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This article is about an older version of DF.
Number Happiness
≥150 ecstatic
125 to 149 happy
75 to 124 quite content
51 to 74 fine
26 to 50 unhappy
1 to 25 very unhappy
0 miserable

Thoughts are the reported observations and sentiments of dwarves in Fortress mode, visible on the thoughts and preferences subscreen of their profile. Over the course of play, a dwarf will experience things that make them more or less happy, with each experience recorded and displayed as a thought. The rate at which a dwarf gains these thoughts is controlled by varying aspects of their personality.

Dwarven psychology is relatively simple. Dwarves start with a base happiness value that includes the value of property they own (clothes, etc.), which is then modified by recent thoughts. There are good thoughts and bad thoughts; lots of good thoughts will make your dwarves ecstatic, too many bad thoughts and your dwarves will throw tantrums. Too many tantrums and the Bad Thoughts will spread, leading to a potentially game-breaking tantrum spiral. The thoughts themselves are graded by their strength and recentness, modified by any relevant personality traits (the exact formula is known only to Toady One), and then added to the dwarf's base happiness.

The resultant total happiness score indicates the dwarf's emotional state, displayed on the thoughts and preferences screen in somewhat subjective terms. A dwarf's level of happiness will affect the type of strange mood he can undergo, and the changes in status that triggers bad thoughts about thirst, hunger, and fatigue extoll physical costs on the dwarf and, except (directly) in the case of fatigue, can be lethal. To avoid bad thoughts and any resultant tantrums, make keeping your dwarves happy a priority.

To view a dwarf's recent thoughts and current happiness level, press k, move the cursor to the dwarf, and press enter twice, or v, move to the dwarf, then z and enter. This brings you to the thoughts and preferences screen for that dwarf, which, among other things, describes the dwarf's overall happiness as well as their constituent thoughts. Note that dwarves may experience the same thought multiple times, but it will only be shown on the thoughts and preferences screen once--this makes calculating their actual happiness value very difficult. Below is a list of common thoughts that your dwarves may experience; for a full list of the game's programmed thoughts (many of which do not yet appear in-game, or only appear in corner cases), please see the List of Dwarven Thoughts.

Note: Thoughts marked as "Tragedy" have their happiness penalties reduced based on the dwarf's combat hardness - somebody who "doesn't care about anything anymore" will receive the minimum penalty listed.


Thought Value Trigger
Slept in a (good/very good/great/fantastic/bedroom like a personal palace) recently. +2/+3/+5/+10/+20 Slept in a (not necessarily assigned) bedroom of a certain quality recently; see Room#Quality.
Slept in a (poor/very poor/awful/horrible/horribly substandard) bedroom recently. -2/-3/-5/-10/-20 A member of the dwarven nobility who has slept in a less-than-satisfactory bedroom; see Noble#Needs.
Dined in a (good/very good/great/fantastic/legendary) dining room lately +2/+3/+5/+10/+20 Dined in a (usually not assigned) dining room of a certain quality recently; see Room#Quality.
Dined in a (poor/very poor/awful/horrible/horribly substandard) dining room recently. -2/-3/-5/-10/-20 A member of the dwarven nobility who has dined in a less-than-satisfactory dining room; see Noble#Needs.
Conducted a meeting in a (good/very good/great/fantastic/setting worthy of legends) setting recently. +3/+5/+10/+20/+30 The ranking member of the dwarven nobility has conducted a meeting in a more-than-satisfactory office; see Noble#Needs.
Conducted a meeting in a (poor/very poor/awful/horrible/horribly substandard) setting recently. -3/-5/-10/-20/-30 The ranking member of the dwarven nobility has conducted a meeting in a less-than-satisfactory office; see Noble#Needs.
Slept (uneasily/very uneasily) due to noise lately. -2/-5 Was sleeping in the zone of influence of a noise source.
Woken by noise while sleeping recently -10 As above, but a worser thought from being closer to noise.
Slept without a proper room recently -? Was sleeping and couldn't find a bed designated as a bedroom not assigned to someone else.
Slept (in/on) the (mud/dirt/grass/rocks/ice/a rough cave floor/a floor/a pile of driftwood/pebbles/ice) recently. -? Could not find any bed for sleeping, or Dwarf is a Hunter. The thought may be dependent upon the terrain.
Has been (tired/exhausted) lately -5/-30 Became sleepy but wasn't able to sleep because a task had to be completed. Extreme tiredness will lead to insanity, but could only really happen when a mother is looking for her infant.


