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This article is about an older version of DF.
Jacques Callot, a human noble from times past.

Nobles are snotty, good-for-nothing parasites dwarves elevated to a position of "rule" (or so they think) over your fortress. They provide a critical happiness bonus to unhappy and stressed dwarves, who will yell at or cry on the nobles, and are also responsible for interacting with outpost liaisons. Nobles who can perform a useful, specific task or duty unique to their position, such as managing work orders, trading with merchants, commanding military positions, or even stocks recording, are colloquially known as utility nobles. Certain nobles are automatically elected by your fortress's citizenry, rising to ranks mostly outside of the player's control, while others (the aforesaid utility nobles, mostly) can be directly appointed by the player, and can be promoted, demoted and replaced at any time.

Certain higher-rank nobles can make demands and set mandates, which, if not met, will upset the noble and result in punishments for your dwarves if the fortress has an active justice system. They are also well-aware of their social statuses and often want expensive, well-furnished rooms and other personal goodies, such as cabinets and armor stands, and some of them are envious bastards and do not want a lesser dwarf to have a better room than them. If a noble is too much of a problem and cannot be fired, it may be possible to arrange an unfortunate accident for them. Be careful, though, the death of a noble, especially a popular one like a mayor, may cause unhappy thoughts and stress among the general populace, and their replacement may be even worse. Furthermore, a fortress lacking a noble ruler (such as a mayor) may be temporarily unable to appoint new nobles manually, including utility nobles, until a new dwarf takes office.

It is possible for some of your dwarves to hold noble titles over other parts of the dwarven kingdom. These dwarves are still capable of issuing mandates in your fort, however, and demand the same sort of privileged treatment as any other non-utility noble. There is no benefit to having multiple of the same noble in the same fortress (except for militia captains), so in the event you happen to have multiple barons or similar, it is more productive to remove the noble whose title is not linked to your fortress in order to avoid the unnecessary hassle with mandates and demands. Note that nobles, whether elected or appointed, cannot be peacefully exiled, as they are presumably in charge of emigration orders in the first place.

Humans, elves and goblins have nobles of their own, with some of the positions of their civilizations being exclusive to them, such as human law-makers and elven druids. While civilized, kobolds and subterranean animal people have no nobles.

The nobles screen, displaying a variety of positions. Some have mandates and room requirements pending.


Landholding nobles have triggers defined in the "entity_default.txt" raws. Prior to v0.44.11, these triggers would activate the associated nobles directly; in the current version, these triggers allow the foundation of new holdings and the number of holdings activates the nobles instead.

  • Population - Minimum population required for this position to become available.
  • Created Wealth - Minimum created wealth for this position to become available.
  • Exported Wealth - Minimum exported wealth for this position to become available.
  • Holdings - Minimum number of fortress holdings for this position to become available.v0.44.11
Land Holder Population Created Wealth Exported Wealth Holdingsv0.44.11
Baron 20 100k 10k 1
Count 20 200k 20k 4
Duke 20 300k 30k 9


Below are the room demands made by each position. For details on room values see: Room. It also lists the number of chests, cabinets, weapon racks, and armor stands they demand. Finally, it shows the maximum number of demands and mandates they can issue at any given point.

