DF2014:Adventure mode quick start

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This article is about the current version of DF.

This guide provides step-by-step instruction for those who have never played Dwarf Fortress in Adventure Mode before. It assumes that you have already installed the game and can navigate the menus on your own, but no significant knowledge of how to play Fortress Mode is required.

Read the full adventure mode documentation for additional detail.

[edit] Common UI concepts

About key symbols

This document and most documents on the wiki use key symbols that look like t to indicate what keys are used for an operation. Note that these are case sensitive. In order to save space, Shift+t will be written as T. So t means "press the 't' key without the shift key" and T means "hold down shift and press the 't' key". Lowercase and uppercase keys will almost never perform the same function, so it is important to use the correct key. Sequences of keys will be written with dashes between them. So a-b-C means "press 'a', then press 'b', then hold shift and press 'c'".

Cursor movement, menu selection, and navigation

Esc Go back to the previous screen/menu
Change active menu option or move cursor
- + Alternate menu selection keys
Enter Select menu option

Sometimes you use the directional keys and Enter to make menu selections, but sometimes you will need to use the alternate selection keys (- and +) instead. Generally speaking, when dealing with menus, if the directional keys don't work try -/+.

Esc will almost always take you back to the previous screen until you get to the top level of the UI, at which point it will display the options menu.

[edit] World generation

Some custom worlds which are interesting for fortress mode may be annoying for adventure mode for various reasons such as few civilizations, low population, certain races not existing, lack of access to metals, or history being so far advanced that many fortresses and towns have been abandoned.

For your first game it's best to start with a generic world to avoid potential problems. You can come back to an existing world once you have the hang of things.

See World generation if you need help with world generation.

For your first game...

Generate a world using Create New World! with:

  • World Size is Medium
  • History is Short
  • Number of Civilizations is High
  • Number of Sites is High
  • Number of Beasts is Medium
  • Natural Savagery is Medium
  • Mineral Occurrence is Frequent

These settings should help avoid the aforementioned problems. It is advisable not to stop the world generation until the game stops it automatically. This would normally be at 125 years with the Short world history option.

[edit] Character creation

[edit] Race and civilization

For your first game...

Humans and Human-sized characters beginning in Human civilizations are the easiest to fully equip.

The first step in starting an adventure mode game is to choose the race (and civilization) of your adventurer. All major races can complete the same quests.

  • Civilized Humans begin with bronze, iron, or silver weapons and can use any of the items sold by shopkeepers (who, for the time being, are only found in human towns and only sell human-sized clothing/armor). They also start with the widest variety of weapon skills. Human settlements are by far the easiest to acquire beginning goods and supplies in.
  • Human Outsiders can only start with Spear User and Knife User as weapon skills, and they cannot start with Armor User or Shield User. They also start out with only a copper spear and dagger, no clothing. If starting in a Human Settlement their poverty quickly becomes moot, as they benefit from available goods as easily as any other race.
  • Dwarves have the advantage of being able to go into a martial trance when fighting multiple foes at once, and possess perfect vision in low-light conditions (possibly owing to the fact that they mostly dwell underground), which is extremely useful at night and for exploring subterranean sites. They are the only race which can start with steel weapons. Dwarves can equip equipment sized for Goblins and Elves, but are unable to wear Human-sized clothing and armor. Their best starting sources for armor and weapons are in a fortress Market and Warehouse. Good quality leather clothing can be found by rummaging Dwarven apartments in Fortresses and residences in Hillocks. Better equipment can later be found on veteran soldiers and fortress guards, possibly in Goblin fortresses, and in bandit camps close to these civilizations.
  • Elves start with very weak wooden weapons, no metal armor, and have a more limited list of weapon skills during character creation. They have the advantage that they have higher natural gait speeds, and higher average Agility to grant them greater starting speed. Elves from Elvish civilizations are also at peace with the wilderness, and therefore will never be attacked by wild animals. They can wear clothing sized for Dwarves or Goblins, and Elves starting in a Forest Retreat may have to travel to neighboring civilizations to acquire suitable gear, as their own civilization usually lack anything better than leather clothing.
  • Goblins are an option to play as if they come from a non-Goblin civilization, which in most cases is a Human civilization. It is recommended to start in a Dwarven civilization if possible, so that fitting armor is easier to find. Goblins do not need to eat or drink, possess slightly better night vision than Humans or Elves (but not as good as Dwarves), and have higher average Endurance and Willpower which allows them to endure more damage during combat before they pass out. Despite being a fellow Goblin, you will still get attacked in Dark Pits and Dark Fortresses by members of the Goblin civilization.
  • Intelligent Wilderness Creaturesv0.42.01 are various Animal people and other sentient magical creatures who have joined a major civilization in world history. Anthropomorphic creatures acquire many of the physical traits from their base creatures, from material layers (fur, scales, shells, etc.) to appendages (hooves, horns, claws, wings, more than two arms, etc.). Some traits are obviously beneficial (flight, natural climbing talent, immense mass to shake off wrestling holds), while others are detrimental (strictly aquatic, carnivorous diet, inability to jump, swim, climb or even speak). Nearly all creatures capable of swimming naturally know how to do so (notable exceptions include arachnids and most insect men, who can't swim at all), which obviates the need for the Swimming skill. All these factors make certain species more or less advantageous than the major races. On the other hand, some can be game-breakingly powerful starter characters (e.g. elephant man). It's best to study the creature's raws in order to make an informed choice, which you may prefer to put off until getting some experience with the game.

