Sims 3 Legacy Challenge: Orlanna Faust

Orlanna Faust didn’t remember much about her childhood or adolescence, except that they had been unpleasant. Whenever she tried to access memories from even her late teenage years, she became overwhelmed by feelings of loneliness and grief.

All she could remember clearly was a surreal and yet vivid dream – it had to have been a dream – in which she had begged for a new life far from her mundane, dreary world. A sim-like being in a long, black, hooded cloak had answered her. She could not make out the being’s features, nor understand their words, and yet she had the sense she had agreed to… something. Then she awoke, alone in an empty field, overlooking a valley unlike anything she’d ever seen…

A light-skinned, female-presenting sim sits cross-legged in the grass. There is a thought bubble above her head with an image of a black bird. She is outdoors on a sunny day on a grassy hill, with trees, mountains, and a waterfall in the distance.

Orlanna contemplates her current situation.

I’ve decided to try the Sims 3 Legacy Challenge one more time. I created a new founder and moved her into one of the 64×64 lots in Dragon Valley, then used the “familyfunds” cheat to reduce the family funds to $1800.

For an overview of the challenge and its rules, visit the Sims 3 Legacy Challenge website. In short, the challenge is to play for 10 generations without using cheat codes, extending your sims’ lifespans, raising them from the dead, etc. You start with just one sim on a very large empty lot and $1800 starting cash.

I decided to alter some of the rules for my challenge run:

  1. I added a total of 10 days to the “normal” sim lifespan.
  2. I decided that the camera in the founder’s inventory at the start of the game may not be sold.
  3. I added “No Bills Ever,” “Fireproof Homestead,” and “Young Again” to the list of forbidden Lifetime Rewards.
  4. Updated: I set up my own rules governing the traits I choose for sims that are born in-game (instead of requiring them all to be random):
    1. They must have the family trait.
    2. There is a 50/50 chance that female descendants of the founder will be born with the “Lucky” trait. When present, the “Lucky” trait takes the place of one of the requirements below:
    3. One trait must be from the mother.
    4. One trait must be from the father.
    5. One trait must be random.
    6. I have unrestricted choice of one trait.
    7. If the sim acquires an additional trait (e.g. from completing a degree) I will keep whichever one is suggested by the game.
  5. I’m playing a matriarchal family: I have a female founder and “only female children may become the heir to bring in the next generation.” Males born into the family may (but are not required to) stay to help take care of their nieces and nephews.
  6. My goal is for each heir to have children with whichever unrelated male sim(s) she chooses – without the need for marriage or other committed romantic relationships. (This way I don’t have to take control of non-player characters.) In fact, I’ve chosen “Commitment Issues” as the family trait to support this play style.
  7. I’m going to try to make additions to the legacy house without altering the existing structure. That means existing walls, exterior wall coverings, doors, and windows will remain whenever possible.

Founder: Orlanna Faust

A light-skinned female-presenting sim dressed in firefighters' pants, boots, and hat stands with one hand on her hip in front of autumn foliage and a barrel of pumpkins.

Orlanna dresses up as a firefighter for Spooky Day!

Orlanna began her life in Dragon Valley with no coherent memories, a digital camera, a high school diploma with the name of a school she did not recognize, and $1800 – hardly enough to buy or build a house. She wandered the town somewhat aimlessly at first, awed by the strange appearance of the locals… – were they… elves?

Fortunately for her, it was not long before Orlanna learned that the fire department was hiring, “no experience necessary.” The job description stipulated that applicants must be willing to live at the fire house during the workweek; that was perfect. In exchange for risking her life to save strangers, Orlanna gained a home that satisfied her basic needs.

Left: Two female-presenting sims - one of whom has white skin, purple hair, and pointy ears - shake hands. There is a fire truck in the background. Right: The same individual sleep in twin beds with "zzz" over their heads.

Left: Orlanna joins the fire department. Right: Orlanna sleeps in the fire house dormitory.

Fighting fires was hard work, but Orlanna found it rewarding. She began to make a name for herself around town. Yet – although people applauded her bravery, thanked her for saving their lives, and even seemed to like her – Orlanna struggled to make and keep friends. Try as she might to adapt to the local customs, she was prone to accidentally offending people – which caused her to lose their trust. Orlanna was often lonely; she turned to brooding to fill the void.

Left: A firefighter sprays the contents of a fire extinguisher on a large fire in someone's living room. Right: A male-presenting sim with yellow skin, blonde hair, and pointy ears covers his mouth and stares wide-eyed at the firefighter, who has a speech bubble over her head with a bouquet of flowers in it.

Left: Orlanna attempts to extinguish a large, dangerous house fire.
Right: A townsperson is impressed by Orlanna-the-firefighter’s dedication and courage.

Over time, Orlanna learned to tread more carefully in social situations. She made a friend or two and began to feel less lonely. And then she met Orion Lawless, a concession stand vendor at the winter festival. They fell in love almost instantly…

A booth with a cash register and menus on either side fills the foreground. Behind it, a female-presenting sim embraces a male-presenting sim with off-white skin and purple hair.

Orlanna and Orion embrace at the winter festival.

