Hearthlings finish their current task before sleeping or eating

While there are a few bugs in the game (obviously), there is currently only one non-bug thing that really stands out as an annoyance to me: Hearthlings just drop, literally, what they are doing to go eat or sleep.

Now, I can see why this might be done but I have encountered issues where Hearthlings were going to place an item but dropped it to go eat, and then the item never gets placed. Obviously it can be fixed by finding said item and re-placing it, but it’s a bit inconvenient. And that’s just one example - there are lots of similar annoying interruptions caused by this.

In, for example, the game ‘Rimworld’ which has a similar premise, the colonists will finish their current task (place item, haul item, etc.) prior to going off to eat or sleep. It just feels a lot tidier and more sensible.

Has anyone else noticed this? Does it bother you at all, or am I just being pernickety?


This would be a good idea. I just had a hearthling carrying a bed to place then he dropped it and went to eat. instead of getting placed the bed then was put and left in a stockpile

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I wouldn’t call this an annoyance but yes it can get quite inconvenient. It’s not game-breaking however.
My Hearthlings clean up their mess after they’ve filled their bellies.


These interruptions can lead to some bugs as far as I can tell. Building projects left unattended, items never placed. Eating/Sleeping when a task is in the process of completion can definitely cause the AI to become confused or forget the last task it was doing.


well… this actually was implemented in an unstable build awhile ago, but footmen never finish their patrolls, so they never slept or ate. it was promptly removed or im just going insane…

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Insanity sounds more fun

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I think footmen would indeed probably be a bit of an issue in dealing with this. Then again, it does depend greatly on how the game is programmed.

I guess this is a suggestion which, although potentially beneficial, is likely to be fairly low priority.

Only problem I’ve had with this is when a hearthling drops the item while climbing a ladder. Then, I have to take down the ladder and put another up so that the item will fall to a reachable location. I’d just be happy if they made it so that they wouldn’t drop their items while climbing ladders.


That or items can’t be within the same block as a ladder, meaning the items would fall around the ladder, but not actually on it.


I actually like that idea better, partially because you’d get to see them throw things off the top of a ladder if they were almost at the top which I would find most amusing. Hearthlings be like “I’m 200% done with carrying this wood up this ladder, I’m goin to get somethin to eat.” *chunks a block of wood off the ladder and sprints to the food stockpile.


No sleep for footman! Footman always on job!


no food for footmen! always on the job! i feel bad for them :laughing:

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Thanks for pointing this out! The bug underlying the suggestion is certainly also valid: that some tasks, like placement tasks, are issued with :once(), so if they’re interrupted, they never get resumed. Noted!


Thank you for giving it consideration. :slight_smile:



  • hearthlings will drop everything and stop working to eat
  • this causes weired situations and a lot of flith around the building sites.

hearthling should finish work on current task
(e.g build until materials in their hands are gone)
(e.g finish crafting something)

This isn’t really a bug, it was a design decision to do it this way. However, I agree with you completely. I think they should finish what they started then do the next thing.


2 design aspects:

  1. satisfaction
    to compare it with dwarf fortress: dwarfes like to finish their work, before eating.
    easy question: Would you like to start eating on work on a 10 metres high ladder? :smiley:

  2. utilisation
    its nonsense to drop your work in certain circumstances.
    You’ll loose time, have to walk farther, do something twice.

easy solution: (pseudo code)

  • if eating then check if hearthling has a task to do
  • if yes, check if the task is interruptable
  • if yes, interrupt and eat
    / to do so, tasks need a flag ‘interruptable’

examples for interruptable tasks:

  • farming
  • cutting wood
  • sitting on the camp fire

examples for un-interruptable tasks:

  • holding building material / on way to building site
  • sleeping
  • fighting

well this was implemented in one of the alpha 10 unstable builds awhile back, the problem is, footmen never finish their job. meaning the werent allowed to sleep or eat.

i know there is another thread on this subject, i will try and find it to merge with.

edit: found it and merged it.

hearthlings should finish their immediate job on hand before going for food, e.g. kill all monsters in sight, finish restocking what they have on hand instead of dropping them randomly on the ground etc.

Agree, all this mess everywhere at noon is terrible! (and more seriously, the actual behavior isn’t cool at all, I do prefer what you are proposing here.)