Friday, August 27, 2010

Ramaswami/McDermott Random Legacy ch. 27: Risk

"You know you don't have to work in an office," Rain says after Chess relates another humiliating prank played on him by his coworkers, "You are such a good artist, maybe you would be happier staying home and painting."

"It would be easier, no doubt about that. But I can't run away from this. This is something I need to do," Chess answers. Rain doesn't quite understand his need to force himself into a role that doesn't suit him, but she knows she can't convince him to quit. And despite the adversities of the workplace, he has been rising very quickly in his career, and every promotion has added to his self-confidence.

"I love you no matter what you do, you know that," Rain says her final words on the subject.

"You've been getting more muscular," Rain comments.

"I've been working out. You like?"

"Well," Rain hesitates, "I've never been into the muscular look."

"You said you'd love me no matter what," Chess teases her.

"Well, of course I will..." Rain answers, not sure how to tell him to stop working out so much.

Chess leans over and kisses her, "I'll focus on cardio workouts from now on," he promises her. Rain smiles in relief. Chess moves on to another subject, "How do you feel about having a baby?"

"I think that's a great idea," Rain answers, "Let's get started."

Meilin and Tao parted on bad terms, and Tao has decided it's time to mend that fence and visits his daughter and her husband, Deon. Having a child of her own has matured Meilin some, and she understands her father better now, and greets him with warmth. Deon is a likable enough young man, Tao thinks, and as the heir to the Wolff manor, he's quite wealthy. But he won't talk about what he does for living, only saying it's 'legitimate business' in a way that sounds highly suspicious. But Meilin seems happy enough, and Tao decides not to interfere.

Tao spends some time with his grandson, Jamie.

Rain's pregnancy has not deterred her from her work, despite the pleas of her father and husband to stay home and relax.

She's discovered a way to bend Time to her will, she can hardly sit at home while such ideas are waiting to be born. On the day before she goes into labor, Rain completes her time machine.

Rain and Chess have a son, named Risk.

For all the junk Rain repurposes, more junk shows up to replace it. While she loves what she's doing, all the time spent in the junkyard has made her long for a truly green and wild space for her son to play in as he grows up. Suunset Valley has a nice, formal park, but Rain wants something more natural, and so she purchases the land across the street from their house and transform it into a wilderness park.

Though Risk is still too young to appreciate the excellent fishing in the pond, or to play on the playground, his parents bring him to the park often, teaching him to walk and talk in the natural atmosphere.

Always a great lover of the outdoors, Tao frequents the new park as well, and often meets Adria there. They both know they don't have much time left, their friends and age-mates have been passing on, one by one, so they try to spend what time is left to them wisely, enjoying each other's company, or the company of their families.

Challenge Notes: So, not much drama this generation, I've been focused on Rain's inventing and sculpting skill building, which isn't much of a story. And I've learned that I can't put any of the sculptures Rain makes in her junkyard in family inventory to move them to the park, or anywhere else. Since I have the living green restriction, I can't buy a sculpting station for the home lot, either. So, the junkyard has a ton of sculptures littering the place, I haven't had the heart to detonate any of them. Rain has reached level 10 inventing skill, and I've ignored the call to start the Simbot building quest, as I don't like simbots much. I'm torn between trying to achieve Rain's LTW to max inventing, sculpting and painting, or trying to max her career as an inventor. I don't think I can do both, the inventor career requires making a lot of sales of inventions, so to do that while trying to skill both sculpting and painting will be difficult, if not impossible. She's currently at 7 in sculpture and like 4 in painting, and at level 6 of the career.

Tao has achieved his LTW, Renaissance Sim, maxing gardening, fishing and charisma. He's at level 9 of the gardening career, and needs to sell around 25k more worth of produce to reach level 10. He's over 90 days old, however, and could go any day now, so he may not get level 10. That's not required of course, he achieved his challenge goals ages ago. Regan Goth has passed on, which makes me sad. His son Xander looks just like him, and unlike his father has no commitment issues. He's happily married and has a baby on the way.

With the purchase of the park, Rain achieved a main objective of her generation goal, living green. So she just needs to continue her eco-friendly lifestyle, and not call on any NPCs for her No Strangers restriction and her generation goals will be fulfilled.

