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Adventure mode quick start

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This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

See Adventure Mode quick reference to quickly look up key commands. If you're a more experienced player (perhaps directed here in error) look up the Tutorial:Powerplay Guide for instruction, instead.

This guide provides step-by-step instruction for those who have never played Dwarf Fortress in Adventure Mode before. It assumes that you have already installed the game and can navigate the menus on your own, but no significant knowledge of how to play adventure mode is required - see the full adventure mode documentation for additional details.

Common UI concepts[edit]

Key Reference

Most of the key commands you will need are noted on this page, but you can refer to the in-game help with ? or the quick reference page to look up the key for a particular action.

About key symbols

This wiki uses symbols that look like t or Ui t.pngt to indicate what keys or interface buttons are used for an operation. Note that keys are case sensitive and to save space, Shift+t is shown as T. So t means "press the 't' key without the shift key" and T means "hold down shift and press the 't' key". Lowercase and uppercase keys will often perform different functions, so it is important to use the correct key. Sequences of keys will be in separate boxes, so abC means "press 'a', then press 'b', then hold shift and press 'c'"; while Ui b.pngbUi bT.pngT means "press 'b', then hold shift and press 'T'. A plus sign '+' between the boxes means to press them all together, so Shift+Enter means to hold shift and press 'Enter'. Other separators, such as ',' or '-', might be used but mean the same as no separator: to press the keys in sequence.

Keybindings can be seen and changed on the Keybindings tab in the Settings menu.

Menu navigation and selection

Esc or right mouse Go back to the previous screen/menu
Mouse wheel Scroll menu one line
Shift+mouse wheel Scroll menu one page
Left mouse Select menu option

Esc or right mouse will almost always return to the previous screen until you get to the top level of the UI, at which point Esc will display the options menu.

World generation[edit]

Main article: World generation
For your first game...

Generate a world using Create New World! with:

  • World Size as Small or Medium
  • History as Short
  • Number of Civilizations as High
  • Number of Sites as High
  • Number of Beasts as Medium
  • Natural Savagery as Low
  • Mineral Occurrence as Frequent

When generation is complete, accept with Enter to save this world; once the game finishes that, it will return to the main menu; then choose Start Playing and Adventurer

Some custom worlds which are interesting for fortress mode, may be annoying for adventure mode, for reasons such as: few civilizations, low population, races not existing, lack of metals, or history being so far advanced that many fortresses and towns have been abandoned.

While the default settings might likely produce a useful world, the settings to the right will help; the following explains the suggested changes.

  • With a less powerful computer, you may want to change world size to small instead of medium, both to reduce generation time and increase FPS.
  • A short history will limit the chance of some civilization destroying cataclysm, and finish generating sooner.
  • Increasing the number of civilizations increases the chances of getting ones you want, dwarven or human, though it will slow generation.
  • More sites and less savagery allows the civilizations to spread out more, hopefully reducing the FPS effect of site crowding.
  • Increasing mineral frequency (to, say, Everywhere) may increase your equipment choices.
  • You could increase the number of beasts, but while that would give you more to encounter, it might result in dead civilizations.

It is advised not to stop the world generation before the full 125 years of the short history option, as it might reduce equipment options.

Character creation[edit]

Race, status and civilization[edit]

For your first game...

Demigod dwarven adventurers in dwarven civilizations have the best night vision and access to the best equipment. Use + to highlight Demigod, and the movement keys to make sure Dwarf is highlighted, then Enter. On the next page, highlight a civilization that shows up on the map as mostly blue omegas Ω, and Enter.

After choosing Start Playing and Adventurer, the game will simulate two weeks of game time in the world. After that, the first steps in starting an adventure mode game are to choose the race and status of your adventurer, then their civilization. All major races can complete the same quests, though larger creatures generally do better in combat. What you really want, though, is to start as a member of a dwarven civilization, or at least a human one; this will give you access to the best equipment.

