Home > Fantasy, Tutorial > The Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress – Part 8: “It’s a trap!”

The Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress – Part 8: “It’s a trap!”

February 23, 2009

dftitle8

I’ve written a book – Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress, available at O’Reilly and Amazon! It covers the current version and takes you from knowing nothing to being a confident Dwarf Fortress player!

I promised traps, and damn traps we will have! And not of the Star Wars or Thai kind, but of the Dwarf Fortress kind! I’m two bottles of beer and a glass of absinthe into the evening, so lets get on with it before things get worse!

Defence and Traps!

You’ve got mechanisms, you’ve got cages, now lets make some traps! Head to the front entrance of your fort and we’ll get building traps and then ponder the various strategies one might employ in setting up the defence of your fortress. Follow along:

  • At the front entrance, hit “b”.
  • Scroll to “Traps/Levers” and hit enter, or just hit “T”.
  • You will now see a list of traps, lets briefly discuss them.

Stone-fall traps
These are simple one-shot traps that drop a big rock on an enemy’s head. These are great for a quickly built defence, but clearly, as one shot traps, a little limited. Note, with all traps, if your dwarfs fall onto them, unconscious, they will trigger the trap!

Weapon Trap
These will probably be your bread and butter as they will attack any enemy triggering them and with multiple weapons can be quite powerful.

Lever
Not a trap, but a device used to manually trigger things like bridges, cages, doors, floodgates, supports, etc. More on these later some time.

Pressure Plate
Can be part of a complex trap or can be used to trigger other objects when conditions are met (such as water being on them, creatures stepping on them, magma flowing over them, etc). More on those later too.

Cage Trap
What we’re going to be working with in a moment! A trap that catches the enemy in a cage. You can then do amusing things with the trapped bad guys, like tossing them off a tall bridge, dropping them into magma, or stripping them and using them for military sparing practice. Good fun!

Upright Spear/Spike
A peculiar sort of trap device that can only be triggered by a pressure plate or lever.

You should read the traps section of the wiki for a lot more detail, but only after you’ve completed this tutorial, ok?! For now, get back to work! Don’t make me beat you like one of my dwarfs!

  • Scroll down to Cage Trap, hit enter.
  • You now have a green X, place it in front of your entrance somewhere with “enter”. Do this a few times, you can see below how I’ve set a few traps to be built.

dftutorial96

This is hardly an impressive defence, but it will do for now. With luck it might help against any casual raiders, although “thief” monsters will still be able to sneak past your traps. To beef our defence up a bit we need to get some weapon traps installed as well as sort out some way to strike back at attackers who aren’t so gracious to step on all of our traps. So with that in mind, get producing a lot more mechanisms (at least 10) and follow along as we produce some trap components!

Smelting and other dwarfy things!

This wouldn’t be a dwarf fortress if we didn’t fill the place with the clang of forge hammers and the stink of furnaces, right? Lets have some fun then and make some sharp things to hurt our enemies!

First up, let me point out that item production can be fairly confusing. Essentially what we’re going to do is turn some wood into charcoal (at a wood furnace), then use the charcoal to turn metal ores into metal bars (at a smelter), then we’re going to use more charcoal to smith metal bars into items (at a metalsmith’s forge).  As you can no doubt imagine the problem we will face is the charcoal bottleneck. It will take a lot of wood to fuel all our furnaces! Most of the time this problem is got around by players using magma smelters and magma forges. We haven’t struck magma yet, so we’re going to plough ahead with the hard way, at least for a while.  The goal of all this is to produce a few fearsome trap components to fit out some weapon traps – think spinning disks from Indiana Jones! So follow along:

  • Find your wood furnace, hit “q” and “a” for “add task”.
  • Select “Make Charcoal”.
  • Queue up a full list of Charcoal.
  • Wait until your list is half-empty. Fill it some more!
  • Now go to the smelter, and try to “a”, “Add new task”. You will now see a list of the tasks available at this workshop. Note, the tasks will change as you uncover more ores or deplete older ores. For interest, note that you can set the workshop to melt objects you wish to dispose of (turns the object back into a metal bar). More on that some other time.
  • Chose “Smelt Magnetite Ore”, hit “enter”. Magnetite contains iron, this will turn those sparkly rocks lying around to iron bars.
  • Fill the queue and then fill it again (or build another smelter and fill both queues).
  • Try and make sure your charcoal production keeps up with the smelting. If it falls behind your smelt task will be cancelled and you’ll have to reissue it.
  • Once we’re done with this tutorial why not go and smelt all of that native platinum ore you saw on the list as well? If you’ve dug downstairs out you may have gold to smelt too!

