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This article is about an older version of DF.

Surroundings affect the types of plant life, wild animals and creatures which will appear in play within a given biome. It is possible to start a fortress that overlaps multiple alignment types (for example a terrifying forest and a calm shrubland). Some players consider this desirable, as it provides diversity in your little corner of the world, but it also has its dangers in the form of more ferocious wildlife.

Some plants and animals are unique to a certain type of surroundings and will only be found if those surroundings are present on the map. Note that most creatures also require a specific climate to spawn in. Again, it's important to check the specific biomes making up your site. Once a creature spawns on the map, it is under no compulsion to stay in its own biome and can roam as it pleases. Because of this, the specifics of what means what can be difficult to pin down sometimes.

Combinations of surroundings[edit]

Benign Neutral Savage
Good Serene Mirthful Joyous Wilds
Neutral Calm Wilderness Untamed Wilds
Evil Sinister Haunted Terrifying


including Calm, Wilderness and Untamed Wilds

Neutral regions are the easiest to understand. They generally mimic the real world, with recognizable wildlife. They can be quite dangerous depending on the region, holding anything from generally non-aggressive but physically powerful enemies such as gorillas and elephants to the very aggressive and very dangerous giant eagles. As one might expect, Benign Neutral zones are really very safe, while Savage Neutral areas can pose some major difficulties, depending on the dominating climate and landforms. You'll find most of the standard aboveground plants in these alignments, such as prickle berries, rope reed, wild strawberries and the like.


including Serene, Mirthful and Joyous Wilds

Good biomes tend to have less aggressive and weaker creatures, except for the unicorn. Good regions also support the wild sun berry, which makes the best alcohol in the game. There are generally slight changes between Benign Good and Savage Good.

Distinctive flora & fauna[edit]


including Sinister, Haunted and Terrifying

Evil regions are much more dangerous fun than their Neutral and Good counterparts across the board. At their root, Evil regions are modified Neutral regions. In addition to a pack of other creatures that are nasty, dangerous, and spiteful such as beak dogs, harpies, and ogres, Evil regions may modify their Neutral base by infecting many (but not all) of the indigenous creatures with various forms of undeath. Undead cannot be killed through conventional means (dismemberment reanimates the individual body parts, creating even more enemies than before) and must be either butchered and tanned or exposed to magma in order to kill them permanently in certain (always evil) reanimating biomes. Any non-undead creature that dies in such a biome will reanimate as an undead creature after it is killed, including sentient beings, and any severed body parts and loose skin will also come to life as an individual enemy. Clearly, hunting undead animals for food is pointless, and finding kills in a place where things won't stay dead is suicidal. Sea Creatures will be able to come ashore in their undead forms, so expect to deal with that if you choose such a location for embark. The trees at embark may all be dead, and though they can be harvested, will not regrow. Undead shrubs are useless for gathering, too.

Even the weather is dangerous; clouds of creeping murk can inflict various syndromes on par with those of forgotten beasts, or instantly transform creatures into nearly-indestructible thralls. Evil rains may also inflict random syndromes, albeit less severe ones, and always cause strong unhappy thoughts and a desire to wash. A noticeable effect of evil rain is that murky pools will never refill.

Because of the inhospitability of evil regions, even Benign Evil is very difficult for beginning players to earn a niche to work in, so it should be reserved for a challenge play only.

Distinctive flora & fauna[edit]


Including Untamed Wilds, Joyous Wilds, and Terrifying

Savage surroundings are typically more dangerous than their Neutral or Benign counterparts, due to the "wildlife" (naturally occurring creatures) found therein. Savage regions contain many giant versions of normal wildlife, as well as sentient humanoid versions. A "Savage Good" region is called Joyous Wilds, a "Savage Neutral" region is called Untamed Wilds, and a "Savage Evil" region is called Terrifying (and is the most dangerous alignment by far, if you couldn't tell by the name).

Distinctive flora & fauna[edit]

Chasm · Desert · Forest · Glacier · Grassland · Lake · Mountain · Murky pool · Ocean · River · Savanna · Shrubland · Tundra · Wetland