Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Dressing up the doctors

So Nutscaves' population has been getting out of hand (last I checked we were at 174 dwarves) because of the population cap bug. I might have to round up some of the more useless citizens for magma treatment or spike trap testing soon. Until then, I've found the need to specialize their duties a bit further.

I already had the following two "castes" :
  1. "Reserves". The red shirts. They do all the dangerous (or physically intense) jobs except mining and architecture. They also walk around in the best armor and weapons I can give them. If something attacks the fort, they'll either kill it, or hope to die before the more skilled laborers.
  2. "Explorers". The most promising miners and woodcutters in the fortress. Their jobs are sometimes more dangerous than the reserves. They are guarded by the reserves where necessary, but they can't wear armor due to the conflict with wearing their mining pick or axe at the same time. They tend to be naked as their clothing rots off of them.
Today I had to add ~1.5 new castes, and adjust the assignments for the "skilled" labor force slightly:

3. "On Call". These skilled laborers have time-sensitive jobs that require their immediate attention, whenever Armok needs it done. They are assigned special bedrooms nearer the main stairwell. They are disallowed from doing any hauling, military practice, or even rescuing of other dwarves. Dwarves in this "caste" are:
  • The baron, for his meetings with diplomats. Diplomats risk getting killed, the longer they hang around in my fort looking at stuff. I had a diplomat go down into the tunnel where I was removing floodwater today, and get sucked into a whirlpool my pump was making, and nearly drown himself. A pool of blood remains there to shame the baron, for not giving this guy a meeting sooner.
  • The chief medical dwarf, because hospital jobs don't get queued up properly without his attention, even if the jobs are for other doctors.
  • All the other doctors, because a patient who's bleeding out or has a broken bone just cannot wait for anything. Including Urist McDoctor, storing that toy boat in a bin.
  • The broker, because I don't want him messing around when I need to do a last-minute almost-slipped-my-mind trade before the caravan leaves.
  • The architects, because architecture is a very time-consuming job, and it can potentially grind the function of an entire project to a halt if it's not prioritized. When I want a pump or bridge built, I want it built right now, not next year when the architect stops hauling seeds around the mill.
  • The tanners, because no animal skins (or any other products of butchery) are allowed to rot in my fortress. We respect our animals and we find all their parts useful and delicious. Except cartilage.
  • The manager, because when I make a big work order, I want it to go out to the shops within the next couple of weeks. Not the next couple of months.
  • The doctors additionally make up a separate sub-caste to make them easily identifiable, so that I can quickly assign them to the hospital burrow if it gets flooded with patients. (Hasn't happened yet in recent times, but it's best to always be prepared for emergencies.)
The rest of the dwarves (the "skilled", but not highly time-sensitive, labor force) have additionally been changed to include minimal military training in their schedule. And along with their weapon of choice, they carry light bucklers and wear any leather or bone armor that weighs only one urist (if it weighs the same as a piece of clothing or less, and could save their life, why not!) If they have no work to do currently, and they are not at a Novice level in a military skill, then they report to a barracks to train for a week. I actually had to build some extra barracks for the first time ever, because they were getting much too crowded at this population level.

Being at a Novice level in a fighting skill seems to be a whole lot better than no training at all:

  • It greatly increases a dwarf's chances that (s)he'll live when attacked
  • If I have to draft a Novice or better dwarf to get him/her to move, or to fight something when cornered, then (s)he won't get unhappy about it.
  • Dwarves with some martial skill will take joy in slaughter, if it comes down to it.
Also, I added the bucklers specifically because I read about how many incoming attacks they stop--more than 50% in this version! Bucklers only weigh one urist, so why not carry them?

In summary, Nutscaves is not going to go down easily to anything but a tantrum spiral!

So, here is the most vital question I am currently pondering (...). Since my doctors and other "On Call"'s aren't allowed outside or near any unsafe areas of the fortress, and since they're in separate "military squads" which are not allowed to train (titled The Bent Boats for non-doctors, and The Constructs of Healing for doctors)--I can set their "uniforms" to anything I want. In addition to the usual pieces of clothing:
  • dresses
  • shirts
  • trousers
  • vests
  • loincloths
  • hoods
  • cloaks
--I also have some access to a few more exotic items:
  • turbans
  • capes
  • skirts
  • coats (my civilization can make them!)
I was considering giving the doctors coats, even though they weigh a lot, since it would be cute. So the terribly important question in any thriving fortress: I wonder what plain-clothes uniforms my doctors and other “On Calls” ought to wear...


Tantrum spiral: Dwarves throwing tantrums sometimes kill (or injure) other dwarves or beloved pets. Death causes great unhappiness for family members, friends, witnesses, and/or pet owners. Great unhappiness leads to more tantrums. Thus, tantrums lead to more tantrums--a tantrum spiral. Tantrum spirals are a common way to lose a fortress.

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