v50 Steam/Premium information for editors
  • v50 information can now be added to pages in the main namespace. v0.47 information can still be found in the DF2014 namespace. See here for more details on the new versioning policy.
  • Use this page to report any issues related to the migration.
This notice may be cached—the current version can be found here.

Strange mood

From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
(Redirected from Fey)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

Dwarf head pixel.png  This article or section contains minor spoilers. You may want to avoid reading it.
A dwarf losing ownership of his mind.
Artwork by Zippy

Periodically, individual dwarves are struck with an idea for a legendary artifact and enter a strange mood. Dwarves which enter a strange mood will stop whatever they are doing, and pursue the construction of this artifact to the exclusion of all else – they will not stop to eat, drink, or sleep; pretty much the only thing that can pause a "moody" dwarf is giving birth, after which they will immediately get back to making the artifact. If they do not manage to begin construction of the artifact within a handful of months, they will go insane and die (one way or another) soon afterward.

Note: Any creature with the [STRANGE_MOODS] token is able to enter strange moods in history and fortress mode, though, by default, this ability is unique to dwarves.


Mood announce v50 x2.png

Once your fortress has at least 20 dwarves, occasionally, one of them will be struck by a "strange mood". These largely random events will be seen as an announcement, and will pause the game.

A dwarf struck by a strange mood will seek an appropriate workshop, immediately claim it for the duration of the mood, attempt to collect the materials to create their artifact of choice, and, once those have been collected, proceed to do so. Depending on the exact mood (see types of moods, below), both the workshop and the artifact are based on the highest "moodable skill" of that dwarf (see "Skills and Workshops", below).

At the end of this process, if successful, the dwarf will usually gain enough experience to become Legendary (or higher), and then return to life as normal, but now with a Legendary skill. The "possessed" mood is an exception to this rule, as it does not grant any experience upon completion.

A dwarf cannot be struck by more than one mood in their lifetime.

In fortress mode[edit]

Information from a forcefully claimed workshop.
  1. The game will announce that the dwarf has entered one of five different types of strange moods. The types of moods are listed below. While in a mood, a dwarf will display a blinking exclamation point (see status icons).
  2. For the duration of the mood, the dwarf will claim a workshop related to the skill that the mood affects (not all skills are eligible), kick out any dwarf who was using it, and render it otherwise unusable until the mood has ended. If a moody dwarf does not claim a workshop, it is because the appropriate workshop does not exist. (See skills and workshops below to determine which workshop(s) might be required.) A moody dwarf will not be able to build a needed workshop; another dwarf with the appropriate labor designation must do so for them, if one is necessary. Furnaces are also counted as a workshop.
  3. After claiming a workshop, the dwarf will set about collecting the required materials for their artifact. If the dwarf remains idle inside the workshop, it's because they cannot find the right material. Reference the demands section to determine what may be required. Important Note: They will only collect these materials in the order that they require them. In other words, you have to determine where they are on the list of required materials and then provide the next one before they will continue collecting other materials.
  4. Once all materials have been gathered, the game will once again pause and center, and the moody dwarf will begin construction. Upon completion, the dwarf will create a semi-random artifact related to the skill affected and gain legendary (or higher) status in that skill (unless the mood type is possessed). See the skills and workshops for information on which skills can be gained, or the artifacts created section for more details on the artifacts themselves.
  5. While you have some control over the skill the dwarf uses, and so some (but less) control over the type of artifact created, and (with some effort) the materials used, you have no control over which dwarf is struck by a mood, nor the type of mood that strikes them, nor the specific type of artifact created.
  6. The conditions necessary for a strange mood to occur have been fully understood due to a disassembly of the game; see below for the exact mechanics.

In world generation[edit]

Long before your seven dwarves embark on their adventure, non-player dwarves may also be struck by strange moods during world generation, albeit these are treated more abstractly. These events are a primary source of non-player artifacts that are scattered across the outside world when the game starts (see Mission). They have the same properties and quality as any artifact your fortress could have produced, and may be stolen or pillaged just like any other non-player artifact.

Skills and workshops[edit]

If struck by a Fey, Secretive or Possessed mood, the workshop and artifact will be based on the highest "moodable skill" that a dwarf possesses. Not all skills are moodable. Fell and Macabre moods will either claim a butcher's shop and use Bonecarving, or a tanner's shop and use Tanning (see Types of moods, below).

