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Author Topic: [0.34.11] A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?  (Read 5251 times)


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Chapter 0: Introduction.

Dwarf Fortress has been around long enough that we can get nostalgic about certain forts, right? And then we can replay them to scratch that particular itch.

This is certainly the case with the (in)famous HorrorFailed the Battle Cannon of Hell, which I’m going to revisit in this thread here. I do have an ulterior motive, too: a dry run for getting on the overseer circuit - despite playing DF since 2013, I haven’t joined any succession forts, and I’d really like to. That said, this won’t be a succession fort; I’m the only Overlord - the succession has been done already and there's only so much ground I'm willing to retread.

(And also an ulterior ulterior motive: I need to get used to posting in a timeframe. At the time of publishing, the game play was already one month old - I played 4 in-game years, across 3 gloriously free post-Christmas days... and then I just sat on the draft, endlessly obsessing over every word. That's a bad habit which needs to stop).

Now, in the unlikely but still possible case that you’re somehow on this forum without having heard of the BattleFailed saga, I’ll do my best to introduce 4 years of gameplay to you, in a coupla paragraphs.

The BattleFailed saga was started on May 10, 2010, when Robocorn began, uh, BattleFailed. The series is sufficiently old that the original threads no longer have most of their pictures: many of the web-hosting sites that were used have since either gone defunct, or worse, have started charging money for access, and/or splattering watermarks everywhere. However, all this has happened before (and will happen again), so as the play progressed, various players have been compiling a backup document. If that statement seems a bit vague, it’s because I’m not sure WHO, exactly, has been doing the work; I’ve seen it credited to both Teneb and Deathsword. The archive in DFFD is uploaded by zuglarkun; that’s because the original doc was shared on dropbox, and when that site went defunct, zuglar had a local copy.

Here’s a link to the  original doc format; be warned that you’re looking at ~1200 pages and 140MB; them images add up. A pdf printout is also available; this one is a bit more compact, at ‘only’ 80MB.

The fort I’ll be playing is the fourth in the series. HorrorFailed the Battle-Cannon of Hell saw the light of day in August 17, 2012, courtesy of Teneb. The original thread, distinctly lacking in images, can be found here.

The save I’m going to start playing on has an issue; there were a few modifications on the raws, which have kneecapped Lazy Newb Pack’s ability to automatically change the tileset. As a result, the original download looks a bit janky, and I assure you that stone deeper underground looks even worse:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

A fix has been made, at some point, and I do have it in my laptop… but I couldn’t, for the life of me, find it in DFFD. If you know where it is, please let me know, so I can edit it in with proper credits.

As an aside, the group of seven who initially founded HorrorFailed is called the Mechanism of Insanity, from the civilization The Sacrificial Sword; that’s incredibly appropriate given the place where these mad bastards are trying to set up shop...

The fort itself lies at the border of 3 evil biomes. Fortunately for the dwarves, only the Western one is going to raise the dead. This makes me happy as well, because I’ll be able to actually bury my fallen minions; even in the context of a video game, desecrating corpses makes me uneasy.

Unfortunately for our dwarves... Well a lot of things are unfortunate for our dwarves:
  • All 3 biomes have aquifers running between soil and stone. These aquifers happen to overlap, so no amount of creative digging will allow me to pass between them to the stone below (*). This also means we have a fort which starts without a single stone or stone block. We do have some wooden blocks, made by Aussie for pump building purposes, but for me that just denies a few logs.
  • The south-eastern evil biome may not raise the dead, but it will occasionally spawn clouds of nefarious mist; these mists can then mix with the fetid muck of the western biome, and become certain death to any creature that is smeared by it. Zombies are occasionally spawned already smeared in “nefarious mist covering”, so no wrestling undead unless absolutely needed. This gunk can even kill vampires, as I found out in a previous play-through - vampires are immune to the ‘pure’ muck, it’s the mist that ends them. The mist clouds themselves are surprisingly survivable - entire sieges and migrant waves have passed through them with no ill effects; but if you see any blue-green tiles, it’s time to worry!
  • Of the ‘essential’ DFHack commands, “clean all” has become a mixed blessing in this fortress. I could argue that using clean all removes all the ‼FUN‼ of embarking in an evil biome, and that may even be true; but the reason I’m going to be sparing with this command is that it plays havoc with the nefarious mist - in my experience, calling clean all is the principal source of mist-muck mixing. I ended up finding this one out because, if lag-reducing measures are enabled, DFHack runs “clean all” every 3 months. I had to disable that... The end result is that dorfs will have to deal with any dirty spots themselves, and if this results in half of them walking through a tile with syndromes, they’re the only ones to blame.

(*) That’s almost true: there is a winding 2x2 path which can be dug in the top-left embark square, about as far inside the resurrecting biome as you can possibly get. It required ‘reveal all’ to find it, so I don’t consider it fair play. But I’m too much of a completionist to not tell you about it.

// edit: link fixes, general formatting, and moved the single pic from Google Docs to Imgur.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2020, 11:20:34 am by StrikaAmaru »
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A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2020, 05:47:30 am »

Chapter 1: Meet the Fort

The point I am picking is at the start of year 502; if the point seems odd, that’s because the initial embark, in the more-standard year of 501, has ended in That Aussie Dwarf losing the fort.

And let me emphasize this point: That Aussie Dwarf, the DF player who automated the mass-killing of the Legions of Hell, then punched through the impenetrable roof of semi-molten rock for the purpose of planting strawberries in Hell, has lost the fort. You know when I told you to panic if you see nefarious mist mixed with muck? Well this is why. TAD’s wave of migrants stepped in such tiles, and entered the fort while rotting alive; the resulting miasma clouds and deaths have collapsed the fort. You know you’re heading for ‼FUN‼ when.

Aussie’s deadfort has been uploaded to DFFD here . I’m really tempted to instead pick up  Gizogin’s save, where he reclaimed the fort, played the entirety of year 502, and left a surprisingly stable fort for the next overseer, Deathsword. I genuinely dislike reclaiming forts. But what’s life without a challenge, so the deadfort it is.

Embark Details

The embark profile is a variation of my usual embark profile, which in turn is a variation on the venerable DF2012 profile created by Capt’n Duck. It deviates in that I added one more miner with associated pick, in exchange for removing the anvil; without access to stone or magma, it’ll be a long time before the fort can make use of it; plus there should be another anvil from the previous embark (and at worst, I can buy one or salvage it from dead merchants).

On the animal side, I left behind the sheep; it is a risk, to cut off my source of wool, but in the first year I can’t feed them, so it’s better this way. I also left behind the dogs which aren’t powerful enough, combat-wise, to last in these biomes; at most, they’ll become extra zombies. In exchange, I added pigs, which don’t graze, and cats, because we can’t really afford to waste food feeding vermin. Hens and roosters complete the pet portion of the embark.

Which brings us to the dwarves. As previously mentioned, there are 3 dwarves with mining skills; of these, only one is a ‘pure’ miner; another has a point in all the doctor’s skills, and the third, who in a normal fort of mine would receive a full 5 points of masonry, has only 2 points of carpentry.

A fourth dwarf is a combined mason-stonecrafter, with 5 skill points in each; we won’t have stone right off the bat, but when we do, it will be during the aquifer plug construction, so speed will be important.

The fifth dwarf is a combined farmer, broker, and book-keeper; he or she will be exempt from all other jobs. Their duties for the first year will be to farm in spring, summer and autumn while seeds last; then, managerial duties take over. In the first winter, I’ll crank manager precision all the way up, and let them perform the detailed audit of all fortress wealth. I do this with all my embark farmers, because DF farming is sufficiently overpowered that it doesn’t occupy all their time, especially in the first year. The first winter is a great time to develop a detailed inventory.

The last two dwarves will be the nucleus of my military: a marksdwarf and an axedwarf, with those two skills cranked to 5, and a bit of dodging thrown in. Plus, the axedwarf gets woodcutting too, while the marksdorf gets a bit of ambush.

Overall Goals

In the first year of my play, it is absolutely mandatory to secure the incoming migrant waves. We need the workforce, and if we don’t, we’re probably going to end up ass-deep in zombies and/or ghosts, in a non-recoverable manner.

I’ll avoid building any permanent structures in the above-ground level (aka, exactly where Aussie has been building). It’s convenient in the first few months, but in the long run it became a source of immense frustration, because I needed to repeatedly mass-forbid & un-forbid the surface, and this chunk of the fort always gets in the way.

