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IDProjectCategoryView StatusDate SubmittedLast Update
0001180Dwarf FortressDwarf Mode -- Buildings, Generalpublic2010-04-14 22:122018-08-28 03:56
Assigned ToFootkerchief 
PlatformPCOSXPOS Version
Product Version0.31.03 
Target VersionFixed in Version 
Summary0001180: Skeletons of sentients and tame animals can't be "butchered" into usable bones
Descriptionmaybe I just fail to give the right order, but only corpses are butchered, no skeletons. It's also not an issue of time - the order gets canceled despite skeletons being nearby. Do I have to dump them right in the WS? What skeletons should, for example, be butcherable?
Steps To Reproducekill an animal or humanoid, forbid till rotten to skeleton, unforbid, haul to refuse pile near butcher, order butchering
Additional InformationI have auto butcher on
Tagschop, decay, Intentional/Expected?
Attached Files

- Relationships
related to 0000874new Dwarves refuse to butcher some corpses (buzzards in particular) 
related to 0002377new Corpse pieces that are non-processable for ethical reasons don't disappear 

-  Notes
Logical2u (manager)
2010-04-14 22:14

If you butcher a skeleton, what do you expect to get out of it? Certainly you won't get any meat...
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-04-14 22:54

Butchering is supposed to break them up into usable bones.

Do you have the "Dwarves gather refuse from outside" order turned on?
kaefermelder (reporter)
2010-04-15 07:18

Yes, i have "Dwarves gather refuse from outside" order turned on, all other gather/save too.. Plus, the skeletons are inside.

I expect my butcher to do [i]anything[/i] with skeletons. Or [i]someone else[/i] to do anything with them ;)

What precise order do _you_ use? q-a-b or something else?
Logical2u (manager)
2010-04-15 07:42

I didn't know about the new "Butcher a skeleton" feature, in my defence.
Draco18s (reporter)
2010-04-15 08:51

@kaefermelder: Use HTML tags. Then you can have your italics ;)
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-04-15 09:05

kaefermelder: unless a burrow assignment is keeping the dwarves from getting to the workshop and/or skeleton, it sounds like you're doing everything right. I would guess this is related to 0000874.
kaefermelder (reporter)
2010-04-15 09:41
edited on: 2010-04-15 14:27

Yeah those italics were just jokingly ;)

I think I have solved this one - only skeletons from wild animals you have hunted or were killed by your traps can be butchered. Anything else, tame animals, pets, goblins, kobolds, mountain gnomes; sentients? can not be butchered/processed and will remain forever in 31.03.

Now the question is if that is intended - elven bone bolts were always a bit creepy to me, but also very cool :)

derigo (reporter)
2010-05-03 02:37
edited on: 2010-05-03 02:40

I have a big update for this:

The problem is the dwarven ethic (defined in entity_default.txt) forbids this behavior.

I found this out because I created an evil playable race with a different ethic, and was playing. After some elves attacked, the butchers happily went to town butchering the elves.

Here's my ethics on this subject for that race:

So it looks like this isn't really a bug, so much as a change. Its a little strange, because what exactly are we supposed to do with all those goblin corpses? (I usually throw them into the magma)

'Sapient' by the way, is defined by the CAN_LEARN tag in the creature definitions.

DoctorZuber (reporter)
2010-05-04 00:18

so... dwarven ethics have changed? Making goblin totems is bad now ?
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-05-04 00:56
edited on: 2010-05-04 00:58

Dwarves had MAKE_TROPHY_SAPIENT:SHUN in 40d as well, although the implementation of those ethics may have changed.

derigo (reporter)
2010-05-04 01:33
edited on: 2010-05-04 01:35

I think the

ethics have now been applied to butchery in general. Without butchery, you get no bones or skulls. I don't think the 'MAKE_TROPHY' ethics are involved because despite having


my evil race will not butcher its own dead.

All of this is somewhat difficult or rather time-consuming to test, as entity definition changes require a new world to be generated to take effect. Then of course, you have to progress a fortress far enough along to get sentient enemy corpses.

Langdon (reporter)
2010-06-14 05:59

I'm not sure but I believe partial skeletons and body parts will eventually decay to bones on their own without butchery. I have several goblin limbs thrown up on unreachable cliff ledges above my fort - they've been there for years, and I've noticed the oldest of them are now bones. The rotting process takes years though, which may not be intended.

Also, skeletons in indoor refuse piles might not undergo this process (or maybe I'm just too impatient to wait).