Highest skill Workshop required
Armorsmith Metalsmith's forge (or Magma forge)
Bone carver Craftsdwarf's workshop
Bowyer Bowyer's workshop
Carpenter Carpenter's workshop
Clothier Clothier's shop
Engraver Craftsdwarf's workshop
Gem cutter Jeweler's workshop
Gem setter Jeweler's workshop
Glassmaker Glass furnace (or Magma glass furnace)
Leatherworker Leather works
Mason Stoneworker's workshop
Mechanic Mechanic's workshop
Metal crafter Metalsmith's forge (or Magma forge)
Metalsmith Metalsmith's forge (or Magma forge)
Miner Stoneworker's workshop
Stone carver Stoneworker's workshop
Stone crafter Craftsdwarf's workshop
Stonecutter Stoneworker's workshop
Tanner Leather works
Weaponsmith Metalsmith's forge (or Magma forge)
Weaver Clothier's shop
Wood crafter Craftsdwarf's workshop
<none> Craftsdwarf's workshop

A dwarf will claim a workshop according to their highest applicable skill. If not possessed, completion of the artifact grants roughly 10,000 experience in that skill. This will transform a previously unskilled dwarf to one of Accomplished-level (on average). The table to the right describes all applicable skills and their potential workshop requirements – there are only 20 skills that determine the workshop and that can be affected by a mood (sometimes referred to as moodable skills.) If a dwarf does not possess at least one of the moodable skills listed to the right, they will take over a craftsdwarf's workshop and gain one of bone carver, stone crafter, or wood crafter skills, producing an artifact craft.

When selecting the desired mood skill, only the level itself is checked, and if the highest level found is shared by multiple skills, then one will be selected randomly.

This fact can be utilized to maximize the possibility of getting a dwarf with the specific legendary skill you want: since non-moodable skills are ignored, whenever possible make sure that each dwarf's highest moodable skill is one of those you want. Have all your peasants, farmers, non-professional military and other dwarves without any moodable skills do one job each in the skill(s) you most want; if a "dabbling" skill is the highest moodable skill they have, that is the skill that will be used. Guildhalls related to moodable skills may both help and hinder, as demonstrations will increase skill levels without any jobs being done.

Scholars may discuss mechanics as part of their work and gain a small amount of experience in it. This is the only skill that scholars discuss that is moodable.

"Best" skills[edit]

Some skills produce generally useful and valuable items, and others produce only trinkets or jewelry. While "best" is very subjective, balancing the artifact itself with the Legendary skill the mood (usually!) produces, and both of those against the needs and goals of the current fortress, generally speaking the skills can be broken down into tiers of usefulness.

Note that in addition to an artifact, the mood will (usually) raise the dwarf to Legendary in the chosen skill; often this is, from a practical standpoint, more valuable than an artifact, so you might consider trying to push poorly-trained dwarves towards moodable skills you have a need for, instead, in case they are struck by a mood.

  • Weaponsmith is one of the "best" skills. While the moody dwarf might create a questionable lead spear or lightweight aluminum mace, the odds are they'll create something that is still more deadly than its ☼steel☼ equivalent. And with a little manipulation, you can at least make sure the item is steel, although they could still give you a non-dwarf weapon. Mechanic is a close second for reliability and usefulness –- any mechanism's quality modifies the chance for a trap to hit its target, and an artifact lever or trap in a room will make its value skyrocket (even if not connected to anything!). Note that, despite popular belief, traps made with artifact mechanisms can still jam (source).
  • Armorsmith is similarly valuable, having a decent chance to create something with exceptional value for your military (or at least one member of it), but, similar to weapons, this requires manipulating available material to avoid getting soft, useless gold or lead armor pieces. And, while moody Bowyers can create artifact wood/bone crossbows of great accuracy, they can also give you blowguns. Good luck with either one.
  • Artifact furniture is unbreakable by building destroyers and creates otherwise-impossible fortress defense options. A dwarf with a preference for doors, hatches, or floodgates will always produce that item, which can then be locked against many enemies that would otherwise break through. It can also have huge monetary worth for improving room value, and placing an artifact item where all can pass by and admire it will be good for general morale. These skills include Masons, Miners (who are treated the same as masons), Carpenters, and Metalsmiths. Many of these can also produce items from the lower-utility lists, below. But maybe you'll get an artifact mug for your tavern. Good luck with that, too.
  • These next are (very?) odds-against; chances are good that they'll produce something on one of the next lists, or at best some nice furniture, but there's a (very) small chance it'll be something truly useful as well as valuable. Clothiers can make an artifact rope, and metal crafters can create chains, either of which can be used for your main well. Similarly with a carpenter or blacksmith and buckets. Glassmakers can create an artifact trap component. Leatherworkers and tanners can create shields, and both they and bone carvers can create artifact Leather/Bone Armor pieces, which are great if you have Hunters, etc. Which are all better than the next two...
  • Next to last are skills that produce an artifact that could only be worn by one dwarf, and perhaps admired by others they come in contact with. Clothiers and weavers fall just below some of the above: for no ability to produce anything except wearable, non-military items. Gem cutters and Gem setters can fall on this list too, as creating something of pure monetary value and no practical use in your dwarven society. One exception to the general uselessness of clothing artifacts is Adamantine clothing, especially cloaks; its material allows it to accord the wearer meaningful protection, and unlike normal Adamantine clothing, its status as an artifact renders it immune to wear (which otherwise renders such clothing impractical.)
  • Last on the list are "crafts" – surprisingly valuable trinkets in the form of amulets, totems, rings, figurines – or, at best, crowns, which at least sound impressive. These skills are engraver, stone crafter, and wood crafter (and a distinct chance from several of the skills mentioned earlier: bone carver, gem cutter, gem setter, glassmaker, and metalcrafter.)
  • Peasants, defined here as having no moodable skill, always produce from the crafts list: It's always a good idea to have every newly arrived "peasant" migrant craft just one item from the moodable skill of your choice, to avoid such a tragic waste of dwarfcraft.

