Basic Scripts

Basic scripts are not stored in any subdirectory, and can be invoked directly. They are generally useful tools for any player.


View or set level of cavern adaptation for the selected unit or the whole fort. Usage: adaptation <show|set> <him|all> [value]. The value must be between 0 and 800,000 inclusive.


Adds a thought or emotion to the selected unit. Can be used by other scripts, or the gui invoked by running add-thought gui with a unit selected.


When creating an adventurer, raises all changeable skills and attributes to their maximum level.


Runs the equivalent of rejuvenate, elevate-physical, elevate-mental, and brainwash on all dwarves currently on the map. This is an extreme change, which sets every stat to an ideal - legendary skills, great traits, and easy-to-satisfy preferences.

Without arguments, all attributes, age & personalities are adjusted. Arguments allow for skills to be adjusted as well.


Automatically handle crop selection in farm plots based on current plant stocks. Selects a crop for planting if current stock is below a threshold. Selected crops are dispatched on all farmplots.


autofarm start
autofarm default 30
autofarm threshold 150 helmet_plump tail_pig


Runs an autolabor command, for all labors where skill level influences output quality. Examples:

autolabor-artisans 0 2 3
autolabor-artisans disable


Automatically unsuspend jobs in workshops, on a recurring basis. See unsuspend for one-off use, or resume all.


A more convenient way to ban cooking various categories of foods than the kitchen interface. Usage: ban-cooking <type>. Valid types are booze, honey, tallow, oil, seeds (non-tree plants with seeds), brew, mill, thread, and milk.


Implements functions for in-memory binpatches. See Patching the DF binary.


Modify the personality traits of the selected dwarf to match an ‘ideal’ personality - as stable and reliable as possible. This makes dwarves very stable, preventing tantrums even after months of misery.


Sets all unowned coffins to allow burial. burial -pets also allows burial of pets.


List vermin colonies, place honey bees, or convert all vermin to honey bees. Usage:

colonies:List all vermin colonies on the map.
colonies place:Place a honey bee colony under the cursor.
colonies convert:
 Convert all existing colonies to honey bees.

The place and convert subcommands by default create or convert to honey bees, as this is the most commonly useful. However both accept an optional flag to use a different vermin type, for example colonies place ANT creates an ant colony and colonies convert TERMITE ends your beekeeping industry.


Merge stacks of drinks in the selected stockpile.


Merge stacks of plants or plant growths in the selected container or stockpile.


Spawn items under the cursor, to get your fortress started.

The first argument gives the item category, the second gives the material, and the optionnal third gives the number of items to create (defaults to 20).

Currently supported item categories: boulder, bar, plant, log, web.

Instead of material, using list makes the script list eligible materials.

The web item category will create an uncollected cobweb on the floor.

Note that the script does not enforce anything, and will let you create boulders of toad blood and stuff like that. However the list mode will only show ‘normal’ materials.


create-items boulders COAL_BITUMINOUS 12
create-items plant tail_pig
create-items log list
create-items bar CREATURE:CAT:SOAP
create-items bar adamantine


Select a body part ingame, or a unit from the u unit list, and this script will display the cause of death of the creature.


Somewhere between a “mod” and a “fps booster”, with a small impact on vanilla gameplay. All of those slightly worn wool shoes that dwarves scatter all over the place will deteriorate at a greatly increased rate, and eventually just crumble into nothing. As warm and fuzzy as a dining room full of used socks makes your dwarves feel, your FPS does not like it.

Usage: deteriorateclothes (start|stop)


Somewhere between a “mod” and a “fps booster”, with a small impact on vanilla gameplay.

In long running forts, especially evil biomes, you end up with a lot of toes, teeth, fingers, and limbs scattered all over the place. Various corpses from various sieges, stray kitten corpses, probably some heads. Basically, your map will look like a giant pile of assorted body parts, all of which individually eat up a small part of your FPS, which collectively eat up quite a bit.

In addition, this script also targets various butchery byproducts. Enjoying your thriving animal industry? Your FPS does not. Those thousands of skulls, bones, hooves, and wool eat up precious FPS that could be used to kill goblins and elves. Whose corpses will also get destroyed by the script to kill more goblins and elves.

