Characters: Dwarf Fortress
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Characters include the different creatures you can meet in the game, as well as some Memetic Badasses
A short, sturdy creature fond of drink and industry.
- The Alcoholic: They're capable of living without it, but it will make them so slow as to be nearly useless.
- Always Lawful Good: At least in the ethics. Subverted as of the latest version, the emotion and thought work means it's perfectly possible to have sociopathic dwarves.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: They're all lunatics, yes. However, they are capable of amazing feats (see Towersoared) and strong enough dwarves can fight an Eldritch Abomination to a standstill.
- Despair Event Horizon: If miserable enough, they risk becoming insane. This manifests in four possibilities: berserk, melancholy, catatonic or stark raving mad.note
- Dirty Coward: On occasion. Felt most importantly with the first releases of DF 2014, meaning combat was... rather emo.
- The Ditz / Too Dumb to Live: Urist McMiner cancels dig through supporting structure; killed by cave-in.
- Fluffy Tamer: Dwarves can tame the vast majority of animals in the game. The definition of "animal" extends to dragons, hydras, rocs and giant cave spiders. Imagine THAT as your cavalry. However, "exotic" animals can turn on you, especially if your civilization knows next to nothing of the animal in question.
- Mad Artist: Dwarves can go into a strange mood once in their life, in which they halt all actions and claim a workshop relevant to their best crafting skill (or a random skill if they are peasants). They will ask for a specific list of items and create an artifact: a unique, very high quality, indestructible item. It can end in them creating a hilariously useless item (like a bone musical instrument), something that looks unimpressive but is in fact quite useful (like a stone door), or alternatively something awesome (adamantine battle axe). Their creation can either boost the relevant skill to Legendary, an outcome which ranges from mildly useful to extremely awesome, or not boost the skill at all, in the case of possessions.
- If they are unhappy, they may go into a macabre mood and build something out of bones or skulls, or in a fell mood, which is by far the best expression of this trope: they build something out of the corpse of a dwarf they just murdered.
- Mighty Glacier: Compared to other races, that are stronger and tougher but less agile (and therefore slower). It is not very noticeable though.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Played straight in some regards and not in others. Yes, they're all short bearded alcoholics. However, they're also far more insane and stupid than most dwarves.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: A downgraded version. The majority of dwarves see martial prowess as a worthwhile goal, yes, but they are nothing like the original SF examples as in constantly ranting about honor and battle. Most dwarves want to raise a family, master a skill, or create a legendary masterwork, and rare are the ones who want to be a legendary warrior.
- Super Mode: Combat trances, which happen when a dwarf is attacked by 2 or more enemies. It tends to make dwarves quite a bit better in combat.
- Tunnel King: The most common type of fortress is an Elaborate Underground Base. Plus, they're dwarves.
A medium-sized creature dedicated to the ruthless protection of nature.
- Animal Wrongs Group: For plants. They don't like it when you try to trade them wood, or cut down too many trees. They have some secret method of harvesting wood without killing any trees, so they'll trade you plenty of wooden items. If your fort runs for long enough, an elven diplomat might try to impose a tree-cutting quota in your fortress (or just insult you for chopping up the forest).
- Ass in Ambassador: Elven diplomats. Their notion of diplomacy mostly involves coming in of your fort and insulting you because you have cut trees. There's nothing preventing you from concluding negotiations with a battle axe, by the way.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Perfectly happy to eat their fallen enemies and comrades in battle. Perfectly UNhappy if you sell them wood.
- The Fair Folk: They have some shades of this, due to their alien nature-centered morality and their habit of eating war dead. (Not to the Dwarves though; to them they're more annoying than terrifying.)
- Granola Girl: At first. They live in forests, don't use metal or technology, are "at peace with nature", and are the biggest tree-huggers you'll ever encounter.
- And then you discover than they are willing to slaughter innocents over cutting trees. And them eat their corpses.
- Green Thumb: Elves can shape their wooden weapons and armor without needing to chop down trees. One of ThreeToe's stories explains that they use magic to do this. This is, in fact, exactly how they build their forest retreats of trees planted in perfect rows. In fortress mode, however, their wooden goods are special only in that dwarves can only make training weapons out of wood, while elves have slightly more lethal wooden weapons.
- Fluffy Tamer: Even more so than the dwarves; they can tame every animal with no difficulty; they even use Unicorns as mounts. The also have the "at peace with nature" attribute, which means that wildlife won't attack them.
- I'm a Humanitarian: If a sapient being is already dead then elves will happily eat the corpse, since leaving it to rot would be a waste of resources.
- Immortal Procreation Clause: Averted. Though elves never die of old age, they reproduce just as frequently as the mortal races.
- Knight Templar: It's even stated outright in their creature description!