Legacy House

By working hard and spending wisely, Orlanna saved up enough money to build and furnish a small house in the field where she had first entered Dragon Valley. Far from the center of town, it served as a sanctuary where she could be fully herself.

A small one-story house with a porch. Icicles and holiday lights hang from the roof. It is covered and surrounded by snow.

Orlanna’s cozy little house on a snowy day.

It was with great joy that Orlanna hosted her first gift-giving party, which turned out to be a huge success!!!

A large open room with kitchen furnishings in the foreground, a couch in the left background, a table with chairs and bedroom furniture in the right background. Male- and female-presenting sims sit or stand around a large pile of presents near the center of the room. One male-presenting sim is opening a present.

Orlanna’s friends and acquaintances gather in her home to open presents.

Thanks for reading!

Sims 3 Legacy: Beyond the Veil

This is the fifth installment of my Sims 3 Legacy; I’m halfway to my goal of 10 generations! Today’s post picks up where Part 4 left off: with Oma pregnant very soon after her high school graduation.

Legacy Family

Oma gave birth to a boy (whom she named Patrick), followed soon after by a girl (Penny).

This served as a sort of wake up call for her uncle Nash: he wasn’t getting any younger, and he wanted to be sure his nieces’ children would have plenty of adults available to care for them. So, he reopened his workshop and built a second simbot, whom he named Kim.

Back-profile view of an older man (left) looking at a silver metal anthropomorphic robot (center).

Kim (right) tells Nash (left) about zir awesome features. Nash’s other, non-sentient inventions are visible in the background.

A man crouches with arms extended to a toddler with long hair, who is standing with hands extended toward the man's face. A robot stands holding a male toddler, who appears to be laughing.

Nash (center) teaches Penny to walk, while Kim (right foreground) tickles Patrick.

Nash died soon afterward, much to his chagrin. His love of inventing had been reawakened, there were new children to help raise… but he was out of time. Though his legacy wasn’t quite as world-changing as he’d wanted, Nash tried to take comfort in the fact that he had created a simbot who outlived him. Death claimed Nash as ze must do to all sims.

Oma had always been uniquely attuned to the reality beyond the grave, so it seemed only natural for her to become a ghost hunter. At first she was called upon to capture simple spirits who had lost their self-identity – and whom her clients found annoying. Most of these spirits turned out to be friendly, scared, or hurting. Oma discovered that, by catching and releasing them, she could enable these spirits to be at peace.

It is nighttime in a clearing surrounded by trees. A young woman in a yellow jumpsuit holds out a container. Above her, a bright green semi-transparent ghost-like shape rises out of the container.

Oma releases a recently-captured spirit into the night.

Oma quickly built a reputation as a successful ghost hunter, which brought a welcome influx of clients. She was increasingly called upon to eliminate ghostly presences that made her clients feel uneasy in their own homes, and that at times even threatened clients’ safety. These ghosts were sentient and took forms similar to the ones they’d had in life. Oma found they simply needed someone to be compassionate and reassure them that it was safe to let go of this existence.

The image features a man (left) who is purple, transparent, and wearing chain mail. He is shaking hands with a woman wearing a yellow jumpsuit (right).

Oma (right) shakes hands with a ghost (left) whom she has convinced to move on.

Meanwhile, Oma’s sister Olive graduated high school and joined a criminal organization in hopes of someday becoming a master thief. She had an affair with her superior (a fairy named Luis Case) and birthed a son (whom she named Paul). Olive has been working hard and rising in the ranks (despite numerous arrests).

A large family poses in front of a beach scene.

Patrick (left), Nicole (holding Paul), Kim (center), Olive, Oma (right), and Penny (seated in foreground) pose for a family photo at the summer festival.

Proud to have 3 grandchildren, Nicole spent much of her time caring for Patrick, Penny, and especially Paul. As the children became more independent, she dedicated increasing amounts of time to alchemy. Nicole created a large stock of elixirs, which should prove useful to current and future generations.

A woman with gray hair uses a long wooden spoon to stir the contents of an opaque cauldron. A large book lies open on a stand to her right.

Nicole stirs one of her many artfully-crafted elixirs.

When Death came for Nicole on Spooky Day, she greeted zir with grace and gratitude. Ze had given her children, who in turn gave her grandchildren. Now, after a long full life, ze offered her rest.

The family, though saddened, has been doing quite well. Kim – inspired by Nicole’s artistic brilliance – has developed a love of painting. Patrick has grown up to be quite the socialite; he loves making new friends and is always ready to throw a party. Penny loves everything having to do with music and works diligently to master a variety of instruments. Paul – brilliant, ambitious, and… a bit odd – is doing well in high school.

Several sims wearing formal wear pose in front of a snowy backdrop.

Paul (seated, front left), Oma (standing, left), Kim, Penny (center), Olive, and Patrick (right) pose for a family photo soon after Penny’s high school graduation.

A woman plays an electronic keyboard outdoors. Behind her, a large excavated area reveals a platform with an ornate door featuring images of the grim reaper.

Penny (center) plays her portable keyboard near the excavation site. A small group of sims (left) listen to her play. In the right background, a tourist converses with Death.

