v0.31 Talk:Caverns

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I'm not sure 'When should I move in' is a relevant topic for this page. It goes from being informative to prescriptive. As this is not a guide page, it should probably avoid recommendations and focus on facts about Caverns. (Relevantly, the answer to 'when should i move in' may well be never, based on considerations entirely unconnected to the dangers of the cavern). --Squirrelloid 18:58, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, it needed something, and I'm not the best writer in the world, so you're right. Someone should also take a picture of a cavern for when the images work again, I might if no-one else does. --Tarran
I haven't found ruins. Instead I used an adamantium pillar to mine through a magma sea layer, and found glowing pits with about eleventy-billion demons in them. Good to see that while going deep is GAME OVER, there are dozens of different ways to die.--Alkyon 03:38, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Should this page be considered/have a link to a Biome page? All creatures that exist in these caverns have a the tag [BIOME:SUBTERRANEAN_CHASM] and appear use the [UNDERGROUND_DEPTH:1-3:1-3] to control the depths they can be found in. This would be quite useful for organization. -EricBlank

I think it should have a link from the biome page, since this page is more specific, and it is a biome itself.--Tarran 02:22, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Geography - I have a game where I didn't breach the caverns until z-level 59. In my current game after breaking through a double aquifer I hit the caverns immediately at z-level 6. It doesn't seem like z-level 15 is typical.--Dextradei 16:21, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Of magma and pools[edit]

Can anyone verify if the first level will likely have a gigantic pool, and that the magma is really part of the cavern an not the separate Magma sea? --Tarran 08:24, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

There is a world gen setting for "cavern water" ranging from 1-100, also one for "force magma at bottom layer". the latter is on by default. So, dont know, maybe merge or link the articles? Maybe i´ll try a world without forced magma later. --Arin 08:28, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Maybe the "force magma at bottom layer" means the magma sea, so I don't think it is a part of the cavern, if someone doesn't disagree, then I'll remove it from the cavern page. --Tarran 08:31, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree, but i think the page should link to Magma sea, as a reference to what you get when you got past the caverns. --Arin 08:39, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
You made a link to 'Magma_Sea' instead of 'Magma_sea' :p (yes it matters), anyway, changed the main page around a bit. --Tarran 08:51, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

downward passage[edit]

As adventurer I entered a cave with a dragon in it from the surface, it let to one of these caverns. upon exploring it for about two hours I got an announcement that I found a downward passage. What followed was a series of small caves much like the one that let from the survace into the caverns, only that this one led to the second level. Does one get this announcement also in fortress mode?

Yes I got it in fortress mode too, I think they are there to let adventurers get deeper into the caverns24.255.86.193

I found one in fortress mode too... except it lasted one tile down. Must be flaw in cave gen. Anyone else get this? I can make screenshots/movies and use old file to get discovery message. --Peglegpenguin 02:07, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

Underworld article[edit]

There is a more generic article about subterrean features: Underworld what do? merge/redirect?

This page should stay, since it is larger and more specific, and 'Cavern' is the correct meaning, 'Underworld' just means everything beneath the ground. So it is unneeded, we should just wait for Briess or someone more experienced then me to decide. --Tarran 08:44, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Edge of the Map[edit]

I spent like 30 minutes Googling to try to find out how to get rid of an infinite water supply drawn from a river now that there are no more chasms, and after a while I learned that water flows out of the edge of the map and that caverns can breach the edge of the map, creating a drain with the same effect that chasms had before. I think someone should mention this since it's much less difficult to build a large-scale water system if that water has somewhere to drain instead of flooding your fortress. --129.252.122.38 14:49, 21 April 2010 (UTC)


I wonder, is that possible to drain water from the cavern, which goes out of the edge of the map? Will water flow from the edge to the cavern or not? WFrag 04:59, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Caverns where the water touches the edge is an infinite water source, where the water doesnt touch the edge once fortified is an infinite water drain so this makes for VERY easy waterwheel powerstations, you want a roughly 4:1 water source/water drain ratio to keep 5 wide channel supplied with enough water to power the wheels. --MLegion 08:48, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

World Generation[edit]

I don't know if this should be here on in the World Generation article, but there are a bunch of variables related to caverns in the worldgen parameters which let you customize the cavern layout, and it's not particularly obvious what they do. Turning the cavern layer count to 0, for example, makes it so you can't embark with seeds for some reason (bug?)