- Lethal Joke Character: Normally, elven warriors carry wooden armor and weapons, which are about as effective as you expect in melee range against iron- and steel-wielding dwarves. However, their archers can and will maim your military.
- Which is to say nothing of Goblin-raised elves, which lack their culturally-imposed ban on using metal equipment.
- Our Elves Are Better: In terms of pure physical stats, they are quite good, but their equipment is terrible and their actions toward other civilizations are ludicrously self-destructive. This means that elves kidnapped and raised as goblins, thus willing to user iron weapons, are notably bigger threats.
- Zerg Rush: Since they're immortal but reproduce just as quickly as mortal races they have huge populations to throw into wars. And they need those huge armies, since their armor and weapons are made out of wood.
A medium-sized humanoid driven to cruelty by its evil nature.
A medium-sized creature prone to great ambition.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Procedural Generation randomizes their appearances (averting Humans Are White) and clothing styles, but their culture is fixed and akin to Middle Age Europe.
- With some of the tweaks added in DF2014, they've shifted a bit more towards the Horny Vikings image, best seen in adventure mode. The new values system makes them (among other things) tend to value martial prowess, perseverance and power. Their towns also include mead halls for towns too small to warrant a castle, where local lords and ladies rule the land, all swearing fealty to a king or law-giver (depending on what the randomly-generated culture entitles their leader).
- Humans Are Average: Played straight, in regards of stats and weapon/armor availability. However, they are bigger than all of the other races, giving them a slight bonus to damage and toughness.
- Humans Are Diplomats: Aside from your dwarven kin, they are likely to be your primary trading partners.
- Humans Are Warriors: Among their most prized values, aside from family and friendship, are martial prowess.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Possibly more than dwarves.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: Hamlets and towns can be taken over by adventurers, by staking a claim to the area and killing/driving off the current local ruler.
A small, squat humanoid with large pointy ears and yellow glowing eyes.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Let's say it is very different from what most people will consider standard morality.
- Dirty Coward: More than any other race in the game. Though it must be said that against dwarves, they have not much chance, so running away is generally the most sensible solution.
- Fragile Speedster: They run very fast when discovered, however they tend to get killed easily.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Hardcoded Hostility: Kobolds will pester everybody, and in some versions they'll start fighting each other as well.
- Impossible Thief/Took a Level in Badass: In early versions of v.40, they could steal from sealed divine vaults, whose treasure and secret are guarded by possibly the strongest things in the entire game. They may still steal trinkets from demonic spires built as gateways to Hell itself.
- The Speechless: The fact that certain ethical distinctions are not applicable to them in the raws - namely torturing for information, lying and oath breaking - strongly implies that kobolds don't have spoken language.
- Undying Loyalty: They cannot even think of betraying the group they are in!
Armok, God of Blood
- Badass: Universally depicted as the most powerful entity in the world.
- Blood Lust: Literally. Armok demands for blood to be spilled in his name.
- The Ghost: Has not been seen in game yet.
- God of Evil: Maybe, or maybe he is simply a god of chaos. See the later quote.
- Jerkass Gods: See this official description of him : "Armok, the God of Blood, is just about the only constant in these chaotic random universes. A general sense of conflict keeps Armok appeased - when the universe becomes too boring it is set on the anvil of creation to be reforged. The destruction of the world by Armok will arise inevitably in most game worlds. As civilizations spread and the frontier closes, the world will start to look homogeneous. Armok, looking upon this decadence in disgust, will reform the world. Basically, when the universe has become too boring, it will be changed."
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Armok, God of Blood.
- Religion of Evil: Maybe. Players tend to build giant obsidian cathedrals with Human Sacrifice, lava moats and shed rivers of blood to appease him. If this doesn't scream "not a nice god" to you, nothing will.
- Top God: One of the very rare certain facts about him.
- War God: He is to be appeased by violence and the shedding of blood.
- Curse: Some gods tend to curse their mortal followers in vampire or werebeast form for profaning one of their holy places.
- Fantasy Metals: Among their creations are procedurally generated, ultra-powerful metals of unknown nature. They're used by Angels, who guard the slade vaults of allied demons.
- God of Evil: Some of them will collaborate with demons and bring them to the overworld. For pleasant reasons such "so that more might die" or "so that the world may bathe in misery forever."
- The Necromancer: Gods associated with death tend to teach necromancy to mortals.
- Odd Job Gods: Some of them. You can perfectly have a god of family, law and murder, although it doesn't happen often. Considering gods are randomly generated, this makes sense.
The (sentient) Memetic Badasses
created by DF play (or just stories) and accepted by the community as such.
The only elf that is beloved by the fanbase.
- Ax-Crazy: If "Project: Fuck The World" is any indication.
