Home > Fantasy, Tutorial > The Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress – Part 2: “No, srsly, WTF?!”

The Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress – Part 2: “No, srsly, WTF?!”

February 10, 2009


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

Lets continue on with our exciting and fascinating Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress! In this section we’ll work on getting some workshops set up and we’ll dig out a lot more space for our shorties.  There’s lots to do, so lets get cracking! ** Note: Discovered in 2010 is the fact that a dwarf doesn’t have the masonry labour enabled.  If nothing happens when you try and get the masonry workshop up, jump to tutorial 6 and read about enabling different labours. **

Building a Workshop

Workshops are a central feature of DF so lets get to grips with them right away. Workshops are places your dwarfs work, usually turning base materials into useful goods. The list of workshops can be a little overwhelming (“b” then “w”), but don’t worry, we only need to worry about a couple early on.

First up we need a carpenter’s workshop, this workshop allows us to turn wood logs into furniture and other items. You should see a lot of wood scattered around in front of the fort, where the wood cutter has left it after felling trees. We have no wood pile for it to be moved to, you see.

Ideally, we’d like to build the carpenter’s workshop inside, but we haven’t dug a nice enough space for the workshop yet, so lets chuck it outside for now:

  • Move the view to the front of the fortress.
  • Hit “b” for “build”, and then “w” for “workshop”. You can also just scroll down to “Workshops” using “alt+down arrow” and hit enter.
  • You will now see a list of workshops. It scrolls off the bottom of the page (scroll around if you like)! Hit “c” for “Carpenter’s workshop”.
  • The menu will vanish and the placement menu will appear. The green X’s mark out the workshop’s footprint. The dark green Xs are squares that will be impassible once the workshop is built, keep this in mind when building in an enclosed space, you don’t want to block the door!


  • Chose a spot in front of the fortress. Somewhere round where mine is marked should do. Once you’re ready to place your workshop hit “enter”.
  • The menu on the right will now change to a list of items you could use to build the workshop with. Mostly it will be a list of wood and it will look something like this:


  • At this point you could just hit enter and the first item on the list will be used to build the workshop. Instead, for fun, hit “x” and “expand” the view to show a list of every single item the workshop can be built from. Expanding the item selection is a nice way to chose exactly the item you want to be used. Most of the time you can ignore this option, but it will come in handy later on.
  • Close the expanded menu with “x” again. For your interest note that items are sorted by distance from the workshop’s current location. Usually you want to build with the closest items to save your dwarfs a slow walk.
  • Once you’ve hit enter (selecting the building material) the workshop will be placed in an un-built state on the map. It will look like this:


Your workshop is now about to be built. You will have to hit space a couple of times to un-pause the game, but as soon as you do I bet you that a helpful wee dwarf will run over and start building it. If you’re quick you can hit “q” and see the status of the workshop, it should say “Construction initiated” or something similar.

A few seconds later, the workshop is built!


It doesn’t look like much, but it’s really useful! I promise! So lets get turning some of this lumber into stuff our dwarfs can use. Just don’t tell the Elves, ok? They really hate us chopping down trees. Pointy-eared gits, a magma-steam death is to good for them!

Making beds

Dwarfs don’t like sleeping in the dirt, they like nice, comfy beds. Which is strange, because in all other regards they live like hobos:

  1. They hate drinking water, much preferring booze.
  2. They’ll eat just about everything, mostly raw.
  3. They never shower.

I guess that makes us the owner of the worlds’ most complex homeless shelter! So lets make them work for their hot soup and institutional sheets!

Follow along with me:

  • Hit “q” and move the cursor over the carpentry workshop.
  • The menu on the right now shows you the actions you can take, specifically, we’re interested in “a: Add new task”.
  • Hit “a” (duh)!
  • Note the right menu is now a large list of stuff we can make. We’re after beds.
  • You can scroll down to beds using “alt+down arrow”, or simply hit “b”.
  • The menu now changes back to the “q” list and you’ll see “Construct bed” listed. But we want more than one bed!
  • Hit “a” again, and then “b”. Repeat until we’ve got five beds up there. We don’t need a bed for every dwarf just yet, luckily for us they seem happy to sleep in shifts.
  • Your carpentry workshop menu should now look like this:


If your workshop menu looks like this, well done! Five beds are queued up and hitting space a couple of times will un-pause the game and set a dwarf working, building your beds. You may have noted that there are a lot of other workshop options available to us now we have items on the build list. We can “s” suspend any construction, set any item to be “r”, repeat built, or we can hit “c” and cancel the construction of the current listed item. We can also fiddle with the workshop profile by using shift+p, “P”, or have the entire workshop removed using “x”. For now, lets just watch the beds get built!

Note, you won’t see the beds being put anywhere. Want to know why? The answer is simple, and if you’re extra-special clever you may have already worked it out: We have no furniture stockpile! Lets fix that:

  • Hit “p” from the main menu.
  • hit “u” for “Furniture stockpile”.
  • Move the X near the workshop, hit enter, and designate a pile about 5 tiles by 5 tiles.

Here’s my pile after a few seconds of the game resumed:


You’ll note the dwarfs have moved the constructed beds to the pile as well as some spare barrels, our anvil and a bag. As stated above, we don’t usually like to leave our stuff lying around outside, even in tidy piles, but as a temporary solution it helps keep things organised and gets the furniture moved from the workshop. If items aren’t pulled out from under the carpenter’s feet then eventually the workshop will get cluttered (marked with “[CLT]” when you “q” over the workshop) and a cluttered workshop works slower.

