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This article is about the current version of DF.

A rumor is a certain piece of information regarding a specific historical event. Rumors originally come from witnesses of the original event, but can then be spread to others who can, after having heard the rumor, spread it themselves.

In the current version, no false rumors will ever spread, barring those regarding events including individuals with secret identities, in which case the only misinformation will be regarding the true identity of those individuals.

Artifact rumors

Sites have invisible messages about artifacts to mimic the game's conversation system for your adventurer. There are various sorts -- families seeking heirlooms, scholars seeking books from ruined libraries, and so on.

There are six levels of knowing the current location of a held artifact from rumors:

  • having it yourself
  • seeing somebody else holding it at a location with your own eyes
  • hearing from somebody that 'so-and-so was holding it at a location recently'
  • hearing from somebody that somebody has it (but not where)
  • generally knowing in some legends-y fashion that it is said to be held by somebody
  • not having any idea.

The knowledge fades over the course of weeks and years while maintaining longer-term reputation effects, and it also has to constantly work in any new information and so forth according to their time stamps (at the individual, site gov, site culture and civ levels).

Rumors in fortress mode

Rumors can become known to your fort either by word of the outpost liaison, who will arrive with the caravan once each year, by diplomats, or by visitors in the tavern when served a drink by an assigned tavern keeper.

The outpost liaison will tell you about several rumors to none, depending on the time and eventfulness of it that has gone by since your last meeting. Visitors will usually only tell you one at a time, occasionally a few. All rumors told by visitors are marked with a light blue notice.

The notices when a visitor tells you one or more rumors:

 ”[name] has shared a rumor from abroad”
 ”[name] has shared a few rumors”

Rumors can be looked at in the civilization and world info-screen, by selecting "News and Rumors"(n) after entering the initial screen. Rumors are then marked on the map, with red A:s indicating rumors about armies, yellow A:s indicating rumors about artifacts, and green P:s indicating rumors about position changes. If there are multiple rumors regarding the same site, the icon will be one corresponding to the latest rumor.

Rumors in adventure mode

Your adventurer can easily spread rumors by bringing up incidents in conversations, or by bragging about some feat in front of witnesses. Summarizing incidents seems to be more effective than simply bragging. The rumor will start spreading as you leave the site and it offloads.

It should be noted that anyone you encounter that wasn't a historical figure already is going to be a complete blank slate with almost no knowledge of anything, e.g. they won't know about any of the enemies or beast you've slain if you don't tell them about it, or even the most basic animals such as cats and dogs. This leaves the impression that no one cares about your achievements you brag about - they would if they had any idea who you were talking about.

This means NPCs don't actually remember the event when they tell you troubles, they only remember so when you retell them the event, they then get a fresh copy of said event and react to that. So if you, say, rescue a child, then bring up the fact that the kid got kidnapped (even though, technically, you rescued them) they will bring up the event that the person was kidnapped again. This goes for dead characters, as no one knows if they are really dead or not and react based on the info given to them, or if they have seen the body. This also goes for if they have seen the person before or know their name, as you kinda hope the person you're talking to had bad history with the person you murdered.

This makes fame a game of talking up yourself and the folks you went and slaughtered, and specifically all the bad stuff so it seems like it was justified for their death, and furthermore, what type of creature they are, as the NPCs you are talking to have little to no bestiary knowledge and are just hearing 'unknown creature murdered another unknown creature'.