Difference between revisions of "DF2014:Adventurer mode"

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==== ''Attribute advancement cap'' ====
==== ''Attribute advancement cap'' ====
Adventure mode attributes are capped at double the starting value, or the starting value plus the racial average, whichever is greater. Humans, for example, have a racial average strength of 1,000. If a human adventurer starts with an ''above average'' strength of 1,100, then his strength will ultimately be capped at 2,200. Had this human started with a ''below average'' strength of 900, then his strength would be capped at 1,900 instead. For the purpose of maximizing final attributes, this makes it important to start with as many attributes in the ''superior'' range as possible (more attributes per point allocated), while avoiding taking any penalties to even remotely important attributes (big attribute deductions per point recovered). As a consequence of the attribute cap, demigod adventurers will always have a much higher potential for advancement than mere peasants and heroes.
Adventure mode attributes are capped at double the starting value or the starting value plus the racial average, whichever is greater. Humans, for example, have a racial average strength of 1,000. If a human adventurer starts with an ''above average'' strength of 1,100, then his strength will ultimately be capped at 2,200. Had this human started with a ''below average'' strength of 900, then his strength would be capped at 1,900 instead. For the purpose of maximizing final attributes, this makes it important to start with as many attributes in the ''superior'' range as possible (more attributes per point allocated), while avoiding taking any penalties to even remotely important attributes (big attribute deductions per point recovered). As a consequence of the attribute cap, demigod adventurers will always have a much higher potential for advancement than mere peasants and heroes.
=== ''Starting skills'' ===
=== ''Starting skills'' ===

Revision as of 19:44, 28 September 2019

This article is about the current version of DF.
This is a detailed reference guide for Adventurer Mode. For a beginner tutorial, see the Adventure mode quick start.
See Adventure mode quick reference to quickly look up key commands.

In Adventurer mode (also called "Adventure mode" or simply "Adventure") you create a single adventurer, be they dwarf, human, elf, goblin, or one of the varieties of animal people, who start out somewhere in one of your generated worlds. You can learn about what ails the world, and go on quests to end those troubles (or get brutally murdered trying), and you can venture into the wilderness to find caves, shrines, lairs, abandoned towers, and other towns and settlements. You can even visit your previously abandoned/retired fortresses and take all the precious items you yourself once created. Unlike fortress mode, Adventurer mode is a sort of advanced open world RPG version of Rogue or Nethack taking place in the same procedurally-generated worlds used for fortress mode. Whereas in fortress mode, you are in charge of a large group of people in real-time, restricted to a small parcel of land, in adventurer mode you control a single character in a turn-based manner, roaming the entire world freely.


World selection

You can play adventure mode in any world that has a civilization with the ADVENTURE_TIER token (which are elves, dwarves, humans, and goblins, as well as animal peoplev0.42.01). Humans inhabit cities, towns, and the occasional above-ground fortress. Elves inhabit forest retreats. Dwarves are spread between "deep sites" which sometimes do not contain a direct connection to the surface, fortresses which are built into the surface, and almost always connect to the underground, and "hill dwarves" which inhabit a loose collection of mounds built into hillsides. Goblins typically live in Dark Fortresses. Lastly, animal people can live with any civilization, in virtually any location. Human cities and towns, and dwarven fortresses, are currently the only sites with shops and other places to officially buy goods, not including taverns (which can also exist in elven sites, but only sell rooms and drinks). If you have previously built a fort in the world that you select, your adventurer will be able to go visit it. If you have selected to "retire" the fortress rather than abandon it, you will likely be able to encounter all the inhabitants from fortress mode. However, they will likely not have the same level of activity as they would in a bustling fortress-mode fort.

Character creation

Race and civilization

Any race from an [ALL_MAIN_POPS_CONTROLLABLE] civilization is playable in adventure mode. In most standard games, this includes dwarves, elves, and humans. All three races can complete the same quests. If an [ALL_MAIN_POPS_CONTROLLABLE] civilization never existed, adventure mode cannot be played.

  • Dwarves have the advantage of being able to go into a martial trance when fighting multiple foes at once. This gives them many combat bonuses, which aids their survival greatly. They are the only race that can start with steel weapons, but they wear "small"-sized clothing which means that they're unable to wear human clothes and armor. Goblin armor fits them, making dark fortresses (if your computer can handle them) and dark pits a viable source of armor; if you're up for it, you could also just rob some dwarves or a dwarven fortress. They can start with almost the same weapon skills as civilized humans. Many larger weapons must be wielded two-handed by dwarves, due to their size.
  • Elves start with very weak wooden weapons and have a more limited list of weapon skills during character creation. They have the advantage that they have higher natural speed. Elves are [AT_PEACE_WITH_WILDLIFE], which makes all wildlife passive towards them. They also have a notably better sense of smell compared to the other races with a [SMELL_TRIGGER] of 10 instead of 90, which means they can sense smells over much larger distances. Like dwarves, they wear small-sized clothing.
  • Humans begin with bronze, copper, or iron weapons. They also start with the widest variety of weapon skills. Humans are larger than the other main races, meaning armor from other civilizations are too small to be worn. Human-sized clothes and armor are commonly found in hamlets and towns.
  • Intelligent Wilderness Creaturesv0.42.01 are playable wild animals. Any creature with [LOCAL_POPS_CONTROLLABLE] fits into this category. A wilderness creature can be played as long as a population exists in an [ALL_MAIN_POPS_CONTROLLABLE] civilization. Most wilderness creatures are animal people. They come in various sizes, shapes and abilities, and as such a short description cannot be given; however, they will not start with armor or be able to wear armor sized for the more common races, making Dodger and Shield User more important as defensive skills. Some useful features will be copied from the species to you, such as the ability to fly, a poisonous bite, extravision, a large size, various immunities (e.g. pain, stunning, exertion, traps, fear, dizziness, fevers, fire, poison, or drowning), special abilities (e.g. shooting webs, hurling fireballs), intrinsic starting skills, or the absence of vulnerable internal organs. Some features can also be uselessly amusing (e.g. snakemen talk with a [LISP]) or more crippling: plump helmet men can't talk, and characters from a [MEANDERING] species stroll very slowly in lieu of normal movement.
  • Goblins are only playable when a population is present in an [ALL_MAIN_POPS_CONTROLLABLE] civilization. They possess the same body size of dwarves and elves, and can wear whatever weapons and armor the civilization which adopted/conquered them allows. They require no food or water to live.
  • Kobolds are playable in newer versions but not in older versions. They are very weak in combat, and a huge challenge compared to other races. They are even smaller than the other main races, and it is next to impossible to find properly-fitting armor for them, unless you are absurdly lucky and run into armored kobolds.Verify


Outsiders are adventurers that aren't from a civilization. They can begin at any site and are strangers to all. Only humans can be outsiders in vanilla by default. Other races can be played as outsiders if [OUTSIDER_CONTROLLABLE] is added to the creature's raws. At least one [ALL_MAIN_POPS_CONTROLLABLE] civilization must have existed in the world in order to play as an outsider, though the civilization does not need to be alive. A human civilization is not strictly required.

Outsiders will always try to begin in a populated site. Caves and even lairs with megabeasts will be chosen when there are no occupied civ sites. When starting from a lair, be sure to escape from the site immediately, as soon as the game starts, to avoid an instant death.

Playing as an outsider has many initial limitations. They possess no pre-existing relationships or knowledge of various events and wildlife. When selecting skills for outsiders during creation, only Spear User and Knife User are available as weapon skills, and Armor User or Shield User are not available. Outsiders start out literally naked. Maps also start off completely hidden. Because they lack a cultural identity, outsiders cannot worship deities and are unable to perform dance, music, or poetry due to having no held art forms.


Determines the number of starting skill and attribute points, which does not change based on race:

  • Peasant: 15 attribute, 35 skill
  • Hero: 35 attribute, 95 skill
  • Demigod: 105 attribute, 161 skill

The number of skill points is less significant than the number of attribute points because the time it takes to go from Peasant to Demigod in skill terms is much less than what it would take to go from Peasant to Demigod in attribute terms.

Starting attributes

Attributes are divided into Body and Soul attributes. This section provides some guidance for allocating attributes as it relates to adventurer mode.


  • Strength: Contributes to melee attack momentum, adding velocity and force, and leg strength to movement velocity. Strength determines encumbrance limits, and higher capacity reduces the speed penalty of carrying burdens. Increases to muscle layer mass proportionately improves damage resistance but also reduces speed; proportionately larger characters benefit more from the extra layer thickness and suffer more from the speed penalty.
  • Agility: This attribute is directly related to a character's Speed. All combat skills rely on it, especially defensive. Increases attack velocity and potential attack rate.
  • Toughness: Reduces physical damage inflicted on you. Also relates to defensive combat skills.
  • Endurance: Reduces the rate at which the adventurer becomes exhausted. Exhaustion progressively penalizes physical skills and rate of movement to the point of immobility and unconsciousness.
  • Recuperation: Increases the rate of wound healing.
  • Disease Resistance: Reduces risk of contracting syndromes (including infection) and the negative effects when active (including alcohol-induced.)


Some of these are demonstrably useful for adventure-mode-applicable skills, but the effects of the attributes aren't clearly understood. For ideas on how they may be applied, see a list of skills organized by attributes..

  • Analytical Ability: Useful for Tracker, Knapping and Student. Analytical Ability seems to have an influence on the quality of written creations, such as poems, as well as ability to speak about ideals.v0.42.01
  • Focus: Affects Archer, Ambusher, Observer.
  • Willpower: Affects Fighter, Crutch Walker and Swimmer. Willpower helps resist the negative effects of status ailments such as Pain, Stunned, Unconscious, and all states of exhaustion and food/drink/sleep deprivation.
  • Creativity: This influences quality of poems, songs, and dances and crafts. It may also influence "make believe", now able to be performed by children.v0.42.01
  • Intuition: Helps with Observer, which aids in spotting concealed enemies, ambushes, and identifying attacks from opponents.
  • Patience: May have some effect on dealings with others as a result of the new conversation system.Verify
  • Memory: Memory is applied to the Student and Reading skills. Higher Student skill improves the ability to learn from demonstrations in fortress mode, but it isn't certain whether it has any application in adventurer mode. It's also unknown what benefits come from of higher Reading capability.
  • Linguistic Ability: Affects any speaking and writing ability, improves the ability to communicate thoughts and feelings to listeners/readers. Verbal ability can form a positive impression depending on how the listener values eloquence, and responses to stories and poetry relies on delivery.
  • Spatial Sense: Important. Affects combat skills, Ambusher, Crutch Walker, Swimmer, Observer, Knapping. Also, prevents/reduces the chance of stumbling during a dance.v0.42.01
  • Musicality: Influences the adventurer's ability to perform music and song well. This, so far, works for all instruments; one can play a flute, guitar, or any other instrument equally well, given that the adventurer has equal skills in all instrument fields.v0.42.01
  • Kinesthetic Sense: Affects most combat skills, walking with crutches, swimming and dancing.
  • Empathy: Affects social skills such as Persuader, Flatterer, Judge of Intent, and other Social skills that may not be applied in adventurer mode.
  • Social Awareness: Increases the number of followers you can have at a given fame level. Normally, you start with a limit of two. Increasing this stat by one level raises that to three, etc. Your fame still plays a big part in whether you can recruit followers or not. This attribute also helps with Persuader and Judge of Intent.

