[WIP] Playing around with Sinister Sewers

Getting a little practice in with Sinister Sewers this afternoon. (I've been mentally mapping out an elaborate waste management system, but this is just for practice.) If I'm lucky, Ralf will do a demo with the next Live -- looking forward to seeing his strategies and tips.

The canal in the lower left is meant to be regular water from a storm drain (maybe I should add some leaves) that would normally mingle with the effluent and push it through, but a gelatinous cube is gobbling up all the leaves and everything. (My waste management system will make extensive use of oozes to keep things tidy.) I used Effluent 05 for the water. Was that intended to be regular water? Is there a better approach for that?

I ended up going with the green effluent for most of it because I liked how the colors popped. But I will probably use the browns and yellows mostly, maybe with the green used for scum, and maybe waste "water?" coming from the sewers connected to a necromancer's lab.

I was struggling getting a break in the wall to the room without canals to work properly, and then realized that an archway was a perfect gimmick. This room was intended to be the main access to the sewers, but there are also ladders or rungs near the surface vents. Threw in some carnivorous vegetation for fun. Maybe some adventurers will be hired to find out why waste management workers are disappearing.

LoopysueMonsenRicko HascheJackTheMapper


  • I made a few tweaks. Changed most of the effluent to brown except for the portions from the vents (aka storm drains) that's meant to be rainwater. Added a few bunches of leaves from Forest Trail to those ones. Added some bridges for maintenance workers to use to cross canals. Left a bit of green coming from one of the canals -- a mystery for adventurers to solve? I should probably add some slime....

    Ricko HascheJackTheMapperLoopysueWyvernJimP
  • Absolutely love what you've been doing! I haven't build a sewer yet but found I quite enjoy using the arches in other sets--I added them in to an underwater temple I'm working on. Here's a detail of it.

    Are you matching your sewer system to a street plan of one of your cities?

    Royal ScribeRicko HascheJimPCalibre
  • That’s beautiful!

    no, I haven’t figured out how it will all piece together. I think it works well with Sue’s other styles — Marine Dungeons, Forest Trails, Creepy Crypts… But I really have to experiment and see.

  • Her styles definitely seem to have a unifying artistic theme that I really love!

    JimPRoyal Scribe
  • Okay, I think I've done my final tweaks for my practice sewers.

    I realized that my sewer pipes weren't actually doing anything, so I used end-pipes off of T junctures to allow the graywater they're carrying to be deposited into the sewer canals. Added a few more bridges over the canals because there were a few areas that were inaccessible to maintenance workers. Tightened up the border texture. Moved the water (Effluent 05) in the storm drain canals to a new water sheet to give it a slightly higher transparency. (Not sure if I did that effectively or not.) And I added a bit more drama to the tentacle action in the lower right.

    Been plotting out how the waste management system in my major cities will work. From the age of 6 to 14, I grew up without electricity or indoor plumbing, so the ecology of outhouses isn't foreign to me. (What do you do when you fill one up? Dig another hole, and with enough time, the first one will be ready to be re-used again.) We sorted recycling long before curbside recycling existed (not that we had a curb -- we were a mile outside of our tiny town of 3,000 people). Compostables were sorted four ways: veggie peelings and ends for the rabbits in their elevated hutches, coffee grounds went to the worms that broke down the rabbit droppings below the hutches, egg shells were ground up and fed back to the chickens to give them calcium to strengthen their shells, and the rest went to the compost heap. Glass was sorted into separate bins for clear, green, and brown glass. Metals were sorted into separate bins for tin and aluminum. The rest was junk. Plastic wasn't as prevalent then and wasn't recyclable, and had to be taken to the dumps for landfill. So yeah, I've been thinking about the waste management issues for a medieval city. But also: humans and intelligent humanoids are nothing if not resourceful and inventive. In a fantasy world, what sort of burrowing or earth-eating creatures could be put to use to make tunnels easier than medieval humans could? What sort of debris-eating creatures like gelatinous cubes could be used to manage waste? No need in my world to dump untreated sludge back into rivers or oceans!

  • Realized I didn't have any stains or scum, so added a bit. Really love how this template includes so many different effects options for adjusting the coloring.

    MonsenLoopysueRicko HascheJimP
  • On today's Live demo, which was about Sinister Sewers, I asked for recommendations for what to use as a fill style for pure water uncontaminated with sewage (such as water runoff from storm drains). I had been using Effluent 05, but on another Water sheet with a transparency effect. Sue recommended trying one of the Bitmap Solid fill styles.

    Here's a practice attempt, with the five effluent fills above and then five on the solid bitmaps below (from Solid 10 Bitmap through Solid 50). The five below are on a Water 2 sheet in case anyone recommends effects different than the regular Water sheet. Right now, I put the same effects on Water 2.

    I am leaning towards Solid 40 Bitmap for storm drain runoff (since that water will have dirt and other impurities), and maybe something like Solid 20 Bitmap for pure water (for example, if dwarves are using this technology for a subterranean aqueduct).

    Thoughts? (If this is too difficult to see here, I can post it in my Gallery if that has a better resolution.)

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Darker would be better I think, but now I've seen it I'm not sure it works that well with the sheet effects. How does it look if you switch one or both of the Edge Fade Inner effects off?

  • Hmmm, I'm not seeing much of a difference, but there's some glare on my screen at the moment. Here they are:

    First Edge Fade off, second one on

    First Edge Fade on, second one off

    Both Edge Fades off

    And here's the FCW file:

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    There's a very subtle difference. You can see the edge of the water a little more clearly.

    How about just a plain old black polygon with one EFI set up like this?

    Or even that plus the Glow Blur Radius doubled to 0.5?

    Alternatively, how about importing the water texture from another dungeon style?

    Royal ScribeJimP
  • Thank you, Sue! I will try all of those options and see what I like best.

  • Here are two samples with the full range of Solid Bitmaps 10 through 90, plus a solid black polygon. The first is Sue's first suggestion and the second adds her second tip.

    Edge Fade, Inner - Edge Width 2.5, Inner Opacity 80, Outer Opacity 25

    Edge Fade, Inner - Edge Width 2.5, Inner Opacity 80, Outer Opacity 25 plus Glow Radius bumped to 0.5

    I think bumping the Glow radius to 0.5 is nice. And these are working nicely, so I don't think I will try importing other water fills to see if any of them work. I'm leaning towards Solid 90 because for my poor eyes at least, I really have to zoom in on the pure solid one to see the stonework behind the water.

    Thank you for your help, Sue! Looking forward to plotting out my main city's sanitation system over the next few weeks. Sewers make for such great adventure options -- emergency exits when you're being besieged, or for plotting out heists. I imagine a lot of crime lords dump a lot of evidence (and bodies) in the sewers...

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    I'm looking forward to seeing it :)

    Royal Scribe
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