Your dwarfs should be pretty busy now, hauling charcoal, wood, ores and bars around. If things aren’t moving quick enough turn off the hauling jobs for anyone involved in your metalworking industry. While you’re at it, make sure you’ve got enough wood around for charcoal by cutting more down outside!

If you want to check your progress, go look at your Bar/Block stockpile and see what is being built up. If you suspect all of your production is in bins, use “k”, find the bin, hit “enter” and look inside the bin.

A little on food processing

While all this is going on, why not go to your farmer’s workshop and add a task of “Process Plants (to bag)”. Set it on repeat. Then add a task of “Process Plants (to barrel)”, again, set it on repeat. Now, anyone with the “Plant Processing” labour on (no one by default) will go and process anything you’ve grown that needs processing. I won’t list those plants here now (go look at crops for all the detail), but suffice to say, some plants need to be processed so they can be eaten or used in other sorts of manufacture (eg, cloth making).

Hopefully you’re not short on bags. If you are, try and pick up a bunch off a trader. Alternately, buy leather and/or cloth off a trader and using the Leather Workshop or Clothier’s Shop (we’ve not built one yet) make bags. Bags are very handy for storing seeds and processed plants, you can never have too many of them. They’re like barrels and bins in that way.

Back to the iron!

With a few iron bars made, head on back to the smelter. Go and “a”, “Add task”. You should now see a new task listed “Make Pig Iron Bar”. Pig Iron is made out of one iron bar and one piece of flux material (eg, limestone, which we’ve got a lot of). Next on the production chain for us will be steel (which requires a pig iron bar an an iron bar and a flux material), which is second only to Adamantium in sharp awesomeness, and will let us make some great weapons, trap components and armor.

Before your imagination gets carried away, go produce a lot of iron bars and a dozen or so pig iron bars. Check in here again when you’re done.

Right, with iron and pig iron bars complete, go back to your smelter and check the “Add tasks” menu. You should now see steel as a smelting option! Awesome! Smelt up a half-dozen steel bars. And while you’re at it, build a lot more cages and mechanisms and put at least half-a-dozen cage traps around your entrance. Come back once you’ve got a bunch of steel bars made.

Ok! Now we’re ready to rock! I hope, at this point, that you’ve not been invaded, attacked or otherwise molested. With our fortress around two years old now it’s likely you’ll start to see the odd goblin ambush – especially if you send your dwarfs outside a lot. I hope you survive those ambushes just fine! Perhaps we should have started this tutorial sooner…

Anyway, head over to your metalsmith’s forge, and:

  • Hit “q”.
  • Hit “a”. You will now see a list! Explore the list, see all the neat things we can make! You might need to hit “tab” to expand the menu size so you can see everything.
  • Scroll to “Trap Components” and hit “enter”.
  • Scroll to “Steel”, hit “enter”.
  • Hit “tab” twice so we can see the full item names.
  • Chose to make a “large, serrated Steel disc”. I love the sound of that!
  • Queue up three disks.

At this point you might want to think about other items you’d like to make in due course. Hit “a” again and then hit space to back down the make-item tree. Chose “Weapons and Ammunition”, chose “Steel” and lets make three steel warhammers. These will come in handy once we start our military. I like warhammers because it’s funny to watch goblins fly a half dozen tiles and then expire in a heap.

Once you’re confident your items are made, go back and make sure you’ve got some more charcoal in production, you’ve got more ore being smelted and add, under Armor, three suits of iron chainmail and three iron shields. This will all come in handy later. You could make steel chainmail instead, but it takes a bit of time to make those steel bars and we want to get on with this tutorial, right?

Don’t forget to make some more charcoal and to keep that production chain flowing. If this all feels rather cumbersome, don’t worry, we’ve got some production shortcuts we can work on later.

