So, I was exploring around on the Dwarf Fortress Wiki the other day and I found their article on Boatmurdered, a crazy succession game that was outlined in a narrative style. I’ve done narrative style play summaries of the odd game in the past, and have always been a fan of such things. It’s like fanfiction without the fanfiction. Anyway, since I’ve not done a narrative game with Dwarf Fortress yet, I figured I’d give it a go here, much to the chagrin of my audience (He said the secret word! aaaaaahhhh!). Worse case scenario, I bore you all to tears with a brief tale of how I lost my fortress to a goblin siege 9 months after embark.
To properly set up this game for the narrative telling, I figured I’d add some salt to my game in order to throw me off-guard and maybe end up with a scenario that I wouldn’t otherwise pick for myself. To that end, with the help of Random.org, I randomized both my embarkation site and the skills of my starting dwarves. I did this by randomizing the X,Y coordinates of the map (reselecting whenever the coordinates picked an ocean tile) and allowing them to randomize the skills of my starting dwarves. Items were psudo-randomized based on points left after randomizing the dwarves and loading up a basic survival kit.
If you’re just interested in the story, skip to the prologue. This next bit is just all the starting conditions for my game.
Here’s my basic starting rule-set:
The base survival kit consisted of 60 units of alcohol and food, 10 plump helmet seeds, 5 bags, 2 picks, and 2 axes. Everything else is picked randomly by first rolling to choose a category and then rolling to choose something from within the category. In the case of materials, food, or drink, there is a third roll from 1-10 to determine how many units to bring. Finished goods are assigned as a single unit.
Dwarves were each randomly given 3 skills. The first skill was given 3 points of training, and the other two 1 point of training each. To keep things interesting, dwarves are only allowed to be assigned jobs based on skills they have some training in, with the exception of hauling, cleaning, and mining. In an event where I end up with an impossible group (Such as one not able to produce any kind of food) I’ll allow farming to be used untrained. Immigrants will be similarly limited to jobs within their training. The only non-trained job allowed are military and noble positions, which can be given only to dwarves who are either untrained, or trained in a skill possessed by at least one other dwarf.
The game environment is the Phoebus Graphic tileset with the Modest Mod balance fixes. The map was set up as a large island and tweaked to have slightly larger civilizations, slightly more civilizations, more megabeasts, more titans, and a few more z-levels above the first cavern layer. The world was given 500 years of history which was set to visible.
Dwarf Therapist is used to keep track of the dwarf jobs and DFhack is used to provide real-time fixes to the various bugs and annoyances (such as the FPS killing temperature jitter).
My embarkation ended up looking like this:
Coordinates: 62,52 (rerolled 5 times due to ocean picks):
Sub coordinates of 8,13: 4×4 embarkation zone.
Dwarves (3 point specialty first and bolded):
Udib Fikodosod – Armorer, Fish Dissector, Siege Operator, F
Momuz Nishemgash – Metal Crafter, Mason, Student
Fath Cattenbidok – Weaver, Potter, Fish Dissector
Mafol Logemmorul – Lye Maker, Miller, Negotiator, M
Geshund Sazirudib – Spinner, Soap Maker, Wound Dresser, M
Cerol Atirfotthor – Cook, Metalsmith, Wood Burner
Iteb Koganmorul – Suturer, Record Keeper, Milker
Luck of the draw started this group without any stable way to create food, even with the milker (nothing to milk), so farming was assigned (not trained) with a random pull of 1-7. Mining was assigned (but not trained) with two more 1-7 rolls. Those are indicated with the itallicized letter after the dwarves names.
Item Loadout (In addition to the basic package outlined above):
1x Water Buffalo Leather Vest
1x Hoary Marmot Leather Waterskin
1x Cedar Training Axe
1x Chert Hive
10x Birch Logs
1x Giant Cave Spider Silk Rope
3x Prepared Moth Brains
2x Water Buffalo Cheese
1x Bronze Pick
1x Draltha Leather Quiver
1x Cave Spider Silk Thread
8x Black Sand
9x Peach-Faced Lovebird Blood
3x Black Bronze Bars
9x Sweet Pot Seeds
3x Point Cut Milk Quartz
2x Gypsum Plaster
And we’re off!
Diary entries for Udib Fikodosod, Expedition Leader and Armorer for the settlement of Scoutbridge:
20th Opal, 501,
It’s finally time to get out from under the thumb of our oppressors! None have even begun to conceptualize the brutality we have endured at the hands of our masters! Short rations, work from wake ’til sleep, and alcohol only thrice daily! But today we have taken the final steps to severing our bonds of enslavement! With the purchase of a quaint allotment of land (priced quite reasonably at only two chickens for whatever reason) and the mutual graduation of myself and my colleagues from our various apprenticeships finally sees us free to strike out on our own!
My first order of business is to procure some supplies sufficient to begin our new life as settlers and entrepreneurs. Since we’ve already traded in the two chickens we had, one hopes that we’ll find a seller who does not mind trading sufficient supplies for some leather armor made from marmot skin and a few baskets.
28th Opal, 501,
It took some doing, but I finally found a seller who not only had settling supplies, but it was already all boxed up on a wagon and ready to go! In exchange for our armor, the baskets, and a *ahem*line of credit we have everything we need! The crates are even nailed completely shut so as to avoid spilling the precious cargo until we’re ready to use it. It was a stroke of luck that I hope is a sign of the success to come!
1st Obsidian, 501,
We’ve finished up the preparations and the seven of us are ready to embark on our great adventure! At the last minute I decided to buy a book on farming, just in case. It looks easy enough so I don’t foresee any trouble there. I’ve been assured by a pair of my colleagues that they have a mutal half-uncle who’s quite the prodigious miner, and that the basics of such are child’s play. They were less enthusiastic about the whole venture when I volunteered them to digging detail once we arrive at what we’ll be calling “Scoutbridge” after my great aunt’s treasured pet carp. I loved that little guy.
Anyway, I hear the guys loading up outside, so I better get out there. Onward to Glory!