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Author Topic: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot] (Werezombie Cloning Tech (What in Armok's name?!))  (Read 130286 times)

ImagoDeo

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Regular updates on thread happenings!
  • 6/17/15: I have returned to DF after a lengthy hiatus and have begun to get caught up on the thread. My own experiments shall proceed as soon as I get another fort up and running with a higher pop cap. At the moment, I have one student in a rudimentary educative institution inspired by Staalo's method, but that fort is only secondarily for the purpose of DayCare Science, so a new fort will need to be constructed to test new theories. I'm most interested in finding a final solution for tragedy training and trying out some climbing possibilities.
  • 9/7/14: A breakthrough: visible sentient death appears to be the requirement for tragedy training. How did Staalo find out? ...don't ask.
  • 8/24/14: Staalo's training facility schematics have been posted. He's achieved the most successful daycare yet seen in the thread, although we're still trying to figure out a good way to train discipline.
  • 8/24/14: Skullsploder shared a nice method for handling food distribution.
  • 8/19/14: weird paid us a visit and threw out a random idea for a Dwarven Military Nuclear Fusion Reactor Thing. It needs a name, it needs to be tested, and we need moar power.
    • 8/24/14: UPDATE: The idea doesn't really work in its first incarnation. Weird provides a summary with some quotes here.
  • 8/19/14: Mimodo put together a nice summary of the various goals of the program.


The Overview

It's like regular childcare, except with more dogs, and less care.
Also, this is a horrible inhumane idea and why didn't I think of it.
Dwarf Fortress.
The only game where throwing babies into a pit with crazed dogs will be considered a beneficial concept.

Hello, and welcome to the grand reboot of the glorious Dwarven Child Care thread, which was one of the greatest and dorfiest things to arise from the chaos that was DF2012.

The goal: to generate supersoldiers strong enough to decapitate goblins with their little fingers, skilled enough to dodge dragonbreath, and hard enough to massacre every single member of their own family in a loyalty cascade withing giving one single solitary shit.

The method: by taking babes from their parents on or about their first birthdays and moving them into a special care facility furnished with all manner of soul-crushing but life-preserving features.

The results: None to speak of.



"Wait, what?!" you shriek. "No one ever managed to DO it?!"

Unfortunately, no !!scientist!! ever posted major results. A few of us managed to get experiments rolling, but not many finished, and most were unsuccessful for one reason or another. Feel free to read through that thread, though. Much was learned in the pursuit of the perfect Dwarf:

  • There are three main objectives:
    • Strip away emotional attachments and reservations;
    • Train combat skills and attributes;
    • Preserve life, limb, and just enough sanity to still call it a dwarf.
  • Various animals are useful for the task of training combat skills. Slow gains can be made by keeping the child in close contact with irritable birds like peacocks and turkeys, but the skill gain is very slow. Faster gains happen in the presence of larger, more violent animals such as bobcats, hyenas, and the like, but the fatality rate goes up proportionally.
  • Tragedy training can be accomplished in several ways, but the most effective seems to be attached to the constant injury from domestic animals such as turkeys, dogs, and cats in close proximity. A faster method, if practical, would be to drop sentient enemies from great height so that they explode within sight of the children, since sentient death is presumably more impactful on tragedy training than injury. However, a steady supply of elves, kobolds, and/or goblins is necessary to achieve this for many children over the long term life of a fortress.
  • Placing a twelve-year supply of food and drink in the child's cell is a simple matter and should be done before the child enters. It can be preserved on a single tile with a food stockpile placed underneath it. Vermin haven't been known to be a problem.
  • Preserving the child's socially-geared mental attributes (memory, social sense, intellect, etc.) requires sentient verbal interaction. Its value, in light of its impracticality, is questionable.
  • Simultaneously training swimming may be impractical.
  • Clothing was not found to be a serious issue.
  • Happiness was not found to be a serious issue.
However, much of this research may be invalid, now that the Dwarven mind is so much different.

So here is the challenge: go forth and !!science!!