[edit] Status

For your first game...

A Demigod begins with the greatest potential survivability.

You can then choose to start as either a Peasant, Hero or Demigod. Each offers progressively more points to spend on attributes and skills. These three options essentially amount to how difficult it is to get started, so to make things easier to survive combat you may want to pick "Demigod". If you chose to focus on non-combat abilities, a Demigod has the points to augment physical hardiness and have plenty left over for a versatile spread of skills and attributes.

[edit] Starting attributes

The ranking descriptions of Attributes are based on your racial averages, which for Human and Animal People are all 1000. All of these can be increased over the course of adventuring, though some have fewer opportunities to increase (and some opportunities are unimplemented.) Maximum Attributes will be 1000 plus your starting value for Average or lower initial values, and double your initial value for Attributes higher than Average.

[edit] Physical attributes

Attribute Description
Strength Damage dealt, encumbrance limits and mass, which increases total blood but slows Gaits.
Agility Speed in Gaits and combat actions, all defensive and ranged skills, Stealth, and to lesser extent all weapon and movement skills.
Toughness Base durability of tissue layers, reduces penetration along with armor, and the probability of getting knocked unconscious or broken bones.
Endurance Rate at which exhaustion is reduced, which is incurred by every physical action and many passive, and total blood supply.
Recuperation Rate at which lost blood is restored, recovery from Bleeding and Winded conditions.
Disease Resistance Resistance to syndromes, curses from vampire blood or a werebeast bite, resistance to infections and rate at which infection spreads.

[edit] Mental attributes

Attribute Description
Analytical Ability important for Tracking, useful for Knapping
Focus all ranged attacks, Observation
Willpower Fighter and Swimmer skills, resistance to pain and unconsciousness, rate of recovery from unconsciousness
Intuition Most important for Observation, also used in Social interactions.
Spatial Sense All combat skills, Ambusher and Observer, Knapping, Swimming, Crutch-Walking
Kinesthetic Sense All movement skills, most combat skills
Linguistic Ability All social and literary skills. Good Speaking ability makes others enjoy your company, and more likely to trust you
Empathy As with Speaking, others enjoy the company more and are likely to trust a character they can relate to.
Social Awareness Determines number of companions willing to join, applied to other Social actions.

For your first game...