Types of moods[edit]

For each of the following types of moods, the first message is how the mood is announced; the second message appears in the dwarf's profile when he or she is viewed with the v key. All moody dwarves will have "Strange Mood" listed as their active task and are "quite content", regardless of any recent thoughts they may have had.


  • <dwarf> is taken by a fey mood!
Has the aspect of one fey!

This is the most basic strange mood. Fey dwarves will clearly state their demands when the workshop they are in is examined.


  • <dwarf> withdraws from society...
Peculiarly secretive...

Secretive moods are the same as fey moods, except a secretive dwarf will sketch pictures of their required materials instead of clearly stating their demands if they cannot find what they need. Descriptions of all these secretive requirements can be seen only by viewing the workshop that the moody dwarf has claimed, with q, and then only while the dwarf is waiting inside it. More than one "picture" is likely; these will cycle through the entire list automatically if any one is not available. (Since materials are gathered in order, it's quite possible that only one of a long list is needed to allow the moody dwarf to continue on their project. If the dwarf has gathered some of the materials (seen as "tasked" when looking at the workshop with t), then the next in the list is what they are looking for.)


  • <dwarf> has been possessed!
Possessed by unknown forces!

Possessed dwarves have cryptic material requests, and have the unfortunate distinction of not receiving any experience upon the successful construction of an artifact. No controllable circumstances lead to a possessed mood instead of one of the more desirable fey or secretive moods, it is purely luck-based. Possessed dwarves will mutter the name of the artifact they are working on (which, under some circumstances, might end up being their own name) once they have all the materials they need.

Possession is the only mood that does not result in a jump in experience.

A possessed dwarf that "keeps muttering <name of the artifact>..." has already gathered everything they need.


  • <dwarf> looses a roaring laughter, fell and terrible!
Has a horrible fell look!

A dwarf that goes into a fell mood will try to take over a butcher's shop or a tanner's shop. If neither are available, any other workshop will be used instead. The dwarf will then murder the nearest dwarf, drag the corpse into the shop and make some sort of object out of dwarf leather or bone. The unfortunate dwarf is killed on the spot – no dragging to the workshop, just sneaking up behind them, killing them, and dragging their corpse to the workshop. Once the artifact is completed, the fell dwarf will become a legendary bone carver or leatherworker. Only unhappy dwarves may enter a fell mood.

Amusingly, it seems fell dwarves can also murder ghosts. If they do, they will murder a living dwarf as well, since ghosts obviously don't yield a corpse to butcher.Bug:4681

Aside from the loss of a potentially important dwarf in the wrong place at the wrong time, there doesn't seem to be any downside to a fell mood. The end result is always an artifact and a legendary craftsdwarf. Since the only ingredient used (a dwarf) is available in abundance, a fell mood will only fail if the fell dwarf is completely isolated from other dwarves, or if the proper workshop does not exist.

If no one is around to witness the murder, whichever dwarf Urist McEmo decides to slaughter will be reported as missing some time after their death. If the murder is witnessed (or if the idiot dwarf in fell mood reports themself), the moody dwarf will be subject to dwarven justice.


  • <dwarf> begins to stalk and brood...
Brooding darkly...

Macabre moods are similar to fell moods, but the dwarf will not murder a fellow dwarf. A macabre dwarf may require bones, skulls, or vermin remains; if you do not happen to have any, you will have to make some, e.g. by butchering an animal and/or allowing a cat to go hunting, or let the moody dwarf go insane. Like fell moods, only unhappy dwarves can enter macabre moods.


