|This article is about the current version of DF.|
A civilization is a nation, with settlements and a capital city. When you start a new fortress, there are typically two or more dwarven civilizations which you can choose to be the parent civilization of your fortress. You can select your civilization at the site selection screen. Different civilizations can have different items available when you embark. You will be forced to mod if you wish to play as any other race.
Mountain civilizations build fortresses on the edge of mountain ranges, smaller hillock villages in the hill-lands nearby, and great mountain halls deep inside the mountain.
Their settlements are represented by
Ω on the world map. Mountain civilizations can be connected by either roads or tunnels during World Generation.
Plains civilizations build wooden towns and farming hamlets in the lowlands.
Their towns are represented by
☼, depending on size, on the world map. Hamlets are represented by
Æ tiles. During World Generation, wooded biomes near towns are often converted into grassy biomes, presumably due to the humans' logging industry. Towns can be connected by roads during World Generation. Roads will also be built between towns and conquered sites located in mountains or forests.
Forest civilizations build forest retreats, large outdoor structures of trees planted in rows, in the middle of heavily forested areas.
Their settlements are represented by
¶ on the world map.
Evil civilizations build huge overworld dark fortresses and smaller dark pits. They are represented by
º, respectively. Dark towers are often populated by a mix of races since goblins are keen on
rescuing kidnapping children from other civilizations. These evil settlements can be connected via tunnels during World Generation.
Skulking civilizations populate caves and steal items from nearby civilizations. Cave residents do not show as neighbours on the embark screen, and in default world-gen settings, the caves themselves are hidden from the map.
 Underground Civilizations (The animal people)
Sometimes unnamed tribes appear on the civilization screen, which are peopled by various other humanoids resembling animals. Unlike the other civilizations listed, these unnamed civilizations spawn underground, forming small camps. The creatures that form these civilizations are the following:
- Amphibian man
- Bat man
- Cave fish man
- Cave swallow man
- Olm man
- Reptile man
- Rodent man
- Serpent man
 Dead and Struggling Civilizations
When a civilization is destroyed by war or other calamities, it becomes a dead civilization. A civilization that is quite close to being dead is said to be struggling or dying.
In Fortress mode, a player may embark while part of a struggling civilization – sometimes even as part of a dead civilization. If you are embarking as a dead or struggling civilization you are warned about that at embark. It can be tricky to determine if your civilization is struggling or dead, but here are some indicators:
- Dwarven caravan may appear, but may also be absent for one or several years at a time.
- The outpost liaison may also appear with the caravan, but could also be absent (even if the caravan comes) for several years.
- Migrants should arrive as normal.
- Your (struggling) civilization will show on the Civilization screen right after embark, though it may be said to have no important leaders.
- A monarch might be appointed: most likely triggered by some unknown event, at which one of your dwarves become monarch after a polite discussion with its peers, but at the latest at the turn of the second year of your fortress (and frequently it's the expedition leader). Note that a monarch can be elected in your fortress even when the civilization was healthy at embark, in which case the election was triggered by the death of the previous monarch and nobody was elected at the other sites.
- All dwarven civilizations in existence are dead. If at least one is not, the dead ones will not be available for embark.
- Only two migrant waves, no more.
- No dwarven caravans, ever.
- No monarch in the fortress or out in the world, ever.
- Right after embark, the Civilization screen is completely empty. Your (dead) dwarven civilization will show up once you make contact with any other civilization, including Kobolds.
Note that civilizations can be struggling even though they should, by normal logic, be dead, such as having had no living members or sites for 1000 years.
The P or W to the right of the civilizations screen in fortress mode indicates the current relationship between the civilization on your cursor and the civilization the P or W is next to. A P indicates peace (note - for goblins, you will still get sieges even if you are at "peace" with them) and a W indicates war. For example, if you have your cursor on the dwarf civilization, and it says W next to the goblins, which is not uncommon, it means that - congratulations - your civilization is at war with the goblins.
Note that "neighbours" on that screen are not always "neighbours". Sometimes, you can have an elven civilization as a neighbour while they are on the other side of the world.
|General|| World Generation (Basic / Advanced / Rejections) |
Climate - Surroundings - Map legend - Civilizations - Calendar - World activities
|Features||Aquifer - Brook - Island - Tunnel - Road - Volcano - Waterfall|
|Biomes|| Chasm/Caverns - Desert - Forest - Glacier - Grassland - Lake - Mountain |
Murky pool - Ocean - River - Savanna - Shrubland - Tundra - Wetland
|Sites|| Dark fortress - Dark pit - Forest retreat - Fortress - Hamlet - Hillock - Mountain halls - Town |
Camp - Cave - Hell - Labyrinth - Lair - Shrine - Ruins - Tomb - Tower - Vault
|Structures|| Catacombs - Dungeon - Keep - Library - Market - Mead hall |
Sewer - Tavern - Temple - Tomb - Underworld spire