v0.34 Talk:Trading

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Berserk Liason[edit]

A hunter went berserk in my fortress. Then I realised I didn't have a dwarf marked hunter (Very early fort) and I'm pretty sure I recognised the name as being that of the liason. Increase this number <ONE> by 1 if you get a berserk liason, so we can know if this was not an anomaly or personal mistake but a common bug.

Goblin Caravans?[edit]

this article is conflicted, in 1 place it says goblin caravans arrive in the winter, another says they arrive every season. can someone confirm which is right?unsigned comment by WYFLCM

I believe this is old information. In 31.xx I had seen a fort get a goblin caravan once, but never again. Nshapter (talk) 00:07, 16 July 2013 (UTC)


  • Caravans only spawn on ground edge tiles that could be walked on when the embark zone was first generated.

I can confirm that if you create an above-ground route to the edge of the embark zone wagons will not spawn on it - instead you get the 'bypassed your inaccessible ...' message. Presumably flooring over the top of a river / sea / lake that adjoins the embark zone edge would also not work.Ptb ptb 21:06, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Depot Deconstruction[edit]

This is something I've not had the courage to verify, but I've noticed. I deconstructed from under an Elven caravan once, and got their goods. They looked legit, and all that, and so I stocked them away, naturally. I tried to trade with the next elf caravan, and making sure that none of the goods, even those weird <<ropes>> had any wood whatsoever. They claimed the item was one a beautiful tree, and is now a useless bauble. They packed up and left. I tried this more carefully the next year, and same thing.

Point is, can anyone verify if a civ remembers what goods you steal by way of depot deconstruction? --Aescula 10:23, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

(EDIT) I would like to verify that you can, in fact, deconstruct the depot to gain all of the traders items. I haven't noticed any change in the factions relations with my fortress, but it's cheating! Do not cheat unless you need to! (to keep it fun for longer) ;) unsigned comment by

Animal Genders[edit]

I really feel stupid asking this one... I notice the gender order in the liaison's meeting dialog seems to be set - Yak Cow and Yak Bull don't swap positions between liaisons, nor do Goose and Gander - but does anyone know which Dog and which Cat are which? The three animals immediately above are all listed male first, then several in a row (dog, cat, donkey, horse) are listed which are impossible to distinguish male from female, then the next is listed female first. I only need females to increase my breeding rate, of course, but this screen (and only this screen, as far as I can tell) fails to show any sign as to the animals' genders, if they're not distinguishable by name. Gatherer818 00:56, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

I believe that males would come first, even if there gender isn't displayed, simply because there wouldn't be a good reason for them not to. If you need a specific gender, I would just request both and choose when they arrive, just to be safe. --Lethosor (talk) 23:52, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Goblins Arrive in Winter[edit]

I can confirm this. It's rare to have goblins at peace with your civilization, but it does in fact happen (with the same behavior as previous versions). Removing the verification tag in the paragraph that mentions it. Danjen 02:54, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Emergency Supplies[edit]

While examining my disassembly of version, I discovered some very interesting logic in the caravan code: the exact rules for "emergency supplies".

  1. Bring enough meat and fish items so that you will end up with 5 for every meat-eater in your fortress (carnivores*5 - (food_meat + food_fish)). In practice, this does nothing because dwarves are omnivores.
  2. Bring enough meat/fish/plants/cheese (and probably also other food items) so that you will end up with 5 for every dwarf in your fortress (population*5 - (food_total - food_drink - food_seeds).
  3. Bring enough cloth/leather so that you have enough to make 5 sets of pristine clothes for every dwarf in your fortress (population*5 - (cloth_total + leather_total + min(armor_total, shoes_total, pants_total)).
  4. Bring enough logs so that you will end up with 1 for every dwarf in your fortress (population - wood_total).

These rules actually date all the way back to 23a (aside from the "wood logs" rule), and they all count items which are non-rotten, have zero wear, and are unforbidden (for the clothes one, it also excludes anything which would be worn as Armor). Thus, caravans will start bringing cloth and leather in large quantities once your dwarves' existing clothes start to wear out. --Quietust 19:12, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Based on this information, I forbade my woodpile in winter, hoping the elves would bring me some featherwood logs. Their caravan arrived with the same assortment of worthless wooden junk, but no logs. Either there's a significant time delay, or forbidden logs *are* counted by the emergency supplies logic.--Loci (talk) 20:34, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Even after burning all 1000+ stockpiled logs to ash the elves refused to bring me any featherwood logs. Presumably the emergency supplies logic is also not excluding the logs used in constructions, roads, windmills, axles, etc.--Loci (talk) 20:55, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
This fits my observations - all unforbidden wood is considered for "emergency timber" supplies, and all unforbidden logs installed in buildings count. This notably includes workshops and constructions. Workshops and constructions can be built from wooden blocks instead, and forbidden buildings do not count. The latter's quite useful to keep machinery off the record - forbidding the logs in a windmill, waterwheel or axle after construction doesn't hinder their operation, it just means you'll have to unforbid them again if you want to change or deinstall them.--Larix (talk) 21:20, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Flowchart error?[edit]

