40d Talk:Magma

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"Magma Piping?[edit]

does magma melt non-magma save walls? can it do it vertically, assuming i channeled out the floor? up and down? it would be interesting to just melt a bunch of stone in a big line straight up instead of build a huge pump system.

I'm not sure about 40d, but I know magma doesn't melt walls in v0.34 (not even constructed walls, which includes wood). Also, I don't think it travels vertically under pressure (although volcanoes are an exception). --Lethosor (talk) 23:35, 30 June 2013 (UTC)


'Like walls, doors can also be built out of any material and still hold back lava as long as it's in the "closed" position.' I did this and my andesite doors turned into puddles of goo, as did my hatches. Much Fun is currently happening...

  • Perhaps you forgot to "lock" the door? The door should be fine so long as the magma is not actually on the door's tile, which should not happen unless one of your idiotsdorfs opens it (I think this is due to quirks with the temperature system; magma's temperature is fixed at 12000 degrees Urist and does not heat up adjacent tiles). In fact, just the other day I rerouted magma through my barracks to clean up the assorted crap that had accumulated on the floor. The doors held firm (though I did construct a wall in front of the doors, just in case), although a dwarf in a completely different part of the fortress (and the schmoe in the barracks with two missing limbs and a broken spine, though that was considerably less surprising) inexplicably burst into flames, which baffles me to this day. Perhaps it was fire snakes. Or Spontaneous Dwarven Combustion (SDC). --Mr Frog 01:28, 21 March 2010 (UTC)


Are you certain that steel is a requirement for metals in contact with magma? This info conflicts with the Magma smelter article, which state that using Fire-safe materials is enough. Don't have a fort with magma yet, but could someone check which one is correct?Thexor 19:23, 31 October 2007 (EDT)

Magmaproof is not the same as fireproof. Buildings that work WITH magma need to be fireproof. Rocks and iron are fireproof. Wood is not. Buildings that are going IN the magma, such as floodgates, their mechanisms, and pumps need to be magmaproof materials such as steel and bauxite. Rkyeun 01:51, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The "must have steel" thing is from the old 2d version. Now, it is only required to be fire safe, such as iron and steel, most other metals, and most types of rock.--Zchris13 15:10, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Disabling temperature?[edit]

If i disable temperature can my dwarfs swim through the magma unharmed? Will it still cause water to steam? Diabl0658 22:28, 31 October 2007 (EDT)

Yes, dwarves seem to be able to swim through magma unharmed when temperature is off(I've had them shoved in during a fight, not 100% sure), but they'll violently resist this, even without danger. Water will still steam, it seems to be hard coded. --Erathoniel 16:50, 12 November 2008 (EST)

Mountain Layers & magma?[edit]

Does the type of rock around the mountainous areas hint at magma? If you check out this article and this site list a bunch of common volcanic rocks: Granite, Rhyolite, Diorite, Andesite, Gabbro, Basalt, Peridotite and Komatite. Perhaps some clues as to where to find magma?

It may be possible to find magma vents by searching for extrusive igneous rocks (such as basalt, felsite, rhyolite and andesite), but continental shelves and deep earth are just naturally made of intrusive igneous rock (such as granite, diorite and gabbro). It's generally indicative of rock that has been pushed up to the surface (or erosion has withered the rock down), and not a volcano.
So areas with surface igneous rocks such as basalt, felsite, rhyolite and andesite have a high chance of finding a source of magma below the surface? I'd like to know if it's entirely random or if there is some order or pattern to it. Schm0 08:38, 5 November 2007 (EST)
A small patch of obsidian is a dead giveaway for a magma pipe.--Zchris13 15:11, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

magma chamber not visible[edit]

On a completely different topic: I keep setting up on magma vents but not actually having a magma chamber visible. I assumed one problem was the lack of a border on my plot (so somehow the volcano was actually outside my plot), but even after making it bigger there was still no magma (...but it did have a fancy cave)...This has happened the last 4 times I've tried to start on a volcano, and the world regenerating takes quite a while for ~10 named volcanoes, and then all of the livable ones don't actually have magma.--UltimaGecko 16:50, 3 November 2007 (EDT)

You might try using reveal.exe to see if the volcano is underground. I just built on a site with a volcano which was not visible from the surface, and used reveal to make sure I hadn't lost my mind (then I killed DF and restarted it so I wouldn't still have the map revealed) - The volcano was entirely underground, covered by layer(s) of rock. I've also added a note to the article saying that it is possible to find a volcano which is visible on the starting screen but not from the surface on-site.--SL 21:54, 7 November 2007 (EST)
I think this is related to the temperature of the area. I've got a map with a magma vent in the middle of a glacier. There was no surface magma, but there was a nice flat, round patch of obsidian surrounded by ice. After digging down three levels through this "cap", I hit live magma. It's actually a nice setup, as I've basically set up a small fort *in* the cap--basically my dwarves are living in the mouth of the volcano, with the basement level dedicated to magma smelters, forges, glass furnaces, etc. --RedKing 04:26, 9 November 2007 (EST)
Turning on the "see magma pools and pipes" option in the init file would be a great help for trouble shooting on this topic.--Zchris13 12:44, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I have seen this "cap" of obsidian over pipes in all temperatures.--Zchris13 15:17, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Magmapool/pipe section[edit]

