Dwarfen Fortress Tutorial

Discussion in 'Other Games' started by SangerZonvolt, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. SangerZonvolt

    SangerZonvolt Member

    Well it IS programmed by a math-genius... not a design genius . And it shows....
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  2. Archos

    Archos Member

    For me, understanding dwarf fortress is understanding a bunch of concepts.
    The concept of digging things (stuff you do with the 'd' key), building things, creating things on workshops... when you learn how to navigate through it, you start learning the concepts of how to make food/booze (specially farming... I remember those times when you needed to use water to create mud patchs underground), how to link stairs and channel stuff, how to process things. And then, you learn how to defend yourself, creating traps, bridges and eventually an army.

    But, what made I learn how to play properly was when I discovered that I could make any dwarf do anything, by activating it on their profiles. Until then, i tought that dwarves could only do what they knew, and that I needed a really calculated group of initial dwarves and lots of luck on incoming immigrants, to be able to get what I needed. This made the game make much more sense to me. I just got it when I retried the game 2 months after my initial attempts.

    And sure, therapist is a blessed tool. Sadly, I just learn about it more than a semester later. Managing 60+ dwarfs only by df interface is HELL.

    DF wiki is very well made too, and what can't be found there, almost always can be on the forums (gameplay questions). But what's important is to keep trying until you get how to make the basics.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  3. Psiweapon

    Psiweapon Member

    Learning to play with DF is an art upon itself. And really, it's more like a set of toys than an actual game.

    You have to rely A LOT on muscle memory:

    b, w, r *place it on map*

    s, A, B, k, r, *define a designation area* enter

    q, go to jeweler's workshop, (a, e, g, r, +) *repeat parenthesis until you run out of cut gems*

    One of the aspects I enjoy the most is having legendary or great cooks. They make AWESOME food your fort *loves* and you can sell them to caravans for 1000+ dwarfbucks:

    This is a masterful plump helmet stew. It's ingredients are finely minced plump helmet, finely minced giraffe tallow, and finelly minced prepared forgotten beast spleen.

    A couple days ago, I promoted my best cook to Baron. :D

    Also, that moment where you not only kill the dragon, BUT butcher it and *make all sort of industries out of the corpse* is, simply put, irreplaceable and not found in any other game AFAIK. Dragon bone bolts. Dragon teeth crowns. DRAGON TALLOW SOAP. Just imagine the feeling of washing yourself with soap made out of dragon fat.

    Urist McNewcomer: Oh, what a beautiful fortress! And you not only have soap - it's AWESOME soap, to boot!
    Urist McFirstWave: Oh, sure. Remember Zorkram Charmedbarrels? That elder dragon that roamed the world since the beginning of time, who was an enemy of The Clasped Roofs (a local dwarven government) and killed Milara Jarredcloves, the Elven Queen?
    Urist McNewcomer: Oh, of course I do, a most terrifying beast of eldritch power!
    Urist McFirstWave: That's the soap, buddy.

    The shit engravers come up with is hilarious, too. My gf once had a very long-lasting fort which had an ungodly amount of engravings depicting a certain Alala Silkencoven, some sort of elven adventurer. The chief engraver must have been a fan of hers, or even worse, s/he had a platonic crush on the elf!

    Okay, I think I'll shut up now.
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  4. Billick

    Billick Member

    I thought folks might be interested in hearing, on my third attempt, I was able to get into playing Dwarf Fortress. I'm still not that good. I lost my first fort to a tantrum spiral after a glassmaker went beserk from not getting a material she needed, and proceeded to strangle 3 dwarves with a leather hood. My second fort is going better, but I'm still trying to figure out all the stuff in the military menu.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  5. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Nobody ever gets "that good", really. You can either play it in a boring way, or in a suicidal way, and while having a stable empire might seem to be something interesting on the beginning, most players start doing weird things sooner or later and this is the reason for their empires' destruction in most cases.

    Sure, you can learn how to do some things without sending everything to oblivion, that is some measure of player skill. But really, it's the sort of game where that is nigh-irrelevant because everyone sticks to their own tricks after some time and no fortress is the same (unless you have OCD and try to make every fortress the same, but since the world generation is kind of random, trying to do that means "fun").
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  6. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    I haven't played in a couple versions so it might have changed a bit but what I used to do is simply create a squad, assign dwarves I wanted to it, and then set the armor to metal (I think it's like that by default) and the weapon by "preferred melee weapon" or something like that, I forget the exact wording.

    I didn't touch the schedule at all - when you set your squad as active, you could send them to fight, when they were inactive they automatically did civilian stuff.
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  7. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    I beat liberal crime squad for the first time around 2-3 days ago. It was unbelievably boring compared to losing it. Also toady one.
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  8. Billick