  • Shells are perhaps the most difficult-to-obtain material for a strange mood, though there are several creatures that produce shells. Some of these, such as armadillos and common snapping turtles, are butcherable. Vermin from fishing are the easiest and most renewable source of shells. Pond turtles are common in many embarks in murky pools, but usually only appear in small numbers, and can go extinct easily. A stream or river almost guarantees a functionally inexhaustible supply of mussels. Nautiluses can also serve as sources of shells when cleaned at a fishery. Nevertheless, shells are rare and hard to acquire. Currently, the only way of trading for shells is to hope that the elven caravan brings some tamed shell-producing large creature. Traded cave lobsters and turtles are processed fish (with the shells already removed). Tamed vermin with shells cannot be butchered for their shells, since the only way to get a vermin's shell is to clean it. Since all shelled non-vermin animals are exotic, only elves will bring them. If you should be fortunate enough to acquire some breeding, shelled, butcherable animals, it's probably worth keeping a breeding pair around in case of future need. Only dwarves with a preference for shells will demand shells in a strange mood.
  • All demands for cloth are for a specific generic type (plant, silk, or yarn). Clothiers and Weavers will demand adamantine cloth if any is available, otherwise the type will be the generic form of the dwarf's first cloth preference, or a randomly chosen variety if the dwarf has no preference (or if the cloth is for a decoration, not the primary material). Types of cloth your fortress has not produced are not excluded, so it's best to keep a few bolts of each type of cloth in reserve.
  • Should the claimed workshop be a magma forge and lose power due to insufficient magma beneath it, the mood will fail immediately and the dwarf will go insane. Should the forge be in danger of losing power, you should forbid it before it is claimed and wait until it is powered up reliably. Once magma forges are built, at least some dwarves will no longer be satisfied with a regular forge. Similarly, if a workshop claimed by a dwarf is deconstructed, destroyed or toppled the mood will immediately fail and the dwarf will go insane.
  • If one of a claimed workshop's building materials are selected and toggled to forbidden, this will also cause the mood to immediately fail and the dwarf to go insane.
  • The mood's primary material will only be mentioned once in the dwarf's requests, even if the dwarf wants more than one unit of it. [1]
  • The item type of the artifact to be created is not decided until the instant the mood ends. Saving (even after a dwarf has begun to gather materials) will allow you to reload and the result may be a different artifact (unless the moody dwarf's preferences force a particular item type). If you want to get an artifact platinum warhammer, make sure to have platinum nearby and/or block access to any other materials.
  • You can restart the artifact creating process, even after the dwarf has gathered most of the components, by forbidding the claimed items (use t to view the contents of the workshop, select the undesired material, and press f to forbid it). If other items of that type are available, the dwarf will immediately switch to them.
  • Each request for bones is actually a request for any kind of bone stack, not individual bones. If they request bones more than one time, then they need that many stacks. Any size stack will do and the entire stack will be used. Bones come from butchering, rotted animal corpses do not count, even if they are skeletons. Tame animal corpses, whether they were pets or strays, can only be butchered as a result of a slaughter task, tame animals that died by any other means cannot be butchered. Slaughter a puppy. [2]


Once a workshop is claimed, the dwarf will begin collecting materials. Each artifact will require 1-3 "base items" and up to 7 additional items for decorations. The dwarf may well need several items of one material!

If the moody dwarf remains idle, then the necessary materials are not available. Forbidden items must be reclaimed (iF) before they may be used, but moody dwarves will ignore settings regarding economic stone. Click on the workshop to receive a series of clues about what the dwarf needs. Hints that stay active for longer than 2 seconds mean that multiple pieces of that material will be required; each single demand will be displayed for 2 seconds, so if it says "gems... shining" for 6 seconds, 3 gems are demanded. However, the mood's primary material will always be shown for only 2 seconds, even if more than one is required. Materials will always be fetched in order, so if at least one item has already been retrieved (the items will show up with "TSK" ("task") next to them when the workshop is viewed with the t context menu), it will usually be possible to tell what item is required next.

If you want your dwarves to construct their artifacts out of valuable materials instead of whatever useless thing happens to be close at hand, you can selectively forbid types of material through the stocks screen so that only the material you want them to use is available; though this might interfere with the normal crafting operations of your fortress, the disruption is generally short-lived (as long as you remember to unforbid them again afterwards!). You can even forbid something a moody dwarf is carrying (which may be necessary sometimes, since while they are not waiting in the workshop, they will not tell you what they need); the dwarf will finish hauling it to the workshop, but then immediately go searching for another. This trick can mean the difference between a bauxite statue decorated with moss agates and a native platinum statue encrusted with diamonds. Be aware that this may not always work – see below for more information.

Burrows allow even better control over a moody dwarf's material usage. Simply by creating a burrow around the claimed workshop and another part over the desired material, a moody dwarf can be controlled without forbidding every single stone in the fortress. A moody dwarf will follow the burrow definitions just like a regular worker, but be mindful that they will not leave the burrow to get materials that are outside of their assigned burrow. A problem can arise when bones from an outside refuse stockpile are needed by a moody dwarf that is assigned to a burrow.

The various demands are translated here:

Material Fey Macabre Secretive Possessed
<dwarf> screams "I must have <demand>!" <dwarf> broods "Yes. I need <demand>." <dwarf> sketches pictures of <demand>. <dwarf> mutters "<artifact> needs <demand>..."
Stone rock a quarry stone... rock
Stone/metal blocks rock blocks square blocks blocks... bricks
Wood wood logs a forest tree... life
Metal bar metal bars shining bars of metal bars... metal
Gems (cut) cut gems gems... shining
Gems (raw) rough gems rough... color
Green glass raw green glass glass raw... green
Clear glass raw clear glass[Verify] glass and burning wood raw... clear
Crystal glass raw crystal glass[Verify] rough gems and glass raw... crystal
Bone stack bones skeletons bones... yes
Shell [1] shells a shell...
Leather tanned hides stacked leather leather... skin
Cloth (plant fiber) plant cloth stacked cloth cloth... thread
Cloth (silk) silk cloth stacked cloth cloth... thread
Cloth (yarn) yarn cloth stacked cloth cloth... thread
Skull[Verify] body parts death a corpse

Dwarves in macabre moods may also say "Leave me. I need... things... certain things", in which case they want special items, such as skulls or vermin remains.

