Bold and Bizarre Tales from Dwarf Fortress 13

More than any other game I’ve encountered, Dwarf Fortress seems to yield the funniest, most batshit video game stories. They’re always entirely enjoyable without having to know jack about the context of the game, and have a flavor of the chaotic that tastes of real life, in all its naked absurdity.

Wanted to make a thread where people discussed weird, wacky, bizarre things that have happened to them in Dwarf Fortress, or similar open-ended games (Rimworld, Caves of Qud, whatever).

Friend of mine told me a pretty good one, gonna paraphrase it here:

My civilization was doing pretty well. Everyone had their needs more or less met, they were following their varied passions, getting in and out of trouble… the people were happy.

One day, a talented carpenter crafted a table that was so fucking beyond perfect, it was declared a “legendary artifact”, and overnight became an absolute sensation amongst the people. Dwarves came from across the city to party on and around this beauty of a table, often forsaking food and drink and rest to remain in its presence, blessed by its perfection.

Hundreds perished in this obliterating bliss, their lives having ended the moment they looked upon true perfection.

Thread idea came from watching this delightful interview:


I remember reading a Dwarf Fortress story so good that it made me fall in love with a game I’d never played and simultaneously swear to myself that I would never actually try to play it


Lay it on me

There’s a very good chance I read it here or on Ye Olde SB 1.0. I feel like I’d have a hard time finding it again. But I’ll try to jog my memory

why does h jon benjamin do the voice for this presumably real human being

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was it Boatmurdered?


because my petition finally got enough signatures

h jon will voice everyone, all the time, forever.


if we were to keep only one videogame, it should be dwarf fortress

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Probably yes!


My first dwarf fortress slowly became an impregnable fortress of horrors.
I started by building a dry moat 2, units deep.
Over the moat in all 4 directions were massive draw bridges and ramps into the moat.
The moat was connected to the lower levels of the fortress via tunnels with massive cells sealed with steel doors. There were also cell bypass tunnels to lure in traffic without opening the cells. All this was linked to levers in a massive control room. Which itself was flood-able from another room. Flooding the control room would also flood the moat through a grate. We never had to use the self destruct switch.

As monsters attacked Id lure each into a cell by opening the right doors and raising the draw bridges so the quickest path would be through a cell, then I seal the cell once they were inside. When armies attacked I could route them around the cells and then when they got close, Id route them through them forcing many goblin armies to die horribly to dragons and hydras. Then Id claim their gear which would track blood into the fortress. Eventually the description of anything in the fortress included goblin blood. The fortress must have stunk mightily of death.

We carved our stories into the walls and corpses started to become the dominant theme. Realizing I had created a hellish death society I decided to lean into it. I accidentally pissed off the elves by trying to sell them some wood and said fuck it and on their retreat raised the draw bridge hurling their bodies hundreds of feet. We claimed their gear and solid to to the humans the next season. They had no idea.

Eventually the elves figured out it wasn’t an accident and started sending raiding parties. Moving invisibly they got around our entrance traps and the military had to start patrolling. One day while repelling a raid we took to chasing elves back to the border when suddenly dozen of archers appeared and I issued a retreat order. They downed several of the younger dwarves but our main heroes broke out in front. I opened the moat gates and issued commands to raise draw bridge to force the vile elves into the cell maze. But the busy dwarfs inside didn’t answer the call to raise the bridge in time. I frantically cleared other job orders so one of them would get to the control room but no one was responding! A huge party had broken out in the workers mess hall! Meanwhile the remaining solders were hoofing it toward the still lowered bridge, arrows falling at their heels. Finally someone drunk on ale teetered into the control room and pulled the switches… right as the mightiest warrior stepped on the the plank. The bridge sprung up forming a protective wall from the arrows but also launching the mighty dwarf hundreds of feet. When he finally came to a stop his back was broken, he would fight no more.

The elves died like dogs to the hydra with the final survivor left trapped in an adjacent cell until mad with hunger. I let them out and they just wandered around. Neither retreated or attacked us. He wandered the halls of the fortress of stink until the game was lost to a operating system roll-back along with many other game saves.



this thread making me want to finally do that big livejournal post about Space Station 13 I’ve been thinking of doing for years now


Do it!