Oh, you may be getting annoyed at slow production. I know it’s been bugging me. Perhaps it’s time to pack your production rooms with more smelters and charcoal burners. One issue you’ll face is you need to buy an anvil off the traders in order for you to make another metalsmith forge. Keep it in mind for your next trading deal.

Deploy Zee Traps!

Once you’ve got your nice, big spikey discs, head back to your entrance. Get ready for trap placing fun!

  • Go to place a trap as you did earlier. But this time chose “Weapon Trap”.
  • Chose a mechanism.
  • A new screen will be displayed looking something like this:

dftutorial97

  • From this screen you can chose the weapons you want to deploy with your trap. Facing goblins, we really only need one awesome steel disc per trap I think, but we’re able to select more if we wish.
  • Scroll to the “large, serrated S…” and hit enter once, you’ll see “1/3″ selected.
  • Hit “d” for “Done Selecting”.
  • Your first weapon trap is now placed! Place three more.

Weapon traps are great ways of getting rid of a bunch of trash weapons you might have lying around – this is particularly the case once you’ve killed off a few goblins and have their rubbish cluttering up your piles. When filling a trap with weapon trash you might want to put three or four weapons per trap, to ensure maximum sliceness!

Here are my traps, laid out. I’m actually going to add another row of slicey dicey weapon traps as I don’t have a military and I’m a bit paranoid. Do something similar!

dftutorial98

Well done on the trap placing! But we’re not done with our defences just yet. We need to do some terraforming to make things a little nicer for ourselves. Let me explain…

Defending stuff betterer

…If you hit “o” for “orders” you will see a list of global commands you can issue to your dwarfs. The first one at the top is “Dwarfs can go outside”. For amusement, hit “i” to toggle through the options. First “i” turns it to “Soldiers can go outdoors”. If you resume the game all but soldiers will immediately rush into your fortress and refuse to come out again. Hit “i” again and you’ll see that all dwarfs are now instructed to stay inside. Hit “i” once more to return it to the default.

Setting orders to “Soldiers only” is what you will want to do when you’re invaded. But there’s a problem with this, can you figure it out? The answer is that it’s in the definition of “outside”. Right now, right up to the edge of our cave mouth is “inside”. Can you imagine the result when goblins invade? You got it! Dwarfs may hang around right at all those traps and get in the way of soldiers or get themselves killed (or more amusingly, get knocked unconscious, fall on a trap, and then get sliced to bits).

We can prevent this comedy routine by creating more “outside”. For starters, how about we hollow away the roof above our cave entrance? Then that cave mouth becomes “outside”, but entry to our fortress is still restricted by the walls and protected by traps. Good idea huh?! Follow along:

  • Go to our entrance.
  • Hit “d”.
  • Place the X about where I’ve got it below:

dftutorial99

  • Go up one level.
  • Hit “h” for channel.
  • Channel all the way up to the tree:

dftutorial9901

Channelling cuts down through the ground to the level below. It can be used in place of mining to clear space and provides a safer way for dwarfs to get to stuff below their toes. Note, it is possible to cause cave ins by removing land connecting terrain to the rest of the world. This may be fatal for your dwarfs, so be careful! But for now:

  • Designate all those trees around this level to be cut down. We can’t dig a channel on a tree, right? Come back when the cutting is done.
  • Continue designating the channel all the way to the end of the spit of land.
  • Designate another channel the same full length to the right of the first designation.
  • When these are complete, finish our three-channel wide cut  with another designation to the right of the second designation. Don’t designate all three at once or your dwarfs may accidentally cause some cave ins by cutting the wrong piece of land in the wrong order. Very annoying.
  • When finished, your three channels will be open space above our entrance, like this:

dftutorial9902

Now, when we issue the order for our lads to “stay inside” they won’t be hanging around the entrance! Super! One thing I’m concerned about is that anyone above our entrance could get a clear shot down to fleeing dwarfs. Lets stop that by building a wall. While we’re at it lets tidy the bits of land poking out over open air. Flip up and down between levels and you’ll see where some tidying needs to be done. Channel away! As for the wall,  you know how to make walls using “b” and “C”, so go ahead and do it, here’s how mine turned out!

dftutorial9904

Walls to secure anyone dropping in, nice open space to out outdoors/indoors problem.

