So, I’ve played quite a few games of Dwarf fortress, in different starting locations. And I always start with the same 7 starting dwarves. I used to name them things like “Mine bone mech” and “Farmer brew cook,” so I could remember who did what. But in Scouredbridged, I’d become familiar enough with each of them that I didn’t even need that anymore. This time, I called them by number instead of profession.
Sure, it seems like a cold thing, to call a dwarf by a number. But it was even colder to call them by their profession.
1 and 2 began as miners.
3 is my woodcutter (not needed on this map) and blacksmith/weaponsmith/etc.
4 is a carpenter, mason, and sometimes a craftsdwarf.
5 is a butcher, tanner, leatherworker, and mechanic.
6 is a farmer, cook, and brewer
7 is the trader, record keeper, manager, and architect
By now, I have plenty more dwarves to do menial tasks, but these guys are the backbone of the whole operation.
So, while I’m laying down walls and traps for the “airlock,” several masons and mechanics get killed by kobolds. No big loss! They’ll be replaced by new immigrants.
The elves come to trade, bringing me much-needed wood. I throw a few piles of gem-encrusted obsidian crafts at them. They’re ecstatic.
And then the goblins attack. Goblins are less jittery than kobolds, more heavily armed, and less likely to run away.
With so many of my dwarves outside, carrying wood and other goods into the fortress, I can’t rely on the measly two layers of traps around the depot to keep my dwarves safe. Once again, I need a military. Ugh.
I grin as I watch the elves, who have no caravan guards, get slaughtered. (I think it’s hilarious how this game has made me hate elves.)
I order my jury-rigged military to stay BEHIND the two outermost layers of traps. Instead, they make a beeline for the goblins.
Wielding his iron pick, 2 runs forward and mortally wounds the goblin Olong Oldpoison, who falls to the ground and bleeds to death. Then, much to my surprise, a human springs “out of hiding” and sprints towards 2. A human? What’s a human doing here? Unshaken, 2 swings his pick at the human Hob Veiljacks, who also falls to the ground, slain.
While 2 is turned towards the human, the goblin Ngebzo Thinwraith sneaks up behind him and thrusts his sword though 2’s back. 2 falls and bleeds to death there on the ground. I pause the game. 2 was killed by a mere goblin? I’m stunned.
2 was a legendary miner AND a legendary engraver. He and 1, also a legendary miner and engraver, are responsible for mining out and beautifying most of the fortress. And, looking closer, 1 and 2 were married. I just killed 1’s husband! I feel awful.
Whoa whoa, wait. “I feel awful?” That’s ridiculous. Didn’t I just laugh at the deaths of the elves, and several of my own masons? What’s up with that? Do I… do I actually CARE that much about my starting 7 dwarves?