The 10 Funniest Dwarf Fortress Bugs

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The absurd dwarf simulation game Dwarf Fortress is a marvel when everything works as intended. It’s just as fun when it breaks.


Dwarf Fortress is a Tolkien flavored fortress building simulator made by Bay 12 Games, a game development company comprised of five people, only two of which do programming. It’s a very ambitious game, simulating everything from each individual character’s mood at any given moment, from the gods they worship to the quality of the books they write. With such a small studio, it’s hard to keep a handle on the conflicts that can arise from trying to simulate so many things at once. Thankfully, the bugs are usually part of the fun. Reading through the bugs, and players’ descriptions of them, on the Dwarf Fortress bug tracker can be very funny. Here’s a few that made me chuckle.

0006625: Merchants climb up tree and go insane

This time I saw the liaison running past at ludicrous speed a little after he’d had his meetings and left, apparently horrified by something (the only things around to be horrified by are some vultures). I thought he’d got over it and left, until a while later I got the notification that a diplomat had left unhappy, which turns out to be a euphemism for “is still here, but has gone mad”.

0010362: Elven spy visitors flooding fort immediately

The elves will not stop coming. I currently have around 180 of them with my visitor cap at 100. They are all divided between a few professions specifically bards, poets, peddlers, beast hunters, monster slayers, mercenaries and scholars. There were no other professions. Also notable is that they arrive with a constant rate one by one and not in noticeable groups. They all carry wooden weapons (even the civilians) and are all there to “relax”.

0000296: Pools/smears/spatters of blood, dust and other materials multiply themselves, get tracked around too much

About a year ago (Dwarf Fortress Time) I killed a Leopard who had attacked one of my animals. It’s a skeleton now, however all throughout the ground, a few squares from where the Leopard died and seeming to extend from the river nearby (not the corpse itself), there is a slowly expanding mass of red tiles, that are marked as a ‘Leopard Blood Smear’ or ‘Leopard blood smattering’ The smear that seems to be coming from the river was not touching the smears left by the fleeing Leopard before it was killed... now, a year later in the game, the river-borne smear has expanded and joined with the original smears left over from the short-lived combat. It’s taken up... a little more than 160 squares, Roughly 130 of which were places that the Leopard never set foot, including places across the river, on the hills on the other side, and underground in the fortress itself.


0000425: Dwarves Not Cleaning Blood

Some moron dwarf decided to take a “short cut” through my “fill the reservoir” tunnels and got himself washed down the pipe. He fell two levels and died instantly. Another dwarf around the same time, fell and bleed to death. They left quite a mess and no one is cleaning it up.


0005799: Notable animals worship gods

After abandoning my latest fortress, I looked at one of my dogs in legends mode (she became a historical figure for killing a goblin). She is a casual worshiper of one of the dwarven gods. That dog’s children are also historical figures, and all of them also worship a god.


Horses can also worship gods, as noticed by this player who met and killed two horses that found religion.

0006708: Human civilization’s soldier is an Alligator Recruit.

In adventure mode, while investigating the various army symbols on the fast travel map, I found that one such army consisted of a single “Alligator Recruit.” He is colored grey, unnamed, and, naturally, doesn’t respond to my talking to him. However, he seems peacefully aligned, unlike the more aggressive wild alligators.


0010357: Horse overpopulation (mostly in hillocks)

And it’s not just horses. In my world I noticed the same thing with camels. And that magic number 350 keeps showing up.

Just one very clear example:

150: Ducimrosat, “Workedchapel”, hillocks

Owner: The Fence of Stockades, dwarves

Parent Civ: The Bulbous Floor, dwarves

95 dwarves

2 dogs

350 one-humped camels

10 blue peafowls

350 horses

350 two-humped camels

23 cats

9 dwarf outcasts

0010376: Gatherers get stuck on top of their stepladders and die from dehydration.

My gatherers keep getting stuck on their stepladders and eventually dying. They are out in zones created using ‘i’ with the default Gather options. The tree they were gathering from may have been chopped down while they were up on the ladder.


0009327: Cannot order drink at my own fort’s inn in adventure mode - tavern keeper claims “I don’t work here”

I created an inn in fort mode with all the stuff it needed (rooms, mugs , alcohol) retired it, and when i ask the tavern keeper about available goods or services they say they “I don’t work here” and i cannot order anything or rent a room.

very saddening.

0007435: Dwarves overwhelmed by horror at the sight of the refuse stockpile

The stockpile contains, amongst other things, various goblin body parts and the corpse of a stray horse foal, as well as the usual slaughtering leftovers.

A couple of my dwarves have had this issue. Of their personality traits, the first is “Somewhat fearful in the face of imminent danger”. The second “has great trouble mastering fear when confronted by danger”. So it’s probably just those of a nervous disposition, but seriously guys - it’s the refuse stockpile! And they’re body parts of our enemies. Shouldn’t that be the opposite of danger?



I want to purchase this now, it sounds amazing.