The Redmond Flats Archive

Build-A-City Challenge Rule Tweaks

Because what this challenge needs is MOAR RULES, amirite?

Redmond Flats is my eleventy-th stab at this challenge. I’ve learned some things along the way, since I came up with my first set of rules and took my very first stab at it. There were aspects of my BACC rules that I just didn’t like once I actually played them more extensively, and there were other things that I just got tired of, and there were things that just didn’t work for me. Then there was the problem of population explosion resulting from the fact that I would have everyone own a business. And then there was the cool stuff that I thought of only after I’d started a new iteration of my city and was well into playing it. But I have things set now. I think. I hope. And I thought I’d share, in case anyone might find any of these modifications intriguing enough to add them to their own playing. None of these are really “rules,” per se, but rather just modifications to the play style. They’re adoptable if you like them, completely ignorable if you don’t.

Oh, but before I start…My additions here serve to inject quite a bit of randomness into the game, all determined by generating random numbers that are sometimes larger than you can easily or quickly generate with even a dozen dice. I use a random number generator, which I can set to produce numbers between 1 and whatever value I select. There are online number generators you can use (Like this one here), or you can download one that actually lives on your computer so that you don’t have to be connected to the Internet in order to use it. I prefer the latter (and use this one), since I’m often on the road and don’t always have or want to pay for Internet access.

And because you need to generate numbers on the fly while you play this way, if you choose to use any of these additions/tweaks, you’ll really find it easier to play the game in Windowed Mode, if you don’t already do so. If you keep track of your city using something like spreadsheets, you’ll find it easier to play in Windowed Mode, too, so that you can, for instance, keep your spreadsheet open alongside your game window. (If you don’t know how to put your game into Windowed Mode, check this out.)

Also, because of certain things I’ve added here, if you want to adopt them you’ll need some hacks and hacked objects. I’m afraid there’s no way around it, at least not that I know of. Of course, if you don’t like all (or any) of my new ideas, then you don’t need all (or any) of these. And really, if you don’t like/want hacks in your game at all, you can and should just bail out now. But if you’re still with me, you might want:
  • This hacked wedding arch, which among other things allows for marriage without any relationship. (The link to download the “finished” arch by Inge is at the bottom of the first page. It works fine in my game, with all EPs but Bon Voyage and Apartment Life installed, but if you decide you need this, you might want to check compatibility with your EPs.)
  • Monique’s Hacked Computer, in order to allow things like taking out loans and having Sims have personal bank accounts in order to save money. (And earn interest on their savings.) I suggest this object in the “regular” rules; it or some other object(s) that can perform the same functions is pretty much required for many of these additions.
  • Autonomous Casual Romance. I use this not only for autonomous romantic interactions but also because it allows Sims who don’t really have enough of a relationship to woohoo to do so anyway if I want them to. And it does things like gives Sims declining fertility rates over time. You can also control how often Sims will autonomously woohoo and the chance that they will autonomously Try For Baby.
  • Hacked objects or cheats that can age Sims up/down, teleport Sims to any lot, transform Sims into supernatural creatures and back to humans again, and kill Sims immediately. I use a combination of the Object Edition of the InSimenator and stuff accessible via the “boolprop testingcheatsenabled true” cheat to do this, but there are many different objects out there that will do the same jobs. I recommend theSimsWiki’s Content List to find something that will work for you and your particular game configuration.
  • The “Stay Things Shrub” from Inge, about half-way down this page.  I now do a lot of moving Sims between houses, and it’s nice not to have to totally re-fixture houses from memory all the time.
  • I also use Inge’s School Changer and FlexiSchool on this page because now my teens don’t go to school, for reasons explained below, and this has an option that makes it so that teens (or children, but my children still go to school) can be “truant” with no penalty and with no school bus showing up for them. (Although it will show up for other kids in the household who DO go to school.
  • Optional: The Inteenimator. If you don’t already have and decide to get InTeen, make sure that you actually read its documentation and pay very careful attention to compatibility issues. If you don’t install it correctly, it can cause trouble. But when installed properly, it works beautifully.
  • Not required but VERY helpful in a game where being on a community lot happens often: Community Time! Now, when your Sims come back from community lots, they don’t have to relive the time when they were gone. They come home shortly after they left the community lot, just as if they’d been away at a job. This makes things a LOT easier and more realistic, so this is highly recommended if you play this challenge in general, whether or not you adopt any of my changes. It works beautifully and perfectly in my game; reports seem to vary as to whether or not it works with Apartment Life.
  • Also recommended but not necessarily required: The Batbox. This can do all sorts of very useful things. I use it to reroll LTWs that I have disallowed, mostly. I also use it to wipe a Sim’s useless “trash” memories (Really, how many “Met X” memories do you need?) and the occasional corrupt one, which helps to to prevent neighborhood implosion.
OK, now that that’s out of the way, on to the “good stuff,” my rule additions, deletions, and tweaks, in no particular order.

  • That whole dealy-bob with not having a Uni or a Downtown?
    Yeah, screw that. Sort of, anyway. I got tired of collecting taxes and often forgot to do so or couldn’t remember whether or not I had done so. Thus, it made the whole collecting-taxes-to-pay-for-a-Uni thing very frustrating for me. Plus, I got tired of not being able to put Sims in certain careers that require Uni as I progressively slowed the growth of my town, meaning that it took forever to get a University. So I bagged the whole tax thing, and now I just attach a Uni and a Downtown from the get-go, mostly for reasons pertaining to the marriage thing below. BUT! I’m not allowed to actually use/visit the Downtown until I would have earned it, and there are a number of restrictions on the Uni, described farther down.

    Oh, and it should be obvious, but just in case it isn't: You don't get the multiplier points/CAS Sims for those two subhoods. Which is totally OK by me. Other than by adding community lots, I generally only increase my multiplier by earning business districts that I don't use for businesses. Usually, they'll have a specific purpose/theme, like a purely farming community where I send all my farmers/fishermen to live. Or I'll sometimes create an isolationist community of religious wack-os with a whole 'nother set of wack-o rules to live by. Or there's an artisan community where all my crafters migrate to live. Or an all-alien community. Just whatever occurs to me that seems fun.
  • Spouses From Heaven. Or the Mailbox, As the Case May Be.
    Guess what? I’m really, really, really sick of the “find the perfect mate” game. And dating. (I hate dating so much now that I’ve disallowed the Pleasure aspiration altogether, in order to avoid its dating LTWs and its generally silly/annoying wants. Like, you know, a Sim constantly wanting to jump on the couch.) I’m also really sick of doing my utmost to have pretty children. I have embraced The Fug! (Well, to an extent; I use clean templates and have face template replacements, so no one is truly hideous anymore.)

    So, to avoid the whole “find the perfect mate” thing, I have instituted the concept of random marriage for all CAS Sims. (I’m possibly a little “kinder” to born-in-game Sims, but only so that random marriage doesn’t get boring, too.) I think of it as mail-order brides/grooms, which is kind of appropriate for a settlement just starting out, when you think about it. In a real settlement just starting out, there wouldn’t be a bunch of available people just wandering around to choose from.

    So yes, all my CAS Sims now marry random total strangers by total luck of the draw. They make do with whomever they get, even if they get an Elder. Or a teen, for that matter. It really is more fun than it sounds, at least to me, especially when I end up with negative-chemistry couples. Sometimes it takes a bunch of work just to get them to the point where they will have a civil conversation and not annoy each other, much less sleep in the same bed, much less woohoo, even with ACR.