The races available to play as adventurers will vary by world. Status mostly determines the number of points available in character creation, with demigod giving the most. Civilizations can have access to different materials, and while they start with only one race as members, other races can join them throughout world simulation; that can include the other main races, animal people, etc. The main race of a civilization isn't shown on the screen where you choose one, but can be determined by most of the site symbols shown on the map; dwarven are mostly Ω, human are mostly #, and elven are mostly î. Also, on the next character creation page, their sites will be described as dwarven, human, or elven.


For your first game...

Pick a hillocks, town, or hamlet near the middle of the map with not too many people, then the hunter occupation, and use the existing random name, gender, and beliefs.

Your name has little bearing on gameplay, so that can be freely selected with e, c, and r. If you customize your first name, people may comment on how unusual it is. If you define something in every category at the start, then your name won't grow with fame, though it can change with infamy. Similarly; gender rarely makes a difference in gameplay, and can be changed with g – for most playable races, the only differences are the presence of beards and geldables. A few animal people races have more significant differences, such as moose people, where males are up to 2/3 larger and have a gore attack.

Your home determines where you start, as well as the available occupations and beliefs. Dwarven fortresses, mountain halls, and some sites taken over from other civilizations can be hard to navigate out of, and sites with many inhabitants can negatively affect framerate.

Occupation determines some free starting skills and possibly a starting weapon; hunter and ranger, for example, add some skills that are useful in combat. A hearthperson starts as a member of the local military and can receive orders from their superior, if the latter can be found. Many other occupations cannot currently be practiced in adventurer mode.

Beliefs determine if you worship a deity, and are a member of any religion. Being more than a casual worshiper of a deity can add the need to pray, which can easily be done by talking to them.


Starting attributes[edit]

For your first game...

Recommended starting attributes:

  • High Strength
  • High Agility
  • High Toughness
  • High Endurance
  • Above Average Focus
  • Above Average Willpower
  • Above Average Intuition
  • High Spatial Sense
  • High Kinesthetic Sense

See the Attribute page for descriptions of each; Skills by Body Attribute and Skills by Soul Attribute also show how each attribute is applied. Reducing attributes below the default only gives 1 point; so you would have to lower many to raise one.

An important consideration is that Strength can increase muscle mass, which can decrease speed, so Agility should be as high or higher. Another important attribute is Endurance, as you don't want to tire during a fight.

The value of Social Awareness varies by physical attributes. A peasant of average or lower physical ability benefits greatly from more companions — strength in numbers. But this example demigod combat monster gains very little benefit — at best companions serve as a decoy, so you may as well issue them a red shirt and draft their will upon recruitment.

For the purpose of this quick start, the remaining attributes don't contribute anything to survival. Later, you may want to start with different attributes, but these are a safe starting point. These suggestions focus on attributes used in combat; while combat skills are the easiest to raise in-game, spending time training would not be a 'quick start'.

Starting skills[edit]

For your first game...

Recommended starting skills:

  • Competent Swordsdwarf
  • Skilled Fighter
  • Proficient Observer
  • Novice Swimmer
  • Skilled Shield User
  • Proficient Armor User
  • Adequate Wrestler
  • Novice Reader

As a hunter, you already have:

  • Talented Marksdwarf
  • Master Ambusher
  • Talented Dodger

See the combat skill, swimmer, and reader pages for in-depth explanations of the suggested skills. The following explains these particular suggestions: Swords have both slash and stab attacks and are not very expensive; other weapons can be better at one of those attacks, but not both, and, other than the war hammer, are more expensive. Fighter to improve the accuracy of all melee attacks. Observer to see what an opponent is doing, and react to it. Without at least Novice Swimmer, it will be very easy to drown, higher levels just increase speed. Shield User to increase the chance of a successful block, Armor User to reduce the speed penalty of the weight of worn armor. Wrestler for when you want to take down an opponent, or remove their armor. Reader because there is no way to gain the skill in-game. The Hunter occupation is suggested mostly for Dodger, although Ambusher is good for sneaking; crossbows in adventurer mode are not very useful, so Marksdwarf will probably go unused. If you chose an occupation that does not provide Dodger, it is a vital skill for survival, so reduce Observer and Armor User one level, and spend those points on Dodger.

