|This article is about the current version of DF.|
The observer skill represents situational awareness: the ability of a dwarf to notice key details about their surroundings. For general patrol, this skill increases the chance to spot a stealth unit. The higher the skill the greater the rangeVerify. The skill is particularly good to have for guards at your entrance or marksdwarves on your walls.
The maximum detection range is currently unknown, although experiments suggest that it is much longer than the 3 tiles of previous versions. Detections at a range of 20 tiles have been reported.
In combat, observer skill is used to note and anticipate the attacks of enemies. Skilled observers are less likely to be surprised by an opponent's charge, for instance, and less likely to receive a penalty for being attacked from the side. Higher levels of the skill give more information - which arm the opponent is using for its next attack for example.
Soldiers will gradually increase this skill while training. It is currently uncertain whether observing combat demonstrations improves observer skill directly, or if improvement is limited to sparring and combat. For targeted live training, fighting a group of weak or harmless enemies should increase the number of observer rolls as your trainee is surrounded. However, observer can also be trained just by witnessing a fight. IE, an arena with lots of opponents will also significantly train observer as long as the dwarves 'watching' the fights are close enough to observe the attacks.
In Adventure mode, the Observer skill directly influences the level of detail shown when identifying opponents' attacks, and is used to locate hidden creatures and traps. It slowly increases during combat, by successfully spotting traps and by walking near hidden creatures, whether detected or not. Warning: Detecting giant cave spiders and giant brown recluse spiders may be more hazardous than remaining blissfully ignorant to their location.