    It takes a bit of set-up, though. At the very beginning, before I actually play any of my founders (Yes, I have more than one founder; more on that next), I create two numbered lists (One of males, one of females) of every Townie, Downtownie, NPC, etc. in the neighborhood. I use SimPE to do this, although it could be done by using a Sim summoner or anything else that will tell you the names of all the Sims in the ‘hood. 

    (To use SimPE to make your lists, if you have it and aren’t afraid to use it: Open the program, go to Tools
    -->Neighborhood-->Neighborhood Browser, select your BACC neighborhood from the window that pops up, and then click “Open.” When it’s done loading, go to Tools-->Neighborhood-->Sim Browser. Make sure the little “NPCs” and “Townies” boxes are checked in the little window that pops up, and voila! You have a list of every Sim in the neighborhood.)

    From this list, I create my lists of potential spouses. My lists are two worksheets in the big spreadsheet I use to track my BACC. Since I attach a Downtown and a Uni, I have a good selection of spouses right from the start, at least 100 of each gender. The only ones I leave out are the Uni mascots, because for the rest of their lives they have the annoying habit of wearing their mascot outfits on any lot that isn’t their home lot. And of course characters like Mrs. Crumplebottom and the Therapist can’t be made playable without dire consequences. But otherwise, everyone’s in the pool, so to speak. I don’t worry about the ages. I include even the children. (But not the pets, obviously.) I age or de-age a Sim as necessary, if they are chosen as a spouse.

    Since I’m making numbered lists, I can then roll to see which “lucky” Sim my CAS Sim will marry…IF he/she will marry at all. (More on that in a bit.) Then to marry them off, I simply use a summoner object to summon the chosen spouse to wherever the CAS Sim is. Then:

    1. I add them to the family by spawning and using the Tombstone of Life and Death.
    2. I age/de-age them (or not), as necessary. Personally, I age children up to teens with all 15 days of teenhood remaining. (They and un-aged teens aren’t allowed to woohoo until they’ve had 5 days of teenhood, though.) I age young adults down to teens with 7 days of teenhood remaining. I leave teens, adults, and elders as is. If you like/want to adopt this concept, you may want to do things differently, depending on your preferences and/or your comfort with the idea of teens marrying and the idea of having the hacks that allow it in your game. (More on my reasoning for that farther down.) You could certainly age any “underage” Sim up to adult, if that’s where your comfort lies.
    3. Then, I marry off my “happy” pair via the hacked wedding arch, as they will have absolutely no relationship whatsoever.

    Yes, I know this deprives you of wedding parties and wedding photo opportunities and such and isn’t all gooshily romantic and all that crap. But don’t worry! If you’re into the mushy stuff, you’ll have the opportunity to have it when the next generation comes along. Maybe. If there is a next generation...
  • On NOT Creating Insane Hermits Who Talk To Themselves…
    One founder…just doesn’t cut it for me. Think about it. In the good ol’ pioneer days, individual people didn’t go out and stake a claim to a piece of land in the middle of nowhere and then a city eventually built up around it. In real life, small groups of people established isolated settlements that turned into towns that turned into cities. I like this concept much better, so now I use the initial set-up step of the Prosperity Challenge: Instead of creating a single founder. I “roll” (Meaning, as that word will mean going forward from here, I randomly generate) a number between 3 and 10 to determine the number of single founders I will create. Then I go and create them in CAS. And rather than lovingly hand-create them, I randomly generate pretty much every aspect of them, from appearance to aspiration to personality. Even their names are randomly generated. Because for me, Random = Not Boring. It keeps me from falling into the ruts that I will quite happily fall into, if given a chance. If you like lovingly creating your founders, though, feel free to do so.

    , in terms of counting lots and increasing one’s multiplier and earning community lots and all of that good stuff, ALL of the founders’ households together count as ONE household, not as individual households. Each founder counts as one Sim, though. So if I start my ‘hood with, say, 6 founders, then my population before marrying anyone off is 6, but my household count is still just 1.
  • I Repeat: Random = Not Boring
    For BACC purposes, four things that I randomly decide when I create Sims (or when born-in-game Sims transition to teen) are important.

    The first is whether or not a Sim will marry. I decided to randomize this because I had found myself in an Everyone-Marries-And-Has-Baybeez! rut. So now I roll to decide whether or not any Sim, CAS or born-in-game, will marry. (Except Family Sims; they always marry.) All CAS Sims randomly marry, but I give born-in-game Sims a 25% chance of being able to do the whole “find a perfect mate and have a mushy wedding” dance. Otherwise, they marry randomly, too.

    The second is how much money CAS Sims will start out with. When I finish creating them, I roll a number between 3 and 30, multiply the number I roll by 1,000, and that’s the amount of money they start with. If they marry, then whatever money their spouse brings gets added to the “pot.” I got bored with always starting a household with $20,000, but found myself tending to always create richer Sims so that they could have a nicer house, etc. Randomizing and creating something of an upper threshold for starting funds forced me to have more of a range of wealthiness, at least to start out with.

    The third is whether or not a Sim will be a supernatural from the get-go. There’s more information about this particular aspect farther down.

    The fourth is whether or not a Sim will own a business, and I’ve decided that each family is only allowed to have one business. (So if anyone gets the “Own 5 Top-Level Businesses” LTW, I reroll their LTW using the Batbox.) Yes, I know business-owning is kind of the whole foundation of this challenge, but I found myself creating too many businesses too quickly. So I devised a method that governed whether or not a Sim could have one. It’s based on LTWs. If a Sim has a career-based LTW that is at least theoretically attainable, then I have to work on opening that career, if it isn’t already open, or I have to place them in that career if it is open. Either way, that Sim can’t have a business. Ever. He/she has to sit and wait until he/she can get into his/her desired career. (And this is another reason why I have more than one founder.) On the other hand, if a Sim has a non-career-based LTW or an LTW that they can’t possibly attain and not just because a career isn’t open yet (Like, an adult Sim with an LTW for a career that requires a Uni degree. Since they are an adult, they can never go to Uni), then they either have to open a business or they become a farmer or fisherman. (And I roll to decide which.)

    This actually makes things much harder sometimes. On the off-chance that everyone, founders and their spouses, has a career LTW, then my town doesn’t generally grow much, if at all, until the younger generation is transitioning to teen and perhaps marrying, when newly-minted teens get their LTWs and/or new Sims come into the picture who might not have career LTWs. But all of this is OK by me. I found that growing my town too quickly just made everything overwhelming. I’m not in any kind of rush. And in real life, towns do tend to grow slowly, not at the speed of light.
  • Baybeez!
    Once married, I will actively command couples to Try For Baby ONLY if one or the other of the pair rolls a want to have a baby. If they do, I lock the want(s) and then keep trying for baby once (and only once, unless ACR has other ideas) per day until a kidlet is conceived. I leave the want(s) locked until the baby is born.

    Otherwise, I let ACR do its groovy thing, leaving all the settings on default EXCEPT that I set the pregnancy success percentage at a static 70% in each household. So, essentially, unless baby wants are rolled, all babies in my BACC are ACR babies. I let Try For Baby percentages decrease over time per default so that my high-chemistry couples who don’t like to get out of bed don’t necessarily end up with a billion kids, but I did find that unless I made the pregnancy success percentage high and static, I ended up with not enough babies. Thus, a combination of rolled wants and ACR “determines” each household’s size.