Zara, you recently added some info about all magma pipes having cliffs over them -- this is incorrect. I've played a very large number of magma pipe maps, and very often they are completely exposed to the air. I've also removed the line about them being "as small as two z-levels!", because it needs better phrasing. I may fix it later. MOOMANiBE 22:39, 26 February 2008 (EST)

in the meantime I had figured that out, too. But what is the difference between a magma pipe and a volcano, then? unsigned comment by Zara
As far as I know, the distinction comes down to whether it reaches the surface. If so, some would then call it a volcano rather than a magma pipe. I believe that magma pipes which reach the surface (or volcanoes, if you will) are the only ones which actually show up on the embark map, while underground magma pipes and magma pools do not (unless you use the Regional Prospector tool). --Janus 23:07, 10 March 2008 (EDT)
No, similar to Moonanibe,I've played on several maps where, on the embark screen, the magma pipe was only visible using regional prospector. However, as soon as I took a look at the place, I found the magma partly (or completely) exposed on the surface. Zara 01:59, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
Magma pipes are not 'necessarily' part of a mountain, while volcanoes make a mountain around them during world gen. Comes down to a number game. Volcanoes have a magma number of 100, while pipes have a number between 99 and some lower value.--Zchris13 12:48, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Added new section[edit]

I added a section regarding "Built objects vs. Magma". I think it's absolutely vital we establish what does and doesn't melt in magma, in a clean list. There are quite a few things that could be added to that list (Constructed floors for one) so please, do add to it. MOOMANiBE 17:31, 18 February 2008 (EST)

Have you tested the bridges? I conjecture that all buildings and constructions without mechanisms are perfectly fine with magma contact. VengefulDonut 10:37, 19 February 2008 (EST)
The bridges part was cut from another section of the article and moved in there. Since it was already here, I assumed it was accurate. I haven't actually checked myself. MOOMANiBE 16:54, 19 February 2008 (EST)
I will verify bridges one way or the other. I'm pretty sure they cant melt, though. VengefulDonut 21:03, 19 February 2008 (EST)
they dont melt, as they arent actually within the magma. that was copied over from the 2d wiki and nobody removed it -Chariot 22:29, 19 February 2008 (EST)
I noticed you removed the line about bridges. It seems silly not to mention them at all, so I've written up a line about them working no matter what the material and stuck it in. MOOMANiBE 23:12, 19 February 2008 (EST)
yea they should definately be mentioned, wasnt thinking when i removed it completely(recovering from a bad cold and brain is still a bit foggy) -Chariot 00:49, 20 February 2008 (EST)

Tested. Non-magmaproof bridges -over- magma are fine. Non-magma-proof submerged in magma will melt. VengefulDonut 12:39, 21 February 2008 (EST)

Interesting. I'll edit the article to say as much. MOOMANiBE 15:30, 21 February 2008 (EST)

This is what I've found: ANY Construction is safe from magma (even wooden ones. Walls, stairs, fortifications, etc). Any building is unaffected by magma if the magma doesn't occupy the same tile as the building. Example: a door is safe if it's closed, even if it's made of non-safe rock or wood. If you lock it open with a mechanism, or if it's jammed, then the magma interacts with the components, burning/melting them if they can't stand the heat. A pump made of wood or any other material is also safe, as long as the magma doesn't flow *over* it. Since the "out" side acts as a wall, if it's correctly isolated from the magma it won't get damaged and will pump the magma without any trouble. --Sergius 01:41, 21 May 2008 (EDT)

Anyone clear on Vertical Bars in magma? I am attempting to keep imps and such from moving through my magma feeding tunnel and was curious if anyone had any good solutions to this problem. --Stalinbulldog 16:23, 14 June 2008 (EDT)

I just use a bauxite wall grate, it works fine for me. --Zombiejustice 01:02, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Ah, thank you, I just wanted to be sure they didn't melt regardless --Stalinbulldog 02:32, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

I made a few tests with magma and buildings/constructions and I can confirm some known results and I can provide a few new aspects. Constructions (b->C) are magma safe (walls, floors, stairs, others not tested). No matter what the material is.

  • bridges build with bauxite *rocks* are not magma safe (bauxite mechanism or not)
  • bridges build with bauxite *blocks* are magma safe (test with mechanism is pending)
  • bridges build with steel bars are magma safe (test with mechanism is pending)

Open test: bridge with blocks considered as not magma safe.
Imajia 12:14, 11 July 2008 (EDT)

I'm sorry, I made a mistake. The bridges build with bauxite rocks were previously connected with a lever. Unfortunately the mechanism is not removed from the bridge when you remove the lever. Well, at least it seems that the rules for magma safe materials are valid for bridges. With one exception: raised bridges can contain any mechanism, only when magma flows over the bridge it is destroyed.--Imajia 13:18, 13 July 2008 (EDT)

Replenishing Magma[edit]

Since magma replenishes now, I've rewritten that snippet from the article. If I've missed something(a kind of magma not regenerating, though this always worked for me on several maps), feel free to correct things. --Romantic Warrior 15:47, 18 February 2008 (EST).

