Dwarf Fortress Video Game Terms and their Meanings

Dwarf Fortress Single Player Video Game

What is Dwarf Fortress?

Dwarf Fortress is undoubtedly the most complex and challenging single-player video game with a steep learning curve.

It simulates construction and management in the real world, while you have to build your fortress and protect your Dwarves to survive.

Dwarf Fortress video game can get you exhausted as it’s difficult to play, and there are loads of activities to build a successful fortress.


Terms and Terminologies in Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress video game has some peculiar and general terms and terminologies you need to understand as a player to be able to play the game successfully.

Some of the most important terms and concepts in Dwarf Fortress are the following.

Dwarf Fortress Single Player Video Game

Aquatic creatures

Creatures that live in bodies of water, such as fish, turtles, and sea monsters.


The practice of transforming materials into other materials through magical means.

Adventure party

A group of adventurers who embark on quests and explore the game world in adventure mode.


A unique, valuable item crafted by a skilled dwarf, often with magical properties.

Artifact demand

The need for a particular artifact by a noble or another important dwarf.

Adventure mode

A different mode of gameplay where the player controls a single adventurer rather than a whole fortress.


A layer of water-permeable rock can make it difficult to dig deeper into the earth.

Burrowing creature

A creature that can dig tunnels or burrows, such as a giant worm or mole.


A designated area of the fortress where dwarves are allowed or required to go, often used for safety or organization.


A dwarf profession that involves metalworking, such as forging weapons and armor.


A dwarf profession that involves woodworking, such as building furniture and constructing buildings.


A siege weapon that launches large projectiles, used in both offense and defense.


A natural or artificial collapse of a tunnel or other structure, can be dangerous for dwarves.


Interactions with other civilizations, including trade, alliances, and warfare.

Dungeon master mode

A mode of gameplay where the player can design and control their adventures and worlds.


This is a short, bearded, and hardworking humanoid creature that lives in a fortress.


It is the process of selecting a location and starting your new fortress.

Forgotten Beast

A powerful creature that appears randomly in the game world and can pose a threat to the fortress.


A key concept in Dwarf Fortress, refers to the player’s enjoyment of the game’s many challenges and unpredictable events.


A dwarf profession that involves growing crops and raising livestock.


Your home base in the game as a player, is a self-sufficient settlement built by your dwarves.


The study of the earth and its structures, can be important in Dwarf Fortress for finding valuable resources.


The overall health and well-being of a dwarf, can be affected by injuries, illnesses, and other factors.


A humanoid creature that can be hostile to dwarves and other civilizations.


A state in which a dwarf is inspired to create a particular item, often resulting in a valuable artifact.


Molten rock that can be used for forging powerful weapons and crafting valuable items.


A massive, powerful creature that can pose a significant threat to the fortress.


This is the process of digging tunnels to extract resources from the earth, such as stones, metals, and gems.


A group of dwarves trained and equipped for combat, used to defend the fortress against attacks.


A massive construction project can take years to complete, such as a massive underground fortress or a magma-powered weapon.

Mood spiral

A cycle of events can lead to a fortress’s downfall, often starting with one dwarf’s unhappy mood.

Megaproject management

The process of planning and coordinating the construction of a massive project, such as a megaproject.


A dangerous creature can threaten the fortress, such as a giant spider, dragon, or demon.


A powerful force that can be harnessed by certain dwarves, such as necromancers, wizards, and priests.


A powerful magic user who can raise the dead and create undead armies.


Dwarf leaders with specific needs and requirements, such as high-quality rooms or expensive items.


A replacement body part for a dwarf who has lost a limb or other body part.

Secret society

A group of dwarves who operate in secret, often with nefarious purposes.

Siege engine


This is a group of military dwarves assigned to a specific task or location.

A mechanical device used to attack or defend a fortress, such as a trebuchet or a ballista.

Strange mood

A state in which a dwarf is driven to create something unusual or bizarre, often resulting in a valuable artifact or dangerous outcome.


An area designated for storing specific types of goods, such as food, wood, or raw materials.


An attack on the fortress by a hostile force, often involved the use of siege weapons and other tactics.


This is the graphical representation of the game, which you can customize to your taste in the game settings.

Trade Depot

A designated area where traders from other civilizations can visit and exchange goods with the fortress.


A place for dwarves to socialize and relax, often with food, drink, and entertainment.


A device that can be used to defend the fortress, such as by harming or trapping invaders.


A measure of how hot or cold an area is, can affect dwarves and other creatures in various ways.

Trade caravan

A group of traders from other civilizations visit the fortress to exchange goods.

Tavern keeper

A dwarf who manages and operates a tavern, providing food, drink, and entertainment.


A religious building where dwarves can worship and perform rituals.


A specialized room where dwarves can craft specific items or perform certain tasks.

Workshop profile

A set of specific settings that dictate how a workshop should be used.


A system of channels, reservoirs, and other structures used to manage water in the fortress.

World generation

The process by which the game world is created, with various civilizations, creatures, and landscapes.


The atmospheric conditions in the game world, can affect the fortress and its inhabitants.


A level in the game world, which can be navigated vertically using stairs or ramps.


An undead creature created by a necromancer or by other means often used as a weapon against enemies.