Recommended starting attributes:

  • High Strength
  • High Agility - no less than 1:1 ratio with strength, see below
  • High Toughness
  • High Endurance
  • Above Average Focus, Willpower, Intuition
  • High Spatial Sense
  • High Kinesthetic Sense

These are most frequently employed attributes for combat. The suggested amounts may be further increased by reducing other, less combat-oriented, attributes, but this naturally narrows the character' competency to combat-oriented actions in exchange for increased might and durability.

Speed is an advantage and necessity in combat, which is reliant directly on Agility and indirectly on Strength. A higher starting Strength increases encumbrance limits, so you can carry more and wear heavier armor without reducing your speed. With higher Strength comes higher mass, which can nibble away at the advantages granted by higher Agility. For optimal speed potential, Agility must be in equal or higher proportion to Strength. Endurance in good proportion enables you to sustain your high speed activity and makes up for the additional blood that Strength could supply.

The value of Social Awareness varies by physical attributes. A Peasant of average or lower physical ability benefits greatly per companion -- strength in numbers. But a Demigod combat monster gains very little benefit per companion -- at best they serve as decoy, so you may as well issue them a Red Shirt and draft their Living Will upon recruitment.

For the purpose of a quick start, the remaining skills (Creativity, Patience, Memory, and Musicality) are self-explanatory, but you can only learn what value they are to you by playing and exploring the game. These don't contribute anything to survivability, but they can add fun to the downtime.

Later you may find that you want to start with different attributes, but these are a good safe starting point.

Read up on Attributes for more information. Skills by Body Attribute and Skills by Soul Attribute also hint at how each Attribute is applied.

[edit] Starting skills

Starting Skill selection is dependent on your character's civilization. Starting Skill rating doesn't influence potential maximum Skill because there is no maximum. The highest rating description is "Legendary", but your Skill rating can develop to many times over that.

All Skills can be developed in adventuring, even from no skill (with a few exceptions such as Reading.) But some are so necessary to success that you may fail unless you get a head start in their advancement.

Defensive skills (Dodger, Shield User and Armor User) are absolutely critical to survival. Dodger enables you to sidestep unblockable attacks and charges, and to passively evade unforeseen attacks (though that presents its own danger in certain terrains.) Shield User improves rate of passive blocking, and reduces the exhaustion from active and passive blocking. Armor User reduces the encumbrance value of worn equipment to as low as 0, and reduces the penetration of attacks striking the layers of your armor.

Make no mistake: Observer is a defensive skill. In the beginning your defensive skills will not serve you as well as learning to anticipate your opponent's attacks and acting accordingly. When you can identify if your opponent is off-guard or open to a good chance of attack, you can strike selectively, and without exhausting your energy before you can finish the fight. Striking futilely until you reach exhaustion will leave you as vulnerable as you could possibly be.

A good offense is the best defense, but (as Miyamoto Musashi says) you should not overspecialize in a weapon at start, but be willing to develop skills opportunistically as the best attack for the situation presents itself. Investing in Fighter Skill will start you with a broad competency in every martial form. With enough skill in this you can comfortably train other attack skills from nothing, and take advantage of the best quality weapon you come across.

Wrestling holds are always available to you; and to your enemies. Skill in Wrestling improves your defense against Wrestling, and is the easiest form to exercise all Physical Attributes. There are less risky methods of developing Wrestling, but you may not get the opportunity to use them if you face a deadlier opponent first.

(See combat skills for more info, and Weapons to learn the practical utility of each weapon type.)

Swimmer skill is needed to enter water as deep as 7/7 without drowning. It's possible but very risky and time-consuming to develop this from no skill, but starting with at least Novice will enable you to develop Physical Attributes from it sooner. Animal People do not need any skill in this, as it will never be needed or used. They also cannot gain Physical Attributes by practicing it.

At least Novice Reader is important to be able to read anything, as there is currently no way of increasing it from no skill. Reading is especially required if you wish to become a Necromancer.

For your first game...

