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Nobles include both the types of positions you'd normally consider when you hear the word, like barons and monarchs, and dwarves in administrative roles (like the bookkeeper‡ and expedition leader). Some nobles can make onerous demands that leads to them having an unfortunate accident.

How nobles work[edit]

Listing, appointing and replacing nobles/administrators[edit]

You can list nobles via the "nobles and administrators screen" (n). For non VACANT positions the right-hand column will shows [REQUIRE], [DEMAND] and [MANDATE]. If there is no requirement/demand for that position it will be in grey, if there is one that's not met it will be in red, and if there is one which is met is will be in white; the colors for mandates are different and will be dealt with in its own section. Note that if one dwarf holds multiple positions that the sum total of all their requirements/demands/mandates will be listed under ever position they hold.

You can scroll through the list with and , then press Enter to appoint a dwarf for a position which is VACANT, or for filled positions see the dwarf who fills that position. If you, the player, can change who fills a position, the Replace at the bottom of the screen will be white instead of grey, and you can replace the filled position with r. When appointing or replacing a noble you are presented with a list of all your eligible adult dwarves (scroll with and ), with the most qualified for the position list at the top. When a dwarf is highlighted his/her experience at the skills relevant to the position will be listed. When a dwarf is selected hit Enter to appoint that dwarf as the noble for the position, or Esc to cancel.


A requirement is a need(s) for certain types of rooms (bedrooms, dining rooms, offices and tombs) of a minimum level of room quality, plus certain amounts of various types of furniture. You can meet a noble's needs for a room by assigning a relevant room to the noble, and meet the need for furniture by installing the furniture into any of the rooms the noble owns. You can meet the need for certain quality levels by increasing the value of the room in question. You can increase the room's value by placing valuable furniture in it (something which statues are good for, especially gold statues), smoothing and engraving the room, making the room larger when you first dig it out, and by placing the room in an area where the floor and walls are of a highly valuable material (like a mined-out magnetite cluster).

For most nobles a requirement not being met merely gives them unhappy thoughts, though if it goes on for long enough it can lead to a tantrum. For the bookkeeper‡ and manager‡ not having an office prevents them from working, but doesn't give them an unhappy thought (and the manager doesn't even need an office until your fortress has a population of at least 20).


A demand is an order by a noble to have a specific type of furniture installed in a specific one of their rooms. If a demand is met soon enough it will generate a happy thought. If it isn't met soon enough it will generate an unhappy thought, the noble will forget about it, and then later come up with a new demand.


A mandate is an order by a noble to either produce a certain type of item or a ban on selling a certain type of item to any caravan. The color of the [MANDATE] on the nobles screen is interpreted as follows:

  • Olive means an item production order with more than half a game year left to fulfill.
  • Yellow means an item production order with a few seasons left to fulfill
  • Red means an item production order which is almost expired.
  • White means an export ban.

Mandates are the thing about nobles that cause the most annoyances for the player, since a mandate being violated is a crime, and if you have the justice system set up a dwarf will be singled out as guilty and punished. However, since not having the justice system in place has very little down side, most players never bother with it, in which case the a mandate being violated will only result in the noble getting two unhappy thoughts, one because the mandate was violated and one because no one was punished. It's usually possible to give the noble enough compensatory happy thoughts that s/he won't tantrum because of violated mandates.

Room jealousy[edit]

Some nobles (monarch, baron, count, duke) will get an unhappy thought if a dwarf of a lower status owns a room which is more valuable than their room of the same type (that is, if a lower status dwarf has a more valuable dining room than their dining room, a more valuable office than their office, etc). This can be an annoyance if you give all of your dwarves high-value bedrooms to make them happier. One way to deal with it is to make the rooms for the jealous nobles large, and then stuff high value furniture into them until the room becomes more valuable than the rooms of all the lesser dwarves. The other is to have enough other things giving the nobles happy thoughts that they don't tantrum.

Note that jealous nobles somehow simply know of the existence of rooms that offend them, even without ever seeing them, so isolating jealous nobles to their own section of the fortress won't keep them from getting unhappy thoughts.