This script causes all of those to rot away into nothing after several months.

Usage: deterioratecorpses (start|stop)


Somewhere between a “mod” and a “fps booster”, with a small impact on vanilla gameplay.

With this script running, all food and plants wear out and disappear after several months. Barrels and stockpiles will keep them from rotting, but it won’t keep them from decaying. No more sitting on a hundred years worth of food. No more keeping barrels of pig tails sitting around until you decide to use them. Either use it, eat it, or lose it. Seeds, are excluded from this, if you aren’t planning on using your pig tails, hold onto the seeds for a rainy day.

This script is...pretty far reaching. However, almost all long running forts I’ve had end up sitting on thousands and thousands of food items. Several thousand cooked meals, three thousand plump helmets, just as many fish and meat. It gets pretty absurd. And your FPS doesn’t like it.

Usage: deterioratefood (start|stop)


A script to designate an area for digging according to a plan in csv format.

This script, inspired from quickfort, can designate an area for digging. Your plan should be stored in a .csv file like this:

# this is a comment
d;d;u;d;d;skip this tile;d

Available tile shapes are named after the ‘dig’ menu shortcuts: d for dig, u for upstairs, j downstairs, i updown, h channel, r upward ramp, x remove designation. Unrecognized characters are ignored (eg the ‘skip this tile’ in the sample).

Empty lines and data after a # are ignored as comments. To skip a row in your design, use a single ;.

One comment in the file may contain the phrase start(3,5). It is interpreted as an offset for the pattern: instead of starting at the cursor, it will start 3 tiles left and 5 tiles up from the cursor.

The script takes the plan filename, starting from the root df folder (where Dwarf Fortress.exe is found).


Remove all ‘aquifer’ tag from the map blocks. Irreversible.


Set all mental attributes of the selected dwarf to 2600, which is very high. Numbers between 0 and 5000 can be passed as an argument: elevate-mental 100 for example would make the dwarf very stupid indeed.


As for elevate-mental, but for physical traits. High is good for soldiers, while having an ineffective hammerer can be useful too...


Adjusts dwarves’ skills when embarking.

Note that already-used skill points are not taken into account or reset.

points N:Sets the skill points remaining of the selected dwarf to N.
points N all:Sets the skill points remaining of all dwarves to N.
max:Sets all skills of the selected dwarf to “Proficient”.
max all:Sets all skills of all dwarves to “Proficient”.
legendary:Sets all skills of the selected dwarf to “Legendary”.
legendary all:Sets all skills of all dwarves to “Legendary”.


Allows dwarves to emigrate from the fortress when stressed, in proportion to how badly stressed they are and adjusted for who they would have to leave with - a dwarven merchant being more attractive than leaving alone (or with an elf). The check is made monthly.

A happy dwarf (ie with negative stress) will never emigrate.

Usage: emigration enable|disable


Controls legends mode to export data - especially useful to set-and-forget large worlds, or when you want a map of every site when there are several hundred.

The ‘info’ option exports more data than is possible in vanilla, to a region-date-legends_plus.xml file developed to extend World Viewer and other legends utilities.


info:Exports the world/gen info, the legends XML, and a custom XML with more information
custom:Exports a custom XML with more information
sites:Exports all available site maps
maps:Exports all seventeen detailed maps
all:Equivalent to calling all of the above, in that order


Kills any unit of a given race.

With no argument, lists the available races and count eligible targets.

With the special argument him, targets only the selected creature.

With the special argument undead, targets all undeads on the map, regardless of their race.

When specifying a race, a caste can be specified to further restrict the targeting. To do that, append and colon and the caste name after the race.

Any non-dead non-caged unit of the specified race gets its blood_count set to 0, which means immediate death at the next game tick. For creatures such as vampires, it also sets animal.vanish_countdown to 2.

An alternate mode is selected by adding a 2nd argument to the command, magma. In this case, a column of 7/7 magma is generated on top of the targets until they die (Warning: do not call on magma-safe creatures. Also, using this mode on birds is not recommended.) The final alternate mode is butcher, which marks them for butchering but does not kill.