Later on we can remove piles by using “p” and then “x” and selecting the whole area of the stockpile. What’s better is that helpful dwarfs will grab those items and move them to another suitable pile. But enough of that, lets get on with building our fortress!

Digging down, down, down!

What kind of Dwarfs would we be if we only scratched around on the top of this mound like dirty hobbits? We want to dig down, down, down! The easiest way of doing this is to build some stairs. Well, to be precise, we’re going to designate some stairs using the “d” menu. We are going to designate some un-dug space to be stairs and then see what’s going on a few feet down. So follow along, and lets get expanding!

  • Move the map to the bottom end of our corridor.
  • Hit “d” and then “j” for “downward stairway”.
  • Move the X into the black and hit enter, move the cursor down one, and hit enter again.
  • You should see two downwards stairs marked, like this:


But what’s this? We have a problem! How will our miners get there to dig out our stairs? Best we designate an area around those stairs to be dug using “d” and “d” (“Mine”). Here’s how I set it up:


You may be wondering why I have set two stairs down. The reason is that dwarfs need space to move past each other. If the corridor, or stairs, are only 1 wide, then they have to pause to let each other pass. This slows movement around your fortress down terribly once you have dozens of dwarfs running around. Two stairs down should be enough for now.

Hit space until the game is running and let that area get built. It should look something like this when it’s done:


Super! A hallway and two downward staircases! At this point you may be feeling pretty chuffed with yourself. But if you go down a level (“shift+>”, you’ll recall) you’ll not see any stairs going up, or much of anything, just these tan blobs:


Where are our stairs going up? Where are our vast stores of mineral wealth? Well, this is where stairs get crazy-strange. Let me explain…

To dwarves a down stair is just an exploratory stair dug down to see what’s on the level below. It’s like knocking a hole in the floor so you can look down on your neighbours in the flat below, hoping perhaps to work out what that strange moaning and banging was all about. Ok, so I used a drill, and didn’t literally knock the floor out so much as make precise holes all across their ceiling, and I didn’t look so much as hook up a fiber optic camera, but the principle is the same.

But enough about my pending court cases. To actually go down to the level below, you need to build stairs going up from the level you’re digging to. Or in our case, we want to build an “Up/Down Stairway” as we are looking to dig down a long, long way. An Up/Down stairway pokes the proverbial holes in both directions. It links up with a stairway above (if there’s one there) and tries to link up with a stairway below (if there’s one there). If there’s no stairway to link up with it will provide access to those other levels so you can build the needed stairs. To build one, do this:

  • Go down one level from our main area.
  • At this level, below our down stairs, hit “d” and then “i” for “Up/Down Stairway”.
  • Move the X over the two tan blocks. Hit enter, move down one, hit enter again.
  • Two brown X’s now show that your up-down stairway has been designated.
  • If you mess it up, “d” and then “x” can un-designate the space for you.
  • Resume the game and the up/down stairs will be dug. Once dug, they will look like this:


Lovely! Two perfect up-down stairs. But we’re not done yet. Go down a level and build two more up-down stairs. Once you’ve done this, drop a level again and designate two upward stairways using “d” and “u”. You should end up seeing something like this once they are built. This is on level 142 141 (see top right for current level), or three levels down. If you don’t see stone, you’re on the wrong level!


Rock! We’ve got some rock around us! This is the sort of place a good dwarf loves! How about we dig out some of this space? I suggest a long corridor running north some twenty squares, and we’ll make it three squares wide. Midway down this corridor we will have some stairs going down and some 15×15 size rooms on each side. Just a simple layout for now, but it will be enough for our needs for now. See if you can match mine.


Now let your boys dig! Dig boys, dig! And make sure all your areas set to be dug connect back to your stairs!

Along the way you may get various messages about striking various ores. That’s good news! Metal is very handy, as you can imagine. But we’ll worry about metal later.

What’s that on the ground?

While they’re busy digging, why not have a look at what is scattered all over the ground. To do that, from the main menu, hit “k” for “Look Around”. An X will appear and you can direct it using the arrow keys. As you move it around you’ll see what’s under the arrow. Check my example:


As you can see, underneath my X is a dwarf, some limestone, and a limestone cavern floor. I can use the alternate scroll (“alt+”down arrow”) to move through those three items, and hitting enter will display me some info about each. Ok, except for the floor. I mean, what do you want to know? It’s a floor!

“Look around” is a very handy way to see what is in a square. Sometimes items get stacked a few deep and you’re not sure what is what, “k” will show you. Also, it is very handy way to find out what the walls and ground are made of. For example, without irrigation you won’t be able to build a farm plot inside on anything but soil, sand, silt, clay or loam. “Look around” will show you what the ground is made of.

Toy with “k” for a while, see if you can find the bauxite. We’re lucky, bauxite is a very handy material to make magma-proof mechanisms and floodgates out of. Lets leave the dwarfs digging, we’ve got a very important job to do…

Chucking out the trash!