One explanation could be that your starting civilisation gathered seeds for subterran crops from natural occuring underground plants in caves. So a world without caves would be a world without underground crops. But this should of course also imply that there are no crops or their products (like any pigtail items) or towercaps in the world. --80.187.102.242 16:33, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

and I'm not entirely sure what Openness and Passage Density are referring to. Raising "levels above layer 1" makes you encounter the first cavern later (obviously) which I think creates a more relaxed fortress-building experience should you want it. --129.252.122.38 14:49, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Underground lakes[edit]

If an underground lake is connected to the edge of the fortress map will it fill up as it is drained (thus giving an unlimited supply of water) or is the water limited to whats in it on embarkation?

Caravan spawning into the caverns[edit]

Amusingly, as of v0.31.03, I've witnessed that instead of spawning at the side of the map ABOVE GROUND, the dwarven caravan sometimes spawns at the side of the map in the CAVERNS. This invariably leads to carnage.

Spoilers[edit]

I'm labeling the article as a spoiler, since I believe players should explore the caverns by themselves, without knowing what waits in there. Possibly there could be a simple unspoiled paragraph that says something along the lines of: "there are huge caverns underground with interesting plants and creatures. Dig down an unspecified number of Z levels to find. Have Fun." But everything else is a spoiler, IMHO. --Markus cz 16:49, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

It's not a major spoiler, since everyone knows about in now, and it is mentioned many times, nothing is particularly 'spoilery, you don't ruin the entire gaming experience reading the page, it's about as 'spoilery as adamantine. --Tarran 00:26, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I would argue that both caverns and adamantine are spoilers, perhaps not for us, but definitely for starting players, but I didn't know there is a Minor spoilers tag. I think it works well enough, thanks.--Markus cz 09:28, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Dwarf stays in cavern?[edit]

My dwarf went and dug down into a cavern. Now she refuses to get out, even though she has stair access and she's hungry, thirsty, and tired. Here's the kicker: When I tell her to dig a bit higher than where she is, she happily runs on up, hollows it out, and then runs back down to where she was before. 76.199.199.110 05:45, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Oh yeah, forgot to mention. Everyone else can go down and up again from there, but she can't.

No subterranean vegetation in some biomes?[edit]

Having embarked on a location without sedimentary rock (and therefore no coal), I've dug some huge tree farms underground. My map spans two biomes, one being ocean, and all of my artificially muddied areas on the ocean side of the map have failed to sprout anything. Caverns 2 and 3 are fully fertile as normal, but cavern 1 also lacks vegetation in the ocean biome. The muddied areas are all near-surface (i.e. I haven't tried muddying any dug areas at or below cavern levels). 202.156.10.234 06:12, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Have you been muddying the area with salt water? Or is it just muddy from the ocean biome (still salt)? --Romeofalling 07:22, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
One layer was muddied from the ocean, a second layer was muddied from both ocean and (non-ocean biome) aquifer, a third layer was not muddied at all (it has soil in both z and z-1 layers in both biomes). All water was drained in, not pumped (i.e. there's been no magic desalinization from pumping). And for that matter, the non-ocean-side aquifer layer is also salty. None of these layers show growth on the ocean side of the map, and the line of demarcation between veg and non-veg areas matches the border between the different soil layers exactly.
Oddly, down in cavern 1 I have a handful of dead shrubs and a few locations where the floor has been turned to soil (indicating something had grown there at some time), so I suspect (but can't confirm) that there was normal vegetation when the cavern was first penetrated, but nothing else sprouted since then. And, hmm.. that might also be true for caverns 2 and 3 - there's growth on the ocean side, but it seems to be all mature growth (no young trees), and much thinner than the other side.
Version is .12. 202.156.10.234 01:01, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm currently on a map where the first cavern level has no plants or trees whatsoever. I'm not well-versed in biomes and their descriptors, but the biome seems pretty normal to me. I haven't made it down to the second cavern level yet, too many gems in the first. In my first fortress where I successfully (after newbie fun) made it to the first cavern level, that level was fairly horizontal (and had plants and trees, and water). This current one is more vertical. It has no water, maybe that is a problem? (Actually I've been assuming the floor is mud/dirt, I should check that.) I need trees for charcoal, but the furnace dwarves don't want to work half the time (I'll have to turn off *all* their other labors, not just most of their other labors, but they stay in the mil if they're assigned, certainly). Maybe the troglodytes, mole dogs, and spiders ate all the trees (and are now intent on eating my dwarves). --Dwarvenjames 15:53, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I've experienced that several times. And sometimes there were some aboveground trees and shrubs in the first cavern layer, no underground-specific. May be no mud, also. But 2-nd and 3-rd layers were "normal" - had mud and appropriate flora. --WwWraith 00:05, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Finding Caverns[edit]