Aquifer’s going to be a right pain. I’ll do my level best to freeze that bastard out. That is another goal for the first year.

Trading depot should be secured by autumn, too.

And with all the plotting done, the next post is going to be some actual play.
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A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - Year 1, Spring
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2020, 06:45:42 am »

Year 1 (502)


1st of Granite. Even before letting the fort run, orders have been set up:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

(I‘m also adding a screenshot of the lower level, for the sake of completeness)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I established a meeting zone in the largest room I found, where the animals will be let to congregate. This will then become a pasture, after all the hauling is done, and the (hopefully) seven dwarves are secured inside the fort.

A small hospital was defined in the old bedroom area.

A wood stockpile has been set up at the entrance, right next to the carpenter’s workshop built by Aussie. Also, the axles visible in the screenshot will be marked for deconstruction as soon as I lock the fort.
A food stockpile has been set up in a room across the farm plot. A second food stockpile has been set up in the corridor between, and instructed to take only seeds, and no barrels. Seeds were then banned from the other pile.

Our military has begun! Consisting of a single squad with a single marksdwarf, named Tekkud, they… he… will be watching over the entry to the fort, until it is time to close the hatch.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

A downward ramp allows for access in the lower layer of the fort. I have no idea what purpose it was supposed to serve, it’s 4 tiles away from the proper fort entrance, aka, the entrance that can be feckin’ closed with a hatch. Regardless, the ramp will be floored over, post-haste.

By sheer luck, the old embark’s anvil has been scattered near the entrance. I’ll try to retrieve it; for this purpose I enabled anvils in the food pile. Although it will be a long time until it can be used, I want it in the fort.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

This is it. Time to start, and hope most essentials will be covered by the time the zombies start rising.

1st Granite

No sooner do I hit the spacebar, that a herd of zombie muskox spawn from the western edge; they’re leaving behind trails of nefarious mist.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

2nd Granite

The zombies started rising. Fuck. I really hoped I’d have more time. Mego’s partial skeleton has ambled towards the fort, and was unceremoniously one-shotted by Tekkud. That overwatch thing sure paid off quickly.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

All the corpses that can rise, are rising; I’m keeping an eye on the muskoxen and the undead nearest the entrance.

9th Granite.

The muskoxen have found the entrance, and were narrowly avoided. There was also a skeletal cat, which Tekkud tried to hit a few times, then finally shot right as it reached the down-stair.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The hatch has been locked. The anvil is still on top, nobody got around to moving it; this is fine, we’ll get it later. Food, wood and animals were more important anyway, and at least all the animals have made it in. The meeting zone is now repurposed into a pasture.

As my first move, I’ve enabled farming for everybody, until all seeds are in the ground. Then our farmer, Kikrost, will be exempt from all tasks except farming; he can farm until winter, as mentioned before.

Meet Kikrost.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Now the focus is on internal management. I reclaim all the objects, and corpses, that are within the old fort. Parts of it are still hidden on the lower level, and I do hope there are no surprise undead in these areas. Bits of dirt in the double walls are marked for digging; I’m not exactly planning for the long term, this portion will be abandoned anyway. For this year, though, the tiny room next to the entrance is getting expanded to maximum, and assigned as a book-keeper’s office. There’s already a chair and a table in it, built by the Aussie; it was certainly an office before this too.

Next up, I’ll start building workshops - butcher and tanner, kitchen, and a farmer’s (huh, that rhymes). Our wagon was pulled by a female horse and a mule. We’ll milk the two sows and the mare, then slaughter her and the mule; then the farmer’s shop gets to spin the hair into thread. A refuse stockpile is going to be assigned near the butcher’s, and a corpse stockpile will also be assigned in the same place. There is at least one dwarven corpse within the halls, and some animal skeletons visible on the lower level.
The last stockpile to be created is a clothes and crafts ‘pile. There are some dwarven clothes scattered inside the fort, and they’ll make a good emergency trade with the caravan… if we can secure their entrance by late autumn.

Some of the wood will get spent crafting hatches; then more exits will be dug out, away from the zombie zone. This should get me access to more wood. Onward!

23rd of Granite.
Interesting… the zombie muskoxen have stopped dragging that horrid blue gunk around. I don’t think contaminants ever run out, so I guess this was my welcome present from the fort?

27th Granite.
Zombie muskoxen left, and were replaced with zombie ravens.

2nd Slate.
It is raining fetid muck! In the desperate hope that I’ll get rid of the thrice-damned nefarious mist, I ran “clean all”; my hypothesis so far is that the western chunk “knows” it should have contaminants, so in the absence of its native muck, it went and generated the nefarious mist (for some reason - maybe because that’s rated higher somehow, either in lethality or just in index?). Regardless, now that the sky is pouring yellow snow, I hope to be rid of the blue dust.

I’m still not sure how to treat the clean all command; I think I’ll limit it to when situations are exceptional; in this case, I rule the exception was the game spamming nefarious crap all over the place. If you cheat with me, I WILL cheat with you.

Time to plot out the future of the fort. I went 3 levels down, where the aquifer lays, and sketched the limits of the embark squares using dig designations. This version of DF doesn’t allow players to just mark tiles with no intention of digging; that wasn’t added until DF2014.

Somewhere in one of the corners, I’ll dig straight down, and punch through the aquifer, by way of freezing it. Now I still have to figure out where; in technical terms, there are 9 candidates, not counting the edges:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

However the first two from the west (top and center) are in the goop zone; a central stairway is a crucial structure, and I won’t build it in a resurrecting biome. The real candidates for me are the central node (because central!) and the one in center-east, which is at least central on one axis and is further from the resurrecting biome. I’m really tempted by the center-east one, or [2,3] if we’re taking matrixes (math matrix, not programming - indexing starts at 1). Although it isn’t centered itself, it will allow me to make a neatly symmetrical fort without entering the resurrecting biome.

15th Slate
The gunk management technique seems to be working fine; the undead are churning snow and fetid muck in their mindless wandering around, but all of it is clear of mist.

Aquifer-punching will begin now. During summer, for about a month and a half, the map will unfreeze; it’s important that I finish the aquifer plug before then. For these purposes, I've spent some of the bones crafting more bolts for our one marksdwarf, and took all the miners off any jobs besides digging.

As soon as I have access to stone, I’ll build the depot airlock; then, come late autumn, I’ll have trade with the mountain-home. At some point, I suppose I’ll also be gathering more wood, and gathering up some of the corpses and garbage from the surface.

19th Slate
… Or, we can wait for all the bums to sleep. That works too. A single miner is awake, and will proceed with no marksdwarf support; I’ll be watching the area, and will recall him at the first sign of trouble.

21 Slate
Good news: the bums all woke up. Bad news: a miner got into a fight with a skeletal raven; the skeleton was gibbed, but it extracted its own vengeance: the dwarf was badly wounded, and blood loss swiftly claimed Kel Seedfurnace. He barely made it inside the fort:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

He was, incidentally, the miner with one point in all doctoring skills.

22nd Slate.
A herd of undead elks have entered in the north-west corner, far enough to not bother me. What does bother me is that they’re trailing nefarious mist everywhere:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Seriously, where does that crap even come from? I saw the map at reclaim, the entire biome to the north is muck, not mist. The mist should come from the south and east, dammit! I call shenanigans!

24th. At last, all layers above the aquifer have been channeled, and a ‘floor’ of down stairs has carpeted the aquifer itself. This has the side effect of nuking all ramps, so if anything from the surface wants to get into the pit, they’ll have to jump down. Or be fliers.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Time to channel this baby! Very, very, carefully.

27th. The Ghost of a certain Aussie has risen, and is haunting the fortress. This is a good reason to check for coffins, and find there are 3 already made - ironically under the rule of That Aussie Dwarf. I build all of them, and assign tombs for the two resident ghosts. TAD’s corpse was in the stockpile and he was quickly put to rest, but Mego’s isn’t in the fort; the other corpses in the pile are of ArmageddonCouncillor and one Innokneshast, a dwarf with no nickname.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

2nd of Felsite
The last month of spring is here; channeling has been done with no casualties. The winning strategy is to designate one tile per miner at a time, in the direction away from the fort; then let the miners dig one tile and try to return in the fort. Then immediately pause and designate another tile. This is, in my opinion, the best way to control dorf pathing. I could get even better time optimization by advancing gameplay one tick at a time (with dot instead of space), but ain’t nobody got time for that.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The only decision left is if I’ll build the walls out of wood, or if I risk flooding by waiting for stone, then stone blocks. It’s early enough that going for stone is not a terrible idea… I think I’ll build the corners first, from wooden blocks, then the rest from stone blocks. That should make good use of dwarven time, and also look quite pretty.