Related to the above behavior, moody dwarves demanding rock blocks will also accept blocks forged from metal bars.

  • The first item demanded by the dwarf is based on the moodable skill being used – stoneworkers (miners, engravers, masons, stone crafters, and mechanics) will demand boulders, woodworkers (carpenters, wood crafters, and bowyers) will demand logs, leatherworkers and tanners will demand leather, weavers and clothiers will demand cloth, metalworkers will demand metal bars, gem cutters/setters will demand rough gems, glassmakers will demand raw glass, and bone carvers will demand bones.
    • Metalworkers will demand adamantine wafers if any are available (unforbidden). If not, they will demand a preferred metal if you have ever smelted any bars of it – fey moods will state this outright, while for secretive moods and possessions, you will need to check the dwarf's preferences to see which metal they like. Metal bars acquired via trade or by melting down items (such as Goblinite) do not count as smelted. Otherwise, they will select any available metal(s).
    • Weavers and clothiers will demand adamantine cloth if any is available (unforbidden). If not, they will demand a generic type of cloth (silk, plant fiber, or yarn) that matches a specific cloth preference (e.g. a dwarf that likes cave spider silk will require any type of silk cloth, and a dwarf who likes more than one type of cloth will demand whichever one appears first in their list). Dwarves without a cloth preference will demand a generic type at random.
    • Glassmakers will demand their preferred type of glass if you've produced any of it (or if it's green glass); if they don't prefer any type of glass, they will randomly select one type of glass you've produced (though they will always assume you have created green glass). Note that acquiring raw glass from a caravan does not count as producing it.
    • Dwarves in macabre moods will select either 1 vermin remains, 1 stack of bones, or 1-3 skulls.
    • Bone carvers will demand shells if they like a type of shell; if not, they will demand bones.
    • All preference-based material requests are decided the instant the mood begins – by the time the workshop is claimed, it is too late to change the dwarf's mind.
  • The remaining "decoration" items are selected randomly from the following list: wood logs, metal bars, small gems, rock blocks, rough gems, boulders, bones, leather, plant/silk/yarn cloth, or raw glass (green/clear/crystal, based on what you've produced).
    • Decoration items will never be the same type as the primary mood material.
    • Certain mood professions will also explicitly avoid using certain items for decorations – most of these match up with the primary mood material, but miners, engravers, masons, and stonecrafters will additionally avoid requesting rock blocks.
    • If you have not produced any raw glass in your fortress, moody dwarves will never request it.
    • Dwarves in macabre moods have a 50% chance to replace each decoration item with either remains or bones.
  • Gem cutters and gem setters have a 50% chance of only gathering a single rough gem and nothing else – when they do this, they produce a "perfect gem" with a single decoration.

Once all materials have been gathered, viewing the workshop with q will display a special message depending on the type of mood:

  • Fey – "<dwarf> works furiously!"
  • Secretive – "<dwarf> works secretly..."
  • Possessed – "<dwarf> keeps muttering <artifact>..."
  • Macabre – "<dwarf> works, darkly brooding..."
  • Fell – "<dwarf> works with menacing fury!"

The mechanics of moods[edit]


When a fortress is started, an internal counter is set to 1000. Every 100 frames (12 times per day), this counter is decremented by 1, running down to zero in about 3 months. When the counter would ordinarily be decremented when it has already reached zero, there is a 1 in 500 chance that a strange mood will strike. This means that, once all conditions are met and the clock is ticking, while there is approximately a 2.4% chance of a strange mood per day, or a ~52% chance of at least one strange mood per month, there is no guarantee when a mood will strike – might be sooner, might be (almost) never. The counter resets to 1000 once a mood begins and continues counting down as the mood progresses, resetting again if it reaches zero before the mood finishes.


In order for a dwarf to be struck with a strange mood, three conditions must be met:

  • There is no currently active strange mood,
  • The maximum number of artifacts is not met,
  • There are at least 20 eligible dwarves (see below), including dwarves who have already created artifacts.

If all three of these conditions are true, the game may trigger a strange mood according to the frequency.

Maximum number of artifacts[edit]

The maximum number of artifacts in any one fortress is limited by the lower of:

  • The number of items created divided by 100.1 Mined-out rock does count as an "item created", though it is not clear whether bolts or units of drink are counted individually.
  • The number of revealed subterranean tiles divided by 2304 (this is an area equivalent to a 48x48 square). Once you discover and explore the caverns and magma sea, this limit becomes largely irrelevant, and using a "reveal" utility will eliminate it altogether, though strip-mining an area entirely and exposing it to the surface will count against this.
1 – actually the sum of all items by type and by type+subtype+material, divided by 200. Furthermore, destroying items does not decrement these counters, so casting and mining obsidian will count toward this.