You must do this, Space Station 13 is a perfect example of every single game being some insane organic story

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Please continue posting amazing DF stories I cannot play this game but these are always, always, always good

Dunno if this will embed right, but, this is one of the best Space Station 13 stories I’ve heard out there:

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I had a round once where I was playing as Roboticist, and a Security officer arrested me because someone else had hacked a Cyborg, and he thought I had just made a random rogue borg for no reason. I plead my case but he threw me in the brig for 10 minutes anyway.

When I got out, I took every corpse out of the morgue (there were a lot, because there had been a fire earlier), and made them all into Buttbots, then welded them into a locker with a radio set to the Security frequency and stuffed the locker into the Mass Driver, which is basically a rail gun made for jettisoning garbage into space. Because of the way the game works, that meant they were flung out to the edge of the map, but still in radio range, so the buttbots could safely do their holy work from out where they were.

Security practically tore the entire station apart looking for A) the Butt Locker and B) Me. But because Sec players are never smart, they only looked for me in Robotics and the maintenance tunnels around Robotics. They did NOT look for me in the Abandoned Bar, which nobody ever, ever goes to, and which I had fixed up nicely and was chilling with some beers and a jukebox.

What really made the situation, to me, was that in order to actually go out and get the locker, even if they were able to locate it, they would need EVA suits.

Take a guess whose job it was to make EVA suits on this particular server/map.


In another round, I was working as a Cargo Technician (basically a postal clerk, in charge of unloading the supply shuttle and sending packages to the departments that placed the orders). One department had temporarily dismantled their delivery chute for Reasons, so I had to drag the crate across the station to deliver it by hand. It just so happened that my route took me past Robotics. They had the fire safety shutters down, blocking the window into the department, which I thought was odd, because there hadn’t been any fires. As I was making my way back after having made my delivery, a Roboticist came out through the door to the lab and I happened to see through into the lab in the brief time the door was open, and saw that they were building a nightmare.

See, one of the jobs of Robotics is to build these big mechasuits that station personnel can use either in the event of some kind of catastrophe, or to enhance their capability to do their job more effectively. There’s a Medical Mech, for when there’s (for instance) a massive depressurization, or a plague outbreak, etc. that lets medical personnel enter dangerous areas and treat/retrieve patients. There’s a Mining Mech that has big drills and mineral storage compartments to let miners tear asteroids a new one much faster. Et cetera, et cetera.

Well there happens to be a certain hidden mech. It’s only available to construct if a certain rare ore is found out on a particular, randomly-generated asteroid. It’s the only thing this rare ore is used for, and it requires specific, deliberate actions to be taken to find and acquire it by the Mining Crew to get it into the hands of Roboticists, so it’s very, very rare that it ever gets built.

This particular mech is of the latter type, helping one specific role on the station do their job much, much more effectively. That job is the Clown.

I sprinted back to Cargo, shouting down the Cargo comms channel, “THE ROBOTICISTS ARE BUILDING A H.O.N.K.”

I burst into the Cargo Warehouse and the Quartermaster (Big Mail Boss) immediately closed the door behind me, dismantled its electrical controls, tore the circuit board out, welded the door shut, and barricaded it. He lowered the fire shutters on all Cargo Wing windows and disabled their controls. I looked around and saw that all doors leading into or out of Cargo had already received similar treatment to the one I had just come through, and the Quartermaster had ordered crates and crates of tools, materials, medical supplies, and about 30 pizzas.

The Quartermaster grabbed a station-wide radio and announced on the general P.A. channel that Cargo was officially declaring its secession from the Station as the Free Independent State of Cargonia. He then put on some mag boots and a space helmet he’d looted from Mining (right next door, TECHNICALLY part of the Cargo division but has its own Boss) and depressurized the maintenance tunnels circling the Cargo wing, crowbarring the walls open to outside space.

About five minutes later, as we were sitting around a campfire we’d built in the middle of the cargo warehouse, playing cards and eating pizza, we heard all hell break loose over the radio. Incoherent shouting, Security being failures, people hunting down the Roboticists like the Most Dangerous Game, Atmos Techs (combination Air Conditioning Repairmen/Space Firefighters) losing their minds, the works. Then, heavy, clanking footsteps. The beast had been activated. The Clown could no longer be stopped.

What followed was twenty minutes of basically the audio recording from Event Horizon but with map-wide, deafening honks instead of cryptic latin chanting.

Eventually someone (probably the Captain) managed to call the relief shuttle, which ends the round once it takes off again after docking and onboarding the survivors. Cargonia meanwhile had reprogrammed the Mining Shuttle to act as a little miniature relief shuttle, so we managed to get off the station safely. I still have no idea if anyone else made it out that round.


