|This article is about the current version of DF.|
Note that some content may still need to be updated.
"Goblinite" is an unofficial term for the metal and clothing resources that can be picked from of the corpses and severed body parts of your enemies. Traditionally, this means goblin corpses, but new developments in diplomacy have made it possible to mine new veins of goblinite. Depending on the fortress, such items may be an important supplement to normally-produced or -traded armor, weapons, and clothing. The clothing content of sieges can almost single-handedly provide an entire fortress with clothes (albeit with the occasional Xsuspiciously axe-shaped holeX in them), while melting down weapons and armor can make up for a lack of ore at an embark site. Even useless items, like wrong-sized clothing or weapons made of inappropriate materials, can always be sold to the next caravan.
The type of loot your enemies helpfully supply will depend both on the civilization and the race. The civilization will determine the type of items they bring. This can include items dwarves can't make themselves, which could be a very useful high-quality iron whip, a mere curiosity like a leather turban, or a useless silver halberd. The race will determine what size the clothing and armor are. These items will generally be low-quality, except in the case of warlords, mercenaries, or races that particularly value craftsmanship, like humans or other dwarves. A warlord's master-quality gear can be quite useful, as long as it's something like an iron spear or helm and not a copper short sword or wooden low boot.
Raids aren't necessarily homogeneous, either. A siege might include allies or other races who live alongside your enemies. Angering a human city might mean you're attacked by a few humans but many of their animal person allies. While a goblin force will almost always consist mainly of goblins, it can also include the occasional adopted character of another race. These characters will generally be wearing the same sort of items as their compatriots, but sized appropriately. A troll fighting alongside goblins will be wearing the same sort of clothing as the goblins, but it will be too large for dwarves to wear. Attacking enemies can also include mercenaries, who might be any intelligent race and have any sort of equipment.
Many races also ride mounts, which generally don't have equipment, but are helpfully made of delicious meat and useful bone and leather. (Technically, so is everyone, but dwarves have pesky moral objections to butchering anything more intelligent than a cat.) If you capture these mounts in a cage trap, you can train them, but they'll always be hostile to your fortress, and can even cause Fun loyalty cascades. The main use would be training the animal trainer skill or simply allowing you to easily slaughter the captive mounts, or you could sell unintelligent mounts in cages to the next passing trade caravan. If you really must have your own beak dogs, however, with some careful micromanagement you can breed enemy mounts, and their offspring won't be inherently hostile once trained.
Goblins are always hostile to dwarves, and can't ever be reasoned with. That's not a bad thing, since goblins generally make their weapons, armor, and shields out of useful copper, iron, silver, and (bismuth) bronze. Goblins mainly use the same sorts of weapons as dwarves, but can also have large daggers, whips, flails, scourges, scimitars, and bows and arrows. Their clothing is also handy, since it's the correct size for dwarves to wear. All of these can be used as-is, although some of the exotic weapons, like bows and the various whip-like weapons, have odd combat skills that don't match up with any dwarf-made weapons, making them a bit of a dead-end long term. Alternately, the metal equipment can be melted down to serve as the raw material for superior, dwarf-made arms and armor.
Goblin invaders often ride various creatures from the caverns. On one hand, this means potentially fun (or Fun) pets like blind cave bears or jabberers. On the other hand, dwarves can simply dig down to the caverns and capture these creatures themselves.
If you anger the elves by clearcutting trees or disregarding their particular taboos while trading, they may ineffectually attempt to go to war with your dwarves. Elves wear the same-sized clothing as dwarves, but that's about where their usefulness ends. They make their weapons and armor out of wood, which will serve dwarves just as poorly as it served the previous owners. Their most useful weapons are bows, but they use a different combat skill from dwarves' own inexpensive and easily-made crossbows, and force you to scavenge or trade for arrow ammunition to use them. Elves have a grisly habit of making crafts out of their slain enemies, so you can occasionally get an amusing ring or bracelet made from elven or goblin bone or hair.
Elves often ride interesting land animal mounts from the savage and good-aligned forests and jungles they typically settle in, including gigantic or fanciful animals of all sorts. This can be a source of giant tiger guards for your fortress, or perhaps just some tasty and valuable ☼Unicorn roast☼.