By now, believe it or not, some rubbish may be building up in your fortress. I’ve taken a shot of some rubbish near our food pile. Have a look:


Using “k” I can have a closer look and see exactly what this trash is:


Yuck! This is the remains of some food turtles we brought with us on our journey. We can’t have this left lying around our tidy fortress, can we? Well, we could, but the end result would be a stinking cloud of purple miasma. Miasma makes our dwarfs unhappy. While they may never shower and probably reek to high-heaven, they really don’t like the smell of rotting leftovers. Go figure.

So how do we get rid of the refuse? Easy! We build a “p” “stockpile for “r” “refuse”. But note, we need to build this pile outside or we’ll get miasma build-up. Outside, the wind blows the stink away.

See if you can set up a refuse pile on your own like mine. It’s just like making any other pile, except we set “r” for refuse as we plot it.


Look, one of my adorable wee dwarfs is moving rubbish there as we speak! Phew, miasma criss averted!

But we still have one really, really important job to do…

Making booze!

Booze is the lifeblood of dwarven society. Literally so. Dwarfs, unless injured, will prefer to drink booze over water 100% of the time. If there is no booze, they will drink water, but that often involves dangerous trips to the nearest river, where deadly carp may end your dwarf’s life prematurely. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE FISH!

Dwarfs without booze also work slower. Like me.

So what do we do about the dwarf booze demands? Simple! We build a still!

Follow along, dear reader:

  • Hit “b” for “Build”.
  • Hit “w” for “Workshops”.
  • Hit “l” for “Still”, or scroll through and find the still yourself, and hit enter.
  • Place the still in the room next to the food stockpile, like this.


Placing it near food makes sense, as it will turn food items into booze. The less walking for our brewer, the better. Once you’ve placed it and selected the materials (any will do), your still should be quickly built and look something like this:


Now to make it start churning out the brewskies!

  • Hit “q” and move the cursor to the still.
  • Hit “a” for “add task”.
  • Hit “b” for “Brew a Drink”
  • Hit “a” and “b” another 7 or so times.

Yay! You have now queued up a lot of beer to be made. But you’re going to need to do something else to keep the booze flowing; you’re going to need to make barrels.

  • Head to the carpenter.
  • Hit “q”.
  • Hit “a”.
  • Scroll down to “Make wooden Barrel”, or just hit “v”.
  • Fill the queue with barrels.

That should see your dwarfs produce enough booze to keep them going for a while. Repeat that process a few times or put “Brew Drink” and “Make Barrels” on repeat for five minutes. End result, happy drunk dwarfs! An important thing to note at this point is that brewing alcohol uses plants, but doesn’t destroy the seeds. Cooking does destroy the seeds of any plant cooked, which can seriously compromise your ability to grow more food! So for now, lets just stick to making some extra booze. We should be ok for food for a while yet with our farm running.

Time to head back down stairs to see how our miners are going. Let them dig at least one room out before continuing with the next step. Hopefully they’re not sleeping on the job (The big “Z” flashing on them)!

The World of Doors!

We need doors. Lots of doors. We need beds, doors, chairs, tables. We need lots of them. If you’re starting to feel like an Ikea salesman, don’t worry, when you see a bed menacing with spikes of cat leather, engraved with an image of a dwarf striking down a goblin with other dwarfs laughing, then you’ll know you’re no longer in Sweden (or any one of 36 other lucky, lucky Ikea countries!). So how are we going to get all of this wonderful furniture?

Well, we could build some doors and assorted other stuff in our carpenters’ workshop. But that would use valuable wood. Much better would be to use all that stone you can see strewn about. So how do we do that? I’m glad you asked! We build a masons workshop. Here’s how:

  • Hit “b” for “Build”.
  • “w” for “Workshops”.
  • “m” for “Mason’s Workshop”.
  • Chose an area near our main stairs up, in one of our new rooms. You can check the shot below to see where I’m going to place mine.


  • Select some stone and get the thing built!

Once it’s up it’s time to get it producing some useful items:

  • “q” over the Mason’s Workshop.
  • “a” for “add task”, then “d” for door. Do this four times.
  • “a” for add task, then “t” for table, do this twice.
  • “a for add task, then “c” for chair, do this twice.

Wee! Look at all that lovely furniture queued up! Soon our mason will turn up and start cutting blocks of stone into something more useful. Unfortunately, someone is going to end up trying to haul all that furniture up stairs to the furniture stockpile, and we can’t have that, so lets make a big stockpile in the middle of this room.

While you’re at it, why not remove the furniture stockpile upstairs and get all of that stuff out of the rain. Go up to the pile, hit “p” for pile, then “x” and then hit enter at one corner of the outdoors furniture stockpile, and then move the cursor to the other end and hit enter again. Here’s my downstairs stockpile, complete with some just-moved furniture and some doors!


Now it’s time to get those doors and beds into use, and when the tables and chairs are built, we’ll use those too!

Home Sweet Home

You may have noticed that our dwarfs have been sleeping on the ground when they get tired. This is really not much fun for them and we’d like to give them a place to stay. With some beds built, lets set up a big bedroom on the top floor so our dwarfs can get some shuteye.

  • Head to the top floor, we’re going to build in the spare room.
  • Hit “b” and then “b” again (for “bed”).
  • Move the cursor and place a bed in the corner (hit enter, select a bed and hit enter again).
  • Spread the five bed around the room.
  • Hit “space” until we’re back at the main menu.
  • Hit “b” again, and “d” for “door”.
  • Place doors at each of the room entrances.