Once I was playing as Chef when I noticed that this round had one of my favorite flags enabled: “funfood”. This meant that certain objects not normally allowed to be eaten were now able to be cooked. I don’t know exactly how the back-end of this flag works, because what is and isn’t cookable when it’s enabled isn’t always the same. But this time, it seemed like almost anything was fair game.

It started out fairly tame, making pies out of drinking glasses and forks. Toolbelt-filled donuts, etc. I kept trying different things, trying to test the limits of the mechanics, but there didn’t seem to be any. I could bake a loaf of bread, cut it into slices, then bake a pie out of each slice of bread, then cut the pie into slices and make each slice of pie into a cake, which could be cut into slices…

Then the hydroponicist came in and told me he’d managed to grow “the good stuff”. Ambrosia Vulgaris, it’s called. Basically space weed. He then emptied out my fridge and filled it with the stuff. I made it into a pie. Then I cut a slice of that pie and made a whole new pie out of it. Then I cut a slice of that pie, and made a new pie out of that. I was determined to find how deep this rabbit hole could go.

I was about 12 recursive pie layers deep when an Assistant (originally this job was intended to be an unskilled labor pool that all departments could draw on when they needed extra hands, but has since devolved into roving murder hobos determined to try and “win” at Space Station 13 (by being the last man standing (in a cooperative game))) beat an Atmospherics Technician to death with a toolbox in the Mess Hall, stole his suit, dumped his backpack contents out on the floor, and left. I went in and started trying to clean up and a Security officer came in and started yelling at me, assuming that I had been the one to commit the murder. As I was trying to explain that no, it in fact was not, the very same Assistant, now wearing an Atmos Tech uniform, threw a floor tile at the Security Officer’s head. The SecOp yakety saxed after him and left me alone to clean up the mess.

I dragged the body across the hall to medbay, dumped it on the lobby floor and rang the desk bell (standard procedure), and went back to the kitchen and tried to figure out what to do with all these atmospherics components. I started stuffing them down the pneumatic garbage chute, but the thing wouldn’t even flush. It’s not that they wouldn’t go, the chute wasn’t working. I called the Quartermaster (the garbage chute system doubles as the mail delivery system, so the tubes are his jurisdiction) to ask what was up, but he said the whole chute system’s power had been cut and he can’t figure out why. I called up Engineering but the Chief Engineer just yelled at me that he’s got More Important Things To Do than to listen to complaints about the chutes, which aren’t even his job, and also I’m an idiot.

I walked over to Cargo and told the Quartermaster what happened, and he checked the ship roster to see who was Chief Engineer that shift (round). “Oh. That guy.”, he said, which honestly told me everything I needed to know. He said he’d try and get the chutes back up and running without Engineering’s help, and I headed back into the kitchen and just stared at this pile of atmos ducts and vents on my floor. I suddenly remembered the Pieception I’d been working on and got an idea. I started throwing all the pipes and valves and vents and whatnot into the deep fryer, and sure enough, it accepted them. I went about deep frying all the ductwork, and glanced over at Medbay to see if they’d taken care of that body.

They hadn’t. I rang the bell again and waited at the counter this time, but nobody came. So I dragged the body back and tried to stuff it into the deep fryer too, but apparently a whole entire person is where the deep fryer drew the line. I’d had some experience using the surgery system from my time as a Roboticist, so I started cutting the body up to see if it was just a size issue, and sure enough, I was able to deep fry the individual parts just fine. I delivered the brain and butt to Robotics, but deep fried the rest, and at about that time, the Quartermaster texted my PDA to let me know he’d gotten the chutes working again, so I began dutifully stuffing all the atmospherics bits and pieces I’d deep fried down the disposals chute, which I’d reconfigured to go to the Chief Engineer’s office instead of Disposals (which I knew how to do due to my time spent working as a Cargo Tech).

I thought he’d be pleased to have all those lost parts back, since Atmospherics is part of his department, but apparently not! He was in fact not pleased.

I finished flushing the atmos parts and went back to my Pie Monstrosity, cutting slices of Space Weed Pie Pie Pie and using them as the filling for a new Space Weed Pie Pie Pie Pie. I was about 30 layers deep when I started to get hungry, so I started eating pieces of the pie.