Family Tree

I have expanded the Legata family tree, pictured below, to include the newest generation. On the far left, the symbol for Nash is now crossed out to indicate that he is deceased. Kim is represented by a diamond (filled with black to indicate that ze is a simbot); a blue arrow points from Nash to Kim to show that Nash built zir. The symbol for Nicole is also crossed out to show that she is deceased.

The symbol for Oma (bottom center) is connected to the one for Quintin Beaulieu with a blue dotted line to indicate that they dated briefly. The symbol for Olive (next to Oma) is connected to the one for Luis Case with a pink dashed line to show that they had an affair – that is, Luis cheated on his girlfriend with Olive. The symbols for Luis and his sister Tanesha are filled with green to show that they are fairies. The symbols for their (divorced) parents are filled with gray to show that their supernatural status is unknown.

Finally, the symbols for Patrick, Penny, and Paul (far bottom) are filled with yellow to indicate that they – like their mothers, grandmother (Nicole), great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother (Lisa) – are all witches!

The Legata Family Tree, generations 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

The Legata Family Tree, generations 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

A Place for the Dead

The Legatas expanded Nash’s astronomy tower downward to create their own private catacombs. On the first level they interred Nash and Nicole, whose remains had been cremated. Their urns rest on a table, surrounded by flowers, with their portraits on the wall behind them.

A gray stone wall with two portraits on it, behind a dark table. On the table are two white urns with gold embellishments, one in front of each portrait.

The memorial to Nash (left) and Nicole (right), inside the newly-built Legata family catacombs.

Legacy House

I expanded the legacy house so all the bedrooms – 5 in total – are on the second floor. The bedrooms on the first floor have been converted: the one near the front of the house is now a playroom/nursery and features a porch opening out onto a playground. The bedroom in the right back corner of the house is now an alchemy lab, and the one in the back center is… essentially a hallway. A large addition to the front left of the house features a double staircase going up to the second floor. I added doorways to facilitate movement from room to room.

The first floor of the legacy house, with most walls cut away to show all the rooms. Kim reads in the livingroom (near the center of the house).

The first floor of the legacy house, with most walls cut away to show all the rooms. Kim reads in the living room (near the center of the house).

The second floor features two full bathrooms, five bedrooms, and plenty of hallway space. The hallway has easels for painting and is often the location of impromptu music performances. Two of the bedrooms are intended for one sim, and two feature double beds. The bedroom in the back left has three single beds – one for each of the children born in this generation.

The second floor of the legacy house, with most walls cut away to make all the rooms visible. The back center bedroom is dark because Olive is sleeping in it.

The second floor of the legacy house, with most walls cut away to make all the rooms visible. The back center bedroom is dark because Olive is sleeping in it.

A large 2-story house surrounded by a fence. A two-car garage is visible in the left front. There is a tower in the left rear, surrounded by graves. A fenced-in garden and playground are visible in the far right.

The legacy lot and surrounding countryside.

The Next Generation

Penny has started casually dating the young adult male sim behind and slightly to the right of her in the image where she’s playing piano. It seems likely she might start having children with him the next time I play… 😉

Speaking of which, I’ve been feeling a lot less temptation to play The Sims 3. There’s definitely a correlation: the worse I feel, the more I play. The better I feel, the less I play – because I’m too busy doing other awesome real-world things. I also tend to feel worse as a result of playing The Sims 3, especially when it’s slow and glitching or I’ve made the mistake of giving my sims autonomy. The absolute worst is when I let it eat my whole day (or multiple days…).

So, yeah. I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot with my Sims 3 Legacy; I’m quite proud of it. I might even be able to just end it here: reread my posts, look at the succession of family portraits, pat myself on the back, and walk away. Of course, the more I think about it, the more tempted I am to boot it up as soon as I publish this blog post…

My point is, if I continue playing, it will be for the fun of playing the game. I might continue the Legacy Challenge. I might make a new game so I can explore aspects of my existing expansions that I still haven’t gotten to yet. I might just make ridiculous sims or build incredible houses. That’s kind of the point: it’s a sandbox game.

If I continue this legacy, I’ll definitely post about it. The posts will just be a lot less frequent.

Sims 3 Legacy: Sim-Cyborg Relations

This is the fourth installment of my Sims 3 Legacy. It picks up where Part 3 left off: with Nash inventing and Nicole vigorously studying Alchemy in order to produce an elixir that can cure transformed sims.

Legacy Family

Nash and Nicole’s aunt Mira retired as soon as she reached the appropriate age – none of this “waiting until I’m about to die” nonsense her mother and sister did. This enabled Mira to fully enjoy her golden years receiving a hard-earned pension. She spent as much time as she could in werewolf form, finding a variety of rare and fascinating metals, gems, and insects. When not hunting, she went on dates with her girlfriend and helped raise her niece’s children.

The Door of Life and Death

The Riverview Association for Amateur Archaeologists (RAFAA) caught wind of some strange, seemingly sim-made protrusions coming out of the ground in a grassy, undeveloped area near the fish hatchery. When they excavated, they discovered a peculiar door that seemed to lead to nowhere. Perplexed, they withdrew to covertly observe what happens when sims interact with their discovery.