Find yourself some innocent babes test subjects and place them into horribly cruel solitary confinement with ravening wild animals designed to destroy their souls a proper testing facility. Report back here with whatever information you gather, and together we shall forge warriors for Armok and for glory!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2015, 10:42:49 pm by ImagoDeo »
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Urist McVoyager

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2014, 09:34:34 am »

While I applaud the spirit of Science, the only results we really got out of the last one was mental scarring. While I'll admit we'll probably get a serious Discipline spike in the survivors (Which is useful as Hell now) I doubt we'll get much else out of this.
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gompasta

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2014, 09:52:32 am »

While I applaud the spirit of Science, the only results we really got out of the last one was mental scarring. While I'll admit we'll probably get a serious Discipline spike in the survivors (Which is useful as Hell now) I doubt we'll get much else out of this.

So your saying that apart from the useful stuff, there will be nothing useful? Cant argue with that logic.
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ImagoDeo

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2014, 09:57:59 am »

While I applaud the spirit of Science, the only results we really got out of the last one was mental scarring. While I'll admit we'll probably get a serious Discipline spike in the survivors (Which is useful as Hell now) I doubt we'll get much else out of this.

So your saying that apart from the useful stuff, there will be nothing useful? Cant argue with that logic.

Well, we won't really know until we try. I think a major discipline spike would be awesome, and any tragedy training would be icing on the cake. Throw in a few combat skill gains and you're really starting to see a long-term fortress survival plan: immune to siege by virtue of combat, immune to tantrum spiral by virtue of tragedy.
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Urist McVoyager

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 10:11:58 am »

While I applaud the spirit of Science, the only results we really got out of the last one was mental scarring. While I'll admit we'll probably get a serious Discipline spike in the survivors (Which is useful as Hell now) I doubt we'll get much else out of this.

So your saying that apart from the useful stuff, there will be nothing useful? Cant argue with that logic.

No, no you really can't argue with that logic.  :P And I'm not arguing against trying this, I'm just placing my prediction. That we won't get much else out of this but a discipline spike.
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Melting Sky

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2014, 10:56:26 am »

My gut feeling tells me the results will likely not be particularly useful in that for the amount of effort put in, you won't get much back but I could be wrong. That's what science is for.

The big problems I foresee are the risk to the fort caused by the chronically low moral of many of the mentally damaged children and the sever damage to the parents' moral caused by occasionally losing said children to madness or injury. You will also have children that will graduate with poor social skills and who will not do any work while they are busy being locked up in their "childcare" area until adulthood.

The big flags I have noticed for a dwarf going crazy have been attributes such as being prone to negative thoughts, prone to rage, prone to anxiety etc. You can have some dwarves that lose half their family and walk away from it with their mind intact and others that try to tear down your fortress because some goblins you shot, snuck off the map with a few of their masterwork bolts in their leg. I've learned to always keep dwarves that are prone to negative thoughts and fits of rage etc. out of the military. They generally aren't worth the risk and do better in less stressful rolls. They are also far more likely to tantrum and go mad rather than ever reaching the point where they "don't care about much of anything."

I guess it really depends on the type of training system you speak of whether it is likely to succeed or not. There are ways to train children without damaging them such as using misters throughout the fort to raise moral and simultaneously train swimming and its related stats. Generally I have found that maiming, killing or harming dwarves is counter productive and I leave that to the goblins and forgotten beasts rather than going out of my way to do their jobs for them.
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Urist McVoyager

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2014, 11:42:05 am »

Actually, considering what we discovered from the Hell we put children through in the old days, we're better off redesigning the whole thing from scratch now. Instead of locking the kids up alone, maybe just put windows in the crche, stick an arena on the other side, and have the kids watch the live training. That might build up discipline with less risk than the prison cells.
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Grey Goo

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 12:09:25 pm »

How about putting all children in same place and see which ones survive? Just remember give them nice furniture and food. Clothing is optional, corpses aren't...
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ImagoDeo

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 12:27:24 pm »

My gut feeling tells me the results will likely not be particularly useful in that for the amount of effort put in, you won't get much back but I could be wrong. That's what science is for.