Will target any unit on a revealed tile of the map, including ambushers, but ignore caged/chained creatures.


exterminate gob
exterminate gob:male

To kill a single creature, select the unit with the ‘v’ cursor and:

exterminate him

To purify all elves on the map with fire (may have side-effects):

exterminate elve magma


Enables management of map features.

  • Discovering a magma feature (magma pool, volcano, magma sea, or curious underground structure) permits magma workshops and furnaces to be built.
  • Discovering a cavern layer causes plants (trees, shrubs, and grass) from that cavern to grow within your fortress.


list:Lists all map features in your current embark by index.
magma:Enable magma furnaces (discovers a random magma feature).
show X:Marks the selected map feature as discovered.
hide X:Marks the selected map feature as undiscovered.


Utilizes the orientation tag to either fix infertile creatures or inflict infertility on creatures that you do not want to breed. Usage:

fix-ster [fert|ster] [all|animals|only:<creature>]

fert or ster is a required argument; whether to make the target fertile or sterile. Optional arguments specify the target: no argument for the selected unit, all for all units on the map, animals for all non-dwarf creatures, or only:<creature> to only process matching creatures.


Removes all unhappy thoughts due to lack of clothing.


Saves a copy of a text screen, formatted in bbcode for posting to the Bay12 Forums. Use forum-dwarves help for more information.


Attempts to fully heal the selected unit. full-heal -r attempts to resurrect the unit.


Shows the sexual orientation of units, useful for social engineering or checking the viability of livestock breeding programs. Use gaydar -help for information on available filters for orientation, citizenship, species, etc.


Instantly grow seeds inside farming plots.

With no argument, this command list the various seed types currently in use in your farming plots. With a seed type, the script will grow 100 of these seeds, ready to be harvested. Set the number with a 2nd argument.

For example, to grow 40 plump helmet spawn:

growcrops plump 40


Creates a pit to the underworld at the cursor.

Takes three arguments: diameter of the pit in tiles, whether to wall off the pit, and whether to insert stairs. If no arguments are given, the default is hfs-pit 1 0 0, ie single-tile wide with no walls or stairs.:

hfs-pit 4 0 1
hfs-pit 2 1 0

First example is a four-across pit with stairs but no walls; second is a two-across pit with stairs but no walls.


Lists the key, name, and jump position of your hotkeys in the DFHack console.


Exports a table with custom description text for every item in the game. Used by view-item-info; see instructions there for how to override for mods.


Activate with a cursor on screen and you will go there rapidly, attack something first to send them there.


Allow manipulation of in-game levers from the dfhack console.

Can list levers, including state and links, with:

lever list

To queue a job so that a dwarf will pull the lever 42, use lever pull 42. This is the same as q querying the building and queue a P pull request.

To magically toggle the lever immediately, use:

lever pull 42 --now


Scan the map for metal ores.

Finds and designate for digging one tile of a specific metal ore. Only works for native metal ores, does not handle reaction stuff (eg STEEL).

When invoked with the list argument, lists metal ores available on the map.


locate-ore list
locate-ore hematite
locate-ore iron


There are the following ways to invoke this command:

  1. lua (without any parameters)

    This starts an interactive lua interpreter.

  2. lua -f "filename" or lua --file "filename"

    This loads and runs the file indicated by filename.

  3. lua -s ["filename"] or lua --save ["filename"]

    This loads and runs the file indicated by filename from the save directory. If the filename is not supplied, it loads “dfhack.lua”.

  4. :lua lua statement...

    Parses and executes the lua statement like the interactive interpreter would.


Makes the selected dwarf legendary in one skill, a group of skills, or all skills. View groups with make-legendary classes, or all skills with make-legendary list. Use make-legendary MINING when you need something dug up, or make-legendary all when only perfection will do.


Make the selected unit King or Queen of your civilisation.


Save a copy of a text screen in markdown (for reddit among others). Use markdown help for more details.


Designate all creatures in cages on top of a pit/pond activity zone for pitting. Works best with an animal stockpile on top of the zone.

Works with a zone number as argument (eg Activity Zone #6 -> masspit 6) or with the game cursor on top of the area.