- Body Double: He made the wise decision of ditching the place once his year was up, explicitly stating at the end of his entry that he'd paid another dwarf in Boatmurdered to pretend to be him (as opposed to later rulers, with whom it was accepted that the dwarves named after them were the rulers themselves).
- Got Volunteered: By a noble from the dwarven capital. He suspects it's related to his having recently discovered gold.
- Shout-Out: Makes several to Deadwood.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Extremely so.
- Only Sane Man: Despite his aforementioned tendencies, He's able to share this role with a number of other rulers. He recognizes the stupidity of the fortress's setup and the dwarves who live there, and comments on it frequently.
- Art Evolution: First it was cheese, then it was elephants, then it was elephants killing dwarves, then it was lava killing elephants, dwarves and pretty much everything else, really.
- Bad Ass: Actually survived after retiring as ruler of the fort, then beat up a baby, a cow and an elite marksdwarf. Also tried to drink lava a few times.
- Berserk Button: Her tomb being damaged. The entry after Mystic Mongul threatened to get rid of it, Sankis had inexplicably regained leadership of Boatmurdered (with Mongul becoming Judicator), and she proceeded to trap him in a locked room with an elephant.
- She's also very protective of her engravings. One of them getting destroyed by magma was enough to trigger her killing spree and subsequent death.
- Incendiary Exponent: Her final rampage involved beating dwarves to death while on fire.
- Infernal Retaliation: See above. Though the fire did kill her.
- Mad Artist
- Because Destiny Says So: Rolled a d20 die to determine if an impending goblin siege would be able to break through the doors. When his roll turned out to be a 20, he opened the doors for the invaders.
- Easily Forgiven: Even though he's found guilty of letting the goblins into the fortress, all they do is remove him from his position and demote him to a regular dwarf.
- Hollywood Nerd: Found his way to Boatmurdered after being kicked out of his mom's house.
- LARP: He's obsessed with Wizards and Warlocks, and sincerely believes he has magical abilities. When he inevitably fails to cast spells, he claims to have failed all his attack rolls.
- Bad Ass: When Sankis trapped him in a room with an angry elephant, he wrestled it (receiving only an injured leg), then hobbled after it and sent it into a trap. However, Sankis intended for him to win.
- Hammering Judge: Views at least three people in Boatmurdered as being "in desperate need of a hammer to the face".
- Kangaroo Court: His legal methods. He explicitly states at the end of his run that he'll be "acting as the merciful hand of law and merely throwing randomly selected dwarves into jail for no good reason" in his role as Judicator.
- Knight Templar: In regards to the law, and to the revitalization of Boatmurdered. When he finds Unknowing without any jobs assigned, Mongol gives him a lengthy list of jobs to complete (at crossbow point).
- Judge, Jury and Hammerer: Even after retiring as ruler and becoming the Judicator.
- Make It Look Like Suicide: Implied to be his fate. According to Sankis: "Out of seemingly nowhere Mystic Mongol, Judicator of Boatmurdered, throws himself into the water and drowns."
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The tendency of law-enforcing dwarves (obviously including himself) to frequently throw dwarves in jail for "violation of production orders" (which occurs due to the incompetence of the working dwarves) causes the dwarves in question to be unavailable for the jobs when they're needed most. While all of the free dwarves are partying, sleeping, or failing to find objects/reach the intended area.
- The Rival: To Emperor Sankis, due to his hatred of Sankis's unusual engravings. He wants to send a message to would-be criminals with her death, and even changed her name to "Sankis the Beardless". This, as well as Mongol threatening to destroy her future tomb and use it for supplies, causes Sankis to return these feelings.
- Awesome McCoolname
- Bad Ass: Not only did he manage to avoid becoming a part of the insanity/tantrum spiral that killed everyone else, but he survived the entire Boatmurdered saga prior to that and even escaped the place alive. And in the words of the player, "Also he wears plate mail over chainmail and uses 2 swords."
- Dual Wielding: See above.
- Despair Event Horizon: Shown to have crossed it very early into his entry.
- Sole Survivor: Of Boatmurdered, almost. "Almost" because there was one other survivor - Dodók Sabrefrenzies.
- Survivor Guilt: Has a lot of it by the end.
- Action Girl
- Badass: So badass only dying of old age could take her. She caused a whole damn civilization to fade due to her numerous kills.
- Bittersweet Ending: After centuries of bloodshed and countless victories against the elves, Tholtig died undefeated after the death of her entire clan, including all her children. The elves never recovered from their losses in the Conflict of Martyrs and soon faded away too.
- The Epic: Her story. It's kind of a sad Epic, but it's glorious and awesome one nevertheless. The official Bay12 forum thread narrating her story is called "The Legend of Tholtig Cryptbrain: An Epic of Bloodshed, Despair, and Glory".