The big problems I foresee are the risk to the fort caused by the chronically low moral of many of the mentally damaged children and the sever damage to the parents' moral caused by occasionally losing said children to madness or injury. You will also have children that will graduate with poor social skills and who will not do any work while they are busy being locked up in their "childcare" area until adulthood.

The big flags I have noticed for a dwarf going crazy have been attributes such as being prone to negative thoughts, prone to rage, prone to anxiety etc. You can have some dwarves that lose half their family and walk away from it with their mind intact and others that try to tear down your fortress because some goblins you shot, snuck off the map with a few of their masterwork bolts in their leg. I've learned to always keep dwarves that are prone to negative thoughts and fits of rage etc. out of the military. They generally aren't worth the risk and do better in less stressful rolls. They are also far more likely to tantrum and go mad rather than ever reaching the point where they "don't care about much of anything."

I guess it really depends on the type of training system you speak of whether it is likely to succeed or not. There are ways to train children without damaging them such as using misters throughout the fort to raise moral and simultaneously train swimming and its related stats. Generally I have found that maiming, killing or harming dwarves is counter productive and I leave that to the goblins and forgotten beasts rather than going out of my way to do their jobs for them.

Yeah, the new mentality will certainly make an impact on the children. There are two reasons: first, because some personalities may be totally unsuitable for the child care program; and second, because we need to find out if we can alter a child's hopes and dreams and personality traits through the process.

Children under twelve don't do any real work anyway except the occasional plump helmet harvesting and deconstruction, so they're basically useless and they can't be added to military squads without modding. This system is intended for long-running forts to train new generations of military dwarves against ongoing threats from goblins, forgotten beasts, etc. without having the tremendous losses associated with putting new recruits straight into combat.

The system is supposed to be designed to avoid harming the children in any permanent way except by removing particular portions of their personality and certain vulnerabilities that are counterproductive for combat and general fortress activity. The goal is very flexible and our ultimate purpose here is to fine-tune the process so that we can be satisfied with the result - not just to enact haphazard procedures and blindly accept whatever result tumbles out when we open the door after eleven or twelve years.
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Melting Sky

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 12:32:55 pm »

How about putting all children in same place and see which ones survive? Just remember give them nice furniture and food. Clothing is optional, corpses aren't...

The problem with that is it is likely to cause the very problem the dwarven daycare is intent on preventing which is moral crashes and tantrum spirals. From what I understand the point of dwarven daycare is to net some sort of gain to the fortress. By putting them all in the same room you cause the additional problem of all the children becoming friends in environment where those friends are going to be constantly getting killed. Generally killing dwarves and severely damaging the moral of the survivors is quite counter productive.

It always seems to me that time spent intentionally maiming and killing ones own dwarves would likely be more productively spent simply installing some doors, misters and a load of masterwork furniture and engravings if you fear a tantrum spiral. My forts generally run for decades and I have never seen a tantrum spiral.

To each their own. I'm always up for a good bit of science particularly since with the new version discipline is a huge thing so any research done into raising that stat will be very productive.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 12:43:39 pm by Melting Sky »
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TheOnlySolitaire

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2014, 01:15:43 pm »

Actually, considering what we discovered from the Hell we put children through in the old days, we're better off redesigning the whole thing from scratch now. Instead of locking the kids up alone, maybe just put windows in the crche, stick an arena on the other side, and have the kids watch the live training. That might build up discipline with less risk than the prison cells.

I want to add more to this thread seeing as I did my own experiments in the old version, and found a different method to be more effective, with a little more management.

But for now - just a word of warning - DO NOT USE WINDOWS, or at least make sure there is a z-level ditch in between the window and the fighting area.
I found that very regularly, children and animals would dodge through, or I suppose more accurately, into, the window, and then normally popped out the other side.

It played havoc with my early test subjects. One poor kid ended up having to fight three wild mandrills on his own as they dodged through windows from the adjoining rooms.
And one mandrill had to fight two kids at once. 

