Characters include the different creatures you can meet in the game, as well as some Memetic Badasses the fandom has produced.
The playable race in Fortress Mode, and a playable race in adventure mode. Known for creating incredibly complex fortresses and being really stupid.
- 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.
- Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: Dwarves who remain underground for too long undergo cave adaption, which causes them to get sick next time they go outside. Particularly bad cases generally result in the entrance to your fortress getting covered in vomit. If you make a dwarf adventurer in a mountain hall, they will start the game with maximum cave adaption.
- 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 DF2014, meaning combat was... rather emo.
- Hilariously, even super-badass legendary military dwarves will flee from a harmless wild animal as long as they are not on duty.
- 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.
- Girls with Moustaches: The relevant code for female dwarves having heavy facial hair is Dummied Out by default, but there's a plaintext comment right next to it telling you how to reenable it, if you want to.
- 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's not very noticeable, though.
- Never Gets Drunk: They're all alcoholics, but none of them are drunks because they need the alcohol to have a normal level of activity. Considering how they act, one could say they never get sober. Averted once alcohol was actually given an effect, though dwarves are set to have a higher resistance to it than the norm.
- 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 (some of) the original fantasy 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.
- Tantrum Throwing: Considered the de-facto dwarven reaction to prolonged unhappiness, and frequently a catalyst for Disaster Dominoes. DF2014 mitigated this significantly by reworking the happiness system and by introducing two different reactions to stress depending on a dwarf's personality. Tantrum spirals in the current version are all but impossible, as it would require a fortress made up entirely of dwarves with anger propensity being unhappy and enraged at the same time, which would only realistically happen if done purposely by the player.
- Tunnel King: The most common type of fortress is an Elaborate Underground Base. Plus, they're dwarves.
- Underground City: Unlike fortresses, dwarven mountain halls are completely disconnected from the surface and can only be accessed via underground tunnels.
Arrogant pests who demand that you limit your tree-cutting. They will send a trade caravan each year, which will bring wood (it's okay when they do it because they can use magic to get wood without killing trees), wooden goods, bags of sand and/or clay, fruits, rope and cloth made from plant fiber, and tame animals in cages. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from going to war with them if you don't find these goods worth putting up with them.
- 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). In earlier versions they'd even get offended if you tried to sell them their own wooden goods. The current version and their "grown" wooden goods solved that issue.
- Ass in Ambassador: Elven diplomats. Their notion of diplomacy mostly involves coming into 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.
- Berserk Button: They will be offended if offered wood while trading. Doing it enough times will cause them to attack the fortress responsible.
- 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 then 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. And if you seek to raid them, you better be ready to confront their gigantic wall of war animals first, which can and will include such things as grizzly bears.
- The Nose Knows: Of the main playable races, they have the strongest sense of smell.
- 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.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Their hair can come in several, randomly-selected colors.
- 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.
Your most common opponent in fortress mode. They will send ambushes, sieges, and child snatchers to your fort. The equipment you can loot from the battlefield is a good source of iron if your fortress doesn't have any, giving rise to the fan nicknames Goblinite (the fourth ore of iron, mined by killing goblins and melting down their equipment) and Goblin Christmas (the time of year when goblins come to get themselves killed to provide good little dwarves with plenty of Goblinite).
- Always Chaotic Evil: They are nothing less than outright called evil in the game, seem to attack you and kill your dwarves for no reason. They are rather cruel to their enemies. They also kidnap children. The kicker is that the goblins then raise them as their own without prejudice.
- This is evidenced in the character personality options in Adventurer mode. If you try to create a goblin adventurer, it will be impossible for your character to have any propensity for love, peace, kindness, generosity, or discrimination.
- Ambition Is Evil: Their entity values show that they are extremely ambitious for power.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Goblin leaders frequently get taken out and replaced during worldgen, whether by fellow goblins or other things. Treason may be the only behavior they consider a crime, but no one said that a successful traitor has to answer to the law.
- Dirty Coward: Unlike dwarves, they tend to flee from battle at the first sign of resistance.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Due to their child-snatching, a goblin settlement can often have as many humans, dwarves, and elves as goblins. Not to mention trolls as "pets" and their more exotic rulers they often have. Prior to DF2014, they were the most multi-cultural of the main races, before other entities (and later on, animal-people) could move to other civilizations.
- Evil Counterpart: To the dwarves in Fortress Mode. While humans and elves are also capable of organizing themselves into armies and attacking fortresses if the player pisses them off, the goblins do so without being provoked by the player, so they are more likely to serve as an "evil army" needed to be dealt with in the game.
- Genuine Human Hide: Since they have no problem with butchering sentient creatures.
- Hardcoded Hostility: Goblins from goblin civilizations will be out for your blood whether you play fortress mode of adventurer mode. Depending on the version, goblin member of other civilizations may or may not be hostile to their own fellow citizens.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The most notable example among the different civilizations. Whereas elves will only eat the bodies of those slain in battle (because to do otherwise would be wasteful), goblins can and will butcher other beings specifically for their meat.
- Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: "Snatcher! Protect the children!" Notably, goblins will then raise them as their own, though some children can be rescued in Adventure Mode if it isn't too late.
- The Kindnapper: One interpretation of snatchers. This depends of how you treat your children, however.
- Lack of Empathy: Their empathy and sympathy statistics are very low, although not as low as HFS denizens.
- Might Makes Right: Seem to believe in this.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Goblin sites, civilizations, groups, and individuals always have at least one "evil" word in their names, such as hell, monster, poison, sin, etc. Given the random generation, they either usually end up sounding appropriately evil or just disgusting (Pusfountain isn't exactly intimidating).
