|This article is about the current version of DF.|
Raw files are text files found in the raw/objects/ subdirectory of Dwarf Fortress (used for world generation), as well as inside the saved game folder (data/save/<region name>/raw/objects/) for already generated worlds. These files can be looked through to discover various specifics of game items, materials, and creatures, and can be changed to alter how the game behaves. They are sometimes referred to by players as just "the raws".
The raw/graphics subfolder of Dwarf Fortress is used to store user-customizable graphics sets. The raw/interaction examples folder is absolutely useless and completely ignored by Dwarf Fortress.
Duplicating the raw files can cause strange, difficult-to-diagnose problems, and even crashes in some cases.
 Syntax of raw files
filename [OBJECT:TYPE] [TYPE:ID] <...contents...>
ID is a unique identificator for your type to use (i.e. [CREATURE:DOG], ID=DOG or [ITEM:ITEM_WEAPON_SWORD], ID=ITEM_WEAPON_SWORD).
 Types of content
- BODY — body parts and structures.
- BODY_DETAIL_PLAN — similar to CREATURE_VARIATION, but used for defining tokens related to body parts (specifically materials, tissues, the assignment thereof, and body part positions, relative sizes, etc.)
- BUILDING — custom workshops and smelters.
- CREATURE — creatures.
- CREATURE_VARIATION — variations that can be applied to creatures (e.g., making them giants, or anthropomorphic). Technically a series of tokens that are added to or removed from the creature (essentially a set of templated changes).
- DESCRIPTOR_COLOR (tag is COLOR) — named colours for use with DESCRIPTOR_PATTERN objects (other purposes unknown)
- DESCRIPTOR_PATTERN (tag is COLOR_PATTERN) — patterns with colour combinations for use with creatures.
- DESCRIPTOR_SHAPE (tag is SHAPE) — shapes with descriptions and variations. These are used for engravings.
- ENTITY — civilization types, with assigned race, language, culture, ethics, and social structure.
- GRAPHICS — graphic tiles for creatures. These are not found inside the raw/objects folder.
- INTERACTION — interaction definitions.
- INORGANIC — inorganic material definitions.
- ITEM — items ranging from ammunition to food types, has secondary types for the purposes of [TYPE:ID].
- ITEM_AMMO — ammunition for ranged weapons.
- ITEM_ARMOR — body clothing, including armour.
- ITEM_FOOD — prepared food definitions.
- ITEM_GLOVES — hand clothing, including armour.
- ITEM_HELM — head clothing, including armour.
- ITEM_INSTRUMENT — instrument definitions.
- ITEM_PANTS — lower body clothing, including armour.
- ITEM_SHIELD — shields.
- ITEM_SHOES — foot clothing, including armour.
- ITEM_SIEGEAMMO — ammunition for siege weapons that ballistae fire.
- ITEM_TOOL — multi-purpose items that can serve as a weapon, food storage container, etc.
- ITEM_TOY — toy definitions.
- ITEM_TRAPCOMP — components that can be used in weapon traps (two special tags define trapcomps that can be used in other constructions: IS_SCREW and IS_SPIKE).
- ITEM_WEAPON — weapons that are used by soldiers, as well as digging tools.
- LANGUAGE — word definitions for the languages used by ENTITY objects.
- Entries beginning with [SYMBOL:ID] sort words into symbolic/poetic groups to be referenced by ENTITY preferences.
- Entries beginning with [WORD:ID] define words and their alternate forms (in English).
- MATERIAL_TEMPLATE — definitions of information common to groups of materials (referenced all over the place).
- PLANT — definitions of plants, their materials, and their derivatives.
- REACTION — reactions/custom workshop jobs (turn items into other items through dwarven or adventurer effort).
- TISSUE_TEMPLATE — defines templated tissues for use with BODY_DETAIL_PLAN objects or in creatures.
Usually empty lines are used to divide different types of structures like the file name and [OBJECT:] or different entries, however everything which is not a token besides the 1st string (which is the filename) is understood as comments and is not considered.
The tokens are enclosed in square brackets ([TOKEN:VALUES]).
When a world is generated, the raw files are copied from <game folder>/raw/ to <game folder>/data/save/REGION/raw/. It is currently unknown how much these can then be changed without breaking the save.
A list of tokens can be seen at Category:Tokens.
The order that Dwarf Fortress parses raw files in is determined by the first line of the raw file (not necessarily the filename). This parsing order is important for certain tags such as [COPY_TAGS_FROM], but not for most other tags.
The load order (recorded by logging DF 0.44.09 file activity in Windows 10) follows the following pattern:
language_* descriptor_shape_* descriptor_color_* descriptor_pattern_* material_template_* inorganic_* plant_* tissue_template_* item_* building_* b_detail_plan_* body_* c_variation_* creature_* entity_* reaction_* interaction_*
Therefore, vanilla DF 0.44.09 loads RAW files in the following order:
language_DWARF.txt language_ELF.txt language_GOBLIN.txt language_HUMAN.txt language_SYM.txt language_words.txt descriptor_shape_standard.txt descriptor_color_standard.txt descriptor_pattern_iris_eye.txt descriptor_pattern_pupil_eye.txt descriptor_pattern_special.txt material_template_default.txt inorganic_metal.txt inorganic_other.txt inorganic_stone_gem.txt inorganic_stone_layer.txt inorganic_stone_mineral.txt inorganic_stone_soil.txt plant_crops.txt plant_garden.txt plant_grasses.txt plant_new_trees.txt plant_standard.txt tissue_template_default.txt item_ammo.txt item_armor.txt item_food.txt item_gloves.txt item_helm.txt item_pants.txt item_shield.txt item_shoes.txt item_siegeammo.txt item_tool.txt item_toy.txt item_trapcomp.txt item_weapon.txt building_custom.txt b_detail_plan_default.txt body_default.txt body_rcp.txt c_variation_default.txt creature_amphibians.txt creature_annelids.txt creature_birds.txt creature_birds_new.txt creature_bug_slug_new.txt creature_desert_new.txt creature_domestic.txt creature_equipment.txt creature_fanciful.txt creature_insects.txt creature_large_mountain.txt creature_large_ocean.txt creature_large_riverlake.txt creature_large_temperate.txt creature_large_tropical.txt creature_large_tundra.txt creature_mountain_new.txt creature_next_underground.txt creature_ocean_new.txt creature_other.txt creature_reptiles.txt creature_riverlakepool_new.txt creature_small_mammals.txt creature_small_mammal_new.txt creature_small_ocean.txt creature_small_riverlake.txt creature_standard.txt creature_subterranean.txt creature_temperate_new.txt creature_tropical_new.txt creature_tundra_taiga_new.txt entity_default.txt reaction_adv_carpenter.txt reaction_other.txt reaction_smelter.txt interaction_standard.txt