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This article is about an older version of DF.

Engraving smooth walls and floors will increase the value of a room. This is done by dwarves with Stone detailing labor enabled and uses the engraver skill.

Engravings are a good way to keep a record of the fort's history. You can view them with look + enter.

Engraving an area[edit]

  1. Press d to open the designate menu.
  2. Press s to select "Detail Stone".
  3. Move the cursor to a position on or near a wall and press enter.
  4. The spot you marked changes to a blinking green "+" indicating where the area you wish to engrave extends from.
  5. Move the cursor to any position, across the area you wish to engrave and press enter again.
  6. The wall tiles in the area you defined should blink with a light blue regular pattern.
  7. Wait for a dwarf to engrave the stone on the walls.

NOTE: You must smooth an area before you can engrave on it.

Art value[edit]

Engraved surfaces raise the value of rooms, depending on the quality and material of the engraving. Engravings only affect the value of the room on the side they were made on, though smoothing affects both sides. The value of smooth and engraved walls is considered "Architecture" under the "Fortress Wealth" table.

Value & content[edit]

A dwarf eating cheese

Quality affects what is inscribed on an engraving. Normal-quality engravings will never have the history of your fortress on them, and are usually about random things in the world. Engravings made with a quality of well-crafted and up will often contain pieces of historical information about your fortress' past. Engravers are inspired by the history of your fort and will use it in the engraving. Like when your axedwarf bravely held a crucial part of the fort and slew some goblins, your engravers can make a graven image of it.

The contents of engravings do not affect room value - the only factors that matter are the engraving's quality and the type of stone on which it was made.

Adventurers are able to view these by revisiting your old fortress (use l to look around, then a over an engraving you want to look at), and will see a much more detailed description of the engraved happening. The art and the story behind the engraving will show up in the legends mode.

Toggle engravings[edit]

Engraved walls and floors are represented by default with pictures on a gray background, sometimes making it difficult to differentiate between them. It is possible to display engraved surfaces as smooth ones with the "toggle engraving" option, with the difference between smoothed and engraved surfaces being shown by the engraved surface having a gray background, as opposed to the smoothed surface's black.

To change the display of individual engravings in-game, select "Toggle Engravings" in the designation menu (d-e) and select the area you wish to display differently (this has no effect on gameplay).

The display default is set in the init.txt file line [ENGRAVINGS_START_OBSCURED:NO]. Replacing NO by YES will cause new engravings to show as smooth surfaces.

Art defacement[edit]

A masterful engraving that is destroyed or defaced* will cause an unhappy thought in the engraver. (see the Quality article for details).

(* Mining and magma do the job nicely, though magma will only destroy floor engravings.)


  • If you engrave while under siege, it is quite possible for the battles to be depicted before the entire siege is over. This will mainly show single events that have happened during the siege already, such as deaths of certain creatures.
    • CHALLENGE: when you start to experience Fun, have your master engravers record it all in a completely sealed room. Make sure that they have plenty of space to record the Death of the Hold, as well as their own slow death by starvation.

How Dwarves Engrave[edit]

D4Dwarf.png This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, pop culture references, and references to the Bay12 forums. Don't believe everything you read, and if you miss some of the references, don't worry. It was inevitable.

  • It is a well-known fact that dwarves use their coarse, thick beards in order to smooth rough areas of stone. More skilled dwarves can engrave images onto stone, which has led some scientists to believe that a dwarf's beard is a separate, sentient lifeform in symbiosis with the dwarves. The dwarves provide the beards with nourishment in their spilled alcohol and food, along with the prodigous amounts of sweat working dwarves produce. The beards provide warmth, storage for goods and a pouch of sorts for baby dwarves.