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Dragon sprites.png


Urist likes dragons for their terrible majesty.
Dragon portrait.png

  • Any Land

Building destroyer: Level 2

· Megabeast · No Exert · Steals items · Fire immune · War animals · Hunting animals · Fanciful · Exotic mount · Egglaying

Tamed Attributes
Pet value 10,000

Template:Tame attrib proc/

Trainable:  Hunting   War 

Birth: 6,000 cm3
Mid: 5,000,000 cm3
Max: 25,000,000 cm3
Food products
Eggs 1-3
Adult at: 10
Max age: Immortal
Butchering returns

(Value multiplier ×15)

Food items

Meat 113-173
Fat 42-65
Brain 4-8
Heart 2-4
Lungs 8-18
Intestines 14-27
Liver 4-9
Kidneys 4-8
Tripe 4-9
Sweetbread 2-4
Eyes 2
Spleen 2-4

Raw materials

Bones 66-110
Skull 1
Teeth 3
Skin Scales

Wikipedia article

This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

A gigantic reptilian creature. It is magical and can breathe fire. These monsters can live for thousands of years.

Dragons are massive, fire-breathing megabeasts who, at their full size, are the second largest land creatures in the world (behind the giant elephant). They are covetous monsters and seek to steal items from your fortresses to bring back to their lairs. Dragons generally pilfer successfully in worldgen, but when they attack a player fortress, they will simply wipe the place out or die trying.

Dragons are most notable for their ability to quickly and frequently exhale long (20+ tiles) jets of dragonfire, a much-hotter (theoretically 50000 °U , over four times the heat of magma) version of fire, which can make quick work of any creature caught in its path and can kill even creatures normally immune to fire, though it can be blocked by enemies equipped with shields. All dragons are born with Talented skill in fighting, biting, kicking, dodging and observing, which, combined with their size and dragonfire, makes them formidable opponents to an untrained military squad.

While based on the western dragon model, dragons neither fly nor have wings, and are not intelligent (though there is room to address this; see Bugs and Future Plans). They are often described as glass cannons, as they are not particularly durable and can be defeated somewhat easily with skilled soldiers or traps, but only in comparison to their fellow megabeasts; a single dragon can easily wipe out an unprepared fortress. Dragons are associated with the spheres of fire and wealth, and their names will often reflect that.

They are not to be confused with the cave dragons, a separate, non-megabeast species.

Some dwarves like dragons for their terrible majesty.

Dragon Size[edit]

Dragons slowly grow to become one of the largest creatures in the game, finally reaching their adult size of 25,000,000 cm3 after 1000 years. As a hatchling, dragons are quite tiny, at exactly 1/10th an adult dwarf's size, but they grow very rapidly, at roughly 25,000 cm3 per year. Dragons reach dwarven size shortly after their second birthday, are more than double a dwarf's size at about year 5, and add another dwarf's-worth in size roughly every two years after that.

  • At birth, a dragon is the size of a fox.
  • At 2 years, a dragon is the size of a dwarf.
  • At 10 years, a dragon is the size of a giant bobcat and becomes an adult.
  • At 23 years, a dragon is the size of a giant cheetah.
  • At 100 years, a dragon is the size of a draltha.
  • At 200 years, a dragon is the size of an elephant.
  • At 320 years, a dragon is the size of a hydra.
  • At 800 years, a dragon is the size of a bronze colossus or an adult roc.
  • After 1000 years, a dragon is the second largest creature found on land. (The giant elephant is the largest land creature, while the giant sperm whale is the largest creature found anywhere.)

Defense strategies[edit]

Dragonfire can be blocked if the victim is using a shield, and it will be, more than 99% of the time. Though they are among the physically weakest of the megabeasts, dragons are still massively powerful in melee combat, so they can be hard to take down without a good military. They should never be engaged in areas covered in grass or cave moss, as their breath attacks will cause fire to spread across all grass in the area, consuming your map in flames, causing trees to fall, and, above all else, murdering your FPS. When attacked by a dragon, lure it underground, preferably into an area made out of stone floors away from any farm plots. While they are immune to fire damage, dragons can still drown if immersed in magma.

