Trade goods with merchants.
|This article is about the current version of DF.|
|This feature has one or more outstanding bugs. Please view the Bugs section for details.|
A trade depot is a building that allows you to engage in trading with caravans that arrive at your fortress. Trade depots can be created from almost any building material, and construction requires the architecture skill along with the appropriate craft labor (carpentry, masonry, or metalsmithing). Three materials must be used to build the trade depot, with the oldest* material chosen serving as the main material to determine color and "material" as labeled; the color is visible immediately upon confirming the construction order.
(* i.e. the first material created or imported on your map, by chronological order.)
There must be at least 10 spaces between the depot and the edge of the map. They can be built on top of constructed floors and walls, allowing you to make a trade depot which is elevated above the surrounding land. Should they be deconstructed, the depot itself generates an implied walkable floor.
Hitting will tell you if the depot is accessible via a wagon, which requires a three tile wide path from the depot to the edge of the map. Note that this path is measured outward from the depot, so it requires a functional depot to display. For a tile to be “Wagon accessible” (marked in green) it must be navigable between both the tile and the depot *and* the tile and the map edge. If you are trying to constrain wagons to a certain path, only the desired path should be marked in green anywhere on the map. Warning: If the map has an extremely large amount of trees (Heavily Forested) there may not be any way for the caravan to get to your depot, unless you chop down a path for the wagons.
Forbidding the trade depot (by forbidding any material used to construct it) will make it inaccessible to traders. If inaccessible during the arrival of the caravan, it will cause the wagons to bypass your location.
Depot building options
Press - to build a depot. Depots occupy a 5x5 area. Once built, press and move your cursor over the depot to gain access to the following options:
Move Goods to/from Depot
: This command becomes active when a caravan arrives on your map. This screen menu is similar to the stocks menu ( - Stocks). This is where you select what items you want to trade with the caravan. If you have particular items you want to sell to the caravan, you can earch for it. This is convenient if you want to export all your prepared meals or finished goods. Also shown is the culling on andate option. The move to depot screen will not show things that violate an export mandate. By pressing , it will change to Ignoring andates, and you can select banned items for export. For example, if your mayor has a mandate banning the export of iron, this screen will hide bins that contain iron items. By changing this option, all iron items will be shown.
After selecting items and exiting the screen, jobs will be queued to move the items to the depot. All adult dwarves, regardless of labor settings, can move goods to the depot. Items that have not been moved will show [PENDING], while those that have been brought to the depot and are ready for trade and will be marked as [TRADING].
Items selected for trading will remain at the depot until the caravan leaves. Alternatively you can select the item again. Once no longer required at the depot, items will be available for use or hauling to stockpiles as normal. If you don't want all the items to be returned to their stockpiles, you can optionally orbid them by looking at the iems in the depot.
(Note that the "Move goods to depot" screen allows mouse controls, including controls like right-clicking on a list to scroll down, and double-clicking on a tab to select all items in that tab.)
No trader needed at depot or Trader requested at depot
: This requests a dwarf to come to the depot. To conduct trades with caravans, a trader must be present at the Trade Depot. Once requested, a job will be created for a dwarf to make their way to the depot and remain there until released with this setting, or the job is interrupted, such as by the dwarf deciding to drink, sleep, or eat. The Trade at Depot job is fairly low-priority, so labors may have to be disabled in order to get the broker to begin the job, or the broker can be temporarily added to a burrow which covers only the depot.
Only broker may trade or Anyone may trade
: This setting determines who will perform the trade. If Only broker may trade is active, then only the broker noble will respond to the trader request. This can become a problem when the broker is sleeping or otherwise occupied, but dwarves with low appraisal skill will receive poorer deals when trading. If anyone may trade is selected, and someone other than the broker becomes a better appraiser than the broker, the broker's appraisal skill is still used.
: This option becomes available once the caravan and your trader are both at the depot; it begins trading. If more than one set of merchants is using the trade depot, you will be given the option of who you want to trade with.
If you give or trade away an artifact, you will receive a special screen:
- Setting a meeting area over a depot, then removing it, will cause dwarves to act as though it were still a meeting area. This is irreversible.
- Merchants in a trade depot who are accosted by hostile creatures may then refuse to trade. If any merchant is unable to make it to the depot, all the other merchants will similarly refuse to trade.
- Dumping items belonging to the merchants will result in the depot thinking the merchants are gone, when they are actually hanging around.
- Forbidding a depot, or slating it for removal immediately after causing the caravan trader to be unwilling to do business with your dwarves (e.g. trading wood to the elves) will cause the caravan to leave all their items and embark on their journey, leaving you to claim the items for yourself. This is treated by the game as seizing the items and will incur diplomatic penalties on the player, unless done to a dwarven caravan (as you cannot have bad relations with your own civilization).
- The game behaves poorly when multiple trade depots are available. Merchants with wagons may path to one depot, while those with pack animals path to the other; then both groups will insist on waiting for the rest of their party to arrive.
- If you slate a depot for removal while merchants are in the process of leaving, the wagons will never leave and eventually the animals and remaining traders will go mad.
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