A solution would be to move the skeleton disassembly process under MAKE_TROPHY instead of KILL, perhaps separating it from the Butcher job under the butcher shop.
kwieland (reporter)
2010-07-14 07:32

Making things out of your enemies bones is a reasonable dwarf thing to do. It also makes sense for "child snatched" dwarfs to receive a proper resting place. It doesn't make sense to butcher goblins, but isn't that what the NOT_BUTCHERABLE tag was all about, or is it gone?
Footkerchief (manager)
2010-07-14 07:38

It doesn't make sense to butcher goblins, but isn't that what the NOT_BUTCHERABLE tag was all about, or is it gone?

It's still present, but it's always been used for creatures for which butchering is basically impossible, e.g. magma men. You may be thinking of the BUTCHERABLE_NONSTANDARD tag, which was used for creatures that are theoretically butcherable but wouldn't be butchered by dwarves (e.g. goblins, kobolds, etc). BUTCHERABLE_NONSTANDARD was removed when ethics got added.
kwieland (reporter)
2010-07-15 03:56

I just had a werewolf get taken down by my dogs right after embark. They will not butcher the corpse. Is that right? Upload the save?
tatterdemalian (reporter)
2010-09-04 10:41

Maybe there needs to be a separation between "butcher corpse" and "butcher skeleton." Technically both are desecration of the sapient dead, but I can see why one would be illegal (to keep sapients' meat out of the larder) and the other wouldn't (to at least make something useful from the bones). Maybe there could be a distinction between sapients that are members of the dwarves' own culture, and that of hostile cultures.

Or maybe there should be an easier way to ban sapient corpses/body parts from refuse pits. It would be nice if there was a more convenient way to distinguish sapients from non-sapients besides searching through the ini files.
dree12 (reporter)
2010-09-04 18:29

Meh, if there was, dwarves wouldn't do either. It'll just be adding a new ethic, breaking save-compat, thus becoming a feature suggestion. Because seriously, do you use human bones?
Nidor (reporter)
2010-09-19 20:04

Hmm, so are Goblins butcherable or no right now? I am using an unmodded game yet I noticed several "Masterwork Goblin <organ> roasts" in my kitchen stocks, and on checking my kitchen, I seen goblin hearts being used to the prepared meals. I have seen many goblins thrown on the corpse pile untouched, but never seen one taken to the shops.

Not sure how to post saves yet, but got a image host with a screen. [^]
Malibu Stacey (reporter)
2010-10-05 03:37

"Because seriously, do you use human bones?"
In 40D if a race attacked my fort, their corpses were fair game after the ambush or siege had been taken care of. I can't remember whether that included Humans & Dwarves (don't see why not, enemies are enemies regardless of your own preconceptions & squeamishness) but you would certainly get Goblin, Kobold & Elven corpses decaying to a pile of usable bones if left lying around for a while (whether in a refuse stockpile or not). Even your own Dwarves corpses would decay to bones if left unburied for a while but AFAIK you were unable to use those bones for anything other than burial.

If corpses now decaying into skeletons leaves the skeletons unusable for anything other than lowering your FPS, unless you wait the 10+ years in the hope they eventually turn themselves into usable bones, that's a pretty obvious bug.
kwieland (reporter)
2010-10-26 09:25

In 40d any dwarves that died were treated as "one of your own". Mine were always given a proper burial. I don't think you'd have been able to use the bones.
kwieland (reporter)
2011-04-06 14:06

Foot, this is related to the bug just reported here: 0004459.

Basically if you kill (via military, not hunting?) a hostile but otherwise normally butcherable animal you cannot butcher it. I had a siege arrive with lots of horses. I trapped several, tried to tame and butcher them only to find out they were still hostile. So I killed them anyway. The butcher wouldn't butcher the corpse.

I've never been able to butcher a hostile skeleton (no mater the age), either. I miss goblin bone bolts!
Footkerchief (manager)
2011-04-06 14:52

I trapped several, tried to tame and butcher them only to find out they were still hostile. So I killed them anyway. The butcher wouldn't butcher the corpse.

Did you get the corpses into a refuse stockpile first? That seems to be a necessary step.
kwieland (reporter)
2011-04-07 10:15
edited on: 2011-05-03 20:37

Sorry, the above post is in error.

With the next invasion, I had more horses to kill. After the horses were killed, I ordered their corpse to be dumped. (no refuse stockpile) I built a butcher shop right next to the garbage dump and the horses (once unforbidden) were butchered. So it was probably a distance thing. That is strange, though, since I've had butchers traipse halfway across a map to get a corpse to butcher before, and the other one was <30 x/y and <5 z levels away. Again, probably a distance thing.

Footkerchief (manager)
2011-04-07 11:39

I've seen erratic behavior with that before. If you get a save that demonstrates inconsistent behavior, it would warrant a report.
kwieland (reporter)
2011-05-03 20:37

New update. Sometimes dwarves will butcher parts of goblins. I'm not sure exactly what parts, but not the corpse. I noticed this when I had FUN and ended up with a bunch of goblin bones in my bone stockpile. For instance, you'll see XYZ goblin bones [4]. In my case I was making bone bolts. Once they get down to just one XYZ goblin bone, the dwarves wouldn't recognize it as a bone and wouldn't do anything with it. Any way to explain that? This save ( [^] ) has goblin bones and you can check the stocks for goblin bolts (z=147 (F1 hotkey), unforbid them, process them).