Thought Value Triggered by
Had a (fine/pretty decent/wonderful/truly decadent/legendary) drink lately +2/+3/+5/+10/+20 Dwarf drank booze they have a preference for, mechanisms of preference level unknown.
Had a (fine/truly decadent/legendary) meal lately +2/+3/+5/+10/+20 Dwarf ate food they have a preference for.
Complained of (hunger/thirst) lately. -5 Got hungry or thirsty and didn't eat or drink soon enough.
Has been (starving/dehydrated) recently. -30 Has not had food or drink for a long time and will soon die if immediate remedial action is not taken.
Forced to eat vermin to survive lately -30/-20/-10 Dwarf hunted vermin for food due to starvation. Will still die if real food is not provided immediately.
Complained about the nasty water lately. -10/-5/-3 Got thirsty and had to drink stagnant water because no alcohol or fresh water was available.
Has been tired of (drinking the same old booze/eating the same old food) lately. -5 Drinking the same variety of alcohol or eating the same type of food repeatedly.
Was forced to eat a (beloved creature/treasured pet) to survive lately. -50/-1000 Of course if things get this bad a tantrum spiral can't make it that much worse.


Thought Value Trigger
Admired (a/own) (fine/very fine/splendid/wonderful/completely sublime) (tastefully arranged) (building) lately. +x/+2x/+2x/+4x, x based on value Passed by a constructed piece of furniture or building requiring architecture and noticed it. Bonus is randomly determined: x is based on value, multiplier based on and whether or not the dwarf owns the item in question (x2) and whether or not they have a preference for it (a further x2).
Had a nice bath recently. +3 Was cleaned with soap during the administration of medical care.
Had a wonderful soapy bath recently +10 Dwarf cleaned contaminants from self using soap.
Was comforted by a lovely waterfall lately. +5 Sprayed by mist from a waterfall, which dwarves find relaxing.
Was comforted by a wonderful creature in a cage recently. +3 Passed near a caged creature the dwarf has a preference for; see zoo.
Was (disgusted by a miasma/choked on smoke/choked on dust) recently. -5 or -3 or -2 Dwarf was exposed to miasma, smoke, or a cave in recently. Impact based on personality traits.
Complained of the lack of chairs lately. -? Was eating and couldn't find an unoccupied chair.
Complained of the crowded tables lately. -2 Tried to eat at a table someone else was already eating at (only occurs if there are no free tables).
Complained of the lack of dining tables lately. -? Was eating and couldn't find a table next to an available chair sat on while eating.
Has been annoyed by flies lately. -5/-3/-2 Shared a tile with flies and noticed it.
Has been accosted by terrible vermin lately. -30/-20/-10 Exposure to a vermin that the dwarf particularly hates.
Saw something unpleasant in a cage recently. -10/-5/-3 Dwarf examined a cage containing hated vermin (moral of the story, don't cage hate-able vermin in sight).


Thought Value Trigger
Talked with (somebody/a pet/spouse/mother/father/lover/friend/sibling/child) lately. +2 (all) Dwarf employed their social skills and conversed with someone while idling or attending a party recently.
Was forced to talk to somebody annoying lately. -2 Had to endure the presence of the object of a grudge recently.
Was (overjoyed to be able/happy to have been able/pleased to have been able/able) to help somebody to bed lately. +20/+10/+5/+3/0 A dwarf with a helpful or at least indifferent personality was recently tasked with moving an unconscious (usually injured) dwarf to a bed; strength varies with their personality.
Was (irritated at having/was unhappy at having/has suffered the pain of having) to help somebody to bed lately. -3/-5/-10/-20 A dwarf with a selfish personality was recently tasked with moving an unconscious (injured) dwarf to a bed; severity varies with their personality.
Was (overjoyed to be/happy to have been/pleased to have been/able) to give somebody (food/water) lately. +20/+10/+5/+3/0 A dwarf with a helpful or at least indifferent personality was recently tasked with feeding or quenching another dwarf; strength varies with their personality.
Was irritated at/was unhappy at/has suffered the pain of) having to give somebody (food/water) lately. -3/-5/-10/-20 A dwarf with a selfish personality was recently tasked with feeding or quenching another dwarf; severity varies with their personality.
Made a friend recently. +5 Initiated a friendship recently; note that having a large body of fleshy, vulnerable friends increases the chances of a tantrum spiral.
Adopted a new pet recently. +10 Adopted a domesticated stray animal recently; note that adopted animals cannot be butchered without serious happiness penalties, which can cause problems.

