Dwarf Fortress: Relentless Assault
"Legends tell of a golden age, long past, when dwarves faced only the goblins. We traded peacefully, they say, with the humans and even the elves... sounds like bullshit to me!"
Relentless Assault adds 8 new civilizations and heavily modifies all four non-dwarven stock civilizations. Most civilizations are now hostile siegers. While there is some static here, owing, I think, to the RNG and what civilizations your fortress site is close to, in general you will be attacked by progressively more dangerous enemies:
Relentless Assault also includes two friendly races:
Small and armed at most with crude wooden cudgels, frogmen are usually only a threat to very young fortresses. But while they are the weakest of the dwarves' enemies, they're also the first, able to strike within the first year.
At a frogman funeral, the Frogmen crouch in a circle and stare at one another. At a Frogman wedding, they crouch in a circle and stare at one another. Their amphibian brains aren't capible of experiencing affection, or joy; they do not create or understand art. The only things that seperate them from the animals are the simple tools they use and their habit of attacking any species more advanced than themselves. Dwarven folklore says the frogmen attack out of envy and resentment; the frogmen say nothing.
Physically, kobolds are not much more dangerous than frogmen. However, their copper weapons, while simple, tend to be pointy and therefore much more deadly. Like the goblins, humans, ogres, and giants, they will kidnap babies, and their armies are sometimes led by members of other species.
Straddling the line between beastman and civilized creatures, kobolds relate to the world primarily through theft. They steal babies as well as valuables, and are often the minorities in their own cities. Both their gods and their lives are simple, dealing mostly with aspects of the natural world. For reasons they keep to themselves (as their langauge is unintelligible to outsiders), kobolds prefer to build their largest settlements over caves.
Lizardmen use shields, light armor, and a variety of copper weapons. They're also bigger than previous enemies, and have a powerful bite attack that makes their wrestlers nearly as dangerous as their armed soldiers.
If the relationship between the civilized creatures and frogmen approximates that of amphibians and mammals generally, then the lizardmen can be seen as the reptiles' representative. Like the frogmen, lizardmen have strange, alien minds and rarely experience emotion, let alone show it. But compared to the amphibians, the lizardmen are crafty and vicious, larger and with sharper teeth. Lizardmen usually worship demons, who tend to channel their already avatistic ways into outright evil ones.
Mostly the same as vanilla, except with less armor, relatively more size and a minor boost to speed.
Of all the civilized creatures (civilized here refering to those willing and able to talk to beings outside their species), goblins are the most evil. Like other evil creatures they usually worship demons, but are unique in their habit of forcibly converting any outsiders they can capture to their way of life. Most goblin civilizations are located in isolated corners of the world, held in check more by their habit of killing one another than any outside forces.
Almost all elves use bows, making them a uniquely deadly enemy. Since they aren't able to use metal, this is an obvious strategy for them--what else would they do, come after you with wooden swords?
In ancient times, the elves were counted among the civilizated races, paticipating in trade and diplomancy. But while the gnomes claim to still have diplomatic ties with them, the elves long ago declared war against the other civilized creatures in the name of the forces of nature. No elf has so much as spoken to a dwarf in centuries, and quarter is neither given nor recieved.
Far taller than any dwarf, wearing decent armor and wielding various iron weapons, the humans would be a threat even if they were mindless beasts. Instead, they are among the most intelligent of non-dwarven races and are able to avoid simple traps.
Individually, most humans are decent folks, and it is not unheard of for the occational dwarf to patronize human taverns and meadhalls. They lack the ecological fanaticism of the elves and the feral savagery of the beastmen. Instead, the humans are all-too-civilized. To their often vast empires, any land not already under direct control is considered undeveloped wilderness, ripe for expantion. If said wilderness happens to be inhabited the natives are ignored when possible and killed when necessary. As far as humans are concerned, there is no stopping progress.
Bigger, stronger, and in particular faster than almost anything out there, werewolves specialize in running things down and tearing them to bits. Their extraordinary agility allows them to dodge traps as well. Fortunately, werewolves are lightly armored and lack ranged weapons, making them easy to dispatch--provided you keep your distance. If you must fight them in melee combat, focus on the leaders as they flee more quickly than most enemies.
Without the influences of their demon masters, werewolves would be little more than animals. As it is, they do have a crude culture, centered mostly around endless power struggles, most of which are resolved through violence. They delight in cruelty and perfer to eat their food alive. Most werewolves make a home in tundra, but they will happily expand to any lowland.
These are like big, dumb, ugly humans. And I do mean big--half again the size of humans, and well over twice as big as a dwarf. Ogres' skin is highly resistant to heat; they are even able to wade through molten rock without injury.
