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This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

You may be looking for size of clothing, armor, the dimensions of a tile, or the list of creatures by size.

Size is a measure of how big a creature or item is, as volume in cubic centimeters[1], and called [BODY_SIZE] or [SIZE] in raw files.

Size has many important effects on the game, many through its direct effect on item weight, but as material properties go, its implementation is sometimes underwhelming - witness the incredible compression of matter, space, and time that is the QSP. When even multiple full grown dragons occupy a single square, size becomes a little difficult to contextualize. It doesn't help that a bronze colossus fits in a basic wooden cage (although, a fire man fits in it too).

Size directly affects such things as which weapons your dwarves can equip, butchering returns, storage limits, and combat effectiveness for both creatures and weapons.

Size is used to calculate an item's weight, along with the density of the underlying material(s):

Weight (in Γ) = Density (in kg/m3) * Size (in cm3) / 1,000,000 (cm3 in a m3)

Through weight, the size of an item has further ramifications in the game, such as hauling speed, pressure plate activation, impact momentum, weight restrictions, and so forth.

The weight of creatures is calculated from the densities and sizes of the layers of their body parts, which currently results in corpse weights that are about 1/3 heavier than expected.

Internally, all custom size numbers are rounded down to the nearest multiple of 10 - thus, if you define an item with [SIZE:15], it will actually behave as if you had specified [SIZE:10].


The [DIM] building token defines the size of a workshop or building in tiles. This differs from creatures and items in that a building doesn't have a weight, and it's not in cm³, of course.


When it comes to creatures, size is a rough stand-in for weight since standard flesh weighs about one gram per cubic centimeter. However, in the typical complexity of Dwarf Fortress, there are a number of other materials animals can include (ivory, hair, horn, shell, etc.) which have their own densities, shifting a creature's actual weight relative to its size, sometimes significantly (elephant tusks weigh a lot). Creature size is determined by [BODY_SIZE] tokens, often with multiple tokens to set their base size at certain ages.

Bodysize determines several things:

  • Average butchering yields.
  • How much damage they can absorb (along with morphology).
  • How much damage they can inflict in melee (along with morphology and attack definition tokens).
  • For creatures that can wear equipment ([EQUIPS]).
  • What size of equipment a creature can wear; clothing and armor are sized for a specific species and only creatures near that size can wear them.
  • Weapons have a minimum size that a creature must be to wield them ([MINIMUM_SIZE] and [TWO_HANDED]).

The actual size of an individual creature is the result of different effects:

  • The base BODY_SIZE for the species of creature.
  • The age of the creature; most creatures are born at minimum size and grow to a maximum.
  • Some, like dragons and most species of snake, grow throughout their entire lifetime and may not live long enough to reach the maximum.

Creature sizes range from 1 (small insect vermin) to 200,000,000 (giant sperm whales, the largest creature in the game). See List of creatures by adult size for details.

Sample list of creature sizes in cm3[edit]

Name Size at birth Size at maturity Notes
Adder 15 150 Smallest (non-vermin) creature
Rabbit 50 500 Smallest domestic animal
Cat 500 5,000
Kobold 1,000 20,000
Dog 1000 30,000
Dwarf 3,000 60,000
Giant tiercel peregrine 8,308 113,292 Smallest giant animal
Water buffalo 100,000 1,000,000 Largest domestic creature
Elephant 500,000 5,000,000 Largest natural land-based creature
Cave dragon 6,000 15,000,000 Largest cavernous creature
Sperm whale 500,000 25,000,000 Largest natural creature
Dragon 6,000 25,000,000 Largest megabeast
Giant elephant 4,000,000 40,000,000 Largest land-based creature
Giant sperm whale 4,000,000 150,000,000 Largest creature, period


Most items defined in the raws require a [SIZE] token, each class of item has its own: for instance, [SIZE] for ammo, [SIZE] for weapons, [SIZE] for tools, and so on.

Item types not defined in the raws also have a size which can be determined from their weight and material density, using DFHack, or code debugging. Some assorted item type sizes, and their storage capacity when applicable:

Item Type Volume Capacity Notes
Bars 6000
Cut gems 200
Blocks 6000
Rough gems 2500
Mined stone 100000
Wood logs 50000
Door 30000
Floodgate 30000
Bed 30000
Chair 30000
Chain 5000
Flask 1000 1800
Goblet 1000 1800
Instrument 4000
Toy 1000
Window 20000
Cage 30000 60000
Barrel 20000 60000
Bucket 3000 6000
Animal trap 3000 30000
Table 30000
Coffin 30000 60000
Statue 60000
Corpse Special Based on the size of the corpse and what it's made of.
Weapon SIZE1
Armor Special Depends on armor type and the race it was crafted for. See here for some examples.
Shields Special Based on UPSTEP and the race that crafted it.
Box 20000 60000
Bag 1000 60000
Bin 15000 60000
Armor stand 10000 60000
Weapon rack 10000 60000
Cabinet 30000 60000
Figurine 1000
Amulet 500
Scepter 3000
Ammo SIZE1
Crown 1000
Ring 50
Earring 30
Bracelet 200
Large gem 50
Anvil 10000
Body part Special Based on the size of the body part and what it's made of.
Remains 2000
Meat 2000
Fish 2000
Unprepared fish 2000
Live vermin Special Based on creature's adult size.
Tame vermin Special Based on creature's adult size.
Seeds 100
Plant 1000
Leather 5000
Plant growths 50
Thread ceil(Dimension/50)1 Freshly gathered/produced thread has a dimension of 15000 and thus has a volume of 300
Cloth ceil(Dimension/50)1 Freshly woven cloth has a dimension of 10000 and thus has a volume of 200
Totem 5000
Backpack 5000 30000
Quiver 3000 12000
Catapult parts 20000
Ballista parts 20000
Siege ammo 30000
Ballista arrow head 10000
Mechanisms 20000
Trap component SIZE1
Drink 600
Powder 600
Cheese 1000
Prepared meal 1000
Misc. liquid 600
Coin 10/161 The size of a stack is 0.625 per coin, then subject to the rounding; so a single coin is 10 cm³ but a stack of 500 is 310 cm³.
Glob 600
Small rock 2000 As thrown by adventurers.
Pipe section 30000
Hatch cover 10000
Grate 10000
Quern 30000
Millstone 30000
Splint 2000
Crutch 2000
Traction bench 30000
Orthopedic cast 2000
Tool SIZE1 CAPACITY1 Includes items such as nest boxes, jugs, large pots, hives, minecarts, wheelbarrows, stepladders, pedestals, and display cases
Slab 60000
Egg Special Presumably the caste's EGG_SIZE.
Book 1000
Sheet ceil(Dimension/50)1 A fresh sheet has a dimension of 10000 and thus has a volume of 200
Branch 5000 An adventurer mode item
1 - As noted above, all values are rounded down to the nearest multiple of 10, with a minimum value of 10.

See also[edit]