Each character gets a crafting profession. These won’t be in-depth or have any real effect on combat; they’re just a way to keep track of how you can contribute to the fortress. You can help out with tasks you’re not proficient in, but you won’t be nearly as efficient. You get your first profession at level one, and you can either add a new one or improve an old one every five levels thereafter (levels six, eleven, and sixteen).

Mechanically, a crafting profession check is a stat check with a DC that will probably be around 10 for normal tasks, with low penalties for failure. DCs as high as 20 will be quite rare. Each level of a profession adds +5 to that check. If you think a craft should use a different stat, definitely propose that. If there’s a crafting profession not listed below that you think should exist, definitely propose that too.

Your choices are:

  • Miner – Con.
  • Carpenter – Str (lumberjacking, making things out of wood, and reinforcing tunnels).
  • Mason – Str or Dex (making things out of stone, turning dug-out areas into living spaces).
  • Blacksmith – Str or Dex (metal goods, including weapons and armor).
  • Mechanic – Int (creating, and assembling traps and mechanisms of all sorts. Including crossbows, catapults, spike pits, elevators, pumps, etc.).
  • Administrator – Cha (keeps track of supplies and any immigrants you may be sent).
  • Lore Master – Wis (knowledge of Beasts and other Humanoids).

Making Things

To use a crafting profession, you must spend craft points and then make the following check: d20 + stat mod + (5 * profession level). If you fail by more than five points on your roll, you lose all craft points spent. If you fail by less than five, you only lose half. If you are creating an item of any sort, you may also require specific materials (see below).

Craft points (in this particular conception) represent hours of work. You save up enough, decide what you want to do or make, and then magically that’s what you’ve been working on the entire time. Characters may collaborate on projects, which is represented by one or more characters donating craft points to the character making the skill check.

For each day they spend at the fortress, adventuring characters (PCs) gain (class level) * (equipment modifier) craft points. NPCs act as though they have one class level for this purpose, if you survive to acquire immigrants. Additionally, you acquire 500 * (level required) craft points when you gain an item creation feat, which do not include a spellcasting requirement in this setting (for dwarves, anyway).

When making items, you spend craft points equal to 1/10th of the item’s cost in GP. Magic items do not have xp costs. Other common tasks include:

  • 1 point per 5×5x5 section of rock. Higher DCs will apply for very hard rock types. This creates stone resources (and metal, if you’ve found an ore vein).
  • 2 points per tree cleared (This creates wood resources).
  • Wooden item creation.
  • 1 point per 5×5 area of tunnel or cave reinforced (required only in unstable areas).
  • Stone item creation. Some rocks are as useful for weapon-making as metal.
  • 1 point per 5×5x5 area of unworked stone turned into worked stone. (see Burrowers).
  • 50 points to make a basic workshop, which add one to your equipment modifier.
  • Metal item creation.
  • 5 points per ingot smelted.
  • Mechanism creation.
  • All craft points donated to helping other players are given a 50% markup. (e.g. You spend 10 craft points to donate 15 points towards a project).
  • 10 points per day to direct NPC dwarves to accomplish a specific task.
Lore master
  • You can spend points to find out information (system-wise, setting-wise, or both) about the other inhabitants of Mithia, most likely your enemies. Costs to be determined on an ad-hoc basis.


A lot of crafting involves the making of stuff. Materials are things you make stuff out of. As you dig deep into the earth, you’ll come across all kinds of neat rocks and metal ores. We’ll probably just keep track of this in terms of what materials you have access to, and not think so much about quantity. So as you uncover neat new metals (and rocks, and kinds of wood, and so on), that will expand your crafting options. It’s likely that you’ll need superior materials to make masterwork items, and to make very strong magic items you’ll need better stuff still. I’ll give you the rundown on the mechanical effects of materials as you discover them.


Dwarves and Fortresses SamBurnstein