Oh, and I've waited 10+ years. The skeletons are never useable.
Drazinononda (reporter)
2011-05-04 14:45

This still happens in 31.25: I lost a couple tame stray dogs to wild animals in a recent fort, and my butcher refused to disassemble the bodies or skeletons in any way. I was, however, able to slaughter a war dog to get leather for a strange mood in that same fortress, and all other butchery worked fine.
Quietust (reporter)
2011-05-10 13:51
edited on: 2011-05-10 13:52

It's been speculated that sentients only yield usable bones from the decay of severed body parts that don't contain any other non-rottable materials (i.e. cartilage, hair, feather, scale, nail, tooth, horn, hoof, shell, or chitin).

kwieland (reporter)
2011-05-10 22:16

That would make sense with what I've seen. Why the one bone left thing, though? That is sure bizarre.
Footkerchief (manager)
2014-01-27 21:33

The last bone thing is 0005816.
Frogging101 (reporter)
2014-11-24 16:33
edited on: 2014-11-24 16:36

Still a problem in 0.40.17. My butchers ignore tame animal and sentient skeletons in my refuse stockpile. It might make sense for ethics to forbid dwarves from breaking up sentient creatures' skeletons, but I have stuff like "Stray Yak Bull skeleton" in my stockpile, from when goblins came and killed my animals outside. It's still livestock. There's no reason my dwarves shouldn't be able to butcher it just because it didn't die at their hands.

Altaree (reporter)
2017-05-10 07:00

In 0.43.05 I changed my dwarf ethics to allow butchering sentients like I did in previous versions but it doesn't work.
FantasticDorf (reporter)
2017-06-18 01:28

Altree i posted what should have been a fix on the forums that in conjunction with your dead_dwarf=false dfhack script should render bodies from the corpse pile usable by modifying the corpse stockpile in dfhack (43.05-alpha0 has the stockpile manager) as to reject rotten items using [i] & [CTRL & X].

Without dead_dwarf=true being turned false, the stockpile manager will not even acknowledge that the contents ontop of it even exist hence why its a nessecary step before modifying the individual stockpile.

Forum reference: [^]

save: [^]

If it works for named usually off limits animal pets (as my forum post & save details) i don't see why it shouldn't work for sentients with names since your altered civilisation has the accessibility to go ahead and eat & work the materials.
Nilsou2 (reporter)
2017-08-19 13:08

Just to answer to FantasticDorf, i have notice that this workaround seems to NOT work with inteligent pet dead from other thing that slaughter.

It works for sentient, it seems to work for classic pet (i guess), but it doesn't works for both, at least in my test.

So i guess these two bug (this one and [^] ) are probably not exactly the same and interfer in a way or an other.
Robsoie (reporter)
2018-07-28 12:38
edited on: 2018-07-28 12:39

Having captured a bunch of beak dogs from raiding gobs pits , i had setup them outside my fort in order to be a 1st layer of defense for the incoming gob invasion to retaliate against my many raids.

It happened and to my disapointement the beak dogs didn't fought at all and let themselves get killed by the gobs.

Anyways after destroying the invaders with my military, my refuse stockpile was filled with beak dogs that i let with time decay into skeleton.
Good i thought as even if the creatures were a big disapointement as a weapon, those monsters could at least launch my bone crafting industry.

And how wrong i was, as they were considered tame after being captured and brought back to my fort this old bug is sadly still going on in 44.12.

FantasticDorf (reporter)
2018-08-28 03:56

This DFhack script which automatically applies dead_dwarf=true upon the death of a creature under some stringent rules to exclude your own player citizen creature race gets around this bug quite neatly.

However it will not affect creatures hidden from view such as the caverns that have already died before the script is activated. Sentient pets when slaughtered have their goods added to relevant stockpiles like normal animals with it on, along with sentients. You'd have to analyse the script-code to distinguish how it works.

(( [^] ))

Anecdotally beak dogs make better meat & egg animals than defensive ones without modding [TRAINABLE_WAR] on them, since they are pretty sizable & dangerous anyway @Robsoie.