Attribute advancement cap

Adventure mode attributes are capped at double the starting value or the starting value plus the racial average, whichever is greater. Humans, for example, have a racial average strength of 1,000. If a human adventurer starts with an above average strength of 1,100, then his strength will ultimately be capped at 2,200. Had this human started with a below average strength of 900, then his strength would be capped at 1,900 instead. For the purpose of maximizing final attributes, this makes it important to start with as many attributes in the superior range as possible (more attributes per point allocated), while avoiding taking any penalties to even remotely important attributes (big attribute deductions per point recovered). As a consequence of the attribute cap, demigod adventurers will always have a much higher potential for advancement than mere peasants and heroes.

Starting skills

Not all races have the same sets of skills available at character creation time, but keep in mind that all starting skills, as well as ones not available at character creation, can be improved through use in-game.

This section will specifically address starting skills as they relate to adventure mode. For a full description of combat skills see Combat skill. Other skills that you can't start with, but which can be increased in-game (such as Butchery) are described elsewhere.


The weapon you start out with will be based on which of these, plus the unarmed combat skills, is the highest. In other words, even if Swordsman is your highest weapon skill, you won't start with a sword if your Wrestler or Striker skills are better. Usually the best choice anyway is to specialize in just one melee weapon skill. Regardless of weapon skills, a large copper dagger will always be included in the starting equipment, which is handy for throwing at enemies that are just a step away or finishing off a foe pinned down by a stuck weapon. If you don't select any offensive skills, you will also start with a spear, just as an outsider would.

Not all races/civilizations can start with all of these skills. Dwarves can't start with Bowman, Pikeman, or Lasher. Elves can only use Swordsman, Bowman, and Spearman. Of the playable races, only humans have access to Pikeman and Lasher. Strangely, only outsiders can start with Knife User.

Note that different races have different names for their weapon skills. Axegoblin, Axedwarf etc.

Crossbowman is an exception. Dwarves call this skill Marksdwarf, although bow skill is referred to as Bow Dwarf as you'd expect. Elite Axe and Hammer dwarves are referred to as Lords.

  • Axeman: allows characters to use axes, great axes, and halberds more effectively. Useful for cleaving off limbs.
  • Bowman: skill allows characters to use bows more effectively. Useful for taking down enemies at a distance.
  • Crossbowman: allows characters to use crossbows more effectively. Useful for taking down enemies at a distance.
  • Hammerman: allows characters to use crossbows in melee, mauls, and war hammers more effectively. Useful for breaking limbs.
  • Knife user: allows characters to use large daggers and knives more effectively. Useful for stabbing things.
  • Lasher: allows characters to use whips and scourges more effectively. Very deadly weapons.
  • Maceman: allows characters to use flails, maces, and morningstars more effectively. Similar to hammers.
  • Pikeman: allows characters to use pikes more effectively. Like spears, but much bigger.
  • Spearman: allows characters to use spears more effectively. Useful for stabbing things.
  • Swordsman: allows characters to use blowguns and bows in melee, long swords, scimitars, short swords, and two-handed swords more effectively. Useful for cutting, stabbing, and whacking, but less effective than more dedicated weapons.

General combat

These skills form the basis for combat effectiveness. There is no maximum value to their utility, so if you begin with a rank equal or higher to your chosen weapon you'll become better able to benefit from other weapons when necessity or strategic advantage requires. Starting versatility can pay off early; you may choose your starting weapon, but the best available weapon is beyond your control or prediction.

  • Fighter: This increases with, and contributes to, melee combat whether armed or unarmed. It appears that the purpose of it is to allow melee experience to contribute to melee combat in general regardless of weapon. Repeatedly wrestling (grabbing and releasing) even a small creature will raise this skill.
  • Archer: This increases with, and contributes to, ranged combat including throwing. It works similarly to Fighter except for ranged attacks. It can be easily raised by repeatedly throwing rocks, making it advisable for archers to practice their marksmanship with rock throwing before using up the more finite and expensive forms of ammunition. Shooting at a wall with adjacent upward ramp one level below and picking back projectiles is also a good idea (such places often happen to be in keeps and fortresses). See the FAQ section on increasing your skills and attributes for information on raising bowman/marksman skills.


These skills are critical for survival. Starting out with good ability in one (especially Shield User or Armor User) if not all is strongly advised.

  • Shield user: Ability to block attacks with shields. Starting with even novice skill in this means that the adventurer will start with a shield. This is a no-brainer unless you're creating a two handed weapon user, and lack a broadness or height modifier on your character - necessary for one-handing any two-handed weapon, without penalty.
  • Armor user: A higher level of this skill reduces the encumbrance penalties of armor, allowing you to move faster when wearing it. It also affects how well armor protects you, and this makes a huge difference. Unskilled armor users gain little protection. This is noticeable, as you'll begin seeing far more combat reports about hits either striking you though armor, (you managed to use your armor to lessen the force of the blow) or being deflected by your armor (you used your armor to avoid the hit entirely) as your skill rises, and you learn to actually use your armor to deflect hits. It is highly advised to train your armor skill before entering battle with it, as the speed penalties of lower levels can be a serious handicap.
  • Dodger: Ability to dodge out of the way of attacks. Dodger is incredibly important and will allow you to avoid many, many hits that would have otherwise injured you. Especially important when you are fighting unarmored and can't afford a battle axe in the chest. Boost this to talented, or at least close to it.

Unarmed combat and improvised weapons

While some of them come in handy at times, they can generally be raised fairly easily in-game, especially Wrestler and Thrower.

  • Wrestler: Ability to grapple, restrain, take-down, throw opponents, etc. Higher skill means all of these moves succeed more often. See #Wrestling and Unarmed Attacks for details. Can be raised very easily in-game.
  • Striker: Punching ability. Turns handy when weapons get stuck and there is no time to wrest them back.
  • Kicker: Kicking ability. Same as Striker. Kicks are slower but more deadly than punches; heavy kicks are particularly good at crushing and exploding heads.
  • Biter: Biting ability. Biting is surprisingly effective even with non-animal races, as after biting you can shake opponents around by your teeth, causing great damage and possibly ripping off body parts, although with sapient races this tends to lean more towards fingers or toes, perhaps the occasional hand or foot.
  • Thrower: Throwing any miscellaneous object including rocks, knives, axes, swords, heads, etc. Skill affects accuracy and damage caused.
  • Miscellaneous object user: Ability to beat things to death with anything that comes to hand, from bags to coins to their own severed body parts. Also somewhat more commonly used for shield bashing. This skill affects combat with any object, from a rock to a beehive. There are no separate skills for different items. Items actually intended to be weapons, like swords or axes, are unaffected by this skill.

A well written article on the fanon martial arts style "Kisat Dur" can be found on the forums here.

Movement and awareness

  • Observer: Helps one to notice things like ambushes, enemies who are "sneaking" (stealth movement), and traps. Detection range increases with skill, but up to a maximum of 3 tiles away. Higher levels give more information regarding opponents. Hard to train. Adding some points here is advisable.
  • Swimmer: Allows movement through water without drowning. A Novice swimmer can swim but will revert to being unable to swim if stunned, which happens when falling even 1 z-level into the water, or possibly after an unfriendly encounter with a creature in the water. An Adequate swimmer can swim normally (not drown) while stunned. For this reason, starting out as an Adequate swimmer is advisable. If you don't, at least start as Novice and go get some swimming practice right away.
  • Ambusher: The skill of Sneaking around unobserved. This can be raised fairly easily by sneaking around while traveling from place to place when speed is not important. Enemies will have "sight ranges" from where they can detect a sneaking adventurer. The red zone of sight is where they will see you immediately and begin chasing you; the yellow is where they might see you. Staying out of sight will allow you to silently assassinate your foes, as they rarely seem to notice a knife in their back in time.
  • Climber: The skill of climbing up walls, into trees, and around the edges of gorges. Higher levels reduce the chance of falling and increase the speed of a climbing character.
  • Tracker: The skill of tracking your quarry, whether it be animals or goblins. Higher levels will let you spot more tracks and help you distinguish different tracks.
  • Crutch-walker: The skill of standing and walking with a crutch for support. This skill only becomes available when attempting to move with a crutch in inventory, and can be developed with or without legs. At Legendary levels, a crutch walker walks with no speed reduction, and simply keeping it in hand will continue to increase attributes.


These allow your character to create things:

  • Knapper: The fine art of sharpening rocks by banging them together in a clever manner. The resulting rocks become sharp rocks which do more damage when thrown and can be used for things requiring a sharp edge like butchering. Easy to make in-game, and doing so helps with Kinesthetic/Spatial Sense.
  • Bone carver: The art of making knick-knacks and other items by carving bones. A skilled bone carver adventurer can make items of the same quality as dwarves in fortress mode, including "*Masterpiece*". Bone carving adventurers can also make bone figurines, and customize the appearance of them.
  • Writer: Your adventurer's ability to craft/write upon books and scrolls, you can choose the topic as well. It is hard to acquire the materials however. Checking in libraries and old dwarven fortresses has proven profitable.
  • Carpenter: Your adventurer's ability to craft wooden objects and create wooden buildings and displays.


Almost all of these are only used in arguments.

  • Persuader: Increases your ability to convince people of your view.
  • Judge of intent: Allows you to tell how the opponent is arguing, unknown if higher levels change anything.
  • Flatterer: Increases your ability to flatter your way out of the argument.

General performance skills

These are your general performance skills, similar to fighter skill, in that they enhance rolls for many different skills and can be leveled easily.

  • Musician: Increases quality of all instrument based performances this is your all around instrument skill, very similar to speaker and fighter, except with instruments.
  • Speaker: Your all-around speaking skill increases quality of all performances that involve speaking out loud, includes reading poetry, singing etc. Very similar to "Fighter" skill, except it's with performance rolls, not fighting rolls. May also effect argumentsVerify.

Performance skills

Skills that affect your character's ability to pull off performances. These skills can be used to play as a bard.

  • Poet: Increases the quality of poems you create and read out loud.
  • Singer: Increases quality of all songs your character sings.
  • Dancer: Increases quality of dances you choreograph and perform.
  • Stringed Instrumentalist: Increases quality of all performances using stringed instruments.
  • Wind Instrumentalist: Increases quality of all performances using wind-based instruments.
  • Percussionist: Increases quality of all performances using percussion instruments.
  • Keyboardist: Increases quality of all performances using keyboard instruments. (NB, shows up far less often in character generation than any of the others)

Note: if your civilization does not have access to a type of instrument, you will not be able to choose that skill at character generation time.

There are also procedural skills for every different kind of instrument, dance and poetic form, these will vary from world to world and by civilization, and cannot be chosen at character generation, but can be leveled in play.


  • Reader: Allows you to read books, signs, and writing in Adventurer mode. Novice level is required in order to become a Necromancer. Can be trained slowly by reading books (if you can read). Adding more points is a waste, as novice allows you to read anything.
  • Butcher: The art of turning corpses into piles of delicious prepared brains and meat for food. Butchering also makes corpses and body parts less useful to enemy necromancers. You can allocate points here during character creation, but doing so is a waste because the skill doesn't really affect anything anyway. Except the taste, of course.
  • Wordsmith: It is unknown exactly what this skill affects, but likely it affects the quality of books, poems, and other written materials.

