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Make sure the game is paused.

Digging out more workshop space[edit]

Continue the stairwell down into the level below the farming level, then dig out space for some more workshops:


Building a workshop[edit]

From the main menu, enter the building menu, then the workshop sub-menu (b-w). This will give you a list of workshops to choose from. You can scroll through the list with - and + then use Enter to select the highlighted workshop, or just press the key associated with the workshop. In this case, use c to choose the Carpenter's workshop. This will show a 3x3 square of X's, which you can maneuver with the arrow keys to set where to place the workshop. It will probably be a mixture of X, X and X, with the screen showing Hidden and Blocked. Maneuver the square so it's inside of one of the 3x3 rooms off the hallway, and the X's are all green:


The X indicate tiles which will become impassible walls, while the X indicate tiles which will remain walkable floors (there is no way to rotate or flip the workshop designation to make the wall tiles go somewhere else). In this case your dwarves will be able to squeeze through the diagonal opening into the workshop, but sometimes the X's will entirely wall off the workshop from the hall. If you build a workshop in cases like that the dwarf constructing the workshop will be trapped inside once the workshop is complete, and you won't get any notification or announcement until the dwarf dies of thirst, so be careful.

Press Enter to select that location for the workshop. The game will now ask you what to make the workshop from:


The Item column names the item which can be used, the Dist item says how many tiles away it is from the workshop, and Num indicates the number of items you've chosen so far for this construction (0) and how many of that type of item you have left (1 or more). You could use - and + to scroll through the different types logs to use, but which type you use doesn't really matter, and the closest one will always be the one selected by default, so just press Enter. The workshop will now look like:


This, like a newly placed farm plot, is merely an indication of an order to your dwarves, but unlike a newly placed plot it doesn't blink. Rather, it's the absence of wall-like symbols where the Xs were which indicates that it's still merely an order. Since you're still in the "place workshop" menu, press Esc twice to get back to the main menu and unpause to tell the carpenter dwarf build the workshop; the workshop will change appearance as it's being built, until it's actually real, and the carpenter will leave.


Adding a job directly to the workshop[edit]

Use q to interact with the workshop. This will show a menu headed by Carpenter's Workshop, and near the bottom a Profile requires manager which you can ignore for now. Use a to bring up the Add new task menu. This will provide a list of tasks you can add, some of which can only be selected by scrolling with - and + and then pressing Enter, and others which can also be added via pressing the proper key. Use b to add a Construct bed task. You'll be returned to the previous menu, but there'll be a Construct Bed there. Now do a-j to add a Make wooden Cage task.

Exit with Esc, unpause the game, and wait for the carpenter to make the bed and cage.

Looking inside the workshop[edit]

Now look inside the workshop using t, which brings up the "View items in buildings" mode. Underneath Carpenter's Workshop will be three lines. The first will be the log which you used to build the workshop; the fact that it's the material which the workshop is made from is indicated by the [B] off to the right. The second and third lines are the bed and cage that just got made. The bed or cage might be bracketed by -, +, *, or , which indicate that the bed is of higher quality than usual. For furniture like beds this merely means that the item value is higher than normal.

Items created in a workshop will be left there until either they're used for something or they're put into a stockpile‡. If you leave too many items in a workshop it will cause clutter, which will slow down jobs in the workshop. But having a few beds in the workshop won't cause any clutter, so there's no need to set up a furniture stockpile yet.

Adding jobs with the manager[edit]

Another way of adding jobs to a workshop is with the manager. "Manager" is both the name of an in-game utility, and the name of a dwarven administrator which allows the utility to be used. The administrator doesn't actually do anything until your fortress population is at least 20, but the administrator's mere existence is still needed to make the utility work. To appoint the manager administrator, use n to access the nobles and administrators‡ screen. Use and to scroll to "manager", then Enter. Then use and to select a dwarf and press Enter. It doesn't matter which dwarf you select, since until reaching a population of 20 the manager is just a figurehead necessary to satisfy the game; replacing the manager later with someone more appropriate won't cause any problems. You'll be back at the nobles and administrators screen, but the rightmost column will shows a [REQUIRE]. The manager requires an office, but the office isn't actually needed until your population hits 20 dwarves. Use Esc to return to the main menu.

Now that you have the administrator, you can use the utility. u-m or j-m will get you to the manager utility screen. To add a new order use q. This will show a huge list of all the jobs that might be added, which could be navigated with and . To narrow it down you can type in a filter, a space separated list of words which will be searched for; a job will match if it contains the exact typed word, or if the typed word is contained in another word. For example, typing "WOOD BIN" will match both "Construct wooden Cabinet" and "Construct wooden Bin".

