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This article is about an older version of DF.

A region is an area of the world that you may select when choosing a location for your fort.

Each region is made up of a biome affecting available flora and fauna. A region also has a climate, and may be in the presence of good or evil civilizations. Some information on what the region contains can be gathered from the Map legend.

Surroundings affect the types of plant life, wild animals and creatures which will appear in play within a given biome.

Choosing Regions pre-embark[edit]

When starting a new fortress, the game allows you to select one of about 50 regions on the world map, all bordering various mountain ranges and generally in the vicinity of a river. Different regions have different creatures, trees (or lack of same, depending on how mountainous, dry or hot the region is), different climates, maybe a source of water, and alignments ranging from good to evil and benign to savage.

A rough list of region types follows. The combination of these factors help make each game unique.


See biomes for a complete list of combinations.


Too cold and you'll freeze, too hot and you'll die of thirst. Somewhere in the middle- dragons will get you.

  • Freezing
  • Cold
  • Temperate
  • Warm
  • Hot
  • Scorching

In colder environments, the river will freeze for more of the year. Additionally, fierce enough cold will cause massive frostbite damage to extremities if outside too long (oddly enough, this tends to cause bleeding to death). In hotter environments, murky pools may dry up, so if there is no river then there may be no source of water after a few months).


Trees are chopped down for wood, a very versatile building material.

  • None
  • Scarce
  • Sparse
  • Woodland
  • Heavily Forested

Other Vegetation[edit]

Other means shrubs and bushes. These can be harvested for food.

  • None
  • Scarce
  • Moderate
  • Thick


Surroundings affect the types of wild animals which will appear in play.

Benign Neutral Savage
Good Serene Peaceful Protected Wilds
Neutral Calm Wilderness Untamed Wilds
Evil Sinister Haunted Terrifying

Some animals are unique to a certain type of surroundings and will only be found if those surroundings are present on the map. The creatures article has an Alignment heading that will tell you whether or not a creature can possibly show up in a specific alignment. Note that most creatures also require a specific biome to spawn in. Again, it's important to check the specific biome making up your site.


Neutral regions are the easiest to understand. They generally mimic the real world, with recognizable wildlife depending on the area. They can be quite dangerous depending on the region (much like the real world), holding anything from generally non-aggressive but physically powerful enemies such as gorillas to the very aggressive and very dangerous elephants. As one might expect, Benign Neutral zones are really very safe, while Savage Neutral areas can pose some major difficulties, depending on the climate.

All regions (except mountains) are home to a variety of creatures based on their creature tokens.

  • 7 large animals (LARGE_ROAMING)
  • 1 swamp fish (SMALLAQUATIC_SWAMP) - turtles
  • 2 ocean fish (SMALLAQUATIC_OCEAN) - mussels, oysters, salmon, and swordfish
  • 1 river fish (SMALLAQUATIC_RIVER) - salmon
  • 3 pest vermin (VERMIN_EATER) - large roaches, lizards, and rats
  • 3 ordinary vermin (VERMIN_GROUNDER) - birds, insects, squirrels, etc.
  • 1 variety of flies (VERMIN_FLIES) - flies
  • 10 soil vermin (VERMIN_SOIL) - worms and beetles
  • 3 colony vermin (VERMIN_SOIL_COLONY) - ants
  • 2 swamp vermin (VERMIN_SWAMPER) - toads and dragonflies

Swamps, deserts, forests, grasslands, and hills can also be home to a variety of trees:

  • 5 wet trees (appearing near rivers and swamps)
  • 5 dry trees (appearing away from rivers and swamps)

All regions except for mountains, oceans, and lakes can also be home to a variety of shrubs:

The above creature and tree lists are processed once for each biome the region could possibly cover, and each choice made is independent; for example, it is possible for a single region to have less than 7 different large animals if it happens to choose the same animal more than once.


Good biomes tend to have less aggressive and weaker creatures. There are generally slight changes between Benign Good and Savage Good.

Good regions gain an additional set of [GOOD] creatures as described above.


Evil regions are more dangerous 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 modify their Neutral base by infecting many (but not all) of the indigenous creatures with various forms of undeath. Undead have a resistance to piercing attacks (precluding Crossbow-heavy defenses) and are always far more aggressive than their living counterparts, and they leave a fraction of the corpse benefits (zombies fall down rotten and are unbutcherable, skeletons only leave bones). Clearly, hunting undead animals for food is pointless, and finding kills in a countryside crawling with undead is outstandingly dangerous. Undead shrubs are useless for gathering, too. 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.

Evil regions gain an additional set of [EVIL] creatures as described above.


Savage surroundings are typically more dangerous than their Neutral or Benign counterparts, due to the creatures found therein. A savage Good region is called Protected Wilds, a savage Neutral region is called Untamed Wilds, and a savage Evil region is called (and can be truly) Terrifying.

Savage regions gain an additional set of [SAVAGE] creatures as described above. Due to a bug, savage regions select non-savage river fish rather than savage ones.

Distinctive fauna[edit]


In addition to the above, all regions have the following subterranean populations:

See also[edit]


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