Which skills are available is dependent on the character's civilization, though, combat skills can be developed in-game, even from no skill. For a quick start, these are good skills to keep you alive; to that end, defensive skills are critical to survival, including Observer.

Appearance & Personality[edit]

For your first game...

Press y to accept the standard appearance, then f, and set all values to N/A and all personality facets to <, except Quarreler/Flatterer and Austere/Extravagant to >.

Most of the appearance page has no effect in-game, other than general size, with a description such as S/he is short, thin, tall, broad, large, etc.; with the high strength suggested earlier, muscular is also a possibility, but its effect is uncertain. Size can affect what clothing and armor can be worn, how some weapons can be wielded, and can somewhat affect combat, especially wrestling; however, these are not worth randomizing to get for a quick start.

Certain personality traits can add needs, which, if satisfied, can give an adventurer focus - managing needs and achieving higher focus can be valuable in combat and possibly other endeavors. But, with too extreme a personality, an adventurer craves for their urges to be satisfied more - E.g: someone that highly values nature will become unsatisfied when they do not see animals often enough, although they do not need to have all of their needs satisfied at once to be focused, depending on how unsatisfied the others are.

The suggested changes remove all needs except Be extravagant, which can be satisfied just by putting on an item with any above-standard quality level, even if it was just taken off, and which one can start with. Setting traits to create a Moderate Need may be best, so that any one unmet need does not overpower the satisfied needs. Other needs may be hard or even impossible to satisfy - see the needs page. A need to pray may automatically be added depending on the character's background - this can be satisfied just by talking to their deity, even just a greeting. It is also possible to gain needs in-game by changing values when arguing, and it seems to not be possible to remove them. Not all values and personalities have a corresponding need.

Equipment & Mounts and pets[edit]

For your first game...

First use - to remove the weapon, buckler, and clothing; leaving the backpack, meat, and waterskin. Then use n and typing in the names to add:

  • steel short sword
  • copper shield
  • iron helm
  • bronze mail shirt
  • iron breastplate
  • iron gauntlet
  • iron gauntlet
  • bronze chain leggings
  • iron low boot
  • iron low boot

To add the second gauntlet and boot, select the first and press +. Finally, since you are a dwarf, add a jug, goblet, and alcohol (in Drinks), using + to get several units of whichever alcohol. No animals, since the armor took most of the points.

Here, you can modify the equipment your adventurer starts with, and add mounts or pets; they are different pages, but use the same pool of points. The initial equipment automatically added by the game will vary depending on the civilization, occupation, and skills. New items are added with n, the list of possible items can be filtered by typing the name; only items not already added are listed. Using + increases the quantity of the selected item, while - decreases it, or removes the last item. Using w & q, you can change the quality of items; w on the backpack, which makes it a -backpack-, can be useful for satisfying the need to be extravagant, if you added it earlier.

Some animals can be used as mounts, some as pack animals, and some as both; unfortunately, the game does not indicate which, so you will have to rely on guessing, or the animal's page here on the wiki. Another way to get mounts and pack animals, is that stray animals encountered in the game can be adopted. Animals that are classified as vermin will be carried as inventory; others will be separate creatures that try to follow you around.

Waterskins will start filled with water. Some items will already be in containers, other items will start in the hands; the latter includes alcohol, so the first thing to do in-game is to put those in containers with p. Any points not used will be converted to coins, so if you have many points remaining, you may want to spend them on gems, as they are much lighter, and better for trading. Adventurers may still start with a few coins, even if all points were spent.

Party members & Summary[edit]

For your first game...

Stick with just one adventurer to keep things simple.

Once you get to the last page (Mounts and pets) of a typical character creation screen, you can add a new member to your party by pressing N; the option only appears when you finish the first character, and is greyed out until you finish subsequent characters. You can swap between customizing different party members at any time using TAB. You can have characters start with items (that they 'don't need', or whatever RP reason) to give to other party members from different civilizations in the game, but armor and clothing will be sized for the character starting with it.

