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This article is about the current version of DF.
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Every respectable dwarven fortress has a developed (and occupied) catacombs system.

Burial receptacles are containers for deceased dwarves and pets that are used to store their corpses and other remains. Somewhat confusingly, they have different names depending on the material used to build them, but thankfully they all function identically and all are produced with the Burial Receptacle (n) option via the build menu.

Name Materials used
Coffin Stone, Glass
Casket Wood
Sarcophagus Metal

[edit] Usage

After the coffin is built, an area must be designated to accept it. This is done with the b-n keys. Once this is done, the player can access the coffin's building menu (q) to allow it to be used for burial (it defaults to No), as well as whether it should be used for citizens and/or pets (the default for the latter can be changed in d_init.txt). A burial receptacle is in use when the message, "This is the resting place of __________", is displayed, and it is possible to view its contents via the View Items in Buildings option, accessed with t.

If the player wishes to ensure a dwarf is buried in a particular spot, then they need to create a tomb from any burial building, assigning said tomb to the dwarf in question. It is important to note that the player cannot assign a burial receptacle to non-citizens, as well as already dead dwarves, even if they do not yet have a coffin already assigned to them. The only way to bury pets, caravan guards, and other dwarves is to use the "Use for Burial" option. This will cause the burial receptacle to be automatically assigned to a dwarf/pet as soon as the corpse is seen dead by another dwarf. (An announcement that they are missing is not sufficient. If the body is in an out-of-the-way place, station a squad in your military next to the corpse and wait for the announcement that the body has been found before expecting a corpse to be buried.)

To get a non-citizen into a particular burial receptacle, make sure that no other coffins are available for burial and ensure that the desired dwarf is next in line for burial. If said dwarf has already been buried, simply deconstruct the old coffin and that dwarf will be first in line for a new one. (Deconstructing a coffin will not destroy the remains inside.)

[edit] Advantages

It is not required to bury the dead; the player may also choose to build a memorial. One can even simply haul dwarven remains to a corpse stockpile, throw them into magma, or leave them to rot where they fell, though this has several serious consequences - a dwarf viewing the unburied body of any sentient species will receive a horrified thought. Friends and relatives of the deceased will receive unhappy thoughts if their loved ones remain unburied, especially if they decay (or burn) away, and miasma will be generated if corpses rot inside the fortress. Particularly troubled souls may decide to come back for revenge.

[edit] Bugs

  • Dwarves may insist on assigning a coffin, even when there are no remains left to bury. This can prevent you from burying the recently deceased until all the long lost caravanners have empty coffins of their own.
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