Character appearance and preferences

As of 42.01 you are able to customise your adventurer's appearance, needs and preferences. Just like with any citizen in fortress mode, their needs will have to be fulfilled or else the character suffers from distraction.

As needs are fulfilled, your character's total level of focus goes up, gaining you bonuses to accuracy and other skill rolls. Your current level of focus will be displayed whilst playing, as one of the following: Focused Focused!

In the current version, some of these are unable to be fulfilled in adventurer mode.


Common UI concepts

About key symbols

Most documents on the wiki use key symbols that look like t to indicate what keys are used for an operation. Note that these are case sensitive. In order to save space, Shift+t will be written as T. So t means "press the 't' key without the shift key" and T means "hold down shift and press the 't' key". Lowercase and uppercase keys will almost never perform the same function, so it is important to use the correct key. Sequences of keys will be written with dashes between them, so a-b-C means "press 'a', then press 'b', then hold shift and press 'c'".

Cursor movement, menu selection, and navigation

Esc Go back to the previous screen/menu
Change active menu option or move cursor
- + Alternate menu selection keys
Enter Select menu option

Sometimes you use the directional keys and Enter to make menu selections, but sometimes you will need to use the alternate selection keys (- and +) instead. Generally speaking, if the directional keys don't work in a menu, try -/+.

Esc will almost always take you back to the previous screen until you get to the top level of the UI, at which point it will display the options menu.

Moving around

Local movement

An image of normal travel mode. A list of the closest (but not necessarily close) sites is in the top-left corner. On the right side are minimaps of the next two levels down, relative to the player. Along the bottom is information about the player.
8 2 4 6 7 9 1 3 Move
Alt and a direction key Move carefully / Deliberately enter dangerous terrain
Shift+< or Shift+5 (num lock off) Ascend
Shift+> or Ctrl+5 (num lock off) Descend
. Wait for 10 instants
, Wait for 1 instant
s Stand or lie down
S Open Movement Speed/Sneak Menu

Unless your character is an outsider, you will start out in a race-appropriate town or hamlet; in the standard tileset, the @ sign is your character. The directional keys allow movement. Diagonal movement is particularly important, especially when chasing or running away from things. Use Alt+direction to enter water, jump off of cliffs, or otherwise attempt to enter anything that you can't enter using normal movement commands. Note that when entering water, it's best to enter the actual water, and not the open space over the water, as in the later case, you will fall in, causing you to become stunned, which may lead to drowning. If you hit j, you can jump. This is mostly useful for crossing gorges and crevices, where you have to get to the other side. Occasionally, you can manage to jump onto an opponent and tackle them, which typically causes them to go flying a short distance. Hitting . allows you to stay in one place and wait for other things to move. , does the same but with a tenth of the time it takes for ..

Use s to sit/lie down. Moving while laying down (crawling) will let you move past NPCs which are standing in your way. Also note that you will frequently get knocked to the ground in combat, and if you don't hit s to stand back up then you will crawl slowly along the ground, giving your opponent a lot of opportunity to attack you.

Sneak will allow you to move around invisibly, limited by your Ambusher skill and the Observer skill of nearby creatures. Enemies will have sight cones indicating where they can detect a sneaking adventurer. The central zone of sight (red, violet, or cyan) is where they will see you immediately and begin chasing you; their peripheral vision (yellow) is where they might see you. Violet and cyan central zones indicate the enemy is on a different level than yours, while red means they are on the same level. Staying out of sight will allow you to silently assassinate your foes, as they rarely seem to notice a knife in their back in time. Note that sneak is also affected by a variety of other factors detailed on the Sneak screen, such as light level and weather.

If you hold onto a wall or tree, you can climb the wall or tree by using the movement keys. In towns and tamer parts of the countryside, this isn't particularly useful. However, in a combat situation, climbing a tree or wall can give you a height advantage, possibly allowing you to dive-tackle your opponents. Sometimes, mountains will be too steep to walk up the edge, or you will find a deep drop into a ravine. In these cases, you will have to climb up to reach the top, or perhaps jump or climb down one face, then climb up the other.

Fast travel

Fast Travel screen. The player is in a hamlet, between the houses to the right and the mead hall in the top-left area of the map. The asterisk represents a group of creatures (in this case unfriendly goblins). The world map (in sepia) is on the far right.
T Fast Travel
d Exit fast travel mode
K Display detected tracks and odors
c Toggle display of clouds on region map
s Walk around in sneak mode. Exiting fast travel starts you in sneak mode.
m Cycle through maps and significant structures
Q View Quest Log
Z Bring up sleep menu
h Hide parts of the bottom bar
> and < Enter/exit tunnel

Entering Fast Travel mode will allow you to move large distances in a single keypress. Of course, the same amount of time will go by and you can also be interrupted (ambushed) while moving in fast travel mode.

Along the top of the map is a line showing the sky, and the position of the sun and/or moon from west to east. This primarily helps you determine how long you have before it gets dark, at which point you won't be able to see very far, will risk getting attacked by bogeymen, and will be more vulnerable to attack in general. If you are not near any sites, the m key will toggle a world map, colored in sepia tone (matching the map you see in the quest log). If you are near a site, then m cycles between a list of significant structures where your player is, a regional map (matching what you travel on when away from any site), and the aforementioned world map. The c key will only show clouds on the region map (the one you travel on outside of sites). Some clouds will be visible regardless of the state of this option.

The h key will cycle through various amounts of the bottom bar of content hidden. The effects of each press are:

  • 1 press: hide key reference. Allows you to see status effects on your character if obscured by the key list.
  • 2 presses: hide most local name, reducing the bar to one line of text.
  • 3 presses: hide less local name, eliminating the bar entirely.
  • 4 presses: shows all information

Status and information

l Look around
Space Advance/Clear Messages
a View Announcements
z Status

Looking around

If you're not sure what a tile is, the look command will tell you. In addition to being useful for identifying tiles and creatures, you can also view creatures' equipment and what items are sitting on the ground in a given tile. If in doubt, try the look command.

Move the cursor to the tile you want to look at using direction keys and Shift+direction. It's possible to look up and down z-levels (assuming you have line of sight) using the < and > keys. This, for example, allows you to find out if any flying creatures are above you. Hit Esc to exit look mode and go back to movement mode.


The game makes frequent use of messages on the screen to tell you what is going on. If there are a lot of these you may need to use Space to display the rest of the messages that won't fit on the screen. You can always go back and view old messages by pressing a.

Status screen

This screen shows your skills, attributes, wounded body parts, health (along with more detailed descriptions of your wounds), lets you view your description, and change your nickname if you want.

Saving the game

Hit the Esc key at any time and select Save Game to save your game. You can then come back to it later by using the Continue Playing option in the main menu.

Searching and manipulating

u Interact with building, furniture, or mechanism
L Search the nearby area very carefully

The u key can be used to do stuff like pull levers in your abandoned forts. It is also used to lower and raise the bucket when standing right next to a well, so you can get water to refill your waterskin with.

L will perform a thorough search of the area that you're standing in, possibly revealing some small creatures.

Managing equipment

i Show Inventory
d Drop an item
g Get (pickup) an item off the ground
p Put an item into a container
r Remove an item you are wearing or from a container
w Wear an item
I Interact with an object in an advanced way. (unstick a weapon, refill waterskin etc.)
q Sheath your weapons and shield. (Frees your hands for tasks such as climbing or grabbing)


Press i to display a list of what you are currently carrying. Press - + * / to scroll the list. This list will show you if items are being worn, held in hands, stuck on your body, or are inside a container. Detailed information about an object can be viewed by pressing the key associated with the item.

Getting/dropping things

You can drop items out of your inventory, as well as get items on the ground on the same tile that you are standing on. If there is more than one item a menu will be listed. Press - + * / to scroll the list if the list is too long to fit on the screen. Note that getting something makes your adventurer pick something up with his or her hands. This often means that you have to use q to sheathe whatever you have in your hands before you pick something up. If you do not have a backpack or some other way of storing the object, your adventurer will not pick the item up.

g will also allow you to ignite foliage/any flammable objects adjacent to you. Fires aren't as devastating as one might imagine, but they will cause (most) enemies to path around them, making your crowd control slightly more effective when taking on multiple enemies. As an added bonus, it will also surely piss off the elves.


Items can be placed into containers with p and removed with r.


Items can be worn using w and removed using r (the same command used for removing from containers). If an item you want to wear does not show up as an option, then it means you are already wearing too many items in the location used by that item. Try removing items in that location and then wear them again in order of priority.

Note that "large" or "small" clothing items are too big / small for your race (e.g. a large giant cave spider silk sock). If you have that problem, try getting clothing from a different source. Looking at the article will reveal which race it has been fitted for.

After acquiring armor from one source or another, you'll most likely want to equip it. To do this, first make sure it is in your possession--not on the ground. You can then wear it, granted you don't already have too much on that equipment slot already. You can remove or drop inferior equipment as necessary.

See Armor for more information on wearing things. One thing to note in particular, DF allows you to wear more than one item in the same location in many situations, for example a copper mail shirt and a copper breastplate.


There is no command for wielding items such as weapons in specific hands. Instead, they are automatically equipped when you either get them from the ground or remove them from your backpack - provided the hand that would wield them is free. So in order to change weapons or shields you should drop items or place them into containers (such as your backpack) until your hands are free, then get items from the floor or remove them from containers which will place them in your hands. For example, put all items into backpack, remove sword from backpack, remove shield from backpack. The items will end up in the right and left hand. Simply remember the remove command and the put into container command.

While normally one would only be able to equip one item in each hand, removing items from your inventory results in them being wielded regardless of whether one's hands are full.Bug:9817 This is especially useful with shields, as every shield will contribute a block chance to each incoming attack.

Once equipped, weapons and shields can be quickly drawn and sheathed with q, instantly preparing for attack or freeing your hands. Any number of weapons can be strapped, but only one for each hand will be drawn. Others can be manually removed for use, and stowed again without occupying other inventory containers.

It should be noted that Dwarf Fortress does not enforce one particular hand as dominant for everyone (e.g. some characters may be left-handed), so do not be surprised if your character holds the weapon and shield in hands you yourself would not hold them in.

During advanced combat interactions it's worth noting that the first item you picked up with empty hands shows up at the top of the interaction menu. This means picking up a shield first will mean pressing a will bash with the shield. Being consistent in the order you equip weapons will allow you to easily memorize attacks.

Advanced interaction

The I key allows "complex interaction" with objects in your inventory.

This is used for removing arrows and weapons stuck in wounds which will appear in your inventory when they become stuck in you. Removing stuck arrows can cause bleeding so it is not always a good idea mid combat, but stuck objects will slow you down as you are encumbered by their weight. It's best to remove them as soon as possible when it is safe and you are not in danger of bleeding to death.

Advanced interaction can also be used to steal enemy equipment. Use wrestling to grab hold of a piece of enemy equipment, such as their weapon, or a helmet protecting their squishy brain and it will appear in the advanced interaction menu. Simply grab the item with a free hand and pull away. If successful, you will now be holding that item in your hands.

This command is particularly useful for getting water. When standing next to a well you press the u key to lower, then raise the bucket, yielding 10 units of water in the bucket. Then you can press the I key to fill your waterskin from the full bucket (alternatively you can press the e key to drink directly from the bucket).

Advanced interactions can be used next to a campfire to heat things, such as any frozen liquids you have in your inventory (or snow lying on the ground) and need to drink. You can refill waterskins from a nearby liquid source as well


The q key lets you strap your weapons to your back. This is useful because you can't climb or wrestle with your hands while holding weapons or other objects. People will also be less likely to be scared of you on first sight if you don't appear to be ready to attack. Keep in mind that while strapping will put away everything you have in your hands, pressing it again will only cause you to put items into hands that are currently empty, meaning if you had multiple items in one hand you'll have to remove them manually to use them again.

Time and weather

D Date
P Temperature
W Weather/Time

The game has a day/night cycle, with time passing as various actions take place. When using fast travel mode, the top line of the screen will indicate the position of the sun in the sky with a yellow "☼"; Further to the right of the screen is earlier in the day, and further to the left is later. In local travel mode you'll have to use the W command to learn the position of the sun, when you're in a place where the sun is visible. At night you won't be able to see nearly as well, and you will be more vulnerable to ambush. The game also has weather and temperature. The most common weather you'll experience is rain. Rain is shown as blue moving dots on the local travel screen and will, unsurprisingly, cause everything outside to become wet. Temperature is important, because if it happens to drop below freezing while you're swimming through water, you'll instantly die from being encased in the ice. Therefore, you might want to keep an eye on the temperature while swimming, especially if it's getting cold. Also, unlike fortress mode, rivers/other bodies of water can be liquid during the day, and freeze at night. The cycles of freezing can also be erratic from day to day. Freezing weather can also freeze liquids in your inventory solid, making them undrinkable. If your water freezes and you are thirsty, make a campfire and Interact with your waterskin to heat it over the fire and melt the ice.


Z Sleep

Eventually your character will become Drowsy and this will get worse until you get sufficient sleep.

Sleep does not necessarily have to coincide with night, but if you're traveling alone when night comes you'll be in danger of being attacked by Bogeymen. To avoid this while traveling solo you need to make it to shelter before nightfall and sleep the night away inside a building or abandoned lair. Enter a building, use k to talk to a human, and ask for permission to stay the night. Next press Z to sleep, d to sleep until dawn, then Enter to confirm. (NOTE: If you stay the night in a castle, you have to sleep in the keep which houses the lord/lady of the castle. Sleeping inside the castle but outside the keep still leaves you vulnerable to attack.) Sleeping on an ocean beach also prevents bogeymen from attacking. (If you'd rather not deal with bogeymen, you can disable them by generating a world using advanced world generation and setting "Number of Bogeymen" to 0)

Though sleeping inside can be safe, it's also limiting: any quest site you want to go to has to be within a daytime's round-trip time of a safe habitation, and you have to make your way there by hopping from one habitation to the next, sleeping at each along the way. A way to avoid this is to travel with companions. If you have any companions with you then bogeymen won't attack you. You'll still have to sleep at night, though, both to avoid sleep deprivation and because there's no visibility at night. You can still be ambushed at night by wildlife, but that's much less likely than being ambushed by bogeymen when traveling alone. If you find yourself alone at night with nowhere safe to sleep, the safest bet is to keep traveling until dawn, even if that means running around in circles. You will eventually feel unwell from sleep deprivation, but this can take a considerable amount of time. You can make up for lost sleep once you've found your way to safety. Note that sleeping in lairs, shrines, and labyrinths makes you safe from ambush, assuming that you or someone else has killed whatever was living there. If you have sufficient shrines/lairs/etc between you and your goal and they are either uninhabited or inhabited by things you are capable of killing, then you can travel from lair to lair, using each as a safe lodging. This is much safer than sleeping out in the open, day or night, even with companions.

If no other options are available, completely surrounding yourself with campfires will keep night marauders at bay as they cannot pass through the fires; the fires will go out after several hours and enable you to move on (you may also be able to jump over the fires). The bogeymen or other enemies may be outside your line of sight, which will prevent you from firing arrows or throwing things at them. In this case, you will have to perform music, preferably playing guitar stand up and lie down s repeatedly until the enemies wander into your range, the fires go out and the enemies can path to you, or dawn breaks. It should be noted that, as of DF2014, climbing trees and sleeping on them will sometimes prevent bogeyman attacks, as well. This is especially useful if you prefer to play solo, and do not wish to have an army of followers in your employ. This is also useful if you prefer to engage enemies at your own pace (such as via stealth), rather than having your entire follower party immediately charge at anything that is hostile to you. Be wary though, as bogeymen may still be able to reach you by climbing or flying.

Food and drink

e Eat or drink something

To find water, you must find a river, stream, or well in a town and fill your waterskin (or any container) from it, or drink from it directly. Water that may be covering you or your items will not be able to satisfy your thirst. Note that drinking vampire blood will turn you into a vampire instantly. You can only eat and drink up to stomach capacity; after that you become increasingly nauseous and unable to retain your stomach contents (though if you needed a source for vomit, that's one way to acquire it.) You can reset stomach capacity by offloading the map (travel, rest, wait, etc,) which can only be done in safe locations and circumstances. Over time, food contents are converted to stored fat, even if you remain active, and this will increase your fat layer mass and potentially reduce your speed. Fast traveling also resets food contents (as of v: 43.03) though the hunger and thirst timers are still satisfied by consumption. If you find yourself in need of both food and hydration, make sure to take care of the most urgent problem first, as if you are moderately hungry but severely dehydrated and eat three times, you may die before you have another chance to drink. If the temperature is low enough that you might have trouble finding liquid water, snow and ice can be heated into water by first making a campfire with g and then performing an advanced interaction with I on the ice or snow in your inventory to heat it. Advanced interactions with your waterskin (or any container) can also be used to gather water from water sources, or snow from the ground.

Announcements when eating

When eating or drinking, the following announcements will be displayed:

  • (nothing): You can eat or drink more, no problem.
  • You are starting to feel full: You can eat or drink one more time, but any more than that will cause problems.
  • You feel really full: Exactly what it says on the tin. This is as much as you can eat or drink at the moment.
  • It's too much! You might not be able to keep it down: You've eaten/drunk too much, and will likely vomit.


8 2 4 6 7 9 1 3 Attack adjacent hostile creature
Attack adjacent hostile creature
A Attack an adjacent creature.
f Fire a projectile
t Throw an item
C Open combat preferences interface

Combat is the fine art of using physical force to cause injury and death, and it is particularly fun in Dwarf Fortress.

Melee attacks

Hostile creatures can be attacked using a non-aimed attack by simply advancing towards your enemy using the arrow keys. Doing a non-aimed attack will also have a chance of freeing up any stuck weapon, though you are more likely to accomplish this by moving away from the enemy, or complicatedly interacting with the weapon.

Any creature can be attacked by standing next to it and pressing A. Attacking a friendly or unconscious creature (which includes wild animals for elves) will further require a confirmation, given using alt+y.

After selecting (and maybe confirming) which creature you want to attack, a will allow you to make an aimed attack. You must first select the body part that you want to attack. Look at the difficulty rating for various possible attacks. Impossible attacks will be nearly impossible to land and Easier attacks will be very easy to land. The difficulty rating for an attack does not change depending on your weapon skill. Based on player experiences, a Grand Master weapon user can almost always land a "Tricky" strike, while a Novice generally cannot. Attacks on various locations will also have limits on how "squarely" they can land (due to being out of reach, for example). Square and very square attacks will deal more damage.Verify Attacks which "can't land squarely" are generally still effective.

Attacks aimed at the head are the most effective; a single attack to the cranium with a weapon will usually put an end to the fight. Aimed attacks are especially useful for dismembering opponents. Opponents who are missing a foot will fall over, thereby greatly lowering their speed, and giving you an immediate edge in the fight. Cutting off both hands also highly recommended for obvious reasons. After all, a field full of armless, one-legged enemies can be a big experience booster for your character and your companions.

Aimed attacks are also especially helpful when fighting giant beasts. Some enemies like giant desert scorpions have lots of redundant body parts, and random attacks waste valuable time on low priority areas while the scorpion is busy injecting venom into the whole party. Lastly, aimed attacks allow you to grab trophies that are not available via butchering. For example, a minotaur's horns can be cut off during a fight, but since it's a humanoid, most adventurers will refuse to butcher its corpse after the fight. However, in Dwarf Fortress 2014, all butcherable corpses are able to be butchered, as long as the corpse isn't too mangled.

There are several options below the hitting menu. Quick attacks are faster than regular attacks but weaker. Heavy attacks are slower but hit harder. Wild attacks are faster and hit harder but are inaccurate. Precise attacks are very slow but are much more likely to hit. Multi-attacks allow you to attack several times in a row at a great cost to the effectiveness of any one of the chosen attacks.

In addition to aimed attacks, pressing A also allows for the three defensive maneuvers: blocking, dodging and parrying. They do not have fixed keys because their order changes if one or more is impossible (e.g. no blocking without a shield). When dodging you will be able to pick a direction, and your character will move on step in this direction, possibly avoiding any number of attacks. Note that you can dodge even if you are not being attacked. When blocking or parrying you can pick one attack and attempt to stop it. If several attacks are incoming the remaining attacks will not be affected.

Ranged attacks

To attack with a ranged weapon press the f key with a ranged weapon (bow, crossbow, etc.) equipped on one hand and select the square where you want to attack. Note that you need to have some sort of ammo, corresponding to the type of ranged weapon you are using (for example, bows use arrows, crossbows use bolts). Otherwise, a message stating "You have nothing left to fire." is displayed in brown. Similarly use the t key to throw any random object in the same manner. Random objects appear to make a random attack if they happen to have more than one possible type.Verify For example, if you throw a sword it may hit with a blunt impact, a stabbing impact, or a slicing impact. Throwing crossbow bolts with sufficient throwing skill and strength seems to have an effect similar to firing them, although less powerful. On the plus side, you will never lose ammo if you throw it.

It is not possible to aim for specific body parts with ranged or thrown attacks.

throwing is generally a good skill to have for any adventurer, as it allows you to slow down fleeing foes, both on the ground and in the air without the need of equipping a (cross)bow. Just like looking, you can use throwing to view and hit enemies multiple Z levels away from you. If you're lucky, you can simply land a hit that causes the flying enemy to give in to pain, and then let gravity do the rest of the work. Even if the fall doesn't kill them, they will most likely be stunned long enough for you to run up and slaughter them.

Wrestling and unarmed attacks

Main article: Wrestling

Wrestling (grappling) can be performed by selecting an enemy via A followed by b to wrestle. You can wrestle any enemy. Wrestling works somewhat like a targeted attack: Once you grab a creature by some body part, you may be able to make another wrestling attempt that will allow you to perform a throw or takedown. For a detailed list of moves, such as takedowns, throws, choke holds, etc., see Wrestling. It's also possible to punch, kick, and bite. These are not in the wrestling menu, but are performed like normal targeted attacks with A.


Weapons are basically divided into axe, sword, spear, pike, mace, whip, bow and hammer, with various versions of these taking up the gray area.


If you get wounded during combat, there's not much that you can do except perhaps run before you get more wounded. Be aware that movement speed while stunned, nauseous or winded is reduced, and might leave you open to fatal blows. Your wounds will heal over time, so just travel around or sleep in a safe place. Some wounds, however, may never heal, leaving you permanently crippled. Obtaining a crutch may help with this. Or, if you are not already a vampire, then you can get bitten by a werebeast during full moon, which will heal all injuries once per month. If you have some bolts or arrows stuck in your body, they can be removed by using the complex interaction menu I. Select the stuck bolt or arrow from the list and then pull it out with a You'll probably start bleeding after you pull it out, but the bleeding is rarely anything to worry about.