- King in the Mountain: "A story is told by the dwarves to their children, that one day, when demons rise from the underworld to bring about the world's end, Queen Tholtig will lead out her clan of heroes from their tombs under the mountain, as well as a horde of the skeletons of elves slain by her and her people, and the ensuing clash will tear the surface of the earth asunder. A different legend is told by the elves. They say that Tholtig's spirit is still walking the realm and possessing elves, causing moods and forcing them to perform depravities like chopping trees to make wooden rings, amulets, and bins..."
- Last of Her Kind: The last living member of her race in the world. She lived out her remaining years still fighting off the elves from her ancestral home of Circletower, before finally succumbing to old age.
- Meaningful Name: The Waning Diamonds. Now see the parallels between her story and her nickname. It's totally coincidental, but still.
- One Dwarf Army: Personally killed 2341 individuals, mostly elves.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: See One Dwarf Army.
- Warrior Queen
An attempt to see what would happen if a dwarf got legendary rank in all increasable skills in 40d Fortress Mode. The end result was a hilariously strong dwarf due to how ranking up skills equated into stat buffs in that version.
A gigantic magic statue made of bronze and bent on mayhem.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: They are "bent on destruction and mayhem" as their description says.
- A Wizard Did It: They're magic, animated bronze statues. Not much more is known.
- Badass: The most powerful creature in the vanilla game, not counting procedurally generated creatures and adamantine-clad legendary military dwarves. Dragons can melt them via dragonfire, but not before the colossus has laid a few solid punches on the dragon, possibly crippling or killing it.
- Expy: of Talos, the original bronze colossus.
- Implacable Man
- Lightning Bruiser: Huge? Check. Fast? Check. Ridiculously tough? Check. Very strong? Check. They're not one of the most terrifying enemies of the game for nothing. They are overall most dangerous of the megabeasts, even if dragons generally have more damage potential. Unless you cage trap spam, and in that case it's more like Zero-Effort Boss.
- Kill it with Magma/Dragon Fire: A possible way to kill it, but not a very good idea: due to it's huge size it takes quite a while to melt to death and bronze has a melting temp slightly below magma's, so if it's hot enough to start melting it can cause fires or kill other living things nearby it with the heat it gives off.
- Nigh Invulnerable: They are VERY difficult to kill, unless you are well prepared.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Thanks to an infamous incident, fluffy wamblers are considered this by the community. More conventionally, bronze colossi are still vulnerable to traps, cage traps in particular. Or you can abuse the Square/Cube Law and give them a good long drop, as their sheer weight means they tend to fall apart from falls that would merely bruise a dwarf.
A gigantic reptilian creature. It is magical and can breath fire. These monsters can live for thousands of years.
- Breath Weapon: They have THE most powerful breath weapon in the game. Not only does it have huge reach, but dragonfire is extremely hotnote and can easily melt or burn most of the materials in the game. It won't melt unmined stone or constructed walls, however.
- Determinator: They have a very high Willpower stat.
- Glass Cannon: Physically, probably the frailest of the megabeasts (In DF dragons don't have extra-tough natural armor). But their weapon skills and especially breath weapon mean they can and will destroy nearly anything in their path, unless that thing is wearing a shield.
- Greed: Standard trait for Western dragons. In Legends mode, they go and steal stuff from civilized settlements, then hoard it in their lairs. Most often improbably worthless baubles, like dog bone amulets, so looting a dragon's lair for treasure is not that good.
- However, in fortress mode, they are not interested in your riches. They just will burn your fort to the ground or die trying.
- Kill It with Fire: They're dragons.
- No Sell: To fire, magma and excessive heat in general, and likewise for their flesh, bones and other body products. This makes sense, considering the extreme heat of dragonbreath.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Very close to the standard mold, excepted they don't fly nor have wings. For now, mindless beasts.
A giant dragon-like monster with seven biting heads.
- Healing Factor: although a rather weak one.
- Hydra Problem: Subverted, since not many things in this game can regenerate. The real problem is getting your dwarves to stop randomly aiming for all those surplus heads.
- Multiple Head Case: Being hydrae, of course.
- Stone Wall: They have seven heads. This has the effect of making redundant walls of muscle against your assaults. This is pretty averted if you aim for the body, however.
- Lightning Bruiser: Now that attacks from different body parts can occur simultaneously, their multiple heads heighten their damage to lethal power.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Said to be related to dragons.
- Half the Man He Used to Be / An Arm and a Leg / Off with His Head!: Easily capable of shaking off limbs or removing torsos from things smaller than itself due to it's high natural combat skills, great size, and superior strength after biting. Assuming it doesn't kill something outright from caving in or removing a head by biting it, which is the main combat hazard it poses to your adventurer or your dwarfs and causing the above tropes to happen.
