From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
Revision as of 19:35, 28 September 2019 by Loci (talk | contribs) (thieve -> pilfer)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Urist likes dragons for their terrible majesty.

  • Any Land

Building destroyer: Level 2

· Megabeast · No Exert · Steals items · Fire immune · Fanciful · Exotic mount

Tamed Attributes
Pet value 10,000

· Egglaying · Exotic pet · Breeding

Trainable:  Hunting   War 

Birth: 6,000 cm3
Max: 25,000,000 cm3
Food products
Eggs 1-3
Adult at: Birth
Max age: Immortal
Butchering returns

(Value multiplier x15)

Food items

Meat 113-173
Fat 42-65
Brain 4-8
Heart 2-4
Lungs 8-18
Intestines 14-27
Liver 4-9
Kidneys 4-8
Tripe 4-9
Sweetbread 2-4
Eyes 2
Spleen 2-4

Raw materials

Bones 66-110
Skull 1
Teeth 3
Skin Scales

Wikipedia article

This article is about the current version of DF.
A gigantic reptilian creature. It is magical and can breathe fire. These monsters can live for thousands of years.

Dragons are gigantic, fire-breathing, green reptilian megabeasts, eventually becoming the second largest land creatures in the world (behind the giant elephant). They are a different creature than the similarly-named cave dragon.

While based on the western dragon model, dragons do not fly nor have wings, and are not intelligent (though there is room to address this; see Bugs and Future Plans). They are immune to both fire and magma; however, they can still drown if immersed in the latter. They frequently exhale jets of extremely hot (theoretically 50000 °U , over four times the heat of magma) "dragonfire", which can injure things that are immune to normal fire, such as the bronze colossus. Only dragons and the cave-dwelling subspecies thereof are naturally immune to dragonfire; however, dragonfire can be blocked by creatures equipped with shields.

Dragons are covetous and seek to steal items from your fortresses to bring back to their lairs. Dragons generally pilfer successfully in worldgen, but when they attack a player fortress they tend to get caged, killed, or distracted burning the whole fortress down.

Dragons are the glass cannons of the megabeasts. They aren't especially durable for a megabeast, and can be slain quite easily with traps or skilled soldiers, however, their dragonfire will melt every other non-shield-using creature in the game (except for sponges), they breathe fire over a long distance (20+ tiles) and they breathe fire often.

Some dwarves like dragons for their terrible majesty.

Art by Olivitree - How majestic!

Dragon Size

Dragons slowly grow to become one of the largest creatures in the game, finally reaching their adult size of 25,000,000 cm3 after 1000 years. As a hatchling, dragons are quite tiny, at exactly 1/10th an adult dwarf's size, but they grow very rapidly, at roughly 25,000 cm3 per year. Dragons reach dwarf size shortly after their second birthday, are more than double a dwarf's size at about year 5, and add another dwarf's-worth in size roughly every two years after that.

  • At 23 years, a dragon is the size of a giant cheetah.
  • At 100 years, a dragon is the size of a draltha.
  • At 200 years, a dragon is the size of an elephant.
  • At 320 years, a dragon is the size of a hydra.
  • At 800 years, a dragon is the size of a bronze colossus or an adult roc.
  • Thereafter, a dragon is the second largest creature found on land. (The giant elephant is the largest land creature, while the giant sperm whale is the largest creature found anywhere.)

Defense strategies

Dragonfire can be blocked if the victim is using a shield, and it will be more than 99% of the time. Though they are among the physically weakest of the megabeasts, dragons are still massively powerful in melee combat, so they can be hard to take down without a good military. They should never be engaged in areas covered in grass or cave moss, as their breath attacks will cause fire to spread across all grass in the area, consuming your map in flames, causing trees to fall, and, above all else, murdering your FPS. When attacked by a dragon, lure it underground, preferably into an area made out of stone floors away from any farm plots.

Possibly the best defense is to use piercing weapons like crossbows, and especially spears, and hope you get lucky and hit a vital organ which can bring it down immediately. An alternative is building one or multiple cage traps, possibly beforehand, which will probably cage the dragon making it harmless. You should know that cages and mechanisms will be destroyed by dragonfire unless constructed from pure slade, so either make sure both cages (or weapons, or supports) and mechanisms are impervious to dragonfire, or, more simply, ensure that the dragon has no reason to breathe fire by removing animals and dwarves from the trapped area. While they won't fire on buildings normally, a stray blast (at your outdoor livestock or bait animals, say) that catches any traps, doors, or bridges not made of dragonfire-safe materials will melt and deactivate them. This can be used to your advantage, since dragons will destroy the bridge they are standing on, even if they aren't aiming for it. Also, dragons make good companions if you are able to reanimate them as a necromancer.


Dragons can be captured in cage traps and trained if you're lucky enough to catch one. Currently, knowledge of animal behaviour is based on the civilization level and depends partly on the animals available for contact in a given civilization site. Such a rare megabeast as a dragon is unlikely to have had any civilized contact aside from adventurers attempting to slay them and other violent contact; as such, your fort will have to build the knowledge base from the ground up, making dragon-training a highly difficult task. Bear in mind that even with a skilled animal trainer at hand, your first attempts to control such a powerful and elusive beast may result in half your fortress burning in dragonfire. Being megabeasts, dragons are perpetually hostile to your military squads and must be kept separated from your soldiers, otherwise they will kill each other on sight.Bug:10731

If you can manage to endure its long-untamed wrath, you'll have a massively valuable pet that can lay eggs. Dragons can also be trained as war or hunting animals at an animal training zone. While a trained dragon is an immensely destructive tool at your disposal, it is also very eager to use dragonfire against your enemies, which can be exceedingly fun if it happens in your grass, booze stockpile or meeting area.

Provided you are lucky enough to capture a pair of dragons of different sexes, you can breed them with a nest box. Hatched dragons will immediately be considered adults, though they will still need to progress through 1,000 years of growth to reach full size. As they are born adults, it isn't possible to create fully tame dragons without modding.

Irregularities, Bugs, and Future Plans

Estimated size comparison between a dragon and a dwarf.

Dragons have been observed to occasionally wear some armor (breastplates, greaves, leggings and boots). This armor is specified as "Large [metal][armor type]" and gives the dragon the same protection as any other species might get from it. This is a bug, as dragons can't normally equip items.

Toady One has mentioned that he plans to eventually extend the random creature generator of the game to create different species and varieties of dragon within certain constraints, calling it "Half-Random", with ideas for variants including just about anything dragons have been given in literature, such as acidic blood, while maintaining a basic draconic structure.([1]) He has also commented on the game's current portrayal of dragons as wingless unintelligent creatures, citing his reasons to be the many ways dragons are depicted in real-life sources.([2])

One of the old power goals referenced stealing dragon eggs as part of an adventurer mode quest.

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.

Contrary to popular belief, a dragon is not in fact toothless, and will tear you to shreds, resulting in fun.

They will, in accordance to popular belief, however, burninate the countryside, the peasants, and any thatched roof cottages that happen to be around.

Though dragons are thought to make their lairs in dungeons, actual sightings of "Dragons in Dungeons" are extremely rare.

Also contrary to popular belief, dragonfire is in fact not actually fire, but is composed of boiling, molten clouds of varied metals such as: silver, copper, steel, etc... So one could argue that dragons feed on minerals and armored adventurers to produce their breath, or that dragons can breath plasma.

Dragonfire is also known to make trade depots explode.

"Dragon" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: måmgoz
Elvish: vutheni
Goblin: kusnath
Human: tamun