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This article is about an older version of DF.


Insurrections are brutal and violent changes of loyalty within an entity site. They currently only happen in world generation and adventure mode, and your adventurer may well start the game in the middle of one. Conversations with bystanders will helpfully provide the player with a modicum of information about what's going on, but the result is just a lot of inchoate fighting among a site's residents, accompanied by a huge FPS drop.

Insurrections are distinct from loyalty cascades, which stem from a bug caused by unusual player actions (taming enemy mounts or ordering your squads to kill merchants from your own civilization). By contrast, insurrections are programmed into the game by design and don't need player input to happen. They are also distinct from single troublemakers that are part of a fortress' daily life: berserkers, vampires, werebeasts, brawlers, tantrums, etc. in that they are concerted actions involving large parts of a site's population.


Periodically, in world generation or post-worldgen, a civilization will invade another. Assuming they don't raze the occupied sites, the conquerors will then incorporate their population into theirs. (This is partly the reason why so many civilizations and sites are multi-racial in DF versions since 0.40.) However, sites can be claimed by multiple civilizations, and the old one still lays its claim to the occupied region. Additionally, populations from the former civilization may still feel allegiance to it, against the occupiers. The end result is that part of the occupied population will attack the occupation's administrators and soldiers in an attempt to rejoin their former civ.

The game polls all of the cultures at a given site randomly about once a day, and checks if they are happy with their rulers. Their baseline opinion right requires them to have been conquered, or to have harsh laws in place (e.g. vampire rulers), or for the ruler to be cruel personality-wise. Then it checks the size of the occupying force vs. the population and runs through all the rumors to see if there have been zoomed-in combats with the occupiers and how many occupiers have died (this includes the adventurer, and unless something odd happens, it'll be the only source. Each conflict and death reduces the perceived % by 1. So in a large city with a small occupying force, one fight is enough.) Once one local culture feels ready to go, then all the cultures that feel that way will join an active insurrection (they'll generally flip the same way if they don't belong to the occupying group.) These are abstract events that run for just a few in-game hours, and they are resolved pretty abstractly based on the pop numbers. That determines the outcome and possibly the removal of the occupiers.

Insurrections currently do not happen in fortress mode.

In adventure mode[edit]

Insurrections aren't too hard to stumble into in adventure mode, because there are so many wars and invasions that set things up for them to happen, especially after world generation. As stated above, your adventurer may even start in the middle of one, usually to the player's great confusion. Presumably, joining either side will make you an enemy of the opposite faction, and if you started the game as a hearthperson, the side will already be picked for you. Because so many things are going on at the same time, and the numbers involved, insurrections are not very pleasant to navigate; each turn may take a considerable amount of real time to process. You also run the risk of being attacked by random people, without really knowing in advance if they're going to be hostile. Fortunately, the presence of an insurrection doesn't prevent you from fast traveling, so if you want nothing to do with the parties involved, just get out of there.

Insurrections seem to be triggered by how citizens respect their occupiers' strength: beheading a local ruler and spreading the news may be the one push needed to trigger one.

On the other hand, it is possible to incite insurrections by talking to citizens, asking them about the local ruler, and then asking them to join you in an insurrection. Their responses will vary, based off of their opinion on the current governance, as well as their values and personality. If they accept, they will join you as traveling companions. Gaining at least one such follower will count as starting an insurrection in legends mode and social interaction; the insurrection will end once you have none left.