Recommended starting skills:

  • Talented Fighter
  • Proficient Observer
  • Novice Swimmer (except Animal Person characters)
  • Adequate Shield User
  • Proficient Armor User
  • Adequate Dodger
  • Adequate Wrestler
  • Novice Reader

With high Fighter, you have a great range of combat tactics. With high Observer, Shield User and Dodger can be best developed through active use. Armor User can only be improved passively, which will be painful both in encumbrance costs of your armor and the beatings you will have to soak up with it. Wrestler can be improved from no skill, but some skill provides a buffer from unexpected challenges.

As with Attributes, you may later find that you want to experiment with different skill point allocations, but these are some good safe starting choices for purposes of getting through the tutorial.

(Read up on Skills for more information.)

[edit] Appearance and personality

While your appearance has no effect in game, your personality traits influence your needs. As long as your needs are satisfied, your adventurer will stay focused. Have an too extreme personality, and your adventurer craves for his urges to be satisfied more easily - an adventurer that values nature highly, will become unsatisfied when he doesn't see animals often enough.

For your first playthrough try to balance your adventurer's personality in a way that minimizes needs. Managing needs and achieving higher Focus can be very valuable to your character, but beginning with a shorter list makes it easier to learn what behavior adjustments to make in order to satisfy them. When you have those down, you can acquire more needs later with changes in your values.

But be sure to avoid needs that cannot currently be satisfied. The conditions for "Eat good meal" (high Immoderation and low Self-Control value) "Make romance" (high Love Propensity and high Romance value) and "Be with family/Be with friends" (high Family and Friendship values) aren't confirmed to be implemented for Adventurer modev0.42.01 The means to satisfy "Self-examination" (high Introspection value) and "Take it easy" (low Activity Level and high Leisure value) are uncertain, if possible. The conditions to satisfy "Help someone" (high Altruism and High Sacrifice value) are extremely narrow and fraught with error (it's doable, but not feasible to keep up regularly.)

[edit] Other

Key Reference

Most of the key commands you will need are noted in the text, but refer to the quick reference guide if you need to look up the key for a particular action.

Background doesn't matter too much, although if you're Locally Important, you'll start off right in a mead hall (as opposed to having to walk to one as a peasant), which usually contains plenty of weaponry and armor for you to take. You'll also be a hearthperson, who can take orders from the lord or lady in the mead hall.

Your name has little bearing on game play, so that can be freely selected. If you customize your first name, people may comment on how unusual it is. Your name can grow with fame; as your deeds increase so will the length of your name be extended with a title given by populace and posterity. If you define something in every category at the start, then your name won't grow with fame, though it can change with infamy.

Gender can make a difference in gameplay. Males of mammalian species have a higher average mass, which adds to base blood capacity, the effectiveness of and resistance to charge attacks, and the ability to break wrestling holds. The larger the species, the greater the difference in range and average. Females of other species may have advantages over other genders, such as the Queen Antman.

[edit] Gameplay

Once you have finished character creation, hit the Esc key at any time and select Save Game to save your game. You can then come back to it later by using the Continue Playing option in the main menu.

[edit] Setting off

Talking to someone.

You will usually start your adventure in a peasant hut (if you're a Peasant) or a mead hall or keep (if you're Locally Important). You can talk to nearby people using the k key, and Inquire about any troubles to learn of any quests you can take on. Some of the more common types you may be told about:

  • Beasts are any kind of creature that may be harassing people. The type of beasts range from vampires living amongst the inhabitants of a site, all the way up to titans and other mythical creatures.
  • Bandits are groups of people who menace people in nearby sites, out of the reach of civilization. They usually hang out in camps (shown by a on the map).
  • Criminals are similar to bandits, except they operate right under the nose of authorities -- sites ruled by civilizations. You will find these outcasts hiding in abandoned houses and underground cells.
  • Skulking Vermin are thieving kobolds, and otherwise similar to bandits. Due to their relative ineptitude in combat, these are probably the best targets for fledgling adventurers.

Note that you have to press k each time you want to continue the conversation, and select the appropriate ongoing conversation. If someone else is said to know where to go, you may ask for the whereabouts of that person through Ask for directions (new menu)

[edit] Fast travel

Alone in the dark...

