Who Are These Purple Dwarves?
Nobles are special dwarves who will immigrate to your fortress when you meet certain requirements. They have far greater requirements for happiness than a common dwarf and will perform almost no labor in the normal sense of the word. They can and will make extremely inconvenient demands of your time and production and a few are well armed and armored, which becomes relevant if you ignore their happiness long enough for them to throw tantrums or go berserk.
 Social Complexity
Nobles add to the complexity and depth of the game. They give you entirely new levels of power and control over your dwarves at the cost of requiring you to pay more attention to their happiness. They are introduced into your game gradually, as you meet certain requirements, in order to stagger out the difficulty of accommodating them and to accustom yourself to the new options that open up with their cooperation.
 They do some work, after all
When it comes to actual work, nobles are dwarves with all labor options turned off. There are a few tasks that cannot be influenced by that menu, and nobles will perform all of them. For example: flipping switches, caging and chaining animals, carrying goods to the trade depot. They will also harvest plants if the option "all dwarves harvest" is set in the standing orders.
 Noble requirements
Nobles have significant requirements that must be fulfilled for them to be happy.
Each noble's profile will give the exact details of what he requires. In general, they demand several rooms of a quality dependent on the rank of the noble. Usually, this is an office (built from chairs), a dining room (built from tables) and a bedroom (built from beds). In addition, they will want furniture of certain kinds. The specifics vary, but most nobles like having chests, cabinets, weapon racks, and armor stands in their rooms.
Nobles have an inherent desire to maintain the status quo. Pursuant to this, they will always receive an unhappy thought if they do not have more material possessions and better property than their subordinates. Frustratingly, not even Legendary dwarves are exempt from this comparison with nobles. Nobles may also have worries or concerns related to their specific field. The Sheriff, for example, will receive an unhappy thought if you do not have sufficient cages or chains, and the Captain of the Guard will be upset if there are too few fortress guards.
Some nobles also issue mandates for production of different items (items they like personally) or prohibit their export. Nobles become upset if production mandates aren't met at the appointed deadline. These mandates seem to increase in volume as time passes, and they also seem to increase in number if the nobles are living in rooms that are below their standards.
 Guild Mandates
Once you have a mayor and one or more guild nobles you may periodically see another type of mandate. If a dwarf spends too much of a season idle or doing tasks outside their profession, they will become unhappy about the amount of work available and will seek out a meeting with their guild representative (if their guild is present). The guild noble will then take their complaints to the Mayor, who will issue a mandate the next season requiring a certain number of profession-specific tasks to be completed. These mandates can be avoided entirely by making sure all dwarves have plenty of work related to their profession; if you have too many immigrants in a profession you don't need, train them in something else until their profession changes or draft them into the military if you want to avoid them taking time off to complain to the guilds.
Finally, some nobles might demand a certain item in their personal rooms. They can demand a specific type of furniture, material, or both. If they don't get their wish, they will become more and more upset. Regardless of whether you have given them their demanded item or not, nobles will "forget about a demand" after some time.
Encrusting doesn't count for making an item, so the only way to satisfy a gem item demand is to build a window (- ) out of cut gems.
 Consequences of ignoring noble mandates
If a Mandate goes for an extended period of time without being met, and if your fortress has a jail (or restraints that are reserved for justice), a dwarf will be arrested and briefly imprisoned for insubordination. They may also (or instead) be given a beating.
In the case of production mandates, a dwarf with the appropriate labor preference will be punished; so, for example, if a noble asks for some statues to be built, and they are not built, a mason will be imprisoned or beaten.
If you sell an item that a noble has commanded you not to export, all of the dwarves who carried the forbidden item(s) to the trade depot will be punished. If any of the perpetrators are nobles, legendary dwarves, or champions, then they will be listed in the Justice screen as having committed Violation of Export Prohibition crimes, but no actual punishments will be given. Oddly, if the banned items were carried to the depot in bins and the bins themselves were not sold, then no dwarves will be punished (and the noble who issued the mandate will be unhappy that nobody could be punished).