For the digging pattern, the stair itself will be a 3x3 with floor in the central tile. That center tile is a great place to build artifact furniture, and masterwork statues, and other thingamabobs that can be admired - the dwarves pass by it every time, and each one is a chance for them to get a happy thought. For the time being, I’m only digging a starway shaft in the top left corner; this way, even if I do end up flooding the stairway this summer, I can still drain the 7 tiles of water in 9 tiles of space.

18th Felsite
Erica’s ghost has risen. She seems to be watching our mason cut blocks.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

She won’t be assigned the last tomb, because we don’t have her body. I’ll also remove Mego from his tomb; without a body, his ghost is still around. I’ll appoint it to the next dorf in the corpse pile who’ll ask for one, by way of coming back from the dead. Probably Armageddon Councilor, or the nicknameless one.

26th. Where did all these ravens come from? The zelks must have left, because seven undead ravens have descended upon the wall-building workforce. Easily turned into proper dead, after temporarily enlisting all 6 dwarves then un-enlisting all but Tekkud the marksdorf, but he is our only casualty. He’s currently lying unconscious among dead-dead ravens, with three missing wall tiles, while everybody else has fucked off to eat and drink:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Being fair to them, I had restricted everyone to a burrow dedicated to aquifer piercing; they couldn’t go drink and eat until now.
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Re: A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 06:07:22 am »

The Lawyer opens a briefcase. It's full of lemons, the justice fruit only lawyers may touch.
Make sure not to step on any errant blood stains before we find our LIFE EXTINGUSHER.
but anyway, if you'll excuse me, I need to commit sebbaku.
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Re: A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2020, 05:05:17 am »


4th Hematite. It is now summer. The wall is complete, after a bit of frustration with the last 2 tiles - the masons would stand on them, then complain they couldn’t build. I had to cancel designations, and ask the miners to remove the ramp. This forced the masons to use the stairs, and the wall was built with zero complaints.

Also decorated with skeletal ravens and dwarven blood, but whatever. There is a built up-down stair in the top-left corner, where the solitary skeleraven is. I’m going to let people finish eating and so on, then build a roof over the area, and begin digging in earnest. We have 3 picks, and 6 dwarves. One is a dedicated farmer currently planting pig tails, one is the marksdorf currently in the hospital, two are already miners, and one will be the dedicated mason to convert all that stone into blocks. The last is the axedorf… I think I’ll make her the new temporary miner. There's a distinct lack of trees to cut at the moment.

13th. A new herd of muskoxen has arrived, in about the same place as the last one. Thankfully, this one isn’t trailing any mist. I’ve also noticed that the other herd has managed to trace mist across the biome boundary, where it is slowly evaporating/decaying: when it was first laid down, the blue trail was continuous. I now regret I didn’t screenshot the original trail.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Back to the fort: since there is no more risk of flooding, I assigned the full stairway to be dug. This should at least produce the needed stone for the roof. I’m going to keep some quartzite for mechanisms, I prefer making them out of magma-safe stone even when I don’t intend to use them for magma-related mechanics.

17th. Sometime in the last 4 days, the map thawed. In unrelated news, a porcupine has managed to aggro several undead right on my front door; this means I won’t be able to bring in the migrants through the old entry. I’m currently opening the entry on the top-side, the one which was already planned for wood gathering and building the airlock for the trade depot. (Note: this picture was taken at least 2 months after; I didn’t think to get one in time, and you can still see the bastards ‘guarding’ the entry).
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

24th. An oops has been observed: after thawing, the stairwell has become disconnected from the access tunnel; I built a floor tile over the water to remediate this issue. It only lasted this long because there were no idlers; the miners were in the shaft and had plenty to dig, and the rest of the fort was busily constructing a part of the roof using the block stockpile.

9th Malachite. Some migrants have arrived! Turned out to be four, and all of them made it inside. The only loss is a cavy pup, who got killed by a zombie cavy. Each of the dwarves is great (as in, level 11) in some trade - farming, crossbow-making, wood cutting, and trapping. With the exception of the farmer, they’re going at hauling and construction.

There are two zombies on the surface which are quite annoying - a skeletal horse, and the skele-cavie which killed the living cavy. Whenever I open a hatch, they make a beeline for it. And with the marksdwarf out of commision, sniping them is out of the question. Trying to beat a skele-horse to death will only result in failure and dead dwarves, so the only other option I see is trapping it until we get a decent military. This means mechanisms. Dwarves, get to the digging!

16th Galena. Not much has happened, besides vast amounts of hauling. Some of that was my fault - one of the food stockpiles I created at the start was also allowed stones, in the hope that there were some scattered on the surface. Now that decision has bit me, because the poor schmucks have started bringing stones from the stairwell all the way to the old fort; by hand no less, because that pile has no wheelbarrows assigned - it was originally a food pile, after all. Not damaging in any way, but this is still a bunch of time that was best spent elsewhere.

Also, the map has frozen back; we had pretty much 2 months of surface water, give or take a coupla days.

26th of Galena. Tekkud has died, in his hospital bed. I can’t say what killed him at the end, but I’m betting infection. Our medical supplies are quite low; the one we do have is thread, from the summer’s pigtail crop. A few bolts of cloth will be weaved, soon-ish. We’re nowhere near making soap, and we have no gypsum stone, or gypsum powder, or splints and crutches. I usually pick 5 gypsum powder bags at embark, but they’re still in the wagon’s spot; I guess they won’t be moved until I build a container in the hospital.

In somewhat related news, the trap corridor is nowhere near done, because during the past month our “honored diggers” (who, I remind you, are exempt from hauling) have found reasons to do everything except dig. At the moment, one is sleeping, while the other is on break. Across the entire month, they’ve dug less than 100 tiles, all of them in an 11x11 room. Which isn’t anywhere near done. Which is how I know they didn’t dig 100 tiles.

Summer is as good as ended. I still have to dig out the trap corridor, build a bridge on the external end, build all the traps, and the grate which will lock it from the rest of the fort.

I also need to plan and dig the trade depot room, and the airlock outside. The latter has got to be after the radar-zombies are trapped, while the former is going to be made in parallel with trap construction. Either way, I’m stuck until these two miserable idiots stop picking their asses, and go do their one and only job.
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Re: A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2020, 05:52:53 am »

1st of Limestone. Autumn has arrived! Diggers have started digging… in the stairway shaft. This seems like a great reason to stop giving access to that particular burrow. We have some stone up with us, so I disable access. Now they started digging the tunnel. Finally.

After the single, pitiful, trap tunnel is finally dug out, I create one bridge, 6 cage traps and one weapon trap filled with the corkscrews that Aussie wanted to use for draining through the aquifer. Everybody’s got masonry and mechanics assigned, so they should build this soonish. I also order 6 cages built from our rapidly diminishing supplies of wood.

25th. The trap tunnel is opened. The corpse of Gizogin made a beeline for it, and was trapped; he seems to be the only one, though; in particular the radar-possessing horse has settled far away in the south-western corner of the map.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I’ll wait a bit more, and cut all stones I have in blocks (minus 9 stone sarcophagi that I’ll temporarily build in the hall; a good and proper graveyard will be dug later).

While the mechanics are busy, the miners have not been idle: the future trade depot area has been plotted out, aligned on the vertical axis with the main stairwell. A small hiccup I had was that the exit airlock for the top-side area is in the way; but I got around that by digging a 3-wide tunnel to connect it with the rest of the fort. This will make it easier to seal it with a bridge, in addition to the bridge I will place at the bend. (Note: the picture is from mid-Timber, after all excavation was done; I dislike submitting incomplete work). … It belatedly occurs to me this looks vaguely obscene.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

5th of Felsite. Our pissant of a mason keeps wasting his time “attending meetings” with the expedition leader, who mostly seems to ignore him and go about her own business. Interestingly, he’s not unhappy, he’s “fine”. I guess he’s “fine” like the stereotypical chick is fine... As such, I assigned masonry to everybody, and cancelled the coffins. We’ll have a small trickle of blocks, which is still better than what this idiot is (not) doing.

13th Felsite. In the absence of more work to do, the woodcutters are allowed top-side to clear the 4 trees in the future airlock.