Job satisfaction[edit]

Thought Value Trigger
Satisfied at work lately +5 The dwarf was able to work with materials, items or animals they have a preference for in their job.
Is quite pleased with making an artifact. +1000 Crafted an artifact.
Knocked out during a cave-in lately. -20/-10/-5/-3 The dwarf was caught in a cave in and knocked unconscious, check for injuries.
Has suffered the travesty of art defacement. -200/remaining number of masterworks A masterwork quality good crafted by this dwarf was lost, stolen, or destroyed. Potentially extremely damaging to the dwarf's happiness if it's their only one, or one of a few. The solution is to make more, as the game adds any new masterworks to the 'number remaining' count.
Formed a bond with an animal training partner recently +? The dwarf grew attached to an animal during training.
Lost an animal training partner to tragedy recently. -30/?/?/? A trained animal that the dwarf was attached to was killed or died of old age.


Thought Value Trigger
Was upset to be wearing (old/tattered) clothing lately. -5/-3/-2 Wearing Old or tattered clothing with no available replacement.
Was very upset to have worn clothes rot away lately. -10/-5/-3 An article of clothing on the dwarf wore away completely.
Was very embarrassed to be uncovered lately. -20/-10/-5 The dwarf has no clothing from the item_pants file, leaving them pantsless. And probably complaining about the draught.
Was embarrassed to have no (shirt/shoes) lately. -10/-5/-3 Missing specific articles of clothing.
Was very embarrassed to be uncloaked lately -20/-10/-5 The dwarf's cloak rotted away, leaving them topless. Likely also applies to anything in the item_armor file, which holds all the clothing for the upper body.


Thought Value Trigger
Gave birth to a child recently. +1000 Children may tax a fortress's resources and population cap, but they do tantrum-proof their mothers (even if the baby incurs a pickaxe into the brain before their eyes).
Became a parent of a child recently +500 They help a lot with their fathers, too.
Gained (a) sibling(s) recently. +100 Finally! A family member with a lesser beard!
Got married recently. +250 Marriage (and childrearing) is the secret to happiness.
Became caught up in a new romance recently. +250 The (bachelor[ette]) dwarf gained a lover recently.
Had a miscarriage recently. (Tragedy) -50/-30/-20/-10 Pregnant dwarf miscarried due to starvation, dehydration, or severe injury. Value basis unknown.

Noble pretensions[edit]

Thought Value Trigger
Celebrated having a (good/very good/great/fantastic/legendary) tomb after gaining another year. +3/+5/+10/+20/+30 A member of the high dwarven nobility had a more-than-satisfactory tomb upon having reached their birthday recently; see Noble#Needs.
Worried about (having a poor/very poor/awful/horrible/horribly substandard/not having a tomb) after gaining another year. -3/-5/-10/-20/-30/-50? A member of the high dwarven nobility had a less-than-satisfactory tomb upon having reached their birthday recently, or none at all; see Noble#Needs.
Was (greatly pleased/very pleased/pleased) at the state of demands recently. +10/+5/+3 Noble dwarf demanded something and it was provided before or on time.
Was (angered/very angered/greatly angered) at the state of demands recently. -3/-5/-10 Noble dwarf demanded something and it was provided late or not at all.
Was pleased to have a mandate deadline met lately. +10 Noble dwarf mandated something and it was provided on cue.
Was upset by having a mandate (deadline missed/ignored) lately. -3/-5 Noble issued a mandate that went beyond time or was unfulfilled entirely.
Upset by not having enough (chests/cabinets/weapon racks/armor stands) lately -? Noble doesn't have enough of their position's furniture requirements.
Was (put off/flustered/upset/very upset/greatly upset/angered/enraged/shattered/traumatized/utterly traumatized) by a lesser's pretentious (office/sleeping/dining/burial) arrangements recently. -4*severity A member of the dwarven nobility who is unhappy that his accommodations are worse than those of a lower-ranked dwarf's room.
Was (very) embarrassed to have to conduct an official meeting in a (dining room/bedroom). -? Noble dwarf had to meet with a diplomat without an office (or any dining room if a bedroom was used)
Incredibly embarrassed not to have any rooms lately -? Noble dwarf without any kind of room to conduct a meeting in.


