let's all get killed and eaten

by various authors

This LP originates from the Something Awful forums: Gemclod: let's all get killed and eaten

If you like this LP, you might want to take a look at other Dwarf Fortress LPs in the Let's Play Archive.


Dearest Munki,

I hope this letter may find you well... and preferably still at home. Please, do not, under any circumstances, travel to Frogtrampled now. I know I've spend the last few letters describing its beauty and trying to convince you to come. Those days are gone. It used to be a splendid place indeed, what with the boozefall and stuff, but you wouldn't like it now. Trust me. Its halls are empty, its engravings stripped of gems, its artifacts stolen, it's inhabitants dead. Eaten.

Except the seven of us. We're fleeing. Somewhere far, far away. Somewhere where it'll be safe. Somewhere where the forest beasts don't find us. Somewhere where we can hide from fear, in peace and harmony, living out our dreams.

I've already written about our dream, haven't I? I mean mine and Leperfish's? About the splendid Great Hall, several floors tall, with tall pillars, magnificent statues, windows made of the rarest gems, magma floor heating? It would be the best place to live – you could come and live with us too! And you know what? We still can do it. Yes, we've lost everything, but we will begin anew and this time it'll be grandiose. We've got a team of the best professionals and we'll do it. We'll build the Great Hall.

And I will be the Architect.

Sincerely yours,
Markus Cz. Orbsand

Welcome to Let's Play Dwarf Fortress: Gemclod.

What is Dwarf Fortress?
Dwarf Fortress is a freeware game that attempts to simulate a fantasy world full of adventure, perils, and dwarves. It has a couple of distinct game modes but we'll be playing Fortress Mode in which you take care of seven dwarven settlers and attempt to build a fortress while surviving against goblins, demons, magma, carp and general stupidity. It's essentially like The Settlers, only with more blood, vomit and flying bodyparts.

The game is notorious for its horrible learning curve, retarded interface, ability to grind even the newest computers to a halt, and – for some reason nobody really understands – being fun. Most of the fun comes from these two facts: (1) it relies heavily on procedural generation. Nothing is scripted in advance. The world you play in and all the events that happen are procedurally generated, and the different nations, wars, characters, gods, demons, landscapes etc. interact with the player with sometimes unpredictable results. And (2): tons of useless but fun features like weather, temperature, water flow, personalities for every dwarf, descriptions for every art object, demons posing as human diplomats, etc.

You can get the game here.

What is Gemclod?

Gemclod is the name of our dwarven fortress and also the name of this Let's Play. I dare say it is quite an unique LP, in the sense that it hasn't been written by a single person, not even by two or three people. Instead, Gemclod is the collective effort of dozens of contributors who have over the course of several months created a thrilling story rich in detail.

The game has been played by 13 people in turn - these "overseers" played one in-game year each, wrote their experiences with the game as a story divided into several "updates", and then passed the game to the next "overseer". Thus, an interesting and unpredictable story has been created which couldn't have been written by a single person.

But the collaboration doesn't end here. All of the dwarves in Gemclod - of which there have been a couple of hundreds - have been named after readers of the Let's Play. Some of these readers wrote "journals" from the point of view of their dwarves, retelling the events from the "official" updates or adding personal storylines to the overarching narrative. Others have drawn or painted pictures of the in-game events. Yet others have composed, sung and recorded songs about Gemclod.

All in all, Gemclod has about 250 "overseer" updates, about the same number of fan-made journals and pictures, and 19 pieces of music. It is indeed an epic! We all hope you will enjoy it as much as we've enjoyed making it.

How to read this LP?

First: this is a gigantic LP. Do not try to read it in a single afternoon – it's probably physically impossible, and you would only rush it and ruin the fun. Instead, approach it as you would a novel. Read slowly, look at all the images and notice the details – they are worth it! Gemclod has several great characters that will slowly develop over the course of the whole LP. Pay attention to their stories and you'll be rewarded.

Unfortunately, there is a huge amount of text and I know some readers will want to read "only the important bits", skipping additional colour or "minor storylines". I've tried to arrange the archive in such a way so that you can easily choose how much you want to read.

Throughout the LP, I'm using the pager (the grey bar that says "Previous page"/"Next page") to divide the updates to three blocks each. See the illustration on the right. The first block, between the first and the second pager, is the "official" update, as written by the overseer. Anything below this block is bonus content made by readers of the LP. However, I strongly recommend not to skip the bonus content altogether because many of the most memorable moments of the LP have been told through the reader-made "journals". In fact, there are events and characters presented here that have later been accepted as "canon" and incorporated into future overseer updates. If you skipped all bonus content, the LP would probably make no sense. So I've taken the liberty to help you here:

The second block is my personal selection of "the best of" the reader-made content. I recommend everyone to read these. The selection is skewed towards just a handful of dominant characters who all had interesting personal stories (mostly the overseers' characters) - I'm sure you'll enjoy reading their journals.

The third and last block is the rest. Make no mistake: these are very often great and entertaining "journals". They just happen to be from the point of view of those characters who have played only minor roles in the overarching story, and thus can be omitted without fear of the story making no sense. If you want a "lite" version of this LP, skip this last block. If you want the full Gemclod experience, by all means, read these!

Enjoy your stay in the world of dwarves!

- Markus_cz
- the LP's founder and archiver

Table of Contents

Year 262, overseer Markus_cz:
Year 263, overseer Leperflesh:
Year 264, overseer Vox Nihili:
Year 265, overseer Boing:
Year 266, overseer Bad Munki:
Year 267, overseer Minty:
Year 268, overseer YeOldeButchere:
Year 269, overseer Pozzo:
Year 270, overseer Mr. Vile:
Year 271, overseer Charlie72:
Year 272, first half, overseer Bene Elim:
Year 272, second half, overseer Daeren:
Year 273, overseer Jazzimus Prime: *


Adventurer Mode
SirPenguin's Special


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