Combat preferences

At any time during gameplay (except fast travel mode), you can press C to open the Combat Preferences menu. There are three different preferences you can set: Attack, Dodge and Charge Defense. These have a few different sub-preferences each:

  • attack
    • According to Opponent - The default setting. When set to this, charging happens more or less frequently, depending on the difference in size between you and the opponent. Bigger opponents get charged less, smaller more often. Can be very risky, since a random charge against a huge opponent is likely to get you knocked down and stunned. In the same vein, charging when close to obstacles or other environmental hazards is very dangerous, potentially fatal, if the enemy dodges you.
    • Strike - This setting ensures that you never charge an opponent, but rather just swing your weapon at them. This carries less risk than the above, but you're never going to knock anyone down without hitting their legs or spine. Very preferable against large opponents.
    • Charge - When set to this, you ALWAYS charge. When faced with numerous small enemies (Bogeymen in particular), this can be extremely useful, but remember to switch back when facing something bigger. Charging a large dragon is almost a certain death sentence.
    • Close Combat - With this setting, all your auto-attacks are grapples. Generally not very useful, since the random nature of it tends to prevent you from actually doing any damage with it, but if you continually auto-attack a harmless creature with it your wrestling-skill will be legendary in no time.
  • dodge
    • Move Around - This means you can jump away from attacks, physically moving in a random direction. While this lets you dodge attacks more often, it can also result in you jumping into a wall or down a lake. If you're fighting in really tight spaces, or areas with large pits, you might want to switch to the other option.
    • Stand Ground - As can be expected, you stand your ground. No jumping around, which is useful in the above situation, but risky in the open. If you have room for jumping around, go with Move Around, but otherwise this could be a good idea.
  • charge Defense
    • According to Opponent - Again, the default setting. You're more likely to stand still against small enemies charging, but will probably prefer moving away from larger ones. Somewhat risky, in that even a somewhat small enemy can stun you by charging.
    • Dodge Away - With this, you'll dodge away from charging enemies, if you can. It's not a sure bet, but it's very much worth it against enemies who like to charge. This is probably the most preferable mode, since you're not losing a whole lot by dodging a small foe charging, but dodging an angry night beast can save you from a world of pain.
    • Stand Ground - If you're certain of your physical superiority to the opponent, you can safely choose this. Standing your ground like a real man/woman might feel hardcore, but getting knocked down in a fight can be extremely dangerous. It probably has some use against bogeymen though, since they're quite small. If you really are much bigger than the enemy, you'll end up knocking THEM down. Most of the time though, charges heavily favor the attacker, so dodging away is probably preferable.

Using Combat Preferences properly can actually save your hide, so it's worth fiddling with. Just don't forget that you've fiddled with them, since a misplaced charge or dodge could end up killing you.


Talking to someone in Adventurer mode.
k Talk to somebody

Now that you know how to kill people, you may also want to know how to talk to and otherwise interact with them in a less-violent manner. While this is less entertaining, it can sometimes be useful. To begin a conversation or performance, press k. Unless someone else has already started a conversation with you (see below if someone has), you will get a cyan X that can be positioned over people you want to talk to with the normal directional keys. Use - and + to select who you want to talk to. Aside from individuals, you can also Shout out to everybody, which will have you talking with everyone in earshot, or you can talk to your deity, or you can even Begin Performance which includes such things as reciting poetry, telling stories or dancing, and is very important if you want to be a bard.

Whenever you want to advance the conversation, you have to press k again and choose the ongoing conversation you wish to continue. You will also see ongoing conversations from people who have started a conversation with you. If you want to talk to someone else during this time, simply Start a new conversation.

  • Greet listener — Has you offering a greeting to someone, when you're initiating the conversation.
  • Bypass greeting (new menu) — Skips the greeting, taking you straight to the normal conversation menus.
  • Reply to greeting — If you aren't the one who started the conversation, this option will let you reply to someone's greeting. They will then talk about some trouble.
  • Refuse conversation — Causes you to explicitly refuse to talk to someone who started a conversation with you. Unknown if this has a different effect from simply not doing anything.Verify
  • Reply to greeting (impersonation) — Like Reply to greeting, except you're impersonating a deity.
  • Nevermind — This has you back out of having a conversation.

When you start talking to someone, you are presented with a wide array of things to talk about. (If the person you are talking to started the conversation and told you about some trouble, you'll first get a menu related to that trouble. Just press --Enter to Change the subject (new menu) and get to this first menu.) Your choices are as follows:

Return to current topic (new menu) You'll see this option only if you chose to change the subject in another menu. This will, predictably, take you back to that subject.
Bring up specific incident or rumor (new menu) Allows you to spread rumors or summarize conflicts you've been a part of. The next step of the conversation will bring up a menu of choices that allow you to ask for directions to places or state your opinion on the incident/rumor.
Create a performance troupe together (group naming menu) If the listener is in your party as a performer, you can choose this option to create an official troupe.v0.42.01
Ask to become a hearthperson Only appears when talking to a lord/lady who you aren't under the command of. Allows you to become one of the leader's guards.
Invite listener to become a hearthperson Only appears when you are a leader. Allows the listener to become one of your guards.
Ask to become a lieutenant Only appears when talking to a bandit leader who you aren't under the command of. Allows you to become one of the leader's lieutenants.
Invite listener to become a lieutenant Only appears when you are a bandit leader. Allows the listener to become one of your lieutenants.
Ask to be made a performer for group Only appears when you are talking to a leader. Allows you to become a performer for the group. Usually, you need to prove your performing capabilities to be accepted.v0.42.01
Ask for your performance troupe to become performers for group Only appears when you are talking to a leader. Allows your performance troupe to become performers for the group.v0.42.01
Request duty or advice pertaining to service as a hearthperson Only appears when talking to a leader who are under the command of. You will receive some task to accomplish for the group, if there is anything that needs doing. In 42.xx, these will include killing monsters and bandits, or causing trouble for other groups. Completing these tasks will allow you to gain fame as a loyal soldier in addition to the fame from slaying the beast or killing the bandits.v0.42.01
Request duty or advice pertaining to service as a lieutenant Only appears when talking to a bandit leader who you are under the command of. You will receive some task to accomplish for the group, if there is anything that needs doing. In 42.xx, these will include killing monsters but not bandits, or causing trouble for other groups. Completing these tasks will allow you to gain fame as a loyal soldier in addition to the fame from slaying the beast.v0.42.01
Bring up the journey together Only appears when talking to a companion. The next step of the conversation will allow you to cancel the agreement you made with that person, if you so choose.
Inquire about any troubles Asks the listener what things in the world are bothering them and their people.
Ask for directions (new menu) Allows you to ask for the location of a specific creature or site. People aren't guaranteed to know, and may instead direct you to someone who does.
Ask about the local ruler As you might imagine, this gets you some information on who controls this particular area.
Trade or settle debts Allows you to trade with a merchant or pay for your drink from a tavern keeper. Note that you have to be right next to them for this to work.
Ask about available services, drinks, rooms, etc. Appears when in a structure, but only works with tavern keepers. Allows you to purchase drinks and rent rooms in a tavern.v0.42.01
Exchange, give, or take personal items Like Trade, only that it works with non-merchants.
Ask favor, place request, make demand or issue order (new menu) Takes the player to a menu of various requests you can make, including asking the listener to yield, stay put, or pay homage to your group. The options available depend on who you're talking to.
Ask listener to join you (new menu) This is how you get companions. You can either ask them to join you on an adventure, to lead you to some location, or to join your performance troupe if they are convinced of your skills.
Claim this site for yourself (group naming menu) This option allows you to stake a claim on the site you are in. You need to retire or be a hearthperson or lieutenant to be able to claim as an Outsider.
Ask for permission to stay a day Allows you to sleep in the listener's building for the night.
Ask about the structure you are in Tells you about whatever structure you are standing in, if you are standing in one.
Ask about this site's neighbors and trade partners Lets you learn what sites this site is neighboring and/or trading with.
Ask about the surrounding area Choosing this will tell you about some location nearby, and why it's significant.
Express your emotions (new menu) Brings you to a menu where you can state your feelings about an event (such as improving a skill), or say something general about your emotions or thoughts.v0.42.01
State your values (new menu) Lets you state one of your values. Doing so will start an argument with the listener if they have differing values, and can train your Persuader, Judge of Intent, Flatterer, Intimidator, and Pacifier social skills depending on how you argue. If you win the argument, your opposition's values will change to match yours. If you give in, yours will change. This can result in your needs changing.v0.42.01
Comment on weather Small talk about the weather. Really.
Comment on natural surroundings Same as the weather, only about the nature around you.
Accuse listener of being a night creature If chosen against a night creature, such as a vampire, it will expose them. Normal individuals will just think you're losing it.
Inquire about listener's profession Learn what it is the listener does. Useful for lords and ladies and anyone else whose profession isn't listed next to them. This can also potentially oust bandits if they aren't hostile, if you aren't sure you have the right victim suspect.
Ask about listener's family Discover what family the listener has, as expected.
Brag about your past violent acts Causes you to brag about whatever last violent act you did. Doesn't seem to have an effect, or at least of severely less impact than summarizing the conflict.Verify
Say goodbye Ends the conversation.

Note that you can press Esc to not choose anything. The conversation is still ongoing, you have to explicitly say goodbye to end it. Pressing Esc is useful if you need to double-check something before talking.


c View companion interface

Companions are the guys who follow you around after you've asked them to join you and they've accepted. Your character will have a limit on the maximum number of companions that is based on your reputation level and the Social Awareness attribute. With average social awareness and the maximum level of fame, the limit is 19 companions. Note that people with no military skills are unlikely to agree to join you, and people with military skills higher than yours will also be unlikely to join you. However, average soldiers will gladly join you "if you lead [them] to glory and death".

You can use the c key to open up a list showing your companions and their relative position to you. This can be useful if one of them runs off somewhere and you want to find them. You can select specific companions who are in visual range in order to view them. This is the same as viewing them with look.

You can give or take equipment with a companion by choosing to talk to them and selecting Exchange, give or take personal items. An evil and arguably inefficient way to get equipment is to intentionally get your companions killed and then take their stuff. If you are trying to help your companions, it is important to note that they prefer to store exchanged items in a personal container rather than to equip said items. You must convince your companions to trade away any containers (pouches, quivers, backpacks, etc.) as well as the equipment that you are attempting to replace. Once you have given your companions almost no choice in the matter, they will equip the new items and a message like The Swordsman reorganizes his possessions. will be displayed. If they survive long enough/are trained well enough, then companions are capable of leveling stats and skills. Thus, they are susceptible to gaining a title or having a job title change as well. Your companions will continue to follow you and fight hostile creatures around you until they die (if you asked them to join you on an adventure) or get you to the proper location (if you asked them to guide you some place). If you want to get rid of your companions at any time, the safe way is to talk to each one of them, ask them about their journey with you, and then cancel the agreement. If your companions are too far away from you when you enter fast travel, they will become an asterisk on the map where you started fast travel from. This asterisk may try to join up with you during travel. If you keep losing your companions while traveling through rivers, try going to a spot where the river becomes a "minor river" (shown by a single dark blue line). Brooks are obviously also safe to cross.