Here’s my room layout. The shadowy beds and door show that the beds and doors aren’t placed yet. The green X shows me about to place the next door.


Pretty soon the room will be laid out and we’ll be ready to use it to house our little workers. Here’s mine finished, doesn’t it look pretty?


But the dwarfs won’t use it as a bedroom yet. We have to specify what the room is to be used for first. To do this:

  • Hit “q”.
  • Move the cursor near one of the beds. It will start flashing.
  • On the right, you’ll see the option “r: Make Bedroom”.
  • Hit “r”.
  • You will now see a flashing blue square. Here’s mine, as selected from the bottom-left bed.


We could hit enter now and set the room at this size, but that would leave two beds out. So we need to make the room size bigger. With the blue square flashing…

  • Hit “alt+down arrow” and this will make the blue square bigger until it fills the whole room.

You will note that the room won’t “leak” beyond the boundaries of the walls and doors. This is why we need doors, to prevent leaky rooms! Makes sense? Right? Ok… moving on…

  • Hit enter with the room set at max size, a new menu will appear on the right.

This menu gives you options for the room. It will always appear when you “q” over the item you set a room’s use from. Note, you don’t have to set every bed in the room as a bedroom (although the game will let you do that). DF is smart enough to know that the room is a bedroom, and all the beds in the room should be used.

On the new menu you want to:

  • Hit “b” for “Barracks”, this will turn the “(N)” to a “(Y)”.

With the room set as a barracks any dwarf without their own room will use the beds in the barracks to sleep in. When you have a military, the barracks is also where dwarfs will spar and sleep when off duty.

Well done! We have a bedroom for our shorties to sleep in! But what’s this, something weird has happened…


…a monkey ran into our fortress, probably planning to steal something, when it came face to face with our woodcutter (the sandy-coloured dwarf). End result, chop-chop, a dead monkey! The red “M” is the dead monkey, the other red stuff is the monkey’s blood splattered everywhere. Don’t worry though, your dwarfs will soon drag the body outside and throw it on the refuse pile. This may not happen in your game, but it’s good to know what  a fight looks like when it does.

That’s all for now! In the next tutorial we’ll build a fine dining room, set up some more workshops, and start to build some proper living quarters for our dwarfs. We might also build some fearsome traps! I can’t wait!

The Complete and Utter Newby Tutorial for Dwarf Fortress – Part 3: “Dwarf whatnow?”

Categories: Fantasy, Tutorial Tags:
  1. ah
    February 12, 2009 at 9:41 am

    good starter guide–you should link to this in the wiki if you haven’t already.

    • February 12, 2009 at 10:14 am

      I haven’t yet – thought it might be a bit cheeky. I had a look and couldn’t decide where to put it so instead I left a ‘discussion’ comment on the “Tutorials and Guides” page. If you know the wiki perhaps you’d like to link it up for us? Ta.

  2. February 18, 2009 at 7:12 am

    This is such an amazing tutorial, it is helping me get back into the game after quite the long hiatus. I can’t wait till my dwarves are fighting off goblins and shooting magma out into a moat!

  3. February 26, 2009 at 3:22 am

    But the dwarfs won’t use it as a bedroom yet. We have to specify what the room is to be used for first.

    This is not true. Dwarves will will sleep in any placed bed if they don’t have a bedroom. I’ve seen it happen in my own fort. You only need to mark out a room if you want to make a personal bedroom or a training room.

    • February 26, 2009 at 3:50 am

      You are correct! And I had noticed this too. I think there may be benefits to using a barracks over a random bed, but I am not exactly sure what those would be, happier thoughts? Perhaps no difference after all! Still, having a barracks there will be handy for later.

  4. Nightblaze
    March 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Soldiers will live & sleep in the barracks if commanded to do so and will also spar there.

  5. March 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Great guide. Though I must say, all that alt+arrow-key stuff always seemed more confusing to me than the number pad keys. (which are handily displayed when available)

  6. alexgw
    March 14, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    My damn miners refuse top dig out an entire room! they leave it half done then move on!

    • March 15, 2009 at 12:03 am

      Yes, they like to eat, drink, look at tastefully arranged doors. You know, pointless things. Best to set only sections of rooms to be done at a time I find. Or wait.

  7. March 15, 2009 at 3:29 am

    Thanks much for your guide. I think I have hit a wall, though. I got to the point where I build the carpenter’s workshop, but when I press “q”, the status is

    Waiting for construction…
    Needs carpentry
    Construction inactive.

    It’s not being built obviously. I have 5 idle dwarfs. What should I do?

    • Mitchbones
      March 31, 2009 at 8:36 pm

      This happened to me, my craftsman was cutting wood instead of building. I just waited for him to finish then he built it.

      Hope this helps!

  8. March 15, 2009 at 3:38 am

    I just had to wait a bit… It’s built now. 🙂
    Do you know why it took a while?

    Sorry for double-posting.

    • March 15, 2009 at 6:13 am

      The answer is in the tasks your dwarfs do. You’ll have to read Tutorial 6: Dwarf Resource Management 🙂

  9. Michael
    March 15, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Just futzed around with it for a while. Seems like fun, but I’m guessing t will get more interesting with another six months or so of development time.