    The exception to the above involves those pesky Family Sims. They always marry, and if a Family Sim has a child-related LTW (i.e “Marry Off 6 Children” or “Graduate 3 Children From College”) then I will command them to Try For Baby as often as necessary until they have the proper number of children. For those Family Sims who get the pesky “Have 10 Children” want, I lock the want and then set ACR to always Try For Baby in that household, but I won’t actually command them to Try For Baby. If 10 children happen, they happen. If not, so be it.

    For single female Sims, the only ACR default I override is to set their Risky Pregnancy chance at 20% instead of the default 5%. If an Ooops!Baby happens, I have a rule that they have to marry the Sim who knocked them up. Because I’m a traditionalist, you see.
  • Roofs Over Their Heads. Or Not.
    It used to be that I’d move everyone into large-ish empty lots and then build them houses with their starting funds, and then expand them willy-nilly as their fortunes and families grew, legacy style. This resulted in odd-looking and often ugly houses, but more to the point, I got bored of it. So now, a Sim’s starting funds determine how they’re going to start out in life.

    When I start a BACC, the very first thing I do before I actually play anything is to build a number of “starter houses” in whatever style that I want the eventual neighborhood to have. These are not starters by Maxis’s definition, meaning they don’t all cost $20,000 or less. In fact, they all generally cost $25,000 or more, up to about $60,000. I build a range of sizes and prices on different size lots, but none have more than 3 bedrooms. (Later, as the city expands, I build larger houses if they’re needed.) I finish the walls and floors, and I place all kitchen appliances/counters and bathroom fixtures, some with basic/cheap appliances/fixtures, some with upgraded items. I put basic (or upgraded) wired-in wall or ceiling lights in each room because I have a lighting mod, and if the room has no windows, as will sometimes happen with powder rooms, that room will be pitch-black during the day unless it contains a light that I can turn on. And because they are essential for how I play, each house also comes equipped with a hacked computer and a cheap (or upgraded) desk and chair. There’s no other furniture, no decorations, and no landscaping other than maybe one or two trees. They don’t even get a phone. The Sims have to buy and possibly work for those things. Then, I move all the houses I build into the lot bin. That way, I can use the same house multiple times, if necessary. (Although I’ll usually change them a little bit, if only just in color scheme, to prevent everything from looking too much like suburban pre-fab track housing.) I guess if one doesn’t want to build stuff, then one could use downloaded houses and/or the Maxis lot bin houses to do this, but I like to build, so...

    Anyway, I keep a list of the prices of these houses, and the names that I give the lots indicate how many bedrooms each one has. That way, I can potentially pick a house appropriate for a given Sim in terms of, say, how many kids they might eventually have if, for instance, they or their spouse is a baby-crazy Family Sim. Then, like I said, a Sim’s starting funds determines what he/she and his/her spouse, if any, ends up getting, as follows:

    • If their starting funds are enough to buy one of the starter houses, then they must buy the most expensive one they can afford. (By “afford,” I mean they can buy the house and have enough cash left over to minimally furnish it with a bed to sleep in, a couch to sit on or sleep on, if necessary, and a phone to call other Sims with.) They then own the house free and clear. Yippee for them.
    • If their starting funds are within $10,000 of affording the cheapest starter house I made, then they qualify for a mortgage. They take out a mortgage for the difference between their starting funds and the cost of the house, plus $1,000 to purchase basic furnishings, rounded off to the nearest $100. (More on how I accomplish this below.)
    • If they don’t qualify for a mortgage, then they move into one of the various “Poor Shacks” that I have also pre-created. These are teeny, mostly 1x1 lots with little one-room shacks on them, with an outhouse and an outdoor, rain-barrel shower and not a sink to be seen. (Plumbing? What plumbing?) They’re also lit with candles, and they can’t have TVs and other electronic entertainments, although they have electric fridges and such. (Yes, I know there’s a CC outdoor fridge. I even have it. It’s just that it’s pretty big, footprint-wise, and there’s only so much room outside on a 1x1 lot.) And yes, the computer is technically electric; I tend to think of it as powered with a tiny nuclear reactor. Yeah, that’s it…

      Anyway, these lots are ugly and cheap, and even CAS Sims who only start with the minimum $3000 and teens who leave their parent’s house with very little money can generally afford at least one of the ones I’ve built. (And if they can’t, they have to take out a mortgage.) I do refund them for the cost of a hacked computer, a desk, and a chair, since everyone has to have one of those with the way I play, but that’s the only break I give them. They aren’t allowed to take out a business loan, and they are required to save money for a real house (using the hacked computer’s banking function), and are only allowed a maximum of about $100 on hand, which really means as close to $100 as possible, since the smallest amount you can deposit is $100. The only exceptions to this are if they need to buy groceries or if they need money to pay their bills. Then they can either not deposit some funds they have on hand or they can dip into their savings. Once they have enough saved to buy the cheapest starter house free and clear, out they go into a “real” house. THEN they can take out a business loan, if that’s their destiny. (If you have Apartment Life, I suppose this would be a candidate for an apartment, too…but since I don’t have AL, I don’t worry about that.)
    Here’s the kicker, though: I don’t allow Sims to modify the footprint of any house they buy. (If they’re in a Poor Shack and they have a baby…Well, there’s not much room for one. Most of my poor Sims are single, though, so that isn’t too much of a worry.) They can add or finish stories if their house’s floor plan logically allows for it without making the house look utterly stupid, but they can’t change or add to the foundation. If they outgrow a house. they must purchase a new, larger one. (By “outgrow,” I mean they don’t have enough bedrooms for their kids. I only allow 2 kids per bedroom, and once a kid transitions to toddler, they can’t stay in their parents’ bedroom.) If they need a new house, they must take out a mortgage to buy it, if they have to, and they take all the furniture/deco that they’ve accumulated with them when they leave. That house then becomes available for purchase. (I use the “Stay Things Shrub” so that when a family moves out, the kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures and such are left behind. BUT, they’re devalued, so I go through and replace them, anyway, so that I don’t end up with a bunch of ridiculously cheap houses available. But having the devalued fixtures still there is a guide, at least, so that I know what needs to be replaced and what to replace it with.)
  • Mortgages. Even in the Sim world, they’re a pain in the ass.
    It’s easy enough to take out a loan using Monique’s computer. The trouble is that a Sim has to already be on a lot in order to use that computer or, as far as I know, any other hacked objects out there that allow you to take out loans and that then force you to pay them back with interest. This is sometimes a problem, sometimes not.

    When I have a brand-new CAS Sim with a unique-to-the-‘hood last name who isn’t going to marry, but who qualifies for a mortgage as described above, I simply familyfund them enough money to buy the house they “want” and move them in. Then, I determine how much of a mortgage they need (Cost of house – the Sim’s actual, non-familyfunded starting funds + 1000 = Mortgage amount), and use the hacked computer on their lot to take out the loan, rounded up to the nearest $100, since that’s the minimum amount that you can take out on a loan. Then, with the Sim now “properly” in debt, I use familyfunds again, this time to reduce their cash-on-hand to $1000. Then, they’re ready to play.