Needless to say, punishments cause a lot of unhappy thoughts, especially in the case of long prison sentences. This can cause an undesirable cycle of tantrums on the part of the "criminal."
 Managing your nobles
On the Noble screen (), there is a colour-coded list of nobles and some basic information about their current mandates and demands. If a noble's name is white, that means that they are satisfied with their living arrangements. If it is yellow, that means that they have everything they need but one or more rooms are of lower quality than they expect. (For example, a noble who demands a Modest bedroom will appear in yellow on the list if all she has is a Meager bedroom.) If the name is in red, then something is missing: either a room (such as an Office) or an item (such as a Chest).
Mandates and demands are also colour-coded. Export restrictions always appear in white. Build orders and Demands first appear in brown, then move through yellow and red the longer they are ignored.
 So Why Not Just Drown the Snooty Buggers?
Despite their downsides, nobles usually provide you with significant advantages as well - the Broker will allow you to see the cash value of the goods you trade in the trade interface, the Bookkeeper gives you access to the Stocks screen so you can melt items or chasm them, and the Manager will allow you to place large-scale production orders for any item in the game rather than locating individual workshops and queueing up the jobs one at a time. Additionally, though most nobles "will not work" (according to the menu), this merely means they will not do any job from the official "jobs list." They will, however, harvest food, move items to the trade depot, pull levers, and, in some cases, move caged animals/monsters.
Killing a noble is only slightly worse than killing a normal dwarf: deaths cause your immigration to be lower, and noble deaths have a larger impact on immigration. Nobles that die are replaced in a later immigration season. If a Noble dies while his/her consort survives, the arrival of their replacement will result in multiple consorts. (Yes, they are multiplying. Be very afraid.)
 Types of nobles
The nobles available to a fortress include the following. Requirements for each noble are in parentheses.
- The Manager (20 dwarves, diverse tasks) - Activates mass orders, allows workshops to require a particular skill range, activates Dwarven economy when combined with Bookkeeper
- The Mayor (50 dwarves, diverse tasks) - Activates Fortress guard, enables Sieges.
- The Captain of the guard (promoted from Sheriff)
- The Governor (80 Dwarves, diverse tasks)
- The Philosopher (100 dwarves)
 Economy & trade
- The Broker (Exported wealth 500☼) - Attracts Human guild representative, allows seeing item values in trade screen
- The Trade minister (Exported wealth 2,500☼) - Attracts Human merchant baron, enables Sieges.
- The Guildmaster (Exported wealth 10,000☼) - Attracts Human merchant prince
- The Bookkeeper (Created wealth 5,000☼ + 2,500 coins) - Enables stocks screen, activates Dwarven economy when combined with Manager
- The Treasurer (Created wealth 25,000☼ + 15,000 coins)
- The Hoardmaster (Created wealth 100,000☼ + 50,000 coins)
- The Dungeon master (Dig to chasm + 25,000 coins) - Make electrum, tame exotics
 Guild leaders
- The Miners guild representative (have 10 miners)
- The Carpenters guild representative (have 10 carpenters)
- The Masons guild representative (have 10 masons)
- The Metalsmiths guild representative (have 10 metalsmiths)
- The Jewelers guild representative (have 10 jewelers)
- The Craftsdwarves guild representative (have 10 craftsdwarves and/or mechanics)
- The House råsh (Råshid) representative (have 100(?) dead dwarves)
- The House fer (Ferite) representative (have 10 trappers, 50 tamed animals, or complete 10 taming jobs)
- The House ber (Berite) representative (have 10 farmers and/or fisherdwarves, or complete 450 farming jobs)
- The Alchemist (complete 10 soap/extract jobs)
 Military order representatives
- The Order of the axe representative (Forge 50 axes)
- The Order of the crossbow representative (Forge 50 crossbows)
- The Order of the hammer representative (Forge 50 hammers)
