In the newest versions of Dwarf Fortress, vampires have been added to fortress mode. I’ve had a good few months of playing with them now and have some tactics for detecting and isolating them.
What are vampires?
They are essentially identical to any of your other dwarves, they appear the same, they have professions, skills and they also have relationships. However they don’t eat, drink or have excessive mood swings, unless they’re drinking one of your dwarves of course :). They will target your dwarves while they’re alone and asleep.
The first sign of a vampire appearing in your fortress will be dwarves popping up dead and drained of blood, sometimes going missing for weeks beforehand. The vampires will appear with different migration waves or sometimes slip in from the wilds between migration waves, sadly there is no obvious way to detect them. When the bodies of your dwarves are discovered you will generally find there are no witnesses unless the vampire was caught in the act, but even if caught in the act they won’t appear as hostile but either finish the job or run away leaving your dwarve injured and low on blood.
So at the moment I have discovered vampires by paying attention to their targets, due to their nature they will usually have some sort of military ability and so if you pick your squads based on their skills then they will end up in a squad in a barracks. The dwarves that will then start to pop up dead will tend to be members of your military which helps to narrow down who is and isn’t a vampire. You then have a couple of options to identify a vampire within a squad;
- Look through the Bio information of each dwarf and look for tell-tale signs such as, enjoyed slaughter recently, can’t get through the day without alcohol but can’t recall the last time they had any, lots of previous connections or groups they are associated with. Above is a screenshot of a vampire
- Lock them all in the room and watch as each one gets thirsty, the one that doesn’t need drink will never get thirsty or hungry.
How do you deal with a vampire?
Vampires are an issue when left unchecked in your fortress, but are they all bad? Well they don’t use any resource and can be skilled fighters. My advice is to assign them to their own squad and then lock them in their own barracks as shown in the image to the left. This way you have a squad who don’t require anything but will always be on hand in the event of a siege or invasion.
Hopefully this helps! Leave a comment if you have any other tips or feedback. There is a really detailed post about vampires in Dwarf fortress on the Dwarf Fortress wiki here.