| This article or section may need to be updated due to recent changes.|
|This article is about the current version of DF.|
As time passes in Dwarf Fortress, certain activities happen in the world, outside of the player's influence and without their direct input. In older versions, any activity stopped after world generation finished. Changing this is what is usually referred to as "world activation".
 Advancing time
Every time before you start a new fortress or adventurer, the calendar is advanced by two weeks. Otherwise time passes at normal fortress/adventurer speed. "Restarting" world generation is not planned.
 Types of activities
Historical figures can get married, have children, do their various jobs, and die, and all of their children do the same, as they are also historical figures.
The various positions of Nobles will either be inherited by another historical figure or assigned to a new historical figure by the parent civilization when the position is vacated or they have an unfortunate accident. Conflicts over succession and illegitimate site ownership can emerge, and armed usurpations and insurrections can take place.
 Site changes
Existing NPC sites are conquered, liberated, defended, destroyed, reclaimed and new sites are created while playing. Bandits will loot villages, armies will conquer cities, and forgotten beasts will ransack fortresses. Abandoned dwarven fortresses can be reclaimed by the player later.
Consequently, all kinds of creatures and groups travel around on the world map: CaravansVerify, bandits, refugees and migrants, and armies. The various beasts don't physically travel on the map yet.
Armies move around the map while playing, for various reasons, including site invasion (not just to the player site), harassment, searching for work, reclamation of sites and more. As invaders need to actually travel the world map to get to your site, embarking close to a site of potential invaders increases the chances of an invasion. Other factors that influence the probability of an invasion are the "effective" population of said siteVerify. In other words, how many soldiers the site can spare to attack you. While a site may have a high population, it may be occupied with other, more important campaigns than the player's site.Verify
The asterisks * on the fast travel map in adventure mode are creatures and armies moving around on the world map.
 NPC Adventurers
As of the Artifact update, AI adventurers will now group up in parties and wander around, or adventure alone. They will also go on quests to retrieve artifacts in play, which they receive from historical figures that are in power, for example a lord or a noble from another site. For fortress mode, this manifests as NPC's coming to your fort and requesting you hand over artifacts. If you say no to them, they may try to steal it from you, or outright attack your fort.
In adventurer mode, this is more subtle: AI adventurers can be found who are looking for artifacts, and may in fact compete with you when you are trying to get artifacts, if they happen to be looking for the same artifact. If you are holding the artifact they seek (even if you are hiding it in your backpack), they will try to mug you (like bandits) and may also attack you, follow you around, or vocally demand that you give them the artifact.
Greetings from the mountainhomes. Let's discuss our situation.
In an active fortress session, the player will get information about current events through the liaison. During the meeting, you are presented with a wall of text listing all relevant (and irrelevant) information one after another. Currently this can be more or less ignored, as it doesn't contain much valuable information except in the case of conquest.
|General|| World Generation (Basic / Advanced / Rejections) - Map legend|
Climate - Surroundings - Civilization - Holdings - Calendar - World activities
|Biomes|| Chasm - Desert - Forest - Glacier - Grassland - Lake - Mountain |
Murky pool - Ocean - River - Savanna - Shrubland - Tundra - Wetland
|Underground||Cavern - Magma sea - Underworld|
|Features|| Aquifer - Brook - Deep pit - Island - Magma pool |
Passage - Road - Tunnel - Volcano - Waterfall
|Sites|| Camp - Cave - Dark fortress - Dark pit - Forest retreat - Fortress - Hamlet - Hillock |
Labyrinth - Lair - Mountain halls - Ruins - Shrine - Tomb - Tower - Town - Vault
|Structures|| Catacombs - Dungeon - Keep - Library - Market - Mead hall |
Sewer - Tavern - Temple - Tomb - Underworld spire