I'm quite certain that the liaison does not talk with the broker, but rather with the main administrator - expedition leader, mayor, noble. unsigned comment by

True. I changed the flowchart (which is located here). --Lethosor (talk) 23:45, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Dwarven 'mercenaries'[edit]

I apologize if this is in the wrong place, it just seemed like the most valid area to put it.

So while playing one of my fortresses, a wagon got stuck leaving the depot and decided to sit there. Eventually, it broke and the merchants all ran away, but a curious thing happened. Two of the caravan guards remained beside it. So as the months turned into years, these few soldiers stayed by my fortress, never leaving, never going mad, never starving. And that's when it occurred to me. What if I could separate the soldiers from the caravan? The caravans don't care when soldiers don't come back, and the soldiers remained friendly after caravans had left. It would be a perfect backup for my fortress, a lever that can simply release an army of friendly soldiers into the enemy ranks, eager to path from the interior of my fort to the exit, undoubtedly through the front lines of the goblin invaders. So construction was begun, on the first guard-capturing system. It was a simple thing, simply a depot surrounded by retractable bridges, as soldiers have a tendency to walk around the outside of the depot while the merchants remain within, and although inefficient, it did begin to have some results.

This inefficiency, of course, was unacceptable, so I decided to refine my system. A caged troll was placed on a platform opposite a bridge beside my depot, and a window was build between them. When soldiers arrived, the troll could be released, and being a building destroyer, would remain by the window in order to break it, while the soldiers would path across the bridge and be trapped below. This system, while still not perfect, resulted in a roughly 95% efficiency, with nearly all soldiers being captured underneath.

During the following goblin Siege, the spike pit trap that was connected to my detainee pit, which I was testing in the meantime, began to have a curious result. Arrows were being fired out of it into the goblin horde, and I certainly did not post any archers there. The captured archers were firing out of the pit and into any goblin that pathed within range.

This, of course, made me realize that it would be very possible to set up a system for caging archers, then releasing them into guard towers where they will defend your fortress at all times, never tiring, never needing breaks. Now, of course, I needed to figure out the logistics of such a task. Initial attempts at causing soldiers to be trapped by fall damage were... unsuccessful, however a cave in due to a poor channel design gave me an idea. Dust from cave ins will knock any creature unconscious, and it can easily be manufactured where necessary. This system, of course, resulted in several redesigns to my capturing apparatus, the main difference being a new system was required to produce the dust. The end result was very good, with very low casualties, and a very high caging rate. Archers could now be placed where required, attached to a lever, boxed in with fortifications, and released to provide covering fire for dwarves in case of a seige, ambush, or theives. Melee soldiers, on the other hand, I discovered could be chained wherever necessary.

As of now, (practical) uses of your new soldiers include: Last line of defense- soldiers will path towards the exit, and assuming your depot is near the entrance, this will likely be straight through the goblin soldiers Archers- They can be on duty at all times, theives will be cut down mercilessly upon discovery. Some method of cutting off their line of sight, drawbridges for example, is recommended in case of elite archers. Sentries- More likely to survive a goblin ambush than your average kitten. Guards- A soldier is far stronger than a war dog, and unlike the dog will gain experience in his/her weapon of choice. Life expectancy is considerably longer as well. Pit Traps- After a fall, goblins are essentially defenceless. A single soldier locked at the bottom of your pit trap will be able to easily dispatch anything that survives the fall.

You could also host gladiatorial matches between them and captured goblins. How about a three way match with a hydra as well? Entertainment for everyone, and no tantrums at the end!

A warning: I have yet to experiment in-depth with using soldiers when the faction said soldiers belong to is at war with you (ex, humans seige you, will your 'mercenaries' switch sides?) so be wary of your newly positioned archers firing upon you. Consider having a cutoff switch, to block their view in case of betrayal. Early tests on a captured fortress where goblins were friendly on reclaim resulted in three out of forty goblins remaining loyal to the fortress upon seige, one of which died immediately, and another which switched sides again partway through the battle. All three who remained loyal had been in combat and killed goblin ambushers, which implies loyalties might shift from killing soldiers from the parent faction. In the same fortress, a human seige did not cause any human soldiers to switch sides, but all soldiers in question were still caged, awaiting transport to their new post. It is unknown if this changes anything, as tests are still underway.