15th. Oh look, the skorse has found its radar, and has tried to get in. No damage was incurred, because I saw the dumb bag-o-bones, and the woodcutters weren’t there yet. I re-opened the trap corridor, and the skorse seems to be going there. I really hope I’ll be rid of the damn annoyance.

23rd. It took the skorse this long to walk into the trap corridor. Time to remove hauling off everybody, and build that airlock. There are some 3 weeks until the caravan comes and I have to make: 14 tiles of channel, 3 bridges, 2 bridge linkages (lever’s done already), 9 tiles of wall, and 10 tiles of floor.

As soon as the first dwarf, our miner and expedition leader Sigun, has set a toe outside, a flock of undead ravens assault her. In a move that will certainly get me skewered with happiness penalties, I draft all 9 dwarves in the fort and station them at the entrance. The undead ravens are slain, and happiness tanks. Kikrost, our original farmer and appointed beaurocrat thrice over, is miserable. Sigun and the other miner, Vabok, are very unhappy, and mason Dodok has sunk to unhappy. The other 5 are fine, or so they say. And seven dead ravens splatter the entryway.

Sigun is currently on bedrest, somewhat morbidly laying in the same bed where Tikkod died. She seems to be only blistered from muck, and shows no other injuries, and no sign of mist contamination. She should be back on her feet soon; I appoint nursing and diagnostic to everyone, hoping to at least give her a mood boost; I wish I could also clean the patient, but I don’t think that’s going to happen without soap.

28th. Kikrost has gone up to very unhappy, and has joined the bedrest crowd. Very briefly, as by the 2nd both Kikrost and Sigun are up, and rejoined construction.

… Shouldn’t we have migrants, some time around now?

2nd Timber
Five migrants have arrived! Unfortunately for them, they spawned on the muck. The only luck they have so far is having a hunter in their midst, who proceeded to two-shot a dwarven corpse; you can see the remnants of it:

Those who survive the zombies will doubtlessly be valued members of the fort. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the great armorer among them, the rest will be valued haulers (and I’m only partly sarcastic about that, btw, there’s plenty of hauling to be done).

10th. Four of the five get in; the only casualty is a jeweller named Caten, who died a few tiles off the muck; most likely cause was a skele-goose related incident. There were two animals brought with the migrants; both have died. A horse foal was slain on the muck, by a skeletal horse; not the radar-skorse, another skorse; radar-skorse is still caged. A reindeer calf has stepped in nefarious mist, and expired in the trap corridor while puffing miasma like a demented odorizer from hell. I forbade the corpse, because being a juvenile, it would not be butchered, and I don’t want it stinking up the fort (even more).

And the dwarf corpse that was shot, one Vukar Rallaven, has risen again.

15th. A caravan has arrived; very close to the entrance, so thank the RNG for that.

I hastily disable the “pull lever” command, which was queued after the “link this lever to those two bridges” commands:

18th. A kobold thief is found hiding in the ramps by the caravan guard. It is dispatched, and the corpse with all possessions will be crushed upon bridge activation.

The outpost liaison has come as well, and spawned about as close as the caravan, but in opposite direction. I asked the mountainhome for: all of the wood, animals that I intend to keep (sheep, hens, pigs, and cats), lye, charcoal, potash, pearlash, and silk thread. This also gives me two jobs for next year: breach the caverns for spores, and make sufficient trade goods to buy all of this. Call it the voice of past experience, but I’m confident I’ll somehow manage.

26th. All bits and gubbins of the trade airlock have been completed. And not a moment too soon, as a herd of skelks have spawned and are heading towards the same topside area, exactly where all the work should be done…

Well. With the bridges raised and the hatches locked, it’s time to trade. We have to offer 4 crates with the clothes of the dead, and 12 pieces of crafts made from the skulls and hooves of the two slaughtered draft animals. With a total budget of 4450☼, I bought all the metal bars, all the glass, all the fish (because we don’t have any; freezing biome, yo), one iron anvil (because ours are still on the surface, and I won’t take any chances), thread and cloth that weren’t dyed (because screw your overpriced garbage), two crates of leather, and some of the cheaper items: barrels, buckets, bags and sand bags, one bag of gypsum powder, backpacks, quivers, and 25 bolts. At the end, I’m left with 285 ☼, and a lot of hauling. Food first, please.
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Re: A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2020, 07:16:29 am »


1st of Moonstone. Winter is upon us.

I forgot to sell the totems. This is still a version of DF where totems don’t show up unless explicitly searched for (and also where totems do odd things when placed in bins - the entire bin becomes invisible to the trade menu, and doesn’t pop back up until the totems are dumped from it); together, they’re worth 170☼, so that would have saved me a few clothes. Ah well.

The liaison, as usual, picks a bunch of random crap to ask of us for next autumn; some of these I can’t trade, and some of these I won’t trade:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

13th of moonstone: In a shocking display of competence, the dwarves have finished hauling all food to the proper pile. Now six of our thirteen dwarves have nothing to do. I suppose my next priority is sealing the stairwell, and digging a proper fortress!

After the enormous herd of skelks vacates the premises.

20th. The skelks have left, and the merchants have embarked. They stayed for one month and 5 days, which surprised me a bit - were they not supposed to trade with us for exactly one month? Or was that just a turn of phrase?

A flock of zombie ravens has popped up; we can take them. I’ll move all blocks in the fort in a stockpile near the stairwell, appoint our military, and begin the sealing.

Goden and Logem are our new military. Goden was appointed squad leader, for reasons which I hope are obvious: “She never becomes angry. She can handle stress.'' Yes please!
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Logem is the hunter dude who briefly re-killed the corpse of Vukar. He’s a great dyer (level 11) so I guess he was looking for a change of pace, despite not being a risk-taker? Well worry not, my dude, we got you covered:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Both have just one level of crossbow skill. RIP Tekkud, with your glorious 5 levels that I bought on embark. It will be a while until you’re properly replaced.

Both have been stationed in the corridor that goes towards the shaft; neither has picked any crossbows, or quivers, or bolts. We have all of the above, and the squad has been activated. I am giving them one week, then regardless of their equipment, I’ll unlock the hatch, and they’ll station on the roof.

… In the meantime. I had an evil idea, which will potentially get me in trouble with the mountainhome: I want to use the caravan guards to clear the 3 zombie cages.

27th. The merchants have left the fort; my brilliant idea of emptying cages in their faces has fallen through. More disconcertingly, the merchants without wagons have decided to leave through the trap corridor:

If they die, I will not be responsible for their stupidity. In equal measure, if they die to zombie ravens, I will not be responsible for their weakness.

7th Opal. One merchant and his yak cow, who decided to leave towards the north unlike literally everyone else who went south (or was he scared off his path?), got slain by undead. He did take down two of the five ravens, and it was the skorse that did him in, so I’ll extend him some begrudging respect. His yak cow dropped right on the edge of the resurrecting biome, in a pool of muck and mist, so I expect she’ll get up and pay us a visit.

With this minor disaster done, I note at least Goden has packed herself some bolts, so the sealing will begin. The two marksdwarves are stationed on the roof:

 All goes well, until I find that the damn military dolt doesn’t know the meaning of “station”, and has cheerily (or the opposite of it) fucked off towards the zombies to pick a fight. Damn it Goden, I had hopes for you. The roof is two tiles away from completion, so I take a chance: I quickly remove the station command, and inactivate the squad. Having suddenly become a civilian, Goden returns to the fortress. It is at this point when the cancellation message informs me her trek was for equipment. Seems I need to forbid some things.

10th. Finally, we are sealed in. A pillar was built over the stairway to the roof; we don’t need it anymore, and the dirt wall will be dug out. The ice will be floored over, and the stairs on top of the stairwell will be fully built. Our stone fort begins here and now:

Now it would be the time to plan out a broad layout. The map is rather compact - the stairs have stopped in semi-molten rock at level 69, and the surface is at levels 117-118. Depending on how the caverns look, this might hamper my usual fort building style, where the fortress grows from a central stairway, and doesn’t reach more than 40-50 tiles in any direction. I doubt it though; even excluding the aquifer, the caves, and the magma sea, I should still have some 35-40 levels of pure uninterrupted stone to work with.

At the bottom of the world, a wall corner is warm rock, from level 73 downward. Somewhere around there, we’ll have our smithy. I’ve ordered four 21-long, 1-wide tunnels at level 75; once those are done, I’ll make up my mind.