It's a bit harder to anger humans. You'll have to attack their settlements or trade caravans, although dwarven civilizations occasionally end up at war with them in world generation. Like goblins, humans make their weapons, armor, and shields out of copper, iron, silver, and (bismuth) bronze. Because humans value craftsmanship almost as much as dwarves, these items tend to be a bit better quality than goblin-make. However, unlike goblins, human-sized clothing and armor are large-sized, too large for dwarves to wear. Humans use a very wide variety of weapons, including unusual weapons that dwarves can't normally make. Like goblin-made weapons, this is great if they bring something useful like a whip, but many of these weapons require oddball weapon skills. Unlike goblins, humans also wield many weapons that are simply too large for dwarves to use.
Going to war with dwarves is harder than you'd expect. Even if you somehow end up at war with your home civilization, they won't ever attack your fortress. You'll need to offend another dwarf civilization, usually by attacking them on the world map or killing their trade caravans. Once you do, dwarves are deadly foes, since they will have well-crafted weapons and armor made of any weapons-grade metal, including steel. While any civilization can have artifacts, dwarves are much more likely to have them, since dwarf civilizations are the primary source of such items. Obviously, these are useful dwarf-sized items, but you'll need to take them from the cold, dead hands of their previous owners first!
Dwarves can occasionally ride mounts, almost always domesticated animals.
Kobold civilizations will always attack dwarves. However, they never attack in large numbers, only sending thieves, singly or in small groups. If these thieves have any armament at all, it will be a copper dagger. Even their clothes are useless, since kobolds are smaller than dwarves.
When kobold adventurers and mercenaries can show up in other races' raids, they can have equipment made from any weapons-grade metal, even steel.
Animal people can show up in siege-like attacks two different ways.
While above-ground animal people usually show up naked as small groups of wandering neutral creatures, the same way as animals do, they can also be part of any other civilization. These civilized animal people will show up alongside their allies in sieges, carrying weapons and armor of similar quality and materials and riding the same sorts of mounts. (Sometimes the mounts can be silly; cardinal men living alongside humans can be riding horses rather than flying faster and higher under their own power.) These animal people can wear clothing or armor appropriate to their size (which can be dwarf-sized, or too small or large, depending on the race), but often only carry a weapon and shield.
Subterranean animal people live in tribes of their own in the caverns. Hostile tribes of animal people will often migrate into the caverns from open map edges, sometimes in great numbers. These tribes are mostly armed with spears and shields, with the occasional blowgun mixed in. These will always be minimum quality, but they can be made of any weapons-grade metal, including steel. These tribes are one of the few sources of blowguns, but blowguns are even more useless than bows, due to the shortage of blowdart ammunition.
If you settle near a necromancer's tower, they'll occasionally send forces of undead to attack you, led by intelligent undead or a necromancer. These attacking forces are especially heterogeneous, and can include zombies, intelligent undead, and necromancers from any civilized race. The type, quality, and materials of the attackers' armament appears to depend on the race of the head necromancer back at the tower, usually a human or dwarf, although reanimated historical figures seem to have equipment appropriate to the civilization they lived in before dying. A dwarf necromancer's sieges might even include steel equipment. Otherwise, the size of the clothing and armor and the types of weapons the invaders use will depend on their race.
Attacking necromancers occasionally bring a book with them. If this book contains the secrets of life and death, reading it will turn the reader into a necromancer themselves, so you might want to sequester such reading material from your library unless you want your citizens embracing undeath.
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Goblinite is an important ore, good for iron, copper, bronze, and/or silver. Unlike other ores, goblinite is not restricted to any particular layer, though it is most often found on or near the surface. It occurs in small clusters, which can sometimes be dealt with by a solitary dwarf with a pick, and veins and large clusters which require greater effort to excavate and process. The discovery of a large vein of goblinite is cause for celebration, a holiday known as goblin christmas. Also, there have been some reports of goblinite spontaneously condensing in the vicinity of strategically positioned catalyzing sharp edges.
Once the mining is complete, the goblinite can be unforbidden and your dwarves can carry it off to the stockpile. To yield the precious metal, each piece of ore must be designated for melting and processed at a smelter; the yield is typically less than that of normal ores of iron and copper, but can be an important resource in a particularly metal-poor location, provided you have sufficient fuel. Many caravans prize raw goblinite, along with its attendant wrappings.
As of the current version dwarves and goblins have the same adult body size, therefore allowing goblinite to be equipped directly without melting and reforging as an early or cheap source of low quality armor for a fortress.
Recent advances in the field of dwarven fashion have increased the demand for the wrapping paper in which goblinite is often packaged. While the dwarves of yore would often throw this into the magma while muttering about FPS, the young dwarves of today have been spotted wearing it.