I’m a huge fan of Pinstar’s Apocalypse challenge. Huge. And last I checked, Pinstar isn’t planning to update his challenge to include all the new careers – and that’s fine. I’m not going to attempt to do that either (for now). But Strangerville screams Apocalypse and I wanted to see how the two could work together.
Basically, the idea is to play the story of Strangerville as a prequel to the full challenge the apocalypse. As the story advances, the apocalypse career limits increase and the game gets more challenging. Once you’ve finished, you’ll be mostly set up to play the full apocalypse challenge (if you want to) and maybe this will give the story a little more replayability as it should add challenge to the aspiration.
I’m testing this out right now. If you do try it out and have questions/ideas/comments please let me know and we can finalize this all together. If you’d rather not read rules – I’m posting my first test here – will link as I finish each phase: Phase 1 | Phase 2 | Phase 3.
Let’s begin! A wonderchild is, of course, not required, but I wanted the letter to match Pinstar’s idea for his challenge.
Date: March 1st, 21XX
Location: The City of Strangerville
Program: The Apocalypse Challenge
Project: RRR (Phase 2.1)
On February 26th we lost contact with the city of Strangerville. Our last message was a cryptic one, “EMBRACE THE MOTHER,” and it came from the [REDACTED] Lab in town. No other messages have been intercepted from either military, government, or scientific, or even individual sources. We have no idea what is going on or how dangerous it might be. What we do know is that we need a leader, a hero to willingly go in there, establish themselves in the region and help restore the region back to normal.
You have been chosen by the head of [REDACTED] based on our evaluation of your current skills and strengths. As a graduate of our Wonder Child project, you are uniquely qualified to be able to solve these issues and reestablish contact with the rest of us. So get in there and show us what you are made of! The lost city of Strangerville is depending on you!
DRAFT DRAFT DRAFT – subject to change 🙂
- No cheats, cc, or mods that give you an unfair advantage. (Of course, I’m never playing a multi-generational game again without MCCC and I’m a major fan of tweaking rules to match the story you’re telling so yeah – it’s up to you how strict you want to be).
- You may only play your founding sim during the prequel.
- You cannot add any sims to your household during the prequel. (Question should you be able to move in a spouse and start having kids, but not play them?)
- You may not travel to any other world during this challenge.
Similar to the apocalypse challenge, any sim can be your founder and yeah – a wonderchild is a great idea since they usually come pre-loaded with skills.
- Pick any founding sim, any traits and set the aspiration to the Strangerville Mystery
- Build your house on your chosen lot (based on the following limits) EDIT: Pick a lot in Shady Acres so you’ll have access to fish.
You will need to pick a lot in Strangerville and, if it’s not empty, demolish it. (You can also set up the whole town to look like the apocalypse by rebuilding the houses – or do that at the end of the challenge – or never do it at all). The lot you choose will be your lot for the full challenge if you choose to continue – so choose carefully.
You may then build or download a house no bigger than 8×8. You don’t have a lot of resources to start off with so despite your lot size, you’re only allowed to build on this space. (This matches the Secret Agent Villain career limits). Multiple stories and basements are okay.
You must use the cheapest item in any category as per the Startup Entrepreneur limits. Or (since I’m more a fan of story than challenge) you may use the Strangerville item in the category for aesthetics. (Eg the tub/shower combo rather than the cheapest tub.)
Any item is okay to buy – the town has only just been disconnected from the rest of the world, but choices are becoming sparse and the best stuff has already been taken. That said – some items might not be worth buying. For example, there are no TV channels available so buying a TV might not be worth it. Anything you purchase that will later be illegal you can get rid of at the end of this prequel.
Strangerville has been cut off. Physically by both fences and the military patrols. They aim to keep people out, not disallow people to enter so you were able to get to town just fine. The last guard warned you, that until …whatever… was taken care of you wouldn’t be allowed to leave.
Once you arrive, you find that Strangerville has also been cut off digitally. Your cellphone no longer works, it turns on – but you’re not getting a signal. (There are mods you can install to stop all the phone calls and autonomous phone actions – or you can just ignore the calls.) Technically you can have games installed on your phone that don’t require the internet so if you want to allow your sim that function, go ahead. Just no cell phone or internet. Yeah, the internet is gone. You can have a computer – but none of the social or other Internet-based actions are allowed. There are no TV channels, no radio. Interpret that as you want. I would say earbuds are okay (iPod-like), but radios are out.
The town is still functioning for now, but it’s getting tough.
Stage One: To Do
- Join the military career (No later than by the end of day 2)
- PROPOSED EDIT: Reach level 5 of the military career and request a keycard (This is the only way to properly complete this goal).