- The Needless: Goblins in versions post-2010 don't need to eat or drink, though they do sleep.
- Raised by Orcs: Snatched children. That can and will assault your fortress later if they survive for long enough. No, you have no other option than to kill them.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: All goblins have red eyes that glow in the dark.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Goblin hair comes in many different shades of red, purple, and indigo.
Trading partners, and potential besiegers. They're smarter about it than goblins, and more dangerous than elves because they aren't limited to wooden weapons.
- Blue and Orange Morality: While their actual ethics remain static, recent updates allow for a highly randomized selection of values allowing for considerable variation in the average human's behavior.
- 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).
- Later on DF2014 changed things yet again. While they retain the similar Horny Vikings motif of local lords in mead halls, their values can now be randomized during worldgen.
- 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.
Small, thieving, "mammaloreptilian" goblin-like creatures with shining eyes and an affinity with poisonous critters. They skulk in caves and thrive in stealing trinkets from other races. They speak in their own incomprehensible tongue and are incapable of communicating with other races.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Let's say it is very different from what most people will consider standard morality.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kobold bandits, archers especially, are not to be taken lightly in adventure mode. Even in fortress mode, if their bumbling attempts at theft actually succeed enough, they can eventually send ambush parties. While they're a lot easier to eliminate than a goblin ambush, they're still quite capable of taking a few dwarves with them.
- 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.
- Fluffy Tamer: They've somehow found a way to domesticate venomous cave creatures, such as helmet snakes and giant cave spider.
- Fragile Speedster: They run very quickly when discovered, however they tend to get killed easily.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: While "doom" is a fairly huge exaggeration, their eyes do glow in the utmost dark, visible as yellow '' in Adventure mode if they're too far away to see wholly.
- Hardcoded Hostility: Kobolds will pester everybody, and in some versions they'll start fighting each other as well. This is due to them being unable to communicate with other races, making it impossible for them to ask for peace.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Acording to a drawing by Toady One, they resemble smaller goblins with brown skin in physical appearance. They're described as "mammaloreptilian", though their raw files show they're entirely mammalian in a biological sense. They do lay eggs, though, which is apparently inspired by how Dungeons & Dragons kobolds are Lizard Folk. That possibly means the egg-laying part of the kobold physiology is reptilian, ignoring the fact monotreme mammals are a thing.
- 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 the Underworld 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!
- Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: All kobolds have yellow eyes that glow in the dark.
The world of Dwarf Fortress contains humanoid variations of its animals, often described in-game as resembling a human with the head of that given creature. They tend to reside in primitive underground civilizations, and can be playable in Adventure Mode under the right circumstances.
- Loads and Loads of Races: Most of the animals in the game are covered, including different types of insects. There are even plans for there to be giant animal people as well, just as there are already giant versions of the wild animals. Becomes Massive Race Selection in Adventure Mode.
- Petting Zoo People: Their general appearance fits this, and these include animals not commonly used for the trope. Such as people with spider heads.
God of gods, Armok creates worlds, revels in bloodshed and conflict, and then destroys them and starts anew when he grows bored. While not present in the game proper, he's beloved to the playerbase, who are typically more than eager to find ways to appease him.
- Blood Lust: Literally. Armok demands for blood to be spilled in his name.
- Destroyer Deity: Destroyer of all the worlds in Dwarf Fortress, obliterating those that cease to have the conflict they crave.
- The Ghost: Not actually present in-game, and Toady One has no plans to implement him.
- 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."
- The Maker: Creator of all the worlds in Dwarf Fortress, creating worlds where conflict may reign.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Armok, God of Blood.
- Player Character: One common interpretation is that Armok is the player. In which case the sobriquet of "God of Blood" is well-earned.
- Religion of Evil: Maybe. Players tend to build giant obsidian cathedrals with Human Sacrifice and 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.
Every world is home to a number of procedurally-generated deities, who are associated with a number of spheres. They're often depicted in works of art as dwarves or humans, though some take the form of animals. Elves uniquely worship a god-like "force" that permeates the wilds rather than the same deities as everyone else.
- Because Destiny Says So: Gods of fate perform the ritual to bring demons into the world "because it is destiny".
- Blood Knight: Gods of wars and fortresses may bring demons into the world "so that great fortresses may be raised and tested in siege" or "so that war may rage". Justified, sincem you know, they ARE war-gods.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Gods who don't have a clear motive for raising demons might do so while contemplating the "ineffable mysteries" of a sphere they share with the demon. These can be some strange spheres indeed, including such things as food, rainbows and peace.
- Curse: Some gods tend to curse their mortal followers in vampire or werebeast form for profaning one of their holy places. And adventurers can directly earn the ire of said gods by toppling statues in their temples.
- 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."
- Good Is Not Nice: Gods of bravery or valor may decide to summon demons "to provide opportunities for bravery to rise" or "to provide the opportunity for acts of valor to be performed" .
- Jerkass Gods: Many are straight up demons masquerading as deities, and even the real ones generally ignore their worshippers and their civilizations. Even when they're not raising demons from the Underworld, they have more of a negative than positive effect on the world; they seem to hand out curses more often than blessings. Even necromancers count as a negative influence in the end, as they are a plague to any fortress near a tower.
- 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.
A cave swallowman who killed one forgotten beast and dueled several others to a standstill (and he would have killed them if they weren't bugged) before dwarves found him and took him in.
