Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nobody Tosses A Dwarf

I feel like I've finally gotten to the point where I can say I'm accustomed to Dwarf Fortress and it's ridiculous interface. So much in fact that I've finally been able to build my magnum opus of architecture...


This has been my most successful, most well protected fortress yet. Although I've had fortresses with higher populations, only Beebattles has proven to be a true bastion of Dwarven civilization. The layout was based off a bedroom design I found on the wiki, and expanded outward from there, resulting in the plus-sign shape of the final product. Here, you can see the dining room, most of the stockpiles and workshops, arranged around the first eighty bedrooms like a ring.

Closer to the entrance we find the food stockpiles, including our supply of booze. As you know, the stereotypical fantasy dwarf loves alcohol. These dwarves take that one step further by being physically dependent on the stuff. If they aren't constantly drunk, dwarves will start to work more slowly, taking more breaks between jobs and generally just getting easier to get upset. Even babies who were just born yesterday will need a drink every now and then. In this same area you can see where I deviated from my original layout and started to build however it suited me. Those sprawling, tentacle-like tunnels lead to the beehives, housing our population of trained killer bumblebees who numbered in the hundreds of thousands by the time it was all said and done. The hives are protected with grates in the ceiling, allowing access to the surface without letting in any unwanted visitors.

That means anyone who wants in has to go through the trap-lined hallway. Only despair waits for them there.

Our defenses our two-fold; first are the weapon traps, symbolized by the red spikes, ^. Almost all of these are loaded with huge serrated saw blades, with at least three each, sometimes even more. Now guess what the result of a goblin stepping on that is. Did you guess a shower of blood? Because you would be right. During sieges, it's common to see arms and legs messily separated from their owners and thrown in every direction at high speed. It's a hassle to clean up afterwards but so satisfying to see the invaders burst like overripe melons.

The other set of defenses are the cage traps, symbolized by the green spikes, ^. These capture hostiles without actually harming them and you might notice, are deployed before the weapon traps, so casualties are minimized during sieges. I know I said earlier how satisfying it is to see goblins hacked apart by the saw blades. But the truth is I like to keep as many of them alive as possible... they can be taken to a special stockpile in the back of the fortress, stripped of their clothing, weapons and armor, beaten to a pulp, then either locked in the dungeon or thrown in the arena. The horrifying funny thing about this is that we've actually come to rely on the frequent sieges to supply our population with much needed supplies. Why forge your own weapons when the Goblins come to deliver theirs in person? Why make your own clothes when you can just wear what the Goblins came with? This is especially handy because clothes wear out over time. So unless you have an organized textile industry you'll have plenty of Dwarves grumbling about the tattered rags they're wearing. But not Beebattles, we're practically overflowing with troll fur robes and cloaks.

In general, I devote the layer immediately below the workshops and stockpile to housing. And these bedrooms are almost always arranged in a tessellated pattern, to extend the beehive analogy even further. Ordinarily nothing else it built on the bedroom level, but Beebattles in an exception. Every so often, we station our military in the aforementioned arena, visible at the top left of the screen. Then, one at a time, captured goblins are thrown in to be slaughtered. This has the duel purpose of getting rid of unwanted prisoners and increasing the soldier's skills in combat. The original plan was to have a huge monster living down there, like a minotaur. But no such creature ever came by.

It's a shame, no doubt about it. But remember: Goblins are dying horribly nonetheless. And at the end of the day that's what really matters.

On the same Z-level as the apartments are the farms. That's where the real party's at. Here is were we grow our precious plump helmets, a kind of small purple mushrooms. These can either be eaten raw, cooked (which we never do), or brewed into Dwarven Ale. Naturally, almost all of what we harvest is rendered into precious, life-giving alcohol to fuel the fortress. Although you might be wondering why it looks like half the farms were flooded at some point and abandoned.

Well that's because they were, but it wasn't my fault. Back in the original run of Beebattles, we didn't have the insane number of traps we do now. So if there was an especially large invasion the Goblins they could just throw huge numbers of soldiers into the blades until all the accumulated gore gummed up the mechanisms and rendered the traps inoperative. Then they could just climb over the bodies and ransack the place. This was how Beebattles was destroyed the first time around after all.

In any case, a couple trolls chased a cat into the farms and must have gotten lost down there. In their dim-witted rage, they smashed open a floodgate used to irrigate the land, immediately flooding the whole farm with water from the river. By the time I noticed what had happened, it was already too late to fix it. Sadly, I don't think the trolls drowned afterwards.

Meanwhile, the land outside has been transformed into a hellish wasteland. And I admit, it's partially my fault this time. Partially.

We tend to keep our livestock outside where they can graze. Yes, this usually means they're more vunerable to attack, but I neither have the space for them, nor do I particularly care about the well being of the animals migrants bring with them. But during the rare peaceful interludes without invasions, all the animals we've accumulated are busy eating the local flora, resulting in a lifeless, overworked layer of clay on the surface. Combine this with our ceaseless lumber operation and the result it a flat, barren field. Utterly featureless, if you ignore the huge mounds of dead bodies around the entrance.

It's not like I'm going to leave all those dead Goblins inside. Instead we dump them in not one, but three of our special refuse stockpiles where the birds can pick at them. So not only are there no plants to be found in this desert wasteland. But there's countless numbers of blanched bones strewn about, with buzzards flying overhead at all times, as if there weren't enough warnings about how unfriendly this place was already.

But that's not all. Later on, we breached the first cavern layer and got a visit from the most underwhelming Forgotten Beast in the world.

The Forgotten Beast Fimere Recicirono Tise Lafo has come! A gigantic blob composed of snow. It has a round shell and it undulates rhythmically.

Fortunately, the only way into the fortress from the cavern was a hole in the ceiling we used to dump trash in. Since it was too high up and our uninvited guest couldn't fly, he was basically stuck down there, brooding and shaking his frosty fist in impotent rage.

In any case you can see him at the bottom left side of the screen, he's the 'B' standing at the edge of the uncovered cavern.

Eventually I decided Beebattles was more or less complete. It was time to take what I learned there and apply it to even larger, even more deadly fortresses in the future. I retired as administrator there, with an ending population exceeding one hundred and fifty.

But in the meantime, I decided to take a look at some of the fan-made modifications to the game. These would typically be things like new weapons, or tweaks to the existing content. Some of the more ambitious projects add completely new creatures to the game. With that in mind, guess what's living in my game now?

Oh nothing...JUST DALEKS.

Say hello to Dale Hatespeech. His hobbies include quests, tomb raiding and genocide. As of this writing he's killed over three-hundred sentient beings and not once has he felt any remorse for his actions, not even for the time he exterminated an entire Kobold civilization over the course of a single night.

Is it wrong to introduce an advanced alien menace to a Medieval fantasy world? Absolutely, but I'm still gonna do it anyway.

Well that's all for now. But know this: I've only just begun to enact my evil schemes for this world I've generated. By the time I'm done I expect the whole planet to be engulfed in flame, inhabited by nothing but Daleks and Dwarves. Perhaps it's time to enact the next stage of this plan...something to the tune of Operation: Drain The Ocean.


linda said...

I can't imagine the time it has taken to build this !! It is rather awesome to behold. Don't think I want to take my vacation there anytime soon though. lol

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