Forces an immediate migrant wave. Only works after migrants have arrived naturally. Equivalent to modtools/force -eventType migrants


Run multiple dfhack commands. The argument is split around the character ; and all parts are run sequentially as independent dfhack commands. Useful for hotkeys.


multicmd locate-ore IRON ; digv ; digcircle 16


Rename units or items. Usage:

-help:print this help message
-item:if viewing an item
-unit:if viewing a unit
-first [Somename | “Some Names like This”:
 if a first name is desired, leave blank to clear current first name


Open a legends screen when in fortress mode. Compatible with exportlegends.


Sets available points at the embark screen to the specified number. Eg. points 1000000 would allow you to buy everything, or points 0 would make life quite difficult.


Reports the current time: date, clock time, month, and season. Also reports location: z-level, cursor position, window size, and mouse location.


A two-stage script: pref-adjust clear removes preferences from all dwarves, and pref-adjust inserts an ‘ideal’ set which is easy to satisfy:

Feb Idashzefon likes wild strawberries for their vivid red color,
fisher berries for their round shape, prickle berries for their
precise thorns, plump helmets for their rounded tops, prepared meals,
plants, drinks, doors, thrones, tables and beds. When possible, she
prefers to consume wild strawberries, fisher berries, prickle
berries, plump helmets, strawberry wine, fisher berry wine, prickle
berry wine, and dwarven wine.


Sets preferences for mooding to include a weapon type, equipment type, and material. If you also wish to trigger a mood, see strangemood.

Valid options:

show:show preferences of all units
c:clear preferences of selected unit
all:clear preferences of all units
axp:likes axes, breastplates, and steel
has:likes hammers, mail shirts, and steel
swb:likes short swords, high boots, and steel
spb:likes spears, high boots, and steel
mas:likes maces, shields, and steel
xbh:likes crossbows, helms, and steel
pig:likes picks, gauntlets, and steel
log:likes long swords, gauntlets, and steel
dap:likes daggers, greaves, and steel

Feel free to adjust the values as you see fit, change the has steel to platinum, change the axp axes to great axes, whatnot.


Makes item appear on the table, like in adventure mode shops. Arguments: -a or --all for all items.


If called in dwarf mode, makes DF immediately saves the game by setting a flag normally used in seasonal auto-save.


Show or modify the populations of animals in the region.


region-pops list [pattern]:
 Lists encountered populations of the region, possibly restricted by pattern.
region-pops list-all [pattern]:
 Lists all populations of the region.
region-pops boost <TOKEN> <factor>:
 Multiply all populations of TOKEN by factor. If the factor is greater than one, increases the population, otherwise decreases it.
region-pops boost-all <pattern> <factor>:
 Same as above, but match using a pattern acceptable to list.
region-pops incr <TOKEN> <factor>:
 Augment (or diminish) all populations of TOKEN by factor (additive).
region-pops incr-all <pattern> <factor>:
 Same as above, but match using a pattern acceptable to list.


Set the age of the selected dwarf to 20 years. Useful if valuable citizens are getting old, or there are too many babies around...


Sets stress to -1,000,000; the normal range is 0 to 500,000 with very stable or very stressed dwarves taking on negative or greater values respectively. Applies to the selected unit, or use remove-stress -all to apply to all units.


Sets the wear on all items in your fort to zero.


Repeatedly calls a lua script at the specified interval.

This allows neat background changes to the function of the game, especially when invoked from an init file. For detailed usage instructions, use repeat -help.

Usage examples:

repeat -name jim -time delay -timeUnits units -printResult true -command [ printArgs 3 1 2 ]
repeat -time 1 -timeUnits months -command [ multicmd cleanowned scattered x; clean all ] -name clean

The first example is abstract; the second will regularly remove all contaminants and worn items from the game.

-name sets the name for the purposes of cancelling and making sure you don’t schedule the same repeating event twice. If not specified, it’s set to the first argument after -command. -time delay -timeUnits units; delay is some positive integer, and units is some valid time unit for dfhack.timeout(delay,timeUnits,function). -command [ ... ] specifies the command to be run.


Run setfps <number> to set the FPS cap at runtime, in case you want to watch combat in slow motion or something.


Show syndromes affecting units and the remaining and maximum duration, along with (optionally) substantial detail on the effects.