- Badass Normal: He had no magic, no divine purpose, no heroic lineage. He was just a birdman with a spear and a shield.
- Blade on a Stick / Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The only things he used against those Forgotten Beasts.
- Named Weapons: Apparently Âsax had a short memory. His spear got a new name basically every time it hit something.
- Petting Zoo People: A cave swallowman.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Once took down a dragon in two blows.
- Boomerang Bigot: An elf legendary for his hatred of his own kind to the point that he became a king of a dwarven civilization.
- Cool Pet: A zombie wyvern.
- Dragon Rider: Zombie Wyvern actually.
- Drop the Hammer: On a dragon's head. Two-hit kill.
- Elves vs. Dwarves: Sorta-kinda. He's an elf, but he's a king of dwarves. However, he still fights elves.
- Mind Screw: He's an elf. He's a king of dwarves. He's an Elf King of Dwarves. Any doubts?
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Other elves ate his wife. He swore off cannibalism after that and joined the dwarves.
- Red Baron: The Immortal Onslaught.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Much more so than normal Dwarf Fortress kings. Cacame has killed a dragon, broken sieges, and not mandated the production of something stupid once!
- One-Man Army: Out of boredom, he single-handedly sortied against a large, well-equipped Human siege army, and routed them.
- Screw You, Elves!: An elf saying this.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: General community reaction. He is just about the only elf beloved by the fanbase.
A demon created during worldgen with an obscenely high kill count (as in in the high quintuple digits).
- Breath Weapon: Spit of poison, to be exact.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: When she finally was slain, it was by an ordinary human soldier who got lucky.
- Eldritch Abomination: She's a demon who's even scarier than demons normally are.
- Evil Overlord: She took charge of several civilizations and Dark Fortresses when she wasn't murdering creatures, and was a fan of convincing her civ members to do as she said "through force of argument"
- From Bad to Worse: She's an elephant demon, just saying.
- One-Man Army: Killed 87300 sentients in a few centuries. DF sentient kill counts are normally less than ten, sometimes cases around 100, and exceptionally around a few thousand and less than 10000.- ...out of every single person or animal who has ever made something of their life in this world, 9.5% have been killed by Gedor.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: "A gigantic one-eyed elephant twisted into humanoid form. It has a bloated body. Its dark green hair is long and straight. Beware its deadly spittle!"
- Poisonous Person: We never did get to find out what kind of poison was in her breath, but it likely helped achieve her body count.
- The Remnant: Some say she is born of the evil of Boatmurdered.
- Ultimate Evil: Of her universe.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It's dark green.
A dwarven queen with an obscenely high kill count, most of it elves.
- 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-Man Army: Personally killed 2341 individuals, mostly elves.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: See One Dwarf Army.
- Warrior Prince: A queen and an undefeated warrior.
A profanity-prone overseer of Boatmurdered. The fortress's elephant problems got really bad during his reign, and he began Project Fuck The World. Unlike all other rulers, he left after his time was up, paying another dwarf to impersonate him while he left through an escape tunnel.
- 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.
A dwarf who took several turns as overseer of Boatmurdered. In her non-ruler time, she's the fort's legendary engraver. Word to the wise: don't mess with her artworks.
- 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.
- 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: Engraves way too many images of dwarf murder to be quite sane. And then she goes berserk after one of them is destroyed.
- She Is the King: Emperor Sankis.
A human nerd whose short stature and beard led to him getting mistaken for a dwarf and made ruler of Boatmurdered after he got kicked out of his mom's basement. He's obsessed with Wizards and Warlocks, and seems to have some trouble telling the game apart from reality. Ends up being kicked out of his job after opening the door to goblin intruders after he rolled a 20 for the goblin commander.
- 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.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Believes he's in a D&D-esque high fantasy, complete with magic missiles and attack rolls. When he inevitably fails said rolls because Dwarf Fortress is low fantasy, he attributes it to a fumble.
- 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.
A harsh lawmaker who became ruler of Boatmurdered after one of Sankis's turns. Unluckily, she became ruler again after him, and he had annoyed her by dismantling her tomb. His fate involved elephants and a mysterious drowning.
- Hanging 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 Executioner: Even after retiring as ruler and becoming the Judicator.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: 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.
A military dwarf and the final ruler of Boatmurdered. During his reign, a tantrum spiral caused by the smoke from a burning catapult (oh, and the fort being on fire) killed everyone but him and a small child. He left to seek his fortune as an adventurer.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Burialgears definitely qualifies.
- Dual Wielding: Two swords, to be exact.
- 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.
The last dwarf of Boatmurdered.
- An Axe to Grind: He's an axedwarf, so this is his weapon of choice.
- The Magnificent: The Soulchopper.
- One-Man Army: Killed 20 Forgotten Beasts solo, and alternate-reality testing proved that he could single-handedly wipe Towersoared off the map.
- Training from Hell: The fact that he does almost nothing BUT train. He has no real social connections to Towersoared as a result.
The most badass dwarven child in the world. Originally intended to be a test subject for a Super Soldier Project, he surpassed all expectations, climbing up 13 flights of stairs with his throat torn out to the hospital, then he forged a battleaxe fit for Armok himself. While there have been other Dwarven badasses in the past, what makes Logan so special is that the feats mentioned above happen when he's 8 years old . Also, while previous Dwarven supersoldier projects have had... questionable morality at best, throwing the children into dog pits for 12 years, Logan's ascension to Supersoldier happened with minimal mental scarring (well, as minimal as Dwarf Fortress can be), making him more like Captain America than a psychopath.