The ogres are unique in being basically evil but rejecting the worship of demons, instead favoring a pantheon of dark gods. This independent streak is one of their primary characteristics--dimly aware that they are both stronger and dumber than most civilized creatures they are rightfully wary of exploitation. Even so, they are a favorite target of both baby-snatchers and con-artists, and often serve as frontline shock troops in nations other than their own.
These tree-like beasts are nearly indestructible, massive, tireless, and able to withstand even deadly injury without faltering. Only strong and well-armed warriors should attempt to meet them in combat, although their lack of strong attacks and slow speed will at least allow your soldiers to survive melee combat for a short time.
When the forest spirits consider you a threat, they send the elves. But when they're really pissed off, they send treants. Most treants are only barely sentient, and even those who are old or powerful enough to have developed personality are noted for being extraordinarily slow in thought, speech, and action. (see also
The only thing worse than a big tree strangling you to death is an even bigger man swinging an ax at you. Giants wear steel armor, wield enormous weapons no other creature can even pick up, and are way, way bigger than you. They aren't stupid, either, and will easily avoid weapon and cage traps. Hopefully by this point you've either built effective defenses... or trained dwarves hard enough to fight an army of dudes who are bigger than whales.
Even moreso than the humans, the giants regard the world and its inhabitants as theirs for the taking. They are characterized by admittedly well-founded arrogance--their only intellectual peers are physically dwarfed by them, and their only physical challengers are either stupid or vegatative. Giants despise weakness and consider pleas for mercy to be personal insults.
will send a caravan in the summer. They use steel equipment effectively, but are very, very small; you should support them whenever possible. Gnomish caravans do not carry animal products, but will accept them in trade.
The gnomes are very aware that their survival is predicated entirely on technology and organization. At their best, gnomes are meticulous and rational. At their worst, they are paranoid and neurotic. Moreso than most civilized races they remain in touch with nature, but they are far too diplomatic and cautious to insist that others follow their system of ethics.
-Later, you may be visited by the MINOTAURS
. Their caravan will trade exotic animals, gems, and other goods in the fall but only comes to more developed fortresses.
While the beastmen often seem like incomplete or generally underdeveloped versions of civilized creatures, minotaurs are thinking creatures who seem to have had animal attributes crudely and randomly grafted onto them. For example, although their minds are similar to those of a man or dwarf, their lifespans are comparable to cattle. In reaction to this, their culture places a particularly low value on life. Minotaurs are noted for their recklessness in battle--if they must die young, they may as well die well.
Wealthy fortresses will have to contend with GREMLINS
. While small, gremlins are crafty, surprisingly tough and extremely quick, making then excellent thieves. You may also encounter WIZARDS
, humans who have mastered the arcane arts to bolster their defensive abilities and bring fire to their enemies. Their only peers are the dragons and titans of the elder days.
The dwarves are a little smaller than they used to be, and their caravan now comes in the winter, but they are otherwise unchanged. Enemies in general are more lightly armored than in vanilla. In some ways this makes things easier, but it also prevents you from fueling both your metal industry and your exports with dead invader gear. I was actually surprised how far this went to returning a feeling of scarcity to the game. Megabeasts are now a little stronger.
Relentless Assault currently consists of 8 files. Four of these replace existing Dwarf Fortress raws in raw>objects (creature_standard, entity_default, item_weapon and item_ammo); a backup folder is included. Of those, only entity_default contains new entries. Another three (item_relentweapons, item_giantarmor and creature_civgnome) consist entirely of new entries. The last, (world_gen) includes optional (but optimal) world generation settings and can either be ignored or placed in your data>init folder. Ninety-five percent of the effort for this mod went into getting all the civilizations to survive--it's not easy to get size 17 giants and size 3 gnomes co-exist for 300 years in a world where everyone is hostile!
-On medium maps, some civilizations may die out during worldgen. On maps smaller than that, some almost certainly will. Large maps are recommended.
-Do not try to generate a world with more than 60 civilizations, as it will cause infinite rejections. There is a worldgen.txt file included in 1.2 that has a prepared world generation set.
-Due to how I implemented two-handed weapons, some giant elite hammermen and all elite minotaur warriors will be labeled "Pikemasters."
-Strangeness of an unknown origin has been observed around HFS; should not be a threat to dwarves.
-----------------------------------------------------------As of 1.2, this mod is once again pretty difficult! However, players can delay some of the nastiest attackers by not trading large amounts of valuable goods. Conversely, if you buy out every caravan those particular nasty attackers will come sooner than ever!
| ||Graphics courtesy of Chariot's Alternate Civs Graphics Sets can be grabbed there or downloaded here. Every new civ has graphics except werewolves and treants, and they're pretty homogeneous anyway. I'm also very interested in feedback. If things seem too hard or too easy at a certain stage of the game, please, let me know!|
Deon has put together a pre-packed version of Relentless Assault with graphics, a number of additional minor mods, and some useful utilities. It can be found here.