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2010-04-14 22:12 kaefermelder New Issue
2010-04-14 22:14 Logical2u Note Added: 0003621
2010-04-14 22:54 Footkerchief Note Added: 0003624
2010-04-14 22:54 Footkerchief Issue Monitored: Footkerchief
2010-04-15 07:18 kaefermelder Note Added: 0003671
2010-04-15 07:42 Logical2u Note Added: 0003678
2010-04-15 08:51 Draco18s Note Added: 0003685
2010-04-15 09:05 Footkerchief Note Added: 0003694
2010-04-15 09:05 Footkerchief Relationship added child of 0000874
2010-04-15 09:41 kaefermelder Note Added: 0003702
2010-04-15 14:25 kaefermelder Note Edited: 0003702 View Revisions
2010-04-15 14:27 kaefermelder Note Edited: 0003702 View Revisions
2010-04-15 14:27 kaefermelder Note Edited: 0003702 View Revisions
2010-04-26 17:33 Footkerchief Tag Attached: Intentional?
2010-04-26 17:33 Footkerchief Summary no skeletons are butchered or processed => Skeletons of sentients and tame animals can't be "butchered" into usable bones
2010-05-03 02:37 derigo Note Added: 0005991
2010-05-03 02:40 derigo Note Edited: 0005991 View Revisions
2010-05-03 18:43 clamity Issue Monitored: clamity
2010-05-04 00:18 DoctorZuber Note Added: 0006075
2010-05-04 00:56 Footkerchief Note Added: 0006076
2010-05-04 00:58 Footkerchief Note Edited: 0006076 View Revisions
2010-05-04 01:33 derigo Note Added: 0006077
2010-05-04 01:35 derigo Note Edited: 0006077 View Revisions
2010-06-14 02:39 MrOblong Issue Monitored: MrOblong
2010-06-14 05:59 Langdon Note Added: 0008404
2010-07-12 12:03 Footkerchief Tag Renamed Intentional? => Intentional/Expected?
2010-07-14 07:28 kwieland Issue Monitored: kwieland
2010-07-14 07:32 kwieland Note Added: 0010233
2010-07-14 07:38 Footkerchief Note Added: 0010235
2010-07-14 09:58 JZE Issue Monitored: JZE
2010-07-15 03:56 kwieland Note Added: 0010333
2010-07-20 15:24 Footkerchief Relationship added related to 0002377
2010-07-20 15:26 Footkerchief Relationship replaced related to 0000874
2010-09-04 10:41 tatterdemalian Note Added: 0012402
2010-09-04 18:29 dree12 Note Added: 0012413
2010-09-19 20:04 Nidor Note Added: 0012830
2010-09-20 05:02 Another Issue Monitored: Another
2010-09-20 05:03 Another Tag Attached: decay
2010-10-05 02:03 Vair Issue Monitored: Vair
2010-10-05 03:37 Malibu Stacey Note Added: 0013203
2010-10-26 08:58 Malibu Stacey Issue Monitored: Malibu Stacey
2010-10-26 09:25 kwieland Note Added: 0013526
2010-10-31 08:50 wtfer Tag Attached: chop
2011-02-16 14:42 jwest23 Issue Monitored: jwest23
2011-04-06 14:06 kwieland Note Added: 0017143
2011-04-06 14:52 Footkerchief Note Added: 0017145
2011-04-07 10:15 kwieland Note Added: 0017163
2011-04-07 11:39 Footkerchief Note Added: 0017170
2011-05-03 20:37 kwieland Note Added: 0017617
2011-05-03 20:37 kwieland Note Edited: 0017163 View Revisions
2011-05-04 14:45 Drazinononda Note Added: 0017627
2011-05-05 17:13 Naros Issue Monitored: Naros
2011-05-10 13:51 Quietust Note Added: 0017685
2011-05-10 13:52 Quietust Note Edited: 0017685 View Revisions
2011-05-10 22:16 kwieland Note Added: 0017688
2011-05-29 09:35 Seraph Issue Monitored: Seraph
2012-05-19 03:43 Morrolan Issue Monitored: Morrolan
2014-01-27 21:33 Footkerchief Note Added: 0024453
2014-07-27 00:35 Multipartite Issue Monitored: Multipartite
2014-11-24 16:33 Frogging101 Note Added: 0031157
2014-11-24 16:34 Frogging101 Note Edited: 0031157 View Revisions
2014-11-24 16:34 Frogging101 Issue Monitored: Frogging101
2014-11-24 16:36 Frogging101 Note Edited: 0031157 View Revisions
2014-11-24 21:49 Footkerchief Assigned To => Footkerchief
2014-11-24 21:49 Footkerchief Status new => confirmed
2017-05-10 07:00 Altaree Note Added: 0036513
2017-06-18 01:28 FantasticDorf Note Added: 0036620
2017-08-19 13:08 Nilsou2 Note Added: 0036700
2018-07-28 12:38 Robsoie Note Added: 0038644
2018-07-28 12:39 Robsoie Note Edited: 0038644 View Revisions
2018-08-25 20:03 HairyDude Issue Monitored: HairyDude
2018-08-28 03:56 FantasticDorf Note Added: 0038760

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