v0.31:Strange mood

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Revision as of 19:17, 16 April 2010 by Gullydwarf (talk | contribs) (I just had a dwarf screaming for body parts and I had loads of bones but he did not want those, as soon as I appointed a new fish cleaner/dissector and the shell was ready he came and took it.)
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This article is about an older version of DF.


Periodically, individual dwarves are struck with an idea for a legendary artifact and enter a strange mood. Dwarves which enter a strange mood will stop whatever they are doing and pursue the construction of this artifact to the exclusion of all else. They will not stop to eat, drink, sleep, or even run away from dangerous creatures. If they do not manage to begin construction of the artifact within a handful of months, they will go insane and die soon afterward.


  1. The conditions necessary for a strange mood to occur: fill in here
  2. The game will pause, center on a dwarf, and announce that the dwarf has entered one of five different types of strange moods. The types of mood are listed below. While in a mood, a dwarf will display a blinking exclamation point (see status icons).
  3. For the duration of the mood, the dwarf will claim a workshop related to the skill that the mood affects (not all skills are eligible), kick out any dwarf who was using it, and render it otherwise unusable until the mood has been resolved. If a moody dwarf does not claim a workshop, it is because the appropriate workshop does not exist. (See skills and workshops below to determine which workshop(s) might be required.) A moody dwarf will not be available to build a needed workshop; another dwarf with the appropriate labor designation must do so for them, if one is necessary.
  4. After claiming a workshop, the dwarf will set about collecting the required materials for their artifact. If the dwarf remains idle inside the workshop, it's because they cannot find the right material. Reference the demands section to determine what may be required.
  5. Once all materials have been gathered, the game will once again pause and center, and the moody dwarf will begin construction. Upon completion the dwarf will create a semi-random artifact related to the skill affected and gain legendary (or higher) status in that skill (unless the mood type is possessed). See the skills and workshops for information on which skills can be gained, or the artifacts created section for more details on the artifacts themselves.

Types of moods

For each of the following types of moods, the first message is how the mood is announced; the second message appears in the dwarf's profile when he or she is viewed with the v key. All moody dwarves will have "Strange Mood" listed as their active task.


  • <dwarf> is taken by a fey mood!
Has the aspect of one fey!

This is the most basic strange mood. Fey dwarves will clearly state their demands when the workshop they are in is examined.

A fey dwarf's happiness is automatically set to 'quite content'.


  • <dwarf> withdraws from society...
Peculiarly secretive...

Secretive moods are the same as fey moods, except a secretive dwarf will sketch pictures of their required materials instead of clearly stating their demands if they cannot find what they need. Descriptions of all these secretive requirements can be seen only by viewing the workshop that the moody dwarf has claimed, with q, and then only while the dwarf is waiting inside it. More than one "picture" is likely; these will cycle through the entire list automatically if any one is not available. (Since materials are gathered in order, it's quite possible that only one of a long list is needed to allow the moody dwarf to continue on their project. If the dwarf has gathered some of the materials (seen as "tasked" when looking at the workshop with t), then the next in the list is what they are looking for.)

A secretive dwarf's happiness is automatically set to 'quite content'.


  • <dwarf> has been possessed!
Possessed by unknown forces!

Possessed dwarves have cryptic material requests, and have the unfortunate distinction of not receiving any experience upon successful construction of an artifact. It is unknown if controllable circumstances lead to a possessed mood instead of one of the more desirable fey or secretive moods. Possessed dwarves will mutter the name of the artifact they are working on once they have all the materials they need.

A possession is the only mood that does not result in a jump in experience.

A possessed dwarf's happiness is automatically set to 'quite content'.

Fell Verify

  • <dwarf> looses a roaring laughter, fell and terrible!
Has a horrible fell look!

A dwarf that goes into a fell mood will always take over a butcher's shop or a tanner's shop. If neither are available, any other workshop will be used instead. The dwarf will then murder the nearest dwarf, drag the corpse into the shop and make some sort of object out of dwarf leather or bone. Once the artifact is completed, the fell dwarf will become a legendary bone carver or leatherworker. Strangely, none of the other dwarves seem to mind the murder. Only unhappy dwarves may enter a fell mood.

Aside from the potential loss of an important dwarf in the wrong place at the wrong time, there doesn't seem to be any downside to a fell mood. The end result is always an artifact and a legendary craftsdwarf. Since the only ingredient used (a dwarf) is available in abundance, a fell mood will only fail if the fell dwarf is completely isolated from other dwarves, or if the proper workshop does not exist.


  • <dwarf> begins to stalk and brood...
Brooding darkly...

Macabre moods are similar to fell moods, but the dwarf will not murder a fellow dwarf. A macabre dwarf may require bonesVerify, skullsVerify or remains; if you do not happen to have any, you will have to make some, e.g. by butchering an animalVerify, or let the moody dwarf go insane. Like fell moods, only unhappy dwarves can enter macabre moods.