    But if that brand-new uniquely-named CAS Sim is scheduled to marry, I won’t know their starting funds until they marry, since their spouse’s money is added to the starting funds. So, I also won’t know in advance what house they might buy until they marry. And they can’t get married unless the couple is on a lot. So in this case, I use what I call an “adjustment lot.” This is a tiny lot with a little hut on it, owned by a “placeholder” Sim that I create but with whom my Sims don’t interact, all tucked away in a corner of the neighborhood. It has:
    • A hacked wedding arch
    • A Sim summoner
    • An object I use to age Sims up or down
    • An object I can use to choose a new aspiration for a Sim, so that I can change anyone who comes into the neighborhood with the Pleasure aspiration, which I’ve disallowed for my own nefarious reasons.
    • A Batbox, used for rerolling LTWs, if necessary, due to the above.
    • Rodney’s Death Creator, spawned from the “placeholder” Sim, so that if I have an incoming CAS teen, I can kill off the parent he/she has to be created and moved in along with.
    • A Mortality Adjuster, in case I need to change anyone into a supernatural. (When someone gets married, for instance, I roll to see if the spouse they get will be a supernatural, just as I do when I create CAS Sims.) If you don’t have InSim, there are PLENTY of objects out there that will instantly transform a Sim into a supernatural and back again.
    • A hacked clothing rack that Sims can buy clothes from, for those Townies With Awful Outfits who marry my playables. The one I use also allows me to change a Sim’s appearance, so that I can change, for instance, stupid-looking hairstyles.
    • A desk with a hacked computer on it and a chair.

    So for the above marrying Sim, I marry them to their “mail order spouse” on the adjustment lot by following the marriage procedure described in the random marriage section above. Once married, I know what the total starting funds for that new couple will be. (The CAS Sim’s starting funds + whatever the spouse had = The couple’s starting funds.) I can then consult my house price list and see where that couple is going to end up, according to the housing info above, and then take out the mortgage, if needed. Once nicely in debt, the couple can then move out of the adjustment lot using the “Find Own Place” function. (They’ll still have their mortgage because the mortgage “attaches” to the Sim who took it out, not to the computer that it was taken out on.)

    HOWEVER, once in the Family Bin, the new couple will show as only having $20,000 available, which won’t be enough to buy their house. So, what I do is familyfund them enough money to buy their house, then move them in, then use familyfunds again to reduce their funds to $1000, the end result being that they’re in debt for their mortgage amount and they have $1000 cash-on-hand to use for whatever they need.

    Now, all that said, the familyfunds cheat has a weakness in that if you have two or more households with the same name, the cheat will affect the funds of the most recently created household with that name, which is not always the household that I will want to affect. If I’m marrying a son out of a given household, he and his wife will have the name of his parent household, of course, but I won’t run into trouble with the familyfunds cheat because his will be the newest household with that name. The same applies if I’m moving a graduated/dropped out college student back into the main neighborhood. However, when I’m moving an “older” family because they’ve outgrown their house but have had kids move out already, I will run into this problem. I can take out any necessary new mortgage on their old lot before I move the family out, so I don’t need to use the adjustment lot, but if I need to subsequently adjust their funds I won’t be able to use familyfunds because the game will adjust the funds of the newer household with the same name. So, things sometimes take a little bit of thought here.

    What I generally do to get around situations like these is note the amount of cash-on-hand that the moving family in question has. Then I take out a mortgage, if necessary. Then I move them out and then move them into their new lot. And then I immediately use the hacked computer to “donate money” until the family is down to whatever amount of cash-on-hand that that they’re supposed to have. It most likely isn’t exact because the smallest amount of money you can donate is $100, but I can get it close enough for jazz.

    I’ll do a bit of math for you, since what I just said is probably a little confusing.

    Say that the Jones family needs a new house because they’ve had twins and don’t have anywhere to put them except out on the back patio. They have $5,000 cash on hand and no outstanding debt, but the house they need costs $75,000. They could take out a mortgage for “just” $70,000, but this will leave them with nothing on hand. (Which, depending on their job/business status, might or might not be OK, depending on how quickly they will replenish cash, bearing in mind that an outstanding $70,000 debt will add a few thousand bucks to their periodic bills.) So, say they want a bit of “cushion,” so they’re going to mortgage all $75,000. This means that when they get to their new house they should have a $75,000 mortgage and their $5,000 cash-on-hand.

    So, to do that, I will have one of the adults take out the loan on their hacked computer. So now the Joneses have $80,000 cash-on-hand with a $75,000 debt attached to Dad. Now, when they move out, they will “earn” money from the “sale” of their house, too, so they should have plenty of money to buy their new house once in the Family Bin. For de-moneying’s sake, though, I don’t let them keep that profit. So say the sale of their house gives them another $15,613, thus giving them, once they’re in the Family Bin, $95,613 on hand. Buying their new house will shave off $75,000 of that, leaving them with $20,613 showing on hand and the $75,000 debt. Really, they should only have $5,000 on hand since I don’t let them keep the proceeds from the sale of their house. So, I have to get rid of that $15,613. If no one else has the last name of Jones, I can use the familyfunds cheat to subtract exactly that amount by typing “familyfunds jones -15613” (without the quotation marks) into the cheat window. But if a “newer” household also has the last name of Jones, then I have someone use the new house’s hacked computer to “donate” $15,600 (since the smallest increment you can donate is $100), leaving the Joneses with $5,013 on hand and a $75,000 debt, which, as I said, is close enough.

    Here’s another couple of examples:

    Say it’s a little while down the road and one of those twins, Johnny Jones, has “grown up” and is moving out of the Jones house but not getting married. Say that the Joneses have $30,500 on hand at that point in time. As you’ll learn in #9 below, according to my “rules,” departing kids take 30% of the family’s cash-on-hand with them as their starting funds, rounded to the nearest $100. So, Johnny’s going to have $9200 as his starting funds. (Because 30500x0.30 = 9150, which rounds to $9,200.) This is not enough to qualify him for a mortgage because he’s not within $10,000 of buying a starter house, so poor Johnny gets a Poor Shack. So, $9,200 gets “donated” from the Jones’s family funds, and then Johnny finds his own place.

    Now Johnny’s in the Family Bin…only he’ll show as having $20,000 available, of course, which he doesn’t “really” have, but we can fix that. Since his is the newest household with the Jones name, I can use familyfunds to reduce his cash-on hand to the $9200 he’s supposed to have. Then, he buys his shack and moves in. Say the shack costs $4700, so now he has $4500 left. But the “rules” say that Poor Shack Sims can only keep a maximum of about $100 on hand, so Johnny has to deposit $4,400 of that into his savings toward a “real” house, and he has his $100 to live on.

    Now say that Johnny’s twin Jerry IS getting married, and he’s marrying and moving out on the same day that Johnny is moving out. (It’s a whirlwind day at the Joneses!) Jerry marries a Townie who brings with her $9,000, giving them starting funds of $18,200. This is enough to qualify them for a mortgage. Say that the house that suits them costs $28,000 but is unfurnished so they need a bit extra to buy the necessities. The difference between their starting funds and the cost of their house is $9800. They’ll need $1000 for necessities, so they need a mortgage of $10,800. Jerry takes out this loan on his family’s computer, and then he donates his $9200 share of the family’s money, the same as Johnny’s share, while he’s at it. (So his parents are losing $18,400 of their $30,500 today.) Then he and his lovely wife move out. When they get to their new house, they should have $1000 on hand and a $10,800 debt.

    Now they’re in the Family Bin…with only $20,000 available, not enough to buy their house. But that’s OK because they’re the newest Jones household, so I can familyfund them enough to buy their house. So, I do so and move them in. Then I use familyfunds to set their cash-on-hand to $1000 and they’ll have their $10,800 debt. Good to go.