Going back to the other end, immediately under the aquifer there’s a layer of fire clay. Damn shame it will still flood from above, though; the only tiles that can be dug without flooding the fort are the two below the wall and surrounding channel. At some point, a little alcove should be dug out, so dwarves can have a reasonably-spacious clay collection point; fire clay can be made into clay pots which don’t need glazing.

Below the fire clay, we have 3 layers of dacite and 5 layers of phyllite; these layers will be left for farm processing - food, thread, cloth, dyeing, wood, and bone. Next, there are 6 layers of quartzite, and below that, there are 6 layers of obsidian.

In terms of pure financial value, it would be better to set shop in the obsidian layers, as they’re worth double compared to quartzite; despite that, I think I’ll place the crafting and living areas in the quartzite layers; they’re nice and white, and genuinely look a lot better.

So, at level 105 where the quartzite begins, I have sketched the layout of the stone crafting area:

The top left will have a mechanics’ workshop, and two mason’s. The very top right is where the jeweler workshop and its associated stockpile will be, and the other two are either crafts or masons, as necessity will dictate. Separator walls are more of a guideline, and will be eventually removed - especially between the top quarters, where it gets in the way of having four 3x11 stone stockpiles. Lower right is where totems and bones are fed into the craftsdwarf shops, and right used to be wood, in my old plans - though wood and bones should really be moved higher, to the farming zone.

At level 100, where the quartzite ends, we’ll have the mayor’s rooms, and main living quarters; the side opposite the mayor can accommodate another set of large rooms:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Below the quartzite, the noble rooms begin. I intend to make full use of the whole “x2 bonus to value” that obsidian brings; all noble rooms are following this pattern:

This particular set is intended for the baron, which is why it is “only” 9x9; a higher-ranking noble would have larger ones; whatever meets the value. The good thing is, each room can be extended without bothering anyone and anything. The bad thing is, every set of rooms basically locks out a level. Unless I move the tomb elsewhere, and allow one quarter as access point for digging... eh, I'll figure it out later.

Below the obsidian, there is andesite with veins of hematite through it. I’ll surely be digging that hematite… after the smithy is dug out, and while it’s being smoothed out. Effective workflow management!

Then we have a truly indecent 13 layers of diorite, before we hit level 75 and rhyolite. This is where I’ll dig the exploratory tunnels to find the magma sea, if you recall. Hopefully, I’ll find it from above, and not, y’know, laterally.

And that is all I’ll plot out for now. The farming area, I think, is best done in its own section. I need the stone and metal a lot more than the eggs and meat, anyway.

With all the miners busy, this still leaves 10 idlers, in a fort of 13. This is unacceptable. It is time to get a few things from the surface, especially as the wildlife right now consists of an owl and a wombat. The “topside” burrow is extended to cover the 81 tiles from the bottom right, opposite the muck and the zombies therein. The marksdwarves are stationed, at first next to the entrance, and when they’ll come there, above the ground. All trees are marked for cutting, all items that are scattered around have been reclaimed. Let’s get everything that can be gotten. And as fast as possible too, for which purpose I went and disabled the wood and corpse pile, defined a dumping zone next to the entrance, and marked all items on the surface for dumping. Let’s just get them inside now, we’ll sort them out later.

25th. While the surface reclamation goes with no incident, the digging on level 75 has suddenly stopped: seems I have found the bottom of a cavern:

I’ll let the miners dig through the other three branches; it wouldn’t be the first time caverns and the magma sea coexist on the same level.

Incidentally, that yak cow from the dead merchant has been caged. The trap corridor has been unlocked when I allowed surface access, and has once again proven its worth as an anti-frustration feature).

27th. Vucar’s partial skeleton, from way up in the muck sea, has found his way into the trap corridor, and has been promptly demolished by our one and only weapon trap. I was informed by the combat log, and got a bit more scared than I should have by the sudden reports.

28th. Remember when I said caves and magma seas can coexist on the same level? This might be what happens here:

Despite the risk of punching into caverns way before I’m ready, I’ll go one level higher and see if a tunnel to the south is still hitting warm rock. If not, I’ll dig here, and channel a bit to see how the magma sea looks like from above.

3rd Obsidian. A cloud of nefarious mist has drifted nearby. Whatever.

5th. That decision might come back to bite me; Meng, the second woodcutter we have, has stopped woodcutting to rest an injury. When checking his wounds, I found out his everything, including bones, were swollen with blood. Note to self: screenshot things like this.

8th. And now Meng is fine, and back at cutting trees. Ok. Whatever, once again. I’ll leave you maniacs alone, and see how the magma punch is going.

10th. Very well, apparently. Level 76 has no warm stone (that I can see), and level 75 is now presumed above the magma sea. So I dig 2 more tiles southward, and channel the second; look what I found:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Then I immediately floor over the channeled tile. Don’t want any lava critters getting in my face. As for the mighty forge itself, it will look something like this:

A column of 8 enclosed workshops - 6 forges, 1 glass workshop, 1 pottery. In the common area, we’ll lay 8 smelteries; that’s about enough, believe me. From the smelters to the stairs, there are exactly 11 tiles, perfect for stockpiles of raw materials. Between smelteries and forges, the 3 tiles can be turned into small bar stockpiles. The glass workshop & pottery will have their own stockpiles down below, where there are no smelters, and off in the south-west corner, where I’ll stockpile glass, pearlash, and sandbags for long term storage. And lastly, adamantine will have its own dedicated area, not included here.

Still on the 10th. Back on the surface, we've ran out of nearby items, and the nice friendly owl has been replaced by 8 zombie ravens; I recall everyone from the surface. We have managed to retrieve several corpses: GoombaGeek, Erica Blank (both of whom were buried in our temporary coffins, thus putting their ghosts to rest), Sinterous who’s got a ghost running around but has no free coffin, and two unnamed dwarves. Which reminds me I should also plot out a certain nifty catacomb. We now have three ghosts: Vucar Rallaven, whose bodily remains are still laying by the weapon trap which re-killed his undead corpse, Sinterous mentioned above, and Mego, whose own remains are still in front of the old entrance, where dearly departed Tekkud shot him re-dead at the start of spring.

In less sinister news, we also have some 50-60 logs, and assorted bits and bobs - clothes, one crutch, bags and barrels, one rope and some animal skeletons.

It is also at this point I realize that I have disabled all jobs related to food and farming, except actual farming. There are no butchers, brewers, tanners, shearers and milkers active, and that’s only the jobs we use; obviously this happened at some iteration of “let’s get everybody working on this thing”, but now that we have idlers all around, these jobs can all be reinstated (for all except miners and farmers, obviously). And speaking of farmers, winter is nearly done; it’s high time Kikrost leaves aside the seeds, and performs that highly detailed audit of every scrap of anything in the fort.

The ravens have killed off the skunk on the surface, and are fighting the buzzards who replaced it. It’s not going well for buzzards, who are, so far, losing 8 to 1. One of their numbers has already risen, and more doubtlessly will, as the aerial fight happened above the resurrecting biome. Team zombie isn’t as dumb as the lack of brains would indicate.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2020, 07:36:45 am by StrikaAmaru »
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Re: A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2020, 07:48:40 am »

Year 2 (503)

1st Granite. Spring has arrived - calendaristically at least. For the dwarves, little has changed. There are still too many things to dig, and too few people to dig them. The ravens have won their little scuffle against the buzzards, as expected, and five of the fallen have joined their ranks. The smithy is half-dug, and the stone crafting area is also half-dug; for this, I blame myself. Once again, we have more idlers than is reasonable, so I set some bits of stone to be smoothed out.

18th. The undead have started pathing into the trap corridor; already, a horse, a skunk and a dwarf named Dodok have all fallen to that one weapon trap. I wish I’d have built that first in line, it would have been much better than the cages.

2nd Slate. Two things have happened in about the same time: an ogre has made his way into the weapon trap, and is getting repeatedly chewed up by it. And migrants have arrived, on the southern border, some 40 tiles away from the trade depot airlock. I am still waiting for the day when a phenomenally lucky group of migrants spawns inside those seven tiles of relatively safe surface. But until that day, these guys have done pretty well too.

