Dwarf Fortress Log #3: Resources Overview

February 4, 2022

Let's take a look what resources we currently have available on the map.

Below Ground

Stone & Soil

stone and soil on the map

Clay is used to make earthenware and is the only useful type of soil on the map. Peat unfortunately cannot be used as fuel, unlike in real life.

On the map we have many available types of stone. I marked those which are lava-proof – something that will be relevant later on once we get to making proper use of our volcano – and noted their vanilla color.


In the tile pack marble and obsidian have noticably different styles of constructions and furniture than other stones. Obsidian especially seems like a particularly interesting looking stone for constructions of castles and fortresses. Obsidian, followed by marble, are also the highest value stones on the map.

styles of stone in Meph tileset

Marble is a flux stone, which means it can be used as the necessary component in the process of making steel and pig iron. It is something to keep in mind, although we have no source of iron on the map so this particular usage might be limited. Another way to utilize it is in creation of parchment.


ore on the map

Using dfhack, we can find out that (not counting adamantine that we won't be coming after for a very long time yet) there are only two ores on the map.

Tetrahedrite is a source of copper and silver. Silver is the best material for crafting blunt weapons thanks to its high density. Copper is used in many alloys, including billon, which can be used to extract higher value out of two tetrahedrite nuggets by smelting them together. Other than being a reasonably valuable material for furniture and decorations, billon serves no particular function.

The only use of bismuthinite is an alloy called bismuth bronze. It's more valuable than regular bronze but otherwise with identital properties. To make this alloy, we need bismuth, tin and coper, while regular bronze requires only tin and copper. As we have no source of tin on the map, we'd need to import it, either as tin bars or raw cassiterite, to be able to have some use out of it. The unprocessed cassiterite ore can also be used as a glaze for earthenware and is likely cheaper to purchase, making it the preferred option.

Above Ground


trees on the map

There's a variety of trees available on the map. All of them have wood in various shades of brown.


However, the vanilla colors are not consistent with the shades in this particular tile pack. Here is the comparison of available wood colors on the map, including the orange wood we brought with us:

shades of brown in Meph tileset

The slight variations in color are something to keep in mind as we plan out the future aesthetics of the outpost. For now the first buildings will be constructed from the most available tree – willow – and the furniture will be crafted from orange and ash wood, as they have the same color and will provide some contrast to the lighter willow planks.

Any cut down trees will grow back eventually on their own, and they will also belong to embark's initial set. Many of the trees are best left alone though, as they are a source of food and drink. We have access to two types of tree fruits (apples, persimmons) and three types of tree seeds (gingko seed, hazelnut, chestnut), all of which are edible raw and cookable. The fruits are also brewable into alcohol: persimmon wine and apple cider. Tree produce can be gathered with a stepladder in a designated plant gathering zone.


shrubs on the map

The embark site comes bundles with many ground plants, and we also brough some non-native seeds with us, which I marked with a star on the list below. Caution will have to be taken as to not lose the non-native seeds to the cooking of the plants.


Garden plants:

From the above, barley, quinoa and finger millet can be milled into flour which has infinite shelf-life, unlike raw plants.

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, our little group strongly prefers ones made from quality ingredients. The two most valuable crops that allow for brewing of their produce are currently not available to us – we might eventually look into sending an adventurer on the quest to acquire some sun berry seeds to be able to offer the best possible beverages to those brave souls who decide to rest at Adventurervault. For now, all plants we have available have the same value for the purpose of brewing, except for rat weed and prickle berry which have exceptionally low quality.


The current animal population of Adventurervault consists of a horse, a yak bull, a bull, and a cow. Cows will likely become our main source of animal produce such as milk, leather, bones and tallow. As the horse is female, it will also serve to give milk until we have the cows to replace it in this role and leave it to be butchered.

Some Mistakes

Unfortunately, it turns out I haven't prepared our settlers for the journey carefully enough. From the seeds they brought, a few turned out to be unusuable in temperate climate, such as peppers and cotton that require a tropical biome. With cotton unfortunately out of the picture, the only above ground plant suitable for producing oil and growing in our climate is hemp, of which we have no seeds to speak of. This means that we won't be able to use oil for production of soap, and we'll have to rely on tallow instead. Fortunately, there is an alternative thread-producing plant that naturally spawned on the map – rope reed – so we'll be able to eventually make clothing and ropes.

When it comes to animals, I plain old forgot to bring hens and cats. Cats are a much worse thing to forget – vermin might become a big problem in food stockpiles while there is nothing to hunt them down. Therefore, it will be our first priority to purchase one from a caravan as soon as possible.

Alright – knowing all our resources, let's think about what we want to do first!