The site has since become a popular place to hang out, though a few outsiders have suddenly gone missing. To Nicole and her high school sweetheart, Savannah Drummond, it seemed the perfect place to go for a date. They were pleasantly surprised to learn that, by knocking on the door, they could talk to Death – without dying!

Nicole felt that Death owed her one for ruining her high school graduation ceremony. So, she requested a new life – a pregnancy – created from a combination of her and Savannah’s genes.

Death summons a bolt of light that strikes at Nicole's feet, causing her to become pregnant. Nicole's girlfriend, Savannah, watches nearby.

Death summons a bolt of light that strikes at Nicole’s feet, causing her to become pregnant. Nicole’s girlfriend, Savannah, watches nearby.

The thing is, such a merger defies the laws of nature – and that is risky. The two children Nicole conceived in this manner (on two separate occasions) “dance to the beat of their own drummer,” somewhat out of touch with the reality most sims agree on. Perhaps they are more in touch with another reality, such as that beyond the grave?

I gave Nicole’s daughters the “insane” trait to reflect that their ways of being in the world seem … a bit odd … to other sims. I share some of their tendencies, particularly talking to myself (or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that we talk among ourselves almost constantly very frequently “all the time” – and seldom agree have trouble coming to a consensus). Most notably (and refreshingly) they don’t lose focus whenever they are in the same room as a ghost; I guess seeing dead people is “normal” to them.

The Master Invention

While Nicole was negotiating with Death, her brother Nash was hard at work inventing. He moved his bed into his workshop to make it easier for him to stay up most of the night working on his craft.

His dedication finally paid off very soon after Nicole gave birth to her first child, Oma. After searching all of Riverview for rare materials (with the help of Mira) and working tirelessly in his lab, he finally created the invention that would define his career and change life for all simkind – hopefully for the better…

A robot sits on the edge of a crafting table, smiling with arms extended as though to give a hug, while the inventor who created him cheers. An unmade bed is visible to the left, several other inventions to the right.

a simbot!

Nash named the simbot Josiah and adopted zir into the family, where ze was fully accepted and loved. A good-humored virtuoso, Josiah learned to play guitar with ease and became an active member of a local rock band. When not practicing or performing, ze helped to care for Oma and her younger sister, Olive.

Josiah plays zir guitar

Josiah plays guitar

Josiah reads with Oma, a toddler

Josiah reads with Oma, a toddler

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Life in the Legata household was going well. The children were well cared-for, Nicole learned to create her elixir and used it to cure many sims of zombie-ism, and Nash turned to improving his handiness so he could keep Josiah in good health.

Josiah (far left, holding Olive), Mira (left center), Nicole (right center), Nash (right), and Oma (seated in foreground) pose together in front of a wintry backdrop.

Josiah (far left, holding Olive), Mira (left center), Nicole (right center), Nash (far right), and Oma (seated in foreground) pose together in front of a wintry backdrop.

Then Oma, ready to grow up into a teenager, had her birthday on the night of the full moon. When she went to blow out the candles, her cake mysteriously caught fire! At the same moment, Mira died of old age. Death seemed to gloat as ze claimed her, further influencing the life ze had helped create: Oma developed the “brooding” trait, which predisposes her to melancholy thoughts about existential issues. It reminds me of my tendency to ruminate, especially when my depression symptoms are stronger.

[I wish I’d taken a screenshot!]

During Mira’s funeral, Death visited once again – this time to claim Josiah. The simbot greeted Death graciously, but the rest of the family was devastated.

Josiah shakes hands with Death, surrounded by zir family members (who are crying). They stand atop a recently-filled grave, with two other tombstones visible in the right-background.

Josiah shakes hands with Death, surrounded by zir family members (who are crying). They stand atop a recently-filled grave, with two other tombstones visible in the right-background.


The loss of two family members hit the Legatas hard.

a man flails, suspended in a vertical beam of light in a nighttime, suburban scene

Nash is abducted by aliens in his own front yard!

Nash swore off inventing and lacked focus … until he was abducted by aliens. They ignited a his passion for – no! obsession with – all things having to do with outer space. He built a tower between Mira’s and Josiah’s graves, equipped it with the basics he needed to survive, topped it with telescopes, and retreated from everyday life. (This enabled him to master the logic skill, the third and final skill he needed for the lifetime wish: “Renaissance Sim.”) Though he has identified several celestial bodies, he has yet to find whatever it is he is looking for.

Oma sits cross-legged, deep in thought about her heartache. The graves of Mira, Lisa, and Melanie are visible through the window.

Oma sits cross-legged, deep in thought about her heartache. The graves of Mira, Lisa, and Melanie are visible through the window.

Oma spent hours contemplating both the meaning and the hollowness of reality. Though her brooding did not interfere with her school performance, it limited her ability to develop skills, socialize, and otherwise live a fulfilling life.

a young female sim, submerged to her neck, with an anxious facial expression, surrounded by nature

Suddenly finding herself in the middle of a body of water, Olive looks around anxiously.

Since becoming a teenager, Olive has been having sudden impulses to run out into the nearest body of water and swim. She suddenly realizes she is in deep water and becomes anxious and disoriented. Fortunately, she has thus far been able to find her way back to dry, solid ground. No one has been able to explain the reason for – or meaning of – these impulses.