Position Quarters Dining Room Office Tomb Chests Cabinets Racks Stands Demands Mandates
Baron 4Decent Quarters 4Decent Dining Room 4Decent Office 4Tomb 2 1 1 1 2 1
Bookkeeper 0 0 1Meager Office 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Broker 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Captain of the Guard 3Quarters 3Dining Room 3Office 0 1 1 1 1 0 0
Champion 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Chief medical dwarf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Count 6Great Bedroom 6Great Dining Room 6Throne Room 6Mausoleum 3 2 2 2 3 2
Diplomat 6Great Bedroom 6Great Dining Room 6Throne Room 0 3 2 2 2 3 0
Duke 7Grand Bedroom 7Grand Dining Room 7Opulent Throne Room 7Grand Mausoleum 5 3 3 3 5 3
Dungeon master 3Quarters 3Dining Room 3Office 0 1 1 1 1 0 0
Expedition leader 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
General 3Quarters 3Dining Room 4Decent Office 1Grave 2 1 3 3 2 0
Hammerer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Manager 0 0 1Meager Office 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mayor 4Decent Quarters 4Decent Dining Room 4Decent Office 0 2 1 1 1 2 1
Militia captain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Militia commander 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Monarch 8Royal Bedroom 8Royal Dining Room 8Royal Throne Room 8Royal Mausoleum 910 5 5 5 910 5
Outpost liaison 6Great Bedroom 6Great Dining Room 6Throne Room 0 3 2 2 2 3 0
Sheriff 2Modest Quarters 2Modest Dining Room 2Modest Office 0 1 1 1 1 0 0


This shows various notes for each position taken from the raws.

  • # - lists whether one or more dwarves can have this position. Duke/Count/Baron don't have a number listed, but each fortress can only have one.
  • Squad - Lists the number and type of dwarf that this position leads
  • Spouse - The noble's spouse is also considered a noble, being called "[noble] consort". No privileges are attached to them, except of course the fact that they share the rooms with their spouse.
  • Heir - Is this individual replaced by an heir when they die?
  • Appointed By - Which position appoints this person initially? Note that the player actually controls all appointments via the noble screen; this is, in effect, only which dwarf is necessary before the player can make the appointment. Barons aren't directly appointed but elevated (presumably by the mountainhome) upon recommendation of the player. They cannot be replaced via the nobles screen. Once a baron/countess/duke dies, no new nobles can be created, either.
  • Replaced By - What position replaces this one?
  • Pop Req - Minimum population required for this position to become available.
  • Wealth Req - Minimum created & exported wealth (respectively) for this position to become available.
  • Elected - Is this dwarf elected?
  • Lazy - Such nobles won't do any regular labors aside from pulling levers, deconstructing walls, and some other things. Currently non-functional, so "lazy" nobles can still be assigned to perform any labor.
  • Immunity - Immune dwarves aren't punished for any crimes.
  • Econ Exempt - These dwarves don't need money to pay for goods or rooms after the economy arrives. Due to the economy currently being disabled, this privilege goes unused for now.
  • Military Screen Only - This position is only listed on the military screen.
  • Jealous - These dwarves will become upset if their rooms are not better than those of "lesser" dwarves. They don't have to see the rooms to become upset, since they somehow just know such rooms exist.
Position # Squad Spouse Heir Appointed By Replaced By Pop Req Wealth Req Elected Lazy Immunity Econ Exempt Military Screen Only Jealous
Baron - - Yes Yes Monarch Count 20 100k / 10k - Yes Yes Yes - Yes
Bookkeeper 1 - - - Exp.Leader/Mayor - - - - - - - - -
Broker 1 - - - Exp.Leader/Mayor - - - - - - - - -
Captain of the Guard 1 10:Fortress Guard - - Exp.Leader/Mayor - 50 - - - - Yes - -
Champion 1 - - - Duke/Count/Baron - - - - Yes Yes Yes - -
Chief Medical Dwarf 1 - - - Exp.Leader/Mayor - - - - - - - - -
Count - - Yes Yes Monarch Duke 20 200k / 20k - Yes Yes Yes - Yes
Diplomat 1 - - - Monarch - - - - Yes Yes Yes - Yes
Duke - - Yes Yes Monarch - 20 300k / 30k - Yes Yes Yes - Yes
Expedition Leader 1 - - - - Mayor - - - - - Yes - -
General 1 10:Soldier - - Monarch - - - - Yes Yes Yes - Yes
Hammerer 1 - - - Exp.Leader/Mayor - - - - Yes Yes Yes - -
Manager 1 - - - Exp.Leader/Mayor - - - - - - - - -
Mayor 1 - - - - - 50 - Yes - - Yes - -
Militia Captain 1+ 10:Militia-dwarf - - Militia Commander - - - - - - - Yes -
Militia Commander 1 10:Militia-dwarf - - Exp.Leader/Mayor - - - - - - - - -
Monarch 1 - Yes Yes Armok himself - 140 It's complicated - Yes Yes Yes - Yes
Outpost Liaison 1 - - - Monarch - - - - Yes Yes Yes - Yes
Sheriff 1 - - - Exp.Leader/Mayor Captain of the Guard - - - - - Yes - -