I have a very good feeling that the replenishing magma is just "pressurized" magma. I haven't tested fully, but i have poured water over a magma pipe and re-mined it, and in that case the magma flow was upwards. --Sphexx 03:49, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

I'm playing a magma pipe right now, and after filling a reservoir to build my forges over, I noticed the main pipe section refilled itself a little bit. It's not back to what it used to be, but there is definitely some regeneration going on. Seems to be going at an excruciatingly slow pace though. About 7 years into the fort and the pipe is nowhere close to being completely refilled. -- 14:12, 11 October 2009 (UTC)


Does magma increase the temperature of things around it? Can it be used to melt ice? --Ikkonoishi 20:26, 3 November 2007 (EDT)

I'm not sure how the temperature calculations are done, but I CAN tell you that magma will melt nearby ice. Check out http://mkv25.net/dfma/movie-153-meltingwateronglacier to see it in action. Zaranthan 15:23, 26 January 2008 (EST)
It should be a flow, just like the magma itself. One of the other visible results is warm stone. The same can probably be said for water and damp stone as well. --Edward 17:01, 26 January 2008 (EST)
It also makes sure water stays heated; a friend of mine keeps magma under a few of his natural pools to make sure they stay thawed during the cold winter months (all but the middle summer month!) --Gotthard 17:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


I have a magma pipe (pit) in my current fortress... I breached the pipe from the lowest level because of the diagonal bug when I discovered it, and it filled some long exploratory shafts. Since then, the top magma layer is down to 5/7 and 6/7 running all over the surface. After a little while, it's easy to see that magma act curiously: instead of bouncing from wall to wall like real water physics, in my game the 5/7 (the flow) seems to all move in the same direction at the same time. The direction change often, and seem to change randomly. --Eagle of Fire 22:43, 26 November 2007 (EST)

There is another way to stop a flow of magma that's moving through a tunnel. You can go one z-level higher, dig to a spot above the magma-filled tunnel, then build a channel above where the magma is flowing and assign it as a Pond Zone. So long as you have buckets and a viable Water Source zone, a dwarf will come along and drop water on the magma, instantly turning it into obsidian and blocking the tunnel. --User:Stromko January 6th, 2007

I've tried this - it rarely works. Usually you just destroy 1/7 of the magma per bucket, along with the water from the bucket, and nothing turns to obsidian. You need to hit it with larger quantities of water at once to get reliable results. --SL 10:35, 6 January 2008 (EST)
Actually, you have to hit it from two levels up. Just one won't do anything.--Demosthenes 17:07, 18 February 2008 (EST)

I have added a section to the main page on magma flow, based on frequent confusion in the forums, and on some investigations I have been making into the behavior of magma when pumped (I'm not the first to discover this behavior, but I did go to a fair degree of effort to test how it behaves in differing circumstances) --Kaypy 21:16, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Now THAT is how you make a diagram! Awesome. --GreyMaria 22:20, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Criteria for Magma Buildings[edit]

Is there a special condition that must be met before Magma Smelters/Forges/Furnaces and so on will appear on the build menus? I have a magma pit and some channels over it so that I can access it for magma, but I cannot build any magma-using buildings. - Confused Rat

Magma furnaces and forges need a hole somewhere on the ground where they are built. This is to allow the furnace/forge to take the heat from the magma as they are used. --Eagle of Fire 19:43, 25 January 2008 (EST)
What he means is that the magma furnaces don't even appear in the build menu. This is because you haven't discovered magma through natural means. The only way this can happen is if you used reveal to find the magma. You'll have to use the Enable Magma Buildings utility to make them appear. --Valdemar 20:03, 25 January 2008 (EST)
Reclaimed fortresses may be bugged. If you reclaimed you fortress you probably can't do anything with it without 3rd party programs (like one mentioned above). Magma in pits isn't enough to allow magma buildings. You need to discover true magma pipe and get pop-up informing about this. --Someone-else 08:37, 23 May 2008 (EDT)
I had a similar problem in a human settlement, so I do not know if the bug applies there, too... but there IS a chance I abandoned and reclaimed at one point, so it could just be that --Zatnik 05:02, 7 January 2009 (EST)

Infinity Generators?[edit]

Because magma is currently a finite resource, would it be a good idea to add how to make an infinity generator as workarround untill Toady gives us some more of the stuff?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Highlord Asehujiko (talkcontribs)

Not on the main article as it would easily be considered cheating. In here, or the cheating article itself would be fine, the latter probably more appropriate as it could be applied to water as well for those scorching maps. --Edward 19:16, 27 January 2008 (EST)
Magma regenerates in most cases, which pretty much means it's infinite. --Someone-else 19:19, 26 April 2008 (EDT)

Lava vs. Magma[edit]

I hadn't noticed it until just now, but both Lava and Magma occur in the game. I haven't seen this fact referenced in the wiki. Magma is a fluid which occurs in Magma Pipes, and in areas directly connected to Magma Pipes. Lava appears to occur in disconnected areas. I'm not sure what happens if you reconnect. If you use k to view a square, you'll see either Magma or Lava depths given. I'm not clear on what difference there is between the two fluids. --Doctorlucky 02:58, 23 March 2008 (EDT)

There is none, just the name. --Savok 10:30, 23 March 2008 (EDT)
both in df, and irl, molten rock in open air is called lava, while subterranean is called magma -Chariot 15:40, 23 March 2008 (EDT)
Ah, so magma which is Outside is lava. Cool. I guess my disjoint areas are all also outside :) I suppose we ought to mention this somewhere on the page? --Doctorlucky 19:19, 23 March 2008 (EDT)

Magma vs puppy?[edit]

I have encountered an interesting glitch. I have 2 puppies and a kitten in magma that aren't dying, and yes I have temperature setting on. http://mkv25.net/dfma/movie-570-magmavspuppy

For those interested in trying to recreate it, I believe it has to do with designating the animal to slaughter while trying to throw it into a pit. A few of my dwarves were having pathing errors to try and slaughter them when I noticed the 3 invulnerable pests. After saving and reloading, the critters were insta-gibbed. --Sphexx 04:59, 23 May 2008 (EDT)

Chasm Confusion[edit]

"The minerals directly adjacent to the magma vent will also be immediately visible, even at the lowest level of the map, which can give some hints about where to prospect for ores."