Once you are done creating characters, there is a page listing all the party members and a selection of the party's starting locations. You can also go back to modify or add characters with ESC. The party's starting location is chosen with 8 & 2 from a list of all the members' home sites. To start the adventure, press y; there will be a short pause as the game prepares the starting site.


Once you have finished character creation, hit the Esc key at any time and select Save Game to save your game. You can then come back to it later by using the Continue Playing option in the main menu.

Setting off[edit]

Talking to someone.

You will usually start your adventure in a peasant hut (if you're a Peasant) or a mead hall in a keep (if you're a Hearthperson). You can talk to nearby people using the k key, and Inquire about any troubles to learn of any quests you can take on. Some of the more common types you may be told about are:

  • Beasts - any kind of creature that may be harassing people, which can range from vampires living amongst the inhabitants of a site, all the way up to titans and other mythical creatures. Avoid the latter at first - a hydra, for example, presents a massive challenge even to the most experienced adventurer.
  • Bandits - groups of people who menace people in nearby sites, out of the reach of civilization. They usually hang out in camps (shown by a on the map). Killing bandits is a great way to raise your reputation, as nobody cares what happens to them.
  • Criminals are similar to bandits, except they operate right under the nose of authorities -- sites ruled by civilizations. You will find these outcasts hiding in abandoned houses and underground cells. Unlike bandits, criminals are often considered productive members of society. If you start a fight with some on a whim, you may find that you're now an enemy of a criminal empire comparable to (or more powerful than) your home civilization.
  • Skulking Vermin are thieving kobolds, and otherwise similar to bandits. Due to their relative ineptitude in combat, these are probably the best targets for fledgling adventurers.

Note that you have to press k each time you want to continue the conversation; and select the appropriate ongoing conversation. If someone else is said to know where to go, you may ask for the whereabouts of that person through Ask for directions (new menu)

Fast travel[edit]

Alone in the dark...

Avoid traveling in the wilderness at night, particularly when you are alone.

Fast Travel screen. This adventurer is in a hamlet, with houses to the right and the mead hall visible in the upper-left corner of the hamlet. The asterisk in the middle of all the houses represents a group, in this case a group of unfriendly goblins. The zoomed-out world map is on the right.

So far, you've been traveling around at normal scale, but this can be very slow for traveling between geographical regions. Using T will open the fast-travel screen and enable you to roam the land very quickly - the uppermost bar here indicates the position of the sun.

Use m to open a zoomed-out overview map to help further navigation; this key cycles between the most-zoomed-out "sepia tone" world map and no secondary map when traveling between sites, and in sites it cycles between a list of notable buildings where you're standing, the region map (your main map when not near a site), and the most-zoomed-out world map.

Finding some muscle[edit]

Much of the time, especially at the beginning, you need some companions to watch your back. The best place to find some is at a fortress, keep, tavernv0.42.01, or mead hall. Fortresses will be marked by a Ω on the region and world maps. On the site-level map, the fortress entrance will be marked by an 8 or ∞ in the outer wall. Keeps are in towns, and are a 3×3 building with a path leading from the entrance, usually surrounded by a large, encircling wall. Mead halls are found in hamlets, and are usually in a 3×3 yellow/brown square by themselves, although sometimes they're integrated with the main housing area (in any case, the mead hall will be evidenced by a bright magenta name in the list of notable buildings). Drunks are a good source of early companions, as while they're not necessarily the strongest fighters, they make very poor decisions and will happily join up with you if your party isn't too full.

No companion left behind...

When fast-traveling, make sure that all of your companions are near you, or some may be left behind. If you've left behind companions, an asterisk will appear on the map where you previously were, and may even try to join up with you.

Move next to the entrance of your chosen source of soldiers and hit d to exit fast travel. You may need to walk around a bit to find the entrance. Once inside, if the location is not abandoned, you will find soldiers milling around. Use k to talk to them and select Ask listener to join you (new menu). Make sure you ask them to go on an adventure, not to lead you to some location. At first, you will only be able to get two followers, but this is enough for now.