Avoid traveling in the wilderness at night, particularly when you are alone.

Fast Travel screen. This adventurer is in a hamlet, with houses to the right and the mead hall visible in the upper-left corner of the hamlet. The asterisk in the middle of all the houses represents a group, in this case a group of unfriendly goblins. The zoomed-out world map is on the right.

So far you've been traveling around at normal scale, but this can be very slow for traveling between geographical regions.

Using T will open the fast-travel screen and enable you to roam the land very quickly. Notice the uppermost bar indicating the position of the sun.

Use m to open a zoomed-out overview map to further help you navigate. This key cycles between the most-zoomed-out "sepia tone" world map and no secondary map when traveling between sites, and in sites it cycles between a list of notable buildings where you're standing, the region map (your main map when not near a site), and the most-zoomed-out world map.

[edit] Finding some muscle

Much of the time, especially at the beginning, you need some companions to watch your back. The best place to find some is at a fortress, keep, tavernv0.42.01, or mead hall. Fortresses will be marked by a Ω on the region and world maps. On the site-level map, the fortress entrance will be marked by an 8 or ∞ in the outer wall. Keeps are in towns, and are a 3x3 building with a path leading from the entrance, usually surround by a large, encircling wall. Mead halls are found in hamlets, and are usually in a 3x3 yellow/brown square by itself, although sometimes it's integrated with the main housing area (in any case, the mead hall will be evidenced by a bright magenta name in the list of notable buildings).

No companion left behind...

When fast-traveling, make sure that all of your companions are near you or some may be left behind. If you've left behind companions, an asterisk will appear on the map where you previously were, and may even try to join up with you.

Move next to the entrance of your chosen source of soldiers and hit d to exit fast travel. You may need to walk around a bit to find the entrance. Once inside, if the location is not abandoned, you will find soldiers milling around. Use k to talk to them and select Ask listener to join you (new menu). Make sure you ask them to go on an adventure, not to lead you to some location. At first you will only be able to get three followers, but this is enough for now.

If the location is abandoned, leave and try another one.

Walk some distance away from the fort (or walk on the path out the keep until the path changes in material, or don't bother getting out if you're in a mead hall) and go back to the fast travel screen with T.

[edit] Obtaining food and drink

Thirsty in the rain

If your character is thirsty, and it is raining, even if you do have water with you; drink the water coverings. This will help you to save water for when it is not raining, especially when you are traveling a big distance. Press e like you normally would and scroll all the way to the bottom. You can also drink blood from wounds - maybe a little salty in real life, but in dwarf fortress, it works. Note that if you drink vampire blood, you will turn into a vampire, but this early in the game you dont have to worry about that.

You will get hungry or thirsty after some time, indicated by the Hungry or Thirsty attributes respectively. As you should know, when this appears its time for a snack. To eat or drink, press e and locate some food - it can be anything, as long as it is actually food. You can "eat" something like a sword, but it will say "You lick the sword", and you will not get less hungry or thirsty.

[edit] Where can I find food?

There are many ways of obtaining food:

  • Meat - probably the easiest to come by. Find an animal in the wilds, kill it and butcher the corpse with a sharp tool.
  • Fruits - they grow on the ground and on trees during the summer. Just ensure the season is appropriate - you won't find any fruits in the winter!
  • Exploring human and dwarf sites - there are bags of food stored in the houses. Or you can buy some.

And if you search for something to quench your thirst:

  • Drink fresh water directly from a river, or fill your waterskin with it.
  • Snow can be found in cold biomes. Pick some from the ground and melt it near a campfire.
  • You can drink blood, even when you aren't a vampire. Wound a creature to make it bleed and then pick some blood from the bloody pool.
  • If you fancy to drink alcohol, search for barrels of booze inside dwarven fortresses. Or order a drink at a Tavern.

[edit] Getting some rest

Going bump in the night...

