40d:Grate

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This article is about an older version of DF.

Grates are a furniture building can be placed either as walkable platforms (as a floor grate) or as walls (as a wall grate). They can be constructed from stone or ore (with the masonry labor at a mason's workshop), wood (with the carpentry labor in a carpenter's workshop), metal bars (with the blacksmithing labor at a forge), or glass (with the glassmaking labor at a glass furnace). They are represented in game by the symbol " # ".

Grates, like Bars, are incredibly useful as a semipermeable membrane. Uses include:

  • Creatures (including caravan wagons) may walk over floor grates.
  • Creatures may not walk (or swim) through wall grates, making them a useful separator in underground rivers.
  • They can be operated with a lever to retract them in either position.
  • Fisherdwarves may fish through floor grates.
  • Dwarves may drink through grates (assuming there is 4/7 or more water directly under it).

Floor grates must be attached orthogonally (i.e. not diagonally) to firm ground or some solid construction (a wall, floor, etc.), not (just) other grates. Constructions, of any type, will not be supported by grates - although the game allows you to designate something supported only by a grate, any construction will collapse as soon as it is completed. Wall grates need only be placed on top of a natural or constructed floor - no supporting walls are needed.

Since a grate must be connected to something other than other grates, they currently cannot be used to cover a large area by themselves. Therefore, large areas can only be covered with some sort of patchwork connected to solid ground, such as this tessellated pattern, which covers 80% of any extended area with grates, and the top of a "wall" only 1 every 5 tiles:

++++++++++++++++
+####+####+####+
+#+####+####+##+       + = natural ground or top of wall 1 z-level below*
+###+####+####++       # = grate
++####+####+###+
+##+####+####+#+
++++++++++++++++
* Note that none of these floors are constructed floors, unless those are attached to something other than a grate, like an outer wall or otherwise anchored floor tile.

[edit] Compared to Bars

Floor grates and wall grates are much like floor bars and vertical bars. Are they different? Toady writes:

I don't think there's a meaningful distinction at this time [10/31/2007] (perhaps the grate does have that extra step to make the item). Later, I imagine larger items will fall through bars, and only small items will go through grates. Grates might also stop most vermin. Perhaps even small units could go through bars.
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