If the location is abandoned, leave and try another one. Walk some distance away from the fort (or on the path out of the keep until the path changes in material, or don't bother getting out if you're in a mead hall) and go back to the fast travel screen with T.

Obtaining food and drink[edit]

Thirsty in the rain

If your character is thirsty, and it is raining, even if you do have water with you; drink the water coverings. This will help you to save water for when it is not raining, especially when you are traveling a large distance. Press e like you normally would and scroll all the way to the bottom. You can also drink blood from wounds - maybe a little salty in real life, but in Dwarf Fortress, it works. Note that if you drink vampire blood, you will turn into a vampire, but this early in the game, you don't have to worry about that.

You will get hungry or thirsty after some time, indicated by the Hungry or Thirsty attributes respectively. As you should know, when this appears, it's time for a snack. To eat or drink, press e and locate some food - it can be anything, as long as it's actually food - you can "eat" something like a sword, but the dialog will say "You lick the sword", and you will not get less hungry or thirsty.

Where can I find food?[edit]

There are many ways of obtaining food:

  • Meat - probably the easiest to come by - find an animal in the wilds, kill it and butcher the corpse with a sharp tool. Some animals are too small to butcher and cannot be eaten.
  • Fruits - they grow on the ground and on trees during the summer. Just ensure the season is appropriate - you won't find any fruits in the winter!
  • Certain leaf-bearing plants are edible, and grow year-round.
  • Exploring human and dwarf sites - there are bags of food stored in the houses. Some Shaping Trees in forest retreats may have fruits and vegetables in or out of season, or you can buy some in city-sized human, dwarven and elven settlements.

and if you search for something to quench your thirst:

  • Drink fresh water directly from a river, or fill your waterskin (or any other container; a backpack, for example, can hold 50 units of water, though a quiver stores a more reasonable [i.e., lighter] amount) with it.
  • Hamlets and cities can have wells if they have developed enough. The building interact key (default u) can draw a bucket of water (or ice) from it, which can be drunk or filled from.
  • Snow can be found in cold biomes. Pick some from the ground and melt it near a campfire.
  • You can drink blood, even when you aren't a vampire. Wound a creature to make it bleed and then drink some blood from the pool that forms.
  • If you prefer to drink alcohol, search for barrels of booze inside dwarven fortresses, or order a drink at a tavern.

Getting some rest[edit]

Going bump in the night...

Beware of sleeping in the wilderness at night! If you have to sleep outside, only do so if you have companions. Even if you do have companions, it will usually be better to travel drowsy until you reach a fort or town where it's safe to sleep.

At this point, you may have traveled enough that your character is tired. When your adventurer becomes tired, as indicated by the Drowsy attribute, it's time for some sleep. Move to a settlement of some sort, go into a building, and use the Z key to bring up the sleep menu.

If you are in a private house, you must first ask the owner for permission before you can sleep. If a commoner is blocking you from entering their home, use the s key to crawl under their legs, and then the same key to stand back up.

Finding your target[edit]

Use Q to bring up the quest screen. By default, you will get a list of events. Using the + and - keys, you can scroll through the quests displayed on the right. Pressing z will zoom in on the current quest target (if it's possible to), showing you the quickest path to reach it. The quest menu can also be used to pinpoint the location of many other useful sites and entities. If there are a lot of items to go through, you can use f to filter the list.

Fast travel toward the location where your target is. When you get close, go back to the quest screen, hit z and you should get a more detailed map of exactly where to go. Once you are in the right spot, hit d to exit fast travel mode. (If you want to come out of fast travel mode sneaking, press s and then d.)

In the upper-left corner of the screen you will now see a box with a list of icons and an abbreviation for a direction such as NNE (north northeast). Continue to move in the indicated direction until you find the target that you're supposed to kill. This won't work if your target is in the sewers, unless you are in the sewers and standing on a ramp, but it will lead you to a lair entrance or the middle of a bandit camp.