Beware of sleeping in the wilderness at night! If you have to sleep outside, only do so if you have companions. Even if you do have companions, it will usually be better to travel drowsy until you reach a fort or town where it's safe to sleep.

At this point you may have traveled enough that your character is tired. When your adventurer becomes tired, as indicated by the Drowsy attribute, it's time for some sleep. Move to a settlement of some sort, go into a building, and use the Z key to bring up the sleep menu.

If you are in a private house, you must first ask the owner for permission before you can sleep. If a commoner is blocking you from entering his home, use the s key to crawl under his legs, and then the same key to stand back up.

[edit] Finding your target

Use Q to bring up the quest screen. By default you will get a list of events. Using the + and - keys, you can scroll through the quests displayed on the right. Pressing z will zoom in on the current quest target (if it's possible to), showing you the quickest path to reach it. The quest menu can also be used to pinpoint the location of many other useful sites and entities. If there are a lot of items to go through, you can use f to filter the list.

Fast travel toward the location where your target is. When you get close, go back to the quest screen, hit z and you should get a more detailed map of exactly where to go. Once you are in the right spot, hit d to exit fast travel mode. (If you want to come out of fast travel mode sneaking, press s and then d.)

In the upper-left corner of the screen you will now see a box with a list of icons and an abbreviation for a direction such as NNE (north northeast). Continue to move in the indicated direction until you find the target that you're supposed to kill. This won't work if your target is in the sewers unless you are in the sewers and standing on a ramp, but it will lead you to a lair entrance or the middle of a bandit camp.

[edit] Fighting


Note that the target of your first quest may be in a camp (looks like ) surrounded by henchmen. Make sure to approach carefully and when you see one of them, let them come to you and let your companions attack first.

If you attempt to kill the target(s) of your first quest with neither companions nor armor then you are very likely to die. Therefore, before proceeding make sure you have friends with you. If you do, you shouldn't need armor if you let them do most of the fighting.

As you may have noticed by now, combat in Dwarf Fortress is quite complex compared to other games, so this section is kind of long. Please read it carefully though.

[edit] Movement and positioning

When approaching a target it's usually best to wait using . to wait 10 instants (or , to wait just one) once you get close and let your target come to you so you can get the first shot on them. Positioning can be important because you don't want to let enemies attack you from the side or behind (!) and you should also try to move so that you're never fighting more than one opponent at a time. Green symbols that may appear next to you or others show the direction in which people are headed, which can be useful in positioning yourself.

If you need to catch up with someone, or change your sneak status, use S to pull up the movement dialog. This dialog controls the speed at which you move, and whether or not you're sneaking. If you're sneaking, you will see three-dimensional vision cones for people.

If you find yourself being shot at with ranged weapons, put a tree, hill, or other terrain feature between you and the archer and wait for some melee equipped opponents to come to you. Your followers will probably not be so smart though.

For your first fight, you may want to let your companions take the lead anyway though as you may not have any decent armor yet. Press . or , to skip instants if you want to wait in one spot and let your friends advance and soften up some enemies first. If one of your companions dies, no big deal. You can just take his stuff by pressing g then get another follower later. If they die and you're outnumbered, just run away and come back later with new companions.

If you want to be useful while sitting back and letting your friends charge in first, use t to throw objects such as rocks (freely available on many outdoor tiles by pressing g) at your opponent.

[edit] Attacking effectively

Don't expect it to be easy...

If you're finding your first quest too difficult, and you manage to escape with your life, you can ignore the quest for a while, replace any dead followers, go ask NPCs about Surroundings, and try to find an easier camp or lair to attack. When you kill whatever "boss" is there, even if it not part of a quest, you can still go brag about it (most effectively by spreading the rumor of your deeds), raise your fame, get more followers, and then go back to the original quest. You can also just ask different people in different towns for different quests and perhaps find an easy one like killing a leopard.

To attack, you can simply use a directional key to move your character as if to collide with your target. More effective though is pressing A when directly adjacent to a target in order to target specific body parts.