    Billick Member

    For some reason I can't get them to equip gauntlets, boots or helms. They will pick up everything else. I haven't gotten them to do any training other than individual drills.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  9. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    You have to make the military equip override the civilian one. This issue is because they likely have gloves, shoes and caps that block gauntlets, boots and helms from being equipped.
    Go to [m]ilitary interface, [e]quip, then make the squad consider [R]eplace clothing instead of Ove[r] clothing (look on the top of the screen, on the right). Doing this they will strip every not-uniform equipment they have (aside from backpacks and waterskins, which they equip automatically).
    Anyway this is a game I love. I'm playing it with a friend of mine: I've instructed him about the things I knew, and now, both on the same level, we keep growing in this game. We have also found (not founded, silly me) a mod, Legend of Farlon Realms, which is greater than vanilla, since it adds lots of things, scientific progress and religion.
    Right now we have a legendary military force, and one of our old warriors, after losing an hand against a giant lizard mounted by a goblin captain (it ate his hand), was elected captain of the guards AND hammerer. Now he wears a mithril chain armor, a runecloak artifact (dunno what's that, but it's something which can be only made as artifact) and he smash bad guys with a two handed silver maul. Single-handed.
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  10. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    OK, fine. I'm downloading it. I blame you all if I disappear for days on end.
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  11. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Goodbye Essence. It was nice knowing you. :D
    Kazeto and Vitellozzo like this.
  12. Darkmere

    Darkmere Member

    I just wandered down this way, and since DF is what I cut my teeth on (and the post on their forums is how I found Dredmor, make of it what you will), I thought I'd share how I got started.

    Start with a lush temperate forest biome. Resources are plentiful and foraging is easier until the first farms yield. Designate wild plants (usually strawberries) to be picked, and plant the seeds. Jobs are tight the first year, have someone making stone craft crap to sell for booze and food from the first caravan. Make a small wall with a raisable drawbridge to seal yourself in, if necessary. Basic dormitory housing is next, just put several rough beds in a room and designate it as a dorm. Secure a water supply (a well, preferably), and put a hospital next to it. With farms, stills, water, and health care you can survive on your own as long as needed.

    After that it's basically whatever is needed/you want to do. Focus on learning one thing at a time, and the next fort will be that much faster to set up and get running. You'll be making cavern outposts and goblin splatterpits before you know it.

    Other notes:
    When preparing for embark, raw materials are cheaper than refined goods. You'll get much more per point by bringing one coal bar, several raw bituminous coal, and copper/tin ores than just buying bronze bars. Also, overage on each food type goes into a separate barrel... so you get 1 extra barrel by bringing 21 beer instead of 20.

    To make soldiers actively train, you have to set the squad as active, with orders set to train, and a squad assigned to a barracks. The military interface looks confusing, but once you master it you can do pretty much anything you want. I usually end up with a peace-time and war-time alert schedule. Squads train, patrol, and guard entryways during peace, but one switch to set the fort on alert will have the full military stationed at choke points or guarding incoming traders from my pillboxes.

    It also helps to put every workshop in a separate room, and if someone gets a strange mood for something you don't have ("I must have moghopper teeth!"), just lock the door and let them starve. You could also assign war animals to the moody dwarf, but dogs won't do much more than slow them down, mostly. War elephants are more effective and entertaining.
  13. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Yup, that's pretty standard.
    Congratulations for not being blind, and I mean it, some people do fail to notice that even after months of playing (how, I don't know and I don't want to know).

    Or you could give them a lever which impales them on spikes. Whichever way works, for as long as there is a way to "unperson" annoying dwarves.
    Alternatively, just force them to craft something really ornamental beforehand and make it stand in the middle of your busiest street/corridor/whatever. Repeat however many times you can. Because unless what you are lacking is alcohol, they'll get back into normal mood eventually if they have a lot of high-quality stuff like furniture or statues.
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  14. Darkmere

    Darkmere Member

    I meant strange moods specifically, instead of just depression. Strange Mood as in, the dwarf starts gibbering, claims a workshop, and either makes that artifact wooden statue or goes permanently insane.

    Of course, it could also be a single glove made of cat bone. You never know.
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  15. Farmerbob

    Farmerbob Member

    Heh, DF is awesome, and Tinypirate over at the DF forums has actually published a paper book guide. There's also an Ebook which gets updated with new release info over time. Here's a link on the DF forums where we discuss the book.


    Another great way to help keep dwarves happy is to create a mist generator, which can be anything from a very simple waterfall that passes through fortifications, falls a few levels down a passage on either side of a hallway leading to the booze depot. Dwarves ALL like mist, it helps keep them clean (forgotten beast goo, blood, etc), and water can easily be drained off the map underground by digging a tunnel to the map edge on a rock tile, then smoothing said tile, and carving fortifications into it.
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  16. FDru

    FDru Member

    My last fort ended because the war dogs failed to do anything meaningful to the offending dwarf. I had six of them, and they were killed instantly, then tons of other dwarves were killed shortly after. I have never had much luck with the war dog strategy, actually, but "The Hole" strategy is foolproof.
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  17. Farmerbob

    Farmerbob Member

    If your legendary miner carrying a pick goes for a mood and can't get what they want, something's gonna die if they berserk, unless every dwarf in your fortress is armored and moderately skilled. Mining skill translates to using a pick as a weapon.
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  18. Darkmere

    Darkmere Member

    And axes have very high penetration/relatively low contact area. That's a ton of tissue damage.

    They still won't break down a locked door, and if you pick dumb, unskilled cheesemakers to be your mining crew, all they can want is a mason's shop or crafts shop, once they get some mining XP under their beards.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  19. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Unless there is some inside joke I am missing out on, would someone (Daynab, most likely) please change the topic to "Dwarven Fortress Tutorial" or "Dwarf Fortress Tutorial". The Grammar Nazi in me is going crazy....

    Grammar Nazi Cat.jpg