- The Order of the mace representative (Forge 50 maces)
- The Order of the spear representative (Forge 50 spears)
- The Order of the sword representative (Forge 50 swords)
 True nobility
- The Baron and Baron consort (have Manager, Broker, and Bookkeeper) - Attracts Human and Elf Diplomats
- The Count and Count consort (have Mayor, Trade minister, and Treasurer)
- The Duke and Duke consort (have Governor, Guildmaster, and Hoardmaster)
- The King and King consort (have Duke and fulfill requirements or find adamantine)
- The Advisor (Comes with King/Queen)
 Summary of Requirements
|Noble||Bedroom||Dining Room||Office||Tomb||Chests||Cabinets||Weapon Racks||Armor Stands||Max Mandates||Max Demands|
|Manager||Modest Quarters||Modest Dining Room||Modest Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Sheriff||Modest Quarters||Modest Dining Room||Modest Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Captain of the Guard||Quarters||Dining Room||Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||2|
|Mayor||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||—||2||1||1||1||1||2|
|Governor||Fine Quarters||Fine Dining Room||Splendid Office||—||3||2||2||2||2||3|
|Broker||Meager Quarters||Meager Dining Room||Meager Office||—||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|Trade Minister||Quarters||Dining Room||Office||—||2||1||1||1||2||2|
|Guildmaster||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||—||3||2||2||2||3||3|
|Bookkeeper||Meager Quarters||Meager Dining Room||Meager Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Hoardmaster||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||—||3||2||2||2||2||3|
|Dungeon Master||Quarters||Dining Room||Office||Burial Chamber||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|House Ber||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||—||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|House Fer||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||—||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|House Råsh||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||Burial Chamber||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Mason's Guild||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Miner's Guild||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Craftsdwarves Guild||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Carpenter's Guild||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Metalsmith's Guild||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Jeweler's Guild||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Alchemist||Modest Quarters||Modest Dining Room||Modest Office||—||1||1||1||1||—||1|
|Order of the Axe||Quarters||Dining Room||Office||—||1||1||3||1||—||1|
|Order of the Crossbow||Quarters||Dining Room||Office||—||1||1||3||1||—||1|
|Order of the Hammer||Quarters||Dining Room||Office||—||1||1||3||1||—||1|
|Order of the Mace||Quarters||Dining Room||Office||—||1||1||3||1||—||1|
|Order of the Spear||Quarters||Dining Room||Office||—||1||1||3||1||—||1|
|Order of the Sword||Quarters||Dining Room||Office||—||1||1||3||1||—||1|
|Tax Collector||Modest Quarters||Modest Dining Room||Office||—||2||1||1||1||1||1|
|Hammerer||Modest Quarters||Dining Room||—||—||2||1||1||1||—||2|
|Baron||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||Decent Office||Tomb||2||1||1||1||1||2|
|Baron Consort||Decent Quarters||Decent Dining Room||—||Tomb||2||1||1||1||1||2|
|Count||Great Bedroom||Great Dining Room||Throne Room||Mausoleum||3||2||2||2||2||3|
|Count Consort||Great Bedroom||Great Dining Room||—||Mausoleum||3||2||2||2||2||3|
|Duke||Grand Bedroom||Grand Dining Room||Opulent Throne Room||Grand Mausoleum||5||3||3||3||3||5|
|Duke Consort||Grand Bedroom||Grand Dining Room||—||Grand Mausoleum||5||3||3||3||3||5|
|King||Royal Bedroom||Royal Dining Room||Royal Throne Room||Royal Mausoleum||10||5||5||5||5||10|
|King Consort||Royal Bedroom||Royal Dining Room||—||Royal Mausoleum||10||5||5||5||5||10|
|Advisor||Great Bedroom||Great Dining Room||Throne Room||—||3||2||2||2||—||3|
|TOTALS:||2/5/10/14/1/3/2/2 (39)||2/4/11/14/1/3/2/2 (39)||2/3/11/12/1/2/1/1 (33)||0/0/2/2/0/2/2/2 (10)||83||56||68||56||35||85|