Dragonfire can be avoided by fighting the dragon in a hallway that is covered in 4/7 water depth, here the dragon can not spit fire leaving it open for melee combat.

Possibly the best defence is to use piercing weapons like crossbows, especially spears, and hope you get lucky and hit a vital organ which can bring it down immediately. An alternative is building one or multiple cage traps, possibly beforehand, which will probably cage the dragon making it harmless. You should know that cages and mechanisms will be destroyed by dragonfire unless constructed from pure slade, so either make sure both cages (or weapons, or supports) and mechanisms are impervious to dragonfire, or, more simply; ensure that the dragon has no reason to breathe fire by removing animals and dwarves from the trapped area. While they won't breathe on buildings normally, a stray blast (at your outdoor livestock or bait animals, say) that catches any traps, doors, or bridges not made of dragonfire-safe materials will melt and deactivate them. This can be used to your advantage, since dragons will destroy the bridge they are standing on, even if they aren't aiming for it. Also, dragons make good companions if you are able to reanimate them as a necromancer.


How majestic!
Art by Olivitree

Dragons can be captured in cage traps and trained if you're lucky enough to catch one. Currently, knowledge of animal behaviour is based on the civilization level and depends partly on the animals available for contact in a given civilization site. Such a rare megabeast as a dragon is unlikely to have had any civilized contact aside from adventurers attempting to slay them and other violent contact; as such, your fort will have to build the knowledge base from the ground up, making dragon-training a highly difficult task. Bear in mind that even with a skilled animal trainer at hand, your first attempts to control such a powerful and elusive beast may result in half your fortress burning in dragonfire. (Outdated: Being megabeasts, trained dragons will still be hostile to caravans, diplomats and other visitors.) It seems like this has been patched in the Steam version, at least aaccording to this Reddit post. At least assuming the same thing that was causing it to attack guests was also making it attack guards.

If you can manage to endure its long-untamed wrath, you'll have a massively valuable pet that can lay eggs. Dragons can also be trained as war or hunting animals at an animal training zone. While a trained dragon is an immensely destructive tool at your disposal, it is also very eager to use dragonfire against your enemies, which can be exceedingly fun if it happens in your grass, booze stockpile or meeting area.

Provided you are lucky enough to capture a pair of dragons of different sexes, you can breed them with a nest box. Hatched dragons will need to progress through 1,000 years of growth to reach full size.

Irregularities, bugs, and future plans[edit]

Estimated size comparison between a fully-grown dragon and a dwarf.

Dragons have been observed to occasionally wear some armor (breastplates, greaves, leggings and boots). This armor is specified as "Large [metal][armor type]" and gives the dragon the same protection as any other species might get from it. This is a bug, as dragons can't normally equip items.

Toady One has mentioned that he plans to eventually extend the random creature generator of the game to create different species and varieties of dragon within certain constraints, calling it "Half-Random", with ideas for variants including just about anything dragons have been given in literature, such as acidic blood, while maintaining a basic draconic structure.([1]) He has also commented on the game's current portrayal of dragons as wingless unintelligent creatures, citing his reasons to be the many ways dragons are depicted in real-life sources.([2])

One of the old power goals referenced stealing dragon eggs as part of an adventurer mode quest.

Dragons; admired for their terrible majesty
D4Dwarf.png This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, pop culture references, and references to the Bay12 forums. Don't believe everything you read, and if you miss some of the references, don't worry. It was inevitable.

Contrary to popular belief, a dragon is not in fact toothless, and will tear you to shreds, resulting in fun.

They will, however, in accordance to popular belief, set fire to the countryside, as well as any peasants and thatched-roof cottages that happen to be in the vicinity. Fortunately, there are no dragon men. Otherwise they might come in the night.

Also contrary to popular belief, dragonfire is in fact not actually fire, but is composed of boiling, molten clouds of varied metals such as: silver, copper, steel, etc... So one could argue that dragons feed on minerals and armored adventurers to produce their breath, or that dragons can breath plasma.

Dragonfire is also known to make trade depots explode.

Though dragons are thought to make their lairs in dungeons, actual sightings of "Dragons in Dungeons" are extremely rare.

"Dragon" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: måmgoz
Elven: vutheni
Goblin: kusnath
Human: tamun