Use one or more of the following options:

help:Show the help message
showall:Show units even if not affected by any syndrome
showeffects:Show detailed effects of each syndrome
 Show effects that only change the look of the unit
selected:Show selected unit
dwarves:Show dwarves
livestock:Show livestock
wildanimals:Show wild animals
hostile:Show hostiles (e.g. invaders, thieves, forgotten beasts etc)
world:Show all defined syndromes in the world
export:export:<filename> sends output to the given file, showing all syndromes affecting each unit with the maximum and present duration.


Wakes up sleeping units, cancels breaks and stops parties either everywhere, or in the burrows given as arguments. In return, adds bad thoughts about noise, tiredness and lack of protection. Also, the units with interrupted breaks will go on break again a lot sooner. The script is intended for emergencies, e.g. when a siege appears, and all your military is partying.


Create an infinite magma or water source or drain on a tile. For more complex commands, try the liquids plugin.

This script registers a map tile as a liquid source, and every 12 game ticks that tile receives or remove 1 new unit of flow based on the configuration.

Place the game cursor where you want to create the source (must be a flow-passable tile, and not too high in the sky) and call:

source add [magma|water] [0-7]

The number argument is the target liquid level (0 = drain, 7 = source).

To add more than 1 unit everytime, call the command again on the same spot.

To delete one source, place the cursor over its tile and use source delete. To remove all existing sources, call source clear.

The list argument shows all existing sources.


source add water     - water source
source add magma 7   - magma source
source add water 0   - water drain


spawnunit RACE CASTE creates a unit of the given race and caste at the cursor, by wrapping modtools/create-unit. Run spawnunit help for more options.


Use at the embark screen to embark with the specified number of dwarves. Eg. startdwarf 500 would lead to a severe food shortage and FPS issues, while startdwarf 10 would just allow a few more warm bodies to dig in. The number must be 7 or greater.


Somewhere between a “mod” and a “fps booster”, with a small impact on vanilla gameplay. It mostly helps prevent undead cascades in the caverns, where constant combat leads to hundreds of undead roaming the caverns and destroying your FPS.

With this script running, all undead that have been on the map for one month gradually decay, losing strength, speed, and toughness. After six months, they collapse upon themselves, never to be reanimated.

Usage: starvingdead (start|stop)


For dumping items inside cages. Will mark selected items for dumping, then a dwarf may come and actually dump them (or you can use autodump).


list:display the list of all cages and their item content on the console
items:dump items in the cage, excluding stuff worn by caged creatures
weapons:dump equipped weapons
armor:dump everything worn by caged creatures (including armor and clothing)
all:dump everything in the cage, on a creature or not

Without further arguments, all commands work on all cages and animal traps on the map. With the here argument, considers only the in-game selected cage (or the cage under the game cursor). To target only specific cages, you can alternatively pass cage IDs as arguments:

stripcaged weapons 25321 34228


Similar to fastdwarf, per-creature.

To make any creature superfast, target it ingame using ‘v’ and:

superdwarf add

Other options available: del, clear, list.

This script also shortens the ‘sleeping’ and ‘on break’ periods of targets.


Teleports a unit to given coordinates. Examples:

teleport -showunitid:
 prints unitid beneath cursor
teleport -showpos:
 prints coordinates beneath cursor
teleport -unit 1234 -x 56 -y 115 -z 26:
 teleports unit 1234 to 56,115,26


Toggle between all possible positions where the idlers count can be placed.


Print various properties of the selected item.


Toggle between displaying/not displaying liquid depth as numbers.


Undesignates building base materials for dumping.


Unsuspend jobs in workshops, on a one-off basis. See autounsuspend for regular use.


A script to extend the item or unit viewscreen with additional information including a custom description of each item (when available), and properties such as material statistics, weapon attacks, armor effectiveness, and more.

The associated script item-descriptions.lua supplies custom descriptions of items. Individual descriptions can be added or overridden by a similar script raw/scripts/more-item-descriptions.lua. Both work as sparse lists, so missing items simply go undescribed if not defined in the fallback.


If any (live) units are starving, very thirsty, or very drowsy, the game will be paused and a warning shown and logged to the console. Use with the repeat command for regular checks.

Use warn-starving all to display a list of all problematic units.


Prints a map of the local weather, or with arguments clear, rain, and snow changes the weather.