Magma, at least in my experience, has always been surrounded only by Obsidian, as a result you cannot get any kind of insight as to the surrounding minerals, this differs from a chasm where the veins coming up to a chasm are directly reflected in the walls.

--Stalinbulldog 04:18, 26 July 2008 (EDT)

volcanoes and magmapipes can form large "chasms" above them, though it depends on how rocky the map is
Confirmed, various minerals and gems were visible in the 'crater' area two levels above the magma in my magma pipe. --Corona688 15:05, 5 November 2008 (EST)

gruesome accident in older 2d version[edit]

beware wooden floodgates not only do they burn(as I planned) but i scattered magma all around the room it rolled around quickly in all directions, flooding the tunnels, burning miners, smelters, war dogs and puppies alike without remorse. it has thus far filled the entire message screen with " someone" or "something" has burned to death it appears to gain mass from creeping down hallways! oh god... 60 deaths, at least 25 dwarves and 15 puppies22:08, 28 July 2008 (EDT)Eerr

Magma cooling?[edit]

Ive noticed at a 1/7 depth, the magma seems to cool and go away. v40d --OmegaX 17:28, 3 October 2008 (EDT)

That is probably what the author meant by "Magma that is only 1 deep "evaporates" over time." MagicGuigz 19:58, 3 October 2008 (EDT)

Mechanisms on Non-Floodgates[edit]

I want to power my underground smelting operations with magma, so I'm digging a tunnel into the side of a magma pipe. I don't want magma creatures coming in that way, so I need a set of bars across it. However, once I set up the bars, I need to open them to get a miner past and cut the last bit of stone and open the tunnel to the magma. I was going to just attach the bars to a level, but the question of what to use for the mechanism is bugging me. I don't want to waste my precious imported Bauxite on the mechanism, and once it closes behind the miner it never need to open again so it's fine it it melts, but not if the melting mechanism will cause the bars to deconstruct! Anyone know what happens to things other than floodgates when their mechanisms get melted off? --17:11, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

Or you could make your life much simpler with Fortifications. RomeoFalling 23:09, 14 October 2008 (EDT)
How? Fortifications allow liquid to pass through and stop creatures, yes, but you can't open them at all. How am I supposed to get my dwarf back after he digs the last square of the channel if there's a fortification blocking the way?--Macdjord 15:49, 16 October 2008 (EDT)
I used a fortification to keep fire imps out of my magma channel; I dug a stairway totally unconnected to the rest of my fortress to a spot adjacent to the top layer of the magma pipe, then dug a tunnel from within the fortress to within one tile of the stairway. I fortified the tile that separated the two, then dug a channel (from outside) that let the magma flow against the "outside" face of the fortification. The magma flowed through the fortification and into the "inside" tunnel.
For good measure, in case I want to drain the inside tunnel at some point, I put an s-turn in the inside tunnel and situated a nickel/bauxite floodgate around the corner, out of sight of the fortification.
Viewed from above, basically it looks like this:

~ - Magma pipe
= - Unmined tile (wall)
. - Mined tile (channel)
< - Stairway
# - Fortification
X - Floodgate
The last step here is to remove the tile between the magma and the stairway by digging a channel from one z-level up.
--Maximus 03:16, 17 October 2008 (EDT)
Why do you need a stairway? Couldn't you have just put the fortification on the tile where you have the stairway now? I'm also not sure why you need a turn as opposed to having the floodgate directly in line; i.e. Template:Qd
Random832 08:55, 17 October 2008 (EDT)
I believe you can't create a fortification from above, though I could be wrong. It doesn't cost anything to dig one extra z-level down to get yourself a tile with an open face front and back which fortifies up nicely. Also, I put the kink in the tunnel just to be paranoid -- I don't want things shooting fireballs down it. I'm not sure if a fireball can destroy a floodgate. Again, it didn't cost me anything to make it a touch more elaborate.--Maximus 18:29, 17 October 2008 (EDT)
Well, if I dug in from above, I could just use a non-retracting set of bars. Fortifications allow liquid to flow, but they slow it down. But I'm not digging at the top level of the pipe. I suppose I could just use a sacrificial non-magma-safe floodgate, set up the bars behind it, and then open it and let it melt.
--Macdjord 13:20, 17 October 2008 (EDT)

Magma Ate My Wall[edit]

While digging my channel to a magma pipe, I came across a vein of Lignite which ran perpendicular to my channel. I mined it out, hauled the lignite over to my fortress, and then built some walls over the side passages. It's now less than a year later, and one of those wall-units is missing. Unless there's some way a fire imp or other magma creature can destroy walls, the magma must have melted the wall. --RomeoFalling 07:12, 5 November 2008 (EST)