    So, it really isn’t that hard; you just have to know whether or not the household you’re working with is the newest household with that name and you have to do a bit of basic math, nothing too scary. In return, you get out of the $20,000 rut in a random and sort of creative way.
  • Teens and Their (lack of) Usefulness.
    I used to hate teens with a burning passion. That life stage just drags on…and on…and in my bigger families teens would just clog up the house for their ridiculously interminable stretch of teen days, especially when I couldn’t send them to Uni, doing nothing but taking up valuable space that I wanted to use for other purposes, dammit. Yet, I found myself not wanting to monkey with the length of the teen life stage because that makes it more difficult to keep ages in synch when it comes to families in which some children go to college and some don’t. To protect age-synching with a shortened teen lifestage, I had to play any college Sim all the way through his/her college years in one rotation. Whenever I tried to do that, I got really, really bored, sometimes to the point of giving up playing the BACC altogether if I had a chunk of college students to play in a row. I really do find that I must break up Uni into two rotations of two college years each or else I end up wanting to kill YAs.

    Then, like a ray of light from heaven complete with accompanying chorus of angelic voices…I discovered The Inteenimator. (Yes, I’m slow. Shut up.) It has features that make teens useful and productive, and therefore I don’t have to hate them anymore. So now, my teens are really only “true teens” for five days. (On the theory that if a Sim day is a representation of a year except during pregnancy and infanthood, then the teen years should be between 13 and 18, yes? Which is 5 years.) At five days into teenhood, they become “little adults,” although I don’t actually age them up. Some go to college at that point, though there are restrictions on that (see below), and if they do that, they become actual young adults, of course. But if they don’t do that, they either get married (using the hacked wedding arch) and move out and start making with the baybeez if that’s their destiny, OR they just up and move out on their own like any self-respecting 18-year-old should do. ;) (I use InSim to age them to “Independent Teen” status and then age them back down to regular teen with 10 days left until adulthood once I have them on their new lot. I’m sure there are other ways to do it.) What I do with a given non-college-bound teen is randomly determined by rolls, but whatever the case, they GTFO of their parents’ houses after just 5 days of teenhood. This makes me much, MUCH happier.

    Now, since I have Inteen, my married teens can start with the babies and all, like I said, and Inteen will also make it so that, at 7 days left to adulthood, they can have the adult jobs instead of the utterly useless teen ones. At that point, with 7 days left to adulthood, I don’t think of them as teens at all; it’s really adding the second week of “teenhood” to the adult lifestage without actually monkeying with the length of those lifestages and thus screwing up my precious age-synching. Sweet! *thumbs up*

    Also: Inteen gives you random miscarriages for all pregnancies, not just teen ones, which can be interesting. And occasionally frustrating, but that’s OK. I’m trying to break my I-control-everything! mindset, after all.
  • Riches to Rags.
    Since I ditched the whole tax concept, I had to find a way to de-money my Sims in some way that wasn’t as complicated and as easy-for-absentminded-me to lose track of as taxing was. Otherwise, they all end up living far too high on the hog. So, my Sims lose money in other ways.

    The first de-moneying method is that, when a non-college-bound teen either marries or moves out, they take 30% of the family’s current accrued cash with them, rounded to the nearest $100. This amount (plus the money their spouse brings, if they marry) becomes the teen’s starting funds. In general, this means that, in my game, it’s nice to be the firstborn. There usually isn’t as much money available for the subsequent kids, especially if they were born close together, unless the parents are raking in wads of cash every day. Twins moving out means that 60% of the family’s cash moves out with them. Ouch. I guess my Sims should be glad that I don’t have the triplets/quads hack…

    The second de-moneying method is that college ain’t free, just as in the original rules. It costs $30,000, which is more than the original rules. And unlike my original rules, if the parents can’t afford it, but the kid has earned going to college, then the parents must take out a loan for the full $30,000, even if they already have $29,999. I use the hacked computer to do this, and then I immediately “donate” the $30,000 back using that computer’s “Donate Money” function. So then the parents have to repay that loan and its interest on top of possibly a business loan and possibly a mortgage. As in real life, debt up to one’s eyeballs is a very costly thing.

    • Of course, parents have their revenge: Whatever they haven’t paid off of the school loan before the kid graduates gets transferred to the kid once he/she graduates/drops out/is expelled. Since this is the case, in order to keep track of the balance on the college loan separately, I have a Sim who has no money already on loan take it out. So if the dad has a business loan and/or a mortgage in his name, I have the mom take out the college loan. Then the balances are tracked separately. Otherwise, it will be practically impossible, given that interest accrues, to know how much the kid will still owe, if anything, when he/she finishes with college. In terms of parents paying off loans, other than via the regular periodic bills, I give priority to paying off business loans first, mortgages second, and student loans third. So unless a genie shows up, parents often pay on the student loan only whatever is forcefully added to the periodic bills. Which means that Junior will likely have a nice chunk of debt on his hands right out of college, just like real life, which will be especially hurtful if he didn’t graduate.

    The third de-moneying method is the whole concept of families not being able to alter the footprint of their house. Having to buy a whole new larger house is far more expensive than altering one they already own, especially because I don’t let them keep any profits from the sale of their outgrown home. This often means going quite steeply into debt, which means much bigger bills, plus interest steadily accruing.

    These three things work pretty well, I’ve found, to keep Sims not fabulously wealthy. My single Sims tend to become the richest ones, for all that they tend to have to struggle more at the beginning, deprived as they are of money from a spouse and especially if they aren’t business-owners and have to wait a while to get into a career. But they haven’t become rich enough that I feel a need to go out of my way to strip them of money. Yet.
  • I is a kolege stoodent.
    Since I now attach a Uni from the get-go, I had to decide if/how I wanted to use it, other than pilfering Dormies for spouses. In the end, I decided to use it but also to restrict it somewhat. Not everyone wants to or is eligible to go to college. Those eligible are all Knowledge Sims and any non-Knowledge Sims who have an LTW to top any of the careers that require a college degree. (And more of them require a degree, playing this way. More on that below.) If a non-Knowledge teen doesn’t have such an LTW, they don’t get to go to college. Period. No matter how many wants they roll to do so. Beyond that, there are further conditions that must be satisfied or else an otherwise eligible teen still can’t go to college, as follows:

    • Once my Sims transition to teens, they no longer go to school. I use Inge’s school changer and change them to her “Flexischool.” The reason I do this is that I want to shorten the amount of time they have to earn an A+. Because in order to go to Uni, they must have an A+ grade by the time they transition to teen. To make this a bit harder (because it really isn’t that hard), a child does homework and/or learns to study only if/when they roll wants to do so.
    • The teen must earn one of the skill-based scholarships by no later than bedtime on the night before they are to leave for college, meaning they have to have 8 points in one of the skill areas. There’s one such scholarship for each skill, so I roll 1-7 to see which one they must earn. (1=Cooking, 2=Mechanical, 3=Charisma, 4=Body, 5=Logic, 6=Creativity, 7=Cleaning.)  If they already have points in that skill, that helps. If not, they have their work cut out for them because they have to earn 8 skill points in four days, and I don’t necessarily make it easy on them. To make this harder on possibly college-bound teens:
      1. They have a strict bedtime, as do children. Children have to be in bed by 9, teens by 11. (Unless they’re vampires of course, in which case bedtime is 5AM.) If they aren’t tired enough to go to bed, I use a motive-adjusting object to make them tired enough. No staying up skilling all night.
      2. Children don’t skill at all unless they roll wants to do so. That way, unless a child is naturally studious, when they become a teen they often only have whatever skills they built as toddlers.
      3. If the teen has a parent who owns a business, whether or not the teen is college-eligible, they must accompany that parent to help run the business each day rather than have a job. My rule is that all businesses operate from 10AM-6PM Mon-Fri. (Unless I have businesses owned by vampires, in which case the hours are 9PM-5AM Mon-Fri, leaving teens only between 7PM and the time they leave to help with the business to skill, since their bedtime is 5AM.) This puts college-eligible teens at a great disadvantage in terms of time for skill-building because by the time they come home and see to their motives, they sometimes only have an hour or two to skill before they have to go to bed. If they have a weekend before they are scheduled to leave for college, they have a better chance, but if not…? But then, in real life, it often happens that if a parent owns a business, his/her children often get “drafted” as unpaid laborers and their education suffers. That’s life.
      4. So that teens of non-business-owning parents can’t just sit and work on a skill all day, all college-eligible teens who don’t have to help with a business must have a job. For this purpose alone, it doesn’t matter what job it is or whether or not it has been unlocked and/or has openings, nor does it count against available openings for other Sims. The job’s only purpose in this case is to deprive college-eligible teens of some time in a way that I don’t have to think about. I generally just put them in the first job that comes up on the computer after I know whether or not they’re college-eligible, and I don’t worry about whether or not they’re promoted. (NOTE: For non-college-bound teens who don’t have to help with a business, the regular career rules apply. Meaning, they can only have a job in careers that are opened and that have available slots. This exception is only for teens who might be going to college, if they can meet the requirements.)
  • Uni the Hard Way. Or Not.
    I used to be in a rut with Uni. Everyone who went came out with a 4.0 GPA and a summa cum laude diploma, and then they secured a high-ranking job. In a few days’ time they achieved their LTW…and then they were suddenly boring. I tried to let them have fun, I really did, but…it just wouldn’t happen. Kind of like how I couldn’t seem to make myself have fun in college… So damn serious, I was.

    So, I decided that after their first class to meet their profs (and their first class after any change of major, to meet their new profs), a student would only go to class/do assignments/write term papers/do research if they rolled wants to do so. I will let them schmooze and even woohoo their profs (EWWWW!) for grades without them rolling a want to do so, and I will let them influence other Sims to do work for them if they have the influence points to do it with, but that’s it. The only academic thing they have to do without rolling a want for it is to take their finals. If this leads to expulsion, so be it…although generally when it’s clear that they are steadfastly refusing to be academic and when calling their profs doesn’t get grade points anymore and they are out of influence points and probably won’t be able to replenish them, I will get impatient and just drop them out because I can see the writing on the wall.

    So now, generally, my Fortune and Knowledge Sims make it through Uni fine, often with that 4.0. Any Romance, Family, or Popularity Sims who get to go to college at all….not so much. Sometimes a secondary aspiration of Knowledge or Fortune will save them. Sometimes they’ll just squeak through with a C-. But usually, they get expelled or would be if I didn’t drop them out first.

    In terms of making money while at Uni, the only money I allow them to keep is end-of-semester bonuses and any scholarships they earned before they arrived at Uni. They can do other things that earn money, like painting or busking or what-have-you, but I strip them of any money they earn by doing those things because I am cruel. I do give every Uni student a hacked computer for free. (Meaning, I refund them the money for one. Anyone who goes to Uni has enough money to buy one, since they will get at minimum the scholar’s grant and the skill scholarship they have to earn. I just give them their money back for the computer, and then they take it with them when they leave and keep it forever and ever.) But otherwise I’m cruel.

    For “lucky” born-in-game Sims who happen to be able to find their own perfect mate, they usually do so in college, if they go to college and aren’t spending all their time being academic. Otherwise, they only do the date-y thing if they roll wants for it. Because, as I said, I hate the date-y thing.

    To keep aging in synch, especially in multi-child families where some kids go to college and some don’t, I split up a Sim’s college experience into two rotations. I play their freshman and sophomore years and then the next rotation I play their junior and senior years. Since my rotations are a SimWeek long for each household, Monday to Monday, this keeps ages in sync pretty well. If your rotation lengths are different, though, you might have to monkey with this a bit.

    And then I had to decide what to do with a Sim once they were done with Uni, either by graduating or dropping out/being expelled. So:
  • I gots da bluuuuues…I gots da “I’m done with college and now I have to face reality” bluuuuuues…
    There are rewards for hard work and diligence at Uni, yes indeed there are.

    If the Sim graduates, they keep their $20,000 “graduation bonus” plus whatever money they have earned while at Uni, which can be significant if they’ve earned A+ grades each semester all along, giving them $1200 per semester for eight semesters. I deposit all of their funds into their bank account using the hacked computer before moving them out of Uni. If they are not to marry, I move them into the adjustment lot first so that they can withdraw the money in their account and while they’re there, they can mortgage up to $20,000 in addition to their accumulated funds. And then they move out of that lot and into their house and have their funds adjusted as necessary, as described for CAS Sims above. If they are to marry, whether it’s a random spouse or someone they’ve been allowed to fall in love with all by themselves, I have them marry their spouse on the adjustment lot, as per above. They then have their accumulated funds, their graduation bonus, and whatever money their spouse brings as their starting funds, plus they can mortgage up to $20,000 extra in order to establish their extravagant new household. They may not move back in with their parents or into any other established household. (NOTE: I don’t play “legacy style.” Kids move out of their birth houses and never, ever move back in. When Mom and Dad finally have an empty nest, they sell their baby-rearing house, are allowed to keep the proceeds just this once, and then I build them a lovely little luxury retirement cottage. Age has its rewards.)

    If the Sim doesn’t graduate, the only money they have is whatever they had when they dropped out/got expelled. It usually isn’t very much because usually they haven’t earned much if anything in end-of-semester bonuses, so often they only have their scholarship money. Whatever the case, the same housing rules and procedures apply as for CAS Sims. They, too, have to move into the adjustment lot first, since all their money is inaccessible except via a computer. And unless they happen to marry a loaded Downtownie, most of my drop-outs end up in Poor Shacks, the poor lazy dears. ;)

    BUT! Like I said above, if a student’s parents had to take out a loan to pay for the kid’s college, once they’re out of college any balance remaining on that loan gets transferred to the kid. (Which is a really big owie for those who drop out and don’t marry well.) I do this by going into the parents’ lot, motherloding them some money, paying off the loan, and then donating back any extra money so that the parents have more or less the same amount of cash on hand as they did when I entered their lot. Then, I add the loan balance to the kid’s bank account and it’s their burden from then on.

