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Mechanism sprite.png
/ Ç
Materials Workshops Labors
Used for
Base value Size
30☼ 20,000 cm³
Browse other items
A very old-timey mechanism.

Mechanisms can be created by a dwarf with the mechanics labor. Stone mechanisms are made at a mechanic's workshop from any type of hard stone. Metal mechanisms can be made at a metalsmith's forge from 1 bar of metal and 1 bar of fuel, in trap components. Mechanisms at a forge can only be made with weapons-grade metals. However, using the work order to make metal mechanisms (either from the manager screen or from a mechanic workshop's workshop profile) will use a mechanic's workshop instead (with the same labor and materials), and any type of metal can be used. Mechanisms are stored in the furniture stockpile.



Building traps, levers, pressure plates, and gear assemblies requires one mechanism. Minecart rollers can require multiple mechanisms depending on length. Linking objects to a lever or pressure plate requires two mechanisms per linked item—one for the linked object, and one for the trigger (the lever or pressure plate). The only way to recover either of these mechanisms is to deconstruct the object linked via that mechanism.

When designating linkages, the first mechanism chosen will be attached to the building, while the second will be attached to the trigger (pressure plate or lever). This can be important when trying to minimize the use of magma-safe materials in a structure that will be exposed to high temperatures.

Mechanics will install mechanisms. Mechanisms can be linked to objects at any distance and do not require a connection between them.

Mechanisms for use next to or in magma must be magma-safe, otherwise they will be destroyed (whether by melting or by burning) and the object to which they are linked will deconstruct.

Mechanism quality determines the skill with which the weapon is "swung" or "fired" by the weapon trap, and affects all the rolls.[1] It does not affect how quickly a trap refires or the probability of the trap jamming.

Building a screw press workshop requires two mechanisms, and is likewise performed by any dwarf with the mechanics labor.


Mechanisms make surprisingly good trade items due to their high base value of 30☼. In comparison to other crafts, they are heavy, making them less-than-ideal when trading with races that do not bring wagons, notably the elves. Levers and gear assemblies make good room decorations, as they have a greater base value than that of statues and windows.

Mechanisms count as furniture. Because of this, the Jeweler's workshop job "encrust furniture with <gem>" may encrust mechanisms with gems instead of more useful furniture.

Quantum entanglement[edit]

D4Dwarf.png This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, pop culture references, and references to the Bay12 forums. Don't believe everything you read, and if you miss some of the references, don't worry. It was inevitable.

It is unclear exactly how two (or more) mechanisms talk to each other at a distance without building direct mechanical or electronic channels between them (such as a wire), and given that the dwarves have not discovered radio technology, it is believed by some that the dwarves have actually discovered how to implement and control quantum entanglement on a non-quantum scale, and somehow use it for transmitting information.

"I've always wondered," Lór said, "How do those mechanisms work?"

"Well, I put one here on the lever, and the other on the bridge," explained Urist. "When someone pulls the lever, the bridge goes up."

"Yes, but how? How does the one at the bridge know the lever's been pulled?"

"It's quantum. Quantum tanglement. See how this one's all tangled with the lever? Well, the other's tangled with the bridge."

"What does that have to do with quantum?"

"There's one of them, see? That's what quantum means, is one."

"But there's two."

"Yah, two ones. And they're tangled."

Lór thought for a moment.

"I'm not sure that's how it works."

"Well, don't check. It might stop."

Recent observational studies have given rise to new theories regarding dwarven machinery, the most notable of which being the Stringing Beard Theory. Accordingly, it is asserted the dwarven beard is in fact a single long strand interwoven across the dwarf's face as if a loosely stitched thread. By plucking out this strand and tying the end to a mechanism, which resembles a sort of carabiner, it is believed that a dwarf is able to connect two objects by way of a long (sometimes kilometers in length) strand of beard-hair. This is done quite simply by the dwarf continually plucking more and more of its beard out as it runs from one object to the next, laying out a cable around corners, up ramps, down stairways, and through planned walls (which get built over the top of the strand anyways). When a lever is pulled, it pulls the string with it, which in turn actuates the object on the other side. When deconstructing a linked building, the dwarf need only give the strand a flick or two, then it reels in the dangling mechanism from wherever.

Given the substantial density of dwarven beards, it is plausible that even a depleted beard can be replenished by the time a beard's five-tick shadow emerges.

Assorted Mechanisms
"Mechanism" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: bëmbul
Elvish: cereÿa
Goblin: amar
Human: jepum

Animal trapAnvilArmor standBedBlocksBox (chest • coffer) • BucketCabinetCage (aquarium • terrarium) • Coffin (casket • sarcophagus) • RestraintSlabStatueTableThrone (chair) • Weapon rack
AltarBookcaseDisplay (display case • pedestal) • HiveNest box

BarsBridgeDoor (portal) • FloodgateGrateHatchRoadWindow
Machine and trap parts
Other buildings

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