6th. All migrants have made it in, with no incident. The ogre, repeatedly battered by enormous corkscrews, has finally expired. Once again, I forbid the corpse until it finishes rotting. Two of its buddies have then popped up from the eastern edge, unsettlingly close to the topside entry. Luckily, by that time all migrants were already in, with the last straggler being a juvenile donkey, who also made it in before the ogres caught up to it. Meanwhile, the last of the smithy is being dug out, among ceaseless cancellation spam complaining about rock being either warm or wet. I suppose it was inevitable…

7th. Ho! This could end very well, or very badly:

She’s one of the dwarves from the autumn wave. I had high hopes for her, since she’s level 11; though looking at the latest wave, I see she has some competition in the person of Lorbam, who’s just as good.

… How do you build a non-magma forge?

After the internet helpfully informed me it’s b-w-f, I ask dwarves to build one in the old disused craftdwarf’s pods by the animals.

While this is done, let’s allow for more hauling to be done, and look at the notable dwarves:

Mafol Thibamoslam, who is a great mason and engraver, will replace all the other dwarves at smoothing. As I usually smooth out all the magma channels, and any place where I will build a workshop, he’s going to grab a few levels here; he’s removed from all jobs, including masonry, and left to it.

Masonry is handled by Ustuth, a great mason as well; Dodok’s days of being the fort’s only mason of any talent are done. He’s lost his job, by the way, at least until we build a temporary mason’s workshop in the smithy, to cut all the stone into blocks - no need to haul all that stone forty levels up. Until then, he can haul with the rest of the peasants; I’d be kinder to him if he weren’t such a prick last autumn.

We have three great carpenters. I’m sure they’ll be doing some jobs, eventually; at the least, we’ll need to make beds, and a steady trickle of bins.

We have two crossbow-makers. I intend to make my crossbows from metal, so I’m not sure they’ve come to the best place.

We have a total of 5 woodcutters - two old ones, three fresh from the mountainhome. These guys will see use, unless they have good melee skills; then they’ll go in some military squad.

We have two hunters (not even slightly great; they’re both level 1). Until I get to military skills, they’re being removed from hunting.

One great mechanic, named Avuz. He’s been taken off everything else, and chucked in the stone crafting level, to make mechanisms until he runs out of quartzite. Then he’ll probably move on to orthoclase.

Two great armorers, as previously discussed, but no weaponsmiths or any other smithy skills of note. One glassmaker, for whom I may be able to find work.

Two leatherworkers and one weaver, who’ll be sporadically but reliably employed.

Regrettably, we have no doctors, of any sort; if any dwarves will really need treatment, it’ll be amateur hour.
On the useless end of the great skills, we have two cheese-makers, one dyer, one soap maker, one shearer, one fisher, and probably a few more that I already forgot. Most of them will occasionally get to ply her trade, but they’d better get another job. Except the fisher, he’s shit outta luck in biomes like these; he can fish all he wants, there simply aren’t any fish. I wonder if the cavern waters are a bit more fruitful… and I also wonder if it’s worth finding out.

13th. Athel, our fey mood armorer, has picked a single bar of rose gold and nothing else, then began her work. I’d say she’ll make some dainty ladylike craft from a dainty ladylike material, but she’s an armorer, so that’s out of the question.

17th. Athel has crafted a rose gold breastplate named SpellSilver, worth 69,000☼ and completely unadorned except for rose gold studs. The upside is that Athel herself has gone up at level 20, so our armoring needs are covered.

20th. The two ogres on the map have picked a fight with a skeletal horse right on the stairs of the old entrance; the horse was killed, but I presume some mist was involved, because the ogres aren’t doing so hot either - they’ve both collapsed in the 3-tile tunnel, and there’s a load of miasma coming off them. Personally, I rejoice that the map has one less skorse.

(list does not include 6 zombie muskoxen; they’re transient so I don’t particularly care for them).
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Re: A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2020, 08:53:55 am »


2nd. As summer begins, the dwarves find another surprise: the first cavern. Remember that hematite, which I said I would dig out while smoothing the smithy? Well…

On the plus side, the baby yak and donkey who came with the migrants now have a vague chance of survival, until they mature and get turned into meat cuts.

Given how much food is required by yaks, I assign a new pasture in an unused dirt room, and let only the yak in:

20th. While digging for more ores, the dwarves have found the second cave layer, by means of a “convenient” downwards passage; the passage has been sealed with floors at the bottom, and one wall tile at the top, thus leaving the layers between safe for digging and building, without any chances of intrusion. The first cave layer goes from 95 to 91, while the second goes from 85 to 83. This also means a good half of the (solid) layers are above the first cavern.

25th. The smithy has received significant attention in the ensuing time. The magma channels have been completed, and the future connection to the magma sea is waiting only channeling from above:

14th Malachite. Finally, after many silly delays, we punch through the smithy plug, by channeling from above. We’re going to let magma in the smithy. As far as I’m concerned, this officially makes us a dwarven fort. With this momentous occasion, we also spot some adamantine, way off to the south of the stairway:

Here are levels 75 and 74, almost the entire smithy, because my laptop just refuses to fit them on a single screen. I’ve also modified the smithy a bit, and moved the smelters down by 2 tiles:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Almost simultaneously, some migrants arrive… danger-close to a giant herd of zombie reindeer:

Welp, off through the trap corridor with the lot of you.

The migrant gathering process is executed almost perfectly; in the first stage, the reindeer seem to be heading west, away from the dwarves. Then they turn south, pretty much parallel to the course the migrants took; they still have not seen each other. Then fucking zombie ravens swoop in from above, scaring the dwarves and scattering them in all directions. The zombie reindeer (zeindeer? Zoindeer? Zeindeer!) finally spotted the living, and change course towards them. Once again, the hero of the day is a dwarf with a crossbow named Tekkud, an animal dissector by trade, who nonetheless has proceeded to put down one zombie raven, one zombie dwarf (Mosus Asenaral’s corpse), and one zeindeer cow. Things don’t look all that grand for him though: he’s being overrun:
and killed
.. right next to the entrance. He took down two more zeindeer, but close-quarters with giant ungulates has always been a bad idea. If only the actual ranger would have pulled her weight :<

Domas is a great marksdwarf, though clearly not the bravest given that she’s fled up the ramps, and has left Tekkud to fend for himself, and do all the work. Domas might have great skill, but she has no kills (hur hur hur). Regardless, I unlock the top-side entry, and hope she’ll make it in. She’ll get drafted anyway, so cowardice isn’t going to get her out of danger.

On to the animals - a yak calf, and a donkey foal, who are either scared off, or have fallen behind. They’re back towards the north-east; they might make it in if the zeindeer follow Domas, as they seem to be doing.

23rd. The yak made it, but the donkey was chased all the way up to the south-east corner on the topside, and killed. I think we can call the summer migrant wave a wrap. The fort numbers 44 dwarves, one of whom is a baby, born in the fort from the last wave until now. This means we had 8 dwarves this migrant wave, including the second dearly departed Tekkud.

On to the greats: we have a great miner, and Domas turns out to be an adequate one. Alath can go on and become our fourth miner, but Domas is headed for the military. You cannot escape, my dear. It also hasn’t escaped my attention this could be spun away into a thread of tragedy - a great marksdwarf, who’s grown tired of fighting, and has sought to make a new life; but her skill with the crossbow remains far more valuable than any skill she’s picked up since, so she cannot escape a life of violence… it’s the sort of story that writes itself. It’s also not enough to bend me to a different path, because we NEED a decent military. Domas is getting drafted, regardless of what tall tales I’m spinning about her.

In hindsight, it also explains the apparent cowardice: if she’s come here as a miner, she didn’t join in the fighting because she has no crossbow; a quick check in the inventory and yes, this is indeed what happened. Domas’ only tool is an iron pick.

Onward; we have a weaver, furnace operator, pump operator, gem setter, and fisher. For the last one, I can only say, HAHAHAHAHA! The others aren’t doing brilliantly either; with the exception of the furnace operator, I have zero use for them.

As another belated task that needs doing, level 88 has been picked as our (first?) catacomb. The design might give people headaches, at first:

… but it’s fairly intuitive: start with the crosses, then vertically join them in groups of 4. The stairway is itself a cross, and center to the entire ensemble - by which I mean it ‘joined in group of 4’ with all adjacent rhombs. This is a design I’ve been doing for years, in my forts; a variation is to use straight connections in the top and bottom hexagonal sections (where I bury pets, who are in all cases fewer than dwarves), but that’s not as pretty, as might be seen in this picture from another fort:

.. and in BoatMurdered, there will be plenty of dead dwarves. So no pet cemetery.