At first your skills obviously won't be that great, so it's important to make targeted shots using A. Take the Easy strikes that are also Solid even if they target arms or legs. At first you're going to want to target limbs anyway because you're much less likely to be able to one-shot enemies with a blow to the head and you want to render them harmless as quickly as possible. If you get an Easy or Tricky shot to the head that is also relatively Solid, you might want to take it though. If every shot is difficult except for a body shot, take the body shot.

Taking out an arm or hand can disarm your foe, cutting off a foot or leg will knock the opponent down and severely limit their movement, and anything causing severe pain can cause the opponent to lose consciousness making a follow-up headshot very easy. Cutting off weapon arms and a leg means they're almost as good as dead, so take note of what will most easily neutralize the threat before killing it. You may want to ignore such disabled opponents for a while and help your companions disable uninjured enemies.

For armored areas, either avoid attacking them or attempt stabbing or blunt force rather than slashing.

  • Frequently your weapon will get "lodged in the wound" making it unavailable for another attack until you free it. To free the weapon, use the directional keys to step away/sideways, or use the Advanced Interaction (I) menu.
  • When your weapon is lodged in an opponent, they are unable to dodge. If you have another weapon, then getting 1 weapon lodged is extremely beneficial as you can then proceed to kill/neutralize your opponent without worrying about them dodging. However, they are still able to parry, and you are still able to miss. Remember - counterattacks are the most deadly attacks. If you want to attack an opponent in a difficult place, then don't - it's not worth the risk.
  • Enemies behind you get a higher hit chance. You want to stay facing most of your enemies if you can, but you should never back into a corner.
  • You can select different styles for any aimed attack. Quick and wild attacks sacrifice power and/or accuracy for speed (leading to a greater chance that you will hit your target), while heavy and precise attacks sacrifice speed for increased power and/or accuracy. The speedier styles are good for initial hits, and the slower styles are good for finishing blows.

[edit] Looting

Once your targets are dead, take their stuff using the g key. Immediately use w to wear any armor or clothing you gain. Severed heads can be left behind (although they can be used as a rather morbid way of showing people what you've done).

When walking around, use the g key to pick up any equipment or item lying on the ground. These will then be added to your inventory i. Items may be sold later on to a shop at a nearby town (not hamlet). However, if you have too many things in your inventory you will be slowed down (indicated by a slower speed number, less than 1 if you're in the default walk pace) and may lose your next fight because of it.

If you must choose which items to keep, try to keep the ones of the best material and item quality.

[edit] Completing quests

Once you complete your first quest, you can talk to any hamlet, town or fortress dweller to spread the news of your success. Brag about your past violent acts isn't as effective as Bring up specific incident or rumor (new menu). It is not necessary to return to the individual who told you about the trouble to report your success.

Small army...

For now, always recruit the maximum number of companions. Later you may find that you don't need as many, though you'll usually need at least a few.

Each time you report your success, your level of fame will increase. Once your fame has risen, more mighty warriors may want to join you on your way to glory. They can be recruited at the usual locations or among the common peasants. Your companions will greatly increase your chances of survival and adventurers who care about such things should drop by the nearest fortress, keep, or mead hall as quickly as possible.

[edit] Checking things out

At any time, use the z key to display your status. This can be used to look for any scratches, bruises or missing limbs.

To check on the status of your companions, use the c key to get a list of them (specifically, the ones within visual range) and a summary of their conditions, then press the key corresponding to the one you want to view up close. Alternatively, you can use the l key, which can also be used to look at any other item or creature within your range of vision.

You may equip any items that you find or buy using the w key. If you are wearing too many items in an existing location, items must first be removed using the r key. To swap weapons you should drop the equipped weapon first, or put it in your backpack, then get the new equipment from the ground or remove it from your backpack.

You can look at tracks nearby using K. If there are any obvious directions to pursue, a box under the "closest locations" box will tell you which way to follow particular tracks. Alt+k will give you a summary of the tracks right under you. o and O deal in odor detection.

