Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dwarf Fortress: More of Your Stories

Here are a few more Dwarf Fortress stories sent in by you guys.

Oh, and before we get started, let me just mention that this is clearly all Devon Prescott's fault. I'd gotten an e-mail or two about DF in the last week, but Devon kept sending them, and that (and the PA forum thread) are what finally compelled me to download the game.

First off is J.R. Cabe, and his story is another example of how DF developer Tarn Adams is just playing in a different league altogether. Oh, and it's good to know as you read this story that dwarves can create "legendary" items which, while extremely valuable, have incredible emotional importance to the dwarf who crafted them.

Did I just type the phrase "incredible emotional importance to the dwarf who crafted them"?

My DF story is somewhat similar to Chris Lorenzen's about wounded dwarves and their at times conscientious brothers who bring them water and food when they are bed ridden. My story differs in how my miner and grower actually found themselves getting injured.

I was trying out a different build then my usual that involved cutting a straight shaft to the river, dropping down a bridge and then setting up farms on the far side of the river. With no time to dig out areas for my workshop until later, I had built starter workshops outside of the fortress.

The build worked pretty well and the only workshop I had left outside was my Craftdwarve’s Workshop in which I had my crafting-dwarf working on stone mugs to sell to the first caravan. Everything was running smoothly until two raccoons ran in and stole a pair of legendary mugs that my crafting-dwarf had created. This set my crafting-dwarf off on a ballistic path of murder and mayhem.

First up was my miner who was just trying to get a drink at the well--several injuries, but none life-threatening, thankfully. The crafting-dwarf shifted his sights to a war-dog, then a horse--who were both killed--and then mortally wounding a mule. That calmed his rage for a bit and he decided that a nap was in order, I figured the worst was over, but had I known what was to come next I would've locked him in his room permanently. After waking he destroyed several pieces of furniture that he was trying to take to their designated spots, he then chased my grower across the bridge to the farming area where he wounded him.

On his way back to the rest of the fortress he took his frustration out on the bridge crossing the river, plunging himself and my newly acquired blacksmith into the river. I literally screamed at my scream, "Drown you bastard" but alas the crafting-dwarf pulled himself out of harms way while my blacksmith was washed away downstream.

This game does all kinds of things in terms of interaction and behavior that I didn't think I would ever see in a game. And it's not even the focus of the game. Incredible.

Now, a story from Rob Kaye. A Broker, by the way, is the fellow who helps you get fair value when you trade with a caravan and also negotiates trade agreements.
Today, I got a Broker. A human caravan arrived. About ten minutes later, I saw the U's (humans) wandering the fortress. I started watching them, and they slowly zoned in on the Broker's OFFICE. Not his bedroom or dining room. His OFFICE.

The Broker SAT IN HIS CHAIR as they entered and I could just imagine them all talking. How cool is that?!?

And here's a second story from Rob Kaye.
So I finally got the magma forge going. Almost immediately, a metalsmith went into a mood and claimed the forge. Then he proceeded to gather materials from stockpiles in the main complex.

Now, understand that the lava river was over 200 spaces just to the main complex, with another 50 or so to the outside (remember that I made all my storage areas outside). All in all, he made EIGHT trips back and forth.

What did he pull as materials? 3 platinum ore, a schist block, silk thread, obsidian and jet stone and groundhog leather. Huh?

He made a toy boat!

Here is the description:
This is a toy boat. All craftdwaftship is of the highest quality. It is decorated with cave spider silk and encircled with the bands of Jet. This object menaces with spikes of platinum and Obsidian. On the item are images of Mangrove trees in platinum. On the item are images of dwarves in platinum. On the item are images of muck roots in groundhog leather.

And here's one more, from DQ reader Eric Poulton:
After an especially hard season (my only axe was being held by a guy who was bedridden after being attacked by gorillas and losing his right eye, my fisherman wasn't catching any fish, a lack of alcohol was leading to a bunch of very unhappy dwarves with a bad habit of going on tantrums and tearing down the trade depot, and when the first trade caravan showed up there was nothing for the colony to trade but some empty barrels), my miners finally hit the underground river. After a thrilling chase down a twisting tunnel with a wall of water close behind, things started looking up for my dwarf colony. They started a nice little farm that provided them with food, they scrounged up the resources for a new axe, the fisherman started catching fish (in the underground river, no less!), and they began setting up a floodgate system to keep the farm sustainable.

One day the fisherman was sitting next to the river fishing, his cat keeping him company, when all of a sudden an F jumps out at him. A message informed me that F stands for Frogman. The fisherman hightailed it as two more frogmen jumped out of the river. The dwarves raced to close the floodgates to protect the rest of the colony, even if it meant trapping the poor fisherman and his cat in the tunnel with the beasts. The fisherman was taking hits as he ran down the hall toward the floodgates. Blood was splattered all over the floor and walls. The cat may or may not have been killed by now. A dwarf reached the floodgate lever right as the fisherman reached the end of the tunnel, frogmen on his tail. The lever was pulled. Then something happened that has never happened in any game I've played before. It crashed and I lost the last six hours of progress. That's not the surprising part, it is an alpha after all. The surprising part is I immediately booted the game back up and started right where I left off, just looking forward to how I would do things better this time.

That's a great story with an unfortunate ending, but it also is a good reminder to save the game occasionally and back up your save folder.

I've been told that certain enemy creatures are smart enough to pull levers. Freaking incredible.

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