While you’re fiddling with “o”, “orders”, have a look at “r” for “refuse” orders. Unless I’m in battle, or worried, I like to toggle “o” under the refuse menu so it’s set at  “dwarfs gather refuse from outside”. They will then grab all the lewt from dead goblins that is scattered around on the grass. Pretty handy huh? Nothing like free stuff, is there?

Arg! More goblins!

Oh dear! I got badly ambushed by goblins. I drafted my miners into the military (they tend to be strong and are armed with picks – ok scratch defence) and they were cut down by the hordes of goblins! Terrible! On the plus side a number of goblins were caught in traps and two were killed by my miners. Others are out there still so all dwarfs have been ordered to stay inside. Such is life. When you play for real you’ll be able to work through all you’ve learnt much faster and so you’ll be better prepared if this sort of bad luck has happened already.

dftutorial9903

As you can see, there’s a little dwarf head icon to mark my fallen dwarfs as well as a red “g” to mark the dead goblin. There’s also lots of blood about. If you ever face something similar, hit “k” and have a look around at the destruction! You can also see the full cages where my cage traps are. If I didn’t forbid dwarfs to go outside they’d be out there now trying to pick up the full cages and replace them with empty ones. See why we remove the roof now? Careless dwarfs are going to get themselves killed. Help them be not careless.

Good news about the goblins, I drafted some more dwarfs, armed and amored them, and sent them out and smashed some gobos. Great stuff! I think we better cover the military somewhat soonish.. after nobles in the next tutorial.

One point to note: If you forbid your dwarfs to go outside they may suspend construction jobs out there. Best to check around over anything you’ve got being built with “q” and hit “s” to un-suspend them as appropriate.

Anyway, that’s enough to now. Get on with building lots of traps, making bags, armor, barrels, food, bins, shields, weapons and so on! Go to it, and see you in tutorial 9!

The Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress – Part 9: “Nobles and other useless sods”


Categories: Fantasy, Tutorial Tags:
  1. Dwarf Fan
    February 24, 2009 at 12:12 am

    I love your tutorials. I wanted to get into Dwarf Fortress but the ASCII and all the commands scared me off, but with your tutorials I can finally enjoy this game. I can’t wait to see more of your fantastic tuts.

    • February 24, 2009 at 4:26 am

      Thanks very much for the feedback! Hope you’re sharing this tutorial far and wide then! I truly believe that many people can grow to love DF if given a proper introduction to it. And we welcome feedback and suggestions via the mail link on the top right of the sidebar.

  2. Dave
    March 1, 2009 at 3:21 am

    My dwarf population had its first baby during this tutorial. I checked her info, and found that she needs alcohol to make it through the day. How young they start.

  3. Erocksteady
    March 19, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Is there a way to make my dwarves avoid an area? For whatever reason, they always want to drink at this one spot on the map, even though I have drinking areas designated, and this pike kills them all. Now they are dying trying to retrieve the equipment from their fallen friends. How can I make this not happen anymore? The only solution i’ve found is to keep them confined, but that can only last so long (need wood for barrels for booze so they don’t dehydrate to death).

    • March 19, 2009 at 7:34 am

      You need to look up zones on the wiki and to set zones as forbidden. And a well won’t necessarily save you, dwarfs are bastards about watter

  4. Lamey
    April 14, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I’m trying to follow along with this tutorial – but my dwarfs will not make charcoal. I’ve even tried setting some to have no other job than using the furnace, but they still won’t.

    • Lamey
      April 15, 2009 at 2:48 am

      Wood burning and furnace are separate. Crisis averted.

  5. Scott
    June 14, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    “With luck it might help against any casual raiders, although “thief” monsters will still be able to sneak past your traps.”

    I recommend adding a tied up dog behind the traps. I’ve never had a thief or snatcher sneak by while an animal is stationed at the entrance. Killing the animal also buys some more time for your military to mobilize if they get past the traps.

  6. July 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Hi,
    Great tutorial! You are doing a good job!

    Unfortunately I had to give up my fortress at this point of the game.
    First, one dwarf of mine got killed by a pike in the river.
    The other wanted either to bury him or to drink water and also got killed by that action. Not much after that I got attacked by goblins and so I had to say good bye to my first game.