If you still cannot find your target, try asking around. If that doesn't do anything, you can use k to start telling a story about the current site. The story menu often contains information not available anywhere else, and by browsing through events you may find clues like your target operating under a false name, that your target was part of an occupying force that was recently kicked out, or other facts that might have changed from when you first heard the rumor.



Note that the target of your first quest may be in a camp (looks like ) surrounded by henchmen. Make sure to approach carefully and when you see one of them, let them come to you and let your companions attack first.

If you attempt to kill the target(s) of your first quest with neither companions nor armor, then you are very likely to die. Therefore, before proceeding, make sure you have friends with you. If you do, you shouldn't need armor if you let them do most of the fighting.

As you may have noticed by now, combat in Dwarf Fortress is quite complex compared to other games, so this section is kind of long. Please read it carefully, though.

Movement and positioning[edit]

When approaching a target, it's usually best to wait using . to wait 10 instants (or , to wait just one) once you get close, and let your target come to you so you can get the first shot on them. Positioning can be important, because you don't want to let enemies attack you from the side (or behind!) and you should also try to move so that you're never fighting more than one opponent at a time. Green symbols that may appear next to you or others show the direction in which people are headed, which can be useful in positioning yourself.

If you need to catch up with someone, or change your sneak status, use S to pull up the movement dialog - this controls the speed at which you move, and whether or not you're sneaking. If you're sneaking, you will see three-dimensional vision cones for people. If you find yourself being shot at with ranged weapons, put a tree, hill, or other terrain feature between you and the archer, and wait for some melee-equipped opponents to come to you. Your followers will probably not be so smart, though.

For your first fight, you may want to let your companions take the lead anyway, though, as you may not have any decent armor yet. Press . or , to skip instants, if you want to wait in one spot and let your friends advance and soften up some enemies first. If you want to be useful while sitting back and letting your friends charge in first, use t to throw objects such as rocks (freely available on outdoor pebbles tiles by pressing g) at your opponent.

If one of your companions dies, no big deal - you can just take their stuff by pressing g, then get another follower later. If they die and you're outnumbered, just run away and come back later with new companions.

Attacking effectively[edit]

Don't expect it to be easy...

If you're finding your first quest too difficult, and you manage to escape with your life, you can ignore the quest for a while, replace any dead followers, go ask NPCs about Surroundings, and try to find an easier camp or lair to attack. When you kill whatever "boss" is there, even if it's not part of a quest, you can still go brag about it (most effectively by spreading the rumor of your deeds), raise your fame, get more followers, and then go back to the original quest. You can also just ask different people in different towns for different quests, and perhaps find an easy one, like killing a leopard.

To attack, you can simply use a directional key to move your character as if to collide with your target. More effective, though, is pressing A when directly adjacent to a target in order to target specific body parts.

At first, your skills obviously won't be that great, so it's important to make targeted shots using A. Take the Easy strikes that are also Solid even if they target arms or legs. At first you're going to want to target limbs anyway; because you're much less likely to be able to one-shot enemies with a blow to the head, and you want to render them harmless as quickly as possible. If you get an Easy or Tricky shot to the head that is also relatively Solid, you might want to take it, though. If every shot is difficult except for a body shot, take the body shot.

Taking out an arm or hand can disarm your foe, cutting off a foot or leg will knock the opponent down and severely limit their movement, and anything else causing severe pain can cause the opponent to lose consciousness, making a follow-up headshot very easy. Cutting off the weapon arms and/or a leg means they're almost as good as dead, so take note of what will most easily neutralize the threat before killing it. You may want to ignore such disabled opponents for a while, and help your companions disable uninjured enemies.