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Staalo

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2014, 01:17:12 pm »

I'm planning to build a Dwarven Boarding School again once I get a stable fort running in 40.xx. DBS was something I tried in my last 34.11 fort: it was a large enclosed space for all fort's children, complete with beds, drinks/food, tables and school uniforms (cloaks and hoods) in opposite corners. Separating all these was "the Classroom", basically a mild danger room with training spears poking at students every time they went from food stockpile to dinner table or from bed to booze barrel. Of course, some spent most of their days in the Classroom anyway, just dancing to the merry music of wooden sticks hitting bone.

The purpose of all this was to have all students reach Legendary levels in basic Dwarven skills (Fighter/Dodge/Armor User) before adulthood. That was the plan, at least; ultimately it failed because I didn't want to micromanage burrows everytime some student passed out in the Classroom with a broken wrist or two and needed hospital care. That, and some of the students were starting to dehydrate because the drinks stockpile didn't have enough barrels for 50+ students. The best students had reached Expert skill levels when the school was closed down.

In future version of the school I'm planning to include a mini-hospital inside school premises. And a much, much larger drinks stockpile, of course.
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ImagoDeo

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2014, 02:07:04 pm »

I want to add more to this thread seeing as I did my own experiments in the old version, and found a different method to be more effective, with a little more management.

Define 'more effective.' Did it accomplish the goals listed above, or do you think a different set of goals is more achievable/useful?

I'm planning to build a Dwarven Boarding School again once I get a stable fort running in 40.xx. DBS was something I tried in my last 34.11 fort: it was a large enclosed space for all fort's children, complete with beds, drinks/food, tables and school uniforms (cloaks and hoods) in opposite corners. Separating all these was "the Classroom", basically a mild danger room with training spears poking at students every time they went from food stockpile to dinner table or from bed to booze barrel. Of course, some spent most of their days in the Classroom anyway, just dancing to the merry music of wooden sticks hitting bone.

The purpose of all this was to have all students reach Legendary levels in basic Dwarven skills (Fighter/Dodge/Armor User) before adulthood. That was the plan, at least; ultimately it failed because I didn't want to micromanage burrows everytime some student passed out in the Classroom with a broken wrist or two and needed hospital care. That, and some of the students were starting to dehydrate because the drinks stockpile didn't have enough barrels for 50+ students. The best students had reached Expert skill levels when the school was closed down.

In future version of the school I'm planning to include a mini-hospital inside school premises. And a much, much larger drinks stockpile, of course.

With the change to dwarven skulls in .40 (they're no longer paper-thin), this may actually be the most workable and useful idea. If even children no longer suffer fatal injuries to wooden training spears, a realistic danger room environment may be the least exploity and most effective way to accomplish all of the listed objectives. Tragedy training through injury, combat skill training, and maintenance of sanity through quality booze and friendship and stuff.

I'm open to all possibilities. We're here to make this happen or die trying kill dwarves trying.
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Staalo

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2014, 03:00:42 pm »

With the change to dwarven skulls in .40 (they're no longer paper-thin), this may actually be the most workable and useful idea. If even children no longer suffer fatal injuries to wooden training spears, a realistic danger room environment may be the least exploity and most effective way to accomplish all of the listed objectives. Tragedy training through injury, combat skill training, and maintenance of sanity through quality booze and friendship and stuff.

I'm open to all possibilities. We're here to make this happen or die trying kill dwarves trying.

Funnily enough, there weren't any direct fatalities resulting from dancing lessons: not a single brain shot, suffocation or impalement. Over twenty or so got broken wrists, and one of those died of infection later. I think this was because all the students had enough cloaks and hoods available; I had them made by hundreds before I started the Boarding School project.

This kind of schooling might produce some unexpected results in 40.xx; certainly Discipline would be trained but I'm not sure how the new personalities would behave in what is basically a years-long combat situation.
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McDonald

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Re: Dwarven Child Care [Reboot]
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2014, 03:05:02 pm »

It was inevitable.

Thank you for reminding me of this. I'm surely going to try it soon. It is terrifying.

It is for the best.
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