Each Logan story has Logan performing increasingly badass feats, which picks up once he's made a supersoldier via swimming in a chamber for a solid month. He goes from struggling to fight against a rabid dog, to killing a Blind Cave Ogre 500 times his size, to ripping through entire well-equipped and highly trained Goblin kill squad with his bare hands. He's become a beloved figure on Reddit, symbolizing what the fanbase is capable of.
- Charles Atlas Super Power: As the creator put it, "The secret to becoming a supersoldier is to make your child Michael Phelps." Logan spent a month in a swim chamber, training his swimming skill, which also raises all combat-related attributes except toughness. When he got out, he was strong enough to punch the brains out of humanoid skulls.
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.
- The Ace: Morul has the highest possible level of skill in every area.
- Charles Atlas Super Power: All that work made Morul immensely strong; enough to single handily wipe out sieges by himself.
- Boring, but Practical: Getting some of the more annoying-to-raise civilian skills was extremely tedious at times but it all paid off as back in 40d these equated into buffs to stats and made Morul pretty strong even before he started military duty.
- One Dwarf Army: Once he joined the military.
- Punched Across the Room: Shortly after Morul started his military training he maced a Orc so hard it flew 155 game tiles before splattering against a wall◊. Most people don't play on maps that wide and it probably would had gone farther if it wasn't for the wall.
- Readings Are Off the Scale: All that work actually made his stats higher than the game could display.
A dwarf adventurer who committed a great evil. Squicked other Dwarf Fortress players out enough that they tried to erase him from history.
- Moral Event Horizon: What he did was bad enough that Dwarf Fortress players agreed to erase his legacy. These are the people who will enslave and farm merpeople for their bones, make babies into Child Soldiers by throwing them into a room with angry dogs, and butcher kittens for their meat. And what Obok did was too evil for them.
- Noodle Incident: DF players are trying to eliminate what he did. The information is around, if you look.
- Rogue Protagonist: The Villain Protagonist of his adventure game, Rogue Protagonist of the DF community.
- Unperson: The end result of "winning" a thread about the worst committed in-game.
Okay, technically Planepacked is not a character, being an artifact, but it is still a legend in the DF community. Planepacked occurred as the result of a glitched strange mood, creating a limestone statue incorporating a lot of non-Euclidean geometry. Aside from being highly encrusted and menacingly spiky, Planepacked is engraved with the entire history of the world up to its creation, including 73 images of itself.
- Alien Geometries: Presumed to be how Planepacked manages to fit all that decoration and engravings.
- Good Bad Bugs: Planepacked's creation happened because of a glitch with strange moods- a moody dwarf who claimed an outside workshop and then was ordered underground would not stop gathering materials and would work on his artifact for a very long time, resulting in the creation of mega-artifacts like Planepacked.
- It Only Works Once: Planepacked's creator was unable to replicate the bug and the community didn't know how it worked until someone else accidentally created another mega-artifact, an obsidian floodgate called Broiledprinces. The bug has since been fixed.
- Recursive Reality: Planepacked contains multiple engravings of itself.
Megabeasts and Semi-Megabeasts
A massive golem made of solid bronze, widely considered the most powerful of all megabeasts, as they take near no damage from any material inferior to steel.
- 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.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: Thanks to being made of solid inorganic material. They're immune to pain, stunning, dizziness and disease, aren't subject to exertion, and can't be nauseated or suffocated.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: In DF2014, enough hits that do more than glance off will eventually crumple the relevent bodypart and kill it. With vampirism or some other method of boosting strength, a mere human can even manage this with a copper spear.
- Expy: Of Talos, the original bronze colossus.
- Golem: They're bronze statues animated by magic.
- Hardcoded Hostility: As with all megabeasts, towards non-megabeasts. Most notable because bronze colossi were popular creatures to mod to be playable in Adventurer Mode, but DF2014 made it so this makes citizens equally hostile to bronze colossus adventurers.
- 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: Due to being made of solid bronze, they are VERY difficult to kill, unless you are well prepared.
- Perplexing Plurals: The plural for bronze colossus is bronze colossuses according to the game, though players use colossi just as often.
- 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.
Among the largest creatures in the game when fully grown, dragons are among the most dangerous of all megabeasts, with their dragonfire being hotter than the surface of the Sun.
- 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.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: They're not subject to exertion, which essentially makes them utterly inexhaustible in combat.
- Determinator: They have a very high Willpower stat.
- Glass Cannon: By megabeast standards (compared to dwarves, they're Lightning Bruisers). 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. Subverted in fortress mode, where they'll just will burn your fort to the ground or die trying.
- Kill It with Fire: They all can shoot out fire so powerful that it can melt practically any material and living being in its trajectory
- 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, except they don't fly nor have wings. Their fire is much hotter than "standard fire," even beating the heat of the Sun. For now, they are mindless beasts instead of having any sapience.
Massive megabeasts with seven heads, hydras can attack multiple times in a single tick, making them exceptionally dangerous.
- An Arm and a Leg / Half the Man He Used to Be / Off with His Head!: Easily capable of shaking off limbs or removing torsos from things smaller than itself due to its 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.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: They're immune to pain, feel no exertion and can't be stunned. This allows them to continue fighting unhindered even if you cut one or some of their heads off.
- Feel No Pain: Pretty much required to properly exploit their redundant heads.
- Healing Factor: Although a rather weak one. Their wounds close faster than most other creatures, but they're unable to regenerate severed body parts (such as heads).
- 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.
- Lightning Bruiser: Their massive size, high nature combat skills and the fact attacks from different body parts can occur simultaneously makes their multiple heads heighten their damage to lethal power.
