DF2014:Guide to intelligent wilderness creatures in adventurer mode

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This article is about the current version of DF.

Intelligent Wilderness Creaturesv0.42.01 are playable wild animals - any creature with [LOCAL_POPS_CONTROLLABLE] fits into this category. A wilderness creature can be played as long as a population exists in an [ALL_MAIN_POPS_CONTROLLABLE] civilization. Most wilderness creatures are animal people.


The elephant man is the biggest land animal man. (In DF, size is proportional to strength, endurance and possible damage.) A simple punch from one of these creatures is enough to explode a human-sized foe's head, and they can also impale enemies with their tusks.

Honorable mentions:

  • Rhinoceros man (60% smaller, but still huge and has a horn to gore enemies)

Being too big (or small) for common armors has the downside of being unprotected and thus dying from infection, or a lucky hit in the head. To make armor for non-dwarves, humans, or other sapient creatures in fortress mode, you must have at least one inhabitant of the species in question.


The most useful venoms are the ones powerful enough to paralyze a human-sized creature, thus stopping its breathing and asphyxiating it. Therefore, the best animal men in this category are, by ascending size order (although the difference is too slight to be noticeable):

However, in adventure mode, syndromes work 72 times slower than in fortress mode. So, in the vanilla game, you can kill your victim with weapons 5 times over, before the venom kills it. To make combat-relevant syndromes work properly in both modes, you can mod their timing for adventure mode (by dividing all their timers by 72) and then add DWF_STRETCH:72 after them to slow down the effect in fort mode so they don't take effect instantly.

Honorable mentions: Strong pain syndromes may force foes to "give in to pain" faster. So, animal men with strong pain venom, like Adder man or Bark scorpion man may be a nice plus.


Amphibious creatures can breathe in or out of water, making them great for water exploration. The best ones are:

  • Pond turtle man, also able to retract in his shell (the shell becomes the only body part exposed to attacks)

Honorable mentions:

Alligator and Saltwater crocodile men look cool in this context, but some other amphibious animal men are bigger, and they are unable to jump like the animals they are based on.


Flying allows you to go up and down as if on stairs, but literally anywhere if there is no floor or ceiling - great for flying over obstacles, or even ocean, and to escape ground-based foes. The best ones are:

Honorable mention:

  • Mosquito women can suck blood with their trunks, which can be useful if you play a vampire.


Arachnid men have legendary-level skill in climbing, feel no pain, stunning, no fear, are immune to paralysis, have extravision (do not need eyes to see), do not need to sleep, and most of them have venom. They also have 6 arms (and 2 pincers for scorpions), allowing them to carry 6 (or 8) weapons or shields. Since using several weapons during the same turn make them less accurate, the most optimal way to play is to use 5 (or 7) shields and a weapon, to have 5 (or 7) chances to block attacks. But hey, using 7 weapons looks much cooler. However, they are unable to swim and can't consume vegetable based food. The best ones are:

  • Brown recluse spider man, who are also immune to webs (overpowered in DF). Their venom can also cause severe localized necrosis
  • Bark scorpion man, who have two pincers on top of 6 arms, thus able to use 8 weapons or shields


Retracting into a shell protects from many attacks, as the shell becomes the only body part exposed to these. Giant tortoise men are the biggest animal men able to do this.

Wearing common armor[edit]

The following animal people are able to wear dwarf-sized armor and clothes:

The following animal people are able to wear human-sized armor and clothes. Both are also bigger than humans:

The following animal people are able to wear both dwarf- and human-sized armor and clothes: