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Restraints can be built from chains or ropes, despite the game asking for a chain, using the keys b + v. They can be used to tie up guard animals, prisoners, criminals or livestock.
A restraint is (technically) a 1-tile large building, a chain or rope which is used to restrain a dog, dwarf or other creature to a certain very limited area of movement. Unlike a cage, a restraint can only hold one creature, and the creature can move within a range of one tile from the location of the restraint itself, including up and down if stairs or slopes are in this area. This gives them, at most, a 3x3x3 cube of movement, limited as normal by walls, doors etc. Restraints do not block movement, including movement of wagons. While an animal is assigned to it the same as with a cage, using the q menu, dwarves can and will only be assigned from within the justice system.
Restraints can be used to keep a war dog or other animal near areas where you need constant vigilance and defense. Chained animals placed near the entrance to your fort will spot kobold thieves that can bypass traps and other passive defenses, pausing the game and announcing their presence. A pair of animals, placed opposite each other against the walls of a 3-wide corridor (so they cannot have more than 1 tile between them), are guaranteed to spot any thief that tries to enter, and (if combative) will similarly engage any hostile creature. But assigning a pasture for the guard animal is more resource efficient way to guard specific areas. This also allows the animal to walk away on its own if there ever is an alert that forces everybody to a certain area.
Restraints can also be useful in the meat industry, since animals on restraints can breed, unlike animals in cages.
Currently, due to a bug, a restrained animal will keep the restraint on their upper body if it's deconstructed while the animal is still restrained. This can be used to "equip" your beasts with decorations, such as spiked chain collars or lavish ropes, but has no in-game effect.
Barracks • Bedroom • Dining room • Dormitory • Jail • Meeting hall • Hospital • Office • Sculpture garden • Tomb • Zoo
Animal trap • Anvil • Armor stand • Bed • Bin • Box • Bucket • Cabinet • Cage • Coffin • 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