In v0.42, you can have companions join you as performers after you convince them of your skills. This can be used to recruit people you normally couldn't recruit, such as civilians and stronger soldiers. The maximum on this is also much easier to obtain, allowing players to bring a mob of dancing civilians along with you.

Personal finance

Trading (barter)

In human towns (not hamlets or castles), you can find shops, in elven Trading-trees you can find markets, and at depots in dwarven fortresses you can encounter brokers. Once you're inside of a shop and right next to any of the NPCs, you can use k to Trade with them. Use Enter to select which items to trade, left/right arrow keys to switch between the list of shop items and your items, and up/down arrow keys to scroll through the lists. You can also either ask for or offer currency as part of the process. Once done, press t to trade. The shopkeeper won't get angry if you're not offering enough in trade, so you can start offering just a few items, keep trying again with a little more until the trade is accepted. Once the trade is accepted, all of the items you offered will be on the floor underneath you. After trading, you will find the stuff you gave on the floor at your feet, and the stuff you got in your inventory.


You may also pick up the item before buying it, but you should never walk out of a shop carrying an unbought item, as that is theft. It is punishable by death if you are caught, and excommunication if you are not. On any occasion when you have stolen goods from a store (indicated by dollar signs on either side of the item in your inventory), the game requires you to exit the site and move a considerable distance before allowing you to quick travel. This may make a getaway more difficult if your adventurer is not already faster than anyone else. This only applies to goods in stores; killing townsfolk and taking their personal things, including those of the shopkeep, still only requires exiting the site. The moment you are out of sight, you will be able to warp out as usual. Theft and murder remain within entities; even depopulating one country and stealing all its things will not generate ill-repute in another country. In some cases, the shop will be abandoned. This will be made clear by the presence of unbought items and the lack of any merchants in the area. You will not be considered a thief by the relevant entity for taking stuff from an abandoned shop, but you will still be withheld the privilege of fast-travel until you leave the site. If the item name is not surrounded by dollar signs, it is never considered stealing, even in situations where it would be in real life.

Managing coins

You will find that coins from one civilization are nearly worthless in other civilizations (except for metal value, or so the presumption goes). This will typically result in adventurers carrying around lots of partially-useless coins. Coins can and will encumber your adventurer, eventually reducing your speed. To reduce that effect, you can try to exchange your copper and silver coins for gold ones, as well as sell all of your loot directly for gold coins. Remember, merchants will always try to pay you in higher-denomination currency first but will resort to lower-value coins if they run out of anything higher. First, check the merchant's chest to see how much of each type of coins they have.

Coin values are as follows:

  • Copper Coin == 1☼
  • Silver Coin == 5☼
  • Gold Coin == 15☼

To receive the maximum amount of gold coins from that merchant, make sure the amount they owe you during the trade is equal to (total amount of gold coins the shop has)*15☼ . If you are selling loot, simply make sure you only trade this worth of goods, and move on to other merchants for the rest. If you wish to exchange copper and silver coins for gold, buy random goods from the merchant until their price is around this value, and then sell back all of the goods for their original value, but in gold. Alternatively, you can take your excess coinage and use it to purchase large gems at a trinket shop. Large gems make good investments because they are 1) light, 2) variably priced, and 3) equally valuable between different civilizations. A few goods are strictly superior to all forms of coinage as a store of value, most notably giant cave spider silk items. A suitably sneaky (or powerful) adventurer can murder a few dwarves or goblins for such items for trade and sale for human goods. Giant cave spider silk is a non-renewable resource in any given world - please harvest responsibly.

Where to get items to sell

The best place to get items to sell is at bandit camps, after you've slaughtered all the bandits. You can loot the clothes and equipment off of the corpses of the bandits (and off your fallen companions, too), plus at the very center of camp there'll be a few scattered weapons and a few bags/chests containing various goods. The next best way to get items to sell is to kill a creature, butcher their corpse (see below for how), and pick up the edible bits. Butchered bits from the corpses of people (dwarves, elves, humans, etc.) can sometimes be found in monster lairs and these seem to be just as desired by shopkeepers as the products you gain from your own butchering. Remember that you can also carve the bones of animals to make them desirable trading items. Another good early source of income can be bags left in houses and shops, which usually contain plants and food. No one will complain, and the plants inside can be sold at about 2☼ each plus the value of the bag. At the bottom of the list comes Looking carefully and selling any small creatures you might find. However, shops will not accept live creatures unless they are in cages. Some rocks, piles of sand, and other things found on the ground nearly everywhere can also be sold for 1☼ each.

You can also try filling your backpack from a river - it can hold up to 100 units of water, which is worth 100☼ total. After you sell it, water will drop to the floor as a pool, and the backpack can be refilled instantly and for free from there. In fact, you can infinitely fill any container from any pool/pile of any liquid/powder, so if you happen to find some precious substance like sunshine or dwarven sugar, money won't be a problem for you anymore. This is of course an exploit, liable to be fixed at any time. It may be useful in a pinch, but don't rely on it. Another devious method is to go outside the shop, grab handfuls of mud and throw it into your backpack, then sell them for 1☼ each. The merchants will gladly buy your rare and valuable mud, despite the unlimited free mud just outside their shop.

Quest log

Q Open quest log
Esc Exit quest log
e p a s r b Access various lists
m Switch between the world map and additional info
z Center cursor on location of selected list item, if known
c Center cursor on your location
l Toggle the visibility of the line between you and some other point on the map.
f Filter the list
+ - * / Navigate the list

The quest log contains everything you know about the world, such as various events going on, people you know, and various sites. The m key will alternate between a world map that you can navigate, and information on whatever item is highlighted in the list to the right.

There are various kinds of lists you can check on the quest log:

  • Events — A list of events that are happening or have happened. Formatting of the list is (type)/(description). You can center on the location of the event if you know this. This list is the closest you'll get to some formal quest system.
  • People — A list of people you know. At the start of the game, this list will contain people in your site.
  • Sites — A list of various sites around the world.
  • Groups — A list of groups you know of and your relation to them. Note that you have to press e when you're on the events list in order to reach this list, requiring you to press e at most twice.
  • Agreements - Your various agreements; this includes tasks given to you by your lord, and why people are traveling with you and the history of your agreements.
  • Regions — A list of regions. The additional information will list the biomes a region possesses.
  • Bestiary — A list of creatures, their characteristics, and where you could find them.


x Perform action (butcher, create item...)

Adventurers can perform limited crafting, (also known as "reactions"). To access the crafting menu, press x. In addition to crafting, other actions can be performed.


  • Knapping allows an adventurer to sharpen a rock. Knapping only works on stones on the ground or in your hands. Choose the create option and then select "Make sharp stone". You will be prompted to choose a rock to sharpen ("tool stone"), and then the rock that is to be the hammerstone. The tool stone will be replaced in your hand by a sharp version.
  • Helves (hafts)v0.43.01 are carved from branches, which can be pulled from trees. Doing so requires a sharp item, which can be anything from a weapon or arrow all the way to a sharpened rock. Helves are currently only used to make...
  • Stone Axesv0.43.01 - Assembling a stone axe requires a helve plus a sharp rock as components. Stone axes are inferior to battle axes, but are just as usable for cutting down trees.
  • Carve Bone acts similarly to Fortress Mode's Bone carver by allowing the adventurer to, well, carve bones into various objects and figurines. The bone carving options are contained in a subsection of the crafting menu, due to the number of options.
  • Carpentryv0.43.01 is another crafting menu, but using it requires one to stand on a carpenter's workshop. This can be one found in a fortress, or it can be constructed by yourself. The menu includes various furniture (not all of which can be placed in the build menu) along with various containers, buckets, shields, and training weapons. All of these require a log and a sharp object.


Butcher acts similarly to Fortress Mode's Butchery by converting a corpse into edible products, bones, and skin. A corpse must be on the ground or in your hand. With a sharp object (such as a dagger or knapped stone or even a bolt/arrow) in your hand or on the same tile of the corpse, press x for the crafting menu, then select the butcher option, and then you can select the corpse and the sharp tool to butcher with. The corpse will be replaced by its butchering returns.

Natural abilities and acquired powers

  • Spitting gives you spit(if you are a creature that can), which can be aimed at someone in much the same way as any projectile. To get this, choose natural ability and then spit in the reactions menu. Other natural abilities exist (such as breathing fire), but only some are usable, since some belong to creatures that are not playable.

You may also gain acquired abilities when you become a creature of the night, such as a necromancer.


Composing allows you to select musical compositions or choreography to create new songs and dances. Upon selecting one of the two, you will then be able to select from one of the art forms already known to the adventurer, which the specific song or dance will be an example of.


Writing allows the adventurer to write books and scrolls, allowing one to create various types of literature. Writing requires reading or writing skill as a prerequisite, along with a blank scroll or quire available. Each option produces different results.

  • Guide - General writing about a specific site, generally described as "concerning" that town, dark pit, etc. without going into detail.
  • Essay - Writing about individual historical events, generally of personal relevance to the adventurer. The ascension of that adventurer to lordship, companions joining the party, and other such events.
  • Manual - This will write down a randomly-selected form of knowledge the adventurer is aware of, to be learned by future readers. Most commonly this will be musical, poetic, and dance forms the adventurer knows or composed. This can also include scientific research the adventurer has learned, and necromancer adventurers can spread the secrets of life and death by writing manuals about them.
  • Chronicle - In-depth writing about a particular site, group, or civilization. This will be presented as multiple chapters, each chapter relating to a historical event related to the writing's subject.
  • Letters, short stories, novels, and plays will write generic prose, typically described as having no particular subject. In addition, letters will normally generate untitled.
  • Composition - Writes new songs. This functions similarly to composing new songs, with the added benefit of writing it down for others to learn. However, unlike normal composition you do not get to select which musical form to base the song on.
  • Choreography - As with compositions above, this writes down a new dance based on a randomly-selected dance form the adventurer knows.
  • You can also unlock even more types of writing by going to a library and reading books of different genres, such as biographies.

Additionally at the bottom of the writing menu, you have the option of writing down specific songs and dances known to the adventurer.

Woodcutting, building and site management

b Found a site and build

Adventurers can chop down trees for resources, and build their own personal sites to claim as their own - neither of these actions can currently be performed on existing sites like towns. Building currently needs wooden logs, acquired by chopping down trees. With a non-wooden axe in hand, hitting g while next to a tree allows you to chop it down.

Any object that is being used in the construction process must be on the ground within the borders of your site to be used in the construction. Logs and furniture in your inventory will need to be dropped before they show up in the build menu. Every item used in construction takes 1 hour to be built. Standing under a constructed floor or wall will prevent bogeymen from attacking when building at night. Constructions will be built starting from the top-left square and building from top to bottom, much like how a printer moves. It's advisable to start with a small construction to get a roof over your head before nightfall. Note that if there are any items located where you are building a construction, they will be scattered around the site (similar to how items are scattered on reclaim in fortress mode). Having companions with you will greatly speed up the build time, as they can be recruited to help you. You can even make them do all the work if you don't want to get your hands dirty. If you assign them to build, but don't build yourself, you can leave the site whilst they work (they will follow you until you leave the site, though, if they are your companions, but once off site they will stay) After building your structure, you can designate zones for Mead Hall, tavern, library, or temple locations and non-location zones and you can assign people to these locations. Building a carpenter's workshop will give you access to wooden furniture. To build furniture, drop logs in the workshop and press x and use carpentry in the create menu. Furniture will be in your hands after you create it, so you'll need to drop the items before you can use them in your construction (the game will happily let you stand around for 6 hours and "build" the 6 cabinets you are holding in your hands, even though they don't show up and aren't used in the construction).