    NOTE: For those Sims who are expelled/drop out, in order to keep aging in sync, I don’t actually play their post-college household until the rotation after they would have graduated, had they stayed in school.
  •  Because Diploma-less Surgeons Would Be Very, Very Scary
    Since the pace of expansion in my BACC is pretty much drastically slower than it used to be when I first started playing this way, I have accordingly adjusted/eliminated some of the population requirements for opening some of the careers. If I didn’t do that, some of these careers would be unavailable to me for a long, looooooooong time. Depending on how fast your population is expanding, you may or may not like and/or want to adopt some of these changes; they might make things too easy if your population is growing quickly. Also, since I have a Uni available to me from the start, I have made it so that more careers require degrees. It doesn’t make a lick of sense to have doctors and teachers who haven’t gone to college, after all… (Note: If I don’t list a career here, then I’m using the original rules and requirements.)
    • Architecture: Only open to Sims with a degree in Physics or Mathematics. Slots don’t open no matter how many buildings go up.
    • Criminal: The first slot opens when the population reaches 30.
    • Culinary: The first slot in the career is opened whether or not the restaurant that opens the slot is player-owned, and so there is no rank requirement. (Reason: I HATE running restaurants! Any restaurants in my ‘hoods are community-owned, which really doesn’t make any sense at all, but I hate running them enough that I don’t give a damn about it making sense.)
    • Dance: The dance studio that opens this career can only be owned by a Sim who actually has the ability to instruct others in music and dance. Even if they never actually do any instructing in the studio, they must have and maintain the ability to do so. (Since hobby enthusiasm degrades unless you have a hack that prevents it.)
    • Education: Only open to Sims with a college degree, but it can be any degree. Slots no longer open according to population.
    • Journalism: A position opens whenever the population reaches a multiple of 100.
    • Law Enforcement: I have deleted the slots that open at increments in population. Now, slots are only added when a burglary happens, whenever three Sim-started fires happen, or when someone reaches the top of the Criminal career. (I had far too many cops in my ‘hoods. *laughs*) Also, there can only be one Police Chief and one Captain Hero at a time.
    • Medicine: Only open to Sims with a degree in Biology. Only one Chief of Staff at a time is allowed.
    • Military:
      I only give myself 8 randomly-generated CAS Sims to initially populate it, not 15. Six of those must be enlisted recruits at the bottom of the career, who all live in one household, the barracks, until they start being promoted and/or getting married. As usual, whether or not a military Sim will marry is randomly decided. If they are to do so, they marry their chosen/designated spouse on the Saturday of their initial rotation – not right away, as in my other households – and they move out of the barracks and into a private house at that time, at which point they become a separate military household to play.

      In general, I let the barracks run pretty much completely on free will, kind of like an asylum-challenge asylum, only I don’t control ANY of the residents except to command one of them to clean everything every couple of days. Other than that, when not on duty, the grunts do what they want. I equip the barracks with all sorts of objects that they can potentially use to amuse/educate themselves. They have a very basic kitchen with only a mini-fridge, a couple of counters, and a microwave to feed themselves. (The commissary concept was nice, but I got tired of sending them there.)  But in order to “decide” who will be promoted, I only let them skill if they roll wants to do so. Therefore, only those with a “desire” to be promoted will be. In this way, I have some military Sims who are grunts for life.

      Once anyone moves out of the barracks for whatever reason, I immediately create a replacement grunt for him/her, even if I’m mid-rotation, and move him/her into the barracks. The barracks always has to have a minimum of six residents. I built mine with 8 little dorm rooms, to accommodate any incoming playable Sims without having to throw out any current residents. This has worked fine so far.

      One of the two remaining initial CAS Sims must be the base commander, a General (I use InSim’s career adjuster to put him/her at the top of the career) who will eventually be displaced by another Sim who actually rises through the ranks. (The ousted General and his/her family, if any, “retires” and moves back to the main ‘hood.) The final initial CAS Sim I usually make a mid-career officer who lives in a small private house.

      Here’s the kicker: Those initial Sims and any eventual spouses and children and replacement enlistees and such – In other words, ANYONE living on the base – DO NOT EVER count toward the city’s population unless/until they end up living off the base for whatever reason. For this reason, no CAS Sims are required to create new military personnel as needed, once a base is established. This rule includes Sims who DID count toward the population before they entered the Military career; those Sims get removed from your population count unless/until they move off the base again.

      Basically, as in real life, the military base is an entirely separate entity from the town it’s plunked down into, although it CAN feed people back into the town’s population at times. (i.e. children growing up and having to leave unless they enter the Military career themselves or people getting fired or what-have-you.) The base does still increase your multiplier by 5, though.
    • Politics: Unlocked when the population reaches 250. Still only one mayor allowed.
    • Science: Sims only have to max their Logic skill to enter this career and not their science enthusiasm, too. But they MUST max out Logic only by using the telescope at night, not by playing chess, not by doing crossword puzzles, and not by spying on neighbors during the day. (If they autonomously go to do those things, I cancel the action.) Often, this means they max their science enthusiasm, too, anyway…but not always.
    • Slacker: Even though I attach a Downtown from the start now, the Slacker career isn’t unlocked until I would have earned that Downtown. But since my town’s growth is MUCH slower now, I’ve decided that earning a Downtown happens when the population reaches 5,000, not 25,000.

    Speaking of adjusting population-based requirements, I have NOT adjusted the population thresholds when services open…but only because I never use the services, anyway. In my ‘hood, Sims who have kids stay home from work (or come home early from running their business) if they must, even if it results in being fired. I find this preferable to using the mostly-useless nannies who have the annoying habit of burning houses down. Sims also fix their own broken things, clean their own houses, and do their own damn gardening. And they cook their own food, never ordering out. Heaven help them if roaches invade. It’s just the way I play.

    I also never use the pet careers, so I haven’t changed the rules on those, either. I would change them, if I used them.
  • Zombie Love! (And Plant Love. And Vampire Love. And Werewolf Love. And even Witch Love, I guess.)
    I used to hate the supernaturals almost as much as I hated teens. I must thank Olliepop on the MTS forum for changing my mind and having and sharing the idea of heritable supernaturalness. So now I have incorporated the supernaturals into my game, and I generally enjoy them, although I will sometimes still become bored with the immortal ones. In any case, those incorporations are:

    A) In order to introduce supernaturalness into the 'hood, all CAS Sims have a 20% chance of being created as a supernatural. When I’m creating them, I roll 1-100, and if I roll a number between 1 and 20, they will be a supernatural. I then roll to see what kind they will be. I roll 1-4.
    1 = Plantsim
    2= Vampire (I disallow this for military CAS Sims; it doesn't mesh well with the career. The others are OK, though.)
    3= Werewolf
    4= Zombie
    (Of course, if I had Apartment Life, I’d roll 1-5, with a roll of 5 making the Sim a witch, and then I suppose I’d have to roll to determine which kind they would be. But I don’t have Apartment Life.) Once I move the creature!Sim into his/her lot, I use InSim’s Mortality Adjuster to change them to their rolled status, but many other hacked objects can be used to do this. Sims who are created as supernaturals stay that way for life. Those who are immortal can only be killed via one of the population controls I’ll tell you about in the next section. (Of course to kill them you have to change them back to humans first…but you could probably figure that out all by yourself. ;) )

    B) For Sims that roll a want to be any kind of supernatural during the course of game play, I immediately turn them into one, but not necessarily the one they roll. (Mine pretty much only roll wants to be werewolves, since they don’t generally get to have contact with vampires because I can’t use the Downtown…unless, of course, someone randomly marries a Grand Vamp, which is always fun.) Anyway, I do the same roll above to see which supernatural they will become and then, again, I transform them with the Mortality Adjuster.

    If such a Sim was already supernatural but rolls a want to be a different one, then they become a hybrid. (For instance, if a vampire rolls a want to be a werewolf, then I roll to see what kind of trait will be added to their vampireness...and in this case I'd be praying that it won’t be plantsim.
    If they roll the/a trait they already have, I roll again.) The difference is that this kind of supernatural condition is NOT PERMANENT. They keep that particular trait for only two weeks, then they revert to human or back to only the trait(s) they previously had. (This avoids boredom for me.)

    C) Those supernaturals who have the ability to turn other Sims into supernaturals (Meaning, vampires and werewolves) must do so if they roll a want to do so, even though relationships take a huge hit for this. For those Sims who are “turned,” the condition is permanent even if the person who “turned” them doesn’t have permanent supernaturalness.