- Multiple Head Case: Being hydrae, of course.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Said to be related to dragons.
- Unstable Equilibrium: If they get even a single bite to hit, which they eventually will given how many heads they have, the battle's pretty much over. Conversely, any injuries that reduce speed (nausea, difficulty breathing, being grounded) massively reduce their lethality.
The largest flying creatures in the game, rocks are one of the species of megabeast.
Forgotten beasts and titans are monstrous procedurally-generated megabeasts, with forgotten beasts living underground and titans living in the surface. They can range from anything from a gigantic humanoid made of coral, to a skinless fire-breathing cobra, to a flying, poison-spewing dimetrodon made out of gemstone.
- 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.
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: Yes. Various sorts of mammals, birds, spiders, humanoid monsters, insects, worms, leeches, various sorts of dinosaurs, blobs made of various materials... the list goes on.
- Breath Weapon: Some of them can spit fire, or webs, or toxins with various effects.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: They're immune to pain, stunning, dizziness and disease, feel no exertion and can't be nauseated or suffocated.
- Dug Too Deep: Your fortress is at risk of forgotten beast attacks once you breach a cavern. Still not as dangerous as what lies further down.
- 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.
- Kaiju: More or less. You may even get fire-breathing dinosaurs AND it's not that uncommon. However, it is subverted in where they CAN be killed by your military.
- 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.
A massive semi-megabeast with a single eye, who lacks any special abilities beyond sheer brute strength.
- Cyclops: Well of course.
- Go for the Eye: Being blinded severely hinders the AI, and doing so is much easier when the target only has one to begin with.
- Warmup Boss: Generally considered among the least deadly of the semi-megabeasts. Unlike ettins they aren't immune to pain, and unlike minotaurs they don't have natural combat skills. Like all megabeasts, their attack trigger stats are lower than megabeasts, making them arrive to attack your dwarves sooner.
A two-headed semi-megabeast, distict for being immune to being stunned.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: They're immune to being stunned.
- Multiple Head Case: Grants them all-around vision so long as both heads have intact eyes, and makes them a lot harder to put down by aiming for the head.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: A very standard depiction of the D&D Ettin, as a giant with two heads.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Like all semi-megabeasts, their attack trigger stats are lower than megabeasts, making them arrive to attack your dwarves sooner. Unlike other semi-megabeasts, ettins are more likely to survive long enough to give your militia-dwarves a good fight.
The largest of all semi-megabeasts, giants lack the special abilities of other boss-creatures, but make up for it in sheer weight.
- Our Giants Are Bigger
- Warmup Boss: Generally considered among the least deadly of the semi-megabeasts. Unlike ettins they aren't immune to stunning, and unlike minotaurs they don't have natural combat skills. Like all semi-megabeasts, their attack trigger stats are lower than megabeasts, making them arrive to attack your dwarves sooner.
Inhabiting labyrinths, minotaurs are the smallest of all semi-megabeasts, though they make up for their small size with sheer skill in weaponry.
- A Load of Bull
- Improbable Weapon User: Once they get into close combat with your dwarves, they can and will make use of any item forcibly removed from their target's possesion via wrestling.
- Instant Expert: They have natural skills with pretty much every weapon, no matter how absurd.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Like all semi-megabeasts, their attack trigger stats are lower than megabeasts, making them arrive to attack your dwarves sooner. Unlike other semi-megabeasts, minotaurs have the combat skills to potentially give as good as they get.
- Weak, but Skilled: Compared to other megabeasts and semi-megabeasts, they're the smallest and most mundane in terms of weaknesses. But their natural skills mean they can hold their own depending on what they get their hands on.
Notable, standard creatures
While most animals in the game are just the same thing you'd see from the real life counterpart, some gained various levels of notoriety, with some being given the name of Kings 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. Little more than an inconvenience in the current version.
Your average turkey vulture. Doesn't sound so bad? In this game, they're a ravenous, food-stealing swarm, and a very common one at that.
- Bandit Mook: They give kea a run for their money, but are notable for being present in even more biomes. Any food item in the surface is subject to being stolen by these birds should it not be protected.
- Feathered Fiend: Unless you capture, train and tame them, in which case they become worse chickens.
- Too Dumb to Live: They'll often try and steal from visiting caravans, and be promptly shot down by its crossbow-wielding guards. It can be very annoying as it may cause the caravan to leave early.
- Zerg Rush: They appear in flocks of anywhere between 5 to 10 birds, which can be particularly bad for a starting fortress who hasn't had the time to take their food items underground yet.
When carp were introduced, they were absurdly ferocious. Nowadays they act as you'd expect a benign fish to, though their reputation is eternal.
- 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 (and the current version of DF), carp are peaceful bottom-feeders. In older versions of the game, they were famed as 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.
- Beast of Battle: They can be trained for war and hunting.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Training them for war. Yes, an army of War Elephants will crush nearly any mortal enemy you can face, but they're grazers, and as such require a constant source of grass. They're also not that easy to find, and breeding elephants takes ages (they're not adults until the age of 10). Used to be Awesome, but Impractical in previous versions due to a bug causing them to always starve faster than they could eat, but that has since been fixed.
- 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.
- Horse of a Different Color: They're among the dozens of animals that can be used as mounts by surface-dwelling NPC factions when they siege you.
- 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.
By far the most infamous Bandit Mook of the game, what should be just a small cute parrot quickly becomes the bane of a fledgling fortress as they swarm the wagon and steal everything of value in it.