Generation 7 rolled couple with one child (again, despite the fact that I used lytefoot's new expanded family structure rules.) with Architect career as primary income, and no income for secondary. The generation goal will be Fulfilled and the Misc. Fun is Random. Risk's first two randomly rolled traits are Friendly and Light Sleeper. It will be interesting to see what traits he rolls up in the future, and what sorts of LTW will be available to him, since he will required to fulfill it. And hopefully he can find a spouse who will be able to fulfill a LTW outside of a career.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ramaswami/McDermott Random Legacy ch. 26: Heir and Spare

"Why do you want to spend so much time in a junkyard?" Meilin asks, not understanding her sister's newfound fascination.

"I just think it's a shame to waste stuff that could still be used," Rain answers.

While not exactly the most romantic spot in the world, the junkyard also offers Rain a private place to hangout with her boyfriend Francesco, away from her father's close supervision.

Even when Francesco is with her, Rain is absorbed in finding uses for the scrap she finds. While she dabbles in invention, Francesco works on his homework.

Tao approves of his daughter's decision to devote her life to making useful things out of things others have cast off, and buys the property for her, so that she can set up shop there when she graduates high school.

Meilin is livid, and screams at her father that it's not fair for him to buy property for Rain and nothing for her. Tao tries to explain that the junkyard isn't some toy he's offering to one and not the other, it's for Rain's future career.

"What about my future career?" Meilin shouts.

"You want to be a doctor," Tao answers, "I can't buy the hospital for you."

"You've always preferred Rain over me," Meilin retorts, getting to the heart of the matter.

Tao doesn't believe that's true, and doesn't realize that the small things he did for his second daughter, whose mother denied her existence, was giving his older daughter the impression that he favored her. He offers Meilin the family car, and expensive BWAN Speedster handed down to him through the generations, still in excellent condition. Meilin appears pacified by the gesture, but something has broken between father and daughter that the gift cannot heal. The night after her graduation, Meilin takes her car and elopes with Deon Wolff, leaving her family behind without a word.

Invention is not without its dangers, Rain discovers.

Besides dabbling in widgets and toys, Rain put the found scrap to use as sculpture.

Pyromania runs in her family, and Rain loves a good fire herself, but not when it's her pants that are on fire.

The little mishaps with fire have not deterred Rain from her purpose, and as soon as she graduates, she hires Allan Peoples to work for her, selling the the things she invents.

Having been burnt a few times and survived, Rain fearlessly detonates old appliances furniture left in the junkyard.

She set the charge properly; why isn't it exploding?

Rain survives the explosion, slightly charred.

Francesco moves in with Rain and her father now that they are both adults.

Chess, as Rain calls him, enjoys artistic pursuits like painting and playing guitar, but has chosen to go into business as a career.

Though he prefers solitude and working alone, he's forced himself into a busy office, believing that that's what he should do.

After the stress of being around his coworkers, who play the same juvenile pranks on him as they did in high school, Chess works off his anger and humiliation in the gym, which is usually empty at this time of day, and jogs home when the crowds start trickling in.

Not long after h moves in with her, Chess asks Rain to be his wife. She has always loved him and stood by him, proud of him despite the fact that all their peers labeled him a loser, because she sees the world, and him, with different eyes, and never lets the opinions of others cloud her judgment. Because she has no great love of parties and he hates crowds of any kind, they have a private wedding.

Now that they are elders and their children are grown, Tao and Adria are more open about their relationship, and she often spends the night as his place. They don't consider marriage however, as they both hope to help raise their grandchildren from their own homes.

One night, Tao is awakened by odd noises in his room. One of his grandmother's trinkets appears possessed, hovering and shaking in the air above the end table.

As the little chest settles back down into its place, the ghost of Harlan McDermott materializes. Tao was a toddler when his grandfather died, and he remembers him with great affection. He approaches the ghost and speaks to him, wondering if he's come back with some important message from beyond. But Harlan just wants to talk about the garden, and share cooking tips with his grandson.

After imparting a recipe for fruit parfait to Tao, Harlan hugs his grandson and disappears.

Challenge Notes: We are now on Generation 6 rules, Living Green and No Strangers. So, the family car went with Meilin and everyone has bikes. The dryer has been placed in the family inventory and a clothesline has been placed in the yard. I bought Rain her double bed when she was still a teen, before the restriction was in place. Tao sells all the produce he grows as his career is Farmer, but there is still so much left in the fridge from previous generations that we don't need his produce yet. Also, Regan's culinary career fridge reward keeps all meals preserved forever, so we actually still have some key lime pie leftover from Tao's party where Tomika broke up with him.
No Strangers will be easy for me, as I've explained before, I'm not a big user of NPC help to begin with, and with my heir in a self-employment type job, she won't ever need to call a babysitter for the one child her generation will have. With her handiness skills, she will easily be able to do any repairs that come up.