    D) Now, the bit that Olliepop added to my brain is the concept of heritable supernaturalness, which is very fun. In my world, if not in Olliepop’s world, it works like this: Any child conceived while a parent is a supernatural has a 50% chance of inheriting that supernatural trait. The traits begin to be expressed when the child transitions to teen. (Since babies, toddlers, and children can’t be supernatural.) So, for some examples, in case the math frightens you:

    • If when a kid is conceived, their mom is a Plantsim and their dad is human, then I would roll 1-100 once, for the mom’s Plantsim trait. If the number I roll is odd, then the kid becomes a Plantsim. If the number is even, then the kid is human.

    • Now if when the above kid was conceived, their mom is a Plantsim AND their dad is a werewolf, then the kid has an independent 50% chance of inheriting both traits. So, I’d have to roll 1-100 twice, once for the Plantsim trait and once for the werewolf trait. If I roll one odd number, then the kid would inherit only whichever trait that I was rolling for at the time. If both numbers I roll are odd, the kid becomes a Plantsim/werewolf hybrid. If both numbers I roll are even, the kid inherits neither supernatural trait and stays human.

    • Now, here’s where things get more interesting and the math gets a little bit harder…although I’ve pretty much done it for you: If one or both of the parents was multi-supernatural him/herself, then each trait he/she has is heritable by a certain independent percentage, depending on the number of traits in each parent’s heritage. So if the mom of our hypothetical kid here is a Plantsim/Werewolf hybrid and the dad is a vampire, then the percentages would look like this:
      • Mom has a 25% chance of passing on her Plantsim trait AND a 25% chance of passing on her werewolf trait. (In other words, the 50% chance of inheriting supernaturalness in general is divided between the two kinds of supernatural that the mom is. If the mom had three traits, then there would be a 17% chance of inheriting each of them. If by chance the mom had four traits, then the chance of inheriting each trait is 12%. And in the extremely unlikely case of five traits, if you have AL, it’d be 10% each.)
      • Dad, meanwhile, has a 50% chance of passing on his vampire trait.

        So, three rolls for the kid are needed here, one for each supernatural trait that can be passed to him from his parents. The two from the mom’s side will be 1-100 rolls with rolls between 1 and 25 giving the kid the trait being rolled for. The third roll is a 1-100 roll with an odd roll giving the kid a vampire trait.

        With the above pairing (and even more so if even more traits are involved), you have the possibility of many different interesting hybrids, always including the possibility of a fully-human child. (Of course in this case, an unfortunate Plantsim/Vampire hybrid…would probably be not long for the world. ;) ) Whatever the case, though, inherited supernaturalness is permanent. And I would use the Mortality Adjuster (or whatever such object you prefer) to give the kid the trait(s) once he/she is a teen.

    • Note: As I said, Sims can’t be supernatural until they are teens, so I have to keep track of this and remember to change them when they transition to teen!
  • 15)   You! Outta the Gene Pool, Pronto!
    Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Rodney’s Death Creator. (Bonus points if you get the reference!)

    One of my problems in previous stabs at this challenge has been too damn many Sims too quickly, especially when everyone was busy making babies and I was opening businesses left and right so there were buckets of CAS Sims that I could make. I used to grit my teeth and bear it, due to the population requirements for certain careers and such, but since I’ve adjusted that, I’m much happier with a smaller and more slowly-growing population. To that end, I have instated three possible population controls, as follows:

    1. Women have a 1 in 10 chance of dying in childbirth. Each time a baby is born, I roll 1-10. If I roll a 3, mom is toast the day after the baby is born. Even if I really like her. Rodney’s Death Creator is spawned, and I kill her by disease. Alien-pregnant men (or women, if as I do you have a hack that allows women to be alien-impregnated, too) are exempt from this. The alien-ness protects them. Yeah, that’s it…

      (This is important to me because I love aliens and always have at least one lot owned by a Knowledge Sim that has a hacked telescope which allows me to regularly command abductions and/or allows Sims to autonomously choose to be abducted. So abduction is quite common in my ‘hoods, not something that happens only once in a blue moon, and I must protect my precious alien-spawners! ;) )

    2. For each rotation (Which for me is still Monday to Monday, one full SimWeek, for each household) other than the “founding” rotation, there is a 1 in 10 chance of plague. Whenever I’m at the top of my households list, I roll 1-10. If I roll an 8, then 25% of the population dies. Sims at Uni are exempt, since I imagine the Uni to be very far away from the main neighborhood. Any military Sims, although they don’t count toward the population, are NOT exempt from plague. And aliens and the Sims who make them aren’t exempt this time, either, alas.

      So, I number my current Sims and then roll a certain amount of times a number between 1 and the total number of Sims that I have. The number of times I roll is equal to the closest whole number to 25% of the total number of playable Sims. (Not the multiplied number, of course, but the “raw” number of Sims.) For example, if I have 27 playables, then I have to kill 7 of them because 27x0.25 = 6.75. So. I roll 7 numbers. The Sims that correspond to those numbers die. If a chosen Sim isn’t yet old enough to die (Meaning, they’re a baby or a toddler)…Well, then they’re lucky! They miraculously recover!  It’s the amazing power of youth! Rodney’s Death Creator will only kill children and up. (Of course, if you have Pescado’s baby roaster….but that doesn’t work on toddlers. ;) )

      I then roll to see what kind of plague happens. There are no less than 11 ways to die on the RDC, if you have Seasons (assuming the death(s?) that Seasons added won’t show on the RDC unless you have Seasons), but I exclude old age because…Yeah, a plague of Old Age makes no sense. So, I roll 1-10 and then count clockwise from Old Age to whatever number I roll. A Plague of Satellites is particularly amusing. (And as a bonus, it earns the grieving families a bit of money if they sell the satellites!

    3.  Each non-plague week, each Sim child-age and up has a 1 in 20 chance of Completely Mysterious Random Death. At the start of each non-plague rotation, I roll 1-20 for every child-age-and-up Sim in the ‘hood. (Again, Sims are exempt while they’re at Uni, but not exempt if they’re on the military base.) If I roll a 13, that Sim dies. I choose a random death for them in the same way that I choose the type of plague above.

    If any of the above controls would result in orphans, I move the future orphans in with another family who has room for them using a summoner and the Tombstone of L&D before I kill their parents. That way, I avoid putting them into the adoption pool, and this also keeps them in the population, since I almost never have Sims adopt. They also retain their last name and all their memories and stuff. The only snag is that babies and toddlers can’t be summoned to other lots. The solution is to temporarily age up babies and toddlers to children (Babies can be made selectable and age-able with the InSim and probably with the SimBlender that most people seem to prefer now that InSim is unsupported but that I don’t have), then summon them to/move them in with their new family, and then age them back down and adjust their days remaining in that lifestage to the number than it was before you moved them. You can only age down to toddler, but that’s not a great loss. IMO, it’s much better than the adoption pool. I don’t like it that playable Sims that go into the adoption pool lose their last names and any memories that they had…

    Also, if any Sims become widows/widowers due to a population control method, then they have a possibility of remarrying unless they are an Elder. Family Sims always remarry. The other aspirations except Romance have a 50% chance of remarrying, so I roll 1-100 and an odd roll means widow/widower remarries. Romance Sims have only a 20% chance of remarrying, so I roll 1-100 and a roll of 1-20 means that they will remarry. If they are to remarry, they do so randomly. (Similarly widows/widowers of Sims who die of old age may remarry, just as above, if they aren’t Elders themselves.)

Annnnnnd….I think that’s it! Whew! If you made it all the way down here, then…Congratulations. I guess. ;)