  • Shells are a common request in moods and are only produced from preparing raw turtles or lobsters at a fishery. That is, you must be able to fish them at your site, there is no way of trading for them.
  • Dwarves may request "rock bars" -- This is satisfied by metal bars.



  • There are various bugs related to moody dwarves not being able to find the appropriate materials. Check the bug tracker: [1].

Spoiler2010.png This article contains massive spoilers. If you do not wish to have your game experience spoiled, do not scroll down!


Once a workshop is claimed, the dwarf will begin collecting materials. Each artifact will require between one and ten materials to complete. If the moody dwarf remains idle, then the necessary materials are not available. Forbidden items must be reclaimed (d - b - c) before they may be used, but moody dwarves will ignore settings regarding economic stone. Press q and highlight the workshop to receive a series of clues about what the dwarf needs. Hints that stay active for longer than 2 seconds mean that multiple pieces of that material will be required; each single demand will be displayed for 2 seconds, so if it says "gems... shining" for 6 seconds, 3 gems are demanded. Materials will always be fetched in order, so if at least one item has already been retrieved (the items will show up with "TSK" ("task") next to them when the workshop is viewed with the t context menu), it will usually be possible to tell what item is required next.

If you want your dwarves to construct their artifacts out of valuable materials instead of whatever useless thing happens to be close at hand, you can selectively forbid types of material through the stocks screen so that only the material you want them to use is available; though this might interfere with the normal crafting operations of your fortress, the disruption is generally short-lived (as long as you remember to unforbid them again afterwards!). You can even forbid something a moody dwarf is carrying (which may be necessary sometimes, since while they are not waiting in the workshop they will not tell you what they need); the dwarf will finish hauling it to the workshop, but then immediately go searching for another. This trick can mean the difference between a bauxite statue decorated with moss agates and a native platinum statue encrusted with diamonds.

The various demands are translated here:

Material Fey Secretive Possessed
<dwarf> screams "I must have <demand>!" <dwarf> sketches pictures of <demand>. <dwarf> mutters "<artifact> needs <demand>..."
Stone rock a quarry stone... rock
Stone block rock blocks square blocks blocks... bricks
Wood wood logs a forest tree... life
Metal bar metal bars shining bars of metal bars... metal
Gems (cut) cut gems cut gems gems... shining
Gems (raw) rough gems rough gems rough... color
Glass (green) raw green glass glass raw... green
Glass (clear) clear glassVerify glass and burning wood raw... clear
Glass (crystal) crystal glassVerify rough gems and glass raw... crystal
Bone bones skeletons bones... yes
Shell shells a shell a shell...
Leather tanned hides stacked leather leather... skin
Cloth (plant) plant fiber cloth stacked cloth cloth... thread
Cloth (silk) silk cloth stacked cloth cloth... thread
Bones or Shell body parts

Fey dwarves will sometimes ask for rock bars. This is just a typographical error, and they are actually asking for metal bars.

Skills and workshops

Artifact Skill Rewards
Highest skill Workshop used
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Artifacts created

The type of artifact created will depend on the dwarf's highest skill. Masons will always create some kind of stone object, usually furniture; bone Carvers, a bone or shell object; carpenters, a wood object, etc. Miners and engravers will usually turn out a stone craft or piece of furniture; metalworkers, metal crafts, weapons, or armor (depending on the type of metalworker); weavers, an article of clothing; tanners, a leather armor or object. If a dwarf has no moodable skills, they will take over a craftsdwarf's workshop and create a bone, stone or wood craft of some type. The precise type of craft created is usually somewhat random but if a dwarf has a personality preference for a particular thing, such as gauntlets or floodgates or crowns, and that thing is an available choice given the dwarf's profession, they will generally create an object of that type.

The first object grabbed by the dwarf will be the "primary" substance; all other materials will be used to decorate the artifact. If a dwarf grabs a piece of chalk and makes a statue, for instance, it will be a "chalk statue", but an artifact can potentially be composed of bone, cloth, gems, leather, metal, shell, stone, and wood all at once. In some cases, a moody dwarf will produce an item which normally cannot be made from that material, leading to such odd constructions as an obsidian bed, ruby floodgate, or turtle shell cage.

Once created, most artifacts will be available for use just like a normal item of its type. Artifact furniture is useful for high value noble rooms. Artifact weapons in weapon traps can also boost a room's value considerably, as in the case of artifact trap components.


If you can't provide the desired workshop and all the required component materials within a couple of months, the dwarf will go Template:L, which cancels the mood and the artifact. As if that's not bad enough, any dwarf who goes insane will soon die, one way or another.

A dwarf who is stark raving mad or melancholy is harmless to others (until they die and start a Template:L spiral), but a berserk dwarf will attack other dwarfs and possibly pull levers at random. You may want to station a squad nearby or assign a few war dogs to the dwarf on the chance that they will lash out. If you build your workshops inside enclosed rooms with doors you can also lock the moody dwarf in the room until he or she starves. In extreme cases, building a wall around an open workshop is the best precaution.