[edit] Trading

You can tell at a glance which towns have shops by looking for white roads in towns (rather than the yellow roads that are houses most of the time) on the travel map.

To find shops, go stand on a white road tile on the fast travel screen then press m to display nearby structures. Walk around a bit and you should find some shops. Press d to appear on the road outside of them. You can walk inside and talk to the residents just like anyone else, except that residents in shops will be willing to Trade with you. In fast-travel mode, the list of significant buildings will tell you the shops available in that particular 3x3 square of land.

[edit] What next?

The next thing you should do is work on getting a full set of armor unless you have been lucky enough to have already obtained one. You may want to go tromping around in the woods looking for animals to kill. Killing animals can be profitable because you can butcher their corpses with x and sell the products. Butcher and sell all animal corpses until you've managed to obtain a full set of metal armor. Meat is surprisingly valuable.

You may need to visit several armor shops to find all the armor pieces you need.

Somewhat more dangerous, but much more profitable, is attacking bandit camps. Just let followers do most of the fighting and concentrate on picking off severely wounded enemies until you get at least a helmet, body, and leg armor. And if some followers die, all the better. You can take their stuff and use or sell it.

You can also rummage around in fortress, keeps, and mead halls for equipment.

After you've armored up a bit, it's probably safe to go on the next quest. Get as many companions as you can and set off for your next target. You can also Ask about the surrounding area, which can reveal lairs and other hidden sites on the map. You should probably avoid any non-quest lairs in the beginning, though, as lairs and such can have creatures that you won't be able to handle at this point.

[edit] Preparing For longer journeys

If you plan to visit sites that are very far away, you need to make a few preparations.

[edit] Planning your route

Traveling in Quick Travel mode is very fast, so you want to maximize the time you spend there. Most importantly, you cannot cross rivers and mountain ranges while quick traveling. You can leave the quick travel screen and jump over or swim through them, but companions won't do that. Reentering the quick travel screen will make them follow you, but that might not always work. If you can avoid it, move around rivers. Note that brooks (lighter color) can be crossed in quick travel. While getting past rivers is relatively fast, crossing a large mountain range can take a while.

Ideally, you plan your route so you walk most of the time in roughly the middle of a land mass so rivers originate left and right of you and drain into the oceans away from you. If there are settlements along a river, they will have bridges you can use to cross without leaving quick travel. Avoid mountain ranges altogether unless they're narrow and going around would take longer.

[edit] Securing more supplies

On long journeys, your original few units of food and water won't last very long. You can carry more food, but unless you find another waterskin, you won't be able to carry more than 3 units of water. As such, you should try to travel in the vicinity of rivers and refill your waterskin (by Interacting with it while standing on or next to a water tile) if you get the opportunity – for example a river you have to cross anyway. You will rarely find rivers in mountain ranges, and as you might expect, crossing a desert will give you no chance to refill your water skin either. Glaciers, on the other hand, have infinite water everywhere: Just fill your waterskin with snow, then make a campfire by pressing g (you might need to scroll down to find the entry) and use the Interact menu standing next to it to melt the snow.

Food is relatively easy to get: Killing a single medium sized animal will give you an ample amount of edible items. After killing, stand on the corpse of the animal and press x to open the actions menu. Select "butcher" and move your cursor to the right, selecting the corpse you want to butcher. Press again to pick the tool that you want to use. Press Enter and you will then proceed to butcher the corpse, dropping all of the products on the same tile as yourself. If you're having difficulty catching up to animals that run away, try sneaking up on them.

[edit] After that?

More Tips

See the Adventure mode FAQ for lots of tips and suggestions on how to avoid death and increase your skills.

Congratulations, you have graduated from adventurer school. You can now keep doing quests, explore random sites, go find and explore an old fort of yours in one of your existing worlds, get lost in the underworld, or whatever you feel like.

You may want to read through the full adventure mode documentation to learn about things that weren't covered here.

[edit] Feedback

Thread about this tutorial on the Bay12 Forums

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