23a:Dwarf fortress mode
In Dwarf Fortress Mode (also called Fortress Mode or Dwarf Mode) you are in control of a party of seven dwarves, setting out to found a new fortress in a mountain. You can dig out tunnels and rooms, build workshops and items, farm crops, hunt elephants, get hunted by elephants, find rare ore and gems, draft military and lay traps to defend against sieges and trade with other civilizations. Your fortress will grow as immigrants arrive and eventually you will start to attract nobles.
If you select "Play Now!", you will start with a party with a mediocre skillset and few food.
Otherwise, you can spend a number of points on your party's skills and equipment. You can also select a starting location. There are a number of suggested starting builds.
In any case, you will end up with seven dwarves, some wagons, mules and horses and the equipment you selected at the foot of a cliff face. Now you can issue orders to your miners to dig out tunnels, have your lumberjacks cut down trees and start creating a home in the mountain.
Your first challenge will likely be surviving your first winter.