    • July 3, 2009 at 9:09 am

      Doh! Such is the nature of the deadly, killer fish of Dwarf Fortress! Making it all the way through to tutorial 8 without massive problems is pretty good. Good luck on your next fortress! And next time, play with the ‘o’ for options menu and set it so dwarfs don’t bury their dead. Or don’t collect refuse from outside. Or something. Will kill their suicidal desires to end their lives.

  7. Antsan
    July 6, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    One thing I do not like about your tutorial is, that you do not mention the job manager – it would spare a lot of time.

    Just hit j – m and you are in the job-manager. There you can hit q to add a new production order. You now can just enter the name of the task. Material names are included in task names, so this might be good, if you are not sure, how a task is named exactly.

    When you found your task you select it with the arrow-keys and then hit enter. You are then prompted for how often this task has to be done. The maximum is 30 (at least before the economy kicks in, I don’t know what happens afterwards), but you can just add the same task several times, when you need more than that.

    You get several advantages out of this:
    1. The tasks won’t be canceled permanentely when they cannot be fullfilled, they will just be canceled in the workshops, but will remain in the job manager.
    2. When the task is done, you get an announcement. This means, when you want to produce something eternally (booze for example) you don’t go to a workshop and risk, that the job is cancelled many times before the needed ressources are available again, you just go to the job manager and enter the task with a quantity of 30. As soon as you are told, that the job is done, you repeat and you wont have to worry about running out of ressources (at last not in reissuing jobs).

    The game will get a lot easier this way and especially for beginners it is not as important to have special jobs done in special workshops. This might be more of interest for advanced players, who might want to get special items by special dwarfs in special workshops.

    Hope, I could help.

    • July 7, 2009 at 10:36 am

      That’s a really good tip. I kinda suck with the Manager :) …I’m too neurotic – I don’t trust it ;)

  8. Stephen
    September 11, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Oof… I just started to build my first few traps, and all 30 of my new recruits decided it was bedtime. They flooded the barracks, most of them sleeping on the floor, some sleeping randomly. I’m dealing with some human traders at the time as well. Just at this moment, I’m getting ambushed by goblins. I really don’t like the way this is going. Luckily, all of my miners are superdwarvenly tough and legendary miners, so hopefully they’ll do better against the goblins than yours did.

    It doesn’t help that I still have no clue what I’m doing in battle. I’ll glance two tutorials ahead now…

  9. Zwerg
    October 19, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I smelted some ore and made some metal bars (I’m almost sure about that), but the new task “Make Pig Iron Bar” doesn’t appears. Does this task just appears, when you have some flux stuff or what?

    • Flarin
      June 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      I’m having the same problem. Did you figure it out?

  10. John Smith
    January 31, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Managers aren’t that great, since you can do everything manually.

    Initially, it takes your manager a while to approve work orders, so you’re better off just manually inputting commands while placing work orders. Otherwise it will take your unskilled Organizer forever to get orders put out and your workers will sit around doing nothing. Once he’s more skilled you can depend more on exclusively using work orders.

    But it’s hardly essential.

  11. SkubaSteve
    February 2, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Putting this here because I don’t remember which page it was on. I’m having a problem with both tanning and plant processing. I queue up some ‘tan hides’, but it always gets cancelled. I have a ton of dead gophers around, and several have been butchered. Gophers don’t give hides or am I missing something?
    Plant processing always gets cancelled because “needs unrotten, processable (to barrel) plants”. According to my stocks, I have 2 plants, which is pretty reliable, as my bookkeeper has attained “high precision”. Any thoughts?
    Is there a difference between assigning a bed to bedroom, then barracks, and assigning a weapon rack to armory/barracks?

    • February 2, 2010 at 10:12 am

      Man, wish I could help you but I’m stumped. I’d suggest asking on the DF forums, those guys will know!

    • Ookpik
      April 5, 2010 at 4:26 am

      Pardon me for butting in, but I might be able to help.

      Only sweet pods are processable to barrels. (Quarry bushes are processable to bags, and must then be cooked before they can be eaten; pig tails are simply “processable” into thread. I forget what “process to vial” is, I think some rare surface plant like gnomeblight or something.)