The deciding factor for eligibility is a dwarf's actual profession. (Note that "custom professions" have no effect on this!) Thus, dwarves may enter strange moods regardless of what skills they have or don't have, so long as they are of an acceptable profession. Dwarves who have already created an artifact are not eligible to create another, and since every mood ends in either an artifact or death, every dwarf may enter at most one mood. Dwarves who have obtained one or more legendary skills without creating artifacts may enter strange moods and will simply become even more legendary.

On-duty dwarves with a military profession other than "Recruit" cannot enter moods. Incidental military skills make no difference – eligibility (and weighting) depends purely on the actual profession as listed at the time (with the exception of unit leaders, whose on-duty and off-duty titles are the same). Soldiers are still capable of entering moods if they are off duty and thus in Civilian mode, but you don't have to worry about your axedwarves getting a burst of inspiration mid-combat and then wandering off to make a highest-quality craftsdwarfship gabbro scepter decorated with cow bone menacing spikes, cow bone rings and a cow bone image of hamster men while the trolls sack your settlement.

Children may enter moods, but babies will not.

Any other profession is eligible to enter a mood, but not all have the same chance to enter a mood.

(Note – Specifically, and to avoid previous misunderstandings, Strand extractor, Clerk/Administrator/Trader, Doctor (and related), Recruit and Child are moodable professions.)

There are several additional factors which will prevent a dwarf from entering a mood:


When determining who will have a strange mood, each eligible dwarf is put into a weighted lottery, where the chance of being selected is based on the dwarf's profession. Most professions receive 6 "tickets", but some receive additional tickets to improve their odds.

Weighting Professions
21 Armorer, Blacksmith, Bone Carver, Clothier, Craftsdwarf, Jeweler, Gem Cutter, Gem Setter, Glassmaker, Leatherworker, Metalcrafter, Metalsmith, Stonecrafter, Weaponsmith, Weaver, Woodcrafter
11 Bowyer, Carpenter, Stoneworker, Stone Carver, Woodworker
6 Engraver, Mechanic, Miner, Tanner, and all other professions (including Peasant).
Example: What this means is: if you had 21 dwarves, made up of 20 eligible farmers, furnace operators, miners, woodcutters etc. (with 6 chances each) plus one Armorer (with 21 chances), that one Armorer would have a 21 in 141 chance (20 dwarves x 6 chances each = 120 + 21 chances more = 141 total) of the mood striking them. That's about 1 in 7, while the other 20 have a 6 in 141 chance each, or about 1 in 24. The odds are still against the armorer, but much better than for any other single dwarf.

Note that not every profession has a moodable skill. A Soaper, Furnace Operator, or Strand Extractor can be taken by a mood, but that will not make those skills legendary, nor will they create an artifact bar of soap, bar of metal, or wafer of adamantine.


A dwarf will go insane after exactly 50000 ticks (which, at 1200 ticks per day, works out to 41.66 days, or almost a month and a half) waiting for an item they demand. However:

  • The insanity countdown is reset after every item they bring to the workshop.
  • It doesn't run while they are out getting something, working on their construction or on their way to claim a workshop. Only during time spent idling without either the required workshop or a required item do they spiral towards madness.
  • Dwarves under strange moods do not feel hunger, thirst or drowsiness.


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.

Curiously, metalsmiths in strange moods do not seem to require any fuel to complete their metal artifacts. It is believed that they, consumed by artistic passion, fuel the forges with their own beards, vigorously fanning the flaming hairs while they feed the furnace more beard. Such a sacrifice is a dwarf's own beard that only an artifact merits its removal. Only an artifact's completion can mollify its creator's shame; dwarves unable to complete this great pursuit go insane, not because of its failure, but because they cannot endure the inevitable humiliation.

Legend has it that the world's first elf once attempted to forge the world's most powerful artifact, imbued with magic to control all dwarves. But, because he could not suffer to cut a tree for fuel, he was unable to do so. Faced with no alternative, he kidnapped each of the seven ancient dwarves by tempting them with booze, an unfamiliar drink to the first dwarves. He then forcefully shaved them and created charcoal from their beards.

Enraged by their loss, the dwarves set out to find the elf's home, based in the world's first tree. They startled the engrossed elf who fled with nothing but a handful of the tree's unborn children. After reclaiming the beard-charcoal, the dwarves set fire to this tree. Alight in flames hotter than the sun, the tree burned in what is believed to have been the world's hottest fire – a fire so hot that the tree's roots melted the inside of the earth, creating a worldwide magma sea. The elf watched this fire and swore revenge on the dwarves.

After realizing their beards could not be recovered from their charred state, the dwarves agreed to sprinkle the charcoal over the earth, as a gift and reminder to future dwarves. In doing so, they created the world's bituminous coal deposits. They then spent the next years searching for a way to create the drink they had been given. Discovering new drinks along their pursuit, the dwarves eventually perfected the hidden art of brewing booze and passed this emerging knowledge to coming generations.

