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Looking for a new Sims 2 Challenge? Here you go!

How often have you ignored your sim’s want and fear panel, in favor of directing them to do what you think is best? How often have you canceled an autonomous action out of their queue with a frustrated roll of your eyes before sending them off to study or garden or make a baby? How often have you thought to yourself “Without me my sim would be dead in a week!”? Care to test that theory?

Welcome to The Sim-Centric Legacy Challenge. Where what your sim wants and fears are the only guideposts you have to determine what will become of their life. A user on the old Sims 2 BBS way back in 2005 began a challenge he had no rules for. He never finished it and never fleshed out the rules. So I decided to because it’s been my favorite variation on the Legacy challenge to play ever since I first heard the idea way back then. I hope you guys give it a go, because it’s a ton of fun!

The Basics:

Founder may be anything, any aspiration or personality, your choice. Because you’re only going to be fulfilling wants they roll, what aspiration you choose will determine how difficult your challenge will be. Family sims, for instance, roll wants for marriage and kids more easily and hence would make continuing the legacy easier, but they don’t roll as many wants for jobs and money which can make surviving the beginning stages of a legacy hard. Other aspirations don’t roll family/relationship wants as easily, but do roll career related wants or skilling wants or friendship wants, all important aspects of a legacy, so it’s up to you.

In regard to secondary aspirations/lifetime aspiration points (if you have the EP for those), you must roll for their secondary aspiration, per Legacy guidelines, but the spending of lifetime aspiration points is entirely up to you. Which ones and in what order you buy the perks is at your discretion.

The main rule is you cannot direct your sim to do anything, nor may you buy or build anything, unless it is directly related to a Want or Fear your sim currently has in their panels. LTWs are to be ignored, because they give the player too broad a stroke in terms of guiding the sims. The point is to let the sims choose their own fate from beginning to end. Basic Legacy rules apply, and any handicaps you choose (or don’t) is up to you.

You may start on any size lot, but if you do not start on a 5x5 you must familyfunds the remaining money down to the 4800 simoleans those with 5x5 lots have to work with. This is to make sure you’re not starting on a tiny lot thinking the money left over from buying it will set your sim up. 4800 simoleans max, no matter what size lot you start on. Besides, remember, you can’t buy or build anything they don’t directly ask for, so that money’s useless until they decide to spend it anyway. :)

You may start with any age (from teen up), but I’ve never tried it in University so I don’t know how well it’d go over. Might be fun to try, though!
ETA: In uni, if your sim rolls wants and purchases any objects while in college, you may bring those home with them in their inventory after graduation.

You may purchase lighting without Sim direction, since it has a minimal effect on them and without it makes taking pictures difficult. So you may add as many lights as you need or choose.

No cheats whatsoever unless it is to fix an unintended glitch or a design cheat like diagonal placement etc. This includes free or super low cost custom content. NOT ALLOWED. It must have a similar cost in relation to its value compared to other items of similar properties. Hacks that fix EAxis fail are allowed as long as they don't influence a Sim too much. The Phonehack for example, forces a Sim to continue talking long after their social bar is full. Use your best judgement. ACR is actually recommended, since it is fully autonomous and helps a sim make their own romantic decisions. Be careful with it, though, you can't put No Jealousy on so any consequences of your sim's actions are theirs to bear.

ACR is also helpful with allowing your sim to decide when they have children and how many, allowing them to try for baby on their own if they choose. If you have ACR installed you must set it up so it allows for the most possible autonomy in all regards. No setting over-rides to stop your sim from doing anything. No morning after pills, by default. When setting up the town you should run the genetic preference randomizer on the whole hood set to high. It is just really highly recommended to have ACR installed in your 'hood, it adds so much to the autonomous part of the game that makes this challenge fun.

Also in regards to dating and relationships, you should try and get your sim the highest possible chemistry match. Scoping the room to see who they're into is highly encouraged. This is not a must, you do not *have* to find a 3 bolter, but if you have the opportunity (like a want to go downtown where there is more variety) you should give them some say in who they end up with at least.

You may cancel a sim’s autonomous actions *ONLY* if it is to direct them to do something to fulfill a want or avoid a fear they currently display. For example, no cancelling their sleep when the carpool shows up UNLESS they have a want to go to work or be promoted or earn some money etc, or fear something that would be fulfilled by missing work, like a fear of missing the carpool or of being fired etc.

There are lots of ways to interpret wants and fears that can help you help your sims. For instance, if they have a want to serve food. That want will allow you to buy them a stove and counters to prepare food and a table and chairs to serve it on. A fear of having something stolen is a perfect opportunity to build your sim a house, since that is something they will never roll a want for themselves. It’s all about FAIRLY yet creatively interpreting their wants, not manipulating them to your own ends. Remember, this is about what your sim wants, not necessarily about being practical, but you can still help them along the way with a bit of imagination. You may also lock any want or fear for future use, if you think it will be useful later and can’t fulfill it (or prevent it) at that moment.

You may not, at any time, deliberately cause a fear to be fulfilled. You may, however, decide to help your sim move past that fear, making it go away. For example, a sim with a fear of being rejected for a woohoo by their spouse of twenty years. It’s a fear with almost zero chance of happening, so you may decide such an irrational fear can only be proven irrational by directing the sim to woohoo with their spouse to make that fear go away. This is where the honor system comes in, trusting you won’t abuse that and won’t decide every fear is meant to be ‘gotten past’.

You may ignore wants if you choose, though you should aim to try and fulfill as many as possible in the spirit of the challenge.

