, but as soon as it is built, a cave-in occurs and the unfortunate dwarf constructing it falls to his death (bug 000436).
Interestingly, building a bridge over a constructed floor will allow dwarves to deconstruct the floor through the bridge without disrupting the path across said floor (especially if the floor is being used to bridge an area). Conveniently, the materials used to construct the floor will be left on top of the bridge, rather than being dropped down below it.
If a bridge is built outside over a channel, anything under the bridge counts as inside for the purpose of preventing cave adaptation (but not for the "stay inside" order), regardless of whether or not the bridge is actually covering the area.
To make a drawbridge, you must specify a direction for it to raise. You must make this specification before construction. During construction, when you use umkh to change its size, use waxd to specify a direction.
A drawbridge can be connected to a lever or pressure plate. When the lever is pulled, after a delay of 100 steps the bridge will raise in the direction specified at construction. The direction that a bridge raises can be slightly confusing: if a drawbridge raises to the left, then it forms a wall on the left side when raised. A drawbridge that raises requires a floor underneath the side towards which it will raise (on the tiles where the "wall" will form when raised); remember to take this into account when digging.
A drawbridge, when raised becomes a wall, and when lowered it will crush anything that is standing where the drawbridge exists when lowered. This has earned it the name dwarven atom-smasher. Some players may consider the crushing power of the drawbridge to be an exploit — the only units that survive the smash are those with a [SIZE] greater than 10 (megabeasts, demons, wagons, and several other large creatures, such as Elephants) - rather than being crushed, they will cause the bridge to instantly deconstruct.
Excluding the drawbridge-immune creatures listed above any creature standing on a drawbridge when it raises will be flung a between 1 and 11[Verify] units to the sides. This applies to flying creatures who happen to be on the same tile as part of the bridge at the time. The creatures will usually come out from the fling stunned but otherwise uninjured, and flying creatures may drop out of the sky.[Verify] (To see what happens during a fling, view the Stone Fling DFMA movie.)
Creatures that are too large to be crushed by a drawbridge will also prevent it from raising if they are standing on it at the time; the entire raising process will be aborted, and will have to be triggered again once they step off for the drawbridge to close.
Any item sitting on the drawbridge has a 1/4 chance of being flung. They can be flung anywhere from zero to 11 Z levels upward and up to 11 units in any other direction.
To make a retracting bridge, you must designate it as such during construction with the s key. A retracting bridge can be connected to a lever or pressure plate. When the lever is pulled, after a delay of 100 steps the bridge will retract. A retracted bridge will no longer be visible and functions like open space.
Any creature standing on a retracting bridge when it retracts or extends will be flung . This applies to all units[Verify], including flying creatures who happen to be on the same tile as part of the bridge at the time. The creatures will usually come out from the fling stunned but otherwise uninjured, and flying creatures may drop out of the sky.[Verify] If a creature with a [SIZE] greater than 10 (megabeasts, demons, wagons, and several other large creatures) is standing on the bridge when you attempt to retract it, it will simply fail to operate.
Any item sitting on the retracting bridge has a 1/4 chance of being flung. They can be flung anywhere from zero to 3 Z levels upward and up to 3 units in to the sides.
Barracks • Bedroom • Dining room • Jail • Meeting hall • Office • Sculpture garden • Tomb • Zoo
Animal trap • Anvil • Armor stand • Bed • Bin • Bucket • Cabinet • Cage • Coffin • Container • Restraint • Seat • Statue • Table • Weapon rack
Fortification • Floor • Stairs • Ramp • Wall
|Machine & Trap parts|
Axle • Gear assembly • Millstone • Screw pump • Water wheel • Windmill • Lever • Pressure plate • Trap • Support
Archery target • Kennel • Shop • Siege engine • Trade depot • Wagon • Well