Appointed noble selection[edit]

Appointed nobles are chosen by the player via the noble menu (though technically, in-universe they are being appointed by higher-ranking nobles; see below). There are certain skills that are relevant for each appointed noble's job, and not all dwarves will gain experience in the given skill; some dwarves will never gain experience in certain skills, this is determined by each dwarf's personal traits, and it is therefore important to select the dwarf with the appropriate set of traits for each position.

When choosing a dwarf to assign to a noble position, the list of choices is sorted by the skill relevant to the job. This is especially important when appointing utility nobles.

In-universe, when you appoint a noble, the new orders don't just descend from on high. Instead, a higher-ranking noble will actually appoint someone to the position. All appointed noble positions aside from the militia captain are appointed by the expedition leader, or the mayor that replaces them when your fort's population reaches a certain point. Militia captain positions are instead appointed by the militia commander, and the commander must return from any missions before any appointments can be made. If your fort doesn't have the relevant higher-ranking noble for some reason, you can't appoint certain positions until they are replaced.

Nobles in other civilizations[edit]

There are two basic kinds of nobles: civ-level and site-level. Positions with the [SITE] tag are site-level, those without it are civ-level. These types of nobles can be regarded as completely separate systems; with the lone exception of LAND_HOLDER related appointments (which have their own specific rules), civ-level nobles cannot appoint, succeed, or be replaced by site-level positions, and vice versa.

Outside of fort mode, the game will always attempt to assign nobles whenever possible (except for those with NUMBER:AS_NEEDED). So the rules for when nobles appear are controlled by the tags which limit them.

Nobles with [APPOINTED_BY:position] require a noble of the designated position. Nobles with [REQUIRES_POPULATION] require the population to have a specific size. Nobles with [REQUIRES_MARKET] will only appear in "large" sites (which may have different rules for different site types). This tag has no effect in fort mode.

Positions that have no requirements will automatically be assigned to a random civ member when a new site/civ is created. A position that requires a certain population will not appear in fort mode unless it has [APPOINTED_BY] or [ELECTED], probably due to a bug. In worldgen, there is no functional difference between ELECTED and no appointment rule except that ELECTED nobles tend to have high social skills and/or skills related to the position, while non-elected ones are assigned randomly. If a noble dies or advances to a new position via succession, the position will be granted to another unit based on the [SUCCESSION] tag. If they have an heir or the position exists, the unit will be assigned. If not, a new one will be appointed according to the usual rules. It is possible to assign multiple levels of SUCCESSION:BY_POSITION, creating a line of positions where the death of one causes all those "below" them to advance.

[REPLACED_BY:position] means that once the replacing position is available, the current position will disappear. As mentioned, site-level and civ-level positions are completely separate; a site position cannot be replaced by a civ-level one or vice versa.

These rules are followed in worldgen. It is possible to cause civs and individual sites to change their behavior substantially when they reach a certain size by controlling nobles. For example, if a site can only appoint a position with [MILITARY_GOALS] after reaching a particular size, that site will not send armies on missions until the required size is reached.

Another interesting point is that a civ-level LAW_MAKING position is required for the civilization to have any kind of cohesion. Without it, sites will be constantly embroiled in territorial disputes and civil wars will be commonplace.