Oma’s transition to young adulthood went smoothly enough, considering the circumstances. She graduated with honors at the top of her class. The family went to the Fall Festival immediately afterward to take a photo together and celebrate.

Nash, Nicole, Oma, and Olive pose in front of an autumn backdrop after Oma's graduation from high school.

Nash, Nicole, Oma, and Olive pose in front of an autumn backdrop after Oma’s graduation from high school.

Below is the updated version of the Legata family tree. Mira’s symbol (just right of center) is now crossed out to show that she is deceased. I added a diamond to represent Nash’s simbot, Josiah, in the lower left. It is filled with black to show that ze was a simbot, and crossed out to show that ze is also deceased. A blue arrow with the word “Invented” shows that Nash created Josiah.

I added the family tree of Nicole’s ex-girlfriend Savannah on the far right side of the Legata family tree. The symbols for Savannah, her father (Rex), mother (Windy), and youngest brother (Jaques) are filled with white to show that they are “normal,” non-magical sims. The symbol for her sister Hannah is filled with fuchsia to show that she is a vampire. The symbols for George Dean (upper left), Mira Legata, and Savannah’s brother Antwain are filled with reddish-brown to show that they are werewolves.

Death is represented near the middle of the family tree by a diamond (filled with gray to show that zir “supernatural status” is unknown). Red arrows point from Death to Oma and Olive to show that Death helped Nicole conceive them. Finally, the symbols for Oma and Olive (bottom center) are filled with yellow to show that they, like their mother (Nicole), grandmother (Melanie), and great-grandmother (Lisa), are witches!

The Legata Family Tree, generations 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The Legata Family Tree, generations 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The Next Generation

Oma met a fellow witch named Quintin Beaulieu at the Fall Festival and quickly fell in love. She slept with him that very night. Several urgent visits to the bathroom later, Oma discovered that she is pregnant with her first child!

A young woman (left) talking to an older woman (right) whose eyes and mouth are opened wide. In the upper left corner is an image of a man and woman holding hands in bed, surrounded by a thought bubble that points to the young woman's head.

Nicole (right) is shocked to learn that Oma (center) is pregnant at such a young age. In the thought bubble (upper left corner) Oma remembers the night she spent with Quintin (left).

Themes in my Sims 3 Legacy

Last week Wakana asked me to write down the themes that have emerged in my playing of The Sims 3. The themes I’ve recognized so far can be categorized as Social, Vocational, and Existential. One – perhaps the – major theme inherent to the game is Death.

Social Themes

  • being accepted as I am and supported in fulfilling my dreams
  • emphasis on family relationships and friendships, not romance and marriage
  • “loner” vs. charismatic socialite who makes friends easily
  • communication even when it is perceived as “mean” (i.e. assertiveness, honesty)
  • What influence does the perception of others have on my life?
  • dressing stylishly to improve my confidence and to express myself
  • maintaining and strengthening relationships

Vocational Themes

  • balancing goals, responsibilities, needs, and impulses
  • socioeconomic mobility
  • building on the success of previous generations
  • adapting to life circumstances
  • pursuing passion vs doing what it takes to pay the bills
  • innovation even when others think I am and/or my ideas are crazy
  • motherhood; balancing work and family
  • working together within the family to help everyone meet their vocational goals
  • living a successful and fulfilling life with a mood disorder
  • “reaching the top” of my career
  • I have the knowledge and skill I need to fulfill my goals, but how do I find the required “ingredients” (e.g. internship)?

Existential Themes

  • What is my connection to the past?
    • e.g. family tree / heredity / lack of connection with parents & grandparents
  • accepting what already exists and building on it
  • What influence will I have on future generations?


  • the pain of losing loved ones / important relationships
  • change, especially in family dynamics & relationships
  • being haunted by (the memory of) a deceased loved one
  • happens to everyone, but we can’t know when or how

Today we talked about the social themes. I need to stop caring what other people think about me, accept myself, and be authentic. I’ve made some good progress in that department, and it’s a process I continue to engage in. During our session she got me to tap into, name, and own some of my inner resources. (“That person who was just talking to me, who’s that?” “Me!”) I’ve also been doing all sorts of awesome adult things all day – despite being tired, sad, and (most recently) nauseous. It feels good.

Sims 3 Legacy: Meeting Death

This is the third installment of my Sims 3 Legacy. It picks up where Part 2 left off: with my founder (Lisa) ready to retire and her daughters (Melanie & Mira) well on their way to the tops of their respective career tracks.

Legacy Family

After a long and fulfilling life, Lisa Legata retired from her position as Star News Anchor. Death came for her within a few days. She greeted Death with open arms, and together they journeyed to the Great Beyond.

A female ghost (lower right) shakes hands with the Grim Reaper

Lisa Legata greets Death

A tall tombstone with purple flowers in front of it. To one side, one woman cries on another's shoulder.

Lisa’s daughters mourn her passing. Melanie (left) cries on Mira’s (right) shoulder.

Prior to her mother’s death, Melanie discovered that her second love interest had a girlfriend; that was why he was unresponsive to her romantic advances. Why he didn’t ask to “just be friends” as a result is beyond me (ironic, no?). As predicted, he became angry with her when she actually communicated her intentions to him. I could have had her apologize – an interaction that helped her become best friends with her original romantic interest – but I decided not to. He’s the one who should have apologized to her!