A bird of prey so large and ferocious it dwarfs many dragons. All beneath its mighty wings should fear the sky.
Forgotten Beasts / Titans
In the deep, there are beasts so fell and terrible, that only they know what they are, for none who have met them have lived to tell of it... they are the Forgotten Beasts, born of the chaos from before the world's birth... they have waited, brooding in the dark places of the world... and now... by digging too deep... we have awakened them.
- Animalistic Abomination/Mix-and-Match Critters: Some of them are just larger creatures with weird additions. Like or a anteater with antennae, or a three-eyed giant moth.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: And by "whatever", we mean literally ANYTHING.
- Breath Weapon: Some of them can spit fire, or webs, or toxins with various effects.
- Eldritch Abomination: Not all of them, but mostly the ones who don't make any sense, such as gigantic blobs made of grime or salt that do not dissolve in water. Or six-legged quadrupeds.
- Glass Cannon: In direct comparisons to others that are extremely tough, some will die in one hit due to being made of liquid or gas.
- Killer Rabbit: Some of them most definitely don't look dangerous, mostly by looking ridiculous or being based on "cute" animals. Hint: They are, and they will kill your dwarves.
- Instant Death Radius: A lot of them have deadly dust or gas. Oftentimes your dwarves will start rapidly rotting after fighting one of these monsters. The deadliest dust attacks can throw dwarves several tiles across in the air and smash them into walls.
- Nigh Invulnerable: A few forgotten beasts can be this if the Random Number God hates you. Mostly these made of weapons-grade metal: bronze, iron, or Armok forbid, steel.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Every single one. They're randomly generated monsters made from animals, materials, some extra body parts or all three in tandem. And, again, six-legged quadrupeds.
- Our Titans Are Different: Even from version to version, and even without considering the randomly-generated properties. Titans in older versions were merely large humanoids.
- Zero-Effort Boss: Some of them, again due to being made of liquids, fire, ice, salt or something.
Notable, standard creatures
Aka: the Kings of Beasts.
(King of Beasts meaning something similar to Memetic Badass
on this wiki)
Mostly famous for being the terror of most fortresses in the days of 0.31.25, especially in their Giant form.
When carp were introduced, they were absurdly ferocious. Nowadays while they may still kill dwarves occasionally, they generally will not kill half your migrant population.
- Inherently Funny Words
- From Bad to Worse: When their living kin were Demonic Spiders, zombie carp and skeletal carp added the ability to move on land and all the powers undeath offers. And husk carp in the current version still count as Demonic Spiders.
- Improbable Power Discrepancy: In real life, carp are peaceful bottom-feeders. In DF, they are ferocious beasts.
- Legendary Carp: The very quote from the page.
- Magikarp Power: Not just literally. Part of their lethality in older versions was due to how gaining experience in skills affected attributes, while aquatic creatures built up the swimming skill despite being innate swimmers. While all aquatic creatures where affected by this, other factors combined with a steady increase in strength to make carp quite lethal with a high enough swimming skill.
The terror of Boatmurdered and of the first versions of the game, Elephants are now Gentle Giant
creatures who will leave you alone... if you don't provoke them, that is.
- Awesome but Impractical: Training them for war. Yes, an army of War Elephants will crush nearly any mortal enemy you can face. But they will die of starvation very soon, due to a bug that makes them starve when tame. However, in the first versions of DF2010, when grazing was not implemented, elephants could be tamed easily and trained for war, breed, and curbstomp goblins.
- The Dreaded: In 23a. See Boatmurdered for more details.
- Honorable Elephant: Completely, utterly averted in former versions of the game. Nowadays there are far more calm, but still not to be pissed off.
- Mighty Glacier: It's quite fast for one, but considering it is far stronger and tougher than fast...
- War Elephants: You can make them these. While awesome, it tends to be short-lived due to a bug however.
Giant Cave Spider
A spider the size of a horse that lives Beneath the Earth
. Terror of the underground. It has a paralyzing web attack and a neurotoxic, paralytic bite. It can and will kill every single other King of Beast, provided it can use its webs.
- Badass: They can fight cave dragons to a standstill. Cave dragons which are far more skilled and more than 30 times bigger than them. Same with every other Lightning Bruiser creature. Hell, it could fight with any megabeast except the Bronze Colossus and dominate the fight!
- They can also take on a single fully armed and armored legendary warrior dwarf and render them unable to battle, a feat that no other standard creature in the game can do with certitude.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies
- Giant Spider: ...Yes.
- Gradual Grinder: They tend to take their time when killing dwarves, mostly because their venom takes time to kill and their bite is pretty weak.
- Lightning Bruiser: Their redundant members and chitin give them quite a lot of defense and they are fast. They tend to kill their opponents slowly however, so it's more like a fast Stone Wall.