Jealous nobles don't care about communal rooms, so you can safely have an extremely valuable dining room without offending any of them.

List of nobles and administrators[edit]

Expedition leader and mayor[edit]

The expedition leader is the dwarf out of the starting seven dwarves who had the highest combined social skills. The job of the expedition leader is to meet with unhappy dwarves to let them vent, and to meet with the dwarven liaison in order to set up a trade agreement. Also, the expedition leader is needed for you to be able to appoint and replace those nobles which can be controlled by the player.

When your fortress reaches a population of 50 the expedition leader becomes the mayor, which is exactly like the expedition leader, except that the mayor has requirements and can make demands and mandates. Every once in a while there'll be an election, in which the current mayor might be replaced; the winner of the election is decided by by a combination of the number of friends a dwarf has and the total of the dwarf's social skills (meaning that the dwarves with the most free time to hang out with other dwarves often become mayor). If your mayor changes you have to manually re-assign all of the rooms which fulfill the mayor's requirements, since it's not yet possible to assign rooms to the office of the mayor rather than an individual dwarf.

Because of a bug it's possible for you to manually replace the expedition leader or mayor with another dwarf via the nobles screen.


The bookkeeper‡ can be used to increase the precision of your stockpile records, which lets you get more use out of the stocks screen and gives more accurate counts of your available supplies. The bookkeeper needs an office to work in. There is no labor associated with bookkeeping, since being appointed to the position is enough to make the dwarf do the job.


The manager‡ is needed to be able to access the job order manager function of the game, and also must individually validate all work orders once the fortress population reaches 20. The manager needs an office to work in once the fortress population reaches 20. There is no labor associated with managing, since being appointed to the position is enough to make the dwarf do the job.


The broker has two purposes:

  1. If the broker is at least a novice at the appraiser skill, then examining items will show their value, and the status screen‡ will show a summary of your fortress's wealth.
  2. The broker will do the trading with caravans. The most important skill for this job is judge of intent, which lets you tell if the caravan merchants are pleased or displeased with trading. The other social skills probably let you make better deals.

The broker needs no office and has no associated labor.

Chief medical dwarf[edit]

The chief medical dwarf is needed to enable the health screen. The chief medical dwarf needs no office, but does need to have the diagnosis labor turned on.

Sheriff and Captain of the Guard[edit]

The sheriff enables the justice system (you probably want to leave this position vacant). When the fortress is large enough s/he gets promoted to the Captain of the guard.

Militia commander[edit]

The militia commander allows you to have more than one squad in your military.

Militia captain[edit]

A militia captain is the leader of a squad. Militia captains are special in that it's the only type of administrator/noble of which you can have more than one.

Baron, Count and Duke[edit]

If the dwarven caravan leaves when you have a population of at least 20, have exported at least 10,000 worth of goods and have at least 100,000☼ of created wealth, then the next time that the dwarven liaison comes you'll be able to chose one of your dwarves to be elevated to the position of baron; once chosen, the you can't replace the baron with someone else. While having a baron should let you appoint some other nobles, most importantly the dungeon master, that feature is bugged, so the baron serves no real purpose now. Note that the baron's spouse will never work again, so if you choose to make a baron choose a dwarf who's spouse doesn't have any important skills.

As the amount of exported wealth and created wealth of your fortress increases your baron will promoted to count, and then once again to duke.

Dungeon master[edit]

The dungeon master should let you tame exotic animals at a kennel, but not only does a bug prevent the baron from appointing a dungeon master, but another bug prevents the dungeon master from working even if you get around the first bug. As a workaround you can go to the \data\save\<save_folder>\raw\objects folder, and for every file starting with creature_ do a mass search/replace of PET_EXOTIC with PET (though you have to save and restore your game for this change to take effect).


The monarch (king or queen) will come to your fortress some time after you reach a population of 140, have at least 15,000 worth of architecture, at least 5,000☼ worth of roads, and have offered at least 5,000☼ worth of goods to the dwarven caravan. This will change your fortress into the capital of your civilization, and also stop the dwarven liaison from coming, meaning that you'll no longer be able to order items for import via trade agreements.