About Meilin and the lack of pictures of her as an adult: the rules require the non-heirs to be out of the house within 24hrs of becoming YA. The game was being very uncooperative with me in terms of getting her boyfriend, who turned YA a few days before her, over to the house so she could marry him and move out. To get her out on time, I had to move her out on her own and then use master controller to get her married. And I completely forgot to take any pics of her after her transition when I failed to get the marriage pics I wanted.

Francesco, or Chess as Rain is calling him, is the first spouse I've had to be totally incompatible with his rolled career. He's artistic, loser, loner, heavy sleeper, and absent-minded, and he has to be in business. His LTW is Renaissance SIm, and the three skills he's working on are painting, guitar and athletic, chosen based on the first three wishes he rolled for skills to learn.

I had to zone the junkyard I placed as a consignment store in order to buy it. When it was zoned as a junkyard, it was not available for purchase, but rezoning it to consignment shop made it available. So, I decided to make it a proper consignment shop with a register, which allows Rain to sell her inventions right there. She can't sell her sculptures, so right now they are decorating the junkyard. She can detonate any she doesn't like, and perhaps some will go into the park she will eventually build. She has the Descendant of Da Vinci LTW, to max invention, sculpture and painting.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ramaswami/McDermott Random Legacy ch. 25: Junk

"Following in Mom's footsteps, aren't you?" Lauren greets her brother as he brings his youngest for a visit while Meilin is in school. It never occurred to Tao to compare his life to his mother's, but it's true, like her, he's raising two children on his own without ever having married either of their mothers. Unlike his mother, however, he's taking a very active role in parenting. He and Lauren were allowed to do pretty much as they chose, as long as they stayed out of their mother's way. His girls are never without proper adult supervision.

Lauren is pregnant for the third time. This one is another son, who they named Luther.

When both of his daughters reach school age, Tao finds himself with free time in the afternoon after his morning work in the garden is finished. One afternoon, after delivering his produce to the market, he runs into Adria Landgraab, Donovan's daughter and current mistress of the Landgraab estate. They knew each other in high school, but never became friends, due to the fact that her father was having an affair with his mother. Now, Adria is recently divorced, and like Tao, has free time during the day while her son James is in school. Tao and Adria begin spending some of that free time together, and find they have much in common.

They have lunch together at the bistro, or take in a matinee, and very soon find their new friendship has blossomed into a romance.

At some point they skip lunch and movies and simply spend their afternoons together in Tao's bed. Adria always leaves in time to be home before her son gets out of school, leaving Tao free to help his daughters with their homework when they come from school as well. Their children are the priority for both Tao and Adria, and their affair is not allowed to in any way compete or collide with their family. Their children are not even aware that their parents are acquainted.

Meilin's mother, Tomika, surprises her with a birthday visit. Tomika hasn't played much of a role in her daughter's life beyond the occasional phone call, and Meilin is not especially thrilled to have her show up on her birthday. "Dad is my only real parent," she says defiantly, "You haven't ever been here for me before, why show up now? "

Tomika doesn't answer that question, instead she launches into some conspiracy theory as though her daughter hadn't even spoken. Meilin suddenly understands what her father meant when he said her mother hadn't rejected her, she was just preoccupied. Meilin just hopes her mother's neuroses isn't genetic.

Tomika leaves with a pang of regret. She didn't know it at the time, but she abandoned the sweetest situation she was ever to have. Now, she works part time at the spa while raising a second daughter, Felisha, and supporting her jobless live in boyfriend Shayne. Life with Tao would have been much better, but he doesn't have much to say to her now.

Meilin is dating her childhood friend Deon Wolff, the heir of Wolff Manor.

The McDermott's have never been much for birthday celebrations, but Tao decides to have a cake for Rain. A cake can in no way make up for the lack of her mother's love or attention, but it's the best he can do. Unlike Meilin's mother, who was just generally too lazy and preoccupied to be even a part time mother, Rain's mother Ivy has made it clear that she wants no part of her daughter's life. Since her 'true love' Regan Goth married Ashley, Ivy has tried to put her past behind her, moving on to marry Ken Rhodes, and leaving everything that came before in the dust, not even acknowledging that she had a child.