- The Paralyzer: Except that paralysis leads to death by asphyxiation, Dwarf Fortress being as developed as it is.
Giant Desert Scorpion
Exactly what it says on the tin. They are encountered only in savage deserts. They also can equip weapons, as impossible as it should be.
- Awesome but Impractical: Yes, you can technically catch them in fortress mode, tame them, put them over piles of crossbows and bolts, hope they pick us both and pelt your enemies with bolts. Fired by giant scorpions. However, it is quite unlikely and unwieldy considering you can just use your own dwarves for marksdwarf duty. They at least learn how to fire crossbows well.
- Badass: Their venom can kill anything in the game with a nervous system. Even a dragon. They can also shoot crossbows and wield weapons.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies
- Improbable Weapon User: Their pincers mean they will pick up any item in the game and use it as a bludgeon. Or shoot crossbows.
- They can kill you with your / your dwarfs own weapon in adventure/fort mode after they wrestle away your weapons/shields from your / your dwarfs hands.
- Lightning Bruiser: With their redundant body parts, speed, pincers, poison, chitinous armor, and sheer size, they qualify.
- Metal Slime: Rare but can be found in former versions, now with the addition of hundreds of animals in savage biomes, you'll be lucky to find a group of these even if you embark on the right biome.
- One-Hit Kill: Their venom will quickly kill any creature that has both a nervous system and blood, unless they're immune to poison.
- Body Horror: Said venom kills by causing envenomed creatures nerves and brain to rot away which is why it kills so fast.
- Scary Scorpions
A seemingly ordinary parrot...only rendered huge, and no less eager to snatch any item they can get their talons on. They're infamous for combining the normal keas flight and tendancy to home on on any available items with the size to make them a serious threat.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever
- Bandit Mook: Attracted to whatever you leave lying around or otherwise accessible, even if it means tearing through half your fortress to get to it.
- Giant Flyer: Bigger than a grizzly bear. Not the largest Giant Flyer in the game by any means, but few such birds will make a beeline for your fortress like these will.
- Killer Rabbit: To quote the wiki: Giant kea will kill your dwarves faster than you can say, "It's just a big parrot, what harm could it do?"
- Even if they don't kill any dwarfs god help you if they steal something important early in a fort life like your only anvil or your picks which will make it much harder for your dwarfs because of the lack of being able to forge real armor or replace metal objects that get stolen or render your dwarfs unable to dig in and make a actual fortress or get away with stealing a masterwork crafted item that makes the Dwarf that crafted it finally snap from all the strain of dwarf life and start a Tantrum Spiral that proceeds to destroy your fort.
Giant SpongeExactly What It Says on the Tin
: a Porifera the size of a grizzly bear. It was infamous in DF2012 for being completely invulnerable to combat damage. They would charge and kill dwarves who come close to the river, despite being immobile — essentially invincible carp. DF2014 has nerfed
it considerably, however, due to improved combat mechanics.
Hidden Fun Stuff (SPOILERS!)
Horrifying screams come from the darkness below!
Horrifying Eldritch Abominations
that inhabit the underworld. When you've Dug Too Deep
, they'll swarm your fortress in masses of hundreds or more. Don't expect to survive a fight against the Legions of Hell
- Always Chaotic Evil: They're even explicitly marked as [EVIL] in generated raws.
- Breath Weapon: Not all demons have one. Some demons breath fire, other spit webs, other can emit various toxins that can very well kill your dwarves... or give them a headache.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Very possible, with sufficiently Badass soldiers. Or simply cunning, deadly traps.
- Did You Just Have Tea With Cthulhu: Sometimes a human civilization sends a diplomat to your fortress. Sometimes that diplomat is a demon. The non-hostile demon will meet with your leader, make some meaningless but polite small talk, then leave. The encounter may be harmless, or extremely !!FUN!! if the demon is made of fire or spat flesh-eating toxins all around your fort due to an enemy appearing in his line of fire.
- Dug Too Deep: The page image. Dig deep enough through a certain blue metal and you will see.
- Eldritch Abomination / Our Monsters Are Weird: Much like Forgotten Beasts, they're randomly generated.
- Evil Overlord: May be an aversion. While some named demons take over human settlements (by posing as a deity) or goblin settlements (by force), they don't rule better or worse than normal rulers, as civilization ethics are tied to the civ, not who's in charge of it. It IS implied that demonic rule is part of the reason behind goblins being Always Chaotic Evil, as it's normal for goblin civilzations to get a demon ruler sooner or later.
- Final Boss: The closest equivalent to a Final Boss fortress mode has, for now. Earlier versions had leader Demons better fitting this trope.
