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This article is about an older version of DF.

Embark is the moment at the very beginning of the game, before actual game play begins (but after generating a world), when you and your initial 7 dwarves:

  1. Choose a site, possibly using the site finder.
  2. Assign starting skills to each dwarf.
  3. Select an initial load of supplies and equipment.
  4. Arrive at the site with your wagon full of supplies.

"Embark options" can refer to any of the first three steps.

"Information at embark" can include:

  • Viewing your region on the World and Regional maps.
  • Viewing your Local map to:
    • Confirm the presence of important features, such as magma vents or rivers.
    • Note these features' locations.
  • Using the tab and F1, F2, F3, etc. keys to view your:
    • Stone layers
    • Biomes and climate
    • Starting dwarven civilization (and choose if more than one)
    • Neighboring civilizations and relationships with them

(Need a quick list of Embark screen features, with links to full pages)

  • Name your Fortress (rather than accept a randomly generated name)

Example usages:

  • "I made a big mistake at embark when I forgot..."
  • "I knew I was in trouble when I got attacked on embark..."
  • "This is one of the choices you need(ed) to make at embark, before the game..."
  • "After embark the first thing you want to do is..."
  • "Once you've embarked, that's when the fun starts..."

Before you unpause[edit]

Before you start the game by unpausing, check the following things to make sure your young fortress runs smoothly and avoids becoming a tiny, tiny tomb. Particularly important in less hospitable biomes and other dangerous sites.

  • Figure out where you're gonna dig your fortress. Look around, get a feel for what is visible, and what the terrain can do for (or to) you. Think about it while you do the rest and come back to it as you need to.
  • Press c to check for the presence of other civilizations.
  • Press u to check for the presence of hostile wild animals. (However, be aware that creatures can appear from off-map after the game has been going for a while.)
    • Activate military if desired.
    • In that same screen (units), center on a specific units and set their preferences, especially labor designations. (You can also view them from the map screen.)
      • Make sure at least one dwarf has the carpenter labor designated to break down the wagon.
      • Add any other unskilled labors you want active.
      • If the environment is particularly dangerous, you may consider disabling the Hunting and/or Fishing labors at first to keep your dwarves from wandering too far afield.
    • You can also give them custom titles or nicknames if you like.
  • Press q and mark the wagon for removal.
  • Press o for orders and options. Toggle to suit your preferences.
    • Consider refuse orders
    • Consider fishing/drinking zone options.
  • Press i and designate a meeting area for animals and idle dwarves (or the wagon's location will be the default).
  • Press n and reassign noble positions if desired.
  • Press z and forbid the kitchen from cooking alcohol and plump helmets if desired.
  • Press d to designate areas for plant gathering, wood cutting, and/or stone smoothing if needed/desired. (Stone smoothing is good for getting rid of boulders that impede outdoor farming.)
    • Press d, then o to place traffic restrictions. Things to watch for: saplings, wild plants, dangerous shortcuts (like near magma or cave creatures). Consider encouraging your dwarves to traffic specific areas to minimize damage to subsequent growth.
  • Press p to create stockpiles for wild plants, wood, and/or refuse.
  • build any workshops you feel that you need immediately.
  • designate where your miner(s) will dig in first.

See also[edit]