(pictures of said apparatus might come later, a bit of fun occurred in my test fortress due to some shenanigans with said turncoat goblins and an ensuing tantrum spiral, but after repairs are complete I should be able to post non-messy screenshots)unsigned comment by Lieutenant Crow

You should probably put this on the forums (http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?board=2.0) as well, not that many people will read it here. --Old Ancient (talk) 14:35, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Merchants are a bit paranoid... ?[edit]

The trade depot needs to be accessible to the map border for the entire time the caravan is there. If this stops being the case the merchants will stop trading and want to leave.

Not sure if this is already on the page somewhere; I couldn't find it. Found out when I thought it would be a good idea to raise my drawbridge to keep them safe :( - 14:33, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

No items?[edit]

Do traders sometimes bring no items?

I have Elf merchants at the trade Depot.

"Tosace: Greetings. We are enchanted by your more ethical works. We've come to trade.

Tosace seems willing to trade.


[...no items...]" - Depot trade screen

What's up? - AnnanFay (talk) 23:51, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

'Heavily' and 'VERY WELL' guarded dwarven merchants?[edit]

I consider both of these very vague.

How many guards do dwarven merchants have (maximum / minimum)? What equipment do they use? Can they have armour from material which isn't available to your civilisation? Can they have superior quality items?

Do these vary depending on:

  • your fortress wealth
  • the wealth of the civilisation
  • the value of the merchants goods
  • amount of savagery/evilness on the map
  • or other factors?

Probably not all of this information is known without further SCIENCE! - AnnanFay (talk) 11:45, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Rule of thumb is that civilisations send one soldier per merchant. Guards get a metal shield, metal weapon, and probably helm and body armour (haven't looked at that recently, nor at exact materials vs. availability, which is rarely a concern since each civ gets alloy metals if they have the recipe), all base quality. I haven't seen any variation beyond that. This allocation holds for both humans and dwarfs, and merchants on foot get the same soldier-per-merchant as wagons.--Larix (talk) 23:01, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Cleared out verify tags[edit]

1. Items not owned by your fort - description is correct, traders' wares and depot contents are not fort property and not accessible to unforbid/dump.

2. Items worn by non-fort creatures start out forbidden, but can be claimed and dumped (including clothing worn by traders, in case anybody wonders).

3. Yes, it has indeed been suggested that profits affect migration and later caravans. Observations within the game fit this assumption, and any further verification would need reading the source code.

4. Seizing doesn't cause automatic sieges. People who've looked into the executable have found indications for diplomatic "damages" connected to various caravan mishaps and misbehaviours, including confiscations.

5. "Seizing" when nothing is selected doesn't change the merchant's mood and in fact doesn't result in any transaction (just like "offering" when nothing's selected). I don't see the need to demand a verification for the lack of result when there's a lack of action.

6. The executable-readers found negative reactions of the civ when merchants or diplomats died, when the caravan left with a loss etc. Deaths of diplomats even leave a trace in legends mode (roughly "<diplomat> died at <fort>. It was assumed <fort government> was at fault."; the diplomat was actually killed by a goblin ambush.).

7. all caravans arrive in the "late" month of their active month now, generally between the 10th and 20th.

8. yes, caravans "embark" on their journey off the site (i.e. start picking up their stuff and become unavailable for trading) one month after arrival, regardless of trade, route length to the depot and unpacking time.

9. the caravan successfully leaving the site is a condition for receiving immigrants; observation shows a strong corellation between wealth/traded wealth and migration count.

10. executable reading found diplomatic consequences for trader death independent of causes; there's no good reason to assume traders gone mad would be an exception.

11. Traders will patiently sit in the depot while paths to the outside are shut and wait for the bridge to be lowered again.

Where the information is somewhat vague in the above cases, verification beyond what's in the article would require knowledge of the source code; in the absence of a publicised source code, we'll have to live with a degree of imprecision. Slapping verify tags on everything that's not 100% known makes it hard to spot the cases where there's actual doubt about significant issues and thus a substantial need for verification. --Larix (talk) 20:12, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Bins and forbidding[edit]

It stuck me today that moving Finished Goods Bins to the Depot, while having the items forbidden, will force the dump of the forbidden items where the bin was. If everything inside the bin is forbidden, then what is traded is the bin itself.--Doktoro Reichard (talk) 04:38, 2 February 2014 (UTC)