Throat-strangling is a very effective way of killing single targets, or to even the odds when you find yourself outnumbered. To begin, carefully Attack the enemy, then, after choosing your target, hit b to start wrestling. It's advisable to choose an empty hand as the body part you use to wrestle with (although limbs can work too), as well as not attempting this against anything much larger than you. Scroll through the list of targets and select the throat, then grab it. After doing this, press , to wait for one tick (or start some other action then cancel it) and a combat notification should pop up, hopefully saying you grabbed your opponent by the throat. Now do the same thing, but this time; a new option to "wrestle with" your hand should be in the wrestling menu. Choose that and pick the option to choke the throat. Now, repeat all this one more time, except this time the option will say "strangle throat". You may have to strangle a few times, but your opponent will very quickly fall unconscious, letting you murder them at your leisure, or ignore them to focus on other threats. The greatest strength of this technique is that every action after grabbing the enemy the first time is very fast compared to normal attacks, making strangulation one of the safest ways to deal with multiple armored foes. The downside, ironically, is that it's too efficient. Enemies tend to go down very quickly, and attacks on unconscious enemies don't raise any skills, so you get very little experience. As such, early on it's probably best to save strangling for when you're outnumbered, against heavily armored enemies, or anyone who seems particularly dangerous.

For armored areas, either avoid attacking them, or attempt stabbing or blunt force rather than slashing.

  • Frequently, your weapon will get "lodged in the wound" making it unavailable for another attack until you free it. To free the weapon, use the directional keys to step away/sideways, or use the Advanced Interaction (I) menu.
  • When your weapon is lodged in an opponent, they are unable to dodge. If you have another weapon, then getting 1 weapon lodged is extremely beneficial as you can then proceed to kill/neutralize your opponent without worrying about them dodging. However, they are still able to parry, and you are still able to miss. Remember - counterattacks are the most deadly attacks. If you want to attack an opponent in a difficult place, then don't - it's not worth the risk.
  • Enemies behind you get a higher hit chance. You want to stay facing most of your enemies if you can, but you should never back into a corner.
  • You can select different styles for any aimed attack. Quick and wild attacks sacrifice power and/or accuracy for speed (leading to a greater chance that you will hit your target), while heavy and precise attacks sacrifice speed for increased power and/or accuracy. The speedier styles are good for initial hits, and the slower styles are good for finishing blows.


Once your targets are dead, take their stuff using the g key. Immediately use w to wear any armor or clothing you gain. Severed heads can be left behind (although they can be used as a rather morbid way of showing people what you've done).

When walking around, use the g key to pick up any equipment or item lying on the ground. These will then be added to your inventory i. Items may be sold later on to a shop at a nearby town (not hamlet). However, if you have too many things in your inventory you will be slowed down (indicated by a slower speed number, less than 1 if you're in the default walk pace) and may lose your next fight because of it.

If you must choose which items to keep, try to keep the ones of the best material and item quality.

Completing quests[edit]

Once you complete your first quest, you can talk to any hamlet, town or fortress dweller to spread the news of your success. Brag about your past violent acts isn't as effective as Bring up specific incident or rumor (new menu). It is not necessary to return to the individual who told you about the trouble to report your success. Telling the story in the form of a performance is also very effective, as performing forces everyone around you to pay attention to what you're saying.

Small army...

For now, always recruit the maximum number of companions. Later you may find that you don't need as many, though you'll usually need at least a few.

Each time you report your success, your level of fame will increase. Once your fame has risen, more mighty warriors may want to join you on your way to glory. They can be recruited at the usual locations or among the common peasants. Your companions will greatly increase your chances of survival and adventurers who care about such things should drop by the nearest fortress, keep, or mead hall as quickly as possible.

Checking things out[edit]

At any time, use the z key to display your status. This can be used to look for any scratches, bruises or missing limbs.

To check on the status of your companions, use the c key to get a list of them (specifically, the ones within visual range) and a summary of their conditions, then press the key corresponding to the one you want to view up close. Alternatively, you can use the l key, which can also be used to look at any other item or creature within your range of vision.

You may equip any items that you find or buy using the w key. If you are wearing too many items in an existing location, items must first be removed using the r key. To swap weapons you should drop the equipped weapon first, or put it in your backpack, then get the new equipment from the ground or remove it from your backpack.

You can look at tracks nearby using K. If there are any obvious directions to pursue, a box under the "closest locations" box will tell you which way to follow particular tracks. Alt+k will give you a summary of the tracks right under you. o and O deal in odor detection.


You can tell at a glance which towns have shops by looking for white roads in towns (rather than the yellow roads that are houses most of the time) on the travel map.