- Bandit Mook: No other animal has the reputation of the kea. The little critters can steal both food and crafts, so should one take hold of your legendary artifact, you can say goodbye to it.
- Feathered Fiend: Unless you capture, train and tame them.They don't have much use beyond laying eggs.
- Too Dumb to Live: They'll eagerly throw themselves at caravans and be shot down by its crossbow-wielding guards. It can be very annoying as it may cause the caravan to leave early.
- Zerg Rush: They appear in flocks of anywhere between 5 to 10 mayhem-minded individuals. A kea attack upon a new embark has doomed many a fortress.
A well known species of primate with a colorful face. Most famed in the DF community thanks to Boatmurdered, where they were essentially The Dragon to the elephants. Mandrills in the current version are far tamer, though not entirely harmless.
- Bandit Mook: They're thieves and will try and steal both your food and your crafts, from random socks to your most precious artifact given the chance.
- Beast of Battle: Trained and tame mandrills can be given war and hunting training. You read that right: war mandrills. However due to their small size, they're about as effective as dogs in that department.
- Maniac Monkeys: Particularly in the older versions of the game, and still capable of causing some injury to passing dwarves today.
Fantasy creatures and variants
A bizarre, squat bird without wings that are about as heavy as a gorilla, found in evil marshlands. They're domestic animals in goblin civilizations and their favorite war beasts.
- Beast of Battle: Notably, exclusively for goblins. Dwarves can only use them as common pets and livestock.
- Feathered Fiend: It doesn't actually have feathers, but it's an evil and aggressive bird-like creature anyway.
- Horse of a Different Color: They're the main mounts of the goblins. Expect them to come in great numbers during sieges.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: They look like a rainbow-colored mix between a lovebird and a Graboid, which were an inspiration for them according to Toady One.
- Non-Indicative Name: They don't resemble nor are anything close to dogs.
A rare subterranean variant of the dragon, smaller and missing the fire breath. These immense monsters are the largest cavern creatures in the game and may be the doom of many dwarves should they go against it, or a boon to your fortress should you manage to capture one.
- Awesome, but Impractical: It's theoretically possible to capture a breeding pair of cave dragons and have them breed to give you a whole bunch of war dragons. However, they're born as small as foxes and their growth is very gradual, taking 1000 years to reach their full size. It'll take around 4 or 5 in-game years until a cave dragon is large enough to pose a significant threat to most humanoid enemies.
- Beast of Battle: If you're lucky enough to capture one, it can be trained for war and hunting. Just pray it's a mature one.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Despite not being a megabeast, it has the same natural combat skills of a normal dragon and is significantly larger than a forgotten beast when fully grown.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: It's not subject to exertion, making it inexhaustible. It's also immune to fear.
- Evil Albino: Its scales are white and they have an [EVIL] tag in their files. Subverted as they're not sapient and therefore have no morality.
- Horse of a Different Color: Goblins can use them as war mounts, should the RNG hate you enough.
- Kaiju: An adult cave dragon is as large as a basking shark, outsizing forgotten beasts who are Kaijus of their own right.
- No-Sell: It's immune to common fire and dragonfire.
- Our Dragons Are Different: It's much like a normal dragon, but it curiously sports a pair of wings while the megabeast version doesn't have any. It can't fly with them, though.
- Wings Do Nothing: It has wings but can't fly with them.
A type of tiny humanoid critter found in good regions.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Instead of any guts, their insides are filled with purple "pudge".
- The Cutie: They're tiny, fluffy, harmless and described as having a "gentle nature" and a "warm heart".
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: According to a crayon drawing by Toady One, fluffy wamblers look like Kirby if he were covered in fluffy white fur.
- Throw the Mook at Them: Perhaps the most famous example of this in the DF community, which happened back when throwing was at its most overpowered. A player grabbed a fluffy wambler and threw it at a bronze colossus (who were also at their most overpowered), decapitating it.
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.
- All Webbed Up: As if their lack of pain, redundant limbs, and asphyxiation-causing paralytic toxin were not bad enough, they are also capable of projecting webs at their prey that immobilize them, allowing their pincers to deliver a shallow-but-lethal, bit on the head.
- Didn't Need Those Anyway!: They can't pass out from pain, and can't die from blood loss, so lopping off limbs do nothing unless you can ground one by severing four of them. This, combined with the unpredictable nature of what body part the AI will target, is what makes them so hard to kill in Fortress Mode.
- Feel No Pain: They're immune to pain, a trait shared by most arachnids in the game.
- Giant Spider: It's the same size as a grizzly bear.
- 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.
- Mainlining the Monster: With some careful effort and luck, it is possible to capture a giant cave spider. With even more, very careful effortnote it is possible to set up a safe giant cave spider silk ranching operation. Giant cave spider skill is an enormously valuable cloth, but risky to gather in the wild (what with the giant cave spiders that produce it still about) and this method mitigates that danger.
- The Paralyzer: Their venom causes paralysis, except it leads to death by asphyxiation, Dwarf Fortress being as developed as it is.
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.
Has been Dummied Out as of version .42.04. Despite mentions of a future replacement, it didn't come to pass.
- 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.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Over two times the size of an adult human.
- Feel No Pain: They're immune to pain, a trait shared by most arachnids in the game.
- 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 dwarf's own weapon in adventure/fort mode after they wrestle away your weapons/shields from your/your dwarf's hands.
- Lightning Bruiser: With their redundant body parts, speed, pincers, poison, chitinous armor, and sheer size, they qualify.
