The Let's Play Archive

Dwarf Fortress - Syrupleaf

by Various

Part 1: Introduction by Vox Nihili

What is Dwarf Fortress? Why should I read this?
Dwarf fortress is a semi-roguelike, strategy type game wherein you assume control of a dwarven settlement and issue commands to have an extremely wide variety of tasks carried out. Dwarf Fortress also features "adventure" and "legends" modes, wherein the player can interact directly with the game world as an individual and view the history of the game world, respectively. The graphics of the game leave much to be desired, consisting of ascii art and limited tilesets. However, the game has an incredible depth to it that is not met by any other game of its type. The wiki is an excellent resource for new and old players alike. The randomly generated nature of the world and its individuals, coupled with the details modeled down to minute levels, and the unmatched ability to give rise to story-worthy situations be they hilarious, incredible, or simply unexpected. See Boatmurdered for one example, or the Headshoots. Essentially, the game gives you a chance to play a part in a deep, randomly generated world and we, the player, let it create a story for us, sometimes with some slight additions of our own.

The game works perfectly for screenshot-based LPs. Each player holds the fort for approximately one game year, during which they document the occurances at the fort and apply their own rulership style, often adding their own slant to the "story" of the fort. The more screenshots used the better, generally, and the same goes with explanations of the action.

I'll be using version 28.181.40d16, which is the latest experimental release and includes zooming and other fun features. The developer has been working on the next real release for a year now, and it'll be out in 3 or so months. Hopefully this thread will keep us all entertained for the duration of that wait.

Regarding This LP
This playthrough of DF will use a slightly modded version of the game, which includes additional threats and allies, ok maybe no allies, but there are new animals to hunt and be hunted by, one new megabeast, and three new civilizations, all of which will invade us once we have amassed enough wealth. I've adjusted the stats on many creatures to be more challenging, and you might find a special new gem or two. Don't worry, this won't be like the orc mod where we are immediately assaulted by unbeatable enemy armies and forced to wall in and play a boring, defensive game. Instead, we will progress from goblin and sand raider (no tougher than goblins) invasions to invasions by the unholy offspring of our fallen champion of the last LP (HolisticDetective) and frost giants. Nor will there be a ton of foreign, weird shit in it. This is still Dwarf Fortress.

I have already generated a world and picked a starting location, but I'm leaving the first year of the LP up to someone else. Whoever is feeling ambitious enough can volunteer for the first year, and I'll give my entire file, which includes my "mod," to the first player. Spoonboy has volunteered. I will assume control for the second year, and it will thereafter be passed on based on a list of future rulers. If you are interested in ruling for the third year and beyond, please volunteer in the thread, noting any time constraints you might have.

Because we're playing with a mod, each leader should upload his ENTIRE DF folder for the next player, including the save info and raw. The next player may feel free to use whatever art/graphics they want, though I recommend we all use version df28.181.40d16 Here is just the mod which replaces the OBJECTS folder in the Raw folder.

Starting Location:

In early spring of 138, The Romantic Glaze of The Gate of Climaxes founded Syrupleaf.

I have already embarked with a well-rounded set of gear and skills for the environment, and the game is auto-paused the instant I got into it. Note that the lack of soil means we will have to irrigate stone for farming. Note that the lack of liquid water means we will have to use magma to melt water to irrigate with. The first few years of this fort WILL be challenging, though plentiful starting supplies and careful hunting should keep us alive. Yes, we're on a savage mountain/glacier location, so be prepared to hunt mammoths if necessary. I would NOT suggest hunting ice drakes, though they are not nearly as scary as they sound. No, we do not have any trees, but fear not, I brought plenty of logs.

Here is the complete file:

If you downloaded the mod from earlier in the post, the save file alone is here:

Note: An error in the mod currently prevents the use of adamantine as a metal, though it can still be used in its stone form for mechanisms and the such. I can easily fix the mod, but we will have to use the "broken" version for the current playthrough. For narrative purposes, we play assuming that the terror caused by the Holistic Detective in her terrible adamantine armor led to its prohibition for use as a metal due to fear of its otherworldly, demonic nature. If anyone wants a full "fixed" version of the mod, just ask me and I'll instruct you on repairing it or just upload a version with adamantine metal included.

Note2: Another exciting error in the mod makes the holistic spawn and possibly also the frost giants attack far too early, if you want to know how to fix this just ask. Otherwise, you'll likely get an experience very much like Syrupleaf, unless you avoid large-scale trading and production.

geri_khan wrote :-


In the annals of great mountain fortresses, there are few like Headshoots. Few as wealthy, as powerful, as corrupt or as damned. Almost hidden away in one of the most inhospitable places in the world, Headshoots was founded amidst great evil - surrounded on every side by monsters, demons and undead, in a dark land where no living thing except foolish dwarfs would dare stay.

Headshoots grew in spite of these challenges. It faced terrible pain, countless battles, and awoke the evils slumbering within the mountain. But it recovered and grew even stronger, becoming what seemed to be the sole beacon of light in that blasted place.

Then it fell - suddenly, brutally and sharply, on the point of its own sword.


Of all the inhabitants of Headshoots, the greatest were Nemo2342 and Holistic Detective.

Nemo - the unstoppable blade, no doubt the greatest swordsdwarf of the age. His victories were countless.

Holistic - the invincible shield, wearer of "Trailmachines - The Fellowship of Right," an adamantium plate mail that was once one of the wonders of the world... now lost to the world. She was so secure in her invincibility that she dropped the hammer she was trained with in favour of killing her enemies with a rat leather backpack.

There were many great Champions of Headshoots, but these two were truly the heart of its military, its fame and its arrogance. They would be its doom too.


A dark power slept under the mountain, and one terrible night it bewitched Nemo and Holistic, summoning them to its home in the deepest part of the fortress. There the darkest of magic turned these two noble champions into ferocious, bloodthirsty skeletons.

Very little is known about what happened next - there were no survivors, save for a single dwarf who claimed to have evaded the horrors by leaving this world altogether. Only legends can tell us anything about the massacre at Headshoots as Nemo and Holistic roamed the halls, striking down every living creature they met. Sometimes they felled dwarfs in a single blow. Sometimes they took the time to break every bone they could reach, just for the sadistic thrill of it. Yet inevitably there was not a single living thing left in Headshoots.


Here the legends grow even more unreliable. Some say that the two skeletons, their lust for violence unequalled in the history of dwarfkind, turned on each other out of sheer fury. Others, such as the Cult of Nemo, maintain that Nemo regained control of his actions and attacked Holistic Detective in an attempt to extinguish her threat to dwarfkind.

The result was the same - Nemo severed both of Holistic's hands, but could not pierce the adamantium shell of Trailmachines, and Holistic counterattacked with her own teeth. Latching on to Nemo, she bit and shook him until his body was shattered, and she stood alone in Headshoots.


That was long ago. Now horrifying monsters roam the land - Holistic Detective has created her fell Spawn, misshapen dwarven monstrosities that wish only to destroy. A single Holistic Spawn is easily capable of destroying dozens of untrained dwarfs, and only the most powerful champions can hope to stand against them in numbers. Worst of all, every fearful dwarf knows that somewhere out there still lurks the Detective herself, and the mysterious entity that twisted a noble dwarf into a night terror.


Foolish dwarfs still seek gold, jewels and adamantium in the world underneath the surface. In spite of the lesson of Headshoots they travel to remote, unforgiving, hostile lands to establish fortresses and make names for themselves. Soon a new party of seven dwarfs will strike the earth... or the ice.

Hopefully they shall do better.