- Complete your aspiration goals until you reach Stage Two
Stage One: Career Limits
This challenge will slowly impose all the limits of Pinstar’s challenge on your sims as the story advances. For example, when you start you’re already fully under the Secret Agent and Startup Entrepreneur locks. Limited means that the full effects of this career lock are not yet in place and I’ve tweaked them. Full means the rules as Pinstar wrote them apply.
Startup – Full – Supplies are limited and going fast. You can only buy the worse stated item from a category (full and single beds are two categories.) When items have the same stats or no states you may choose between them. Alternatively, for story, you may choose distressed items from the catalog (especially from Strangerville’s pack) regardless of stats.
eSport Gamer – Limited – The computer can be used for anything that doesn’t require the internet (eg it’s on your harddrive). Other electronics can be bought but they’re not going to work if they need a connection to the outside world. The listening device does work. It has its own receiver.
Investor – Full – You have no contact with the outside world so you cannot sell build/buy items or do any interactions with the Geo Council. You cannot publish books, songs, or jingles. You may self-publish. You cannot sell harvested items.
Management – Limited – You may not work from home, that’s a first world benefit and you are no longer living in a first world town. You must stay in this career or lose the challenge.
Interstellar Smuggler – Full – You may not place, sell, or use career reward objects. You may not upgrade any object other than rockets. (Outstanding question – what about your metals from the military career, can you place those?)
Diamond Agent – Limited – Strangerville is cut off. You may not visit other worlds. You may visit locations within Strangerville (for now).
Villain – Full – As stated above you may only build on the 8×8 lot (excepting decorative landscaping on the rest of the lot for fun).
Musician – Limited – You may not listen to any radio or stereo. You may not change the Sim’s aspiration or cancel whims (if you have them turned on).
Oracle – Full – You are cut off from the greater sim-digital-world. You may not use MoveObjects cheat or download any sims from the gallery beyond your Founding sim.
Professional Athlete – Full – Just living here is hard enough, you can’t afford to improve your self. You may not purchase any reward traits for your sim.
Manual Labor (Teen career) – Full – The strange plants are poisoning the soil. You cannot plant, grow, graft, sample, or level up plants. You may harvest wild plants.
This phase begins once you open the Secret Lab door and return from the lab.
Things are worse, much worse. The plants are taking over and now it’s been about a month since any supplies have made it to Strangervile. Strange spore fill the air and spending too much time outside makes you dizzy and you feel strange.
New limits are applied as you continue your career and aspiration.
Stage Two Goals
- PROPOSED EDIT: Once you open the door – and Phase Two starts, eat a bizzare fruit. This will infect your sim and you will be possessed from time to time.
- Continue working on your aspiration until you reach Stage 3
- PROPOSED EDIT: You must achieve the goal of 15 spore clusters before you can travel to the Lab again.
- Adhere to new gameplay limits
Stage Two Career Limits
In addition to all previous limits – the following now apply.
Mixologist – Full – The plants are in the water supply. You can no longer consume anything that has a base of water. This includes bar drinks, potions, reward potions, water, or brushing your teeth. Anything bottled or canned is okay. Also, vaccines are okay.
Space Ranger – Limited NEW – The spores in the air are unsafe. PROPOSED EDIT/REMOVE LIMIT:
If you spend time outdoors (beyond walking directly between locations), such as stargazing, conversations with others, reading on a bench, jogging – you are affected by the plants. Eat a bizarre fruit after you complete your action. Mood auras no longer work as the spores fill the air to densely. If you wear the bio-suit while outdoors, you don’t have to eat the bizarre fruit as you are unaffected.
PROPOSED EDIT: Since once you are infected you are repossessed occasionally, you don’t need to eat a bizarre fruit after completing actions outdoors. Instead you must eat a fruit only when returning from the Lab if you were there without a hazmat suit.
Painter – Full – As stated above, the only mood around here is “strange”. You may not paint mood-aura painting, create emotional items, write emotional books (eg motivational books).
Fast Food Employee (Teen) – Full – Supplies are getting harder to find. You may no longer get “quick meals” or order food from the bar or for delivery.
Retail Employee (Teen) – Full – As stated above, there are fewer items around. Perhaps other sims are hoarding everything? The stores are rarely open and mostly empty. You may only purchase/build (eg enter build/buy mode) on Sunday. You can only “replace” broken objects on Sundays. You may not call the repairman. You may no longer plan outfits to change the sim’s wardrobe.
Barista (Teen) – Full – Remember the water is bad? Yeah, you can no longer drink coffee or tea. Hope you weren’t addicted. Additionally, you can’t buy the lump of clay, cuz um…Pinstar has that as part of this limit.
This phase begins after you visit the lowest level of the Secret Lab. When you reach the top of your career you can do the final event for this aspiration, but not before then. (Sorry for being kind of cryptic, I’m trying not to spoil it).