Wasn't that wall a Lignite wall ? It may have burnt, then. Timst 09:46, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Yes, it sounds like it was a liginite wall. Magma will ignite coke-bearing rock, this has been the case for a long time. --ThunderClaw 09:56, 5 November 2008 (EST)
No, the wall was built from rock salt. All the lignite was hauled away, and as an economic stone, not a material choice I could have made by accident. The floor is still lignite though. Think that may have been a factor? --RomeoFalling 09:58, 5 November 2008 (EST)
That's possible, but I find it unlikely. Also, I misinterpreted what you meant by 'built a wall', didn't realize it was a construction. I thought it was a smoothed rock face. It's been a persisting question (at least in #df on synIRC) if magma will melt constructions not made of bauxite. You may have just answered that for us. Perhaps you could test by letting magma into a 5x5 room with one natural rock pillar in the middle, and a wall construction of the same type of stone? That'd answer the question once and for all, I think. --ThunderClaw 10:11, 5 November 2008 (EST)
I've had magma against some of my constructed walls for years and years without damage. A good thing too, I've got quarters on the other side! They're almost certainly basalt. I wouldn't rule out the vanishing wall being caused by a burning floor; lignite can burn for years before vanishing. --Corona688 15:14, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Interesting. It was probably the liginite floor, then, but that begs the question of how a burning floor could consume a wall; stone should be fire-safe. A really interesting situation, to be sure. --ThunderClaw 17:26, 5 November 2008 (EST)
Also -- as for 'not a material choice I could have made by accident', I've found my masons will happily convert expensive imported ores and flux into blocks if they decide your depot's closer than the nearest basalt. And once anything's blocked, it's useless but for constructions. --Corona688 16:39, 5 November 2008 (EST)
@Corona: That's for a mason's workshop, though. When you build walls, you choose the specific rocks to build from. Although, I have to say that I've never had a mason use a rock from the restricted list.
For clarity, here's an image capture. The east-west shaft was my original tunnel towards the magma pipe. Every mined-out tile north or south of that shaft was Lignite. However, the opening just below the cursor, where my missing wall is supposed to be, is listed as Rock Salt as well. This is because dwarves kept building that section of wall from the wrong side, and I had to deconstruct it and put it back up several times -- which kills our "burning lignite floor" theory. Hrm.....now that I think about it, I can't be sure that I did build that wall in the end. I can't remember if a dwarf ever built it from the correct side. I'll let you know if another wall section disappears.


--RomeoFalling 18:54, 5 November 2008 (EST)


I see the term magma pipe and magma vent being used interchangeably. Do these terms mean the same thing? --RomeoFalling 20:25, 8 November 2008 (EST)

Basically, yes. Magma vents, however, are visible from the surface, whereas magma pipes are not. --GreyMaria 00:26, 9 November 2008 (EST)

Magma Vs. Sand[edit]

In a failed experiment with wooden screw pumps with magma proof blocks, I have discovered something horrible and intriguing. Magma/lava can burn it's way through sand, so now I have an above ground magma cistern half flooding back into the magma pipe I filled it from, and half into my underground workshops through 2 z-levels of sand flooring. I have picture proof too, but I have no idea how to upload pictures from my laptop to a wiki. --Alkyon 14:19, 11 November 2008 (EST)

"Upload file", toolbox, left side of this page.--Maximus 14:34, 11 November 2008 (EST)
Ah, thanks. --Alkyon 20:12, 11 November 2008 (EST)

Do you mean it goes down z-levels, or does it just move across the sand? magma can normally move across anything except water, I think. --Destor 14:41, 11 November 2008 (EST)

Vertically, through z-levels. It created a hole that wasn't there before through a sand floor, into my main hallway, and then through the floor there into my workshops and stockpiles. From there, it simply followed the path of least resistance down the stairs and into the living quarters (not shown). The magma seems to only tunnel through floor tiles that have no wall tile below them, which is understandable but I've never had this happen before. Though, admittedly I have never tried to create a lava cistern on top of sand before. --Alkyon 20:12, 11 November 2008 (EST)
Oh what FUN! --Arkenstone
A bit late, but are you sure you didn't somehow cause a cave-in and punch a hole through the floor? I've never observed magma destroying walls or floors on its own, even those made of sand. --Quietust 16:19, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Good timing because I just observed this myself and it definitely wasn't a cave in. Magma created an open space in a white sand floor and began flooding my fortress. Had breached the underground river so it could also have been a tower cap burning but I didn't think that happened. Pti 21:33, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, that was with temperature off. Pti 21:35, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
That would actually be an interesting thing to check - my current fort has a short underground magma channel, hollow underneath, and having sand floors, but the layer underneath is all chalk so no tower-caps would be able to grow. I could possibly test it by adding some mud next to the channels, since I've observed nearby muddy floors to permit tower-cap growth above stone layers. --Quietust 22:00, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

Regarding Boatmurdered[edit]

I have this intense desire to flood the world in magma. (yes, I'm playing the 2D Dwarf Fortress. Sue me.) How did they get the magma onto the surface? Last I checked, pumps don't exist, sooo... --GreyMaria 02:45, 28 November 2008 (EST)

Channels and aqueducts... They'll transport any liquid anywhere. And bridges too!--Dorten
But magma's on the "Z-level" below. How's it supposed to get on the actual level of the elephants? --GreyMaria 13:50, 28 November 2008 (EST)
You're still thinking in 3D. Magma is "in" the tiles where the river is, and will be in the tiles where you dig a channel, and you want to get it in the tiles where the elephants are, by digging a channel from the magma river to the outside and "releasing" it from the channel using a floodgate. The miner who digs the part of the channel that connects it to the magma river itself might get killed, since they always stood in the channel square while digging it in the 2D version. Put a floodgate just beyond it before digging it out so you can shut off the flow, since you will make mistakes.--Maximus 16:36, 28 November 2008 (EST)
Yes, I realize I'm thinking in 3D. Exactly how does the magma get out of the channel and onto the ground? Because last I checked, fluids didn't do that naturally. --GreyMaria 18:44, 28 November 2008 (EST)
That's just the way the 2D version works. Channel next to liquid = liquid now in channel. Tile at end of channel not floodgate (or other liquid stopper) = liquid now on ground. --Edward 18:47, 28 November 2008 (EST)
Read Channel and Irrigation on the archive wiki. You have to play with channels and floodgates for a bit before it all makes sense, though. The 2D version tended to get real kludgy when it came to fluids. Try to get a farm going to understand the basics of the 2D channels, floodgates, and fluids.--Maximus 23:07, 28 November 2008 (EST)

