|This article is about the current version of DF.|
Note that some content may still need to be updated.
Any constructed wall or floor or smoothed natural surface can be engraved; soil cannot be smoothed or engraved. Engraving increases the value of a wall or floor and gives it a quality level, which is dependent upon the engravers' skill. While experienced dwarves are more likely to engrave historical events than a novice, it is unclear if personality has any effect. Low-quality or unwanted engraved floor can be redone by carving a track over it and then smoothing the tile.
Slabs are created, as well as engraved with the victim's name, at a stoneworker's workshop; a common alternative to coffins when a body cannot be retrieved (whether due to invaders, an extremely unfortunate accident, or simply large amounts of fun) or used as a more efficient alternative to a statue, as they do not block movement. The engraving on a slab does not have a quality level (though the slab itself does, when made by a stone carver).
Engraving can be trained by repeatedly engraving floors, carving minecart tracks over them, and then re-smoothing and re-engraving the floors. Since stone is (usually) very plentiful, you could also train your engravers by having them continuously engrave slabs. Engraving gives the lowest amounts of XP per job of any skill (10 XP) meaning that it one of the most time consuming professions for your dwarves to skill up in. Since engraving is painfully slow at low skill levels, it may be a good idea to bring a proficient engraver in your embark to give you a head start. Even with a proficient engraver constantly doing engraving, it can take more than 5 in-game years to skill your dwarves up to legendary doing engravings the conventional way.
There is an easy way to train large amounts of engravers quickly by abusing the guildhall mechanics with a new fortress. This setup is quite a bit gamey, though, so use at your own discretion. It is also less likely to work in established fortresses, since you will already have multiple guildhalls and fully-furnished meeting areas:
- Start a new embark and bring at least 1 dwarf who is proficient (skill level 5) in engraving
- Get your fortress basics set up, and wait for your 2 guaranteed migration waves so that you have a good amount of dwarves who will be available to attend engraving demonstrations at a guildhall
- Dig out a large area (10x5 or larger) and designate it as a meeting area, and then as an engraver's guildhall. In the detailed settings set the guildhall set it so that "All Visitors Are Welcome" (this step is critical!)
- Furnish the guildhall to ensure it is your highest value meeting area by a large margin. You can check the value of the guildhall in the details screen. A good way to get a high value fast is to lay down flooring using gold or steel bars if you have access to those materials, or install artifact furniture if you are lucky enough to get a strange mood that produces some. It is very important that this is your highest value meeting area to make dwarves more likely to spend time there when they aren't working.
- Ensure your engraver is not assigned to do any work so that they are more likely to spend their time in the guildhall leading engraving demonstrations
- Your dwarves will start congregating in the engraver's guildhall (since it is your best meeting area) and will hopefully start watching engraving demonstrations. They will level up extremely quickly and as they gain skills they will start leading their own engraving demonstrations creating a very large snowball effect after some time. You will notice that they skill up much quicker by watching demonstrations than by actually doing engravings
- In about 1-2 in game years, you will have multiple dwarves who are now legendary engravers