Once a Want has spun away, you can't act on it until it comes up again. You don't HAVE to satisfy a Want you act on though. For example, if your sim has a Want to gain a mechanical skill point, and to meet someone new, you can have them study mechanical until a new townie walks by then drop the book and go say hi. But if that mechanical skill point Want spins away, you can't finish studying for it until it comes up again.

You may change a sim's appearance/plan outfits once per lifestage. The exception to this is if a sim rolls a want to buy new clothes, as that indicates a want to change their own appearance. You are welcome to buy clothes for the whole family at that time, not just the sim with the want, though you can only change the other sims' appearances if they have a want or if you haven't already this lifestage. If your sim has not already obtained a mirror (through wanting one) you may buy one for use in your 'once per lifestage' appearance change, but must promptly sell it back until a sim actually wants to have one.

Since the game makes it impossible for sims to spend money without the player’s help, bill paying is handled in this way: you may only pay bills if a sim autonomously goes to the mailbox to get them. That is their way of saying they want the bills paid so you may act on it. You can also pay bills if they have a fear of the repo man. If you think of or see another want/fear that relates to bill paying, let me know and I'll add it.

The game also gives us other ways to know what our sims want. Thought bubbles are one way. However, sims have lots of random thoughts, how are we to know which are things they actually want or need? Only when a sim makes a Direct Plea with you (when their thought bubble is red and they wave their arms shouting up at you) may you act on whatever they’re thinking about. Any thought bubble other than one in red accompanied by a Direct Plea must be ignored. One in red without a Direct Plea does not count. When faced with a Direct Plea you have three options to fulfill that want: Direct an action, buy an object or upgrade an object. Whichever would fulfill their want/need best.

You may not use inanimate objects to indirectly influence your sim to do what you think they should. For example, if they’re about to miss work, you cannot move a turned on tv or stereo into the room to wake them. No tricks. You are going to let your sims succeed or fail on their own, without interference from you. No matter how frustrating.

Regarding aspiration and career rewards: aspiration rewards are forbidden, but career rewards are fine. You can place career rewards on the lot once earned, there is no need to link placing them to a Want or Fear. Actually using them, however, needs to come from a Want or a Fear (or Free Will).

Regarding chance cards: You may choose to either act on chance cards or ignore them. Since they are random and entirely independent of what your sim wants, it's your choice whether to make them relevant to your game or not.

Regarding pets: pets are like babies, incapable of taking care of themselves, so if your sim rolls a want for a pet and you get them one, you can also direct them to take care of the pet's needs such as feeding and cleaning their box/cage etc. Things that aren't needs, such as a pet bed or toys etc cannot be purchased unless a sim indicates a want for them.

Regarding homework helping: I'd say you should see if they roll the want to do so themselves first (either the kids or the parents), but if they don't and it gets dire, then yes, you could direct them to when they're children. Once they become teens, though, since there's no longer a social worker danger, you have to wait for someone to roll the want for it before directing them.

Future generations: Continuing the Legacy:

Children slightly alter the rules, since they are less capable of taking care of themselves and fulfilling their own needs/wants. You should still try to let your sim adults autonomously care for the babies and toddlers as much as possible, but you *are* allowed to direct the adults to care for the childrens’ basic needs if they are not doing so on their own. Also, once a child becomes a toddler you have the option of choosing it to be heir, in which case its wants now take precedence over the adults’ and you may also direct the adults to fulfill those wants. Be careful, though, you can only choose once, no changing your mind with the next child unless the first chosen heir dies (of natural causes, it goes without saying it is against the rules to purposely kill or cause the death of any sim in your Legacy household. Nor may you purposely ignore a child’s needs in order to have it removed by the social worker to allow another child to be born and become heir). You do not have to make the first child heir, you may choose any child you want at any age stage, but if they are not heir then you can only direct the adults to fulfill their basic, life necessary needs, not those in their panels.

When a child becomes a teen, you must keep their turn on's and turn off's as they are initially, since that is what they've chosen, and then must roll per Legacy guidelines, for their aspiration.

Childrens’ wants do count, too, though, along with spouses and spares. This isn’t an ISBI where you ignore everyone in favor of the heir. The heir, however, takes precedence and is the only one whose wants can be used to direct others. For instance, if the heir wants to talk about their hobby, you can choose to direct their mother to talk to them about the hobby, but a non heir with the same want would need you to direct *them* to initiate the talking, it could not be used to influence anyone else’s actions. Also, any wants the heir has that contradict the wants of another sim in the household, the heir’s want takes precedence. For example, the heir has a want to play the piano, but her sister also has that want and there’s only one piano. The heir gets the piano. Or the heir wants a car and so does his father but there’s only enough money for one car. The heir gets it. Or the heir wants to play a prank and the other sim fears having a prank pulled on them. The heir’s want takes precedence. See what I mean?

A lot of this challenge is using your own judgment and interpretation and the honor system. There are many ways to interpret wants and fears that can be used to subtly guide your sim without micro-managing and taking their life out of their hands. Pay attention to every want and fear and see what can be done with it. It’s all about what you do with what they give you to work with.
Can you keep your sims happy while also letting them control their own existence?

This is completely Beta, so please if there’s any confusion or questions, feel free to comment to this post and ask for clarification! I'll update this post as things come up. :)

Edited to add: Clarification on Direct Pleas, new rule regarding lighting, clarification on bill paying, clarification on cheats/hacks, added information on fulfilling wants and changing appearance, new rule about chance cards, added specifications for ACR and its use in this challenge. Added clarification on choosing mates, as well as info on choosing secondary aspirations and spending lifetime aspiration points. Also clarified a bit on items purchased while at Uni. Added rule about pets and homework for children.
Tags: sim-centric legacy
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