motivating line of the section: You were born to win!
A sad dwarf is an unproductive dwarf, but he/she is also a dwarf who is liable to go on a homicidal rampage, and we just don’t want that! Let’s do some things to make our dwarfs more happy!
15.1 – Recreation Rooms
We are going to create two rooms, only for our population’s enjoyment. As silly as it may seem, it will pay off in the end.
First, we’re going to dig out two rooms, one for a statue garden, and one for a zoo. Both will be near the dining hall for easy access.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, why is his ground all speckled? I’ll tell you why, because I accidentally dug into an underground cave, which released a spore of fungus, which grows all over my fortress. It’s not harmful at all; however it does give my fortress a groovy feel!
Once you’re done with that, start building statues from the mason’s workshop, and wooden cages from the carpenter’s workshop.
We’ll start with the statue garden. Simple! Just build “b” some statues “s” in the statue garden room, and set it to be a statue garden. Dwarfs will start heading there in their free time and will start getting much happier! Here’s what my statue garden looks like. It’s something isn’t it?
Next is the zoo, which is basically the statue garden but with one more step. Start by placing some cages in your zoo room. When they are placed, move your cursor over it with “q”, and select “set room” (“r”), extending it to the whole room. Now it’s technically a zoo, but there are no animals. Let’s change that.
Go to a cage and press “a” for assign animal. Now choose a useless animal like a lamb or a reindeer.
Now just fill the other cages with useless animals and you have a zoo, which dwarfs often find even more appealing than statue gardens!
15.2 – Living Space and Nobles
Alright, if you’re like me, you’ve been getting migrants up the wazoo, so we really need to make a larger and more organized living area, which will also house “nobles” which I’ll explain in a little bit. Start by digging out a room system like the following, and while you’re at it, start making a BUNCH of beds.
While you wait, let’s talk about nobles. Nobles are important dwarfs that have certain duties and powers, and need certain living requirements. Go ahead and hit up “n” for the nobles screen.
You’re screen might look something like this. If it doesn’t, don’t worry, that just means your at a different point in the game than I am. As time goes on, new noble positions open up, and nobles start becoming more demanding. We can see here that our only two nobles at this point are our expedition leader and our militia commander. Let’s give ourselves a sheriff. Go down to the sheriff job, scroll over to where it says “vacant”, and select. Now select a dwarf from your fortress. This can really be anyone, but if you want to make sure they can handle the job, you can access dwarf’s traits with the viewcre screen, remember? Once you select a dwarf, you should see this.
We see here that the sheriff, unlike the previous two nobles, requires something (if you have other nobles who DO require things, then you are farther along. We’re going to build rooms for each noble anyways, so don’t worry). Now press enter to view what he/she requires.
We see that the sheriff requires a bunch of things; let’s break this down. He needs 3 rooms: an office, quarters, and a dining room. He also needs 4 items: a chest, a cabinet, a weapon rack and an armor stand. Let’s build a residence containing all of these things, we’re going to separate the rooms with walls, as below. If you don’t have the items, build them, obviously.
Set a bedroom using the bed, and assign it to the sheriff. Set an office using a chair, and assign it. Set a dining room using a table, and assign it. That’s all. All the items in a room owned by a person will become property of that person. Now, hit up “n” again to view the nobles screen, and select the sheriff.
We see now, that he has everything he desires, and he will do his job happily.
15.3 – Zones
Since we’re on the subject of keeping our dwarfs happy, let’s make sure our dwarfs don’t die of thirst using zones! Zones are just areas that are set to be used as certain things, like a water source, a garbage pile (different than a refuse stockpile) or a pond (or prisoner pit). Let’s select some lakes as a water source, so if our dwarfs run out of alcohol, they will have a backup.
Press “i” to go into the zones selector. Now create a rectangle over one of our lakes near our entrance. You should see certain features getting highlighted on the right-hand side of the screen. This just means they are available. Place the zone, and select it as a water source using “w”.
And that’s all! Keep in mind, lakes freeze over in the winter and cannot be used, so, if you’re going to run out of booze, do it in the summer.
If you haven’t figured out somehow, alcohol is made at the brewery and requires plants to make alcohol. Dwarfs will often cancel the task to brew when they run out of plants, but keep making more every once in a while, or buy from a merchant.
15.4 – More Food and Drink
If you’re dwarfs are hungry or thirsty (represented by a brown downwards arrow for hunger and blue downwards arrow for thirst, shown to the right), then you need to produce more consumables. For more food, add on to the farm room, and perhaps try out some different crops. For thirst, produce more alcohol! Like I said, dwarfs will often cancel the “brew drink” designation from the still because they run out of plants, but just keep adding the task every once in a while to keep your drink stock full. Also, always buy some or a lot of food or drink when a merchant caravan comes, just for safety.
Keep your consumables stockpile from emptying! It is a very demeaning and frustrating loss when your fortress falls to hunger or famine.
15.5 – HOMEWORK!
Spend some time assigning dwarfs to noble positions and giving them rooms. If they don’t have requirements now, they will soon, so it can’t hurt to give them residence a little early. When you’re done, you should have some very happy nobles.