Several new friendships later, Melanie began dating a kind, eccentric, non-magical sim named Nikolas Brinson. They had two children together: a boy, followed some time later by a girl. Melanie named them Nash and Nicole, respectively. Nash is non-magical and inherited his father’s eccentricity. Nicole is a witch like her mother and grandmother; she shares her father’s compassion for all sims. Unfortunately, neither of Melanie’s children got to meet their grandmother.

Melanie (left), Mira (center), Nash (right), and Nicole (foreground) pose for a family portrait at the Spring Festival

Melanie (left), Mira (center), Nash (right), and Nicole (foreground) pose for a family portrait at the Spring Festival

Melanie successfully juggled raising children with continuing to climb the political career ladder. She became Leader of the Free World not long before reaching retirement age.

Meanwhile, Mira worked diligently to become an astronaut; she achieved her goal soon after aging up to become a full-fledged adult. As an astronaut Mira was only required to work one day a week; this gave her plenty of free time to explore all of Riverview as a werewolf and find all sorts of interesting metals, gems, and insects. Her garden thrived under her care. Soon after Nicole was born, Mira entered an exclusive, committed romantic relationship with her best friend.

As a child, Nash became obsessed with building strange contraptions out of scrap metal, often talking excitedly about his next new “invention.” He secluded himself in his workshop above the garage for entire days, seeming to prefer solitude. Since graduating high school he has registered as a “self-employed inventor” and engages in a tireless quest to make new discoveries.

As a child, Nash builds something in his workshop atop the two-car garage. Some of his other inventions are on display in the background.

As a child, Nash builds something in his workshop atop the two-car garage. Some of his other inventions are on display in the background.

Nicole had a “normal” childhood and adolescence, during which she dabbled in magic with far less dedication than her predecessors. She only discovered her love of Alchemy upon reaching young adulthood. Inspired by her grandmother’s Possible Solutions to Riverview’s Zombie Problem, Nicole is determined to use alchemy to cure as many transformed sims as possible. She has already cured one sim of zombie-ism using an elixir she purchased at the consignment store.

After serving as Leader of the Free World for quite some time, Melanie decided to retire. Death came for her within a day. She died of old age during Nicole’s high school graduation ceremony. Though deeply saddened, Mira, Nicole, and Nash took a graduation picture together before returning home to mourn.

Nash (left), Mira (center), and Nicole (right) pose in front of a wintry backdrop on Nicole's graduation day.

Nash (left), Mira (center), and Nicole (right) pose in front of a wintry backdrop on Nicole’s graduation day.

two identical tombstones in a wintry landscape. a lone woman stands, weeping, near one of them

Mira mourns alone by her sister’s grave

I expanded the Legata family tree to include Nikolas (far left), Nash (lower left), and Nicole (lower right). The symbols for Nikolas and Nash are filled with white to show that they are “normal,” non-magical sims. The symbol for Nicole is filled with yellow to show that she, like Melanie and Lisa, is a witch. The black dot to the lower right of Mira’s symbol (middle right) indicates that she does not have children. Lisa’s symbol (top right) and Melanie’s symbol (middle left) are crossed out to show that they are now deceased.

The Legata Family Tree, generations 0, 1, 2, and 3.

The Legata Family Tree, generations 0, 1, 2, and 3.

Legacy House

In addition to a two-car garage with Nash’s workshop above it, I added 3 bedrooms to the legacy house. Two of them are visible in the far right of the image below, with a small bathroom between them. The third is in the back of the house, accessible via the dining room.

The legacy house with walls cut away to reveal all the rooms. In the center, Melanie teaches Nicole to walk.

The legacy house with walls cut away to reveal all the rooms. In the center, Melanie teaches Nicole to walk.

the legacy lot in winter

the legacy lot in winter

The Next Generation

What will come of Nash’s inventing? Will Nicole take some time out from practicing Alchemy to bring in the next generation? Find out soon…

Sims 3 Legacy: The Next Generation (Reprise)

On Sunday I introduced the founder of my new Sims 3 Legacy family. This post continues her story and introduces her twin daughters.

Legacy Family

Meet the Legata family, pictured below. Lisa (standing, far back) is the legacy founder, the sim I made in Create a Sim. Melanie (seated in front) was the first twin to be born; she is a witch like Lisa. Mira (standing, middle) was the second twin to be born; she is a werewolf like her father (not pictured).

An autumn scene: trees in the background with orange leaves, pumpkins on either side. A woman poses in the middle with 2 children in front of her, one standing and the other seated in the foreground.

Lisa Legata (back) poses for a “Spooky Day” picture with her daughters: Mira (middle) and Melanie (front).

I created the family tree below using Genopro Genealogy Software. I’m using color coding to show how supernatural status (human, witch, werewolf, etc.) is passed down from one generation to the next. The symbols for the twins’ paternal grandparents (top left: Bennie & Lonnie Dean) are shaded gray because their supernatural status is unknown. The X through Lonnie’s symbol indicates that she is deceased. The symbol for the twins’ father (George Dean) is filled with reddish brown to show that he is a werewolf, as is the symbol for Mira (bottom right). The symbols for Lisa (top right) and Melanie (bottom left) are filled with yellow to show that they are both witches.

