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A guildhall is a place where dwarves of a particular profession socialize, share skills, and entertain with each other. Guildhalls are requested by your population after a profession has sufficient members (10 by default) within your fortress. A guildhall by default requires 2000☼ in zone wealth, and a Grand Guildhall needing 10000☼ to be considered established. Both population and zone wealth requirements can be modified in d_init.txt. A guild with a guildhall was observed establishing connections with other guilds, but with an as-of-yet unknown effect. If a guildhall petition has been accepted but has not been built after one year, the agreement to establish a guildhall will be abandoned.
Guilds will establish in the cities of civilizations that value craftmanship, and, thus, will build guildhalls (primarily dwarven civilizations in an unmodded game, but human cities have been seen building guildhalls, too).
Guildhalls are designated ocations in fortress mode, designated from any meeting area. Upon creation (->---), the new guildhall will be given a random name, which may be based on the profession of the associated guild, for example "The Grove of Deer" for Rangers. You can rename it by pressing in the locations screen. Once a guildhall is set up, you can see its room value on the locations screen, which also tells you if the guildhall is up to the desired standard - when it says Agreed to build guildhall the requirements are not yet met.
Guildhalls provide socialization and communal skill learning via demonstrations. Skillful dwarves will demonstrate their skills to others, the same way as soldiers do when training in their barracks. Visitors to your fortress can also hold demonstrations in the guildhall when the hall is set as all visitors welcome in the locations menu. This can be a nice boost to your dwarves, especially if the visitor holding the demonstration has a relevant legendary skill.
As even halls without established guilds will have demonstrations given to idlers, it is recommended to build halls for the professions that you need - for example, instead of waiting for weaponsmiths to migrate in, make a hall for weaponsmiths or metalworkers in general. Demonstrations will be given, unused idle hands will be trained in the professions you need, and soon enough a guild will establish itself. Children can also participate in guildhall demonstrations, thus allowing them to get potentially more useful strange moods than normal, and learn skills ahead of time for when they become adults.
Similarly, as hospitals are always zones, it is recommended to also mark this zone as a meeting location, and in turn use it as a doctor's hall. This has the added benefit that you will always have medically trained personnel in your hospitals. Just don't forget to enable the labors. Furthermore, a guildhall will satisfy the "learn something", "practice a skill", and "help somebody" needs for the one doing the demonstration. Emotionally, the (dwarven) participants feel interest, wonder and satisfaction for participating in a demonstration. Should you deny or ignore the petition for a guildhall, the dwarves involved will get an unhappy thought about it.
You can visit the guildhalls of guilds in adventurer mode. E.g: In human towns, these buildings consist of three levels: The lowest, a storage level filled with bins, the second filled with chairs and tables, and the third with some chairs and tables, but mostly display furniture. Guilds will fill the display furniture with quality items of the type the guild specializes in.
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