|This article is about an older version of DF.|
Surroundings affect the types of plant life, wild animals and creatures which will appear in play within a given biome. It is possible to start a fortress that overlaps multiple alignment types (for example a terrifying forest and a calm shrubland). Some players consider this desirable, as it provides diversity in your little corner of the world, but it also has its dangers in the form of more ferocious wildlife.
Some plants and animals are unique to a certain type of surroundings and will only be found if those surroundings are present on the map. Note that most creatures also require a specific climate to spawn in. Again, it's important to check the specific biomes making up your site. Once a creature spawns on the map, it is under no compulsion to stay in its own biome and can roam as it pleases. Because of this, the specifics of what means what can be difficult to pin down sometimes.
Combinations of surroundings
- including Calm, Wilderness and Untamed Wilds
Neutral regions are the easiest to understand. They generally mimic the real world, with recognizable wildlife depending on the area. They can be quite dangerous depending on the region, holding anything from generally non-aggressive but physically powerful enemies such as gorillas and elephants to the very aggressive and very dangerous giant eagles. As one might expect, Benign Neutral zones are really very safe, while Savage Neutral areas can pose some major difficulties, depending on the dominating climate and landforms. You'll find most of the standard aboveground plants in these alignments, such as prickle berries, rope reed, wild strawberries and the like.
- including Serene, Mirthful and Joyous Wilds
Good biomes tend to have less aggressive and weaker creatures, except for the unicorn. Good regions also support the wild sun berry, which makes the best booze in the game. There are generally slight changes between Benign Good and Savage Good.
Distinctive flora & fauna
- Animals: mountain gnome, satyr, unicorn, merperson, gorlak
- Plants: sun berry
- Trees: feather tree
- Vermin: fluffy wambler, fairy, pixie
- including Sinister, Haunted and Terrifying
Evil regions are more dangerous than their Neutral and Good counterparts across the board. At their root, Evil regions are modified Neutral regions. In addition to a pack of other creatures that are nasty, dangerous, and spiteful such as beak dogs, harpies, and ogres, Evil regions modify their Neutral base by infecting many (but not all) of the indigenous creatures with various forms of undeath. Undead have a resistance to piercing attacks and are always far more aggressive than their living counterparts, and they leave a fraction of the corpse benefits (zombies fall down rotten and are unbutcherable, skeletons only leave bones). Clearly, hunting undead animals for food is pointless, and finding kills in a countryside crawling with undead is outstandingly dangerous. Undead shrubs are useless for gathering, too. Also, fish can be infected with undeath, and can even walk on land to attack fisherdwarves. Even Benign Evil is very difficult for beginning players to earn a niche to work in, so it should be reserved for a challenge play only.
Distinctive flora & fauna
- Animals: ogre, dark gnome, beak dog, foul blendec, grimeling, werewolf, harpy, troll, strangler, nightwing, ice wolf, blizzard man, sea monster, manera
- Plants: sliver barb
- Trees: glumprong
- Vermin: demon rat, blood gnat, knuckle worm, phantom spider
Savage surroundings are typically more dangerous than their Neutral or Benign counterparts, due to the "wildlife" (naturally occurring creatures) found therein. A "Savage Good" region is called Joyous Wilds, a "Savage Neutral" region is called Untamed Wilds, and a "Savage Evil" region is called (and can be truly) Terrifying.