Thought Value Trigger
Was glad to have punishment delayed recently. +20 No one was around to carry out the dwarf's punishment.
Was glad to have punishment reduced recently +20 No jails were available, so the punishment was "reduced" to a beating (unless precautions are taken, this is likely to be lethal for the unfortunate dwarf).
Beat somebody recently. +5 Justice, dispensed.
Beat somebody with a hammer recently. +5 Criminals, smitten.
Is happy to be free +1000 Was jailed or snatched, and was released recently (...disproportionate bonus?)
Was upset that a criminal could not be properly punished. -5 The victim of the crime, upset that it goes improperly punished.
Was upset by the delayed punishment of a criminal. -5 The victim of the crime, upset that punishment was delayed.
Depressed about being confined -10 Dwarf is in a cage (jailed or trapped), or has been abducted by a goblin snatcher.
Was worried by the scarcity of (guards/cages and chains) lately. -10 Dwarves in a sufficiently large fortress don't like to be without a fortress guard or the lack of a proper jail.
Was beaten recently. -10/-5/-3/-2 Justice was administered unto this dwarf recently.
Was beaten with a hammer recently. -20/-10/-5/-3 Justice was smitten unto this dwarf recently (they're likely lying in a hospital with broken ribs at the minimum, and just plain dead at worst).
Was outraged at the bizarre conviction against all reason of the victim of a crime recently -50/?/?/? When you convict a victim as the perpetrator of the crime--for example, convicting a blood-drained dwarf of draining his own blood

Injury and death[edit]

Thought Value Trigger
Was (rescued/able to rest and recuperate) lately. +10/+10 A wounded dwarf was rescued and carried to a bed, and is now resting.
Received (food/water) recently. +10 A wounded dwarf is receiving nourishment from his fellows while recovering from his injuries.
Has been attacked lately. -30/-20/-10/-5 Dwarf was assaulted by a hostile creature. (Tragedy)
Has been attacked by the dead lately. -50/-30/-20/-10 Fighting undeath extolls a heavy mental cost on dwarves, as does getting attacked by ghosts.
Has been attacked by a dead (pet/spouse/family member/lover/friend/dead and still annoying acquaintance) lately. -100/-60/-40/-20 ...especially when your own child's reanimated corpse is gnawing on your ear.
Sustained (minor/major) injuries recently. -30/-20/-10/-5/-3 Dwarf sustained a wound recently.So losing an arm and a leg carries at most a -30 penalty while getting lucky in bed is an instant +250? Huh. (Tragedy)
Has witnessed death recently. -30/-20/-10/-5 Saw another dwarf die. (Tragedy)
Lost a (friend/pet/family member/annoying acquaintance) [to tragedy] recently. -50/-30/-20/-10 A dwarf or favored animal of the dwarf died recently. Unnatural deaths are presumably tragic. (Tragedy)
Forced to endure the decay of a (friend/pet/family member/annoying acquaintance). -20/-10/-5/-3 The corpse of the dwarf's companion, loved one, or rival is rotting on the ground rather than being properly entombed. (Tragedy)

Military duty[edit]

Thought Value Trigger
Took joy in slaughter lately. +10 Landed the killing blow on another creature in the line of duty.
Had a satisfying sparring session recently +10 Military dwarf in training successfully sparred.
Complained about the draft lately. -30 A civilian dwarf with no combat skills was enlisted in military duty and became a recruit in a time of peace (this thought does not occur when enlisted during a siege).
Upset about being relieved from duty. -30 Military dwarf with no civilian skills is removed from active duty and is relegated to hauling around stone as a peasant.
(Complained about/Enraged by/Depressed by) long patrol duty -3/-5/-10 Military dwarf has active order for more than one month (one if complaining, two if depressed, three if enraged). Soldiers stop getting this thought upon becoming Heroes. Due to a bug, training currently counts as patrol duty.Bug:3190


Thought Value Trigger
Enjoyed (throwing something/toppling something over/smashing up a building/starting a fist fight) recently. +5/+10/+20/+20 The dwarf recently threw an item, threw something over, smashed up a building, or punched someone while throwing a tantrum. Needs to be controlled immediately or else a tantrum spiral may result.
Accidentally killed somebody in a fit of rage recently. -50/-30/-20/-10 Killed another dwarf or someone's pet while throwing a tantrum. A very bad thing, obviously. (Tragedy)
(Yelled at/Cried on) somebody in charge lately -? The dwarf was unsuccessfully consoled by a noble.
Unable to find somebody in charge to (cry on/yell at) lately -? The dwarf was not consoled because a noble is inaccessible or busy.


Thought Value Trigger
Caught in (the rain/a snow storm/freakish weather) recently. -2/-2/-? Went outside while it was raining, snowing, or in evil weather. Ambushers are used to bad weather and don't get this thought, and dwarves who like working outdoors won't get unhappy from this.
(Irritated/Nauseated) by the sun lately. -10/-20 Is suffering from cave adaptation and went outside. Nausea indicates a more serious case.