No little errors[edit]

I just made a discovery. There is nothing like small error in the terms of magma engineering. After attempting to make my lava moat, I accidentally dug channel one tile longer, than it should be. At first, it went good. But then, magma flowed over my wall and flooded entire fortress. Remember - no little errors. SanDiego 12:19, 30 November 2008 (EST)

Export the local map[edit]

"...you can try exporting the local map of the world which can be much more quickly searched for the distinctive red ≈ symbol. " How does one do that? --Azaram 02:08, 4 December 2008 (EST)

Right after generating your world, there is an option to export the map. I think it maps to 'p' but I can't swear to it now. I don't know if there is a way to do it at a time other than right after generation. -Fuzzy 14:45, 4 December 2008 (EST)
Legends screen lets you export maps as well, but they don't have the special features enabled, even with all applicable options enabled. Probably on the todo list 'somewhere', but can't imagine it's even semi-important. So you'll have to rely on worldgen exports. --Edward 22:02, 4 December 2008 (EST)
I thought it was just the region map you can export, not the local map, and a red ≈ just means desert and/or red sand on that map. You can see named volcanoes on it though -- red ^s.--Maximus 22:16, 4 December 2008 (EST)
It's mapped to "P". Capital. Zchris13 21:01, 12 February 2009 (EST)

Temperature setting[edit]

While magma will not cause fires while the temperature is turned off in the init file, it seems the game remembers at least some of the fires it would have caused. I was playing with temperature off and tunneled into magma rather carelessly, knowing it wouldn't hurt me, later, when I turned the temperature on in that game, the dwarves that came into contact with the magma were immediately set on fire. This was about a year later in game. I checked back several times by quitting without saving, every time I turned the temperature on, those same dwarves caught fire, with the temperature off, there was no indication of fire what so ever.--Sotanaht 23:36, 23 January 2009 (EST)

Oh wow, I can imagine tons of uses for that, especially when toady makes it so that you can go and raid the goblins... Kamikaze dwarves, anyone? Well, I guess it should be in the article, but it would be nice to do more testing first. I think that if a dwarf falls in water, he stops burning. So if you could find out if they, after being put out with temperature off, still lit up next time we could put it in. Do more research, I would but I have had trouble with DF lately, it has been mad slow.--Destor 00:01, 24 January 2009 (EST)
Well, temperatures are flows, and items remember how warm they are, so presumably the dwarves that burst into flames are still at a ridiculous temperature and haven't cooled down. That, or the coating of magma on their bodies is causing them to burn...--Quil 00:36, 24 January 2009 (EST)
It has got to be the coating, as you say. Turning off the tempurature means that they should STOP remembering. The flows should not be calculated, and the items should have nothing to remember. Thats why turning it off speeds up the game, especially in extreme environs or around magma. There was, however, nothing listed that I could find, so this "magma coating" is invisible to the interface. It should also be noted that it was apparently the dwarves who caught fire first, and their burning flesh that apparently set their clothes on fire moments later.--Sotanaht 12:29, 24 January 2009 (EST)
Check specifically for magma splatters on the dwarfs in question. I wouldn't be surprised if they picked them up, similar to when creatures get doused in water. The liquid tends to stick all over them, and rarely goes away on it's own. Best bet to preserve them would be to construct a waterfall-shower, and hope it washes away the magma spatter, rather than creating obsidian ;) --Edward 07:11, 25 January 2009 (EST)
Yer, looks like the dawrfs got their Pigtail socks a coating of magma. Then magma goes boom.--cultiststeve 08:08, 19 February 2009 (EST)

Site finder[edit]

Will magma Pipes always show up on the local map? Because my site finder keeps throwing up sites with no visible magma on the local map. --ArneHD 17:09, 12 February 2009 (EST)

No, magma pipes don't always reach the surface, and therefore won't always show up on the embark map. You can find out it's actual location by taking a guess based off of what stone layers are shown where in the embark map, or you can go to your init.txt and change SHOW_EMBARK_M_PIPE to ALWAYS. --Alkyon 17:29, 12 February 2009 (EST)

Magma-swimming Baby[edit]

For some reason, someone has dropped their baby into the magma. The strange thing is, it aint burning up. Its lying there, and apparently has done so for a long time. Its hungry and thirsty. --Myroc 15:26, 21 February 2009 (EST)

I once had a mother get trapped behind a magma bulkhead with her baby. She died promptly. The baby just sorta sat in the magma flow for about a year before it died too. HeWhoIsPale 16:40, 21 February 2009 (EST)

Spawn Distance For Creatures?[edit]

How far from the magma pipe can fire snakes (and imps, if they spawn) appear? Also, are they limited to spawning near the magma pipe itself, or ANY magma (i.e., a magma tap leading across the map into your fortress)?