Faction management:

After you create a mead hall zone, you can claim it like you can claim any mead hall. You will get a text popup telling you that you are in control now, and your title will change to lord. You may then start hiring guards (by Invite listener to become a hearthperson and assigning them to your site's zones. The guards will automatically patrol your site if they are not your companions, or will hang out in the zones you assign them. Note: If they are not your companions, they will not build for you. As with owning a town, you can force the leaders of nearby villages to pay you tribute, via the submit and pay tribute demand, if you create a site and claim its mead hall. However, they are unlikely to submit under non-strenuous circumstances.


More information on each type of site can be found in the site's specific article.


Civilizations are organized groups of creatures (generally of the same race) which build sites such as towns.

Human sites

Towns + * #

Humans live in towns comprised of buildings and often a paved road. Human towns are highly modular, and are usually near some source of water, either the coast or a river. Towns appear on the fast travel map (when outside a site) as or symbols, which are small collections of buildings. When you are near a human site, large yellow blocks indicate where various houses and shops are found (though not all houses and shops can be found in these blocks; sometimes you'll find a house or two out in a site's fields). You usually have to follow the roads in a yellow block on the fast travel map. Towns usually have lots of interesting structures which are described fully in the town article.

Hamlets æ Æ =

Most of the time, the majority of a human civilization's population will live in small hamlets, which tend to be sprawled out along coastlines and through river valleys. Like other sites, they can be invaded, and you'll sometimes find them captured by other civilizations, necromancers, or criminal syndicates. Human adventurers usually spawn in hamlets. Note that hamlets are similar in structure to towns, only they have mead halls instead of keeps, and don't have any defensive walls.

Dwarven sites

Dwarf fortresses Ω

These are the randomly generated equivalent of the sites you build in fortress mode. Fortresses are described in detail in their own article. Their main function for adventurers is that they have a central, spiraling ramp that connects the underground and above-ground worlds, particularly in that they connect the subterranean tunnel networks to the rest of the dwarf civilization. They are located at the edges of mountain ranges. Player-made fortresses are considered dwarf fortresses by the game, in addition to the randomly-generated ones.

Mountain halls Ω

Mountain halls are the sites of the "deep dwarves," located far beneath the mountains. They can be accessed via down-stairs found in underground tunnels, and are comprised of a couple of levels that contain bedrooms and large halls filled with smelters or forges.

Hillocks Ω

Hillocks are the dwarf equivalent to human hamlets. They consist of a few circular mounds, filled with dwarf citizens. There doesn't seem to be any settlement pattern for them; they are equally likely to be found in any land biome.

Elven sites

Forest retreats î

Elves live in forest retreats located, unsurprisingly, in forest biomes. They are essentially clusters of huge trees with elves standing in and around them.

Goblin sites

Dark fortresses π π

These are the main goblin sites. Dark fortresses contain a certain spoiler.

Dark pits º

These are the goblin equivalent of hamlets and hillocks. Dark pits are essentially canyons lined with wooden guard towers. They tend to be built in huge clusters around the dark fortresses, such that large chunks of the map may be covered with them.

Kobold sites


Caves are sometimes home to kobold groups. They are mounds filled with narrow tunnels leading to the caverns and usually contain piles of random loot resulting from kobold thieving incursions. Kobold caves often feature venom-coated traps or fun pets such as giant cave spiders, so beware. Some caves are inhabited by bandits or megabeasts instead.

Beast and night creature sites

Necromancers' towers I

Necromancers' Towers are built by necromancers who have at least 50 followers; younger necromancers may take over towns or camps instead. Usually you can find books written by the necromancer, some of which contain the secret to life and death. Towers require abundant human populations (low savagery, large tracts of neutral land) and a high number of secrets to be generated in world generation. Necromancers will rarely be elves or goblins, because elves and goblins are immortal (they lack a [MAXAGE] token) and therefore can't be obsessed with their own mortality. However, they may still acquire the secrets of life and death by reading them (e.g. in a necromancy book from your library) and gain the ability to raise corpses.


Lairs are the homes of predatory animals, megabeasts, or night trolls. Lairs are mounds or holes in the ground. Night troll lairs have doors or hatch covers. Most lairs are inhabited by a single creature, but sometimes you'll encounter entire families of them.

Minotaurs' labyrinths #

A labyrinth is an intricate network of tunnels, often filled with the bodies of previous adventurers slain in worldgen by its resident minotaur. Each labyrinth contains a hidden chamber filled with treasures. As you explore the labyrinth, you will hear the minotaur taunting you.

Shrines Å

Shrines are huge stone structures surrounded by pillars that are the homes of bronze colossi and titans. Several of them can be found on a single site, making its exploration particularly hazardous. Clowns have also been reported to inhabit them.


How do I cut down a tree?

To cut down a tree in adventure mode you must be outside of a previously existent site (adventure mode sites not included). Then walk up to the tree and press "g", select the "fell tree" option.v0.43.01

How do I find an entrance to the underworld?

Method 1: Most caves lead directly into the first cavern layer. Although it may be possible to learn of some trouble which originates from a caveVerify, your best bet is to ask people about the surroundings, and hope that they mention a cave at some point. If they don't, travel to another site a fair bit away from where you are and ask someone else.

Method 2: Dwarf fortresses are connected to the tunnel system, which usually connects to the caverns.

Method 3: You can start a fortress mode game, dig to the first cavern layer, retire or abandon the fortress, and then return with your adventurer.

The three cavern layers are connected to each other in various places, although they are rather spread out and extremely difficult to find with an adventurer. Additionally, a certain spoiler can be found which leads to another spoiler, deep underground.

I keep getting maimed! How can I fight without getting seriously hurt?

The best defense is a good offense. If you let your enemies attack you, you're (unsurprisingly) likely to get hurt eventually.

  • Try to avoid fighting difficult enemies until you get some armor. Don't fight enemies at all unless you're sure you can beat them. If you're unsure, you're probably going to get hurt.
  • Increase your speed! The most immediate way to do this is to raise your walking pace to Jog. Until your endurance is high enough this may be exhausting, but active dodging and blocking will recover energy.
  • If you have good speed, try to fight enemies one-by-one — keep dodging away and only attack when you're within range of just one enemy. Maneuvering around charging opponents can cause them to collide with each other and become prone and/or stunned. Above all, don't let yourself get flanked by an enemy, much less surrounded.
  • If you have a slashing weapon, try to chop body parts off of your enemy — it makes them stop fighting for a turn, allowing you to keep attacking them without being attacked in exchange. Chopping off limbs will also weaken your enemies - taking their arms can prevent them from using weapons, taking their legs can make them slow and knock them down. Chopping off their heads will instantly kill them, but it may take a few (or, with larger enemies such as trolls, it may take more than fifteen) slashes before the head is severed.
  • Remember that it's better to let your enemy come to you, than to go to your enemy. You have to either move or attack. If you move, you can't attack, so if you move within range to attack your enemy, you allow them to have the first strike (unless you're much faster than them). On the other hand, if you let them move within range of you, then you get to have the first strike. If your enemy is out of striking range, consider throwing a knife, rock, or other object to do some damage before they can retaliate. However, keep in mind that throwing takes time, and if the enemy is too close you may give them the first and possibly even second strike before you can retaliate. If you're fast enough, then you can simply step back after getting in that first hit, and they'll have to spend their turn approaching you again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  • Follow the advice under Combat Preferences.

How can I obtain armor as quickly as possible?

  • The best way would be to rummage through mead halls, keeps, and fortresses, or whatever other strongholds your race makes use of. Not all places will be stocked with equipment, but usually they have something.
    • There are also underground locations, such as the dungeons underneath keeps, or the catacombs under temples, that contain plenty of equipment. These underground places are liable to be populated with unfriendly creatures, so beware.
  • You can also take along companions and have them killed, or just plainly murder people and take their stuff.
  • You can earn some money by exchanging some loot with the local populace for coins, and then buy equipment off of soldiers you might meet in towns. Use the exchange personal item option, as only shopkeepers accept the straight trade option. Remember that coins only have nominal value in the civilization they've been minted in, but gems are equally valuable anywhere. You can also trade your own crafts or clothing in exchange for the armor the soldiers are wearing.
  • Warehouses in human towns tend to have items in them, including weaponry, food, Items of high value, and alongside those is armor. Though a cheeky way to get equipment, it works if you want to have a fast adventure.
  • If you don't mind taking extra time, you can also start a "temporary" fortress, make as much armor as you could and then abandon/retire to return there as an adventurer later.
    • Although this may take a while, with this method your adventurer may obtain quite precious, powerful and nearly unobtainable otherwise items like a full set of ☼Adamantium armor☼.
    • You can also make some other items quite important to an adventurer, such as ☼weapons☼ or a huge amount of lightweight trade goods, like platinum rings encrusted with diamonds. This may provide an even better alternative to coins than just simple cut gems, depending on the skills of your character.
    • If you choose to abandon the "fortress" instead of retiring, remember to put your precious preserved goods in some heavy bin or an inaccessible place, as items tend to scatter all over the "fortress" if they have a walkable path from an edge of the map (see Abandon).

How do I increase my skills and attributes?

Here are some techniques for raising your skills; very rapidly in some cases.Most of these skill-raising techniques involve repeatedly entering the same keystrokes. To assist with this you can use a macro to make entering the same sequence of keystrokes over and over again much easier. Increasing skills increases associated attributes, which may in turn benefit other skills. For example, sharpening rocks using x will increase Knapping, which will increase a number of attributes that help with combat skills. See Skills and Associated Attributes for a mostly complete list.

  • Fighting and Wrestling — A good way to raise your Fighting and Wrestling skills and related attributes is to go find a small, relatively harmless animal and wrestle with it repeatedly. You can wrestle hitting b for the wrestling option after selecting the creature to fight. Continually grabbing and releasing a creature is sufficient to raise your skill, and you can do it indefinitely with the same animal as it won't be injured (unless you auto-wrestle it). Wrestling will increase Kinesthetic Sense, Spatial Sense, and to a lesser extent, Endurance. You may also somewhat increase Dodging and Shield User this way as the creature takes swipes at you.

    It's possible to change your Combat preferences for attacking and dodging to Close Combat and Stand Ground, respectively, allowing you to simply walk into the helpless critter to wrestle it. (Standing your ground prevents you from moving to dodge attacks, so your wrestling can continue almost uninterrupted.) You will, however, perform occasional throws and take-downs as long as the creature remains standing, which may result in their eventual bleeding to death. Strangulation is also a repeated concern, as it will render the victim unconscious, thus making you have to wait until it regains consciousness before you can continue auto-wrestling it (though you may still raise your Wrestler and Fighter skills by 10 points for every time you release a limb - though this must be done manually and must be repeatedly confirmed, once the creature is rendered unconscious). Another concern with auto-wrestling some animals is that you will perform joint locks, and break hips, knees, and ankles in the process, which can cause the creature to bleed to death. If you can wrangle a creature incapable of blood-loss and strangulation in a high-FPS area (such as a crab on a frozen beach), you can easily raise all associated skills and attributes to Legendary and Superhuman in the course of a few minutes.