      If you only have 2 sweet pods, odds are pretty good that another dwarf has claimed them before your food processor could. For instance, if your still is set to make booze on (r)epeat, then your brewer may be walking to the distillery with the pods as we speak, making them unavailable to the farmer’s workshop. Similarly, if you have a quern or a mill, someone might be making sugar with your plants. You need to have LOTS and LOTS of the appropriate plants to make sure there’s enough for everyone to keep working.

    • April 17, 2010 at 12:07 pm

      Great tips, thanks!

  12. Fly
    February 19, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Please let me tell what occurred in the game so that hints may be found to what caused my problem in dwarfland. Some really bad stuff happened to the dwarfs! It was just as I used the Manager to specify jobs (and maked it same as in the tutorial exemple) and then added the traps. Till there so good, and then just as I placed the traps an ambush occured out of 6 goblins. Still good, I thought what a coincidence… and then I got 4 of them prisoners! After that is where the problem beggins. It seems a goblin got past the triggered traps and into the fortress and headed to the dinning room.

    I tryed to find it there for some minutes in vain, I just saw the mensages about interrupted jobs there caused by a goblin and lots of blood everywhere. I dont send much stuff for the dwarfs to do all the time, so I thought maybe could be bad to let them especialized like in the tutorial exemple, but I did it anyway because I was content to test it (I was just worried because I could find 1 or 2 in depression sometimes and then I readed in the tutorial about this).

    By the time the goblin might have been put down so many minutes later and after some sad deaths (It could have been a citzen but I saw msgs arround there related to a goblin, mainly screen jumping to the location), an emotial ouburst occurred. The dwarves got sad over the deaths and some (or 1) went to tantrum making them all even more depressed with lots of blue and mostly red down arrows. In some minutes, the dwarfs numbers are 38 (some said to be suffocated and homicide might have happened too for this speed of losses) and they are all still mad. I was hoping for them to end by defending themselves, not like that, and to think sometime before it all was good and they were generally happy! I’ve been following the tutorial closely.. tough I think this might be the “premature” lost. I dont know if I did something else wrong also.

    They have been on a shortage of booze, even tough I would put them to make it regulary it was always bearing the minimum needed because of barrels. Does barrels apply for reuse? I guess not. If so, the barrels were passing to food storage or in any case all being used for food, leaving the booze without conteiner. The food have always been too much and I dont know how to control it or how to manipulate the barrels for booze. Tough they werent even going to drink water at that time.

    Any idea of what migh have happened? Sorry about the long msg, I just spent to much time trying to figure this :P I hope they survive so I can follow the turorial to the end :)

    • February 19, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Congratulations, you have just enjoyed an emo death spiral! Not much you can do about it except start over or keep going and cross your fingers. As for food and booze management, try the wiki for ideas. You could turn off the farming task on some dwarfs if you have a huge surplus.

  13. Soros
    April 9, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    hi I have a slight problem with traps atm. I have about 3 rows of traps around my fortress and the thing is the buggers keep filling up but no-one is replacing them. Is there something special I have to do with the traps to make them empty again? if so plz tell me.

    • April 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

      Make sure someone has the ‘animal trapping’ labour on. That might do the trick. You also will probably need spare cages constructed – your carpenter will do that for you at the carpentry workshop.

  14. M.A.D.
    April 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I got some goblin raiders and thieves in the cage traps and they are currently in the animal pile but what should I do with them and how? Also is there any way to get the their weapons etc.?

    • May 6, 2010 at 11:21 am

      Yes, check the wiki for ‘trapped creatures’, or a similar topic, probably linked off the page on cages. Should have all the info you need.

  15. Patrix
    April 27, 2010 at 11:43 am

    First off, this is a great guide to an -almost- great game. Unfortunately, at this point I’m really loathe to go any further as I just lost multiple hours worth of progress (for the umpteenth time) due to the extremely bad “save” function (if it can so be called, given its propensity to not actually save anything). I do get that ‘Losing is fun’, though when they say that I’m pretty sure they mean losing -in- the game, not losing the actual game data itself.

    /rant_off

    On the upside though, this is a really great guide.

    • Patrix
      April 27, 2010 at 11:50 am

      /sigh.

      Guess I need to google before I rant. Figured out the save problem. hurrdeedurr.