- Make Them Rot: Their venom kills by causing envenomed creatures nerves and brain to rot away.
- Metal Slime: In former versions, they were somewhat rare, but could even be found in packs. 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.
- Scary Scorpions: Even without venom they're enough of a threat as is; they're big enough they can just pull you apart with their pincers.
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.
- Horse of a Different Color: They have the tags that allows surface-dwelling civilizations (usually elves) to use them as mounts. It rarely, if ever, happens, however, not that you should hope for it to ever happen.
- 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 dwarves 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.
Your average mosquito, except as heavy as a lion. They suck the blood out of people they bite, as you'd expect from a mosquito, though the much larger size means one bite might be enough to kill a dwarf.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: It's a mosquito over twice the size of a man.
- Game-Breaking Bug: In version 0.34.01, they spawned in groups of 100 to 200 at a time, giving you a monstrous swarm of giant, dangerous insects who'd kill your dwarves either through violence or through sheer game lag. It was quickly fixed and now they only appear one a time.
- Horse of a Different Color: They have the tags that allows surface-dwelling civilizations (usually elves) to use them as mounts. It rarely, if ever, happens, however.
Exactly 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.
- Artistic License – Biology: Strangely, they can also become enraged or unconscious, despite not having a nervous system. But this is due to a bug and some tag not working, considering that Toady generally shows his work a lot."Without a central nervous system, the only thing they can feel is anger."
- Fake Ultimate Mook: Undead versions in .34. They gained immunity to air-drowning in exchange for collapsing after taking enough hits, rendering their effective invulnerability moot. Regular versions have taken a blow too as of DF2014. Now a thralled giant sponge is another matter entirely...
- Glass Cannon: The addition of pulping has rendered them much easier to damage, but their push attacks are still bizarrely powerful.
- Horse of a Different Color: Theoretically speaking. They have the tags that allow them to be mounted by surface races, but it doesn't actually happen.
- Mighty Glacier: In .34, they were invulnerable to damage due to having no body parts or blood. Their only mode of attack is pushing things, but their size means that said push can break your skull.
- Nigh Invulnerable: In its debut version, it could not be killed in combat. The 2014 version nerfed it quite a bit, however, due to the addition of pulping damage. Enough blunt strikes and it does fall apart, especially since sponge-tissue is even more fragile than flesh.
- Killer Rabbit: Not so much cute as pretty in the same way flowers are (going by their real counterparts) and utterly unexpected when it comes to being a threat.
Half-man, half-fish humanoids who live in good oceans. Mostly unremarkable, save for that one time the community found out how valuable their bones used to be...
- Our Mermaids Are Different: They're pretty standard as far as mermaids go, but they don't really behave any different from wildlife yet, much like other "wild" intelligent creatures.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Back in the 40d days, their bones were 50 times more valuable than those of your average animal (making your average mermaid's skeleton as valuable as a dragon's), leading to players devising ways to capture and breed them like livestock, before air-drowning their offspring, waiting for their bodies to rot away into skeletons and then sell the bones to caravans. Yep: Dwarf Fortress was once a game about slaughtering mermaids for profit. Toady One was so disturbed by this that a following update removed the merpeople's innate value multiplier, making items made from their corpses have the standard value. This stands today, and mermaid bones aren't any more valuable than those of a dog or cat.
Found in good biomes, these creatures don't act too differently from common horses. But while timid in the wild, they're the preferred mounts of the elves, and far more dangerous under their employ.
- Fake Ultimate Mook: Wild unicorns are the largest and as such deadliest creatures in good biomes, though they're entirely benign and prefer to flee from attackers rather than fight back unless enraged, meaning even your most inexperienced hunter can kill an unicorn with a shabby crossbow and some wooden bolts.
- Horse of a Different Color: Elves can use them as mounts during sieges. Elven-controlled unicorns are hostile to your civilization, unlike wild ones, and as such won't shy away from fighting you.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Their preferred means of combat should they fight dwarves.
- Unicorn: Indeed.
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.
- Evil Laugh: Their arrival is heralded by incessant cackling, which doesn't stop until they're gone.
- 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 happens. 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 and very squishy.
- The Imp: Their appearance. They don't really act like stereotypical imps, however.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: They're smaller than kobolds and can break every bone in your body if you're not careful.
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: When peasants warn you not to sleep outside alone, listen to them.
- Trash Talk: Their description states that they "hurl vicious insults constantly", not that you can actually hear it.
- 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.
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).
- Mummy: Fairly typical as far as "mummies as undead monsters" go: Preserved, intelligent and very protective of their belongings.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Mummies are essentially husks with the powers of a necromancer.
- Zerg Rush: Their undead minions.
If a member of your civilization (usually a dwarf from your fortress) isn't properly entombed or given a memorial, they may return to haunt you as a ghost. Whether these ghosts are docile or not depends on how the person was in life.
- Berserk Button: Whatever you do, don't take down a dead dwarf's tomb.
- Due to the Dead: All they ask for is this. Burying the body or memorialising it in a slab will put them to rest.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: They arise from dwarves who were never buried and or memorialised. Even the same fortress may have different kinds of ghosts, depending on what they were like in life. Most will hang out scaring your living dwarves (which gives them unhappy thoughts), but some will attack and kill living dwarves as well. Sometimes they even throw parties!
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: Some kinds of ghosts make noises at night, topple furniture, misplace items, or harass dwarves. The worst kinds can beat and torture people or even scare them to death.
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.
- Animate Dead: Their main ability.
- Mage Tower: Usually found living in these.