I have dug 20z levels but have yet to find a cavern is it possible that i dont have a cavern layer?

The two main possiblities are a) the first cavern is deeper than 20z (see above, one person reported it can be as deep as 59z), and b) you dug straight through the first cavern levels without breaking into the cavern (easy to do). 202.156.10.234 02:45, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I've been searching for caverns for a long time now, digging 80 z levels deep, I've also dug across on the first 20 z levels, I've not found a single cavern yet, but, the thing that has surprised me, is that on my Dead/Missing list, I've found an Worker Ant Woman Spearman, to my knowledge, these only appear in Caverns, and I can't find the Ant Woman's body, also, what I find strange is that I've somehow managed to acquire cave fish, I've not traded with any merchants yet, but I've managed to find cave fish, but not discover any caverns, I've checked every single layer and all the reports, but I can't find anything, is this a bug or am I just being stupid?

Dead units showing up like that might be a reclaim issue – is this a new fort, or have you reclaimed it? Also, cave fish appear to come with the standard embark in v0.34, so it's possible that you still have some left over (it might be the same in v0.31, but I haven't tried it). --Lethosor (talk) 00:05, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Adventure mode[edit]

The comments on adventure mode probably need fixing. As I understand it, the fast-travel bit is not relevant anymore, since you can't fast-travel away from encounters above-ground either. Plus night-creatures have made overnighting underground/inside pretty essential, so the warnings against caverns should probably be changed to "find a hole before nightfall, or THEY will eat your brain!". I'd have a go at updating it, but I don't generally do adventure mode. 202.156.10.234 04:09, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Deeeeep Cavern[edit]

My brother decided to breach his first cavern, and was very surprised at what he saw. He breached at z-level -10, and the cavern went out of sight at -71. To explore, he decided to drop a cavy (useless little bastards) down to the bottom. When it finally landed, he saw the cavern went down to level -100. That's right; his first cavern layer was 90 z-levels. Mostly open space and ramps. I, on the other hand, had just made a little side-fortress made purely for the production of adamantine, and was happily mining away, gathering the lovely blue stuff and dodging magma at z-levels -58 to -65. Is this a bug and will he have other cavern layers? 70.231.250.12 20:19, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Devoid of Life?[edit]

Hrmn. Ever since Urist McFancypants the Mason built up marble floors and walls with traps on top (a la this), all cavernous creatures such as bugbats, crundles etc have stopped entering my caverns through the sides. Would removing the constructed flooring allow creatures to enter my caverns? I'm a bit hesitant to test; it took quite a while to build. Note that this has been going on for seven ingame years now. If any creatures had spawned, I most definitely would have known.~Valthero 03:17, 19 November 2011 (UTC)