Adventures in Dwarf Fortress Adventure Mode v0.40

The last time I played Dwarf Fortress was in 2006, and I was playing fortress mode, so this is a learning experience for me. Some selected highlights:

Rolling a character

Should I put points into ‘Misc. Object User’? Sounds pretty useful.

I decided instead to put all my skill points into ‘Biting’ instead. My character is a level 14 Biter, or a ‘Professional Biter.’ Hopefully this means I’ll get paid to bite.

Starting out

My character description says I have very short ears, which is weird, because I opted to be an elf.

Reviewing the keybindings:

[o] - Show strongest odor.

[I] - Interact with an object in an advanced way.

[W] - Weather. (Note: unspecified if this is a noun or a verb)

I notice that the Get Item command gives you the option to start a fire. Useful!

The adventure mode quickstart guide:

If you are in a private house, you must first ask the owner for permission before you can sleep. If a commoner is blocking you from entering his home, use the [s] key to crawl under his legs, and then the same key to stand back up.


In the starting location there’s another character. I say hello to them. Crash to desktop. This is v0.40.01, the first release after 2 years of feature development, and no QA.

This time I skip the greeting and get this menu:

  • Bring up a specific incident or rumor
    • Spread rumor of Sunkenbear the Misty Root’s presence in Glacialpelts the Sea of Panting.
    • Spread rumor of Migrur Tundrabeach the Tufted Dunes’s presence in Dunesclods.
  • Inquire about any troubles
  • Ask for directions
  • Ask about the local ruler
  • Trade
  • Exchange, give or take personal items
  • Ask favor, place request, make demand or issue order
  • Ask listener to join you
  • Claim this site for yourself
  • Ask about this site’s neighbours and trade partners
  • Ask about the surrounding area
  • Comment on weather
  • Comment on natural surroundings
  • Accuse listener of being a night creature
  • Inquire about listener’s profession
  • Ask about listener’s family
  • Brag about your past violent acts
  • Say goodbye
I have no idea what the procedural rumours relate to. Did I walk past these people?

Me: (Ask about the surrounding area)

Her: “Ask me when I’ve returned to my home!”

Me: (Tell me about the local ruler)

Her: “The Firey Poet rules Lordbear. I am chieftainess. We are in the right in all matters.”

Me: “Are there patrols or guards?”

Her: “You sound like a troublemaker.”

I try the trade option but apparently that’s only for shopkeepers. Exchange brings up a bartering interface. I successfully trade loincloths with the chieftainess.

Me: (Claim this site for myself) “I’m in charge of Lordbear now.”

Her: “This must be stopped by any means at our disposal.”

Her: “Just now, (player character) claimed Lordbear in the name of (player character)”

I get a menu allowing me to react to this startling news:

  • Ask for the whereabouts of (player character)
  • Ask for directions to Lordbear
  • State opinion that it must be stopped with violent force
  • State opinion that it is not your problem
  • State opinion that it was inevitable
  • State opinion that it is terrifying
  • State opinion that you don’t know anything about it
  • State that it is for the best
  • State that you don’t care
  • State opinion that it is sad but not unexpected
  • State opinion that it is terrible
  • State opinion that it is terrific
  • Change the subject
I ask for more information about myself, in the hope that maybe it’ll lead to a self-assassination quest. It doesn’t have any effect. Nor does asking her to join me on my adventures or accept me as her lord. I accuse her of being a night creature but she just tells me to calm down. At no point does she turn hostile.


Having exhausted the charms of the conversation system, I set off into the wilderness. I meet a flock of peacocks that are mingling with a herd of stray cats. Lots of messages appear in the console. The stray cats affectionately head-bump the peacocks. The peacocks eat bugs. I am informed of this bug by bug.

I decide that I need some food and find the attack command. I attack a peacock and get a menu where I choose the target body part, the attack method and the manner of attack (fast, precise, multi-attack…). I bite the peacock in the belly. “You latch on firmly.” I attack again, and this time have an extra option: “Wrestle using upper front teeth.” “You bit the stray blue peacock in the guts from the side, tearing it. The stray blue peacock looks sick!” I bite the peacock some more, and manage to get multiple simultaneous wrestling holds using my upper front teeth, my lower front teeth and my upper right front teeth.

Before I can press my molars into action, the peacock dies of blood loss. I pick up the corpse and check my inventory. Sure enough the peacock corpse is there, along with quantities of peacock blood contained inside each item of clothing I’m wearing. The peacock guts are still in my clenched teeth. I try to interact with them in an advanced way.

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