  10. Billy
    March 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    When I dig down two floors and make my up stairs everything is red. I continued digging anyway and now my miners flash with Z’s. What is going on?

    • March 16, 2009 at 10:46 am

      Flashing “Z” = sleeping dwarf! Red digging probably just means you are digging through some red rock or dirt.

  11. Vitzkrieg
    March 16, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I believe that if you don’t mark it as a barracks then random dwarves will come sleep in the bed, but when they do they will claim it as they’re own. This means you need 1 bed per dwarf if you do it that way.

    Of course then again I’m a huge newb to this game, so what do I know 🙂

  12. Qlaras
    March 28, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    I’m having the same problem as Billy, all the ground is red on my lower floor (142) – it registers as ‘Silty Clay Cavern Floor’ and provides NO stone at all, so I can’t build my rock furniture 😦

    • Qlaras
      March 28, 2009 at 11:02 pm

      For now I’ve just made the 4 doors, 2 tables and 2 chairs out of wood. I’ll have to figure out a way to find more rock soon 😀

    • March 29, 2009 at 3:27 am

      Hmmm, strange, try sending out some exploratory diggings north from your stair shaft. If your layout is done the same as mine you should be seeing the exact same material hmmmm…

    • Qlaras
      March 29, 2009 at 7:04 am

      I dug out the whole floor as you’ve done, and except for the very bottom edge, none of it was limestone (Bedrooms, booze and food storage all contained limestone)

    • Qlaras
      March 29, 2009 at 7:23 am

      I figured it out. I only had one floor in between my entrance level and the storage level. Whoops. Restarting, will be putting in two floors of just stairs this time…

    • Octopuscabbage
      December 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      I have the exact opposite problem: Too much stone.

  13. Thassa
    March 29, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Bones and shells don’t generate miasma and are actually useful for making some stuff. 🙂

  14. Thomascpp
    April 17, 2009 at 3:27 am

    Dang! I mined out lvl 132 insted of lvl 131.

    What should I do?

    • April 17, 2009 at 4:17 am

      You will have to be careful when you work on the magma tutorial, perhaps digging out a bit of space above the level you ended up working on, but other than that you should be fine.

  15. Eclipse
    April 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    My staircases are all showing up as a big red ‘x’

    This is worrisome, as they don’t look that official or staircase like, like yours. What’s up?

    • April 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm

      If they are showing up as an X it means you’ve dug an up-down staircase, not a down, or an up, which have their own icons. Probably won’t make any difference to anything – but you might have poked a hole in the ceiling.

  16. Refuse Dump Disciplinarian
    May 28, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Don’t dump your shells and bones outside. They’ll decompose. You need to keep those critical resources inside, and only dump bodies and body parts outside.

  17. Daniel Klein
    June 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Hey, I’ve run into a problem while working through this tutorial. Nobody is building my mason’s workshop. When I select it in q mode it says “Needs masonry”. What do I do to get that workshop up and running?

    • Jonathan
      November 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

      I had the same problem as you. For me it seems it worked to ‘suspend’ the building proces (from the “q” menu) and then unsuspend (or whatever it’s called) again 🙂

    • Gottin
      December 4, 2009 at 2:25 am

      You need to look at your dwarves’ lists of allowed jobs.
      Hit v to scroll through dwarves and then use alt2 or alt8 to scroll the list. Jobs in gray are forbidden for this dwarf. In white, the jobs he will be doing.
      Perhaps you have no dwarves with the Masonry job on!

    • Gottin
      December 4, 2009 at 2:48 am

      Ooch, sorry for the lack of info, you need to:
      press V to go “View units”
      Scroll the cursor to the desired dwarf
      Press p for “pref”
      Press l for “labor”
      There you have the aforementioned list.

  18. Daniel Klein
    June 17, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Actually nevermind, it just took forever for one of the dwarves to bother going there and building the workshop.

    • Zeb The Marmot
      June 28, 2009 at 9:24 pm

      I’m in the same boat. :/

    • June 29, 2009 at 10:07 am

      If you have queued up a lot of tasks it will take a little while for them to get to it. If you’ve lost a dwarf, they may never! Later on you’ll learn techniques to manage the dwarf labor better.

  19. llamaslayer
    June 19, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I was playing the tutorial and then i accidentally got a miner stuck underground. I abandoned the settlement and tried to reload, but there were no saves, only the maps. I spent hours trying to find the place from the tutorial but I finally gave up. Please help me!

    • June 20, 2009 at 10:15 am

      Reclaiming a fortress is kinda going to be a problem. You’ll need to go Wiki-up the process.. it might be a bit much to explain here. It may be better to start all over again if you’ve done an “abandon”.

    • strangething
      June 20, 2009 at 8:55 pm

      There is no reload. Dwarf Fortress defaults to iron man mode, so you can’t go back to a saved game.

      If you really liked that location, you can reclaim it. Either way, you’ll be starting over with a new group of dwarves.

  20. Alex
    July 26, 2009 at 1:26 am

    Great tutorials. I too am waiting on someone to make my mason’s workshop 😛

    And my God, these dwarves are so non-methodical about mining, it’s hilarious 😛

  21. Alex
    July 26, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Well, now my mason’s workshop is built but no one will go work on it. My “stonecrafter” person is just sitting by the caravan doing nothing.

    Also, it seems that the same guy who does the tree chopping is also doing the carpentry? This is spreading it a bit thin, no?