The pipe itself--Zchris13 23:51, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Hidden Magma Pipe[edit]

So I just got the message 'You have discovered a magma pipe.' This made me very happy, because I had no idea that magma was on my map, and the area is completely devoid of trees, which means I won't have to worry about charcoal as much. Anywhos, after getting the message and looking around the level... I can't find it anywhere! I assumed that you get the message when your dwarf mines a tile next to the pipe or something, but I can't find it anywhere, not even on the local map. Magma forges are enabled, so that must mean that I did find one... But is there any way of finding the darn thing? I assumed it was from some of my exploratory mining, but after looking around that area and even digging further into the rock, I don't see anything. Is it possible that the magma pipe is off the level or something, so I get the message but can't see it? Arg, this is so annoying. --ZombieRoboNinja 00:34, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Try zooming in on any magma related creatures from the units menu. You could also zoom in on the newest (last) obsidian stone listed on the stocks menu I think. --Elvang 04:21, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Check for a Magma Cap. --Edward 09:12, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I tried looking at the units list... Only a couple dead kobolds, a few camels, and my dwarves... So that's a no go. And there are 15 obsidian stones in my stocks, but the zoom function is grayed out... And my bookkeeper is at 100% efficiency. I also tried looking for a magma cap, but I couldn't find one. Aha! Success! I made an obsidian stockpile, and watched where my all-knowing dwarves went, and I found the source of the obsidian. I tried digging from that point, and I found it! It's a bit small, but I suppose the diameter doesn't matter much when it's a magma pipe. Thanks for your help, guys. Also, I know that talk pages aren't meant to be used as forums or anything, but is it against the rules and/or frowned upon to ask questions on the talk pages?
It's fine, it might even be a good thing, since we can add other tidbit of information to a main article if needed. Feel free to ask question (as long as it is in the appropriate place. --Karl 13:19, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Items Caught In Cooling Magma[edit]

After one of my wrestlers got pulled into a magma vent, I noticed that his Steel equipment only sank a single Z level. This brings up the idea that, if I were to pour water over the surface and harden that Z level, I could presumably recover the equipment. But will items caught in hardening magma be destroyed? Or merely trapped in obsidian that you can mine out? --Scarecrow 16:37, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Hm, good question. Wouldn't it make sense that the item just gets trapped, and you just have to mine out the hardened rock to get the item back? That is, if it's resistant to magma and/or the temperature's off. Right? Why would cooling the magma destroy the object? Unless the game had it coded where like, a tile of stone being created removes all the items from the block. Which would suck. --ZombieRoboNinja 17:48, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Items lost in rivers or moats can be recovered by mining the ice in winter. It is not unreasonable to assume that magma/obsidian behaves like water/ice in this respect. This begs testing, obviously. --Aykavil 21:07, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Tested this by a) dropping (non-magma safe) rocks into a river and then pouring in Lava, they were recoverable. b) putting a couple of similar rocks as well as a nickel-silver bar and a constructed nickle-silver bridge into a room, letting enough magma in to cover the floor, and then adding water before the rocks had melted. All items were recoverable and the bridge was still intact after digging it out. --Mael 00:08, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Nice! That means my Obsidian Tomb trap concept just got a lot better! --Arkenstone 14:10, 20 August 2009

Flies spawning from magma?[edit]

I don't know why, but I've observed flies (normal and acorn flies, mostly normal flies) spawning at the edge of magma where its melting rock. It's particularily noticeable when you have magma channels under your forging area since the confined space tends to concentrate them. Also, they will come out of any magma access holes you have dug. I'm using the Mayday graphics mod, so no idea if it's an artifact. My theory is that they represent vapors coming out of the magma as it melts the rock it encounters. I also added this fact to the flies page as well. --Smjjames 14:14, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

This has happened to me as well, it dosn't have anything to do with the graphics mod because I don't use it, I thought it was part of the civi forge mod I have been using, my personal theory it that flies spawn from refuse and molten rocks are refuse, it might also be from the dirt that magma makes because once I found a dwarf going down to my obsidian farm to clean something, the magma had cleared because my watergate broke(I suspect that an elven plot or carp are the cause).The ground had marks on it and I saw my cleaner cleaning it up.The flies may be attracted to "dirty" tiles but i'm not sure.--Supercharazard 17:30, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I have noticed this same behavior in vanilla DF--Zchris13 15:20, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Digging into volcano wall[edit]

While the article says you need unbelievably fast to avoid getting incinierated while digging into the obsidian wall, this doesn't seem to be true. More important than speed is to make sure the digger has a designated mining section a few blocks away to immiedately start working on so he doesn't get that split second pause before switching labor. With this method I got a miner with merely "agile" out safely. Greep 04:48, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

digging away the obsidian[edit]

There's something that I've not been able to find an answer for anywhere, which is if I dig away at the obsidian walls of the magma pipe (without touching the very inner layer of obsidian), will magma thats above the obisidan tile be able to leak down or is there a floor under the magma tile (above the obsidian) that'll prevent it from spilling out? --Kain 21:26, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

If there was a natural tile one z-level down, then there is a floor there. --Elvang 00:06, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Producing Obsidian section[edit]

The example directly on the page is difficult to understand--some diagrams would be helpful. Really, detailed designs like that should be on user pages anyway. It would be swell if the person who added this design put it on their own user page and linked to that from here. --King of the Internet 01:29, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Agreed, needs some simple diagram(s) (not over-specific, easily understood/modified to suit individual needs), but also needs to be 1) standard notation, and 2) on this page. If it's on a user page, other users really can't edit it if needed (for instance, to standardize the map symbols - the wall, specifically). --Albedo 18:07, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Edit - upon reflection, there's every reason to give this topic its own page. Obsidian farming. --Albedo 19:53, 9 August 2009 (UTC)


Lava is the same substance, but this name for the material is seen less often seen. 
It seems to be the result of a 1/7 magma flow onto floor tiles, before it evaporates.Verify
Magma that occurs above ground is referred to as Lava.