- 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 Necrocracy: Can sometimes be found ruling civilizations.
- The Necromancer: These ones got their powers from a slab with the secrets of life and death gifted to them by a deity. They live in dark towers and raise the dead near them. They can sometimes besiege fortresses.
- 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.
- The Sleepless: They don't need to sleep or rest.
- Spell Book: The source of their powers.
- Wizards Live Longer: They stop aging once they become necromancers.
- Zerg Rush: Zombies in a necromancer siege come by the hundreds. Carrying weapons and armour.
Monstrous, randomly generated humanoid creatures that kidnap mortals and transform them, turning them into mates to breed more of their kind.
- All Trolls Are Different: Procedurally generated, even.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Utterly hostile to everything else and fond of butchering sentients for food and fun.
- Body Horror: Quite often.
- The Corruption: They create mates for themselves by kidnapping and transforming villagers.
- Evil Smells Bad / Signature Scent: Most creatures in the game smell like themselves, but night trolls always smell like "death" or "bug innards".
- The Fair Folk: They have hints of this. Toady plans to have the local villagers give them nicknames.
- Mars Needs Women: Since they're unique, they need to find their mates among mortals. They just need to convert them first.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Most of their procedurally generated names that are usually linked with darkness, death, or evil. Such names can be Night Hag, Moon Horror, Night Monster, and so on.
- One-Gender Race: Night trolls of a certain type are all the same sex, and night troll spouses can only be created from kidnapped humanoids. If a night troll breeds with its spouse, their children will be the same sex as the original night troll.
- To Serve Man: Among the things you can find in their lair are the organs of sentient races.
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.
- You Can't Kill What's Already Dead: Zombies aren't using any of those lovingly detailed organs any more, so a lot of the swift, ruthless ways Dwarf Fortress players have to kill a living thing don't work here.
- 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.
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.
- Blessed with Suck: They're prone to changing forms at the worst possible times. In adventure mode, dropping ones entire inventory in the middle of a fight can turn a would-be rampage into a Curb-Stomp Battle in favor of any nearby armed opponents. Even worse for NPC werebeasts, they spend their off days hiding in their lair, not even bothering to put on clothes or armor. And finally, anyone who isn't a fellow werecreature will react with hostility at the sight of one.
- Curse: They come from mortals cursed by a god.
- Curse That Cures: Transformation (both to and from werebeast form) fully restores missing limbs and heals nerve damage, making it the only source of outright regeneration in the game. This makes the game more FUN for the player; for example, an adventurer has just chopped a naked person into a pile of severed limbs. The victim transforms into a were-gorilla and all the severed parts grow into new were-gorillas. The troop of were-gorillas pummel the adventurer to death.
- Some players intentionally turn their adventurers into werebeasts because of this, as it allows badly crippled adventurers to regrow severed limbs and regenerate damaged nervous tissue (including spinal injuries).
- 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. 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.
- Viral Transformation: Their bite transforms other creatures into werebeasts.
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.
- Blessed with Suck: For quite some time it was much closer to Cursed with Awesome, but more recent DF2014 updates introduced a major drawback: anyone who witnesses you feeding will flip out and go fully "no quarter" hostile. It doesn't matter how famous a hero, and it no longer depends on who or what you're feeding on.
- Cursed with Awesome: Are created by curses from gods, similar to werebeasts but it's not uncommon to find players poisoning their fortresses water supply with vampire blood in order to turn all their dwarves into vampires.
- Day Walking Vampire: Aren't affected by sunlight.
- I Do Not Drink Wine: ... But I do start complaining about alcohol withdrawal.
- Implausible Deniability: Ever since they were introduced, there have been occasional bugs regarding their efforts to disguise their identity in fortress mode. In particular, their tendency to blame others to add confusion often led to patently absurd accusations, such as blaming babies or nearly harmless animals. More importantly, they'll still go through the effort of trying to pin the blame on somewhere else even if they were caught red-handed by multiple witnesses, as ultimately it's up to the player to order a conviction.
- 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
- The Necrocracy: Can sometimes be found ruling civilizations.
- 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.
- Vein-o-Vision: They can sense living creatures with blood through walls.
- Viral Transformation: Unlike classical vampires, they don't change creatures they bite. However, drinking their blood does transform the creature into a vampire.
Hidden Fun Stuff (SPOILERS!)
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.
- Bonus Boss: Overlapping with Brutal Bonus Level.
- Celestial Paragons and Archangels: An Archangel is always the last one to guard a slab in every vault. They are humanoid, enormous, well-equipped by their deity's sacred metals and have the skills of a Grand Master in everything that is combat-related. Nothing in the game other than a Legendary adventurer with luck on their side can hope to stand against one of them.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: They're immune to pain, stunning, dizziness and disease, feel no exertion and can't be nauseated or suffocated.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: It is probably the hardest task in the entire game, but it can be done. In one famous case, a newbie player managed it entirely unaware of how difficult it should've been or what he was even looking for.
- 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. They're not even much bigger than a dwarf, usually, but their God's sphere-dictated appearance betrays their true nature.
- 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.
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.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: They're immune to pain, stunning, dizziness and disease, feel no exertion and can't be nauseated or suffocated.
- 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: They are terrifying, alien, godlike creatures that live in the Underworld.
- 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 civilizations 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: By mechanics; not even the biggest outliers among demons can feel anything that resembles empathy for another being.
- The Legions of Hell: Their numbers are unquantifiable.
- 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.
- 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 the Underworld.
- 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.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Much like Forgotten Beasts, they're randomly generated.
- 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.