Besides her father and sister, Rain has invited her best friend, Francesco Corcoran to her little party.

Francesco's birthday falls right after Rain's, and once they are both teens, she asks him out. Though they've been best friends forever, always together at school and out, he seems surprised by her romantic advances.

"I thought for sure you would ask out Theron Rhodes," he says, "I can't tell you how happy I am you chose me."

Theron Rhodes would have been the obvious choice for most girls, athletic, confident and handsome, while poor Francesco is sensitive and frequently picked on. But Rain rarely goes for the obvious choice, and loves Francesco for the sensitivity that he is often teased about.

On Saturday afternoon, Rain bikes over to the military base to take a class in mechanics, and discovers and old abandoned gas station that has become a dumping ground. Intrigued, she decides to explore.

Picking through the piles of junk, Rain can't believe how wasteful people are, throwing away things that could still be of use.

She finds an old workbench inside the building and uses the tools there to recombine the various parts and pieces she plucked from the trash, and in the process, discovers her life's calling.

That evening, she invites Francesco over to be grilled by her father. Tao knows the boy as her childhood playmate, and Francesco is the son of his own good friend Raphael Corcoran (formerly Goth), but now that he's dating his daughter, he needs to answer to her father.

Tao remembers his sister Lauren's difficult teen years, her dates with Tracey often involving stealing public property and setting things on fire. Though they both grew up into responsible adults, Tao is not about to let his teens run wild like that, and keeps their dates where he can supervise them.

Challenge Notes: Generation 5 is nearly finished, once the girls are both YA all goals will have been met. Rain has been chosen heir, and she got the Eccentric trait to help her with her destined career as an inventor. Tao is doing well in the gardening career, though that one is difficult to advance in since it depends on selling tons of produce. He may or may not reach the top of his career. He's getting close to his LTW, he's maxed gardening and fishing and just needs to max one more skill. He's a charisma 9, so he will likely max that out just through socializing. I haven't been putting a lot of effort into skilling Tao, he just earns skills from doing stuff he normally does.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ramaswami/McDermott Random Legacy ch. 24: Rebound

Tao wakes up the morning after his disastrous party with the crushing realization that Tomika is out of his life for good.

"She wasn't good enough for you," his mother insists, "You are much better off without her."

"I love her," Tao answers, "I just want her back."

"You'll get over her," Regan promises.

"I hope you aren't angry at me," Regan says.

"I heard what she said to you," Tao answers, "I know you weren't the one trying to seduce her. It's not your fault."

"I'm several kinds of asshole," Regan agrees, "But I'm not the kind of asshole that sleeps with his best friend's girl."

"She's not my girl anymore," Tao says, starting to tear up.

"And that's her loss," Regan says, smiling, trying to cheer his friend up. "She was nowhere near good enough for you, you know. You deserve a lot better. If I were a chick, I'd be all over you, you know. But you actually deserve better than me, too."

Days pass without bringing Tao any relief from his misery. The best he can do is try to distract himself by going to the movies. Outside the theater, he meets a young woman going to watch the movie alone, like him.

"You're Tao McDermott, aren't you?" she says, "You're Regan Goth's friend."

Tao nods, now recognizing her as Regan's most recent girlfriend, Ivy Gilliland.

"Does Regan every talk about me?" she asks. Tao winces uncomfortably; Regan talks too much about his girlfriends, and says nothing Tao would ever want to repeat to any of them. Before he is made to answer, Ivy continues, "Did he say anything about why he broke up with me? Everything was going so great with us, I really thought we had a good relationship, and it was getting serious. Then, out of the blue, he told me it was over. I just want to know why. What did I do wrong?"

"I promise you, it wasn't anything you did," Tao sighs, "That's Regan's pattern. He falls for a girl, gets too close and cuts and runs." Ivy looks sadly up at him, like she was expecting some miracle from him that would reunite her with his fickle friend. "The movie is going to start soon, why don't we go inside?" Tao suggests.

After the movie, Tao and Ivy get dinner, and talk about their broken hearts. Eventually, they ended up in his bed, spending their grief in passion. After he fell asleep, Ivy slipped out of his bed and left, and he didn't hear from her again the next day.