Apparently when you make recursive food like that, the nutritional value of each successive layer drops, so while a Pie may restore, say, 50 Hunger Points or whatever, a slice of pie made from a slice of THAT pie would only restore say, 45 points, and so on. So I ate more pie. And more. I shoveled Space Weed Pie Pie Pie Pie Pie … Pie Slices down my gullet as fast as I could make them, and finally managed to get my hunger levels back to a safe level. I began mass producing this pie, cutting them into slices, placing them on plates, and stuffing them in my bag, intending to scatter them all over every surface of the end-of-round shuttle when it eventually came.

That was when I learned another quirk of the funfood mechanic. Since it wasn’t meant to be a ‘serious’ feature of the game, and only enabled once in a while when an admin was feeling silly, it wasn’t coded very thoroughly. While the NUTRITIONAL value of recursive food was coded to drop, the CHEMICAL value was apparently forgotten about. Meaning that a slice of Space Weed Pie Pie Pie^30 was just as potent as a slice of Space Weed Pie.

Just as I was taking the latest layer of pie out of the oven, I began to hallucinate. First I went blind for a few seconds, then I started getting phantom radio messages. Xenomorphs would materialize in the kitchen and vanish a second later. I turned into a cat for a few seconds. The kitchen was fully engulfed in flames, which then miraculously extinguished themselves. My body fell apart for a little while, then I got better.

I eventually fell over and started seizing. I laid there on the floor of my kitchen and twitched and babbled incoherently for a couple minutes before someone came by and saw. They dragged me to medbay, which apparently had staff now, and they threw me into the scanner. I couldn’t make sense of what they were saying, but I could hear that they were talking. They brought me into an operating room, where I promptly died almost immediately.

When you die in SS13, you become a ghost. Players can’t see you (usually), and you can walk through walls, but you can’t interact with anything (you can do stuff like blow sheets of paper around or flip light switches, but there’s like a two-minute cooldown on this, and you can’t mess with anything important). What you can do, though, is see the whole map (no line-of-sight fog of war) and hear anyone in the immediate vicinity.

The doctors were baffled at my condition, and very surprised that I died so quickly, even though they’d just pumped me full of stabilizing chems. “What the hell?” said the Surgeon. Since I was already dead, there was no point in doing any surgery or whatever it was they’d planned, so they decided to just try and figure out what it was that killed me, in case it was a virus or something. Then the Surgeon opened my bag. “JESUS CHRIST. …ok so I’m pretty sure it’s not a virus”.

The cause of my demise now made clear, they decided to slab me (stick my corpse in the morge; usually reserved for crew members who “go braindead” (log out mid-round)), instead of cloning (respawning) me, since it was My Own Fault, and I Should Have Known Better, and they Don’t Have Time to be enabling dumb-dumbs by giving them a second chance to do stuff like overdose on space weed.

I watched them slab me and then stuck around to see what they did with my bag. As expected, they stuffed it down the garbage chute. It is a Well-Known Fact that disposals is a high-value targets for Assistants, whose self-made mission is to acquire as much loot as possible and cause as much chaos as possible, and sure enough, not three minutes later, an Assistant crowbarred his way into the garbage processing room and found my bag, crammed full of slices of Space Weed Pie Pie^30. What agent of chaos could pass up a treat like that?

He ate a couple slices and headed out. I followed him, ghostily. He gave some to some other crew members, force-fed some to a couple more, and just went about his business, occasionally chomping on another slice. A couple minutes later, the evac shuttle came, ending the round, and he got on board and immediately started throwing pie everywhere. Continuing my work.

As the shuttle was about to take off, another Assistant smashed the windows of the evac shuttle with a blowtorch and depressurized the entire cabin, killing everyone before they could make it out. That’s life in space.

EDIT: I found some old screenshots of this one.


Edit the IInd:
Oh yeah, after I died, an admin (presumably the one that had enabled funfood on that round in the first place) DMed me and said they’d been watching me the whole round and that they were losing it at what I had been up to the whole time. Also that by the time I died, I’d managed to dose myself with the highest amount of spaceweed-chem he’s ever seen in his life (admins can see any player’s inventory and physical stats, including what drugs, etc. are in their system and in what amounts). Enough that he didn’t even know the variable that tracked it could go that high. Normally people trying to get as much space weed into their system run into the problem that they get full too quickly and their character literally can’t eat any more, but I’d managed to eat the equivalent of something like 8x that many pieces of the raw stuff just because the pie was so unsatiating that I could just keep eating.