The line connecting George and Lisa is blue and dotted to show that they had a short-term, uncommitted relationship – in other words, they dated for a while. Melanie and Mira are connected to this line at the same point, forming a bottomless triangle, to indicate that they are fraternal twins. (If they were identical, the triangle would be complete.) Symbols for sims in my active household (the Legata family) are considerably larger than symbols for sims outside the household (Bennie, Lonnie, and George Dean).

a genogram depicting 3 generations of a family

The Legata Family Tree, generations 0, 1, and 2.

Raising the twins on her own was not easy, especially since Lisa was also working full time. She struggled to manage everyone’s needs and teach the toddlers skills essential for their development. Due to their rough start, I was unable to select traits for the twins when they grew up into children. Melanie gained the “grumpy” trait, which has elements similar to my experience of depression (when it’s relatively mild): she can function normally most days, but her mood is lower than it would be for sims without the trait, all other things being equal. At times she feels sad or angry for no reason. It is difficult for her to enthuse about the good things in her life, including her accomplishments. Some days she randomly wakes up feeling “out of sorts,” which affects her entire day (23 hour moodlet). This predisposes her to worse moods and limits her ability to feel happy.

The twins were less dependent as children, so life in the Legata household became much easier. Lisa alternated among progressing her career, developing the magic skills she would need to cure transformed sims (her life goal), and caring for her children. Melanie and Mira did well in school and enjoyed playing dress up and pretend. Mira discovered a lifelong love for transforming into a werewolf and hunting for metals, gems, and insects.

Melanie’s magic abilities didn’t manifest until she was a teenager, but once they did she began enthusiastically learning new spells. Each twin held down a part-time job through high school. Unfortunately they missed a lot of school due to snow days, so they were barely able to pass with acceptable grades (B and higher). I was able to choose a trait for Melanie, who had taken advantage of an opportunity that boosted her grade to A. Mira was assigned a random, relatively neutral trait. They were both thrilled to graduate from high school and enter young adulthood.

An older woman stands with two young adult women wearing graduation caps and gowns. They are surrounded by spring flowers.

Lisa, Mira, and Melanie on graduation day!

As soon as they graduated, Melanie entered politics and Mira joined the military. Their life goals are to become the Leader of the Free World and an Astronaut, respectively. Toward those ends, they have been training and networking relentlessly; Melanie has become quite the expert at hosting fun and profitable campaign fundraisers!

Meanwhile, Lisa continued climbing the journalism career ladder, while simultaneously using magic whenever possible. She magically upgraded every appliance, electronic, and plumbing fixture in the house. She cast good luck charms on everyone she met. She even gave in to the temptation to turn sims into toads! But no matter how much she practiced and experimented and studied, she could not learn the spells necessary to accomplish the kind of magical healing that had been her lifelong goal.

So, instead, she focused on her career (in other words, I used her happiness points to buy the “change lifetime wish” aspiration award) and became a rather prolific writer. Among other things, she wrote: two memoirs, a survey of the supernaturals in Riverview, and an exploration of Possible Solutions to Riverview’s Zombie Problem. Lisa’s dedication (that is, my gaming strategy) paid off: she fulfilled her late-in-life goal of becoming a Star News Anchor! She looks forward to retiring and (hopefully) helping to raise grandchildren.

Three women sit around a fire pit at night, roasting food items. There is snow on the ground and they are wearing heavy coats.

Lisa, Mira, and Melanie roast food items over a fire pit.

Legacy House

To be honest, I probably haven’t been expanding the legacy house as much as I should be: the whole family is still sharing one bedroom. It’s not a particularly large bedroom either; Melanie and Mira never graduated from sharing bunk beds. However, they now have a state-of-the art kitchen, spacious dining room, and outdoor eating area complete with a very nice grill. Each of these rooms has a dishwasher and trash compactor, so there is no excuse for leaving dirty dishes everywhere. I also added a half bath, which is accessible via the dining room. Mira’s garden is visible in the background of the screenshot below; it looks like it’s coming out of the bedroom wall, but it’s actually a separate outdoor space, fenced off to protect her plants from zombies.

The interior of a house at night with the lights on. The house is surrounded by snow. The trunks and lower branches of leafless trees are visible in the background.

The legacy house with some walls cut away to show all the rooms. Picture taken on the diagonal with the front porch/original gazebo to the far right.

The Next Generation

Melanie and Mira have lived through most of their young adulthood; Melanie will become a full-fledged adult in a few game days. Being a werewolf gives Mira a longer lifespan, so she has an additional week to enjoy life as a young adult. My current plan is for Melanie to start having children soon: she was born first, making her the heir; if for some reason she’s unsuccessful, Mira will have more time to step in as heir before she becomes an elder and loses her ability to get pregnant. However, I’m running into some difficulty:

Melanie is having trouble finding a suitable mate. The game assigned her a romantic interest when she was in high school, but she doesn’t want to pass his traits on to her children. She should have asked to “just be friends” a long time ago, but that’s a “mean” interaction and she’s friendly. She’s become romantic interests with someone else, whose traits are ideal, but he doesn’t respond well to her romantic interactions. He’s an elder, but I don’t think age has anything to do with it: the game hasn’t let that hold it back before. (It does impose a time limit, though.)

