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40d:Dwarven economy

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This article is about an older version of DF.


The dwarven economy is unlocked when a Baron, Count, or Duke arrives. See the related articles for details on the specific requirements for their arrivals.

You may prevent the economy from activating with the arrival of the above nobles by editing data/init/init.txt; line "[ECONOMY:NO]". Once an appropriate has arrived, turning this setting back on will not have an effect until you kill him (or her) and a replacement arrives.


  • All non-legendary and non-noble dwarves are granted personal accounts, initialized at 200 money. They earn wages for performing most kinds of work and spend it on bedroom rent, food, and pets. Whatever's left over can be spent at shops, which it now becomes possible to build. Dwarves can purchase useful or desirable goods at shops and get happy thoughts from doing so. Current wages can be viewed through the Job List screen: j-m-w. Legendary dwarves and nobles have no account and don't require money to acquire rooms, items, or food.
    • An unfortunate side effect of this is that legendary/noble dwarves can purchase any finished good they desire, whether at a shop or not, preventing you from trading them to caravans. They may also acquire unusable armor (which you might prefer to melt) as well as unequippable weapons and ammo, potentially leading to the unfortunate scenario of having no arrows with which to load the bows in your weapon traps. This can be avoided for goblinite by ensuring that they are marked for melting before they are unforbidden, as melt-designated items are ineligible for acquisition.
    • The tax collector will also begin collecting taxes whenever too many of your fortress's crafts end up in the coffers of your citizens.
  • Children have access to the wealth of both parents. Children of only legendary or noble parents have no wealth, and therefore tend to be deeply in debt. Children of only non-noble non-legendary dwarves have access to two dwarves' worth of income, and tend to be among the richest dwarves in the fortress.
  • The economy can be run with coins, a locked vault of coins, or no coins at all. Coins are minted at a forge out of copper, silver, gold, and (depending on game version) other metals. It is strongly recommended that you either not make any coins at all, or at least not let your dwarves have access to those you do make. The reason for this is that coins are physical objects that need to be acquired, hauled, stored, and tidied up. Because individual accounts fluctuate, your dwarves may spend more and more of their work time strewing tiny coin piles all over the fortress! Not only will this make a huge mess, your dwarves will also rapidly lose those precious coins they spend so much time with, because they are not doing wage-earning jobs. You can inspect each dwarf's bank balance by looking at their profile: v-p-z. Toady has suggested that he considers this an exploit, and that in the future dwarves may become unhappy if they are unable to gather enough coins to cover their balance in one of the future game modification posts. Let us hope he improves coin storing mechanics at this time as well (dwarves often refuse to re-pile coins, leading to hundreds of piles of small numbers of coins scattered everywhere)
  • Bedrooms may only be explicitly assigned to nobles and legendary dwarves - all others are put up for rent. Dwarves will pay rent on their current room and, if they cannot pay, will be evicted and must find a cheaper place to sleep. Make sure you have enough low-price rooms available (or at least beds in the barracks). The rental price can be seen when selecting the room with q; this figure is based on the total worth of furniture, smoothing and decoration, etc. in that room.
    Inexpensive rooms can be made fairly easily by placing multiple beds close together and declaring overlapping rooms from each of them.
    You may cause all room rent to become 0 by editing \data\init\init.txt; line "[ZERO_RENT:YES]". Rooms can become far too expensive otherwise, what with exclusively high quality furniture being produced by skilled workers, and room rent not being adjusted according to supply and demand. Note that, even with this option enabled, dwarves will still be evicted if their accounts go negative from purchasing food.
  • Food must also be purchased. Dwarves that cannot afford quality meals must eat something of lower value (plump helmets or meat are common choices). Dwarves will not starve because they cannot buy food; they just choose whatever is cheapest. In doing so, however, their account will go negative (displayed in red on their profile screen), and soon they will likely be evicted or taxed.
  • Whether it has any effect on the arrival of megabeasts, siege size, or other game features or challenges is unknown.
  • Non-legendary dwarves who are not given enough work to do will receive an unhappy thought ("was unhappy with the lack of work last season") and will request a meeting with your Manager. After they meet, the Manager will meet with the Mayor (unless they are the same dwarf) and make suggestions about job allocations. In the case of complaints from guild members (miners, carpenters, masons, metalsmiths, jewelers, and craftsdwarves), a message may appear similar to "<name> has taken a request from the <type> Guild." and a mandate will be issued to perform a number of related jobs.
  • Dwarves will no longer randomly perform "Check Chest" jobs on containers built in unassigned rooms.
  • Dwarves will start randomly sleeping in barracks, even if they already own their own room, and even if the barracks do not contain any beds (for example, if they are defined from a weapon rack or armor stand); no negative thoughts appear to result from this.