To find shops, go stand on a white road tile on the fast travel screen then press m to display nearby structures. Walk around a bit and you should find some shops. Press d to appear on the road outside of them. You can walk inside and talk to the residents just like anyone else, except that residents in shops will be willing to Trade with you. In fast-travel mode, the list of significant buildings will tell you the shops available in that particular 3x3 square of land.

What next?[edit]

The next thing you should do is work on getting a full set of armour, unless you have been lucky enough to have already obtained one. You may want to go tromping around in the woods looking for animals to kill. Killing animals can be profitable because you can butcher their corpses with x and sell the products. Butcher and sell all animal corpses until you've managed to obtain a full set of metal armour - meat is surprisingly valuable. You may need to visit several armour shops to find all the armour pieces you need.

Somewhat more dangerous, but much more profitable, is attacking bandit camps. Just let followers do most of the fighting and concentrate on picking off severely wounded enemies until you get at least a helmet, body, and leg armour. And if some followers die, all the better - you can take their stuff and use or sell it. You can also rummage around in fortresses, keeps, and mead halls for equipment.

After you've armoured up a bit, it's probably safe to go on the next quest. Get as many companions as you can and set off for your next target. You can also Ask about the surrounding area, which can reveal lairs and other hidden sites on the map. You should probably avoid any non-quest lairs in the beginning, though, as lairs and such can have creatures that you won't be able to handle at this point.

Preparing for longer journeys[edit]

If you plan to visit sites that are very far away, you need to make a few preparations:

Planning your route[edit]

Traveling in Quick Travel mode is very fast, so you want to maximize the time you spend there. Most importantly, you cannot cross rivers and mountain ranges while quick traveling. You can leave the quick travel screen and jump over or swim through them, but companions won't do that. Reentering the quick travel screen will make them follow you, but that might not always work. If you can avoid it, move around rivers. Note that brooks (lighter color) can be crossed in quick travel. While getting past rivers is relatively fast, crossing a large mountain range can take a while. Ideally, you plan your route so you walk most of the time in roughly the middle of a landmass; so rivers originate left and right of you and drain into the oceans away from you. If there are settlements along a small river, they will have bridges you can use to cross without leaving quick travel. Bigger rivers will not have bridges across them except at points where they narrow, such as at a fork. Look for settlements that straddle both sides of a river to cross it. You may also go through cold biomes, where the river will probably be frozen, especially if you're willing to travel at night. Avoid mountain ranges altogether, unless they're narrow and going around would take longer.

Securing more supplies[edit]

On long journeys, your original few units of food and water won't last very long. You can carry more food, but unless you find another waterskin, you won't be able to carry more than 3 units of water. As such, you should try to travel in the vicinity of rivers and refill your waterskin (by Interacting with it while standing on or next to a water tile) if you get the opportunity – for example, a river you have to cross anyway. You will rarely find rivers in mountain ranges, and, as you might expect, crossing a desert will give you no chance to refill your waterskin either. Glaciers, on the other hand, have infinite water everywhere: Just fill your waterskin with snow, then make a campfire by pressing g (you might need to scroll down to find the entry) and use the Interact menu standing next to it to melt the snow. Food is relatively easy to get: killing a single medium-sized animal will give you an ample amount of edible items. After killing, stand on the corpse of the animal and press x to open the actions menu. Select "butcher" and move your cursor to the right, selecting the corpse you want to butcher. Press again to pick the tool that you want to use. Press Enter and you will then proceed to butcher the corpse, dropping all of the products on the same tile as yourself. If you're having difficulty catching up to animals that run away, try sneaking up on them.

After that?[edit]

More Tips

See the Adventure mode FAQ for lots of tips and suggestions on how to avoid death and increase your skills.

Congratulations, you have graduated from adventurer school. You can now keep doing quests, explore random sites, go find and explore an old fort of yours in one of your existing worlds, get lost in the underworld, or whatever you feel like.

You may want to read through the full adventure mode documentation to learn about things that weren't covered here.


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