Time eventually dulls the pain, and while Tao does still think of Tomika from time to time, he isn't reduced to tears by it any more. His energy is focused on raising his daughter Meilin. He's heard that Tomika is already dating again, she's been seen around town with Ricky Andrews.

Tao is surprised to get a call from Ivy, asking him to drop by her house. When he visits her, he is even more surprised to see she's pregnant. As though it weren't obvious, she announces her pregnancy to him, and informs him that the child is his.

"You're sure about that?" he asks.

Ivy's face grows red, "What are you implying?" she demands, "If it were Regan's, don't you think I'd be going after him and his wealth for support? I wish it were Regan's, so I could get him to talk to me. Of course it's yours."

Tao apologizes for doubting her, and asks what she was planning to do. Their one night stand isn't really enough to base a relationship on, especially when she's still hung up on Regan. But he's ready to accept responsibility for his child, in whatever form Ivy demands.

"I don't have the time or money for a child in my life," Ivy tells him, "Can you take her once she's born?" Tao agrees readily.

Regina Goth died suddenly, quickly followed by her husband, Herman. After the funeral, Tao went up to the Goth house to offer condolences to Regan, and was greeted at the door by a woman he'd never seen before, who introduced herself as Ashley Goth. "You must be Tao McDermott," she says, "Regan has told me so much about you."

"Are you a relative? I didn't know the Goths had any relations outside of Sunset Valley."

"I'm Regan's wife," Ashley answers. Tao's jaw drops. Regan? Married?

"I see you've met my lovely wife Ashley," Regan says as he pulls Tao into a hug.

"I'm sorry about your mother," Tao says, saving his questions about Regan's new wife for when she's not in the room.

"My love, could you give me a minute alone with Tao?" Regan says to Ashley. Ashley nods and leaves the men alone in the kitchen.

"I am so freaking out right now," Regan gasps as soon as they are alone. "I can't believe I'm married."

"Yeah, that's completely not like you. Who is she? What made you decide to get married so suddenly?" Tao asks.

"My mother," Regan sighs, "She put it in her will that if I don't produce a proper heir before I turn 35, the estate will fall to my half-brother Lawrence. As if! The clock is ticking fast, and I've dated nearly every girl in town. Ashley just relocated here, she's a cop like me. She liked me right away, and doesn't know me by reputation, which is a huge plus. She's got the kind of genes I'm looking to pass on to an heir, so I swept her off her feet, made her completely crazy about me and proposed. I probably should have knocked her up first, just to be sure I'm getting an heir out of the deal. But done is done, and I'm married now."

As soon as Ivy brings their daughter, Rain, home from the hospital, Tao comes to take her home with him.

Regan had been on the phone with her namesake, Regan Goth, to congratulate him on the birth of a daughter, Cassandra. Regina would have been so pleased, Regan thought as she hung up. She missed her friend and cousin dearly. At that moment, death came to claim her as well.

With the death of his mother, Tao is left to raise Meilin and Rain on his own.

(Challenge Notes: I neglected to mention my roll for generation 6 in my last post. Gen 6 will be a couple with one child, Inventor as primary carer and Business as secondary. The generation goal will be living green, which I look forward to because you need to build a community lot park, and misc. fun will be No Strangers.
So, with Tao's second child I ended up not moving the mother in while pregnant. I tried to, but I got an issue where the game got hung during the move in process and I had to restart the PC just to get out of the game. So, I let Ivy give birth on her own and used Twallan's master controller to move Rain in after birth. I hope that isn't considered cheating, it's the only thing I could think of to do when moving pregnant Ivy in failed. The rules say you can move in the pregnant mother, not that you must. On the downside, Rain's traits, Friendly and Heavy Sleeper, were chosen by the game. On the plus side, even though I have SP set for normal baby aging, when I moved Rain in she had 0 days to transition to toddler. She was born around 11pm and I moved her in the next morning around 7:30 am, after I took pictures of Tao holding her in Ivy's house.
So Tao has two children as a single parent, which completes Gen 5 requirements. Assuming both girls live to YA without being taken by SS, but I've never lost a child in my history of playing Sims since S1, so I don't expect anything to go wrong here.
Tao has reached level 6 of the Gardener career, and has maxed gardening skill. I still haven't decided what other two skills I want to max for his LTW, but he's at 8 Charisma just from interaction with Sims, and he fishes a lot, so they might be the ones.
I haven't yet chosen an heir for Gen 6, I'll decide when I see what the girls look like as teens.)