Artifacts created[edit]

The type of artifact created depends on the type of mood, the dwarf's highest moodable skill, and the base material. Masons and miners will always create some kind of stone furniture; bone carvers, a bone or shell object (including furniture); carpenters, a piece of wooden furniture; engravers and stone crafters, a stone craft; metalworkers, metal crafts, weapons, or armor (depending on the type of metalworker); weavers and clothiers, an article of clothing; tanners and leatherworkers, a leather armor or object. If a dwarf has no moodable skills, they will randomly select stone crafting, wood crafting, or bone carving as their mood skill and produce their artifact accordingly. The precise type of craft created is usually somewhat random, but if a dwarf has a personality preference for a particular item type, such as gauntlets or floodgates or crowns, and that thing is an available choice given the dwarf's profession, they are guaranteed to create an object of that type (if multiple preferences match, one will be randomly selected).

The first object grabbed by the dwarf will be the base material; all other materials will be used as decorations. If a dwarf grabs a piece of chalk and makes a statue, for instance, it will be a "chalk statue", but an artifact can potentially include bone, cloth, gems, leather, metal, shell, stone, and wood decorations all at once. In some cases, a moody dwarf will produce an item which normally cannot be made from that material, leading to such odd constructions as an obsidian bed, ruby floodgate, or turtle shell cage, but the actual item types available for each mood type are still very much restricted (e.g. only a glassmaker or jeweler can make a window, and a moody clothier cannot produce an article of clothing that could not normally be made from cloth).

Mood / Skill Artifact type
Armorsmith Each equipment item with [METAL] (mail shirt, breastplate, leggings, greaves, gauntlet, low boot, high boot, cap, helm, mask), any shield
Bone carver (bone) Each equipment item with [BARRED] (leggings, greaves, gauntlet, helm), any shield, instrument, toy, door, bed, chair, table, statue, coffer, bin, armor stand, weapon rack, cabinet, coffin, floodgate, hatch cover, grate, chain, cage, animal trap, figurine, amulet, scepter, crown, ring, earring, bracelet, any weapon, any trap component
Bone carver (shell) Each equipment item with [SCALED] (leggings, gauntlet, helm), figurine, amulet, crown, ring, earring, bracelet, chain, cage, animal trap, instrument, toy
Bowyer Each ranged weapon (crossbow, bow, blowgun)
Carpenter Door, bed, chair, table, statue, chest, bin, armor stand, weapon rack, cabinet, coffin, floodgate, hatch cover, grate, cage, barrel, bucket, animal trap, splint, crutch
Clothier Each equipment item with [SOFT] (dress, shirt, tunic, toga, vest, robe, coat, cloak, cape, trousers, loincloth, thong, short skirt, skirt, long skirt, braies, glove, mitten, sock, sandal, shoe, chausses, cap, hood, mask, turban, head veil, face veil, headscarf), bag, rope
Engraver Figurine, amulet, scepter, crown, ring, earring, bracelet, goblet, instrument, toy
Fell Mood Each equipment item with [LEATHER] (dress, shirt, tunic, toga, vest, robe, coat, cloak, cape, armor, trousers, loincloth, thong, short skirt, skirt, long skirt, braies, leggings, glove, mitten, sock, sandal, shoe, chausses, low boot, high boot, cap, hood, mask, turban, head veil, face veil, headscarf, helm), any shield, bag, backpack, quiver, instrument
Gem cutter Perfect gem, door, bed, chair, table, statue, box, armor stand, weapon rack, cabinet, coffin, floodgate, hatch cover, grate, figurine, amulet, scepter, crown, ring, earring, bracelet, chain, flask, goblet, cage, barrel, bucket, animal trap, window, instrument, toy
Gem setter
Macabre Mood (vermin remains) Amulet, bracelet, earring
Mason Door, bed, chair, table, statue, quern, millstone, coffer, armor stand, weapon rack, cabinet, coffin, floodgate, hatch cover, grate
Stone carver
Mechanic Mechanism
Metal crafter Figurine, amulet, scepter, crown, ring, earring, bracelet, chain, flask, goblet, instrument, toy
Metalsmith Door, bed, chair, table, statue, coffer, armor stand, weapon rack, cabinet, anvil, coffin, floodgate, hatch cover, grate, cage, barrel, bucket, animal trap, pipe section, splint, crutch
Stone crafter Figurine, amulet, scepter, crown, ring, earring, bracelet, goblet, instrument, toy
Weaponsmith Any weapon, any trap component
Wood crafter Figurine, amulet, scepter, crown, ring, earring, bracelet, goblet, instrument, toy
chance of selection for this entry is reduced by 90%
this item may only be selected at the beginning of the mood (50% chance)

If your dwarf does not have a preference for any possible items, the game will randomly select one from the list. Entries with "any" are treated as collective entries with a single chance and will randomly choose a subtype which your civilization is capable of making. This explains why bowyers and clothiers will regularly produce foreign artifacts, while weaponsmiths will not unless they have exotic preferences.


