DF2014:Monster slayer

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This article is about the current version of DF.

This visitor has come to slay beasts.

Monster slayers are visitors that will visit and petition to stay in order to slay creatures in your caverns. They begin arriving to your fortress after you have first breached into any cavern layer, regardless of whether the fort has any locations.

Their above-ground counterparts are the beast hunters.

Behaviour[edit]

Monster slayers arrive with their own weapons and armor, as well as some degree of basic combat skill. If you accept their service, they will live among your dwarves like regular citizens, although they will spend all of their time either loitering around meeting halls or prowling any breached caverns on your map they have access to, searching for cavern creatures to fight. Monster slayers cannot be assigned any labors, will not haul anything, and cannot be given orders or controlled by burrows or other means.

Monster slayers are less helpful than they might initially seem. Allowing these visitors to regularly rampage through your caverns will occasionally produce free meat, bone, and hides, but they are sloppy in their work - because you can't direct them to kill particular units, they'll often wipe out half a pack of troglodytes while ignoring the other half entirely, and they will rush headlong into battle with that giant cave spider you'd been hoping to cage and farm. They are also often poorly suited to life in combat; some may arrive who hate all things military and panic at the first sign of violence, while others have ineffectual skills which will inevitably end with them being killed by the monsters they're supposed to be hunting. Consider exiling monster slayers who seem like they're destined for tantrums, or arrange "accidents" for them if they happen to be carrying interesting equipment. Steel is steel, after all.

Considerations[edit]

Effectiveness[edit]

In case of using them for monster slaying note that they will produce plenty of litter (by killing harmless creatures) and by leaving pieces of themselves on encountering actual monsters. They are good for filing your tavern/inn with customers, which doesn't have much tangible benefit to you but makes it look busy if you don't regularly get other kinds of visitors.

Sealing caverns[edit]

Leaving caverns open is always an invitation to trouble, and monster slayers only reduce this risk slightly. Be sure to keep whatever access routes they use well-guarded with traps, doors, and dwarven guards in order to intercept the jabberer or cave dragon that will inevitably slip on in. Or with an all-powerful drawbridge. Alternatively, you may have the opening to the caverns disconnected from your fortress, so that cavern creatures have to path through the surface to reach you, and slayers don't need to step foot into your fortress to reach them. Also, be aware that closing off that cavern without sealing in some wandering monster slayers will take some effort on your part; barricading them in their bedrooms while they sleep until they've all safely left the cavern is pretty much the only way (unless you don't mind leaving them to fight to the death down below). They will follow the civil burrow rules. This might also be a possibility to get them out (and pretty much all the others).

Healthcare[edit]

Finally, don't even think about playing with monster slayers until you have a functional hospital up and running. Both the slayers and the civilians that play around down there are at risk of injury at any time. Strongly consider keeping the caverns walled off until you have a proper medical facility in place. Worst case scenario, you leave your poor slayers wandering bored around your tavern for a few years. There are far worse things in life.

See also[edit]