- God and Satan Are Both Jerks: Gods currently have quite a bit more influence on the world, and one of the ways is collaborating with a demon to build huge spires and vaults of slade and terrorise the outside world.
- I Know Your True Name: Invoking the true name of a demon, engraved in the slab in a demonic vault, gives you power to banish it or put it under your command. A demon companion is more of a Bragging Rights Reward though, because if you manage such an amazing feat, you're already a god among men. (For the reason why, see the section just below.)
- Instant Death Radius: Same reason as the Forgotten Beasts.
- Lack of Empathy
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Nearly all demons have these, although they vary in awe-inspiring factor.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Like Forgotten Beasts, some demons can have this characteristic. Inorganic blobs are functionally immortal, save for a few instant-kill methods.
- No Sell: Fire and heat of any kind does not harm them, meaning the classic solution of magma is futile. They can't be drowned, are immune to any bioweapon you may have. They however are quite prone to being squished, encased in obsidian, impaled by spikes, or meeting their end on your most powerful warriors' adamantine weapons.
- The Legions of Hell: Their numbers are unquantifiable.
- Omnicidal Maniac: They're already this in Fortress mode, but the eventual plan is to have them incur the end of the world for releasing them from Hell.
- Our Demons Are Different: Mostly physically: they are generated randomly and can have wildly different forms, from a blob made of steel (which is just as Nigh Invulnerable as you expect it is), to a random, giant version of animal with a few additional (or removed) body parts, to something made of water (which is hilariously weak due to how the current combat system handles creatures made of liquid). Mentally, they are just as sentient and just as evil as standard demons.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: That shiny blue ore is there for a reason.
- Zerg Rush: One can tear apart an unprepared fortress, but demons come in swarms.
Radiant creatures that were created by the gods to be their servants. This does not mean that they are good beings.
They are best known for guarding the slade vaults of demons, whom the gods themselves were responsible for bringing up to the mortal world. They even outshine the demons as the most powerful things in the game.
- Animalistic Abomination: "Assistant" angels are generated like Forgotten Beasts with similar end results. Despite their strangeness, they're considered the least dangerous kind of angel.
- Badass: They're so powerful, they can fight modded Adamantine Colossi to a standstill.
- Bonus Boss: Overlapping with Brutal Bonus Level.
- Fantastic Metals: One of the reasons that they are so freakishly strong. The divine metals that they carry as weapons are almost as strong as Adamantine. And because they aren't are light as Adamantine (still much lighter than steel; about the same density as water), they aren't as hilariously ineffective when used for blunt weapons.
- Final Boss: Archangels in adventure mode. They are as big as forgotten beasts and have combat skill just short of Legendary. Only one of them will be found in a vault, but assuming you haven't been One Hit Killed by the lesser angels, one is more than enough to instantly slay an adventurer.
- Humanoid Abomination: "Soldier" angels, who wear equipment made of the divine metals.
- Light Is Not Good: They are some of the most dangerous and vicious creatures in all of Dwarf Fortress. They also guard the possessions and the true names of unspeakably evil beings.
- Our Angels Are Different: They are created by specific gods and have descriptions associated to their progenitor's spheres. They also do not shout "Fear not!", because you have every reason to fear them.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Basically what you do if you decide to fight them. It likely won't end well for you.
Now you will know why you fear the night.
Monstrous, randomly generated humanoid creatures that kidnap mortals and transform them, turning them into mates to breed more of their kind.
You are surrounded by incessant cackling.
Infinitely spawning blighters that appear when you sleep in the wilderness alone. They're the reason why every prospective adventurer should consider gathering a party.
- Boss In Mooks Clothing: On the start of your adventure, when you are typically poorly skilled and equipped. They kinda degrade into Goddamned Bats later.
- Fragile Speedster: Very hard to hit unless you are a very good fighter. But when you do hit them, most of the time Ludicrous Gibs does happen. This would only make them annoying, if they weren't also...
- Glass Cannon: They have very high strength and impressive combat skills, and tend to punch/gore/bite right through steel armor despite being the size of a child.
- The Imp: Their appearance. They don't really act like stereotypical imps, however.
- Things That Go Bump in the Night: When peasants warn you not to sleep outside alone, listen to them.
- Villain Teleportation: They do this if you try to run from them.
- Weakened by the Light: Exposure to sunlight causes them to disappear and their corpses and severed body parts to turn into smoke.
[A ghostly dwarf] has risen and is haunting the fortress!
The dead walk. Hide while you still can!
Former mortals that were taken by an obsession with their own mortality, seeking it to extend their lives by any means. In doing so, they take on devout worship of a god of death and learn the secrets of life and death, becoming immortal and gaining the power to raise the dead.
- Magic Is Evil: One of the first types of sorcerer introduced in the game. They will cause endless amounts of Fun if your fortress is nearby one.