Once created, most artifacts will be available for use just like a normal item of its type. Artifact armor and weapons gain extra bonuses in combat, while artifact clothing is immune to wear. Artifact mechanisms installed in weapon traps will improve attack rolls. Artifact furniture is useful for raising the value of a noble's room. Artifact mechanisms, trap components, or weapons in weapon traps can also boost a room's value considerably. Other artifacts that can be used in construction (such as barrels, buckets, and anvils) may be used similarly. Artifact doors and hatches are immune to building destroyers, and artifact cages can even hold gnawing vermin. All artifacts can be displayed in a display case or on a pedestal, or traded to a caravan for supplies.

Successfully creating an artifact grants a very strong happy thought (enough to make the creator totally ecstatic for several months) as well as granting the creator partial immunity to insanity – even if your fortress is left in a terrible state, any dwarf who has created an artifact is exempt from going insane due to prolonged unhappiness. The dwarf may also cry, found as a coating of dwarf tears on both their eyes.


If you can't provide the desired workshop and all the required component materials within a couple of months, the dwarf will go insane, which cancels the mood and the artifact. As if that's not bad enough, any dwarf who goes insane will soon die, one way or another.

A dwarf who is stark raving mad, melancholy, or catatonic is harmless to others (until they die and start a tantrum spiral), but a berserk dwarf will attack other dwarves and possibly pull levers at random. You may want to station a squad nearby or assign a few war dogs to the dwarf on the chance that they will lash out. If you build your workshops inside enclosed rooms with doors you can also lock the moody dwarf in the room until he or she starves. In extreme cases, building a wall around an open workshop is the best precaution.


There are many bugs reported related to moody dwarves. As has been the case in 40d, most turned out to be (understandable) failures of the player to grasp the mechanics of artifact creation and demands. (Bug tracker)

  • If a dwarf dies due to failing to complete an artifact, a memorial made to the dwarf will read that the dwarf did create it, despite the failure, and will even list the name of the artifact that never came to be. Bug:3640
  • When producing an item that is normally made in pairs (gloves, boots, etc.), only a single artifact will be created.
  • Attacking a dwarf who fails their mood with your militia may result in a loyalty cascade. Bug:7107
  • Dwarves entering a strange mood when isolated (e.g. on a stepladder) cause severe lag. Bug:8698
  • If the mood primary component is forbidden while working, but the strange mood still has other items tasked, the result is an iron artifact. Bug:5625
  • If the dwarf starts constructing the artifact and is scared off by a hostile creature before completion, they may become stuck. Bug:9833 Removing the floors around them, then dropping an item on them should cause them to dodge, fall, and return to the workshop.[2]


Problem: Moody dwarf does not claim a workshop

Solution: Check for highest moodable skill and build the corresponding workshop. If no moodable skills, build a craftsdwarf's workshop. Once magma forges have been built, some dwarves may demand to work at a magma-powered forge or furnace while others might still insist on a coal-powered one. If a forge is needed, make sure you built a forge, not smelter. Note that forbidden workshops cannot be claimed. Verify if the dwarf is assigned to a burrow and/or if there is a civilian alert set to a burrow. If so, verify that the burrow allows access to the workshop being sought after.

Problem: Moody dwarf waits in claimed workshop

Solution: Desired material is unavailable. Determine which material is requested next (materials are collected in the same order as shown in the dwarf's request list) and make some available, if possible. Be aware that some lists contain duplicates and you will need to make a seperate stack available for each one. Note that dwarves with preferences may demand a specific type of material (brass bars or yarn cloth, for example). Forbidden and inaccessible materials cannot be collected, nor can material located outside the moody dwarf's burrow.

Problem: No dwarf has entered a mood for a long time

Solution: Strange moods require at least 20 dwarves; if you have that many, you've probably hit one of the two caps. Exploring the caverns can increase the number of revealed tiles very quickly, while crafting goblets will quickly raise your item count; exploratory mining will count toward both caps, simultaneously revealing tiles and producing boulders, though more slowly than exploring or crafting. Exposing excavated terrain to the sky is counterproductive, as it will lower your artifact cap (since the cap only counts revealed subterranean tiles).

Problem: Moody dwarf wants stacked cloth, but all types are available and he's not moving

Solution: Dwarves will not take items from active hospitals. If you have no cloth available outside of hospitals, try disabling or temporarily removing the hospital designation from their zones. They will then proceed to take new items, even if they don't go for the cloth right away. It is also possible that the desired cloth has been partially consumed in order to make wound dressings.


Strange Moods, by Dabu, is the fourth track in the first Premium soundtrack volume, occasionally playing during Fortress mode.

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.

It is widely said that Tarn Adams has been in the grips of a fey mood for two decades now, and we are playing his artifact. However, neither humans nor giant toads can enter strange moods, so this must surely be a joke.