    • July 26, 2009 at 3:51 am

      Hmm, if there are jobs queued up he should go and work, as long as there’s stone to grab as well. Unfortunately, it’s hard to work out what is going wrong from here, but you might be able to figure it out yourself by going to Part 6 (IIRC) to read about dwarf management.

  22. Blah
    August 8, 2009 at 1:59 am

    There’s no stone whatsoever in where I mined… o_O

  23. Blah
    August 8, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Also, in the event I was supposed to mine in 142: I tried that first, but there was nothing but red floor there so I forcequit and reloaded D= cause I thought I had the wrong floor.

  24. Blah
    August 8, 2009 at 2:12 am

    It appears the stone/ore/etc is all down on floor 141.

  25. Blah
    August 8, 2009 at 2:24 am

    /facepalm. Take note: It’s extremely easy to misread that part right after the picture where it says to go down and build more up/down stairs.

    • August 8, 2009 at 5:53 am

      Ouch! Sounds like you were on a real mission there. I’ll have a look and see if I can make things more clear.

  26. Blah
    August 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    This is a good tutorial. Too bad I can’t save =<. The autosaves every season seem to work though.

    • Mr. Helpful
      January 2, 2010 at 12:49 pm

      Just press ESC, Save will be in the menu that appears.

  27. Michael
    August 11, 2009 at 7:16 am

    i got up to the stage where it says to build the doors, tables and chairs. so i set the tasks in the mason’s workshop and its like dwarf canceled build table: needs non-economic stone…help?

  28. Michael
    August 11, 2009 at 7:27 am

    also on the tutorial’s level 142 there is rock everywhere, but in mine there is just silty clay.

    • August 11, 2009 at 7:31 am

      Damn… try droppng another couple of levels of stairs and digging out some space down, say, 5 or 6 levels? Without stone you won’t see doors etc built.

  29. Stephen
    September 8, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I’m following this tutorial to get into DF… it’s helping a lot!

    But I think you do have a problem here with the part where we first dig stairs downwards. You say to dig 2 sets of up/down stairs between our starting area on 144 and our new, large area, then say “This is on level 142.” I think you actually expanded on level 141; that’s where all the stone is, and that’s the level that’s 3 floors down. Everyone having trouble finding stone is probably building on level 142.

    • September 9, 2009 at 7:18 am

      Crap, I think you could be right. I’ll update.

  30. Ceasis
    September 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    hey, this guide is awesome! Currently working my way towards understanding the basics =] but i seem to have gained a swarm of flies around my Still and stockpile of food, what do i need to do? thanks

  31. Qmarx
    October 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    you really should fix the mistake about shells and bones; they’re really useful to have, don’t produce miasma, and will disappear if you leave them outside.

  32. oops
    December 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    i built a down stair on 144
    i built a down/up on 143
    i built a up on 142

    The stairs on 142 are red
    So how can i remove the stairs on 142?

    • December 12, 2009 at 8:31 am

      I don’t think being red is bad at all. It’s just the red type of rock you have dug in to, unless you’ve got some other sort of problem?

  33. oops
    December 11, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    How do i remove the stairs on 142??

  34. Boomerangjack
    December 24, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I would like to know what version and or tile set you are using. My version/tile set looks like something from the days of atari where yours looks like super nintendo.

  35. jude
    December 27, 2009 at 10:23 am

    for some reason my miners just stand arround doing nothing (their unit list designation is NO JOB) whilst there is a very fine set of this wating:
    —–stairs down—-(done)
    —–up/down stairs—-(unfinished)
    —–up/down stairs—-(unfinished)

    why are they doing nothing??

    • December 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

      Do they all have picks? You might have to check their inventories (see later tutorials). Only dwarfs carrying picks can mine. Early on this can be a problem as it is easy to lose picks, later on not so much as you can make them at a forge and dwarfs will go equip themselves automatically.

  36. jude
    December 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    hmm, wierd. The stairs show up as X es but they function as actual stairs….

    • December 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm

      That’s how up-down stairs work look! 🙂

  37. jude
    December 28, 2009 at 9:57 am

    your pic showed a nice upgoing stairchase…

    • December 28, 2009 at 1:18 pm

      Gah! Foiled by my own hand!

  38. jude
    December 28, 2009 at 9:58 am

    oooh double post, is there any way to save in this game, the way i seen it all you can do is abandon your fortress (which seems a real waste…)

    • December 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm

      You can, when you exit, save the current progress, but short of copying the DF folder to back it up you can’t make progressive saves, no.

  39. Parris
    January 21, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Yeah … what fun, and addictive, too.

    How do I get those turtle shells and bones back inside? I could wipe out the Refuse pile … would those tasty lil’ dwarves bring the crap back inside? Where do I go to select what goes out and what stays in and where do I store what stays in? I’ll have to check to see if there is a Pile: Raw materials.

    • January 21, 2010 at 6:32 am

      You can set individual permissions on a pile. You could, on the outside pile, forbid bones and shells, and then make a refuse pile inside that ONLY accepts bones and shells. The wiki might provide some advice on doing that, but I’m pretty sure I suggest how to access pile properties somewhere in this tutorial….