We want to make some more beds, so just enter "BED", which will match just one entry, Construct Bed. Press Enter to select it. It then ask you how many you want with Quantity:. Enter 6 and Enter to complete. Now we'll be back at the previous menu, it shows a "Construct Bed" work order. On the right hand of the screen is the Left column, which shows the number of "Construct Bed" jobs that remain to be done.

Use Esc twice to get back to the main menu and unpause the game. It will take a little in-game time for the manager jobs to make it to the workshop, at which point the carpenter will start making more beds. After a few more beds are made, got back to the manger with u-m or j-m. Under the Left column you'll see 4/6 or 3/6, showing that the original work order was for 6 beds and that there's less than 6 left. When all six beds have been made you'll get the announcement Construct Bed (6) has been completed.

Manager advantages[edit]

  • You can manually add at most 10 tasks to a workshop, but a manager work order can be for up to 30 items.
  • If you run out of raw material for completing a workshop task, a manually added job will just cancel. With a manager work order the jobs will pick up again once there's more raw material.
  • You'll be informed when a work order is done.
  • You can use the manager screen to easily track progress.
  • The manager can distribute a single work order amongst multiple workshops.

Manager disadvantages[edit]

  • If there's multiple workshops of the appropriate type for a work order, you can't control which workshops do or don't get the jobs.
  • Once you reach a population of 20 the manager administrator will have to personally validate each work order. If the administrator is sleeping, eating, or otherwise occupied it will take a while for the work order to get started.

Setting the workshop's profile[edit]

Use q to interact with the workshop, then P to set the workshop's profile. This lets you control who can or can't use the workshop. In the seasons to come migrants will show up, some of whom might be carpenters, but not as skilled as the one we have now. We don't won't those less skilled carpenters to use the workshop, since they'll work slower and produce lesser quality products. On the other hand, the migrants might be more skilled than our current carpenter, and we want to let them use the workshop. Press * five times to set the minimum carpentry skill for this workshop to "Proficient"; this will take care of the problem.

Next tutorial article[edit]

Living area.


Using a particular type of material for a workshop job[edit]

When making a workshop you get to select exactly which type of material to use, but when giving a job to a workshop you often don't get to choose the material. For instance, when adding a "Construct Bed" job you don't get to choose between a bed made from pine or a bed made from cedar. In these cases when a dwarf accepts the job s/he chooses whichever appropriate material is closest to him/her at the moment the job is accepted. If a dwarf is going to do many consecutive jobs at a single workshop you can influence what materials are chosen by putting a stockpile‡ of the type of material you want used next to the workshop, since when one job is finished the next job will be accepted while the dwarf is still inside the workshop. However, if the dwarf is only given a single job then s/he won't necessarily be close to the stockpile when s/he accepts the job. This also applies to the very first job out of a group of jobs, and also if a dwarf takes a break from a group of jobs to eat/sleep/etc. If you want to make absolutely sure that only the material you want is used, there are several things you can do:

  1. Put the workshop, a stockpile of what you want to use and a lever behind a door. Change the lever's profile so that only the craftsdwarf you want can pull it, add an order to pull it, lock the door when the dwarf goes to pull it, then add the workshop job. The locked door will prevent the dwarf from choosing any material other than that in the stockpile behind the door.
    • If there's a lot of consecutive jobs you want the dwarf to do you should put a private food/booze stockpile, dining room and bedroom behind the door, so the dwarf can eat/drink/sleep without having to unlock the door.
    • If you put a hole in the ceiling of the area behind the door, you can use a garbage dump activity zone to drop materials, food and booze into the work area without having to open the door. Put a similar hole in the floor and the craftsdwarf can similarly dump the finished good into the hole without having to ever leave the work area.
  2. Use the stocks screen‡ to mass forbid all raw materials except for the type you want to be used. This is only useful if you want to do one or two quick jobs.
  3. Assign the craftsdwarf to a burrow which contains only the type of material you want to use.

Not that in the context of material choice, "closet" ignores walls and intervening floors and ceilings. If a carpenter accepts a carpentry task when one log is four tiles away across open floor and a second log is two tiles away behind a wall, the carpenter will always choose the log behind the wall, even if moving around the wall requires the dwarf to walk 90 tiles. Similarly if a carpenter accepts a job while in the middle of a workshop and there's a log one z-level immediately above the center of the workshop s/he will choose that one instead of the log two tiles away on the same z-level.