|This article is about the current version of DF.|
A tantrum is a temporary emotional breakdown experienced mainly by dwarves with high propensity to anger.
Tantruming dwarves will cancel any job they may be doing at the moment and will start misbehaving, which includes throwing items around, starting fist fights (with the possibility of severely injuring other dwarves), toppling and destroying buildings or hurting pets. This is of course illegal, and they will be imprisoned or flogged for their behaviour. But while law-abiding citizens will view their punishment as just, if the punishment is harsher than usual, their death (or the results of their misbehaviour) may cause increased stress among your fortress's inhabitants.
To make tantrums less likely, see the article on keeping your dwarves unstressed.
The new mechanics for tantrums are not well known yet. A dwarf throwing a tantrum will now keep misbehaving for several days, during which time they'll be a walking disaster zone. With the very slowly building and receding stress of DF2014, a dwarf will remain in a tantrum-capable state for months if not years. Since they'll usually snap about once per month, a single tantrummer can cause immense damage/carnage.
 Damage Control
Highly stressed dwarves with tantrum propensity can (and maybe should) be locked up in a room with a bed, chair and table, away from further stressors and from people they can harm. If their stress exposure remains low enough for an extended time - months to years - they may recover and no longer throw tantrums. Their "cell" should be assigned as their bedroom and potentially dining room, and provisions must be stored in the room or delivered remotely. Since this is a very slow and laborious process, less caring overseers may opt for more radical "cures".
Dwarves who develop stress should be watched carefully, to see if their personality makes them prone to tantrums. Due to the damage tantrums are likely to cause, keeping those dwarves away from further stress (or exposing them to increased danger to solve the problem in a different way) is highly recommended.
Keeping your dwarves unstressed is an important task. There are many things that can cause stress to dwarves, and some dwarves just are more susceptible than others.
Dwarves want a personal bedroom to sleep in and want a proper seat and table to eat at. Not providing them with these necessities causes regular stress increments.
Being regularly exposed to the outside tends to be harmful to dwarves, since they'll either get unhappy over being out in the rain or, after a few years of mostly-underground fort life, become violently sick when exposed to sunlight. Catching sight of remains of sentient creatures, like the corpses left behind by goblin sieges will likewise cause strong stress to all but the most hardened dwarves.
Limiting stressors appears to be the most important task for tantrum prevention in DF2014. Offering sources of happy thoughts - satisfying work, nice architecture, opportunities to mingle with friends and family - seem to help, but what a stress-susceptible dwarf needs most is the lack of further bad thoughts, not a glut of happy ones.
 The Dreams of a Dwarf
|This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, 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.|
Sleeping is, as all dwarves know, a
utter waste of booze-drinking time necessary functionality that exists to prevent the creation of inferior booze. But a dwarf has spoiled child dwarfy needs and, as such, even in the middle of welcoming foreign diplomats, completely depleted of energy, a dwarf will show his essence and throw a tantrum.
How a dwarf is able to throw a tantrum while sleeping is a mystery for the ages. Urist McDoctor claims that, while the tantrum doesn't manifest physically, mentally, in Dreamland, the dwarf sees himself in the grandest of Fortresses, hurling snowballs to their fellow man, creating dreams worthy of a dwarf.