  40. DwarfWithUps
    February 17, 2010 at 1:01 am

    I love you tinypirate and would ask you for your hand in marriage if gay marriage was allowed in Florida and other states besides Cali. Thanks to you I can play dwarf fortress without thinking that trees and grass are font styles.

  41. DwarfWithUps
    February 17, 2010 at 1:03 am

    oh btw, later in the game, will my dwarfs get to fight more ferocious monsters such as mudkipz or dragons?

    • February 17, 2010 at 4:13 am

      Possibly. It depends on the world (if any survived the early times), and I can’t recall for the tutorial map. Next version of DF will have heaps of that sort of stuff so keep an eye out for it.

  42. Flyguy
    February 17, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Really great tutorial. I was lucky to stumble upon it. I had a problem in this part that I could solve only by realoding… While doing the stairways, intead of placing the second updown I placed a dawn one by mystake and didnt managed to find the command to remove it. I tryed everything there in that menu but wasnt working.

    Another thing, I saw you found the perfect place to built the manson tough I had none due to the stones, the only way I could find to remove them from there was by using a command to Hide Itens. Is there another way or simply telling them to move it to another palce? Strange that I saw noone commenting over it since there are to many rocks.

    Also, do everything produced from workshops like the brewer are taken to barrels automatically? I builted 7 beers like suggested and 8 barrels but they werent really being removed out after the beer was produced. Maybe just 1 or 2 I didnt spotted. Was this right? I just wasnt sure if the beer was getting used; how many barrels would it take for those 7 beers?

    • February 17, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      Rocks are ugly and annoying and clutter the interface but there is not much you can do about that, unfortunately. You can. Hide the rocks or you can dedicate a couple of dwarfs to doing nothing but making rock blocks.

      As for beer, hmm, check the wiki for how much stuff a barrel holds but it sounds like your problem is more that barrels aren’t being hauled away from the brewery. You might have to be patient or dedicate a dwarf to item hauling. Also, you might have to make a pile for drinks, if you haven’t already. If you don’t know what that means then read the rest of the tutorials! Good luck!

  43. Flyguy
    February 19, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Thanks, a pile for beer is exacly what I need.. I was often having to looks in between all barrels to see if im short on beer or not since a lack of it can be dangerous.

  44. Tom
    April 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I keep striking native platinum on floor 141 making it impossible for my dwarves to get on that level from 142.

    • April 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm

      I’m not sure how hitting a metal stops progress?

  45. Mahou
    April 9, 2010 at 12:28 am

    My dwarves absolutely refuse to make wooden barrels. My farmers are all standing around confused and my woodcutter is just chopping trees like an ent killed his family.

    How can I get my dwarves to actually notice the queue of orders in the workshop?

    • April 9, 2010 at 5:05 am

      Is there wood piled up? Do you have dwarfs with the carpentry labour? If it is your woodcuter you will need him to stop cutting to go make stuff (dwarf management is tutorial 6 I expect). As for the farms – did you “q” back on them and go through each season (“a”, “b”,”c”,”d”) and select plump helmets for growing?

  46. Woodelf
    May 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    thanks for the great tutorial! There is just one problem with it, I guess it’s the same problem “jude” mentioned: maybe you should explain that you have to connect the corridor on the stone level (141) with the stairs….. well it is kinda obviuos but elves like me who aren’t used of dwarven tunnel digging might get confused ^^

    • May 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

      Thanks! I have updated it in the correct place, I think.

  47. RichardJ
    June 8, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I’ve come across a problem – a lot of my dwarfs seem to be going to the river to drink, and being ‘interrupted’ (sometimes fatally) by Pike. I don’t know why they’re traipsing over to the river as I have a still and have set up the jobs to ‘brew drink’ but it hasn’t been touched. I made barrels for it and everything!

    • June 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

      Have you got lots of spare, uncooked plump helmets or similar? Do you have the brewing labour on? You’ll need to sort that out and you may have so much food that barrels are being snapped up to be used for food storage before they get used to store booze – don’t overproduce food. Hehe.

  48. baconmaster117
    June 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    my Dwarfs will not dig anything on lvl 141, they made the stairs but wont do anything else.

    • Khams
      January 12, 2011 at 11:42 pm

      Same here, I’ve tried twice already, did everything else, made the up/down stairways, they do look like X’s, but when I reach the rock bottom, it builds the stairways but it just doesn’t mine or anything, they won’t even go downstairs.. any suggestion?

    • January 13, 2011 at 5:03 am

      Did you carefully designate the area around the bottom of the stairs without highlighting your new stairs? If you highlight your dug stairs with a dig order the bottom of the stairs will be cleared.

  49. Ethan
    June 26, 2010 at 5:08 am

    I have no seeds D: How do I get them?

    • June 26, 2010 at 6:33 am

      Are you sure you don’t have Plump Helmet Spawn? As for seeds, you can just set your dwarfs to go and harvest plants (‘d’ and then ‘p’, from memory) on a big area outside and in due course your dwarfs will eat strawberries and other things and the seeds will end up stored.

  50. Mkh
    July 27, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    My carpenter won’t build the darn workshop. He just stays at the caravan, doing nothing…

    • July 28, 2010 at 8:08 am

      Has anyone cut down any trees yet?