  • Shield User, Armor User, and Dodging - In addition to wrestling the creature, you can also sit back and let it attack you to raise your defensive skills. If you have metal armor, then a small animal like a gopher can't do any real damage to you when it hits. Also, to place emphasis more heavily on shield blocking, you can change your attack Combat preference to Stand Ground. Stay occupied (tell the enemy a story about one of your fortresses or mumble a "poem" written with Dabbling skills) for a nice time skip. The wrestling-a-crab-on-a-frozen-beach method also works fantastically for this.
  • Weapon Skills and Fighting — Once your defensive skills are getting up there and your agility is high enough, you might want to try fighting bogeymen to increase your weapon skill. Just make sure to fight them one at a time while running away. If you don't know what a bogeyman is yet then you are probably not ready to try this. Also, doing difficult targeted shots will gain more experience and keep the training dummy alive longer.
  • Throwing and Archery — Throwing rocks with t will raise your Throwing and Archery skills. Throwing objects at creatures, while not terribly effective, can still be a quite handy skill. Although throwing is a way to raise Archery without wasting ammunition, there is a non-wasteful method that additionally increases bow/crossbow skills.

    The most efficient way to level via throwing is to forgo using a macro and separate training into two phases: getting and throwing. First, find a tile with an indefinite amount of throwable objects (e.g., snow, rocks, mud, etc.). Then, sequentially mash g and whatever key the rocks are assigned to until both your forearms explode. Rest. Then, sequentially mash t, followed by some consistent key assigned to your rocks, then Enter, until you've emptied your inventory. Rest. Rinse and repeat. (You may wish to empty your inventory beforehand such that the rocks are assigned to a key close to t, allowing you to keep one hand on Enter and another on t.)

  • Marksman, Bowman, and Archery — Raising the bow and crossbow weapon-specific skills is best done by shooting at a wall or cliff with no floor directly beneath it. If bolts or arrows hit a wall that has floor/ground on the same z-level, then the ammunition will be destroyed. However, ammunition that falls at least one z-level after hitting a wall will remain intact. So, simply find something like a hill inside a castle, stand on it, then shoot at a wall which is on the same z-level you are. The arrows will hit the wall and fall one z-level to the ground, remaining intact. You can then get the arrows and fire them at the wall again from the hill, ad infinitum. You can also stand next to a wall that's two or more z-levels high, aiming at the wall one z-level up by hitting < after hitting f. Whatever method you employ, the key is that the arrow needs to fall at least one z-level after hitting a wall to remain intact. Using a macro will speed this up greatly.

    An alternative and much easier way to train any ranged attack is to simply shoot one or more z-levels straight above into the air, by using f than < , any ammunition used seems incapable of causing harm to the one launching it and lands undamaged under their feet for easy retrieval, however this may be considered a bug and/or exploit.

  • Ambushing and Swimming — An efficient way to raise Ambushing is to sneak over large stretches of land. Ideally, this would be done in a biome containing sparse vegetation and few threatening creatures to blunder into and reduce FPS (e.g., a frozen beach). Sneaking on fast travel will not raise Ambushing.

    Although less efficient for raising only Ambushing, it's also possible to sneak and swim at the same time, thus combining their training. Just make sure you start with at least Novice in swimming, or you'll find swimming practically impossible to train. Swimming can very quickly improve your Strength, Agility, and Endurance. Additionally, if you can safely drown and then recover (e.g., by moving under a bridge and then back before suffocating), this will raise both Toughness and Endurance at a ridiculous pace— a single step spent drowning will raise both attributes by a fifth of a point apiece.

  • Observer — You can't really power-level this skill as it is slow and difficult to train, which is why you're advised to sink some points into it during character creation. However, one way to train it appears to be sleeping or walking around in the wilderness, allowing yourself to be repeatedly ambushed. This is, however, inherently dangerous. Running away from these encounters would probably be faster than slaying your assailants, if not generally safer for your character (but not for your companions, hoh boy).

    Successfully detecting traps found in tombs and catacombs (performed automatically) will also raise Observer. However, without decent skill to begin with, you'll be torn to pieces by the many traps you'll fail to see. Otherwise, once you've found one or more traps, it's possible to grind experience by sleeping/waiting an hour, thus resetting the traps. Rinse and repeat.

    As of version 0.40.23, one seems to acquire skill in Observer from regular combat, as it's used to tell what weapon an enemy is using to attack you.

  • Spatial and Kinesthetic Sense - While sharpening rocks with x will improve your Knapping skill, it more importantly increases your Spatial Sense and Kinesthetic Sense attributes, which affect a number of other skills. Knapping can be combined with throwing via a macro to keep your inventory from filling up.
  • Other Stats - Other useful stats like Strength, Agility, and Toughness will increase significantly as the fighting and defense skills increase, so you don't need to do anything other than what you'd normally be doing to increase these.

I managed to escape, but my limbs are chopped off. Now what?

'Tis but a scratch! Unfortunately, there is only one way to get them back, and that is by becoming a werebeast and surviving until the next full moon. But as long as you have at least one leg and one arm left you can actually do pretty well. First, get a crutch from somewhere, such as a general store, and make sure it's in one of your hands. Once you do that you should be able to stand back up again. (However, if spinal nervous tissue damage is what has disabled your ability to stand, crutches will not help you in that regard.) You will notice that your speed is now much slower than before. Now, go find someplace reasonably safe, and walk back and forth until your Crutch Walking skill gets up to Legendary. You will notice your speed increasing as your skill levels up until your speed is completely back to normal. As a bonus you'll probably see some stat increases as well. You can continue to dodge with a crutch just as well as before. You can wield a sword, shield, and crutch all in one hand, so, even if you are missing an arm, then you're all set. If you are missing both arms but still have both legs then unfortunately you'll be limited to biting, dodging, and wrestling with legs. If you're missing both arms and one leg then your movement will be limited and you'll be limited to biting and wrestling with your one remaining leg. And if all limbs are missing, then you'll be limited to rolling around on the ground biting things, though you might actually be able to do surprisingly well as a Legendary Biter, especially if you powerlevel your strength to the point where you can shake things around by the teeth ripping limbs off, but if you lose both legs, then your character is going to be severely limited just due to the poor movement rate, so at that point it's probably best to opt for retirement or a glorious death in battle.

What creatures of night can I become?

You basically have four different choices. Firstly, you can become a necromancer:

  • That gives you some traits of an undead. Namely, you don't need to eat, sleep or drink, don't tire or age, zombies and mummies don't attack you and your physical stats are permanently fixed. The last one means it's wise to train them beforehand.
  • You also can raise dead from the x menu. Depending on the flavor of your spell, zombies can be slow, very slow or not slow at all. They will be listed as companions.
  • Undead minions are extremely useful, but will cause problems if you intend to interact with civilization ever again. They are, however, an easy way to gain manpower for construction.
  • To become a necromancer, find a necromancer tower and obtain a book or slab containing secrets of life and death from there, then read it. Note that most of the books are useless. In younger worlds necromancers may not have built their towers yet, in which case they'll be hanging at a zombie bandit camp, slab under the arm.

Secondly, you can become a vampire:

  • That gives you most traits of an undead. In addition to the listed above, you don't feel pain, don't breathe and are immune to most syndromes. Your strength, agility and toughness are doubled. They're still fixed forever, so, again, be prepared.
  • You gain blood vision, in which all creatures with blood not in your field of view will be represented with .
  • Despite not needing to drink water, you have a hunger for warm blood. To satisfy it, beat someone or something unconscious and eat their blood.
  • Anyone that witnesses you feeding on blood will turn hostile, unlike in older versions, where companions would only care if you drained someone they cared about.
  • To become a vampire, defeat one in combat and drink his blood.
  • In version 0.42.01, it is now possible to be "cursed" by a god into becoming a vampire by desecrating statues/totems/altars dedicated to them. This can be done by pressing u while adjacent to interact with them, and toppling them.v0.42.01

Thirdly, you can become a werebeast:

  • This gives you the (uncontrolled) ability to transform into a powerful half-man, half-beast on a full moon.
  • There's a fixed list of animals on which the wereform is based, including goat, llama, lizard, horse, monitor, buffalo, moose, tortoise, camel, kangaroo, ape, gecko, bear, hyena, warthog, iguana, skink, shrew, elk, skunk, pig, raccoon, panda, mole, badger, armadillo, mammoth and more.
  • Most importantly, upon transformation (both ways) all your wounds, including missing limbs, are instantly healed.
  • You don't show any abnormality outside of beast form. You are still mortal.
  • When in beast form, everything is hostile to you, you don't need to drink, eat, sleep or breathe, don't feel pain, don't tire and are immune to some syndromes.
  • One randomly chosen metal is ten times as deadly to you than usual. All other materials deal you half damage.
  • Werebeast's size is several times their base animal size, but no less than 80000. This means all armor will be too small for you while in beast form. But you can still use a shield.
  • Also, some werebeasts are truly gigantic — the weremammoth has a size of 9000000, on par with demons.
  • To become a werebeast, make one bite you - it has to be in the beast form.
  • In version 0.42.01, it is now possible to be "cursed" by a god into becoming a werebeast by desecrating statues/totems/altars dedicated to them. This can be done by pressing u while adjacent to interact with them, and toppling them.v0.42.01
  • You cannot be a werebeast and a vampire at the same time.

And finally, you can become a mist zombie:

  • This makes you undead. In addition to vampire traits, you can see without eyes and can't die via blood loss or beheading. Note that you don't have the health point limit that raised zombies have.
  • You become permanently hostile to everyone except other undead.
  • Your strength and toughness are tripled and fixed. Train beforehand.
  • Depending on the flavor of zombie virus, your speed may or may not drop to 20% or 60% of its normal value.
  • To become a mist zombie, find a mist/fog cloud that zombifies creatures and run into it.
  • You cannot become a vampire or a werebeast if you are already a zombie. The other way, however, is fine.

What does it mean to be cursed?

After suffering a mummy's curse, you will critically fail 20% of all skill checks, so you miss attacks, fail when reciting poetry etc.

Can zombie companions build for me?

Yes, they can build just like any other companion.

See also

A glimpse into the Future

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.

  • Passage from "Shooting for the sky", the giant toad bone bound book by Nefil Blackbone the human necromancer :

... While seemingly absurd, the practice of one's abilities with a ranged weapon can be furthered by directing said weapon towards the sky. After all, during day time the sky has one giant target that might even seem so large that it's impossible to miss, and the night sky has many smaller ones. It has been well documented that hitting the target may not be necessary to achieve improvement in ones skill with said arms, thus it is reasonable to expect every subsequent shot after the first will hit a tad closer to it's intended target, this has further lead me to believe in the possibility of sky exploration, for with this logic at some point the projectile will actually hit it's target and could subsequently be replaced with a test dummy to further resolve survival issues and empty ones guest accommodations in one go. Finally with said preparations accomplished it would be possible to explore whatever is beyond that great blue/black border above. However some skeptical dwarven scholars suggest this to be impossible and rather place their bets on the tried and tested dwarven launch system, while notable human scholars propose using bigger armaments to accomplish the goal.

This is how the great space race between the Elves, Dwarves and Humans began, which would later on lead to massive intergalactic conflicts, space goblin invasions, immortal human emperors, elven space gates, interplanetary clown-storms all under the name of the humble dwarven hammer of war ...