No, I think the problem is that she kissed another sim once. Despite the fact that they never became boyfriend and girlfriend, and they haven’t had romantic interactions in the sim equivalent of real-life years, my sim has a “naughty” reputation for pursuing a new love interest. The sim she wants to have children with may never consent to it, even if I buy the aspiration award that would clear her reputation (aptly named “clean slate”). She needs to hunt down this guy she hasn’t done anything with in years – who’s probably become involved with at least one other sim since – and tell him she’s no longer romantically interested in him. If that doesn’t work, she has to tell this guy who won’t have romantic interactions with her that she wants to “just be friends” – before she kisses anyone else. Whether she breaks up with them or not, they’ll both be annoyed with her.

I think Mira has a much better idea: she’s in love with her best friend but has yet to become romantically involved with her. Perhaps it’s best to keep it that way… at least until either she or her sister has a daughter.

I find reputations very annoying. I have to admit they’re quite realistic, but the game imposes a double standard that’s driving me crazy. Sims outside my control keep bombarding my sims with love letters and flirting with them, even when my sims are married and have “eternally faithful” reputations. Heck, outside sims will flirt with one member of my active family, then turn around and flirt with another in the same room! But the instant my sim acts on her (or his) romantic attraction – even in the privacy of their own home – they are judged for it. Boo game, booooo.

I guess the lesson is: it’s better to communicate clearly, even if it’s considered “mean.” Riverview is going to be full of broken hearts.

Sims 3 Legacy Challenge (Re-Reprise)

I decided to restart my Sims 3 Legacy – again. This time, it’s because of a glitch(?) that prevented me from sending a sim to University. I created a new founder, but I’m playing with the same lot in the same town (Riverview). I’ve decided to ignore the existence of other countries (World Adventures) and University.

For an overview of the challenge and its rules, visit the Sims 3 Legacy Challenge website. In short, the challenge is to play for 10 generations without using cheat codes, extending your sims’ lifespans, raising them from the dead, etc. You start with just one sim on a very large empty lot and $1800 starting cash. I changed some of the rules for my personal challenge run, the most relevant of which is this: I’m playing a matriarchal family that eschews marriage.

Founder: Lisa Legata

The founder of my Sims 3 legacy is a young adult witch who loves the outdoors so much, she decided to live in a gazebo for a season! Lisa has been working her way up the Journalism career track; she’s written a headline article (Death at the Library) and two books, the first of which is titled A Summer Spent Living Outside. Her goal in life is to use magic to heal as many sims as possible.

a woman wearing a purple tank top and skirt standing in front of a beach scene with palm trees

Lisa Legata, founder of my Sims 3 Legacy, as a young adult

A raised, rectangular structure with stairs leading up to it, a guardrail around it, and posts holding up a red shingled roof. From left to right, a grill and refrigerator, a mailbox, a woman sitting at a table reading the newspaper, and a bed with nightstand are visible.

Lisa reads the newspaper under the shelter of her privately-owned gazebo.

Legacy House

Walls are expensive: $840 to build a 3×3 structure. Starting out with a gazebo enabled me to create a larger initial living space, give my sim a means of cooking hot dogs (it’s better than just cereal), and build the legacy house on a foundation. The remote location of the lot made up for lack of privacy.

Lisa spent the hottest part of most days inside at work; on her days off she visited public buildings in town to escape the heat. The one downside to starting with a gazebo was inability to build a bathroom. For two seasons, she had to travel across town to use the toilet and shower at the gym.

Come autumn it started getting too chilly at night for my sim to safely sleep outdoors, so I had to start building her an actual house:

A close-up of the gazebo. Most of the back guardrail has been replaced by a brick wall, which is cut away to show a 6x4 room containing bedroom furniture and a woman, seated on the floor, sketching.

Lisa sketches in her newly-built house, which boasts the addition of an outdoor sink and a dresser

A large open lot with a small house in the center, surrounded by trees in shades of red and orange. Hills with more trees are visible in the distance.

the legacy lot and surrounding countryside in gorgeous autumn colors

Later in the season, I added a short hallway to the left of the initial room. The hallway ends with a small bathroom, which proved essential to my sim’s survival…

It wasn’t long before Lisa began dating a fellow resident of Riverview, a werewolf named George Dean. They had a short, fiery romance. She became pregnant over the winter, and gave birth to twin girls in early spring. Caring for two babies – and especially two toddlers – consumed all of Lisa’s time and energy, especially since she could not afford to take unpaid time off from work.

Her expanding family required an expanding house, so I added a new, larger room that currently serves as the whole family’s bedroom.

A small house with walls cut away to reveal a small bathroom with shower stall (far left), bedroom containing two cribs and a double bed (back center), and a living room with a couch and TV (center). A sim sits at a table on the porch, using a laptop computer (right foreground).

Lisa sits on her porch, writing about her adventures in motherhood, while the twins sleep in the shared bedroom (back center-left).

Legacy Family

Come back soon to find out about the twins and Lisa’s continued work toward her life goals!