You thought things were bad before, eh? The power plant is failing due to lack of maintenance and lightning strikes. The plants are everywhere and it’s been months without a word or even an airdrop of medical and food supplies. Perhaps the rest of the world is struggling with the same thing? Perhaps they’ve all died? Perhaps they have written the whole town off. No way to know.
Stage Three Goals
- Adhere to new gameplay limits
- Reach the top of the of the Military Career X branch.
- Then (after 2), finish your aspiration. You will most likely have to wait.
Stage Three Career Limits
In addition to the previous limits, the following new limits are imposed.
eSport Gamer – Full – This career lock is now applied in full. Power is scarce, you can only use your computer for “authorized” work (Ie, work daily tasks). Life is bleak without video games.
Chef – Full – Due to the power restrictions, you may not purchase, place, or use refrigerators, stoves, ovens, or ovens. If you previously had these items, you can leave them in place and ignore them. (If you do sell them, use the “money” cheat to reduce the funds from selling them.) You may only use a grill or firepit to cook.
PROPOSED EDIT: You may remove all your food from the fridge and set it out on a counter or floor so you don’t immediately lose the food. (It will probably spoil and unless you’re a slob you will get sick eating it, but yeah without power the food would eventually spoil.)
Patron of the Arts – Full – No one is in the mood for fun or beauty. Those the plants have not possessed are too busy trying to live and avoid possession. You may not sell any Sim-produced objects. This means no more self-publishing or selling handcrafted items or any other way to make money outside of your job.
Journalist – Full – The water is really, really bad. Plants are everywhere. It’s not only not safe to drink, it’s not safe to use anymore. You may not purchase/use showers and tubs. (If you had one and chose to keep it, that’s fine. If you sell it you must cheat away the money using the money cheat. Maybe replace it with the tub planter object!) If you woohoo, you must “Try for Baby” if you can. You can’t take pregnancy tests.
Musician – Full – This is now locked in full. Due to the lack of joy in the world, you may now only “practice” on musical instruments. No other instrumental interactions. This is in addition to the previous ‘limited’ rules.
Comedian – Limited – Continuing on the broken spirits theme, you may no longer throw parties or go on dates. You still may invite sims to lots.
Boss – Full – Due to a lack of proper police force, and the military half possessed and concerned with their own issues, the local mob has appeared to fill the power vacuum. Whenever you are due to pay bills, pay them, then using the money cheat to reduce your family funds to 0. You can’t spend any money once your bills have arrived. (Question, is this workable? Should it be delayed until after you complete this prequel? Or perhaps even wait till gen 2 starts due to your upcoming hero status?)
Beyond The Hero of Strangeville
You’ve made it! Everything is going to be okay now, right? Right? Except there’s still no way out of Strangeville and still no sign of the rest of the world. Officially once the aspiration is complete, you’re done with this prequel.
If you choose to continue onto Pinstar’s apocalypse there are only a few final limits to place. In the glow of new hero-dom, you may readjust your house one last time before these effects take place and make sure you’re ready for this much more difficult challenge.
Final Limits if you’re continuing
Management – Full – You can quit your military job and join a new career – but when you do so it will be under the full effects of the Management lock. In addition to not taking vacations or taking time off work, if you miss work or are late (Red phone call), you must quit that job and cannot reenter that career. The same rule applies if you chose to quit the job, you cannot reapply for it. Elder sims can’t retire and sims can’t play hookey (unless they are professional slackers).
Space Ranger – Full – The spores appear to be gone, but their effects remain. (You no longer have to eat a bizarre fruit when you do outdoor activities, but you can no longer stargaze or cloud watch or use a telescope at all. Additionally, all items must be under a roof (trash and mailbox exempt). Sims may not sleep outside or in a tent. Mood auras are still prohibited.
Author – Full – What you have is what you keep. You cannot order books from a bookshelf or visit library lots.
Diamond Agent – Full – The plants may be gone, but the town is in shambles. You may no longer travel to any other lot. You may not move sims out of your house.
Comedian – Full – You may no longer invite sims to visit lots or use mirrors.
Bodybuilder – Full – All those spores did a number on you and over time you realize that despite your great fitness, you have lost strength, as have all around you. You may not move or sell objects with a footprint larger than 1×1. (Once they are placed and you leave build/buy mode, they’re stuck there). You cannot carry more than one stack of objects in your personal inventory – anything remaining from the prequel can be moved to the family inventory but cannot be removed. Nothing can be removed from your family inventory once they are there regardless of size.
Babysitter (Teen) – Full – You are in survival mode, improving your children is not something you can do. You must use a random trait generator on traits and aspirations. (Pinstar has one).
FYI: The goal of the Apocalypse challenge is to unlock all these limits by topping each career. Each sim in your household can only unlock one career even if they finish early. It’s really fun and very challenging, but if you do it, hopefully, the limits will be easier to follow after this.