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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Dwarf Fortress
delirium happy
rho
It has been a long while since I have updated. this has mainly because my life for the past couple of weeks has been almost entirely consumed by excessive playing of Dwarf Fortress. For those not familiar with it, this is a wonderful little game which I think is best described as a cross between a roguelike and The Sims. With dwarves. In a fortress. And it's free.

Rather than extolling the virtues of this game directly, I shall tell a little story from my current fortress.

At the start of any expedition to explore new territory, mine new mountains and create a new fortress, there are always seven dwarves. No more, no less. Nobody quite knows the reason for this, but this is the way that things are.

Obviously, with such limitations, these stalwart seven will have to perform multiple tasks. Maybe you want a cook who can also run a brewery. Possibly you want a mechanic who also dabbles in stone-crafting, or a mason who can also work as a carpenter.

For this particular expedition, I chose (amongst others) a proficient miner who was also a competent architect and had rudimentary skills at judging objects' worth and judging other people's moods. While his primary duties would be digging out new underground structures and mining for valuables such as gems or metal ores, he would also design buildings when required, and would act as my outpost's broker when trading with passing caravans.

My other dwarves decided that he would make the perfect leader for the expedition and, when we arrived, for the outpost. This was fine by me. He performed his duties well, and quickly rose through the ranks to become a grand master miner. Then, one fateful day, he was deep under the surface doing a spot of exploratory mining when he came across an underground river. Hurrah! Unfortunately, living in this river were several frogmen and lizardmen, and a rather vicious giant olm which he got into a bit of a fight with.

With all the strength and toughness he'd built up swinging his pick, he did manage to emerge victorious, but not unscathed. His left leg was severely mangled, and a blow to the head left him with permanent brain damage (only fairly mild brain damage, admittedly) and he was confined to bed.

I replaced him in most of his duties. My bookkeeper took over as broker. A peasant who had arrived with a group of immigrants was drafted in to help out with mining. My dwarves just wouldn't let me replace him as their leader, though. Apparently they were loyal to him or something, because as a brain-damaged cripple, he certainly wasn't very good for the role.

Time passes. He still can't get out of bed. A trade caravan from the Dwarven homeland arrives. My new broker conducts the trade admirably, but with the caravan came a liaison who was only interested in speaking with the outpost leader. He went up and stood by the leader's bed, just waiting for him to be able to get up to conduct a meeting. He didn't.

Time passes. He still can't get out of bed. The liaison is still waiting for him. My settlement grows. New immigrants come along, filling my corridors with the bustle of many busy dwarves. With the increased population, they decided that it was time to have a proper mayor, rather than just keeping with the leader they'd had since the start. They immediately appointed the brain-damaged cripple as mayor.

Now, despite the fact that he'd not managed to get out of bed for about a year at this point, he started to get ideas. He was a mayor now after all, and it was only right that a dwarf of his stature have the appropriate trappings of office. He started complaining that he really needed his own personal dining room. Quite why he needed this, given that he could only eat whatever food other dwarves were kind enough to bring to his bedside, I don't know. I figure it must have been something to do with the brain damage.

Time passes. I build him a dining room. I start to feel sorry for the liaison officer and have a chair put in the bedroom for him to sit on. I build the mayor a dining room. The dwarves hold a mayoral election, and re-elect their bed-bound mascot. Another trade caravan arrives a year after the first though this one has no liaison with it. Presumably, they're all too busy sitting by the bedsides of brain-damaged cripples. Still, my mayor can't get out of bed.

More time passes. It's now been about two years since the initial injury. Suddenly and unexpectedly, my mayor decides that his leg has finally healed and leaps out of bed. He walks straight past the waiting liaison and goes off to do some mining.

Shortly after this, my dwarves hold another mayoral election, and vote him out of office. Instead, they elect a wrestler.

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My coworkers are staring at me, I am laughing so hard.

Either this is a subtle metaphor for Ken/Boris, or I need more sleep...

I have a few long stories, but I only have time for a short one.

The first time I decided to tap into a magma vent, I built a long tunnel leading to the magma, then sent one miner in alone to tap out the final stone. Unfortunately, he didn't outrun the onrushing wall of lava quite fast enough, and was engulfed and killed. Luckily I had made sure he was my least valuable dwarf (a completely unskilled peasant), so it wasn't a big loss. I immediately forbade the other dwarves from going near his (lava-encrusted) carcass.

So, the lava gradually crept its way towards my waiting smelters deep beneath the fortress. I would check on its progress periodically in between making sure there were enough mushrooms for the other dwarves to eat and organizing defenses against a belligerent tribe of monkeys. Then I got a message about a dwarf "dying in the heat". I switched back to the lava pit and, sure enough, some random dwarf had wandered into the lava's path. I forbade his corpse and possessions as well, and decided to keep a closer eye on the proceedings from then on.

Later, while I was in the middle of repelling a goblin attack, I got another message about someone dying. Repeat the same procedure again. For the next little while, I spent every minute watching the pipe to figure out what the hell they thought they were doing.

I saw one solitary dwarf run into the tunnel and speed off towards the lava. I paused the game and checked on what he was doing. Active labor? Cleaning. Looking at the lava flow, it tended to ebb and recede a bit as it crawled through the tunnel, and as it receded it left behind a pile of crusted ash and rock on the floor. The dwarves had decided that this was unsightly, and were rushing over to clean it up. I made that guy a soldier and sent him out into the fresh air to clear his head.

The second time I tapped a vent, I built hatches, put them over the stairs, and locked them. No more dwarf deaths due to OCD.

I start to feel sorry for the liaison officer and have a chair put in the bedroom for him to sit on.

And that didn't give me a gigglefit in the least. 'Course not! Hee.

that kind of looks fun, cept the ascii art sort of hurts my eyes.

I used to play a game sort of like that about discovering america. lol. I always let my villages die of the pox or something.

It is a lot of fun! The ASCII is a little bit impenetrable at first, but I found I got used to it pretty quickly. Though if you don't like the ASCII, there are user-created graphical sets for it. Like this one for instance. I've not used it myself, but it does look pretty good.

Personally, I quite like the ASCII, since it means I get to imagine the whole thing any way I want to, and write goofy stories like this one.

If you are interested, this is a decent guide to getting started.

this is the kind of thing I began playing with, and I'm used to it, so I can easily see how this might suck me in...

I suck at this. 4 of my dwarves have died, and one pitched a fit, tossing everything we owned all over the screen.

Yeah.. lol. I read the how-to. I think it's more an issue of me not understanding the interface. Hitting enter repeatedly sometimes doesn't make a thing execute. The keys are confusing. I'll try again.

Wow.

Based on the sheer amount of awesome contained in this post I'm going to have to start playing this. Too bad I'm quickly running out of free time...

I was pretty much about to write the same thing. A beautifully executed post.

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