20th Galena. An ambush! Of kobolds, of all things! Is the fort’s fame that bad?!? At least the only thing getting ambushed are the walking dead. I won’t put any pictures, because they’re too spread out, but there are 5 of them, plinking arrows at the corpse of one Endok, and missing all the while.

21st. Another ambush has found, or was found by, a zombie skunk, on the top side, and were sufficiently compact to provide some good screenshots. This undead at least will remain dead.

Unrelated to the kobolds, I just noticed the original entry is unusable: it had a grate over that flooded downward ramp; that grate has been destroyed by the two ogres who killed the skorse a while back. The hole will need to be floored over, before I can start using it again:

Also pictured, the ghost of Mego, and the lever to the trade depot airlock… I should wall that off; I don't see many reasons to ever pull that lever again. But you never know, so I won't deconstruct it.

24th. While the brave widdle kobolds are going around on the surface, shooting every corpse that moves, I will return to my fort. Firstly, the rudiments of a marksdwarf squad are becoming apparent; the original two are suddenly the least competent marksdwarves in the fort:

They’ve been assigned a newly created uniform with metal armor and crossbows. It’s best to explicitly set them crossbows, so they won’t pick bows (which they will do if they happen to prefer those, or if they have no choice); because dwarves can’t shoot bows, so any marksdwarf who equips one is effectively unarmed.
A melee uniform is also in the works, identical to the crossbow one, but with weapons set to ‘individual choice, melee’.

// Edits: fixing pictures. TIL that imgur's "Copy Link" button is not suitable for Bay12.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2020, 09:03:51 am by StrikaAmaru »
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1st of Limestone. Autumn is upon us. This makes me realize two things:

Firstly, we have had no human caravan. That’s quite inconvenient, given that humans are some of the best trading partners in DF.

Secondly, we’re 2 months away from the dwarven caravan, from which I ordered a crapton of goods, and I made exactly fuck-all, in terms of trade-able items. To spare myself the embarrassment of either not having what to trade, or needing to deconstruct the depot, I’ll direct your attention to the stonecrafting area:

Right below the gems, there is an enormous (relatively speaking) stockpile of andesite. This will be assigned to the craftsdwarf shop, and our boy Dodok, who came in the embark wave as proficient mason AND proficient stonecrafter, has been removed from everything except stone crafting. He’ll sit in this little room, and churn out crafts, until we get the caravan. After that, I’ll think about it.

The giant pile of orthoclase is for the other mason, by now a grand master mason, to carve into coffins. The piles of quartzite will mostly be made into doors; quartzite doors are lovely, they have excellent contrast; and we are overflowing with mechanisms already.

6th. We have around 20 idle dwarves; in a fort like this, I’d consider this a failure on my behalf as overseer. So we’re planning something in the first cavern layer:

You get weaving, and you get weaving, and you get weaving, and you get weaving, everybody gets weaving! Until we run out of silk, or it’s time for the next hauling session, or something perilous comes to the cavern, you! Get! Weaving!

9th. Screw you, game. Seriously, screw you. Not two days after I punch through the cave, it slams me with eight troglodytes, right where the dwarves are working:

I hastily recall everyone in, and resolve to do something else with dwarven time.

On a lark, I go to the stock menu, and check thread; some of it will be on the surface, but we seem pretty well appointed:

We’re doing less amazingly on cloth; the stock there is so small, I could tab into maximum details mode:

Meanwhile, I turn my attention to the food and animals.

New areas for grazers and farms are being planned and dug in, between aquifer and quartzite.

Level 113, 2 down below the aquifer, becomes the food processing and non-grazing animals level. The two red tiles are wet fire clay and probably aquifer, so by sheer coincidence, the rooms are exactly as big as they could be:

All this stone will be dumped, and food stockpiled in the open area. The rooms above are for all poultry, and for pigs. Also at this level, the butcher and tanner shops will find permanent location - possibly off to the side of the stairwell - and walled off. I should have included that in the planning, and kept the natural wall.

The level below will be a wide open room, and occupied by plant processing. This is where brewing and thread processing will occur, and where the stockpile of empty barrels and pots will be.

3rd Sandstone. Some migrants have arrived. Oh you poor buggers:

I’m more concerned about the dozen zombie ravens than the one often-dead corpse of Vucar, seen in that picture.

And with good reason: the ravens have descended on a single target, an unfortunate woodcrafter named Stukos Oderith, and have killed him.

All the dwarves are running around like a bunch of headless chicken. The military has been summoned at the entry to the tunnel; hopefully, they’re not so cave adapted that they won’t take some shots.

Amid this entire clusterfuck, a bone carver named Tekkud becomes possessed by unknown forces. Well you sure picked a great time, buddy. Better not want shells.

A tanner named Asmel has died as well; I don’t know when or how, but he’s in the ‘missing’ list.
The animals are succumbing to the mist; it remains to be seen if any dwarves will follow them to the grave.

As the marksdwarves, unarmed as they may be, have very effectively killed off the ravens, the coast is clear for a new batch of animals to spawn. But the RNG is a bastard, so I’m getting another enormous murder of zombie ravens. Ugh.

Alright, everybody off the surface, I’m not dealing with this shit right now.

Tekkud, meanwhile, has descended to the crafting level, and claimed one of the newly-built craftsdwarf shops in the bone carving area. He grabbed a single bone, and got cracking. This also gives me a great opportunity to show the bone carving area:

The left hand of cat! If that were dog bone, I’d have had a potentially blasphemous pun! The only thing worth a crap about it!
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
While all this silliness was going down, the clock kept ticking, and the fort has reached the 14th of Sandstone. Don’t ask me when exactly in the week has each event happened, there was too much job cancellation spam for me to dig through. I should reduce the notification level, now that I think about it.

The trap corridor is filled primarily with animal corpses, and one re-killed kobold zombie. I dismantled the cage traps before the one weapon trap (not visible under the two ogre corpses) and also floored over that one missing tile in the old entrance.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The hoard of dwarven corpses is being hauled to the catacomb. The temporary graves from the dirt level have also been dismantled, and if I don’t move fast enough, I’m going to see some ghosts that were already put to rest re-emerge into the fort. This might happen, because the surface is clear of any hostiles except the undead ravens and that one dwarf corpse that gets killed on every migrant wave, just to rise again. It would be a good time to gather more crap from the surface.

...Actually, how are those trogs in the cave?

The troglodytes have left, and nothing has replaced them! New plan: I’ll lock all exits, close the bridge to the trap corridor, disable all burrow restrictions, and let dorfs pick silk, and haul corpses. Let’s see how this goes.

16th. Asmel Ikuddumat has been missing for a week, said the game on the 16th, so at least I know he died on the 9th. Still no idea where.

I’ve come to a realization about the game’s “auto-collect webs” order: it’s really fucking dumb. In terms of implementation, not utility. What happens is, the first cavern is split in half by a sizable body of water; when setting auto-collect webs on, this twit of a game is picking webs from the inaccessible side of the cavern, then spams me with cancellation orders. To fix this, the order will be disabled, and replaced with manual assignment to each loom. Those are a bit saner, in that they check for path availability.

With most nearby webs collected, I add designations for some trees, exposed gems and hematite next to the entrance. After the silk collection ends, I’ll deconstruct all the looms, save one; when patches of spider web appear inside the fort, it will get the manually requested collection job.

18th. A hunter cannot find path, times a million. This is a good reminder to get them off hunting. A large flock of buzzards, living this time, have joined the zombie ravens above; this is what madam Lor FortressRhymed tried to kill. I can’t get all that angry at her; during the migrant arrival, she did engage zombies until the squad got in position, and she killed four zombies total: one barn owl, two ravens, and the ever-resurrecting dwarven corpse of Endok.

2nd Timber. I have to make a correction: all web-collecting algorithms are prone to the pathing bugs. I’m getting the same silliness from the manually-set orders, too. You can also check the cavern from maximum zoom, which still cuts off a strip from the top; my laptop screen just isn’t tall enough to fit four embark squares.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

8th timber. Late autumn. I have made a crucial error: I piled dwarven corpses in the alcove to the catacombs, before the sarcophagi are ready. Now rotten dwarf miasma is permeating about 10+ levels in each direction. Ooooops.

13th. The caverns are no longer safe; a cave crocodile is loitering on the south of the collection zone, and a new large batch of troglodytes has spawned in the south-western corner. The crocodile is the main danger, but it’s moving extremely slowly. I’m keeping an eye on it.