- The Necromancer
- The Needless: They have no need for sustenance, as they know the secrets of immortality.
- Night of the Living Mooks: Necromancers may use their undead slaves to siege a fortress.
- Zerg Rush: Zombies in a necromancer siege come by the hundreds. Carrying weapons and armour.
The goblin corpse stands up.
The undead are the re-animated remains of various living creatures. In addition to the above necromancers, undead can occur in evil regions
spontaneously, making a more persistent hazard than a necromancer would.
Certain types of undead, called husks or thralls, may also be created through exposure to some of the nastier effects of randomly-generated evil clouds
. While they won't get back up again if killed (unless re-animated as a zombie, which is different), they retain the skills they had in life, whatever equipment they were wearingnote
and worst of all, may still be infected with the substance of the evil cloud that enthralled them
- Mighty Glacier: They are usually much stronger yet slower than the base creature.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Husks in DF2012 (0.34), which could only be killed by severing an important structural body part (not even magma could kill it). Magma is more than capable of destroying the walking dead now, but normal zombies have become much tougher.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Even from update to update. They've gone from Nigh Invulnerable to easily de-animated in a few hits right back to hard-to-kill.
- Remove The Head Or Destroy The Brain: As of DF2014 (0.40), crushing the head, upper body or lower body to a pulp will permanently kill a zombie. Just inflicting brain damage isn't enough however, and lopping the head off works sometimes and sometimes not.
- Technically Living Zombie: Husks are made by contact with the substance causing the effect, whereas normal undead start as a corpse.
- Zombie Apocalypse: If you embark on an evil region, a zombie infestation may be truly endless unless you make every single corpse you encounter Deader Than Dead, and promptly. Husks are even more Fun than normal undead, as there's a chance whatever substance infected them will condense on their bodies, spreading the effect to anything that survives a brief period of close combat with one.
Who dares to enter my house? I curse you!
The preserved remains of dead rulers, interred in tombs that they watch over, even in death. Awakening them by approaching their sarcophagus, vandalizing their tomb, or stealing their treasures will invite their wrath. Not only will this entail a curse, they also have the ability to animate corpses, and plenty of their servants are interred with them to facilitate this.
- Curse The most common effect is a reduction in skills. Not that most adventurers will live to figure out what the curse did to them.
- Due to the Dead: That's all they ask for, really.
- Human Sacrifice: They're buried with dozens of corpses to animate if disturbed, resembling the funerary rites of some cultures that sacrificed and buried servants with a deceased ruler.
- Just the First Ex-Citizen: Because rulers lose their title upon death, the mummies will be identified by their other profession (such as a beekeeper mummy).
- Nigh Invulnerable: Mummies are essentially husks with the powers of a necromancer.
- Zerg Rush: Their undead minions.
Former civilised mortals cursed by the gods as punishment for profaning a temple. At the full moon, they turn into a monster crazed for blood and flesh.
- Curse: They come from mortals cursed by a god.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: They can only assume a bestial form in the full moon, which tends to make them change into their weaker, human, naked form at the worst possible time, also in adventure mode they are in their human, naked, weaponless form 30 days a month.
- Magic Pants: Averted: body transformations remove all clothes.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Very different. Visibly, they can be created out of a very wide variety of animals.
- The Virus: Their bite transforms other creatures into werebeasts.
[A dwarf] has been found dead, completely drained of blood!
Like werebeasts, they are former mortals cursed by a god. Unlike werebeasts, vampires are a much more insidious threat - they disguise themselves as normal citizens, even taking false names and fabricating their life history, to hide their habit of drinking people's blood in their sleep.
- Curse: Similar to werebeasts.
- I Do Not Drink Wine: ... But I do start complaining about alcohol withdrawal.
- Lightning Bruiser: They have double the agility, strength and toughness of non-vampires; it's not unheard of for one to survive a full-on Hammering from a ☼silver war hammer☼. This is one reason why many players turn their adventurers into vampires.note
- Our Vampires Are Different: They mostly follow the standard vampire model, but are also deceitful social chamaeleons who take deliberate steps to kill people in secrecy. Or, if they're powerful enough, they'll openly overtake their civilisation.
- The Needless: In Fortress Mode. They'll drink blood every so often, they don't actually die of thirst if isolated from the population. Sealing one up and keeping them from being harmed or going insane can render a fortress functionally immortal. Even though the need to drink blood is present in Adventure Mode, vampires in both modes still don't need sleep or food.
- Vampire Bites Suck: They tend to kill the dwarves they feed from, and those few who do not die become faint with blood loss and need to recover.
- The Virus: Unlike classical vampires, they don't change creatures they bite. However, drinking their blood does transform the creature into a vampire.
- X-Ray Vision: They can sense living creatures with blood through walls.