Nope, sorry - I may not have the whole definition, but your limits are just wrong. I noticed "lava" underground while piercing an aquifer. It had been pumped down from the surface, but it was then underground, and had overflow from making obsidian on water onto a floor tile - and none of the other magma doing the work was "lava", it was all "magma". So was every bit of the magma vent that was exposed. So... I don't know where that leaves us, but for now neither may be (completely) right.--Albedo 05:55, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

  • I've got an above-ground magma pipeline that briefly passes through an underground passage - it becomes Lava once it goes above ground, turns back into Magma once it enters the subterranean tunnel, then becomes lava again when it emerges. --Quietust 23:30, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Magma "teleportation"[edit]

I've observed this an incredibly annoying number of times; as I'm writing, my current fortress just lost two mason-engravers to magma magically appearing on top of them. In all cases, this has happened when I'm digging near the magma pipe; the first was on a glacier which had a "capped" pipe, so it was covered by obsidian. I became aware of this a little more quickly than I'd like - after a short while I noticed that the small area I'd dug out (just above the magma) for forges had filled up with small amounts of magma, and continued to do so. After that, I noticed that the garbage pit I'd dug out had begun to harbor magma, and so sealed it off. And now, in my current fortress, construction of a (fully iron) screw pump is barely grinding along because the magma respawns and I have to wait for it to "evaporate" before I can continue. Considering how it's about 150 tiles away from my stockpiles, work is moving slowly, and it's requiring an obscene amount of power (and wood) just to build the infrastructure to deliver power to the pump in the first place so that it can start pumping magma through the 5 or so z-levels ahead of it. I can't have somebody power it themselves unless I'm in the mood for barbecue (and don't mind any more casualties on my end). This is kind of getting on my nerves, because I can't expand into using magma-powered workshops until that one pump is actually delivering magma to the reservoir I designed for that purpose, and even after that, there are about 7 more floors to go until it reaches the workshops.
TL;DR: Magma is refilling where it shouldn't, and it's getting extremely annoying. Suggestions? I have an aquifer of unknown depth surrounding the source, so I can't take the direct route. (I found out by trying to, it wasn't pleasant.) ~ Midna 00:17, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

If the pump's input tile has a "Magma Flow" directly beneath it (i.e. no obsidian walls obstructing the path) and said pump is not at the very top of the magma pipe, then the magma pipe is simply refilling into that tile. --Quietust 00:41, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Seen it mentioned on the forums that the magma pipe refills by spawning magma at the TOP of the pipe, rather than from the bottom or whatever level the magma's at. Probably should be added to the article. --Gelmax
No, since that's wrong - the magma spawns at the surface of the magma, not the top of the pipe. --Quietust 20:46, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Vs. Windows??[edit]

I know walls are impervious to magma, but I was going to drain down some of my magma pipe, and wanted happiness from the fall, without much danger. So, I put up a gm window. Let's see what happens.--Aescula (not logged in ATM)

Magma never forms mist unless it is caught in a cave-in. And, as far as I know, it does not cause the happy thoughts. --Iban 22:51, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Your dwarves need to have physical contact with mist to be made happy. And magma mist causes swift, hot death. -- 23:47, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't think a gem window would melt anyway; gems are, if I recall correctly, generally impervious to magma. Even if that weren't the case, constructed windows can't really be "submerged" in magma, and so shouldn't melt.... ~ Midna 02:33, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Last I checked, magma was more than capable of melting rough gems (an earlier fort has an invisible glob of molten gray chalcedony in Z-Stocks from bug 000525/000595/000641). --Quietust 05:17, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Warm Stone Stuck On[edit]

This is a fiddly bug which came up in a large batch of obsidian farming. What I'm seeing is a weird random looking pattern of warm stone inside my freshly created obsidian. Digging this obsidian back out I get a big clue, there is molten stone in the farm area, which appears again when I dig the obsidian back out. I clear out the entire area, haul off all the stone, and use several fortifications to insure that my magma pipe cant pump any more molten rock into the area. I refill the area, and I still have this random pattern of warm stone. I then clear out a new untouched area and repeat the test. This time I clear all possible stone before filling the area. This time no warm stone appears.

I'm not completely certain of my results yet, but what I think is happening is when a piece of molten stone gets encased in obsidian it turns on the warm stone flag. However, when this tile is dug back out, the warm stone indicator is NOT removed, only hidden because it's empty space. So when the tile is refilled again with obsidian, it will again indicate warm stone even though the molten stone has long since been removed.

Some things I'm unclear on. My results are a bit uncertain because of how flow pushes objects around it's difficult to get a good clear test. It's unclear to me so far if the molten stone will be removed when it is encased in obsidian, although no amount of time passing seems to remove these warm stone flags that are created this way. I've been cussing at this bug for a few days and still don't fully understand it yet. Doctorzuber 19:20, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

From my experience, the "warm stone" flag is actually based entirely on the temperature of the tile - if you set some coal on fire, it'll cause the walls to show up as "warm stone" even though there's no magma present, and spirits of fire will also do this as they walk down passages. Normally, magma sets the current tile's temperature to exactly 12000 and appears to set all adjacent tiles to 10100, and when you make a batch of obsidian (and there aren't any molten globs present), it'll normally show up all warm for a while before all cooling down. If you're still seeing bits of warm stone, it's possible you have "hidden" globs of molten stone in the area (which could happen if any chunks of stone melted as the magma was flowing into the chamber) - check Z-Stocks under "globs" or "liquids" and see if there's anything there. --Quietust 22:00, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Right, that's consistent with my findings. however as I said, the warm stone flag seems to remain on after the stone is re-dug, the molten glob is removed, and the area is refilled with new obsidian. As for the molten stone encased in obsidian it appears to be impervious to cooling and or removal at the end of season as per normal giving an effectively permanent warm stone indicator. Doctorzuber 22:22, 31 March 2010 (UTC)