    • MKH
      July 31, 2010 at 6:20 pm

      Yup. I have like 100 trees. Anyway, I restarted the game and it worked. It must have been a random bug…

    • Snalin
      August 27, 2010 at 8:25 pm

      I had that problem too. The initial carpenter is also the initial woodcutter, meaning that he’l prioritize woodcutting instead of carpentering. You can probably set preferences, but since I don’t know how to do that, you’ll want to either select the woodcutting dwarf (v), go to the labour list (l), and deselect woodcutting. Or you can choose one of your lazy miners, do the same, and select carpentry.

      This should probably go into the guide. I’m guessing that you won’t get this problem unless you do as it’s asked on the first page of the tutorial, and set up more area for woodcutting. I set up a massive one.

  51. xhc
    September 16, 2010 at 12:20 am

    How do you destroy stairs? I accidentally built up/down stairs on floor 141, and I don’t know how to get rid of them…

    • September 17, 2010 at 9:11 am

      If they are dug – channel down on to them. If they are constructed they can be removed with the…. C or X or the key you use to mess with ‘constructed’ items.

  52. emilio the meister
    October 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    OK, I’ve got to thw part where you explain the stairs, but i can’t go down a level. i’ve built the stairs but when i press shift and > nothing happens?? Wtf. can you help me???

    • October 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm

      Probably a key binding issue. I would suggest hitting escape, checking key bindings, and trying to change the keys to go up and down a level to something else easy for you to use. Those bindings are buried on the second or maybe third page.

    • emilio the meister
      October 7, 2010 at 11:33 pm

      sorry, can’t find it, whats the name of the key binding?

    • October 8, 2010 at 7:11 am

      Wish I could remember. The wiki has some info on the current control scheme http://df.magmawiki.com/index.php/40d:Controls ..this may help. Give it a go.

  53. The Guy
    October 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I have my masonry built but my stonecrafter was idle and my miner was making everything, i was still digging out my room so i wanted to get my miner to do the digging and my stonecrafter to do teh crafting, so i went to the job list (j) and hit r on the job to “remove creature”, now my miner is digging but my stonecrafter is still idle and no one is making anything. Also, i had read ahead and already placed my beds, so i make 1X1 bedrooms for each of them, i added doors and want to get rid of all but one and make the big one big, does it matter, as of now, there are 6 overlapping bedrooms with doors. again, Does this matter

    • The Guy
      October 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      I looked at your 6th chapter and apperantly, the settings u gave us were that the stonecrafter didnt have masonry on. Contradiction much, anyway, still need bedroom advice. I turned on masory, should i turn it back off?

    • October 29, 2010 at 10:13 am

      Don’t worry about overlapping bedrooms, the shape will adjust itself as you place doors and whatnot. In the end, it only really starts to matter with nobles and their ilk later on. They are demanding. Your peasants just like lying down off the floor. And thanks for the masonry labour tip, added a note to the top of the tutorial.

  54. July 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    it wont let me build a chair table and doors.do u know what might happend

  55. valinor
    July 19, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Great tutorial, all is working for now, but I have a question.
    How do I know if there is rock in a level?
    Do I have to build up and down stairs, look at the wall and if rock, cheange it to up-stairs?

    Hope I was clear (but i doubt it)

    • July 21, 2011 at 10:47 am

      Why does it matter if there is rock or not? Dig, dig, dig!

  56. valinor
    July 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I’m digging 🙂

  57. August 27, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I’m having trouble setting up my farm (Not using this map)
    It says that there are no seeds you can use for it…

    • August 27, 2011 at 9:50 am

      If you’re not using my map or setup then I probably can’t help much – you probably haven’t got any seeds with you.

  58. Ualati
    October 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    One of my Dwarves are stuck in my failed attempt at a staircase, I’ve carved up ramps and things to my main floor and still he won’t move? Any idea why? :S

    • Ualati
      October 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm

      If it helps every now and again he has a blue downward arrow beneath him?

    • October 25, 2011 at 1:46 am

      That means he is thirsty. Hmm. No idea why he won’t move home. Has he got injuries? Dig a fresh series of up-down staircases nearby and a passage to his location?

  59. Ualati
    October 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I don’t see how he would of been injured, but I’ll try it, makes it a little more difficult to dig out the rooms with only two dwarves :’)

  60. Brent
    January 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I had the same problem as Ualati. One of my dwarfs died of thirst on the stairway. I figured out he was thirsty so I started building up-down staircases all around the place just underneath the down staircases on level 144. I had Xs everywhere down there, at least one of which should have connected to the staircases on the level above, but he just wouldn’t go upstairs.

    • January 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Strange. Was he in a strange mood at the time (flashing exclamation point)? Without seeing the build there isn’t much I can do. If there was a path to water or booze and he was allowed to go outside (under “o” for orders) and e wasn’t in a strange mood…. He should feed himself….

  61. Brent
    January 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I must have made an error with the staircase that I didn’t know how to diagnose. I’m trying again and I’ll probably work it out. Thanks for the input though.

  62. Shaun
    February 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Can someone put the link from the first page to download the game here, I can’t open the first part

  63. Deathtoy123
    September 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I hit platinum while trying to build a staircase. Lucky?

    • jsb
      November 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      well if you were using the world downloaded for the tut no most people would of also hit platinum while trying to build a staircase

  64. jsb
    November 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    you said its 15×15 but in the pic its 16×15

  1. March 10, 2009 at 12:34 am
  2. March 10, 2009 at 12:50 am
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