Landholders positions[edit]

The way DF determines what positions will actually appear in your fortress is somewhat counter-intuitive and fairly limiting. This guide should help you understand what you can do to actually get your positions working properly.

There are five tokens governing which positions appear in your fortress - LAND_HOLDER, REQUIRES_POPULATION, APPOINTED_BY, ELECTED, and REPLACED_BY. The first two determine when your fortress is eligible for a new position, the next two determine how a new position for which your fortress is eligible can be added, and the fifth allows you to clear up obsolete positions. Unfortunately, they also interact in some strange ways that makes creating interesting position structures difficult.

When you start a new fortress, DF compiles a list of your initial positions. To do this, it looks at the requirements for each position - any position whose only requirement is less than seven dwarves (either because they have no requirement tokens, or because their only requirement tokens are [REQUIRES_POPULATION: =< 7] or [LAND_HOLDER:some trigger whose only requirement is some number of dwarves equal to or less than 7]). Most importantly, any position whose only requirement is a LAND_HOLDER requirement, regardless of what the trigger for that requirement is, will be added if another eligible starting position is REPLACED_BY it. A non-LAND_HOLDER position that is REPLACED_BY a LAND_HOLDER position will never appear. With this list compiled, the game culls all positions that are REPLACED_BY another eligible position, and then culls all positions that have the APPOINTED_BY token. You may not embark with any appointed positions. Any remaining positions are then filled by a dwarf chosen at random.

Positions do not automatically appear when you reach their requirements. For example, if you remove the ELECTED token from the Mayor, then the Mayor will never appear, even once you reach their required number of dwarves. For a position that does not appear at embark to appear in your fortress, it must be APPOINTED_BY another position or ELECTED.

Naturally, this is more complicated than it looks. APPOINTED_BY positions must be appointed by another position already in your fortress, or a civ-level position. Only LAND_HOLDER positions may be appointed by civ-level positions. LAND_HOLDER positions that are APPOINTED_BY civ-level positions are inherently tied to civ-level tokens with the ESTABLISH_COLONY_TRADE_AGREEMENTS responsibility. If a fortress meets the LAND_HOLDER_TRIGGER for a new LAND_HOLDER tier when a caravan leaves, then the next time the outpost liaison or equivalent arrives, they will offer to make you an official colony, which will allow you to select all positions for that LAND_HOLDER level. Each time they appear, the outpost liaison will only promote your fortress one tier up the LAND_HOLDER track. The biggest problem with this system is that you may set your LAND_HOLDER_TRIGGERS such that you are eligible for the first tier of LAND_HOLDER positions at embark. If you are eligible for the first tier of LAND_HOLDER positions at embark, then all first-tier positions will appear twice - once at embark, and again when the outpost liaison comes to appoint you to the first tier.


Nobles may have impossible demands, like cardinal leather items or metal beds. Bug:944 (Feel free to arrange an unfortunate accident for the idiot in question) While no dwarves will get punished for not producing these items, it may enrage the noble.

Since at least 0.34.01, if your fort is unable to find a replacement for a noble, that noble will never be reappointed. Bug:5299 As of 0.42, new mayors and expedition leaders will be elected / "appointed by the monarch" after some time... but it might take a while, and in the meantime, you won't be able to appoint certain nobles. (not really a bug?) Bug:8129

Selecting Squads which contain Nobles[edit]

Here's a link to the DF forum, where some SCIENCE on Nobles in Squads has been conducted. http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=113639.msg3467517#msg3467517

D4Dwarf.png This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, pop culture references, and references to the Bay12 forums. Don't believe everything you read, and if you miss some of the references, don't worry. It was inevitable.

Although many all players often constantly get angry murderously mad at nobles, wiser players simply thank their lucky stars that Armok never created congressdwarves.

"Noble" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: rîthol
Elvish: ramu
Goblin: dösta
Human: hal
Appointed Nobles
Military Ranks
Elected Nobles