15th. The caravan is here. That’s it, we’re closing the cavern. Now let me see where that liaison has spawned… very conveniently, actually; close to the topside entry. That one gets opened, and the liaison makes it in the fort. Now to close that cavern.

20th. Cavern closed. The next step is to move all crafts (and totems!) to the trade depot. This will take a while, as I neglected to build a stockpile for them, or to craft bins.
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I remember Horrorfailed. This should be interesting.


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Re: A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2020, 09:10:12 am »

In terms of pure financial value, it would be better to set shop in the obsidian layers, as they’re worth double compared to quartzite
It's even better than that, actually - obsidian has triple the value of ordinary stone.
P.S. If you don't get this note, let me know and I'll write you another.
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Re: A Nostalgic Trip Through HorrorFailed - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2020, 11:56:57 am »

In terms of pure financial value, it would be better to set shop in the obsidian layers, as they’re worth double compared to quartzite
It's even better than that, actually - obsidian has triple the value of ordinary stone.

The baron's quarters will be dope, then.

Too bad obsidian is so dark; I'd really rather see well, than have ridiculous room values.
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5th Moonstone. We have 4079 ☼. Let’s trade! Bars, glass, and wood already ate 1181; mostly the bars. The sheep and pigs are 220-225 each; sheep are the priority. I got all 4 ewes and all 4 rams, and a smattering of other animals; this left me with fairly even trade:

I don’t see why she’s so happy, but whatever.

10th. Remember last year’s abortive silliness with emptying cages of undead in the faces of the merchants? We did that this year. It was a total success. The merchants closed shop on the 16th; if I were role-playing this properly, I’d have said that was what ticked them off.

With this out of the way, we have a catacomb to build. Turns out, through my own stupidity, I’ve built coffins of varying rocks, not just orthoclase as I intended. No matter, I’ll sort them by hand on build. All the coffins you see there are either excellent or masterwork quality. The lesser ones will be either sold, or used for pets.

Two chambers are reserved for tombs. You can probably guess which, the doors are a good giveaway.

26th. A handful of ogres have appeared on the surface, and killed Endok Letmoskeskal oft-resurrected corpse. This is notable as it happened off the resurrecting biome, marking an end to his endless returns to unlife. He was also the last of zombie dwarves on the surface; we are left only with the ghosts, and I’m sure you can guess the fate of those:

As a wounded dwarf from the summer migrant wave expires to infection, all available corpses are buried, and three ghosts are put to rest. This leaves us with three more ghosts, two zombies, and one continued turtling session, because I am not messing with Mr. and Mrs. Ogre.

17th Opal. Why is my tree farm full of buzzards?

Well crap, I still have some entry in the fort available only to fliers… I have no idea where it could even be. Until then, the military is summoned to shoot the glorified chickens, and hopefully not die. If they die, the catacombs will need to be extended, I suppose.

The buzzards are entering through the depot roof. This is a bad design:

Specifically, the bridge on top lets fliers by its edge. A helpful buzzard has just demonstrated that for me, right before it was shot to bits. It will need to be deconstructed, and replaced with a solid floor. Which is what I do in my other forts, come to think of it, but this time I was in a hurry and underpowered, so I took a shortcut. Now, this has turned into an aesop about the evils of taking shortcuts.

Still, it could have been worse. It could have been a titan, or some such.

4th Obsidian. On the cusp of the year end, I should go over the farming area. It went through some changes, compared to the initial sketch. The top level, for instance, has been split between sheep and pigs; the reason I did this is that in DF pigs can be milked, unlike in real life, and the initial placing by the meat stockpile would have made queuing jobs to the farmer’s workshop into a right pain - either I leave the ‘shop in a single place and keep hauling sows, or I build workshops in nearby locations, and run the risk of hauling animals between them anyway. This way, I knocked down the dividing wall, and made 3 farmer’s workshops; these are the only ones that will have milking and cheese making enabled. And shearing+spinning, for the sheep.

On the left, the underground farm, with assorted seed pile. Aboveground seeds have been banned from this pile, and a second farmplot is being built as I write this. It would have been built even faster, but the spot needed a dirt road on top first; tree spawn, y’see.

I still have no idea what to do in the right-side. The lower-right is the tree farm; not terribly large, it’s 44x31, and above-ground trees in this biome are quite sparse; presumably, this also reflects underground.

On level 113, we still have poultry, and the food. The former pig pen has been turned into a combo butcher’s and fat storage. A soap workshop has finally been built as well:

112: is the plant processing level - thread plants on the left, booze plants on the right.

And 111 is where the cloth processing will happen. It’s not even planned yet, but this is where it’ll be.

5th Obsidian. The last two buzzards on the map have left; one of them has been killed by an undead kin. They were replaced by a porcupine, so this seems like a great time to fix the roof.

13th. The porcupine was joined by three ogres, just as the bridge has been dismantled and the floor designated. This leaves us with a fully open way into the fort. Greeeeat…
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 02:50:08 pm by StrikaAmaru »
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Year 3 (504)

It is the first of granite, and we are still huddling inside our own fort, with the surface owned by three ogres.
6th Granite, year 3. Two of our starting dwarves have made a lifelong commitment:

Really, weddings are sufficiently rare in DF, that this is genuinely notable.

We also have 3 births, in very quick succession (what did happen 9 months ago, to prompt this much… happiness?) We’re now at 55 dwarves, thus expecting a mayor. Some of the clothing is getting tattered, and the cloth pile at level 111 is still not designed; in the very near future, I’m planning to grab some clothes from the surface. Meanwhile, the future mayor’s rooms are set to be smoothed out.

10th. Yay, the ogres have left. Time to build that roof! I temporarily forbid everything on the surface, ensure everybody’s got the mason skill turned on, and let the beards get to flooring. This results in 18 idlers, so I tentatively unforbid some of the nearest items. Then as building ended, I unforbid everything, and open the old entry too, for better traffic speed.

23rd of granite. Some migrants have arrived. That was flippin’ fast, man! They’ve come on the west side of the map, almost on the same line as the old fort entrance, and across a chunk of the goop sea. This might have been problematic, if there were any significant numbers of undead around. But there aren’t; there’s only one restless dead that’s not a ghost - a barn owl far off to the north. The biggest worry are the animals; they did start puffing miasma as soon as they set foot inside, and I assign all adults to be slaughtered. This means two horses, a mule, and a yak cow.

5th slate. With the exception of the mule who got successfully slaughtered, all animals have succumbed to infection. So far, both horses, the yak cow I mentioned, a buffalo bull, and two rabbits have been done in. The only survivor is a pet gander.

10th. Vabok Ustnil, original colonist and uber-legendary miner, has succumbed to infection. I’m a bit puzzled; did he die to goop, or was there an older, untreated wound that finally caught up with him? I presume the second, but I can’t overrule the first, because he had very poor or absent clothing - his old duds have worn out, and he might have been in the process of changing.

It’s getting increasingly harder to manage dwarves with names only. When playing my own forts, I’d give them nicknames based on their profession, like I did with the marksdwarves. But that’s kind of ugly, and makes a mess of burial epitaphs, so I’ll avoid it as much as possible. I’ll try using custom professions, which is going to be new to me.

14th. As a result of the spring cleaning, we retrieved the body of Endok; it was interred this day, and his ghost has been put to rest. This leaves ‘Mego’ Rodemril, who does have a partial skeleton in the fort and it’s even been brought to the corpse pile, but for some reason nobody’s burying him. So here I am, with a corpse and a ghost, and no clue.

(I later found out the corpse was itself the problem; when checking in the stock list, it was listed under corpse parts, not corpses. So although we have a chunk of Mego, we can’t bury him properly. Slabs it is…)

13th Felsite. The elves have arrived. This seems like an excellent occasion to gather all the worn clothes discarded across the fort.

19th. The clothing was gathered, and trade initiated. All the rags are worth 2369 ☼, apparently. It is also not enough; in a shocking departure from their usual crappiness, the elves have actually brought in some goods worth buying! I cancel the trading menu, and order every craft we have brought to the depot.

I bought: one dingo for a zoo, one yak cow, which will be slaughtered soon-ish, all booze and barrels, a few bags of sand, one bag of rope reed seeds, the cheaper splints and crutches… and 17 bins of undyed rope reed cloth. Our cloth making industry has just about been rendered obsolete, before it even started.

Needs caffeine to get through the working day.
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