    • Jon
      September 19, 2010 at 10:58 pm

      I had the same problem! Every time I would load the game based on the “Folder Modified” date it would be something like 1 hour behind when I saved. I finally went in to each folder and found that the modified date as more recent on some of the files and found that I actually had the save games I needed.

      Messed up game saves, but it does actually work.

  16. Leeroy
    August 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Awesome guide you’ve got up. I’ve always tried to get into Dwarf Fortress before but all the other tutorials aren’t as intuitive and newbie friendly.

  17. Lemeza
    August 28, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    This Guide is really great and has really helped me get into Dwarf Fortress but I seem to have a large problem at the moment.

    Whenever I try to brew some more booze I get a message that has cancelled the brewing because there is no distillable item when I have spare barrels and large stores of both Plump Helmets and Strawberries.

    I’ve now completely run out of booze and one of my dwarfs was just killed by a pike trying to drink at the river. I’m completely at a lost about what to do.

    • August 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm

      Is the still cluttered, by any chance? Try building a new still and see if that helps. Try gathering outside plants, maybe berries could be used for wine. Hmmm

    • Lemeza
      August 30, 2010 at 11:50 am

      It turns out that in your tutorial where you talk about the kitchen sub-menu you got the colours confused – it seems that red means that the thing can’t be cooked/brewed. So I had set all the brewable things I had to not be brewed so the dwarfs couldn’t make alcohol because they had nothing to make it with.

    • August 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      Um, bugger, and apologies! I’ll try and correct that shortly.

  18. Not Me
    October 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Hi, I really wanna play this game, and your tutorial is the best one I’v found, but the new version scares me, i have to do complicated stuff to get the farm started, the map is random, and it has an even steeper learning curve, is there a place where i can download the original version, or whatever your using. Another thing, if it was made to work on the asc11, why does it lag on modern computers

    • Not Me
      October 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      sry, I re-read the first one and found the link, next problem, anyone know a non-trojan horse rar converter. Free of course

    • October 27, 2010 at 10:35 am

      WinRAR from download.com should solve all your zipping problems.

    • November 9, 2010 at 9:18 am

      WinRAR from download.com should solve all your archive issues.

  19. reinei
    January 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Hi i got a problem with fire resistent anvills i dont even know what that is nor how to get it

    • January 31, 2011 at 10:32 am

      All anvils are fire resistant. You usually have to bring one with you when you start a fort unless you engage in cunning play.

    • reinei
      January 31, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      mmh but you didnt bring one how to get it then?
      and whats a anvill? xD dont even know that

    • AutumnMoon1031
      February 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      I downloaded the copy of DF at the beginning of the tutorial, and there was an anvil…. sort of looks like a rowboat on a tree stump. When you build your first furniture pile it gets moved there. … unless you created your own world and didn’t bring one?

      An anvil is something smiths use to hammer out metal. Say, a person who made horse shoes back before we used cars to get us from place to place. The Smith would get a piece of metal really hot (by heating it in a forge (big fire), until it glowed orange, place it on the anvil, then bang it with a hammer to shape it into a horse shoe.

      Now I feel old lol ;)

    • reinei
      April 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      thanks i got it until now, the problem was the letter d for dump.
      I just dumped it at the beginning and then never saw it again unless I undumped it.
      Still thanks for the post.

  20. Iscrewy
    May 11, 2011 at 12:09 am

    I just discovered a magma pool to the right of the food stockpile :O

  21. SDW
    July 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I’m uber mad. My save file just got corrupted and I get a runtime error everytime I try to load it. Apparently the way to stop this is to modify init.txt and turn off the “Compress saves” option. However, this option isn’t actually in the init.txt of the version used by this tutorial, it’s only in the more recent version. Is there a way to modify it anyway? Or do I gotta start all over from the beginning using the more recent version?

    • July 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      Damn, that sucks. Well, now might be a good time to try the current version! A lot has changed, but if you know the basics of this version and can find the wiki you should be ok.

  22. SDW
    July 25, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Ah well. I’m eager to start a new fortress anyway. I assume there’s no way to use the save file from this tutorial with the current version?

    • July 25, 2011 at 5:05 am

      Nope, sorry, you will have to work it out!

  23. rowrow1234
    January 10, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I dont have any iron in meh fortress… crap…

  1. March 10, 2009 at 12:35 am
  2. March 10, 2009 at 12:51 am
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